This nimble, lightweight trailer combines easy towability with enough amenities to keep families comfortable
Smaller travel trailers are generally considered either entry-level or purpose-oriented, such as for hunting or weekend-warrior use. Being easy to tow, turn and squeeze into tighter spots, scaled-down trailers offer added travel benefits, like the freedom of RVing in state, national park and forest campgrounds that are typically off-limits to larger RVs. In the spirit of this, Coachmen named one of its lines of lightweight travel trailers the Freedom Express, and we took a look at the 2015 233RBS.
The aerodynamic, swept-back exterior lines of the 233RBS denote a new approach to Coachmen designs. Getting there was made possible by a foundation of powder e-coated I-beams solidly constructed all the way out to the tips of the full-width outriggers. Attached to the welded frame is an Alumicage welded-aluminum infrastructure to which a hearty yet lightweight Azdel (lauan) smooth-fiberglass exterior skin is added. Topping off the construction is 3/8-inch decking with an EPDM membrane over a full walk-on, crowned and aluminum-reinforced roof. Final touches to the clean new look include subtle graphics over earthy beige and gray tones, black trim, just the right amount of diamond plate and stylish premium aluminum wheels.
Once aboard the 233RBS, the trailer’s shorter length (just less than 25 feet) is forgotten with an open view of the spacious living area. This is largely because of the excellent layout, which puts the bathroom and standard 6-cubic-foot refrigerator in the rear, so generous space can be allocated to the opposing living room and galley slideouts. By placing the massive U-shaped sofa and removable double-pedestal dinette table within the confines of one ideally located slideout and most of the kitchen in the other, a wide-open and homey feel is achieved.
Adding to the spaciousness is a centrally mounted kitchen island outfitted with a big 60/40 Stonecast composite twin-basin sink and a brushed-nickel high-rise faucet. The island offers working counter space at either end of the sink, as well as a 120-volt AC power receptacle and pot and pan storage underneath.
In the galley slideout, amenities abound with a substantial counter perched atop a cluster of drawers and cabinet storage, with the usual oven and three-burner stove. Directly above are the range hood, microwave and overhead cabinets. A tall, deep pantry fills the remainder of the slideout.
Consuming the entire opposing slideout is the dinette area, outfitted in Truffle trimmed décor and resting above more than ample under-sofa cupboards that match the rest of the interior’s maple cabinetry. The dinette is hefty enough to seat and sleep adults with ease. Overhead, there’s an assortment of LED lighting, and more LED fixtures are found throughout the rest of the trailer.
Not too far from the dinette for easy visibility, the entertainment tower houses a 32-inch LED TV within a rotating mount to allow viewing from the living room or master bed. Connected to the TV is an AM/FM/CD/DVD/Bluetooth system, which can be heard inside and/or outside.
The floorplan makes the master bedroom feel a little confined, primarily because of the position of the entertainment tower that’s at the foot of the 60- x 80-inch queen bed. The tight fit is heightened by the heavy use of cupboards and closets connected by a full-width over-bed cabinet, complete with integrated reading lights. The bedroom is nicely finished with matching nightstands, each offering a 120-volt AC outlet. Snug, yes, but most people will like the generous storage space.
The tail end of the 233RBS contains the aforementioned rear bathroom. The corner shower utilizes curved-glass doors, and there’s plenty of space to take a comfortable shower. Although counter space around the sink is limited, there’s ample room for movement. The lavatory provides enough cabinet storage for the basics but not much more.
While the 233RBS isn’t loaded with options, it’s lightweight enough to be towed by a full-size SUV or half-ton pickup and is outfitted with essential amenities such as an electric awning, an electric A-frame jack and a cleverly stowed 24- x 48-inch resin outdoor table. For those looking for a trailer that allows access to adventurous destinations, Coachmen’s Freedom Express 233RBS gets high marks for its modern design and easy livability.