I hope this is the right place for a post like this... if not, I apologize.
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
- 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)
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:
x213 things that went wrong or were unexpected:
- 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.
- 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.