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Old 06-26-2016, 07:12 PM   #1
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Post x213 First outing

I hope this is the right place for a post like this... if not, I apologize.
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This past weekend, after owning a 2016 Jayco X213 for 2 months - we were finally able to get out on our first official trailer camping trip. The site we went to was near Lake George, NY and had full hook ups.

My camping background:
I’ve camped quite a bit in the past - Starting as a kid it was mostly in tents and most recently in a Livin’ Lite Pop Up. (Which is essentially a tent on a box anyway.) Older, less tolerant of the temperature extremes and prone to a stiff back from a hard mattress - we traded in the pop up for a trailer this year. Tent camping and trailer camping, I was to find, are very different in terms of what you need to bring with you and how you “think” about camping.

Tent Camping vs Trailer Camping:
Tent camping you tend to think of “essentials.” What do I need to stay warm? Where will I get light from? I need to bring cool clothes if it is hot. How will I cook? WHAT will I cook? In addition I always brought duct tape and some seam sealer in case of leaks.

Our first outing in the trailer we initially had the same thoughts and realized many of them were already covered. Warmth? We have heat. Hot Weather? We have AC. Food? With a stove, oven and microwave - cooking and food choices are pretty easy to answer as well.

Duct tape was on the list for repairs as was some silicone sealer. Add in a full set of tools, ramps, grease, fresh water hose, water pressure regulator, water filter, surge protector, black hoses, etc and suddenly it becomes more about stocking an apartment than “surviving.” In fact our “stuff we forgot” list sounds like a dorm room checklist instead of a camping list:
  • desk or clip on fan
  • bathroom cup
  • side table
  • placemats
  • microwaveable containers
  • hose Y connector
  • tongs for kitchen
  • splatter shield for bacon
  • outside garbage can

Although we had done some “yard camping” we still ended up unpacking and putting stuff in it’s place once we got there. We settled in and got comfy - got good use out of all the trailer facilities with only a few minor issues (noted below)

X213 space:
The trailer towed exceptionally well behind my 5.7liter Tundra on the 3-4 hour drive and is a nice size for me, my wife and our young son. That said, I don’t know that it would be as comfortable for 4 adults or even for 2 adults and 2 older kids. This is for one reason specifically - lack of storage.

In fairness to the trailer - we did not make optimal use of the space we do have. We ended up using the top bunk for storage of clothes in duffle bags. We need to optimize our use of space better for sure. I just don’t think you have enough space for a longer trip or a bigger party.

X213 things to fix/change:
So after 4 days there were three things I definitely want to address:
  • build shelves in wardrobe. More Storage!
  • put a door on side of under dinette storage. Easier access to storage!
  • silence water pump. Only turned this on to test it - but sheesh it is annoying.

x213 things that went wrong or were unexpected:
  • bathroom sink drain disconnected
    Upon arrival I hooked up to the city water and proceeded to blow the air out of the lines by turning on the kitchen faucet. I then went outside to hook up to the sewer and noticed water dripping from the side of the trailer. Asked my wife if she had used the bathroom and she replied that she had turned the water on, it did not seem to have any air in the lines and turned it right off. I ran inside and looked under the sink to find the sink drain had disconnected from the trap in transit. Quickly sopped up the water and fixed the drain. Not a lot of water - but definitely not something I expected.
  • AC Condensation running off gutter. Again, not a big deal - but it ended up dripping at the corner near the master bed and woke me in the middle of the night on one occasion in a panic about water leaks
  • The Electric hot water heater makes a high pitched tone. Only audible when you are close - but once I heard it I could not un hear it while lounging under the awning.
  • Although we need to do better at rationing water - I felt like the tanks had to be drained sooner than I expected. The grey, in particular, I must’ve emptied 3 times in 4 days. This was in part due to my son not understanding the concept of rationing of water. Even with that in mind, however, I’m not sure I could go 4 days without being able to drain the grey tank at least once.
  • The awning support bars. I really hope I am doing something wrong here. The number of times I hit my head on the support arms became a joke. On the third hit I cut the side of my head pretty good. They are too low, don't seem adjustable and made my head hurt
  • Finally, the trailer had been hooked to electric since we brought it home - which I thought would keep the battery charged. Well, upon arrival at the campground the battery was dead. Luckily we had electric at the site - but I’m not sure what happened there…a defective battery, charger or misunderstanding on my part.

So I hope this is of some value to people getting out in their first trailer or with an x213. I’m more than happy to answer any questions about our “trailer virgin journey” or about our x213.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:57 PM   #2
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Addendum - since I can no longer edit post

Disregard the last bullet point - see below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonproductive View Post
  • Finally, the trailer had been hooked to electric since we brought it home - which I thought would keep the battery charged. Well, upon arrival at the campground the battery was dead. Luckily we had electric at the site - but I’m not sure what happened there…a defective battery, charger or misunderstanding on my part.
Add to the list of "things to keep with you" - a Volt Meter.

Went out to trailer today and threw a volt meter on the battery. 12.7 volts.
Hmmm.

Hit light on tongue jack - nada.

Checked master 30A Fuse.... blown.

Replaced fuse and all is functioning again. Now need to see if it happens again and if so, what is causing it.

