We have just returned from our inaugural X18D trip, so as first time trailer owners I thought I would post some thoughts/comments/lessons learned and questions!
We are a family of 5 (son 12, daughters 10 & 7) plus a dog, our TV is a 2013 Honda Pilot, which gave us some challenges to meet our needs for 5 and be towable! Additionally while my son is a scout and I’ve also camped this is an all new experience for the female members of our family who have been a little nervous about leaving hotel comforts behind!
We stayed 6 nights in Williamsburg Virginia at Outdoor World
which is about a 500 miles from Albany NY, so a pretty decent journey! Towing with the Pilot was fine, we have a WDH, Sway bar and brake controller installed everything worked well at a steady 60ish down 95. This is obviously a big trailer for the Pilot but we packed light and it managed just fine.
Our biggest learnings were fuel economy and tolls! Those 4 axles EZ-Pass charges were a surprise add up fast! And with a 20 gallon tank and 8mpg we were filling up often, although when we got wise and switched to 93 we got another 20% out of the tank.
With our family and TV we didn’t have a wide choice of campers, but the X18D is perfect for us,
- we had more than enough storage room, I had been worried about the amount of room but there was plenty, way more than I had expected.
is a little tight for 5 but we had purchased a coleman chair
for the 5th seat which was perfect,
- the evenings were chilly but the heater worked great, as did the mattress pads – zero complaints about being cold!
- Again no complaints everyone slept well
– I see plenty of other threads on this, we definitely had it both inside the tent ends and under the mattress, and one night in particular we had some inside rain! It was very manageable and dried out quickly, but wasn’t something I expected
– Our campsite wasn’t level and I hadn’t thought levelling through, luckily I did bring 5 cut down pieces of decking to put under the stabilizers, so I stacked these up, 3 under one axle and 2 under the other and they got us to be good enough. Any tips on levelling? Especially for the second axle?
• Electric Jack
– Packing up to come home I managed to blow the fuse in the electric jack and I didn’t fathom the manual cranking so ended up using the car jack to lift the tongue!! I now know about the manual crank and have a box of spare fuses!
• Grey Tanks
– we had full hook up at our site so not an issue, but I was surprised at how quickly they filled up, we had to empty them daily! Perhaps I need to speak to the kids re. water conservation! (also might have been worse as we weren’t completely level.)
• Water Heater
– We had plenty of hot water but there were a couple of complaints about only enough for one shower – perhaps another reason for the water conservation conversation – although my son and I were fine as we used the ones at the site!
– Just one small item – one of the black plastic clips that is on the strap that holds the mattress in place while travelling snapped, this was an easy fix with a small carabiner that I had lying around.
! – We ordered our camper with the electric pack, additional table, TV and heated mattress pads – but on the trip the only thing we didn’t use was the table, all the others seem to have been a wise choice, time will tell if we really needed the table.
Our Next Trip
The good news is that everyone had a great time! And we are looking forward to our next one which will be to Rhode island for Memorial Day.