Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Coachmen Apex Remote 17R – different not different

We’ve talked a lot about RV Open House and the things I got to see and experience firsthand. RV Open House is predominantly meant for dealers to come and make buying decisions along with weighing-in on potential new RV offerings. But, in some ways, to me, this is weird. More on that in a bit. 

Today’s offering is something that’s also a prototype, much like those GM Motorama cars of the 1950s. Well, but this is more likely to be built and less likely to be collected 70 years from now. Maybe. What I’m blathering on about is the forthcoming Coachmen Apex Remote 17R. 

Coachmen Apex Remote

While not officially available to the public, what I was told is that the Coachmen Apex Remote line has three floor plans that are currently in the works, all of which incorporate a lot of the features that people have been asking for, but not being overly equipped. 

These are also the more traditional “square” boxes that really do maximize the interior space within the framework of a smaller camper. What I mean by this is that a lot of smaller campers are either teardrop shaped or have more curved edges. For example, think of an r-pod. Or the Little Guy Max. 

These are seven feet wide with dry weights under 3,000 pounds. But the idea of these is that you still get decent head room with the ceiling height at the edges being 6 1/2 feet with a slight arch to the ceiling. Not bad. 

Those windows, though

But what absolutely makes this model stand out are the windows. The windows on the Apex Remote are ovals. All the windows. Including the windshield, the side windows, the door window. Everything. 

And while they don’t appear round from the inside of the RV, except the windshield, they absolutely make a statement from the outside. 

They’re also the frameless-style windows that I like as they tend to require less maintenance and have fewer leak issues. 

There are oval windows by the bed in this trailer where the bottom portion swings out to increase air flow. Also, Coachmen includes a high-performance vent fan in the main body to move more air. 

If you don’t think that windows are a styling statement, consider how the RV industry is losing its collective mind over the Brinkley brand, which brought a more square window design, along with a complete and total lack of swishes and swirls, to the RV space. I’ve shared more than one RV that is influenced by this styling. I’m sure others may also rip off Coachmen but, for now, this is where you would get this look. 

And the stickers, to my eye, are also tastefully done. 

What’s inside the Coachmen Apex Remote

While the exterior is surprisingly different, nothing about the interior is. That’s not a bad thing at all. 

I don’t have a floor plan for this model as of this writing but you’ve seen this before. An RV queen at the front, which is not a Murphy bed, flanked by closets. Storage over the bed has nets to keep your stuff in check. 

On the camp side is a small dinette and on the road side is the kitchen. That kitchen has a two-burner propane stove top and a 12-volt refrigerator. I’m seeing more and more Coachmen put the microwave below the propane cooktop, where you might expect a traditional oven to be. 

I wonder if I’m seeing this so the kids can nuke their frozen food as it’s kind of at kid-eye level. I know I’ve read several comments that we more experienced Americans don’t like the nuke-o-matic down there. But, perhaps, those with younger kids might. 

On this subject, I would like to see one of those convection/air fryer microwaves instead, if there’s not going to be an oven. Personally, I prefer the two-burner cooktops where the two burners are in a horizontal line only because it seems to offer more counter space. 

The bathroom in this probably couldn’t be any larger as it spans the entire width of the back of the trailer and is very spacious. This is how the bathroom was in my first camper and I really liked it. 

Further, this bucks the trend of the sink in the shower. Instead, the bathroom sink is in its own cabinet and even has a surprising amount of counter space. Nice. 

Another thing I like is that Coachmen put the tank level monitors in the bathroom so you can see if it’ll hold one more shower or if it’s okay to make one more trip to the spicy taco place. 

See, I didn’t write Taco Bell. Someone got their undies in a bunch in the comments because I made fun of Taco Bell in a story, so I’m not doing that again. I mean, how can I say bad things about a place who once studied eliminating the kitchen from their restaurant and solely reconstituting things with hot water? Mmmm, yummy. 

I like that the shower does not have a glass door, as large sheets of glass in a vehicle just seems to be an invitation for trouble. I’ve filed the warranty claim plenty of times for shattered shower doors and, in my own trailer, I actually took the darned door out and replaced it with a curtain. 

More details

There are some other things I noticed on this. The standard equipment list includes one of those Jack-It bicycle racks on the front of the trailer. I had one of these and it was fine before I got eBikes. I also like the propane griddle on the side, which mounts to a rail. 

Coachmen is using a layer of Azdel as the substrate on the wall lamination, both inside and out. This man-made material is less likely to fail should it get wet. 

Another interesting trend I’m seeing is the trend away from built-in stereos and speakers on the outside. 

Halley-flipping-lujia. Whoever thought putting the worst-sounding speakers on the outside of an RV was a good idea can go stick their head in a bucket of rotten pumpkin innards. Instead, this trailer comes with a large built-in Bluetooth speaker on the inside as well as a portable Bluetooth speaker. 

Boondocking and travel access

This little trailer has no slide, so you know it’s accessible all the time. 

