Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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RV Review: 2021 Keystone CrossRoads Cruiser Aire CR28BH Fifth Wheel

I got spotted at a campground last night and a camper just had to show me something in their Keystone CrossRoads Cruiser Aire fifth wheel. What they had done is read these articles about using a bunk model trailer for something other than sleeping youngsters, and they wanted me to see their hack. 

It turns out the fifth wheel was a Keystone CrossRoads Cruiser Aire CR28 fifth wheel that has a bunk room across the back but they had taken out the lower bunk and were using the space for bicycle storage. 

Bunk model alternatives 

Since I’ve been writing this column, I’ve been advocating that people without kids consider bunk model and even toy hauler RVs. That wasn’t necessarily for all the additional sleeping space, but rather for storing all the things we want to bring along. 

In this case, the owner took out the lower bunk for bringing bicycles along. This model very specifically has a large door to access the lower bunk. It would normally flip up to allow bringing of bicycles or more gear. 

Looking at this bunk room with the bunk out it formed a bench. That meant it could also be an office space, sort of, if you put a flip-down table on the forward wall. Or you could simply take along a folding plastic table as a desk. 

What appealed to me about this particular design was the large door to the outside of the bunk room. It’s perfect for bringing along bicycles and such. This was really a good feature in this unit. 

Furthermore, even if you do take out the lower bunk there’s still the upper bunk. Plus, Keystone has some storage below the bench left by removing the lower bunk. 

Keystone

I have written before that Keystone has their Innovation Labs and I got to try a few things that were direct results of this operation. 

For example, they have AC ducts that sort of “swirl” the air and are said to provide greater air flow. I also noticed one above the bunk in the back and showed the owner how to turn it off – no reason to air condition the bicycle back there. 

Other things I like from Keystone include their HyperDeck flooring, which is a man-made flooring product. This unit also features a single key for all the exterior doors which is also smart. Plus, the baggage doors feature slam latches and magnetic catches. 

Other highlights of the Keystone CrossRoads Cruiser Aire

There were some highlights inside this rig that caught my eye. 

Not only is there that bunk room with outside access in the back, but there’s also a storage cabinet back there. It can be accessed by the folks in the bunks and also from the main living area. 

There’s also a big storage closet to the right of the door as you walk in. It is really deep and has a power outlet in it. You could hang a small vacuum in here and still have plenty of room for other stuff. 

There is yet another closet which is pretty sizable upstairs in the bedroom opposite the foot of the bed. 

On the subject of the bed, this model includes a king-sized bed. There is some space on either side but, of course, this does get pretty close to the wall. However, that closet at the foot of the bed makes up for smaller closets on either side of the bed. 

The outside kitchen features a Capital grill, which is sort of a grated grill. There’s also a small bar-sized refrigerator. 

What’s not in the Cruiser Aire

I was surprised that a fifth wheel with 50-amp service only came with a 13,500 BTU air conditioner. You can upgrade but the owner’s dealer did them a disservice, in my opinion, by keeping this one with the standard smaller AC unit. 

Furthermore, the AC unit is pretty noisy and this would be a great rig in which to put the RV Air Conditioner Silencer. 

I’m also surprised how few photos there are of this unit. I didn’t want to bug my buddy by taking pictures inside the rig, but now I wish I had. 

In summary

While the obvious choice for this rig would be that bunk room, with the door up high as has to be done in a fifth wheel and no step, it’s clear that Keystone and I have the same idea for this space. Storage. 

This isn’t the fanciest fifth wheel I’ve seen, but it gets the job done and is relatively light. There’s also a fair amount of cargo carrying capacity in this unit, and the tanks will definitely keep you off the grid for a while. 

I can see why my new friend was so excited to show me this rig. 

Tony comes to RVTravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong 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.

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

##RVT1014

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Door to bunk room
Small standard AC

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Karel
1 month ago

I am looking at bunk models to use the space for storage and pet utility. I have several cats and need space for litter boxes. The access door makes it easier to clean. Thanks for this review Tony.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

The tank sizes make no sense, unless Keystone knows that everyone has ‘secrets’ for disposing of grey water and is depending on that.

Also, there seems to be NO counter space for food prep.

Steve
1 month ago

The tanks are certainly nicely sized for a less than 10,000# fifth wheel. However, the black and gray tanks need to be switched or the owners will be containing and dumping all their dishwater in the black tank during long stays off-grid. And hand-carrying all that water to the bathroom that will get real old, real fast.

Additionally, the list price seems very high for a relatively short, mid-level fifth wheel with a far too small AC; a standard 12v fridge, but no standard solar panels; and supposedly “half-ton towable”, but with a GVWR a half-ton over the maximum fifth-wheel payload/towing capacity of the best-equipped 2021 Ford F-150.

Finally, I could find nothing on their Website about what type of suspension the Cruise Aires have. A cheap leaf-spring suspension would also be a negative on a $72,000 trailer.

Bob M
1 month ago

For $74,000. you shouldn’t have to put in a A/C silencer. Should have quiet A/C unit. With the large black water tank does some of the gray water go into the black tank? Been trying to figure out how much waste goes into black tank for two people per day.

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