By Tony Barthel
One of the ways I find new RVs to share with you is with folks’ stories. So when someone claims to have found “the nicest travel trailer they’ve ever seen” – well, you know I’m going to take a look at that. Maybe it’s the nicest travel trailer I’ll ever see, too! In this case, the trailer was the Venture SportTrek ST271VMB. I’m curious if you think this is the nicest trailer you’ve ever seen.
I will tell you there were a couple of surprises that I liked in this one. How’s that?
I know I usually start inside, but let’s stick with the exterior to start. There is an outdoor kitchen – so that’s the first place we’ll look. Here you’ll notice that they have a slide-out-drawer type arrangement with the propane two-burner stove right under the refrigerator.
This kind of silliness makes me wonder if people who designed this ever have actually tried to use it. Now, there is a solution for a space of this configuration. I’ve seen a few trailers with hinged swing-out arms so the stove clears the refrigerator. As it is, you can either have the lid of the stove open or have the refrigerator door open, but not both at the same time.
How silly is that? At least there’s a little sink out here with hot and cold water.
There is a ladder at the back – implying that the roof is fully walkable. I also like the slam-latch baggage doors and magnetic catches. And there’s a motion-sensing light in the front baggage compartment.
I’ve been asked to pay more attention to the winter readiness of these trailers. For the Venture SportTrek I can say that the knife valves for the two gray tanks and the black tank are inside the heated and enclosed underbelly. There’s also a 2” receiver hitch at the back.
There are some really nice touches inside this rig, including the fact that there’s a closet right at the entry of the trailer toward the front. This is a great place to store your jackets and such – right by the door.
On the other side of the doorway under the kitchen counter is another cabinet space so there’s place to put things there. Furthermore, in the overhead cabinet is another space that has a safety lock box with space for keys. I have to give them credit, there’s more to tell about just at the door than in a lot of rigs.
I also like that the switches and control panel for everything are behind a door at the top of the cabinet toward the front of the rig. The reason for this is that the cabinet door hides all the little lights that can accompany these switches. It also puts these controls out of reach for some of the smaller travelers.
There’s new decor in these units. Also, the front bedroom is separated from the main living area with two sliding doors that have a barn door look. On the road side is yet another closet area with shelves.
You won’t be surprised too much by the bedroom details other than the space behind the two hanging closets on either side of the bed. Those spaces can hold books or tablets or even CPAP machines. There are both 120vac outlets and USB power outlets for each side as well. So you can leave the machines there if you choose.
This rig is wired for 50-amp service, so there’s an air conditioner in the bedroom as well as in the main cabin.
In the main cabin there is a large road-side slide
There you’ll find a dinette and a set of theater seats with heat and massage as well as both 120vac and USB power outlets. There’s also a bit of storage space above the theater seats. The table sits on two poles in the floor – so watch your knees.
On the camp side there is an “L”-shaped counter in which the rectangular sink along with a commercial-style sprayer faucet reside. On the leading edge of the “L” in the counter Venture hung a cutting board, which is just a nice touch.
They’re also using 100% Furrion appliances here. Those include a three-burner stove with 22” oven, microwave, vent hood and even a 12-volt DC compressor refrigerator. There are drawers and cabinets surrounding all of this.
Further back in the Venture SportTrek is a large flat-screen TV sitting above a space-heating electric fireplace. The cabinet above the TV is surprisingly deep and spacious. There’s also storage behind the TV. Also, the swing arm the TV is on allows it to be pointed at the dining area or just facing directly across from the theater seats.
I wonder how many of you have skipped to this section with that headline? Leave me a comment if you did – I’m curious.
The bath in the Venture SportTrek travel trailer is the full width of the unit in the back with a radius shower and porcelain foot-flush toilet. Off to the camp side is a walk-in closet – which is quite a surprise in a travel trailer. But, even more surprising, it’s actually plumbed for a washer-dryer.
The nifty thing here is that they put a sort of cabinet in this closet space so if you don’t use it for the washer-dryer, as I suspect will be the case with many RVers, then you can use it to just store things. But there are six screws that remove the cabinet, granting you access to the plumbing for the washer-dryer.
Another slick thing in the bathroom is the included LevelMate system. This lets you see how level the trailer is from your phone before you even get out of the tow vehicle. I really like that they’ve included this as it’s a nifty tool to help get things level.
Essentially what this does is transmit the state of level to your smartphone. So, as you’re backing in, you can see if moving forward or back a bit makes a difference in how level the trailer is sitting.
In a travel trailer you only have to worry about leveling it side-to-side when it’s on the tow vehicle. I like using the Camco curved levelers for this, as I can back the trailer until it’s level side-to-side which means I don’t even need an assistant.
Having the LevelMate would make this even easier.
Once a travel trailer’s wheels have been chocked, you then use the tongue jack to level it front to back. That’s why I wrote that you only have to worry about level side-to-side when it’s hooked up. I have literally timed myself from having the truck attached to the trailer to having a beer in my hand with the trailer leveled and chocked. When I rush the process, which isn’t difficult, this can be eight minutes.
So, what did you think of the two surprises on this trailer? I don’t know if this is my favorite trailer of all time, as it is in the original video I watched. But there are absolutely things about it that I like quite a bit.
But that’s also one of the nifty things about the RV business – my favorite things don’t have to be your favorite things. We can all sit around the dinner table together and be adults and not have to agree on everything.
Except swishy swirls. Them’s fightin’ words right there.
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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