Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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RV Preview: 2022 r-pod RP-201, a no-slide two-axle trailer

I’ve been watching this floor plan since it showed up on the r-pod website some time ago. Ffinally, there has been one produced. I’m talking about the 2022 r-pod RP-201, a new floor plan from the company known for making small and uniquely shaped trailers. This is their second slightly larger trailer sporting two axles and a longer, almost traditionally shaped trailer body. 

As mentioned in the review of the sister model to this, the r-pod RP-202, the entire r-pod line has undergone changes for 2021. Those include new interiors and more traditionally shaped exteriors for many of the models. 

They’ve also adopted the all-glass door exteriors that I’ve also seen in Forest River’s Cherokee brand.

Some details on the r-pod RP-201 aren’t finalized

Some of the details of the r-pod RP-201 are from short videos I’ve seen of the one of these that was produced for the Hershey RV show. So there are some things that aren’t quite finalized.

Forest River’s website advertises this as an 8-foot wide trailer. However, the videos from Hershey say that it’s a 7-foot-wide trailer. That makes a big difference! The word is that the entire RV is 8 feet in width on the outside of the frame/wheel openings, but the body is a foot narrower. That means that you may not need tow mirrors, depending on what you’re towing with.

Though that also means that the bed is smaller at 60″ wide by 74″ long.  

What I do know

There are details about the r-pod RP-201 that are known including the fact that it is a no-slide model. That’s why I’ve been watching it so closely. I make no secrets about the fact that I would prefer an RV with no slides. That’s why this one has been on my radar. 

The layout is really interesting and it appears that the individual chair that’s at the back door of this model is what is referred to as a “Euro recliner.” In other words, it’s a free-standing recliner much like you’d see in an IKEA store. 

There is a couch on the wall opposite the recliner which folds flat into a bed that might be good for one person. This is also your dining area with a table that flips up between the recliner and the sofa. 

On the other end of the trailer it appears that the company is installing a windshield that can flip up for air flow. 

Interesting bedroom cabinets

In the bedroom, I think it’s interesting how r-pod does their cabinets. Oftentimes you see the hanging closets go all the way up to the ceiling but sort of suspended above a side table for the bed. In this case, the closet sort of rests on that but there’s space above it to put things. Not better, not worse – just different. There’s also a light in the closet and the doors are translucent, so the closet acts as a night light of sorts.

One of the hallmark features on r-pod trailers is the central vacuum system with a kick-open door where you can sweep debris into the unit. You can also add hoses and attachments and vacuum out your trailer. 

While there is no oven available, there is a convection microwave – which is a plus. Cooking comes through the service of a two-burner propane stove top. The sink on this model is a round stainless steel unit mounted into the solid surface countertop. 

They also incorporate torsion axles as well as high-performance vent fans. Those are features which I really like – as regular readers will know. I’m also fond of the use of Azdel Onboard® as the substrate in the wall lamination process – and that’s here, as well. 

This also comes with a Suburban flat-top griddle, which I also have now and use quite frequently. That griddle slides into a rail on the side on an apparatus that keeps it a safe distance from the wall so you don’t end up cooking the fiberglass.  

Good bathroom location in the r-pod RP-201

The bathroom location in this trailer is the same as the RP-202. It’s a mid-bath, which splits the unit in half. That’s particularly useful if you and your camping partner are on different sleep schedules. I also like that there’s a shower curtain instead of a glass shower door. I got to replace plenty of those glass shower doors under warranty in my time at the dealership. 

The nifty thing about this curtain is that it is bowed at the top giving you a bit more space in the shower – and that shower isn’t bad as it is. In fact, the whole bathroom is relatively spacious. However the bummer is the use of a plastic toilet, but that’s a ten-minute job to replace it with a porcelain model. 

One thing of note between this and its sister. The r-pod RP-201 only has 30 gallons of gray water. But it also doesn’t have a separate gray tank for the kitchen sink, which means there’s only one dump valve for gray water. The RP-202 has two gray tanks and two dump valves. I think after I installed a new toilet I would plumb the two tanks together as my next order of business. I wouldn’t have to do that in the RP-201. 

Smallish tank sizes in the r-pod RP-201

But that leads me to tank sizes, which are smallish at 30 gallons for each of the three tanks on this model. For the way my wife and I camp, this would mean less capability for boondocking. So we’d either have to get one of those totes or make other accommodations. That would be my one wish for this model: more fresh water aboard. Although that’s also easy to solve with portable water tanks. 

The folks at r-pod have said that the RP-202 has been a big hit for them, and I’ve seen several “in the wild.” The 2021 models were distinctive with their honeycomb graphics and slightly more squared-off shapes compared to previous offerings from the company. 

I think the r-pod RP-201 will be a big hit

I think they’re going to have another big hit on their hands with this offering, especially if there are others like me who have no interest in slide rooms. In fact, based on the number of you who have written me and a poll I conducted on a Facebook Group, I think I’m more mainstream than I had originally suspected in this thinking. 

When I see one of these in person there will be more photos, of course. But for now we’ll have to make do with the glimpses I have at the moment. 

The company posted a short walk-through of this model on their Facebook Page, which you can see here.

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. 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.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Torsion axle suspension
Kick-on vacuum
Fresh water tank size

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Warren G
26 days ago

I like the no slide idea. It looks like kitchen counter prep space is pretty limited. My wife made a good point that with the bathroom between the bedroom and the living area one of us could feel trapped if in the bedroom.

smoothmoose
1 month ago

Cool floor plan, but I’ll like see more couples floor plan optimized for couples and not the what-if situation of needing to sleep 1-2 extra ppl. To me extending the kitchen counter space and just having 2 recliners or single sofa would be better. Sofa + recliner is bit of wasted space IMO. How often would you need the space for 3 ppl vs. the extra counter space? To each their own of course. Otherwise great floor plan, and looks to have plenty of storage.

Terry L Atkinson
1 month ago

I agree with you. I prefer no slides. They just add complexity and weight that you do not need. I would rather have the weight in extra water capacity. I also wonder how they can consider this a boondocking dry camp unit when you Only have a 2 burner stove top and no oven, I can do that with my old Coleman stove. I want a minimum 3 burners and a gas oven. My old 1992 17′ Fleetwood wilderness has a 4 burner stove oven combination. No one has been able to give me a good explanation why they went to such a small stove top. But that is a deal killer for me.

Scott R. Ellis
1 month ago

Very nice. I’m in the no-slides, camp, too. Alas, I’m also in the way-too-tall-for-that-silly-short-bed camp.