Monday, September 25, 2023


Cherokee Alpha Wolf 23LDE-L review—drawer-a-palooza!

Today’s RV review is of the 2024 Forest River Cherokee Alpha Wolf 23LDE-L travel trailer. This is a floor plan I’ve seen by many manufacturers and is a new model for Cherokee. I also saw that Rockwood introduced the new Mini Lite 2515s, which is the same basic floor plan. It’s interesting, to me, to see how differently the two divisions of Forest River do things. 

There are some really, really smart aspects to this trailer and some great decisions I see that have been made here. But, like that kid you know who is a really great kid, they also made some decisions that might get them behind the proverbial wood shed. Like what, you ask? 

Smart features of the Alpha Wolf 23LDE-L

It’s interesting to me how different the “same” floor plan from different brands can be. Take this model and the Rockwood, both from Forest River, for example. The details between them make each trailer a very different animal. I also had a similar floor plan when I was selling trailers and we just couldn’t sell it. It wasn’t well thought through. 

This Alpha Wolf is. I love the huge counter that extends the entire width of the back, offering great counter space. There are drawers and cabinets here, as well as four additional drawers and a very large shoe garage on a fixture opposite the kitchen, which also offers more counter space. 

Within the kitchen cabinet is a built-in central vacuum system, another nice touch. 

Then there’s a very large pantry in the slide which also holds a 12-volt refrigerator. 

The large cabinet and choice of colors really make this trailer feel open, unlike the model I never was able to sell at the dealership where I worked. 

This has a two-person theater seat that has a little armrest bolster thing that goes between the seats and has two cup holders in it. This can easily be pulled out as it’s just wedged between the seats. There if you want, not there if you don’t. 

Bathroom in the Alpha Wolf

Going into the bathroom, someone at Alpha Wolf needs a fat raise because they actually included the Oxygenics shower head so many of us swap in. I can only imagine how many terrible shower heads are thrown away every year and replaced with this very showerhead. Thank you, Alpha Wolf. This is a simple yet brilliant decision. 

There are also small motion sensor lights in the bathroom and pass-through storage. This is a nice touch—my wife and I have a battery-powered motion light in the bathroom but it would be niftier if it were just hard-wired into the trailer. Of course, longtime readers will also know that I love the high-performance vent fan in the bathroom. 

While we’re in here, know that this sports a tankless water heater, so you have hot water ‘til you run out of propane, or water. And this also sports an 80-gallon fresh water tank, which is pretty darned large by travel trailer standards. 

Smart decision in the bedroom of the Alpha Wolf

In the bedroom, another smart decision. There is a 150-watt inverter on the camp side of the bedroom. This is great for anyone who might use a CPAP, as you don’t have the losses of a large inverter yet you can run your CPAP overnight, assuming it will run on 150 watts. 

Well, and assuming that you have a decent battery. But, honestly, I don’t see any reason not to have at least one lithium battery for a travel trailer nowadays. 

Lastly, there are no floor vents for the furnace, with those being in the cabinets instead. The underbelly is also enclosed and has heat ducted into it. 

Something I haven’t seen before that I like is how the camera prep is configured. We’ve all likely seen prep for a rear observation camera, but there’s also a mount for one over the main entry door as well as lane change cameras. 

Lastly, the size of that awning! My gosh! It’s huge!

Boondocking and travel access

Surprisingly this trailer is essentially fully accessible with the slides in. You can get to the main living space from the rear entry door and to the bedroom and bathroom from the front entry door. Depending on your build, you might even be able to get into the bathroom from the living space even with the slide in. Nice. 

This comes with 100 watts of solar, which I have described as mostly useless. But they use high-quality wire and a 30-amp charge controller so, if solar is something you’re interested in, the path to more power is already in place. 

It’s not all perfect

There were also some things I saw that were real head-scratchers, and I’m going to start with Castle Rock tires. If you’ve spent any time in RV forums you’ve seen the derogatory name for these and, yeah, yeah, they have tire pressure monitors, but yuck. 

Also, what skinny person chose the mount for the toilet? I realize that my scale cries when I come near it but, quite honestly, I couldn’t sit there. It’s right on the bathroom wall. 

If they had only canted the toilet outward a little bit the problem would be solved. This is almost as bad a decision as Castle Rock tires. 

