The Big Easy

October 1, 2005
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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The Big EasySophistication and elegance have their attraction, but a cleverly thoughtful trailer that balances price and benefit is a delight as well. Honest construction and thoughtful features — like a queen-size bed that hides away, functional appliances, a big sink and a shower tall enough for anyone — add appeal to the Thor Wanderer 211L. It is large enough to sleep a family of four, yet light enough to be towed by a truck you can drive every day — all for less than $22,000.

The Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab is equally as versatile. It has the capability you need, delivered in a well-conceived package. We found the Dodge Ram 1500 4 x 4, powered by Dodge’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, to be a nice truck to tow with.

The Hemi has slightly oversquare dimensions that favor horsepower over torque. The 5.7-liter is a workhorse, though not a big-block torquer. Peak torque (375 lb-ft) arrives at 4,200 rpm, and peak horsepower comes on at 5,400 rpm, just 400 rpm from the redline. Still, when called upon, those horses show up ready to run.

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Our test Thor Wanderer proved to be a comfy nest, nicely packaged according to priorities that suited us. It is pleasant and practical with features that would delight a young family.

The Wanderer is available in a variety of floorplans and lengths up to 29 feet. Our 24-foot test unit had the optional Comfort Package ($2,655), a gas/electric water heater ($200), four stabilizer jacks ($240), two swivel chains in place of the sofa ($40), a rear power bunk ($600) and a privacy curtain for the rear bunk ($110). The Wanderer also comes with a number of standard features that add convenience, such as a hot- or cold-water outside shower, which we used to wash off the sand and salt after a day at the beach.

On the whole, we found the Wanderer to be more than the sum of its components. There is something intangible there, something sincere and thoughtful that, when combined with the Dodge Ram 1500, adds up to a good experience.

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Pick up the October 2005 issue of Trailer Life for full test impressions and details on the Dodge Ram 1500 and the Thor Wanderer 211L — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so you can stay informed on the latest tests, previews, tow vehicles, and technical and RV-lifestyle information.

ThorCalifornia, (888) 697-8467, thorca.com.

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