By Tony Barthel
If you look at the Cherokee brand, I’ve mentioned in the past how they definitely appeal to the value-conscious with some really bonus-level features at a price that is pretty popular, as are their trailers. The brand, which is under the Forest River umbrella, offers a variety of sub-brands including the Cherokee wood-framed trailers (stick and tin) as well as Cherokee black label which are wood-framed yet with fiberglass exterior walls. Then their top of the line is the Alpha Wolf, which are laminated fiberglass-walled trailers.
Yeah, I know. But I guess choice is good.
So today we’re looking at the Cherokee Alpha Wolf 26RB-L Travel Trailer, which is a floor plan that I’ve seen from a number of manufacturers but one that I like. To me it’s also interesting to see how differently various companies interpret the same basic idea.
I want to start first with the outside of the Cherokee Alpha Wolf as there are a number of features that I think will pay off in the long term. I like when a company makes an RV that utilizes slam latches and magnetic baggage door hold-backs as opposed to cheaper tumbler locks and those cheap plastic door catches that last maybe 1-3 camping trips. Little things like this really pay off over time.
One of the unusual things I’ve seen throughout the Cherokee line is the large all-glass entry door. It looks like a large sheet of limousine-tinted glass, probably because that’s essentially what it is. It looks very different from any other RV door – and I dig it.
The Cherokee Alpha Wolf has a gigantic awning
You’ll also notice an absolutely gigantic awning here which covers essentially the entire side of the trailer. That includes the large outdoor bar that features a plumbed sink and a really large refrigerator-freezer. This is much larger than the typical outdoor kitchen refrigerator-freezer and is actually a side-by-side model but only runs on 120vac.
Out back you’ll notice there’s already a backup/observation camera included in this unit rather than just a mount. This camera syncs to your phone so you don’t have yet another screen in your truck. Heck, you can use the Steelie Squeeze phone holder I wrote about awhile ago to keep your phone in check.
Lastly, Cherokee has gathered all the water-related connections for the trailer in one place with inlets and tank connections within close proximity of one another. Then they added an outdoor hot/cold shower and even put a motion-sensor light here as well. This is how to do it.
What’s inside the Cherokee Alpha Wolf
Stepping through that glass door, the first thing you come to is a large pantry. You’ll know it’s that since it has a giant label on the glass in the door that reads “pantry” – in case you get lost. There are also hooks in here to hang jackets and whatnot, as well. So it could even serve multiple purposes as long as you’re willing to ignore the label on the door.
To the left of the pantry door is the sliding barn door for the rear bathroom, which consumes almost the entire width of the back of the trailer. I like this kind of arrangement. They’ve done a good job with this one featuring a very large shower with a low step-in, a sink and porcelain toilet. Above and behind the toilet is a large cabinet for linens or whatnot, so there’s good storage in the bathroom.
Back in the main living area of the Cherokee Alpha Wolf, the road side of this trailer has a large slide room that holds the tri-fold couch and a dinette. That couch is directly opposite a space-heating electric fireplace. Above which is a provision for a TV, but Cherokee doesn’t include the TV.
I think this is smart and I’d give any RV company even more bonus points if they didn’t include a mattress even some homeless shelters won’t take (I’ve tried – they were even still in their plastic wrappers). Many times I’ve seen people upgrade their TVs and just get rid of what came with their RVs, so why not just let folks choose? And, as in my own case, the choice would be no TV. Smart.
The galley has some interesting touches
The galley consists of 12vdc compressor fridge adjacent to a three-burner stove with 17” oven, above which is a microwave. The sealed-edge countertop incorporates a large stainless steel sink at a 45° angle. Then there’s a bit more counter space heading toward the road side. At the edge of the counter are three drawers. That is an interesting place for them, but I’ll take them.
Another slick detail is the cutting board that also acts as a back splash for the stove and is held there magnetically.
I also like that Cherokee trailers have all their heater ducts in the cabinets instead of in the floor.
Lastly, the main living area in the Cherokee Alpha Wolf is separated from the bedroom by a sliding barn-style door with exposed rails that’s similar in design to the one at the back for the bathroom. The bedroom does incorporate a full 60” X 80” mattress with hanging closets on either side. There are also both 12vdc and 120vac plugs on both sides.
I’m starting to get spoiled with all these little cubbies behind the closets in some models so I was hoping they were here, too, but nope. There are tall windows on either side of the bed, which I do like. All the shades in here are the zebra shades which allow you to adjust the amount of light coming in. That’s pretty cool.
There’s a lot to like about the floor plan in the Cherokee Alpha Wolf and what you get for your money. This is a very livable floor plan with Cherokee adding some nice touches here and there that might make you happy, such as the motion-sensor lights above the outdoor water station and also one in the bathroom, where you’ll need it. The edge of the dinette table looks like live edge wood, which is rather stylish.
There’s also a D-ring on the outside of the trailer for attaching pets or maybe a locking mechanism for things you don’t want easily leaving your campsite.
One more thing. Like other Cherokee products, this one features actual buttons and switches on the control panel. But you can also use Lippert’s OneControl app to control many of the functions of the trailer as well. Nerds and normals both can have a seat at the table.
What’s up with the blue lights?
Two major head-scratchers for me are the blue lights above the slide and in the bathroom – which I don’t think I’d ever turn on. I’m not sure who started turning the RV industry on to blue lights, but I just think they’re silly.
Also Cherokee has a “Juice Pack” option on their trailers that consists of a 50-watt solar panel and controller. Honestly, as inexpensive as solar panels are, 50 watts really is nothing more than a basic battery tender. I would like to see at least 100 watts and would really prefer something like 190 watts on the roof if you’re going to bother going up there in the first place.
Other than that, I think they’ve done a good job with this layout and you can leave the blue lights turned off – so there ya’ go.
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.
Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!