The 2019 Jayco Eagle 321RSTS fifth-wheel is a beneficiary of upgrades rolled out across the entire Eagle line and unveiled with great anticipation last fall. The intent: To merge contemporary accoutrements, modern conveniences and hardy systems into an RV that is “camping-correct” in substance and beautiful in style.
At just over 36 feet long, it’s not a monster, relatively speaking, but this triple-slide configuration has plenty of room in terms of both living space and storage. Still, the interior’s fresh face was Jayco’s primary focus when unveiling this 2019 fifth-wheel. Usually, switching decor packages means changing the wood finish and furniture fabric, but the Eagle’s new look goes deeper.
The Modern Farmhouse style follows residential trends for new construction and kitchen makeovers, and features rustic white-wood finishes, antiqued hardware, Edison pendant lamps, a stainless-steel farmhouse double sink and gray plank-look vinyl flooring.
It’s a pleasant, more systemic change that made us feel like we were on an episode of House Hunters. I went to the front of the fifth-wheel to see how it applied throughout the whole unit and which bedrock features were still integrated.
EXPLORING STYLE AND SUBSTANCE
Storage in the bedroom comes in the form of a dresser, a shelved wardrobe with washer-dryer prep and a closet with sliding mirrored doors (the latch is tricky to open; you’ll need two hands. It’s one of those seemingly simple things that many RV factories still struggle with getting right). You can plug in at the charging center (two USB ports and a 12-volt DC outlet) over the dresser, inside the wardrobe or under the small table on either side of the bed, ready to keep phones or CPAP machines powered overnight. A second ducted A/C unit is an option.
RV beds’ comfort and decor remain points of contention and debate. Many people toss the bedding set that comes with their RV, while others toss the mattress along with it. I prefer a more comfortable mattress and fewer pillows. This decor set places four large square pillows with sparkly accents against the headrest, then two longer pillows, and one furry — yes, furry! — small square pillow at the front.
In a floorplan where space is assigned so thoughtfully, forcing owners to use that valuable space for stashing multiple pillows seems a curious choice. I did like the longer ones that were almost body-pillow size, but I found the others too impractical for use. Women like this kind of thing, I’m told, and my driver’s license shows “F” under Gender, so I can’t explain it.
Being avid readers, we did appreciate the lights over each side of the bed, which can be white for reading if you press and hold the switch; tap them for a muted blue light that allows your bedmate to sleep through your nighttime visits to the bathroom.
Speaking of the bathroom, it’s as light and spacious as those we’ve seen in much larger RVs. We enjoyed the full-size sink, deep linen-closet shelves and roomy shower with a clear tri-pane door, white marble-look molded liner and skylight. Bonus features included a blue nightlight in the shower and a large mirrored medicine cabinet with backlighting for softer light, as well as room for a small trash can next to the toilet.
Large slideouts grace both sides of the living area, which contains a trifold sofa and reclining theater seats with a center storage console and cupholders. Both have access to power and USB outlets and are covered in linen-look fabric that wears more like vinyl to protect against things like sand, dogs and wet bottoms fresh from the swimming pool.
A killer entertainment system includes USB and HDMI inputs as well as PC play on a massive 50-inch TV and a stereo system with a sound bar above the fireplace and two exterior speakers. A faux fireplace with heater is operable with the entertainment center’s remote control.
2019 Jayco Eagle 321RSTS
Exterior Length: 36′ 2″
Exterior Width: 8′
Exterior Height: 13′ 6″
Interior Width: 7′ 9″
Interior Height: 8′ 7″
Construction: Aluminum frame, laminated gel-coat fiberglass, truss-construction roof with TPO membrane
Freshwater Cap.: 75 gal.
Black-Water Cap.: 50 gal.
Gray-Water Cap.: 50 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 14 gal.
Water-Heater Cap.: 6 gal.
Refrigerator: 21 cu. ft. residential
Furnace: 30,000 Btu
Air Conditioners (2): 15,000 Btu
Battery: Dealer installed
Suspension: Leaf/MORryde CRE-3000
Weight :11,241 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 2,065 lbs.
GVWR: 12,700 lbs.
GAWR: (2) 6,000 lbs.
Cargo Carrying Cap.: 1,459 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $51,771
MSRP, As Reviewed: $73,225
Basic Warranty: 2-year limited
More Info: Jayco
MORE TECH TOUCHES
The entertainment center wasn’t the only high-tech feature offered in this fifth-wheel. Along with merging decorative styles, the 321RSTS also brings more integral tech to the camping experience with OneControl, an app-based interface to control and monitor RV functions such as leveling, lighting, awnings and interior climate. There are also plenty of residential tech conveniences, like dimmable lights throughout the rear of the fifth-wheel.
We could have done with more light, however, in the form of more windows. The only street-side window is a very small one over the arm of the rear sofa, which limited light and also prevented us from seeing what was going on outside on that side of the fifth-wheel. The bedroom windows on the slideout face the sides, so when we wanted to check out noises heard from that direction, it was hard to do so.
The window shades also lent themselves to a dark interior; all of them are black, with no lighter diffusers for daytime use. If they’re down, it’s dark. More windows would also provide more air, as would better opening mechanisms. The windows that opened didn’t open far, preventing good airflow.
CAMPING OUT IN THE KITCHEN
My favorite area in the 321RSTS was easily the kitchen. Cabinets and storage are plentiful and delightful, particularly the full-door pantry with adjustable shelves, which is a must in my book — some of us get jumbo boxes of cereal for camping trips that have to fit somewhere. A motion-sensor light turns on when you open the door and turns itself off; there’s also a switch-on light for added illumination. A frosted door window would be better for hiding the contents from view, but, again, that’s one of those personal-taste things.
Next to the pantry, an overhead microwave tops a three-burner cooktop with foldable flush cover, oven and a nice, deep pots-and-pans drawer. Dance on down the line and you’ll hit the refrigerator, a 21-cubic-foot residential Whirlpool with through-the-door ice and water. RV LP-gas/electric refrigerators are available, with 8 cubic feet standard and 13 cubic feet optional — which makes more sense for those traveling off the grid, but those staying in place longer (or perhaps looking to store whole turkeys) can go for the larger residential model.
The large island comes with a much-appreciated kitchen-size trash can under the sink and a pop-up pedestal on the counter with power outlets. Then there’s the message center with a junk drawer (not the designer’s intent but our inevitable use) and charging spaces, and the second pantry, a large two-door cupboard with four coat hooks on the back wall. Why are there coat hooks in a pantry, you ask? Well, it’s one of those ingenious mash-ups born out of RVing necessity; the hinged pantry shelf can be folded back to create a coat closet.
This is just one way Jayco designers looked to squeeze every inch of usable space out of the 321RSTS. There’s storage in the chairs for the freestanding dinette, as well as the extendable table itself. The deep bedroom closet has good shelf placement, even in hard-to-utilize corners. The bathroom’s medicine cabinet is the largest of its kind that I’ve ever seen. And if you swivel out the living room television, you’ll spy some inset shelving behind it that’s perfect for stashing DVDs, CDs and books.
Overall, the Eagle 321RSTS settles nicely in the space between basic comfort and high-end luxury. You’ll invest more money here than with an entry-level, but you’ll get a lot for it, and that feels very purposeful. Jayco seems to have been extra mindful about providing plenty of value with a dash of ingenuity and fun.