Resembling an industry icon sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are inevitable comparisons — and inevitable expectations. And when a company introduces a new product with styling cues that invite comparison to not one, but two storied profiles, those expectations tend to shoot right off the charts.
Judging Keystone RV’s all-new Vantage travel trailer simply by its silhouette, however, misses the mark entirely. Sure, if you squint at it you might find certain aspects of its design suggestive of an Airstream towable. And its curved fiberglass sidewalls and panoramic windows are, indeed, reminiscent of the fuselage-shaped GMC motorhomes of the mid-’70s.
That said, this sleek, grey-toned trailer is about as far from being a recycled classic as you can get. It’s just the opposite, in fact. The trailer owes its existence to state-of-the-art construction technology, which allowed Keystone to utilize a vacuum-bonded laminating process to create the radius sidewalls inside and out. Wrapped around a six-sided aluminum cage and finished with uniform window lines, contoured and molded front and rear caps, and a 7-inch rolled roof edge, the pronounced sidewall curvature adds 6 additional inches of exterior width – to 8 feet 6 inches – at its beltline. The roof, too, is arched, with headroom increasing from 6 feet 6 inches, at the sidewall/ceiling junction to 6 feet 10 inches, at its apex.
What that all adds up to is the kind of open environment you can only achieve with a wide-body RV.
We were able to spend some time in what may be the most traditional of the three floorplans in production, the rear-bedroom 32FLS.
One of two models with 30-inch-wide front and rear entry/exit doors, the 32FLS features an impressive open floorplan. With an airbed sofa tucked into the nose, the 35-foot 10-inch long trailer places a curbside dinette just aft of the front door, backed by a well-designed wall divider that’s home to a 32-inch LCD TV, 12-volt DC AM/FM/CD/DVD stereo with MP3 hookup, a small pullout pantry (with countertop) and lots of open storage. Both dinette seats also conceal pullout drawers, and the freestanding dinette table can be moved at will.
Opposite the dining/viewing area is the trailer’s single slideout, stretching 10 feet 4 inches and home to a wealth of cabinetry, single-bowl sink with pullout sprayer faucet, three-burner range, microwave and 6-cubic-foot refrigerator. While the slideout extends just 18 inches, when combined with the radius walls it opens up the interior dramatically. Just as noteworthy, though, is that it allows easy front-to-back access through the interior when it’s retracted.
A fairly spacious curbside bathroom with sizable tub/shower enclosure, foot-flush porcelain toilet, mirrored medicine cabinet and sink/vanity separates the rear bedroom from the living quarters. In this floorplan, the streetside wall opposite the bath is fitted with cabinets, making access to towels, linens and even a change of clothes a snap. There is also a wealth of storage throughout the interior, which makes up for the single external storage bay (accessing space beneath the bed).
Since all Vantage floorplans include a single slideout in the main cabin, you might expect a 60-by-80-inch queen bed to make for tight quarters between standard walls, especially when mounted transversely. This is where those six extra inches of width, courtesy of the radius walls, really make a difference. A large, lighted wardrobe closet boasting mirrored doors and contemporary mullions fills the rear cap. The windows on both sides open for cross-ventilation.
The interior “is a little more progressive,” noted Joe Kalil, Keystone’s director of interior design. “We added a vinyl floor that looks like stained concrete, all the hardware matches, we styled the furniture to be very comfortable but more clean-lined and contemporary, and we used LED lighting liberally inside — all the ceiling lights except for above the dinette are LED. It’s nice, clean, color-temperature-correct lighting, and it takes a fraction of the power to use. You can easily light up this unit with a battery.”
Keystone RV, (574) 535-2100, www.keystonerv.com.
Ext Length: 35’10”
Ext Width: 8’ 6”
Ext Height: 10’ 6”
Int Height: 6’ 10”
Freshwater Cap: 50 gal
Black-/Gray-water Cap: 30 gal/30 gal
LP-gas Cap: 14 gal
Hitch Weight: 1,035 lb
GVWR: 8,200 lb
MSRP Base $37,205