No Wasted Space
by Kevin Livingston
July 26, 2016
Filed under Trailers
The SportTrek Touring Edition 343 offers room to spread out surrounded by feature-rich amenities
These days, it’s easy to see that the RV industry is thriving. RV dealerships are packed from one edge of their lots to the other with an almost overwhelming variety of makes, models and types, usually from several manufacturers. As a potential buyer, this means digesting a great number of options and spending some serious time shopping. But it also means more opportunities for good deals. You’ll want some sort of a game plan to help simplify shopping in such a vast market, and one way is to narrow the field based on desired floorplans, amenities and dimensions in a package that represents good value.
For those shopping for an affordable yet fully equipped travel trailer, one triple-slide floorplan to consider is Venture RV’s SportTrek Touring Edition STT343VIK — or the 343, as stated on the sticker. The exterior displays smooth, clean lines and pleasing graphics, but what really stands out are the new platform and included features.
The chassis comes from a producer of well-known RV components, BAL (Norco Industries) and is relatively new to the industry. Built from high-strength, low-alloy steel, which is said to provide the highest strength-to-weight ratio, the chassis is e-coated and epoxy-painted to resist rust, and assembled with huck bolts and interlocking dimples, rather than just welding. It is fitted with four independent power stabilizer jacks and Dexter E-Z Lube axles with 15-inch aluminum wheels and tires.
Venture RV employs construction methods that are designed to stand up to many years of service, such as a 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove plywood floor with 2×3-inch joists on 16-inch centers, a walkable 3/8-inch plywood roof stuffed with R-14 residential fiberglass insulation, high-gloss exterior fiberglass sides, a Darco moisture barrier and an insulated, heated and enclosed underbelly. Rounding out the exterior features are frameless windows, a large pass-through storage compartment with slam latches, a 14-foot power awning with LED lighting, a well-equipped outside kitchen-and-entertainment center, and an optional folding cargo/bike rack and solar-prep package.
Inside, the wide-open living and kitchen space has wood-plank-looking Congoleum vinyl on the floor and dark-walnut woodwork tucked into every nook and cranny. The kitchen features a solid-surface, radius-cornered island with a stainless-steel twin-basin sink and some really handy hinged shelves inside both corners. Across from the kitchen island, a freestanding dining set provides seating for four.
Two large slideouts house the majority of the accouterments that make this trailer into a home. One of the slides finishes off the kitchen with an 8-cubic-foot refrigerator, a three-burner high-output range, a microwave and an overhead exhaust fan, providing a pleasant culinary experience. The rest of the space in the slide is devoted to a pair of extra-plush, fully reclining theater seats that give an unobstructed view of the LED HDTV in the entertainment cabinet in the opposing slide.
The entertainment center also holds a Bluetooth DVD/CD/MP3/AM/FM stereo and a fireplace.
In the rear of the 343, a tan hide-a-bed couch adds to the overall seating and sleeping capacity. This is no small travel trailer at 37-plus feet, and the extended length means there’s room to accommodate guests or take advantage of all the extra elbowroom for a family of four.
The bathroom divides the main portion of the trailer from the front bedroom and is accessed via a side hallway, with another door leading to the bedroom, a layout that is commonly found in fifth-wheels. The bathroom has all the usual amenities, although the extra-large arrangement allows for a roomy garden-style shower, a respectable-size sink and plenty of space to store toiletries and linens.
The master bedroom has more than ample floor space and is augmented by the third slideout, which is occupied mostly by a king-size Sleep Tight memory-foam mattress and overhead cabinets. Spanning the entire front wall, the huge wardrobe can stow lots of clothes and other gear. The bedroom also contains a second fireplace, making it a cozy place to relax.
If lots of legroom and storage space and a kitchen capable of preparing big meals are among your primary requirements for a travel trailer, the SportTrek Touring Edition 343 could very well fit the bill. It’s a solidly built trailer that’s fully loaded and functional, and has a decent price tag to boot.
Venture RV | 866-472-5460 | www.venture-rv.com