The standard solar on this is 200 watts, which may be more than sufficient if you’re a park camper. Keeping the battery maintained between trips with 200 watts may be fine depending on seven million circumstances. 

As an option, you can get a package with three of these 200-watt panels along with a 2000-watt inverter. This could be sufficient even for most of boondocking—depending on where and when and what you want to run. Again, depending on seven million circumstances. 

Why is RV Open House weird?

Okay, so I had mentioned that I thought RV Open House was weird. It is. 

Essentially, the RV decision-makers at dealerships go see all the new stuff and place orders. Okay, that’s fine. But how many of those decision-makers really do go camping? Or even talk directly to the people who buy campers? They talk to their team, who has talked to their subordinates, who have talked to customers. 

But this is like a terrible game of telephone. You might ask for a tuna sandwich but you better enjoy that anchovy surprise that’s coming your way. 

What I think would be better is to open the doors of this event up to people who actually buy the RVs and then have the company decision-makers on hand. That might finally put an end to black interiors and 17” ovens and four-inch fart fans. And outdoor speakers. 

Perhaps keep RV Open House open for another week and then show actual RV users these rigs and gauge their opinion. 

Conclusions about the Coachmen Apex Remote

I bet a camper like this would be a big hit because they did a good job with it. Plus, I also like that it doesn’t look like every other camper but isn’t weird in any way. Sure, the styling is subjective, but so are a lot of things. Like tuna sandwiches. 

A few more things that I like include the fact that the four corner stabilizer jacks are at a 45° angle to the chassis which, I’m told, makes for a more stable camper. This also comes with a tire pressure monitor system, a good thing. 

Another thing on here that I appreciate is the toy lock on the front of the trailer. It is a retractable spool of metal cable that enables you to lock up things like bikes. 

This is a solid offering that I think will be quite popular. I don’t have a chart because this is a preproduction prototype. But what I saw also had surprisingly large holding tanks for a small, narrow-body travel trailer. Also from what I saw, this is planned to have 52 gallons of fresh water and 35 each of black and gray. Surprisingly, hitch weight is just 300 pounds, dry weight is 2,910, and cargo carrying is a whopping 1,700 pounds—which is good for a single-axle trailer. 

More about these RV reviews

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. RVtravel.com receives no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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Tony Barthel
Tony Barthelhttps://www.anthonybarthel.com
Tony worked at an RV dealership handling sales and warranty issues before deciding he wanted to review RVs and RV-related products. He also publishing a weekly RV podcast with his wife, Peggy, which you can find at https://www.stresslesscampingpodcast.com.



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Bill Byerly (@guest_259084)
27 days ago

Another great report on a nice little trailer. Thanks Tony!

Michael and Karen Steele (@guest_259083)
27 days ago

Great report Tony!!! My wife and I love the smaller campers. By the way, though in my early 60’s, my wife and I like the smaller bed. It can be hard to straighten out the blankets with the huge queens and kings and little room to lean over to reach. We also like the separate freezer/refrigerator. We do not trust those small freezers tucked inside those tiny fridges. Wow! We could pull this with our 2015 GMC Acadia with no problems giving us better gas mileage than pulling with our F350. Lots of good in this Coachman Apex Remote. Have been looking at the Apex Nano for a while now!! More articles Tony!!! Thank you very much!

Dave (@guest_259072)
27 days ago


Love your comment, “ Keeping the battery maintained between trips with 200 watts may be fine depending on seven million circumstances.”

Neal Davis (@guest_259069)
27 days ago

Thank you, Tony. Interesting stuff.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_259060)
27 days ago

This sorta reminds me of our old 97 Nash 25S. It had a full sized queen with a wall between the bedroom and the rest of the coach. And a larger loo.
But overall, this is a good floor plan. I always wonder about those outdoor kitchens – like this outside ‘frying pan’. When you’re cooking bacon or hamburgers, doesn’t all that grease splash up on the trailer body? The proposed fresh tank is as big as our 30′ trailer! I really like how much solar you can have if you’re willing to shell out the $$$. Nice options.

Steve H (@guest_259024)
27 days ago

“GM Motorman”? Maybe “GM Motorama”? Pesky spellcheck!

That double/full-size (54×74″) bed would be a definite “no sale” item for me. How many American couples actually sleep in a double bed these days? I’d bet that, if a survey were done, the results would show <10%. A standard bed these days is a queen because the average American adult is too tall and too wide for two of them too fit in a double bed. Personally, I would prefer to see two 32×80", or even 30×76", twin beds to a 54×74" double.

Dan (@guest_259031)
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve H

The double bed is fine. Even at our advanced age, we still love a good ‘snuggle’ in the RV. To be fair, our bed at home is a queen.

Diane McGovern
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve H

Good catch, Steve! I shouldn’t have “assumed” that Tony, the longtime car guy, didn’t catch it when his spellcheck changed it. I should have double-checked it. It’s been corrected. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob M (@guest_259079)
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve H

Full size bed is great for young couples during the first couple years of marriage till the honey moon ends.

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