The first thing you’ll notice on the new Keystone Raptor 21FB is its distinctive V-nose. The enclosed A-frame means the LP-gas cylinders are hidden from sight, allowing you to take in the real beauty of the toy-hauling travel trailer. The next thing you’ll notice is its size: for a smaller (24-foot-5-inch) trailer, it sure seems big. That’s because it is. To add to the cargo area and allow for a full 12 feet of garage to haul your toys, the Raptor measures 8 feet 6 inches wide. Though certainly not unheard of in the industry, the extra width — coupled with the relatively imposing height — lead to a rather intimidating appearance.
But once you enter the Raptor, you’ll find the trailer isn’t all about intimidation. The top-quality cabinetry and full gamut of appliances offer the SURV a touch of hominess. Sure, the trailer is designed for off-roaders who like to play in the mud, but the interior offers a welcome, clean oasis from the grit and grime of the great outdoors.
The rear of the trailer is reserved for that 12-foot cargo area, which is large enough to hold your toys and then some. The ramp is rated at 2,000 pounds — nothing to sneeze at, but obviously not quite as stout as some of the 3,000-pounders we’ve tested before.
When the toys are outside, the area transforms into a comfortable living room, complete with dual leather recliners, a jackknife sofa and removable table.
Two electric queen bunk beds can be lowered into position to serve as the primary sleeping area.
A 22-inch LCD TV and AM/FM/CD/DVD stereo offers the electronic entertainment, though the TV’s location next to the microwave in the galley was less than ideal for this tester, as trying to watch the tube while somebody else wants to prepare a meal could lead to some “get outta the way!” moments.
An 8-cubic-foot fridge is the perfect size to hold a full weekend’s worth of cold beverages and food. A three-burner range/oven combo and microwave mean the menu can be much more extensive than potato chips and beef jerky.
The front of the Raptor houses the real star: the incredibly spacious bathroom. Remember the V-nose construction? Well, that leads to a roomy lavy that runs the entire width of the trailer, with the toilet in one corner, and a large tub/shower tucked in the other. Spanning between the two units is the sizable counter, which is larger here in the privy than in the galley — and even has a cable jack for those “extended stays” in the bathroom. The extra countertop is actually a product of the enclosed LP-gas cylinders; the compartment they’re housed in makes for a flat surface ideal for grooming accouterment after a day at the dunes.
A cabinet behind the toilet is equally impressive in size, and should easily accommodate your towels, washcloths and the like.
The large bathroom almost makes up for the fact that there’s no proper master bedroom … almost. I found it a bit odd to not have a private area to retire to, but that’s definitely a personal preference.
And Keystone says the 21FB is only the beginning of the new Raptor SURV travel-trailer models; as many as five more floorplans should be available soon.
Keystone RV, (574) 535-2100, www.keystonerv.com.
ext length: 24′ 5″
ext width: 8′ 6″
ext height: 10′ 6″
int height: 6′ 6″ to 7′ 8″
freshwater cap: 70 gal
black-/gray-water cap: 40 gal/40 gal
lp-gas cap: 10 gal
hitch weight: 1,000 lb
gvwr: 11,400 lb