Wednesday, November 29, 2023


New E-Series line from Ember RV is a ‘decontented camping essential’

Today’s RV (p)review is of the forthcoming Ember Recreational Vehicles E-Series 22ETS. If you’ve been following the progress of Ember RV and the RVs they’ve produced, you may already be familiar with the Ember Overland series and even the Ember Touring Edition. The E-Series is yet another line for the company. 

As with much of the RV industry, there had been a focus on adding more value and features while sales were booming during the past few years. Suddenly, the market is changing and the word of the day at the RV Open House which I detailed here is “decontented.” 

In other words, I saw more and more RVs that shed some of the premium features to place more value on, well, value and less on high-end items. That’s where the “E-Series” from Ember fits their lineup. 

What is the Ember E-Series

I had the privilege of talking with Ember co-founder Ashley Bontrager Lehman (hear my podcast interview with Ashley and Christopher Barth here) about the E-Series, and she described these as more camping essentials. 

Ember has established a reputation as a company that builds a premium RV in their Overland and Touring Edition models and, with that, premium features and components. But if their guess is correct, which seems to be in line with what everybody in the RV industry is doing, there will be increased demand in units with decreased premium features. 

That doesn’t mean these will be cheap or poorly made, though. Ashley emphasized that the company is still planning to use their EternaBond process, Azdel substrates on the outside of their wall lamination, Goodyear Endurance tires, and so much of what has established Ember Recreational Vehicles as a brand that puts an emphasis on a better quality product. 

What’s not here

But the E-Series is not exactly the same as the Touring Edition, which is the offering that most closely resembles this within the Ember family. 

For example, gone are the frameless windows as well as the Stargazer window, which is a dual-pane window above the bed. The suspension is no longer a torsion axle but, rather, a traditional leaf spring.

The wall laminate uses Azdel on the outside wall but not the inside wall. So there are areas where this trailer does have less premium content, but not to the point of being a low-end offering. While final pricing hasn’t been set at this point, the selling price goal for this is about $40,000 or so, depending on shipping and a few other variables. 

Still premium features

Focusing on this as a more affordable offering by Ember shouldn’t overshadow that there are still a lot of great features packaged into this RV. 

This particular model, the E-Series 22ETS, features Ember’s Ember Track system in the back. This allows you to reconfigure the bunks to remain as bunks, but you can also raise and lower the two platforms that make up the bunks such that this could be a bed or a dining table. Or you could just take the platforms out altogether and bring along cargo.

You’d access that cargo through either a large side door that has a screened opening or a rear door. This would be great for things like eBikes or a kayak. If you’re camping with youngsters, you could bring their bikes or camping toys by moving the bunk platforms all the way to the top, thereby maximizing the cargo space. 

I think this is the absolute best bunk configuration on the market, period. I write that because you can reconfigure it on the fly based on how you’re camping or with whom you’re camping. It’s brilliant. And patented. 

Even if you never have any intention of using this space for sleeping, this still makes so much sense if you’re carrying gear or just want an office setup or a different dining setup. This smart space absolutely sets Ember apart. Period. 

Other features

In addition to the bunks, there are other things I like in the Ember E-Series. 

The kitchen features a two-burner in-line propane cooktop. If you want to bake, you have a convection microwave. But that cooktop really does save space and I can’t imagine needing more than two burners in an RV. 

This model features an “L”-shaped kitchen with a raised dining bar and two bar stools. This makes for plentiful prep space in a smaller trailer. There’s also a secondary spot at the rear of the main living space where you could put something like a coffee maker or Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker. 

What? You could totally make frozen coffees in the morning and margaritas in the afternoon with that thing so it makes sense to me to have one. But I don’t. Just yet. 

There’s also a four-place dinette, and I like that they’ve specified a legless table. 

Details, details

A lot of the trailers I saw at Open House were also “decontented” models and, as such, they just lacked things I would actually want in a trailer. That wasn’t true here. For example, Ember still uses a high-performance vent fan instead of the dime store vent fan that’s so common. 

The bed in here is a walk-around queen-sized bed, and the mattresses Ember uses aren’t the back breaker type. They’re not super deluxe, but they’re still better than many others I’ve tested. 

