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2005 Jayco Baja 10Y Trailer Review - Travel Trailer Test

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on August 1, 2005
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Now this is cool. A pop-up camping travel trailer specifically designed to go off-highway. It's called the Jayco Baja 10Y and it features gobs of ground clearance, big 15-inch wheels, a heavy-duty axle and frame, aggressive mud-terrain tires, and it's totally self-contained so even in the middle of nowhere, you have all the comforts of home. Heck, it even has a spacious and convenient front deck so you can bring along toys like a pair of dirt bikes or an ATV. As an added bonus, it's made by the folks at Jayco-long known as a manufacturer of quality campers and travel trailers. The folks at Middlebury, Indiana-based Jayco have their game on when it comes to off-highway campers. In addition to the pop-up Baja 10Y and its sister camper the pop-up 10Z, they also offer Baja versions of their Jay Flight and Jay Feather travel trailers, which feature increased ground clearance, aggressive tires, and auxiliary lighting.

We recently had the chance to spend a few weeks with the Baja 10Y. During our test, we dragged it over brutal terrain that shook, tipped, and generally hammered the Baja. We camped on wicked terrain and used every feature the camper offered. When it was all said and done, we came to the conclusion that this is the fully self-contained camper for those of us who love venturing off-highway in the great outdoors. With one of these, you no longer have to settle for camping suburbia-style at a campground. The Baja's capabilities give you the freedom to find your own serene campsite far down a trail that would stop standard pop-up trailers in their tracks.

This image highlights many of the trailer's fine features. The galley area features an acrylic sink and a 17-gallon fresh water system, which provides plenty of liquid when in the outback. The water is transferred to the sink and shower by an electric on-demand pump. There's also a city water hookup for campgrounds. A 6.2-gallon propane water heater provides hot water, and it has a very fast recovery rate. There's also a portable two-burner propane stove, thermostatically controlled 18,000-Btu propane furnace with auto-ignition, and a 2-cubic-foot three-way refrigerator. A galley-mounted battery gauge allows you to monitor battery condition should you be using a tongue-mounted 12-volt battery for power.The bathroom is located at the front of the trailer adjacent to the king-size bed and features a shower and cassette toilet. We were surprised at how well the hot water heater and on-demand water system worked. Further, the 11-gallon gray-water tank easily held the water from two lengthy showers plus a day's dishes. When not in use, the shower can be lowered and covered to create more interior space.

One of the things we like about the Baja is that it sets up fast. We found that we could have it disconnected from the truck, leveled, and set up with bunks out and interior placed in less than 15 minutes. Camping on soft terrain like sand isn't a problem either, thanks to stabilizer jacks that have pads with a large surface area.

Model: Jayco Baja 10Y

Base price:
Price as tested: $10,464
Options as tested: 12-volt rechargeable spotlight, Customer Value Package (2-cubic foot three-way gas/electric refrigerator, AM/FM stereo with CD, battery gauge, prep for generator and solar power, self-storing awning and water purification system), 16,000-Btu furnace, portable RVQ grill, heated bed mats, shower/toilet.

Exterior travel length (in.): 234
Campsite length (in.): 250
Travel height with roof vent option (in.): 66
Campsite height with roof vent option (in.): 104
Exterior width (in.): 85
Interior height/headroom (in.): 80
Hitch-ball coupler size (in.): 2

UVW-dry weight without options (lb.): 2,315
Axle weight-dry weight without options (lb.): 2,135
Hitch weight-dry weight without options (lb.): 180
GVWR (lb.): 4,000
Gross carrying capacity (lb.): 1,685

Fresh water tank (gal.): 17
Water heater (gal.): 6.2
Gray water tank (gal.): 11
Furnace (Btu output): 18,000
LP gas bottles (no./lb.): 2/40
Refrigerator (cu. ft.): 2

Front bunk (in.): 70x79
Rear bunk (in.): 54x79
Dinette (in.): 40x62

Electric system (amps): 20
Stabilizer jacks: 4
12-volt interior lights: 4
Tire size: LT235/75R15C

PhotosView Slideshow

In addition to the Jayco 10Y there are other off-highway travel trailers available from a variety of manufacturers. Some vary significantly in design, but like the 10Y they all offer capability far exceeding a standard pop-up camper.

Fleetwood says that the 2005 Evolution is one of its first Activity Support Vehicle (ASV) folding trailers. ASVs feature unique off-road construction and interiors that allow outdoor enthusiasts of all ages a chance to stay where they play.
Why it's cool: Heavy-duty gas shock suspension system, 6-inch tubular steel frame, 5-inch tubular steel A-frame, stabilizers with Sand Pads, 13-inch aluminum wheels, electric brakes, and your choice of "You Want a Piece of Me Yellow" or "Play Hard Platinum" colors.
Base price: $7,999
Info: Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., 951/351-3500,

This clever trailer is very unique and Jumping Jack claims that no other tent trailer can be configured in so many ways, providing you with the ability to haul a variety of things in one compact easy-to-tow package.
Why it's cool: Claimed setup time of under 5 minutes, 15-inch wheels, seven big windows, sleeps up to six, 96 cubic feet of interior space, 7-foot ceiling height, 8-foot beds, heavy-duty torsion axle, and lots of options.
Base price: $4,995
Info: Jumping Jack, 866/461-7001,

Tentrax calls it "terrain rated" and says that multiuse capabilities and versatility are what make the Tentrax Off Road A/T the ultimate backcountry camping trailer. It sleeps two adults.
Why it's cool: Fiberglass body reinforced with 3/4-inch plywood, 1/4-inch wall 2x2 steel frame, 1,000-pound torflex axle, 3,500-pound hub and bearings, up to 38-inch tire diameter with stock suspension, optional nerf bars, skidplate, off-road pintle system, aluminum dry box, and 4-inch lift kit, quick setup.
Base price: $5,995
Info: Tentrax, 541/484-9885,

The RT stands for rough terrain, and Starcraft says that its RT trailers can go almost everywhere. Three models are available; the 10RT, 11RT (shown), and the 12RT. The 11RT is fully self-contained and features an extended front cargo area for hauling gear.
Why it's cool: Heavy-duty shocks, 6-inch tube frame, 15-inch mud-terrain tires, electric brakes, seamless fiberglass roof, front king-size bunkend, rear double bunkend, aluminum wheels, and stabilizing jacks with Sand Pads.
Base price: $11,101
Info: Starcraft RV Inc., 260/593-2550,


Jayco, Inc.

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