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Old 04-15-2015, 01:25 PM   #1
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First Time Out - X18D

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!

The Trip
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.

The Camper
With our family and TV we didn’t have a wide choice of campers, but the X18D is perfect for us,
Storage - 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.
Seating is a little tight for 5 but we had purchased a coleman chair for the 5th seat which was perfect,
Heating - the evenings were chilly but the heater worked great, as did the mattress pads – zero complaints about being cold!
Comfort - Again no complaints everyone slept well
Condensation – 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
Levelling – 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!
Breakage/Damage – 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.
Extras! – 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.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:38 PM   #2
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Nice write up! Glad you had fun. It get's easier with every trip and you learn something almost every time. Every year we find some other way of doing something that's better or easier. And we've been doing this going on 30 years.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:07 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good trip. It does get easier with every trip.

Regarding your question about leveling; put however many boards under each wheel it takes to get level. If you are on fairly “flat” surface, I try to be within one board of each tire. I have had to dig a hole to lower the tires on one side before, I have been on such a slope that I have had to use many blocks under the rear tire and none under the front tire. You just have to do what it takes to get the unit level.

For leveling you do not have to have equal number of blocks under each tire. For example if you are using two by material. If you put one 2 by under each tire you will lift that side by 1.5 inches. If you only put one 2 by under one wheel, you will only lift the unit by ¾ of an inch on that side. With some experience you will figure out how best to level for your needs, and how close to level you desire the unit to be.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:14 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys. I appreciate the feedback, I've learnt a lot from this forum and wanted to share what we have learnt ( so far!)

The best thing is that the whole family is excited to get out there this summer.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:17 PM   #5
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The x18d was our very first unit we bought and in fact we got ours the very first year they offered this model. We are a family of your size as well and eventually we outgrew it as we found ourselves going every weekend. We now are in a 345bhts 5er and still talk about that x18d and how many memories we had and how much we loved it! Enjoy it as I know we did!
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:31 PM   #6
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I have the extra table also. My wife sets it up just to the left of the pantry. She likes it there as it gives her more "counter" space. Her main complaint with our X18D is the lack of counter space.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:33 PM   #7
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x18d maiden voyage

Nice write up! We just completed our maiden with our 18D on Mother's Day weekend. We were close to level with our leveling blocks... close enough to camp. It's a nice trailer, and was a great upgrade from our '95 PUP.

I was slightly worried about seating.. but the kids (3) all seem to hang out in their beds. In fact on Saturday night, we entertained 10 people in the trailer without issue. That was nice.

Enjoy your trailer!!
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:45 PM   #8
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re: condensation... When we had our 19H, I would open one window on each bunk end slightly (maybe 1-2 inches). This helped the trailer "breathe" and reduced condensation.

re: leveling.. the plastic leveling blocks are handy to have too. They don't take up much room and you are far less likely to use them as firewood if you run out :-)

Nice write up!
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:00 AM   #9
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RE: showers - Don't leave the water running the entire time you are in the shower. Rinse off, shut off the shower head, lather up with soap, shampoo, then turn the water back on to rinse off. That will leave plenty of time for the hot water heater to heat more water for other showers, and won't fill up your grey water tank.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfurry78 View Post
The x18d was our very first unit we bought and in fact we got ours the very first year they offered this model. We are a family of your size as well and eventually we outgrew it as we found ourselves going every weekend. We now are in a 345bhts 5er and still talk about that x18d and how many memories we had and how much we loved it! Enjoy it as I know we did!
I could see that happening to us as well, hopefully not too quickly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnebinger View Post
I have the extra table also. My wife sets it up just to the left of the pantry. She likes it there as it gives her more "counter" space. Her main complaint with our X18D is the lack of counter space.
That's a good suggestion, although I think our dog claimed that spot!
We did use it outside for a meal or 2, having additional counter space is always a plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5swigerts View Post
Nice write up! We just completed our maiden with our 18D on Mother's Day weekend. We were close to level with our leveling blocks... close enough to camp. It's a nice trailer, and was a great upgrade from our '95 PUP.

I was slightly worried about seating.. but the kids (3) all seem to hang out in their beds. In fact on Saturday night, we entertained 10 people in the trailer without issue. That was nice.

Enjoy your trailer!!
10 people! now thats a crowd! Our kids also loved hanging out in the beds, at times it was hard to get them out!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmward View Post
re: condensation... When we had our 19H, I would open one window on each bunk end slightly (maybe 1-2 inches). This helped the trailer "breathe" and reduced condensation.

re: leveling.. the plastic leveling blocks are handy to have too. They don't take up much room and you are far less likely to use them as firewood if you run out :-)

Nice write up!
Yep, I think i'll get some plastic blocks for the next trip, thanks for the tip on the condensation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckworkb View Post
RE: showers - Don't leave the water running the entire time you are in the shower. Rinse off, shut off the shower head, lather up with soap, shampoo, then turn the water back on to rinse off. That will leave plenty of time for the hot water heater to heat more water for other showers, and won't fill up your grey water tank.
Perfect answer thanks - the challenge will be explaining it to the rest of the family (only my wife and daughters used the shower in the camper!)


Thanks all for the comments/feedbacks
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