There are two sewer connection points with a gray tank for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. I know more people who have just plumbed these together and I don’t see why RV companies can’t do so as well. 

I like the cabinets over the bed, which extend the full width of the trailer. But, for gosh sakes, my 1970s Aristocrat had a provision for these cabinets to stay open. You’d think someone at Alpha Wolf would realize that it can be done in 2024. 

Lastly, there are windows in each of the entry doors and those windows are prepped for a shade but don’t have one. I could excuse this in the living room but in the bedroom? Come on. 

Thoughts about 12-volt fridges

I noticed this has a 12-volt fridge, which is becoming the norm anymore in RVs. The one I saw was a Girard fridge, which I’m not at all familiar with. I had a GE 12-volt fridge that I wholly disliked in my “summer trailer” and replaced it with a Dometic DMC4101 refrigerator. Why? 

The Dometic was just a far better product with a variable-speed compressor and built-in fans and more. The difference was significant. 

The Gerard that I saw didn’t seem to have the internal venting of the Dometic (and now the new Magic Chef I’ve seen in some brands), but this is purely a guess. If you get one of these new Cherokee models with this fridge I’d love to know what your experience is with it. 

Tony wishing

Like my own 2023 trailer, this has a Lippert OneControl® touch panel and I love this thing. I can control anything that that panel controls with my phone. I have opened my slide from the outside on many occasions when I thought we might be close to something. And I can turn on the awning light from outside or check the level of the tanks, all with my phone. 

I wish Lippert would also incorporate the thermostat into this function. Many’s the time I’ve left the heater too high, or too low, or the A/C too high, or too low, and only realized it after going to bed. Blast it, now I gotta get up and fix it. 

This is not Alpha Wolf’s or Forest River’s fault, but just a thing I wish Lippert would do since their control panel has me so very spoiled. 

I think this could be a hot seller with a lot of very smart features and a design that just feels right. What do you think—and have you seen other variants of this design? Do you have a favorite? 

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. We receive 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below. Thank you!


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


  1. Frankly, I’m no fan of all the ‘phone controlled’ stuff that is almost everywhere today. To me, this can just prove troublesome. Keep all my controls in the trailer where I am the only one who can control everything.

    • You do have buttons for everything and never have to use your phone. In our trailer I use my phone to control things and my wife just likes the buttons. I like options.

      But I love being in bed and being able to turn a light on and off without having to get back up because I forgot to turn it off.

    • we had our Norcold converted (by JC Refrigeration) to 12v and even with double compressors, it runs more efficiently than these factory installed units.
      I have to say, I’m glad they stopped going with residential refrigerators at least.

    • As a test, we ran our 12v fridge for 6 days on 300w of solar and 200Ah of lithium batteries. And two of those days were cloudy. It kept ice in the freezer frozen and water in the fridge at 40 degrees for that entire time. We just brought 1/2 gallon of ice cream on our current Montana trip and it is still frozen after 7 days. We could NEVER do that in our Forest River travel trailer and fifth wheel with propane-120vac fridges!

      • I have been thrilled with the 12 volt fridge in our own travel trailer, but I swapped the GE unit out for a Dometic model. Since then they’ve gone with an all-new Magic Chef model that seems to have the right specs.

        Which fridge do you have? The performance of ours is similar to what you describe. In fact, when we’re parked at our home base we use it as a second household fridge. In other words, we don’t bother turning it off since our trailer has such great solar and battery systems.

  2. In your trailer / camper reviews, PLEASE also include the tongue weight ! For those of us who tow with smaller / mid sized vehicles, this is as important as the trailer weight.

    • This unit is 3/4 ton territory. 10-12% of loaded weight is too much 1/2 ton. You’ll run out of payload quickly by the time you’re ready to roll…

    • Acknowledged.

      With that in mind the advertised tongue weight for my own trailer (a Rockwood Mini Lite 2205s) is 634 pounds. That would put me well within the capabilities of a half-ton truck.

      In the real world, though, I measured the tongue weight of our trailer and it pegged the scale at 1,000 pounds meaning it was over 1,000 pounds. The scale only went up to 1,000 pounds. This is why I’m truck shopping. Things like contents, full propane tanks and other things affect tongue weight.

      Typically you can figure most trailers tongue weight is about 15% of total weight of the trailer. That’s the rough figure I would use when trailer shopping.


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