Jayco Eagle 10 SG
If you consider the number of families that own small vans and sport-utility vehicles designed to pull trailers weighing 3500 pounds or less, it becomes apparent that this ultra lightweight segment of the towable market offers vast potential for RV manufacturers. With its introduction of the all-new Eagle 10 SG folding camping trailer, Jayco has added one more choice to this popular category of towable RVs.
One of the advantages of small trailers is that towing them can be relatively carefree. We found this 16-foot, 10-inch-long (overall length folded for travel) Eagle required minimal attention, regardless of where we were towing (urban, freeway or back-road venues). Because of its fold-down capability (55 inches high for travel), and a width that’s approximately the same as many smaller and more fuel-efficient tow vehicles, towing visibility was excellent. In addition, its small size made it easy to maneuver into remote campsites or diminutive driveways and typical suburban garages.
Jayco lists the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the Eagle 10 SG at 2210 pounds. Factored into this manufacturer’s GVWR is 730 pounds of cargo-carrying capacity. The towed wet weight we recorded at a public scale was 1960 pounds. This included the weight of several options that subtract from the 730-pound carrying capacity. Among these options were a Convenience Group (spare tire, LPG tank cover, end-bunk lights, privacy curtains and a 14×14-inch roof vent), hydraulic surge brakes, 10-gallon freshwater tank, 2-cubic-foot refrigerator, forced-air furnace, and a 10-foot canopy for the patio area. The recorded wet hitch (tongue) weight was 210 pounds — also very manageable for smaller tow vehicles. Adding to the Eagle 10 SG’s ease of ownership was the lack of any sway while towing during our examination.
Our first time out it took about 20 minutes to set up (fold out) this camping trailer and make it ready for use. We were equally impressed with the ease with which the unit could be made ready for travel when it came time to break camp. Jayco camping trailers have a patented, fully enclosed manual crank-up/crank-down lifter system that works very well. A small door at the rear of the unit (approximately 6×6 inches) provides access to the hand-crank mechanism.
After hoisting the domed, insulated aluminum roof to its fully extended position, a commodious inner cabin yielded standing room that measured 6 feet, 6 inches high. Four stabilizing jacks (one at each corner) are included as standard equipment. With the roof up and the stabilizing jacks down, the two end beds (each on a roller type slide-out system) can then be pulled out and the supporting outside poles inserted below.
The Eagle 10 SG offers a sleeping capacity of seven. The front fold-down/slide-out bunk is supported by two sets of removable/stowable aluminum supports. This bed is 70 inches wide by 79 inches long. A second and very similar bed (fold-down/slide-out) at the rear of the unit measured 54×79 inches. Setting up the beds was a snap, and both are housed inside BoltaFlex CT water-repellent tent material, with an aluminum-tube interior-rafter system that gives shape to the walls and roof. Each of the three walls surrounding the tented beds feature a large zipper panel that can be opened to varying degrees to provide the desired level of circulation. Fine-mesh screen panels keep out the insects. The street-side dinette quickly converts into a sleeper that can accommodate a couple of youngsters, and the sofa/gaucho bed can sleep one adult comfortably.
Optional bunk curtains can be drawn across the interior to separate the end bunks from the rest of the trailer and provide privacy when it’s wanted. Optional interior lights (with fans) are also available for each of the end bunks. The upper portion of the main walls are made of a soft, pliable acrylic material that’s tinted to provide interior privacy for those inside and to protect the interior fabrics from the harmful effects of the sun. Curtains can be drawn to sequester camper occupants from the outside world.
The solid-frame main-entry door is stowed on the ceiling during travel. When setting up at a campsite, the bottom of the door is unlatched from its secure position on the ceiling. Then due to a flexible hinge material that permanently attaches the top of the door to the ceiling, the door can be swung down and inserted into the doorframe in the solid curbside wall. The swing-down-door system is ingenious, both for stowing the door for travel and for ease of setup once a campsite is reached. The door is screened and comes with a fabric panel that can quickly be put in place at night to keep the chill off, or to keep the inside dry should an occasional rain shower pass over. The bottom half of the exterior walls feature a solid, double-aluminum-layer design for insulation and strength.
Here’s something else really neat. The galley countertop (includes the galley sink) is a single unit that is hinged at one end so that it folds over and rides upside down on the dinette during travel. Seat cushions can then be stowed on top. When setting up camp you simply lift up on the end that is not hinged, swing it over, lower it down and set it onto the galley cabinet that contains the refrigerator, holding tank for fresh
water (standard 5-gallon; optional 10-gallon) and the 16,000 BTU furnace. The two-burner cook-top is then removed from its place of storage for travel (located below the dinette tabletop) and set on the countertop. The LPG line to the cook-top features a flex hose and a quick-disconnect. To ensure the cook-top remains stationary when placed on the countertop, there are four feet (each about 1-inch long) that insert into appropriately placed slots in the countertop surface. This cook-top comes with another nice feature — it can be carried outside for fair-weather food preparation.
Once the galley countertop and stove are in place, a stainless steel pole is inserted into the underside of the dinette tabletop and into the floor. Then the dinette is set up, the seat and back cushions that were stowed flat for travel are now put into place and the galley and dining table of the Eagle 10 SG are ready for use. When it comes time to tidy up, the high-gloss durable Armstrong linoleum that dresses the floor cleans up with a damp cloth.
Even though this is a 10-foot box, folding camping trailer, the Eagle 10 SG comes with a surprising amount of storage space. Across the front of the unit (coach-wide) is a large compartment that can be accessed from three directions. A door on the top that measures 78 inches long by 20 inches wide is hinged at the back and can be opened to provide immediate access to the entire compartment. On each end of this compartment, are lockable exterior bay doors that provide access from the sides of the camping trailer. On the curbside (aft of the main entrance) is another exterior storage compartment. A cabinet just inside the main entry can be used as a place to keep a portable toilet.
Utilities include a 30-foot, 30-amp shorepower cable, 110-volt receptacles and a 12-volt electrical system with a 20-amp, 110-volt converter. The Eagle 10 SG comes pre-wired for a battery and is equipped with a city water hook-up. Standard equipment also includes a 20-pound LPG tank and a LPG-leak detector. Included with the Convenience Package is wiring prep so that an AC unit can be added at a later date.
One of the best examples of the unit’s family-friendly design is the low cost associated with owning and operating this recreational vehicle. No special tow vehicle is required to handle the lightweight trailer. You won’t have to go out and buy a huge truck and because of the sensible size of the Eagle 10 SG, there are always campsites that can accommodate this unit. And last, but certainly not least, added to all of the other things that make this unit a pleasure to own is the fact that the manufacturer’s base suggested retail price is a stingy $6664. Even with the options on the unit we reviewed, the price is still an easily manageable $8330.
The thing that’s not stingy about the Eagle
10 SG is the amount of utility, creature comforts, user-friendliness and livability this trailer yields. For a family considering RV camping without giving up the deed to the ranch, this new Jayco folding camping trailer makes a good deal of sense.