And the bathroom in this trailer is very spacious—even my Santa-sized self had no issues in the shower or on the toilet. Not that I used the toilet—I just sized it up. 

Oh, and the ceiling height in this is 82 inches, which is more than most and part of why this model feels so spacious. 

Climate matters

Furnace ducting is still done above the floor, so you’re not loading up pet hair and dirt all summer for that very, very special smell on the first day of fall when the furnace kicks in. 

But on the subject of the climate controls in here, there is a new Furrion Chill Cube air conditioner that I am very, very excited about. This unit reportedly consumes only about five amps of power under normal operation. It also has a variable speed compressor, so it can operate very efficiently or very powerfully. In fact, this is the first RV air conditioner I’ve seen that can provide up to 18,000 BTU of cooling power. 

It comes with a remote, and that remote has a sensor on it so if you bring it into the bedroom it knows that that’s where you want the pre-set temperature. If you carry it into the living space, the sensor is there. 


Honestly there were some RVs at Open House that qualified under the “decontented” header that were, well, cheap. But I think the features and packaging of this new E-Series line from Ember really is a good balance between what you want and what you can afford. 

In no way does it feel cheap or lacking at all. I think this might be a really popular offering from a company that is showing tremendous innovation in the RV space. 

One of the things that really sets Ember apart is that all the decision-makers own Ember RVs and actually use them. The company also has loaners in their fleet for team members to take out, try, and honestly evaluate. 

I think there’s a lot to like about this new offering from Ember, including their warranty and build methodology. Of course, I’m curious what your take on this new model is and whether you are as intrigued by the reconfigurable bunk system as I am. As always, your comments are much appreciated. 

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. 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 Barthel
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



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Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles (@guest_256290)
1 month ago

I found it interesting that all Ember decision makers are owners of Embers, although I can’t help but wonder what their “usage” figures are (as opposed to mere ownership) Only someone who doesn’t try to use an oven would site one on a floor. There’s a difference in perception if you use something once a year versus once a month or week. Quite a bit of difference about how easy it is to put up with inconvenience.

Split Shaft (@guest_256134)
1 month ago

It does not appear there would be bathroom access when the street side slide room is retracted if stopping for a bathroom break while traveling. If so, some might find that somewhat inconvenient. The other thing, when my kids were 8 and 10 years of age, neither would sleep in the bunkbed   So we traded for a new TT without bunkbeds. Something to consider if buying a bunkhouse RV.

Bill Byerly (@guest_256124)
1 month ago

Another really good review on a pretty nice trailer. Need to raise the microwave / convection oven up off the floor though.

Mikal H (@guest_256121)
1 month ago

Tony, I did have to chuckle when you said that the industry’s goal during the pandemic was ” …on adding more value…” If that was their goal, they failed miserably. Prices increased exponentially, well beyond what any new features would warrant and overall quality of the build, as well as service, fell through the floor!!!

Was that comment one of your built-in little jokes? Maybe I couldn’t tell.

Now…to keep up profitability…the industry is keeping up high prices, as much as possible, while “decontenting” product to hit price points that are in reach of average consumers, but still WAY above what similar basic models would have been pre-pandemic.

Steve H (@guest_256064)
1 month ago

This Ember would be a great couple’s trailer if that dinette in the slide were replaced with a couple of theater seats. Then one rear bunk could be removed for storing E-bikes that are too valuable to carry on a rear bike rack and the remaining bunk used as an office desk. With that leaf-spring suspension, I wouldn’t take it off many gravel roads, but it might be ok for USFS and City I county park campgrounds.

Bob M (@guest_256045)
1 month ago

I don’t think $40,000. is affordable. For that price I would want a 3 burner stove and oven. Don’t want to have to bend down to use the microwave. Would have to see one in person to provide a comment.

Mikal H (@guest_256118)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob M

Bob, I agree completely with the inconvenience of putting the convection/microwave almost on the floor. Geez…no older person with an aging back or knees wants to get on the floor everytime they use that appliance!

John (@guest_256014)
1 month ago

This kitchen in the Overland would make my dream trailer.

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