Review: Jayco Crosstrak

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Bill Savidan takes a look at the adventurous new CrossTrak model from Jayco

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Not all RVs are not created equal. Some are big, some are little. Some have mass-market appeal while others meet the needs of small market segments. A niche market if you like. The Jayco CrossTrak is one such RV. Part of Jayco’s Adventure 2020 range of caravans, it is tailored to suit those intrepid souls who seek adventure in the great outdoors.

There are five models in the Adventure line-up starting with the Jpod, a new generation enclosed trailer; the JTrak, a tent trailer; the CrossTrak Hybrid (being reviewed here); the All Terrain range of rugged off-road caravans, and the Toy Haulers with their dual purpose aft section.

The CrossTrak Hybrid is built in two lengths, 13ft/16ft (3.9/4.8mtrs), each with two layouts options. Here we are concentrating on the 16ft en-suite model, the only model in the CrossTrak range with a washroom. The other three CrossTrak models have an outdoor shower in a detachable tent enclosure. All CrossTraks are pop-tops.

Adventure beckons

Aimed at the active adventurer market, the CrossTrak is devoid of fancy frills. Its purpose is to provide a refuge at the end of an active day spent tramping, fishing, hunting, surfing or skiing at remote off-grid locations.

Whether it is up a mountain, deep in the bush, by a river or seashore the CrossTrak is where you clean up, eat up, and get a good night’s sleep so you can get up tomorrow and do it all again.

Set up

You can enter the CrossTrak with the lid lowered, but it is better with it raised. By following a simple sequence of knob settings, the manual raising and lowering of the pop-top is easy. When lowering, keep an eye on the sidewall fabric to make sure it folds inwards. If it folds outwards the ‘lid’ won’t lower properly and you may damage the fabric.

Living area

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The indoor workbench is very handy in wet weather

The caravan body is just under five metres long. Once you put a two-metre bed at the front and a washroom and bench at the back there is not a lot of room in the middle for the lounge. It’s a simple lounge; a two- or three-seat settee on the driver’s side facing a slightly smaller settee kerbside.

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It is a short step from the lounge settees to the main bed

Seats to cherish if you have been hard at it all day. While sitting taking note of my surroundings, I realised the settee cushions that initially had felt very firm, became more comfortable the longer I sat there. A removable dining table is supplied and when in place it can accommodate three or four diners. Cleverly cranked, the single table leg fastens out of the way against the settee front.

Storage

It has good storage for a small vehicle. There is some space under the larger settee (water pump and associated plumbing occupy part of the space) with more space under the smaller settee. There are also three lockers alongside the bed and shelf pockets over the bed head, large side settee, and rear bench. And of course there is a heap of room under the bed.

Bringing the outdoors in

Light and ventilation are well provided for. Six zipped openings in the pop-top vinyl sidewall provide both light and ventilation as do the three roof hatches, one each over the lounge, bed and washroom.

Sleeping arrangements

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The bed is quite long but not overly wide

The bed, with its tailor-made inners-prung mattress, is quite long but not overly wide (2032mm x 1320mm). However, having walls down both sides of the bed means full advantage can be taken of the width.

You won’t fall out of bed but care must be taken not to crease the window blind. There are two reading lights at the head of the bed and tucked around the corner is a Sirocco fan to keep you cool on hot nights.

Which brings us to the ‘elephant in the room’. Why is there a large cabinet running the full length of the bed? Apart from housing three modestly sized lockers along the top, what purpose does it serve? The answer lies outside. On the kerbside wall beside the entry door is a very large hatch that provides access to the space in the cabinet. Opening the hatch reveals...a kitchen. 

Cooking facilities

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Plenty of storage for food, utensils and crockery

Across the bottom, around 1100mm off the ground is a 1700mm wide bench-top. At one end is a two-burner LPG cooktop and at the other, a sink that drains to the grey water tank. Above are three storage lockers.

