Residential-style comforts and conveniences are packed in these travel trailers priced between $25,000 and $50,000
Driving off the dealer’s lot with our first pop-up camper, we thought we’d never buy another RV. We were certain it had everything we could ever want or need. Fast-forward less than two years, and there we were, heading down the highway with a brand-new quad-bunk travel trailer complete with a full bathroom, outdoor kitchen, power awning and stabilizer jacks.
There’s a running joke among RVers that you start shopping for your next RV the day you bring home a new one. Many folks buy their first camping trailer only to start imagining life with all the possible upgrades soon afterward.
The RV industry has stepped up to meet this demand with more of the comforts of home. When you leave the entry-level market and move into the $25,000 to $50,000 price range, you’ll find stainless-steel appliances, hardwood cabinet doors and solid-surface countertops.
You’ll often find a superior level of construction as well, which may extend to aluminum framing, block-foam insulation, high-quality, lightweight materials and a gelcoat fiberglass exterior. Other popular features in this price range include solar battery-charging packages and heated and enclosed underbellies.
A larger price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a larger trailer, though. You’ll notice some smaller trailers in this group of 12 new models, including two that come in under 20 feet and several that can be towed
by the family SUV or van.
Whatever the budget, one thing is for certain: owners want their RV experience to match their individual style. You’ll see manufacturers providing a broader range of fabric, flooring and exterior-color options, plus long lists of available upgrades from electric fireplaces to backup cameras and awning motion sensors.
Do you want a home away from home with a recliner and a washing machine? Or would you prefer a lightweight adventure trailer with solar panels, off-road capability and larger holding tanks? Looking for a couples’ RV with a well-appointed kitchen? Or a bunkhouse that will comfortably fit the kids and their bikes? No matter what’s on your must-have checklist, you can probably find it in this price range.
With its lightweight fiberglass body, the 21-Foot Escape has a 5,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr), making it particularly attractive to SUV owners who don’t wish to purchase a larger tow vehicle. The wet bath is a common feature in trailers this size, but the storage capacity is definitely unusual. Overhead cabinets run along the majority of the perimeter, and the kitchen has ample drawers and pantry (or wardrobe) space. Light wood finishes along with strategic window placement create a spacious atmosphere inside, despite the small footprint. In addition to a dedicated double bed, the dinette can be converted for additional sleeping space. The 12-foot power awning creates a comfortable outdoor space. Those looking to extend the travel season will be interested in the standard 12,000-Btu furnace and optional air conditioning, extra insulation and dual-pane windows. Custom interior finishes for flooring, counters and upholstery are available as upgrades.
The Winnebago Minnie Plus 30RLSS is well suited for use as a couple’s trailer with a rear-living layout and private master bedroom with a walk-around queen bed in a slideout. Opposing slides in the kitchen and living area and a domed ceiling create a spacious interior. Next to the theater seating for two, the standard dinette can be upgraded to a table and chairs. These features, along with the galley island and entertainment center, add a residential feel. The Minnie Plus line is constructed with aluminum frames, block-foam insulation and gelcoat fiberglass siding. Folks looking to make a statement can choose from blue, cherry, orange, yellow or green exterior colors. Looking for something more subdued? Try the white, platinum or champagne options. Attractive standard features include a battery disconnect, outside TV hookup and exterior spray port for cleaning off kayaks or furry friends after an adventure.
Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8335BSS
The Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8335BSS will catch the attention of those looking for a well-appointed travel trailer with a front kitchen and “windshield.” The large window offers great views while residents make use of the undermount stainless-steel double sink, large double-door refrigerator, Corian countertops and residential-style soft-close drawers. The rest of the living area offers a dinette and theater seating in a slide, plus a 60-inch sofa, all positioned to enjoy the entertainment center and electric fireplace. The bathroom can be accessed from the hallway and the master bedroom, which houses a king bed in a slide. Two exterior doors allow entry to the living area and the master bedroom. Solar and rear-camera prep are standard, along with a control panel that can be paired to a smartphone app. The laminated-fiberglass side walls have subdued graphics, or buyers can upgrade to the champagne exterior.
Families looking for room to spread out will appreciate the Venture SportTrek 322VBH, which offers a private master bedroom and a bunkhouse with two beds opposite
a sofa in a slide that converts to a third bed with a bunk above it. The removable table and TV hookup make the bunk room a comfortable place for the kids to hang out. Parents will appreciate the master bedroom up front with a queen bed, double wardrobes and a charging station with a USB receptacle. There’s plenty of room to spend time together in the spacious living area with a sofa and dinette in a slide, and an entertainment center that can be outfitted with an optional electric fireplace. One of the two exterior doors leads directly into the bathroom, a popular feature for parents who don’t want kids tracking dirt through the RV. The outdoor kitchen is complete with a refrigerator, a two-burner cooktop and a sink. This model is prewired for solar panels and a rear camera. The optional bike rack/cargo tray will appeal to folks traveling with outdoor equipment.
