SURVs have sure come a long way. The original floorplans often featured spartan living quarters and no-frills amenities, focusing instead on the newfound ability to store motorcycles, ATVs or sandrails in the very same trailer in which owners would sleep.
Now that SURV models are quite common, manufacturers are striving to produce floorplans that are more than a garage with a fold-down bed and a kitchen sink. In fact, the Jayco Octane ZX T29M feels more like a traditional travel trailer that just happens to feature a garage area, rather than the other way around. It all starts with the construction. A welded tubular-aluminum frame keeps flex to a minimum, and vacuum-bonded laminated sidewalls and R-7 insulation ensure the drafty desert winds stay outside.
But the real star here is the interior. Top-notch residential amenities abound, and the java color scheme, granite-like counterspace and oak cabinetry all combine to add to the feel of luxury.
Stepping up into the Octane, the first thing I noticed was the spacious U-shape sofa at the rear, which is a perfect dining area for the up-to-seven occupants the trailer can sleep. (A queen bed is also available as an option in lieu of the sofa). The firm cushions make for comfortable sleeping for two adults or a few youngsters, and the 19-inch LCD television above ensures that a long day of playing in the sun can be capped off with a fun-filled family night at the movies. A small slideout creates extra space for the removable table and convertible sofa, which offers additional seating and sleeping arrangements for a “family room” setting.
The kitchen area is split between curb- and streetside and manages to squeeze in all the comforts of a residential home — a three-burner stove, a microwave convection oven, a large double-door refrigerator and a dual-basin sink — making mealtime a relatively easy affair. After all, when feeding a bunch of hungry RVers, well-utilized square-footage in the galley is a must.
The bathroom is spacious enough for adults, and the ABS tub/shower surround is a good place to wash off the grime that couldn’t be brushed off outside. The large sink and medicine cabinet are comparable to those in many stationary homes.
The rear of the trailer houses the garage area, which features room enough for a couple of ATVs held in place with 2,500-pound rated D-ring tie-downs. The hinge-spring assist makes it easy to lower the 6-foot 6-inch ramp door. A nifty in-ramp toolbox helps keep tools and maintenance items out of sight and enclosed, meaning the laminated flooring won’t be cluttered when you arrive at the campground.
Once you’ve off-loaded the toys and are ready for sleep, the push of a button deploys dual electric queen beds above the cargo area, bunk-bed style. There’s plenty of headroom for taller sleepers on the bottom bunk, and an optional lower rollover sofa is available in place of the bottom.
With enough space and amenities for an army of off-pavement adventurers, plus a well-thought-out floorplan and décor scheme, the Octane is ready for outdoor adventures.
Jayco Inc., (574) 825-5861, www.jayco.com.
ext length: 33′ 7″
ext height: 12′ 4″
int width: 8′ 2″
int height: 8′ 9″
freshwater cap: 102 gal
black-/gray-water cap: 35 gal/35 gal
lp-gas cap: 14 gal
hitch weight: 1,140 lb
gvwr: 11,950 lb
msrp, base: $29,286