The hatch is hinged at the top so when open it forms an awning that gives the cook some cover. Extending the main roller awning above provides even better cover. There are lots of lights, including LEDs on the awning, so you can cook before sunrise or after sunset if you wish.

And there are two wall-mounted Furrion speakers to supply your favourite music as you work. To the left, mounted on a slide-out platform behind a separate hatch, is a 60-litre ‘MyCoolman’ refrigerator. This is a 12volt DC compressor fridge running off the house battery.

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The robust 60 litre MyCoolman chest fridge is ideal alongside the outdoor kitchen

With sensible management, the 150watt solar panel and 100a/hr house battery should maintain sufficient power levels to keep the fridge running. All CrossTrak models have this outdoor kitchen. Add in a BBQ and you have all you need to prepare and cook a meal.

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The outdoor kitchen has good working space

Unique to the ensuite model, drawers, a cupboard, and a bench-top suitable for food storage and preparation are located inside at the rear. The bench in particular could be very handy if the weather turns cold, windy and wet. But, if we get repeats of the summer we have just experienced in 2020, Jayco are onto a winner with outdoor kitchens.

Washroom

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The bathroom is compact but workable

Also unique to the CrossTrak ensuite model is the washroom. It is equipped with a Thetford C402-C electric flush toilet with a wall mounted fold-down hand basin above. The floor of the washroom is a shower tray and a shower handpiece wall mounted above. It is a workable arrangement and is large enough for showering but the toilet gets wet in the process and has to be dried off afterwards.

Control

A ‘J Control Mk2’ control panel touchpad for lights and other functions is mounted on the end of the settee beside the entry steps. Alongside are switches for the battery, water pump and hot water system. Also mounted there is the fire extinguisher. They are much more easily read and accessible if you stand outside and lean in the door.

Below floor level

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The galvanised brackets either side of the LPG bottles are made for water cans but could be adapted to carry other equipment

Like most of Jayco’s all terrain caravans the CrossTrak has a Jayco hot dip galvanised steel chassis. This one is rated for 2000kgs and is fitted with Jayco’s JTech Independent Coil suspension. This is a trailing arm coil suspension that allows the wheels to act independently, reducing towing stresses and improving stability.

There is no axle as such meaning better ground clearance and a smoother ride. In keeping with the all terrain theme Jayco have fitted a Hitchmaster DO35 tow pin and gimballed tow-hitch that gives the trailer much more freedom to move when travelling over very uneven ground.

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The Hitchmaster DO35 tow pin and gimballed tow-hitch

On the A-frame, in front of the body, are galvanised mounts for the LPG bottles and for two water jerry cans plus another Jayco signature piece; a fresh water tap. For stability when unhitched, there is a ‘drop style’ steady at each corner. This CrossTrak rides on a very smart set of black and silver alloy wheels. And, in case you are wondering, a full size spare wheel is carried underneath the caravan.

Summary

The Jayco CrossTrak is a two-person caravan built for adventure; off road; off grid. Well equipped, it has two 9kg LPG bottles, large water tank capacity, adequate battery capacity, 150watt solar panel for recharging and an external BBQ LPG connection.

Externally it is plain and practical, and its high ground clearance should eliminate the need for expensive, time-consuming damage repairs. The external kitchen sells well in Australia. It will be interesting to see how it fares in New Zealand. 

Pros

  • Rugged chassis, suspension and towbar
  • Easily raised/lowered pop-top
  • User-friendly outdoor kitchen
  • Sensible washroom

Cons

  • Bed layout can result in sleepers creasing the blind
  • TV location not ideal

Jayco Crosstrak specifications

Berths 2

Approx. body length

4970mm
Approx. Travel height

2400mm

Tanks: Fresh/grey

90 litres/90Litres

LPG

2x9kgs

GVW

1964

Approx tare

1534kgs

Approx payload

430kgs

Approx tow ball weight

159kgs

Price as reviewed: $58,984

Find out more at caravancentre.co.nz

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