Hard as it may be to believe, it’s been a full year since my family and I packed up and hit the road in in search of adventures along The Scenic Route.
Our 21,000-mile odyssey on the roads less traveled has taken us from the rocky cliffs of Oregon’s Pacific Coast Scenic Byway to the sandy beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks Scenic Byway. Despite the ever-changing scenery, however, there’s been one thing that’s remained constant over these past 12 months: Our Kodiak travel trailer.
Now that it’s time to return this 37-foot-long beast to the folks at Dutchman Manufacturing, who were nice enough to lend it to us for our scenic byways quest, I feel like I’ve gained some real perspective on the trailer’s strengths that weren’t apparent when I did my initial review of this big Kodiak. With that it mind, here are a few insights that you just can’t get when looking at it on a dealer’s lot:
Of course every prospective buyer’s needs will be different, but the Kodiak 300BHSL’s layout, with one private bedroom at each end of the trailer, gave both both my wife and I and our teenage son some much-needed space. Anyone who’s ever lived with a teenager will understand where I’m coming from when I say that trying to pack all three of us into a smaller trailer — without a place where we could shut the door, count to 10 and wait for the aggravation to pass — could have gotten real ugly, real fast.
As a family, well, let’s just say we aren’t exactly used to the luxe life. Which is perhaps why we appreciated the trailer’s upscale interior that was done up in attractive materials (ours had Kodiak’s Eggplant color scheme) we couldn’t have been more pleased with if we’d picked them ourselves. Now, did we need the good-looking faux wood floors, solid-surface countertops and artful pendant lights? Absolutely not, but all these small touches added a homey feel that kept homesickness at bay even after weeks on the road.
Know how they say little things mean a lot? Well the designers at Dutchmen took that old adage to heart with smart details like coat-hooks right inside the door, along with a handy shelf with an electrical outlet that made it an ideal spot to recharge our iPhones. The dorm-sized refrigerator that comes with the 300BHSL’s standard outdoor kitchen also made a convenient place to store lunch fixings and cold drinks for impromptu roadside picnics. The small dinette in the rear bedroom was another nice touch that turned out to be a perfect place to play a family game or set up my mobile office when it came time to get a little work done.
While we learned to live with and work around the few downsides I highlighted in my original review, on balance we found the Kodiak 300BHSL to be an ideal home on the highway.