The Southern Glamper: 4 Family Friendly RV's under 25 feet

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4 Family Friendly RV's under 25 feet

Monday, September 16, 2019

Our Grand Design 19BWE has the features that love and enjoy on the road all under 25 feet.
You may think that you have to go big to get a family-sized travel trailer, but we know that good things come in small packages.  When we set out to upgrade from our 2001 Jayco Qwest Pop-Up Camper, Peggy Sue, we knew that we didn't want a huge RV.  We wanted bunk beds, a designated bed for us (mom and dad), a contained kitchen and bathroom.  This all needed to fit into less than 25 feet.  I had several people tell us what we were crazy, but there are so many RV's out there that its crazy to think that you can't find what you want.  We found what we were looking for as well as some other floor plans that might fit your small trailer needs.

First, if you are going to upgrade from a smaller to larger travel trailer of any kind, check the towing capacity of your vehicle.  This is key!  Also, consider the cargo capacity.  What is your camper going to weigh once you fill it with your things?  You may need a larger tow vehicle, or you might want to shop for a lighter camper!  Weight needs to be a part of your shopping experience from start to finish.  This will ensure that you are able to enjoy your new purchase without regret.

Keystone Outback 210URS

We loved this RV and were just about entirely sold on it for a while.  You start with a 23-foot long trailer that extends out of the back with a king-size bed on a slide.  There are no other models in this class that we have found with a king bed.  Keystone has two different color packages for the 2020 year.  The Patina Decor has dark furniture accents.  While the Mineral Decor has lighter colors throughout.  Both plans incorporate lighter colors which make the interior have a bright and roomy feel.

This model is also the only RV that we looked at with both a dinette and a sofa.  Some people have a hard time giving up these features when they go smaller.  It really depends on how you use your interior space, and if you will actually use these features.  These features are appealing, but they could go wasted if you don't spend much time indoors.

Pros

Only 23 feet, large king-size bed, toy door for storing bikes while traveling, bunk beds that are more open and less coffin-like, you also get a sofa and dinette.  The large farm style sink in the kitchen is nice for washing dishes.  The bathroom contains a shower, tub, vanity, and toilet.  There is also lots of storage throughout!

Cons

Long and galley like so that living space is narrow, twin bunk beds could be small as children grow; the slide out of the back is great but doesn't expand your actual living space so it might be tight quarters inside.

A view from the kitchen reveals the sofa, dinette, and the king-size bed at the end.

The dark furniture is a nice contrast against the lighter interior colors.

The bunk beds are located at the opposite end of the RV from the king-size slide.  The bunks, kitchen, and bathroom are on this end altogether.


Keystone Passport 175BH

My husband liked this camper because of the price and simplicity.  It was the least expensive of all of the models that we considered.  While this camper does contain a bed, dinette and bunk beds, your space is going to be limited.  There is no slide, and everything fits into 21 feet.  The interior is well defined and has a large sink for washing dishes.  I also liked that it had a stove and oven.  The bunk beds are a little more confined in this model.  So, it is a factor as children grow.

There are three color choices to choose from in the 2020 models.  The Remington which is a slightly updated version of darker traditional plans.  The Montreal seems to be the lightest of the plans.  The Brentwood is the most traditional with darker colors.  However, all have farmhouse detailing behind the queen bed, and the farmhouse sink is another nice touch.  This would make an excellent entry-level camper for a family shopping on a budget and is concerned about size.

Pros

Simple and straightforward floor plan; queen bed; dinette, bunk beds with toy door; large sink, and updated colors for a light and airy feel.  The lack of a slide could be a pro for some shoppers if you are looking for fewer features to maintain over time.

Cons 

Compact living space, closed in bunks, small bathroom, no vanity in the bathroom and only one sink that is located in the kitchen for washing hands.  The lack of a slide does limit the interior space.

There is a kitchen and dinette in the middle of the trailer with the bunks and vanity all on one end.

The queen size bed is at the opposite end of the RV with plenty of room.

Rockwood Geo Pro 19BH

I was ready to buy this RV because of the size and features packed into space.  This is the smallest of the RV's we considered.  It is only 20 feet long!  But, it contains bunk beds, a dinette, full-size bed, a kitchen, and bath.  The interior is light and airy with white cabinets and grey accents throughout.  

The bunks in this model are really small and closed in, but it does have the bike storage door in this model.  You flip up the bottom bunk and add you bikes here to travel.  The full-sized bed upfront is the smallest of all of the models.  And, you also lose the sink in the bathroom with only one sink in the kitchen.  

