Review: Jayco Jay Flight

The challenge for those who want to haul a camping trailer—apart from being teased about getting soft—is finding a model that offers all the desired comforts without compromising outdoor opportunities. We chose the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH Baja Edition—not too big, not too small, and plenty of clearance for the bumpy back-roads of Montana. At 21 feet tip-to-tail, it’s short enough to fit in most designated campsites; but with all that clearance, and its light weight, you won’t need one. Just find a flat spot, drop the four stabilizers, and voila: camp is officially set up.

The kitchen was sized just right, with enough counter space for proper meal-prep. A deep pantry held all our essentials, and the windows let in plenty of light—important for preventing cabin fever on cold, rainy days. We liked the open floorplan, as we could move around freely without bumping into one another. The table was the perfect size for eating, playing games, and mapping out our next adventure, while the fixed queen bed meant we could crash in comfort with no setup time.

It being just the two of us, we used the bunkbeds to hold all our clothes and personal items, so everything remained tidy and organized. The large, electric awning offered additional protected space, the arms of which served as a handy drying rack for wet clothes. Having a toilet proved worthwhile when the outhouse was nasty or nonexistent, and a warm shower sure was nice after a long, wet hike through the eastern Montana mud.

Rounding out the virtues of this trailer is the abundant cabinetry—plenty of room for all the little convenience items that one invariably brings along. All in all, it did exactly what we wanted it to: soften the sharp edges of nature without denying us any of its splendor. Available at Big Sky RV. $15,434 plus freight;