I feel silly for not checking the fuse when we got there - in keeping with the KISS rule of thumb. Spare fuses are now in the trailer toolbox along with a volt meter.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:37 PM   #3
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One thing we have done for quite some time on longer camps is bring a small but tall tent as the change tent. Keeps the clothing mess for 4 out of the camper, and with four of us, gets rid of the need to knock when entering the camper, and people constantly having to pull blinds because they were getting changed.
For the awning, I'm 6'3" and do hit my head on ours from time to time. It is worse when the awning has more pitch set; fully up and I almost clear (it is probably at 6'2"). I am considering adding a split pool noodle to the edges lowest points just to soften the blow.
Are you draining your tanks because you KNOW they are full, or because the sensors SAY they are full. The sensors on these are notoriously inaccurate. My grey tank shows 3/4 full on empty. The black tank is easy to tell; the toilet starts to "burp" on flush as it gets near the top. The grey is tougher to tell, just keep a close eye on the shower drain as that is where it will usually back up into. Have been kind of thinking of using some kind of a float and flag (like a fishing bobber) in the shower drain that will pop up when the tank gets nearly full, need to put my MacGyver cap on for that one.
ETA: If you get nostalgic for the good old days, try dry camping at one of the great state parks in the Adirondacks (many are unserviced). Take away the power and water, and you are back to the same concerns you had when tent camping, just with a bigger tent and more propane.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonproductive View Post
Duct tape was on the list for repairs as was some silicone sealer.
Duct Tape--Ok (I use Gorilla Tape .
Silicone Sealer--Not so good.

Silicone doesn't stick very well to many (most? all?) RV surfaces...especially rubber roofs.

Better to have available
- Geocell Proflex
- Dicor self leveling sealant
- EternaBond tape
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Bankr63 - I was going by the sensors. If it showed 2/3 full and I knew my son was going to shower I emptied the grey tank. I could not get him to turn the water on, get wet, turn the water off - soap up and then turn the water back on to rinse...so he would take a full shower and I worried about overflow.

Black tank was basically "it has said 2/3 for a day now - I better empty it" paranoia

I like the idea of the tent for changing. We were using the bathroom to change - which was an issue when my son declared an "emergency" one morning while my wife was getting dressed.

Charles_Cincy - I assumed silicon stuck to everything since it never seems to want to come off anything I get it on
I'll look into picking up one of the other products you mentioned and keep some handy in the trailer. Thanks for educating me before I was relying on the silicon to stick!
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonproductive View Post
Checked master 30A Fuse.... blown.
Is it really a 30A? Is this the inline fuse up on the front of the trailer near the batteries? If so, that should be 40A. Jayco's solution to lots of people popping the 30A fuses in years past. I'd expect yours to have a 40A directly from Jayco.

Another option to consider is to replace the fuse with an auto-resetting breaker.

My thoughts after reading your thoughts...

1) Totally agree, storage is the weakest point on this trailer. As my kids get older I'm going to just tell them they can only have what fits in their bunk. I store the generator and camp chef stove under the bed for traveling, camp chairs and such under the dining table, and other miscellaneous things (mostly the stuff I don't use all the time) under the couch. I try to avoid putting too much up front since it's already very tongue-heavy.

2) With a little care, it should be possible to go for a weekend (two nights) on the built-in tanks. Our last trip was dry camping and it worked out fine. Drained the freshwater until it said E, but it was still giving water, and ended up with both waste tanks at 2/3. Brought along extra water just in case, but didn't need it. By far the biggest water consumer is the shower, and I have to shower every day. Military style, worked for us.

3) We also brought a generator in case two batteries wasn't enough (it was -- even running the furnace at night to keep the trailer from getting too frigid).

4) Completely with you on the wardrobe -- we don't need to hang long clothes, we need more shelves. We've been poking around and looking for even more places to put things, hang things, etc. Next up will be that nice big space in front of the lower bunk. Too much space to ignore.

5) I'll be interested to hear your solution on the pump. Ours was fairly unobtrusive our first trip, and pretty obnoxious on our last trip, so I'm going to make sure it's mounted tight. Then a silencer kit. Then maybe an accumulator tank. None of which is terribly expensive.

6) I feel your pain on the awning. If you push it out tight enough about the most you can get under the bars is 6 feet. I've hit my head a few times, thinking I may just get a pool noodle to keep in the trailer to put on the arm closest the door . At least it won't draw blood then.

We're going to go out again this weekend, dry camping again but for three days. I may have to forgo my shower one of the days, or do a sponge bath
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:36 PM   #7
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Oh, another thing to consider. This is probably specific to our trailer, because I don't think Jayco puts two batteries on the X213, but in any case ...

Check the batteries for how they are secured to the tongue. Our dealer installed a second battery, and the other day when I took the trailer to storage I found one box had fallen off the tongue altogether (only thing that kept it from dropping on the road was the cables attaching it to the other battery). Nothing holding the batteries in place except the strap that goes around the case and over the lid -- and it doesn't winch down nearly tight enough to keep things from moving.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
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Glad I'm not the only one hitting their head on the awning
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:35 PM   #9
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I usually wrap a piece of cloth around the awning arm on the rear where the BBQ is. At least it is only a soft bump then.
I have just finished a 5" lift on my 213, and hopefully that will help the situation
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:08 AM   #10
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Rootus -
definitely 30A - and yes, the one on the front of the trailer near the battery. I've replaced it with a 30A for now, but do have some 40A on hand if it blows again.

I only have 1 battery - but it too seems to only be held on by the strap. I may look into a dual battery box at some point and figure out a way to secure it to the tongue properly.


I will have to look at the pool noodle or rag idea on the awning. 3rd hit left a nice cut in the side of my head. Would rather not repeat that
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