Sunday, January 29, 2023


RV Review: 2021 r-pod RP-202 Travel Trailer

By Tony Barthel
Forest River’s r•pod line of travel trailers has been a unique and popular line of narrow-body, single-axle trailers that were designed to be towed by smaller vehicles. But, like all children, these have grown and the division now offers its first two-axle r•pod models – the 2021 r•pod RP-201 and the RP-202. 

Both of these are significantly longer than what you might expect in an r•pod. I recently took a look at the RP-202 as the largest member of the r•pod family. This is a 25’-long, 96”-wide trailer that features a rear kitchen with a slide out, fireplace and even a walk-around queen bed.

The entire r•pod line has undergone scrutiny for 2021 and now features a glass head-to-toe entry door with a window that has a shade. Highlights of the entire line include Soho seamless countertops, enclosed underbellies, a central vacuum system, torsion axle independent suspension and Azdel® substrate in the interior and exterior wall construction. 

The roof has been upgraded as well and now uses a Tufflex PVC material that carries a 15-year warranty, three years longer than the previous product.

All good things. Of course, the exteriors are also upgraded and fans of the r•pod will spot the differences right away with a graduated color and sort of a honeycomb hexagon sticker pattern on the outside. Lastly, the r•pod frog is now even revised and, for some strange reason, is eating a bee. Doesn’t it know that bees are our friends? Do frogs really eat bees? 

Entering this new model you are immediately greeted by a large two-door cabinet on the right opposite the gas-electric refrigerator on the left. There is a counter along the back that contains a two-burner stove, a round sink and, below the stove, a convection microwave. 

Under all that is the furnace which is ducted into the cabinetry, proving that this is possible even in a smaller RV. Take that, you floor vents! They’re not welcome here. 

You’ll probably notice either the dinette or the couch, both of which are in the slide room. Buyers will have the option for each one. Should you choose the couch there are kick-up footrests and you’ll be facing a 30” Graystone fireplace along with the TV. This would be my pick, but I can see why someone would want the dinette as it makes into a more comfortable bed than the couch would. 

Also if you do opt for the couch, it’ll be a little bit easier to get into the central bathroom with the slide room in, which is also easier for people built like me. It’ll be a gut sucker but you can do it.

With the slide out, of course, it’s easy to get into the bathroom which bisects the trailer but goes the full width of the unit. From there, you get to the bedroom. 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 space is left above it for you 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. 

The bed is at the front of the trailer and that puts the windshield right above it for stargazing until you’ve grown weary of that and draw the shade for some shuteye. 

This model features a pretty handy outdoor kitchen that features a 110vac “bar” style fridge along with a folding table arrangement that can hold the flat-top griddle that comes with the trailer. The sink is of the “dog bowl” variety so you basically upend it to drain it, and the water source is the spray port on the side of the trailer, which means it’s cold water only. Still, a usable outdoor kitchen in a smaller trailer – and I wouldn’t turn-down the flat-top griddle. 

I want to also point out that all the baggage doors outside have magnetic catches. I know it’s a little thing but it seems ridiculously cheap when I see those old-fashioned plastic catches. Kudos to r•pod for the magnetic ones. 

Also, on the road side, there is the winterization station behind a panel and it’s pretty easy access to the components you’d need to winterize this. Another nice touch is that now this larger r•pod has a ducted AC unit. 

rPod RP-202 specificationsWhat I don’t like is that there are two gray tanks in this trailer – one for the kitchen, the other for the bathroom. That means that you have to empty each one separately through its own dump valve and port. I know of more than a few RVers who just finished the factory’s job by plumbing these two tanks together. Takes about an afternoon and about 6’ of PVC pipe along with a few fittings. 

The r•pod line has a strong following. In fact, when I bought my RV I first looked at the r•pod line and seriously considered getting one. I’m curious what the considerable fan base of this popular line of trailers thinks of their family growing both in numbers and in size. 

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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5 months ago

Hi Tony!

You say that you know some folks who have finished the factory’s job and plumbed the two grey tanks together. I am wanting to do the same, but am afraid that the rear kitchen grey tank is higher than the mid bathroom grey, and the two tanks will not equalize. Thus leading to an even worse problem with the kitchen grey also draining into the bathroom grey (with some equalization – physics).

Wondering if you could share how this worked for those that you know, or their method if it was more than just plumbing the abs from the rear to the front tank pipe between the frame and tire?

Good article by the way!



Norm Clark
1 year ago

Different considerations, the option is a smart one to have. We want room for Grandkids to sleep when they go with us. The dinette allows that optional sleeping space, and we like to play cards with friends. Options are a good thing.

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

The Dometic Cool Cat is available on Aframe campers. Why is it not offered on normal smaller trailers for reduced aerodynamic drag and less chances of damaging trees?

Bob P
2 years ago

I guess I’m to old, the floor plan with the dinette looks useless except for dining or sleeping. I’d hate to have to sit there each evening to watch TV, I don’t think they’ll sell very many of that floor plan.

2 years ago
Reply to  Bob P

Same here. No really comfortable place to wait out bad weather. On the other hand, our fifthwheel has comfortable rocking chairs but it is 5 feet longer. There are always trade offs. When are the manufacturers going to produce the rv that’s 20 long on the outside with a 40 foot long interior?

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