KZ Sportsmen 363FL
The longest travel trailer in this roundup at almost 41 feet, the triple-slide KZ Sportsmen 363FL has features that are popular with destination travelers including a sliding patio door and large windows that line one slideout. The kitchen has a residential design with a sink-in island, full-size refrigerator, cooktop range, oven and microwave. The cozy living area has two recliners, a sleeper sofa and a media center with an electric fireplace and plenty of storage. The master bedroom offers its own exterior entrance, plus a king bed, washer-dryer and ample closet space. The 18-foot Solera Smart Arm Power Awning has an LED light strip and exterior control. The trailer comes standard with 30-amp service, but buyers can upgrade to 50 amps and add an additional air conditioner. Other options include a motion security sensor and wind sensor for the awning.
Downsizing is a notable trend in the RV industry, and the Lance 1475 meets consumer demand with this compact trailer that contains a unique set of features. The 1475 replaces the usual dinette with two comfortable lounge chairs with a pedestal table, and offers a full dry bath. Those wanting more space have the option of swapping the lounge chairs for a sofa and swivel tables in a slideout. Up front are a queen bed, three nicely sized windows and a storage shelf with netting. The kitchen packs a lot of punch with a 5-cubic-foot three-way refrigerator, a stainless-steel three-burner range and a surprising amount of counter space. The Truma Combi furnace and water heater are standard, as is an enclosed, insulated and heated freshwater tank. The trailer is prewired for solar panels, or optional 160-watt solar panels can be added at the factory.
Folks looking for meticulous attention to detail packed into a small, lightweight RV will appreciate the Oliver Legacy Elite. Like other molded-fiberglass trailers, this model is lightweight compared to conventional options of the same size. And like many fiberglass trailers, the Oliver is made to order and can be purchased only from the manufacturer. The double-hulled design includes extra insulation between the two shells and allows for all-season comfort. For a smooth towing experience, Oliver’s designers also paid attention to balance and stability when positioning the tanks and axles. Custom-molded covers for the spare tire and LP-gas cylinders mean nothing unsightly breaks up the exterior aesthetics. Inside, the full bathroom boasts a molded vanity and shower. The side dinette can be converted into a single bed, and the rear dining table and seating convert to a double bed. Buyers can configure the space according to individual preference.
Modern style meets classic function in the lightweight Travel Lite Falcon 27BHK. The exterior is aluminum, and shoppers can choose from a range of graphics packages that will stand out, including black with neon-yellow striping. An outdoor kitchen with a refrigerator and two-burner range plus the standard electric awning create a comfortable outdoor entertaining area. Inside, the 74-inch-long bunks, stretched across the rear of the trailer, have their own slider window, which helps with airflow issues sometimes found in closed-off bunk areas. The kitchen has a stainless-steel cooktop, microwave and sink, along with enough counter space to hold a coffeemaker or prep a salad. The layout prioritizes storage with two cabinets below the dinette that can be accessed from outside the trailer. The north-south-facing walk-around master bed will be particularly attractive to some folks. Upgrade options include the Extreme Sport Package containing an 80-watt solar panel, bike rack and roof rack with ladder.
As the name suggests, the Northwood Arctic Fox Classic 25Y is built to withstand the elements and allow folks to travel in all four seasons with fully insulated holding tanks, and block-foam and reflective-foil insulation. Additional construction points of interest include heavy-gauge aluminum framing and an “off-road” chassis. This well-designed rear-living layout allows for direct sightlines from the sofa to the entertainment center, a top priority for many RV shoppers. The L-shaped counter offers extra work space in the kitchen, and the lack of stainless-steel appliances will be attractive to those who enjoy a more traditional design aesthetic. The split bath places the shower and sink on one side of the trailer and the toilet on the other, with a pass-through aisle in the middle. Many RVers love this layout as it allows couples to more easily share the facilities. A porcelain toilet and glass shower door are standard.
The Jayco Jay Feather 27BH provides the popular double-over-double-bunk floorplan in a lighter-weight package. The bunks are positioned at the rear of the trailer, and the bottom bed flips up for extra bike or gear storage. The bathroom has a spacious corner shower stall, and there’s a linen cabinet and medicine cabinet, plus additional storage below the sink. The double pantry could easily serve as wardrobe space. Meals will be easily prepared in the kitchen, which has a three-burner cooktop, oven and microwave. The angled kitchen sink extends the counter for appliances and food prep. For those who prefer to cook outside, an outdoor kitchen is an optional upgrade. The master bedroom has a walk-around queen bed and sliding doors on both sides for privacy. Goodyear radial tires come standard, along with a 19-foot power awning with LED lights. An A-frame-mounted bike rack is among the options.
The double-master-bedroom layout makes the Forest River Alpha Wolf 29DQ-L somewhat of a unicorn in the travel trailer realm. It is certainly difficult but clearly not impossible to find two queen beds situated at opposite ends of a trailer. The rear bedroom has a wardrobe, overhead cabinets and underbed storage. The front bedroom has a walk-around bed with wardrobes and nightstands on either side. An exterior entrance toward the front accesses the bathroom, and a second entrance toward the rear leads to the main living space. Both have upgraded stability steps. The sofa and U-shaped dinette are in a slide opposite the kitchen, which contains a large pantry and stainless-steel refrigerator, range and microwave. Solar-panel and backup-camera prep, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are available as upgrades.
In addition to contributing to Trailer Life, Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi are writers for RVFTA.com and hosts of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast. They are also the authors of Idiot’s Guides: RV Vacations. The couple spends as much time as possible exploring the country in a toy-hauler travel trailer with their three very energetic sons and Maggie the Camping Dog.