One of the things that drew me to this model though is the features that come standard.  There is a solar panel to trickle charge the battery.  Keyless entry is part of the package.  And, you also have an outdoor grill that can attach to the exterior.  You even get a wifi booster.  This is an excellent RV for families that want to both boondock and spend time at campgrounds.  I think this is a flexible system that gives you more options because it is already prepped for this.

The solar panel in the Geo Pro comes with a 1000W inverter.  This will power all 110V items except for the microwave and AC.  You power much more than just 12V systems with this setup, and this standard feature is something that sets the Rockwood Geo Pro apart from others in the industry.   

Pros

Lightweight; only 20 feet, bunk beds with toy door; designated bed for parents. dinette; comes with solar panels; keyless entry; wifi extender - lots of upgrades included - outdoor grill.

Cons

The bed is only a full size; small bunks; limited cargo capacity; small sink - not all models have ovens; no vanity or sink in the bathroom.

The Rockwood Geo Pro and the Forrest River E-Pro both offer light interior colors and lots of storage options.

The exterior has pass-through storage, an electric awning and a bike rack that can be added.

Windows in this unit are a nice touch and brighten the space.


Grand Design Imagine XLS 19BWE

We originally wanted a Grand Design.  Then, we decided that they were all too big and decided against it.  A dealer that I called about the Rockwood Geo Pro told me about this model, and it is what we ended up buying.  As soon as my husband stepped inside of this camper, he said, "This is it!"  I was shocked since he originally was so opposed to a Murphy Bed!  

What makes this space work is that NO space is wasted.  And, there are a ton of features that we love.  First, the sofa gives us living space during the day or evenings.  At night we have a queen-size Murphy Bed with reading lights and closet storage on either side.  The Murphy bed has a one latch feature that allows you to release and put the bed away with little effort.

The bunks are double over double beds.  These are the largest bunks of any model we looked at.  The kitchen slides out to expand the living space.  This feature alone makes the space feel really large.  Everyone that steps into our RV comments on this.

The bathroom has a residential-sized shower.  There is a vanity and porcelain toilet.  The sliding door to the bathroom makes excellent use of the space.  And there is even a little storage shelving for linens next to the vanity.  

Of course, we gave up the dinette to have this model.  That is okay.  I have added to tv trays from Aldi to use as we need.  But, we mostly eat outdoors.  I also added a butterfly chair that I can fold up when not in use for the third seat with our family.  At 23 feet and 6 inches long, this model is in the middle of the sizes that we considered.

The Grand Design 2020 models have also included a lighter interior and model hardware touches throughout.  We have a 2019 model with the dark wood.  Take a look at their new interiors for 2020.  They have followed the current decorating trend with some appealing choices!

The Murphy bed and reading lights work great at the end of the day.  The Murphy bed helps to give us more features in a small space.

The bathroom has a vanity, linen storage, and porcelain toilet.

The bunks are double over double beds.

The sofa is available for extra living space when the bed is not being used for sleeping.

The kitchen has a large sink for washing dishes.

The shower is large enough for my husband that is 6 foot 4 to use.

The kitchen slides out to expand the interior space.

Pros

Double over double bunks; residential-sized shower; porcelain toilet; murphy bed extends living space; kitchen slide makes everything really roomy; lots of storage options; Murphy bed is easy to let down and put up; the Murphy bed is a standard queen-sized bed; plenty of USB and regular outlets.

Cons

Doesn't have a toy door to store bikes in transit; the bunk bed ladder is mounted so you can't position it as needed; doesn't have a dinette; limited seating.

There are certainly lots of options on the market for anyone looking at new RV's.  Grand Design makes several other floor plans in the Imagine XLS line that might better suit your needs that the floor plan that we have.

Jayco also makes a Jay Feather X213 that has a king-sized sliding bed out of the back like the Keystone Outback 210 OURS.  Jayco also has a Jay Flight SLX 7 174BH that contains a queen bed and bunks with no slide that is comparable to the Keystone Passport 175BH.  Jayco has really lightened their interior options with some nice modern touches as well making the traditional colors available.  The only reason that we never considered Jayco as an option is that we were burned by a local dealership with some work on our pop up camper.  And when I told them that I would NEVER buy a camper from them.  I meant it.

There really is an RV for any budget or size.  Not all RV's have to be large fifth wheels.  And, you don't have to get a hybrid to go small.  We found something that checked all of the boxes for us, and we love our new RV.

I'd love to hear from your experiences in shopping for an RV as well as what you think about going with a smaller camper.  It really did come down to size with us, and we didn't sacrifice a thing!

Until next time...

A special thanks go out to Anthony Yoder at Forrest River and Sara Dover at Keystone for working with me on photos of each of the models from their companies.

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