By Tony Barthel
If you’re looking for a bunkhouse travel trailer perhaps you might instead consider something like the 2021 Wolf Pack 24Gold14 Toy Hauler. But what if you don’t have toys? Or what if you do? I think a lot of folks might really do well with a toy hauler instead of a bunk model trailer.
Unlike yesterday’s review of the Jayco Jay Flight SLX8 265TH Toy Hauler, this one comes closer to what some think of as a toy hauler. It’s got a raised rear roof to accommodate taller vehicles, and it’s 102 inches wide and 31 feet in length – so not out of the range of a typical mid-sized travel trailer. This one weighs in at 5,758 lbs., which is within what many half-ton pickups can handle, but that gross weight of 11,314 might only be realistic in the dreams of a pickup brochure.
Really, you might want a 3/4 ton truck.
What you’ll be hauling around is a trailer that beats a lot of bunk models in so many ways, including the fact that there is the capacity for 100 gallons of fresh water aboard. That is very much within serious boondocking capability.
There’s sleeping capacity for up to six people, and let’s not ignore the fact that some middle schoolers nowadays are as tall as adults and those bunks in some trailers won’t cut it.
There are facing couches at the rear of this trailer that can flip down to form two beds or even a single giant 60” X 90” bed. Above that is a similarly-sized bed, and I like the way they’ve mounted it.
Using gas struts, the bed can be pushed up out of the way and against the ceiling if you’re bringing in the toys. But simply reaching up and pulling the bed down or pushing it up with the gas struts is such an elegantly simple way to operate this as opposed to waiting for a power mechanism to move things up and down while you grow older watching it all happen. One more thing – there are two pins that keep the bed up as well.
On the subject of sleeping, whoever gets the actual bedroom will likely appreciate the fact that there’s an RV king-sized mattress in there. Having a wider platform has its privilege – it’s good to be the king. Also, Cherokee saw fit to put the master power shutoff to the trailer in the bedroom – away from where the kids can play with it.
Back out in the main living space, there are two chairs available that can sit under a large window opposite the kitchen. That kitchen features sealed countertops and, again, the additional height of this toy hauler means the cabinets go up higher too, which translates into more cabinet space. However, you might have to elicit the assistance of that basketball player if the cook is a more diminutive sort.
Also in the kitchen you’ll find that Cherokee has fitted it with Furrion’s three-burner stove, which has a nice quality feel to it. The oven can be lit with a button on the front, but that oven is about only good for pizzas or cookies. This is another example of an almost worthless oven in a trailer designed to accommodate lots of campers.
These trailers are currently being shipped with a 12vdc refrigerator, although you do have the choice to have a two-way traditional gas-electric refrigerator if you’d rather – but I’ve been told these are in short supply at the moment.
That 12-volt refrigerator means this trailer is also equipped with Cherokee’s “Juice Pack,” which includes a very small 50-watt solar panel on the roof. That’s not going to do much to keep the battery charged unless the sun is at the perfect angle. But the good news is that you can add a portable solar panel easily to this setup if you do off-grid camping, and that can be aimed to take full advantage of the sun.
Cherokee is to be commended for having no heat ducts in the floor of the trailer, so whatever your toys do drag in won’t be heated up and stinking up the trailer. Another good feature is that there are two hooks on the outside of the trailer that can be used to secure your toys at night or your pets in the day.
Lastly, a rear patio is available as an add-on option along with a screen partition to keep the critters outside. A friend of mine has that and we back her trailer to the edge of a creek and hang out on the patio. It’s pretty special.
So what’s the downside of this toy hauler instead of a proper bunk model? There is no specific room the kids can go to, although that could be solved with a privacy curtain on a tension rod.
There are also fewer cabinets both outside and in – though, again, that can be solved with totes, although you’ll have to look at those when you’re inside the camper. On the plus side, if the kids (or parents) have bicycles, kayaks, motorcycles or even ATVs you can bring those along.
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.