Friday, June 9, 2023


RV Review: 2021 Starcraft Autumn Ridge 182RB Travel Trailer

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. 

By Tony Barthel
When I was selling RVs, I was surprised at how few people would look at the smaller rigs even though they came in with small tow vehicles. While their budget and tow vehicle dictated something small, their taste leaned toward a much larger trailer. 

In fact, something like the Starcraft Autumn Ridge 182RB would make sense for a lot of RV prospects. This small, lightweight travel trailer offers a lot of usability in a compact package. If your checklist has things like a walk-around queen bed, decent-sized bathroom and reasonable storage this trailer makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, as a traditional wood-framed aluminum-skinned trailer it is quite affordable with an MSRP of $20,162. 

Despite its size, I was surprised how many features were included with this trailer, such as pocket-screwed cabinets, a fully walkable roof, magnetic baggage door catches, no floor heat registers and some other features that might come as a surprise in a trailer at this price point. 

What I liked when I sat in this trailer is that there is a shoe rack right at the door and, despite the diminutive size of the trailer, there is an open feel to it. This is a similar floor plan to my own trailer except mine has a Murphy bed (different brand) and the little things Starcraft did to open up the interior of this trailer made a difference in how it felt. 

As with so many RVs nowadays, this trailer comes with a 12-volt compressor-based refrigerator with the gas/electric model being an option. I would be surprised if you could find a gas/electric fridge on any RV in 3-5 years. 

Since the entire width of the rear of the trailer is the bathroom, it’s quite spacious with lots of stretch-out room when sitting in the place where executive decisions tend to be made. There is also a nice-sized shower and a surprising amount of storage. One side of the room is a big cabinet. 

A disadvantage in a floor plan like this is the lack of counter space in the kitchen, which is true of our trailer as well. Our solution has been to bring along a plastic folding table that can raise to counter height – but you’re not going to be able to do this here since the bed is always down. 

That also means that, other than the dinette, there is no place to sit inside this trailer. Well, and the toilet I guess. 

Trailers like this are a great choice for some people. They’re relatively inexpensive, offer pretty decent features and can open up the door to the RV lifestyle for someone who may not have a large tow vehicle or even want to spend a lot of money. I’ve also found a lot of people who got sick of huge, cumbersome RVs were downsizing and re-discovering smaller rigs like this one. 

Starcraft Autumn Ridge 182RBAnother plus of a rig this size is that, if you do tow it with a mid-size pickup, you only take up two tandem parking spaces – which means stops at the grocery store are no problem and, with no slides, you have full access to the trailer when it’s parked. This is one of the many things we like about the size of our rig. 

I really like Starcraft’s interpretation of this floor plan as a usable design that offers a lot of good features for the money, which is also an advantage of traditional wood-framed trailers. For couples looking to get into RVing, this might be a good place to start your search. Or, it’s a good choice even for experienced couples who want a very usable but compact design that allows you to camp in places off-limits to larger RVs. 


Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


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Roger Spalding
2 years ago

I applaud Starcraft for its imagination and novel approach to small RVs. The full bath and permanent bed (with apparent night stands) bear recognition. A folding chair helps with seating areas. You didn’t mention A/C, TV or any prep for them. Small and cozy quickly turns into a prison cell if there’s no A/C at 95°F. The carrying tanks are a little small as well. Carrying 5 gallon water jugs, and plastic wheelbarrow type black and grey tanks in the tow vehicle are imperfect solutions. It seems the Starcraft is destined to a life of park hookups. Still, a good expose`, Tony.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

You make “no floor heater registers” sound like a plus. Is that what you mean? Where then, does the heat come from?

“I would be surprised if you could find a gas/electric fridge on any RV in 3-5 years.” Is the 12-volt compressor-based refrigerator basically like the humongous 120 volt ac fridges coming in many motorhomes and 5’ers these days, only running on dc?

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