Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

RV Review: 2022 Jayco Eagle 321RSTS (with new features)

I’m like the Paul Revere of RVs except without a horse or fame or our new country being potentially taken over. But instead of what Revere is credited with saying, I’m clacking away on my keyboard here with “The 2022s are coming! The 2022s are coming!” 

One of the first I’ve seen is the 2022 Jayco Eagle 321RSTS fifth wheel. 

Why Jayco

One of my arguments with the RV industry is that it’s not always evident to most folks why you’d want one brand over another. So I’m happy when a company like Jayco really spells out what they offer. And what is that? 

A lot of brands brag about their campers being ready for the elements. But Jayco actually certifies that they’ve tested these things down to 0° F. 

The Jayco Eagle 321RSTS  installs a MORryde wet bolt suspension, also for better control. Plus, it shoes the trailer with 16” Goodyear Eagle tires. For 2022, a tire pressure monitoring system is now standard. 

But one of the best things that I’ve seen in this and other Jayco trailers is Jayco’s Jay S.M.A.R.T. lighting. It flashes an upper marker light and the side lights with the blinkers. This system also incorporates backup lights. There is also a provision for a backup camera as well as side-view cameras. I think these little things make a giant difference in driving safety, personally. 

This also has a single key in the company’s Keyed Alike system. It allows you to open the entry doors and baggage doors with one key. In addition, Jayco has been making big noise about its roofing build quality for many years. There is also Jayco’s warranty at three years –  which also covers full-time RVing. 

Eagle

In addition to the things that are universal on Jayco products the Eagle subset also has a few things that set it apart. 

For example, there is an “Extreme Weather Package” standard. It includes 12-volt heating pads for the tanks. That goes back to the 0° F certification. 

The company has also included a residential Whirlpool refrigerator as the standard equipment. But they provide a service access panel to the back of that fridge so that it can be more easily maintained or serviced in the event of a problem. 

While I’m still not a huge fan of residential refrigerators in RVs just because they don’t often stand up to the shaking, at least this isn’t a Samsung refrigerator. Plus, Jayco has provided a way to service the thing. Further, some friends at dealers are saying the Whirlpool product isn’t half bad. 

The Eagle line also sports the Jay COMMAND system. That features buttons throughout the coach as well as the ability to operate many of the systems through a smartphone app. 

Useful touches in the Jayco Eagle 321RSTS

A few of the touches in this fifth wheel could prove pretty useful. For example, there’s a second water pump system that pumps water from a five-gallon bucket under the sink to a specific faucet in the kitchen. 

Ostensibly, you can fill this container with the fanciest water you desire. But I can easily see this turning into a place to put five gallons of your favorite wine.

The table and chairs that come standard with this unit feature a flip-up table with enough space underneath it for some games or office stuff. Heck, I could store my notebook confuser as well as the second screen that I use with it in there. 

You also have the option of either a standard dining table, a dinette, or a hybrid of sorts where there’s a bench against the wall and then free-standing chairs on the opposite side. 

On a more agreeable topic, there are both 120-volt and 12-volt plugs on either side of the tri-fold sleeper couch at the back. Those make that couch as CPAP-friendly as the bed upstairs.

And on the subject of the main sleeping quarters, a queen-sized bed is standard. You can opt in a king-sized bed, although this deletes the side tables. 

New for 2022 in the Jayco Eagle 321RSTS

If you’ve been shopping for one of these, you might also have noticed some of the changes Jayco put in place for 2022. 

The first thing that surprised me is that the cabinets in the upstairs bathroom are finished in blue. This is something I’ve seen in lots and lots and lots of custom RV renovations all over. But this is the first time I’ve seen this in a factory job. Oddly enough, it’s only in the bathroom. The rest of the cabinets are the same colors you’ve come to expect in the RV space. 

There’s now a sewer hose caddy underneath the trailer. 

The microwave has been increased in size to 30”. The TV is also larger, being a 50” model. Under the three-burner stove with 22” oven is a large drawer that matches the finish on the stove. 

Another change for 2022 is the inclusion of blackout shades to allow you to block light out more successfully. Apparently the Jayco folks have camped in some of the campgrounds I have stayed at where it seems like a goal to eliminate darkness with sodium lights. 

If you choose the Overland II Solar Kit ($1,493), you get two 190-watt solar panels. But there’s also a 30-amp solar controller and 1800-watt inverter. This inverter not only will operate that residential refrigerator but there’s a plug in the storage bay. It’s wired to the inverter, so you could also run a little bar-sized fridge. 

What’s not

The only thing I didn’t like about the Jayco Eagle 321RSTS is the remote switches for the lighting in the bedroom, which are battery-powered. The functionality is good in that it provides the ability to change the color temperature of the lights as well as dimming function. But I can see the batteries in these things being dead at the beginning of a camping season and just being One. More. Darned. Thing you have to address before you get to the camping and beer. 

In summary

Fifth wheel floor plans seem to follow only a few fairly standard layouts with the occasional unicorn. So getting your model to stand out from the crowd takes some doing. 

I think Jayco is starting the 2022 model year off on the right foot by keeping what has worked and making enough subtle changes that their Eagle line will continue to do well in the marketplace. 

Another thing that remains to be seen is the long-term experience of using residential refrigerators in these. I absolutely applaud Jayco for putting an access panel in the trailer to maintain these units and for also switching to Whirlpool from Samsung. 

Two things that really stand out to me in the Jayco Eagle 321RSTS

But the two things that really stand out to me are that five-gallon jug under the counter with the unique faucet and the blue cabinet in the upstairs bathroom. As many RV renovations as I’ve seen with blue cabinetry, I’m surprised how long it took someone in the industry to do this. But it’s only in the bathroom, nowhere else. What is your take on this? 

I’d like to thank Josh Winters at Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, for use of the photos.

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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David F.
27 days ago

Hey Tony, what do you think the pin weight is on this unit? My truck is a 3500 but I ordered it with SRW, so I have to be careful, my max pin would be about 3200.

David F.
26 days ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Nice! Thank you!!

Steve
27 days ago

Why have 80-gallon tanks in a fifth wheel with a 120v AC residential refrigerator and insufficient solar and inverter to spend any time dry camping? Give me an old-fashioned 2- or even 3-way refrigerator, a lot more solar capability, a 2 to 3 kw inverter, and their “zero-degree” options. Then the Jayco might make a decent full-time or long-term boondocking trailer. Otherwise, it’s just another “RV resort queen” with those big tanks and the zero-degree options as extra-cost “window dressing”.

Bob M
27 days ago

Jayco brags about the strength of their roof. When I walk on my 2021 29RKS the roof is spongy. The outdoor shower door is not keyed with the same key as the other exterior doors.

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