When it comes to Starcraft’s expansive lineup of campers, travel trailers and fifth-wheels, the Autumn Ridge series is one of the Middlebury, Ind., company’s most popular models. It was easy to see why after we spent some time in the 245DS, already a top-selling floorplan in the Autumn Ridge travel trailer series. From the décor to the convenient amenities to the graphics package, the 24-footer received several upgrades for the 2013 model year, all of which should be well received by potential customers.
The most visible exterior improvements are the new champagne-colored front and rear panels, which complement the tasteful red, white and champagne graphics on the aluminum sides. Other exterior additions such as the diamond-plate covering — part of a recommended customer convenience package ($2,000) that includes an outside shower, outdoor speakers, a bathroom skylight, a 6-gallon gas/electric water heater, a microwave, a 13,500-Btu AC unit and more — only adds to the trailer’s clean cut and attractive appearance. Exterior storage is offered via the reasonably sized pass-through compartment up front.
Also part of the customer convenience package, the twin 30-pound LP-gas cylinders feature an auto changeover valve and a molded-plastic cover standard. The A-frame of the Autumn Ridge 245DS offered an electric jack and a Fastway Flip automatic jack foot. The electric jack, four electric stabilizer jacks, electric awning and a few interior items were all part of the optional premier package. The coach rides on 15-inch Goodyear radial tires mounted on steel wheels and EZ-Lube hub-equipped axles. Galvanized steel wheel wells are standard construction features adding durability.
A large 30-by-72-inch radius-cornered entry door with a separate screen door provides easy access to the living quarters. Featuring a spacious floorplan and a multitude of inviting creature comforts, the trailer, which sleeps five, uses 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove plywood decking on 2-by-3-inch floor joists and R-7 fiberglass insulation to create a substantial floor for a trailer in this size and price bracket.
Featuring a slideout with a dinette table (a free-standing table with four chairs is an option), the trailer is loaded with interior storage space. From the 38-inch-deep drawers under each of the dinette booth seats to the four sets of overhead cabinets above the removable dinette, the entertainment center, the J-Steel sofa and the queen-size bed, there are plenty of storage options for your essentials.
There’s also a laundry basket storage space under the RV queen bed with twin flanking wardrobe closets and the even larger wardrobe-designated space in the bathroom. The bath contains a porcelain toilet, a sink with a mirrored medicine cabinet and a tub surround for the shower. Covered in a nonskid surface, the shower insert includes a set of shelves in the corner and a removable showerhead. The optional skylight provides a significant amount of natural lighting and the three-tier cargo net on the back of the locking bathroom door adds to the trailer’s list of conveniences.
Just aft of the streetside dinette slideout, there’s an entertainment center with a 26-inch LCD TV and a Jensen DVD/CD/MP3 player. The curbside galley includes the usual three-burner range, an oversized oven with a power hood and light, and a flush-mounted 6-cubic-foot Norcold refrigerator/freezer combination with beech wood panels to match the cabinet doors. Along with a sizable drawer below the refrigerator and cabinets above and below the acrylic deep-bowl sink, there are some very useful features in the cooking quarters such as a built-in spice rack under the sink and a two-piece sink cover with integrated drying racks for plates and utensils.
Situated against the divider wall for the bedroom is a comfortable J-Steel sofa that converts into a bed. To control many of the electrical components — from the slideout to the water pump — a small command center with an access door to match the cabinetry is installed just inside the entryway door. There are plenty of electrical outlets, air-conditioning vents and overhead lights in the trailer as well as in-floor ducted heating vents — and they are placed to move hot or cold air right where it needs to be.
When it comes to natural lighting and ventilation, the 245DS has seven tinted safety-glass windows within the living area, which has 6 feet, 9 inches of headroom. Starcraft also does an excellent job with the finishing touches and attention to detail throughout the travel trailer, although a window shade would be a welcome addition to the frosted window in the door. Whether it’s the faux-tiled backsplash in the kitchen area or the pleated nightshades below the curtain window treatments, everything is installed neatly. Another nice decorative element is the brown and black wood molding that frames the slideout, which has Berber-style carpet.
It’s obvious that the Starcraft design team put a lot of thought into the Autumn Ridge 245DS travel trailer as this attractive and sensible model packs friendly features into a reasonably sized model. A good choice for many, the popular travel trailer also checks in at an attractive price point.
Starcraft RV: 800-945-4787, www.starcraftrv.com
Ext. length: 26’ 11”
Ext. width: 8’
Ext. height: (w A/C) 11’ 2”
Interior height: 6’ 9”
Freshwater cap: 90 gal.
Black-/gray-water cap: 32.5 gal./32.5 gal.
LP-gas cap: 14.2 gal.
UVW: 5,315 lbs.
Hitch weight: 615 lbs.
GVWR: 7,500 lbs.
Base MSRP: $19,357