Jayco’s Light Feather Trailer with a Semi-Toyhauler Twist

The bloom may be off the rose as far as toyhauler-type Recreational Vehicle trailers are concerned, but these vehicles remain popular and an important part of the RV industry. Manufacturers find interesting new ways to approach the Sport Utility Recreational Vehicle — or SURV segment — and the new Jay Feather Select X213 is a lightweight unit with a touch of SURV thrown in for extra versatility.

The Jay Feather we used was prepped for us by the pros at Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon (www.guarantyrv.com) and the company’s technician gave us a detailed once-over of the rig’s features; we appreciated the thoroughness of his approach to customer education.

Jayco’s Jay Feather Select models (www.jayco.com) range from about 20 feet long, for the X19H model with fold-out end platform beds, to the 29L that’s just over 33 feet long. All are classed as lightweights, and the X213 fits that category with its 4,680 pound wet (propane and fresh water full, no cargo) weight. That’s not the most lightweight trailer in its class, but it’s still easily haulable by a wide range of slightly smaller tow vehicles. Vinyl flooring throughout, durable fabrics and cabinets in a Concord Cherry finish add up to an interior that’s durable enough for rugged family use.

Jayco frames the trailer mostly in aluminum, with wood floor framing, and uses polystyrene insulation throughout. A seamless EPDM rubber roof and smooth FRP fiberglass skin sheath the exterior. Both the roof and sidewalls feature laminated construction.

Unlike many SURVs this trailer has no garage out back. The aft wall is occupied by a slideout room that contains the main bed, which Jayco calls “king size,” although it’s a bit smaller than that.

The garage-type storage area is up front, abutting the front wall, and integral with the two bunk beds. Both beds are affixed to the sloping front wall shaped by the trailer’s aerodynamic front end. The lower 38 x 74-inch bed is hinged across the front wall, and can be folded up and against the wall. This opens up the floor space for storage, with exterior access via a low-profile door in the trailer’s streetside front corner.

While it’s true the “garage” can’t handle anything very large, the space is still enough to accommodate bicycles, a small child’s motorcycle, deflated rubber raft or a similar sports toy. Packing those toys up front in the trailer also keeps the extra weight forward, over the hitch, where it helps contribute to towing stability.

Another exterior-access compartment up front, curbside, is much smaller but large enough for leveling blocks, hoses and other dirty items you don’t want inside. The balance of the floorplan includes a streetside enclosed bath opposing a mid-unit curbside kitchen, and out back, there’s a streetside sofa/bed facing a fixed dinette/bed. The aft-wall bed slideout, when retracted in travel position, moves over the sofa and dinette. Slid out, the 76 x 75-inch bed clears the interior lounge area for dining, relaxing and general socializing.

It’s a smallish trailer but, all counted, it has sleeping spots for eight persons. That’s a lot of togetherness in a compact space, and that trailer will need to be parked at a full-hookup campsite if the users are to enjoy the showering and other water-consumption facilities. The trailer’s 22.5-gallon freshwater tank would empty immediately if a crowd of eight attempted to shower and whatnot, even if all of those people were really good at RV-style water conservation.

Fluid capacities aside, the X213 has facilities proportioned right for full-sized adults. For example, the kitchen components are standard-size for a smaller RV and work well, and the 6-cubic-foot refrigerator is about right for the type of use for which this trailer is designed.

The dinette that folds down into a 39×67-inch bed has the right spacing between the seats and tabletop and the table is big enough to handle an honest amount of food and other meal hardware for four. We found the sofa/bed more than accommodating as a spot for stretch-out relaxation or while seated when socializing.

There’s a deep wardrobe space abutting the forward bunk beds with bulky hanging-coat room along with extra storage in the cabinet’s lower area. We don’t expect a huge bath in a small rig, and this one is sized well for function and reasonably-comfortable use of the space by a full-size adult. The toilet is well positioned, as is the vanity sink, and the shower allows flexible cleanup with minimal sticky-wet-curtain syndrome.

Although the X213 isn’t the ideal rig for boondocking with a crowd, two adults who know about water conservation could make a go of it. This trailer has enough space to handle a fair pile of recreational gear, it has well-planned and executed facilities, and with the Jayco name attached, buyers can relax knowing they’ve made a good investment from a known company. — Jeff Johnston, Motor Matters

Photos courtesy Jeff Johnston: Back-road adventures await an RVer willing to explore, and the Jay Feather Select X213 lashed to a Ford F-150 makes a terrific combination for getting off the beaten path.
A 6-cubic-foot refrigerator is directly opposite the fully-equipped galley that includes the microwave oven, dual-bowl sink, storage cabinets and a modest amount of open counter space.
Dual bunk beds occupy the trailer’s forward wall. The lower bunk hinges up and forward to create a large storage area for bicycles or other recreational or sports accessories.
The aft-wall slide-out bed makes great use of the space and opens up the lounge area, with its fixed dinette/bed and fold-down sofa/bed, for socializing and general relaxing in the X213.
Copyright, AutoWriters Associates Inc., 2011

This entry was posted in Rely on the Auto Experts -- Motor Matters Reviews, Rolling Homes. Bookmark the permalink.