Sometimes I want to give a co-author byline on some of these reviews as you all are so good at finding things I hadn’t seen out there. Then I take that experience, hunt down as much information as I can and try to tell the most accurate story I can about an RV.
For example, the 2021 Venture Stratus SR231VRB travel trailer that Frank H. clued me in on. This is a small but really well-organized travel trailer. It weighs in at about 5,300 pounds but offers a really usable interior.
Thor’s Venture division has their Stratus line as sort of a mid-priced, mid-size travel trailer. As such there are some nice touches – but it’s not too pricey. It’s kind of a middle of the road travel trailer.
Among those unusual touches include the availability of multiple colors for the exterior. While many RVs are available in just one color, you can get the Venture Stratus in one of four: red, white, blue or gray. The company also talks about using Lamilux as an exterior finish, so you don’t see the fibers in the fiberglass as well.
Another thing the company speaks to in their videos is the insulation they provide in a relatively lightweight travel trailer. The ceilings are double-insulated with thermofoil as well as batten fiber insulation, as are the floors. And, on the subject of ceilings, the company uses a PVC roof membrane that carries a 15-year warranty.
Heat directed to tanks and gate valves in the Venture Stratus
The tanks and gate valves are also enclosed in the underbelly. That has heat directed into it when you’re using the furnace. I like the fact that the gate valves are included in this thinking. I’ve seen RVs with heated underbellies and then exposed valves. Guess what freezes first?
There is a full 50-cubic feet of storage space in the front pass-through storage on this model. That space is lighted with a motion sensor light.
Another thing they speak to is that the corner stabilizer jacks are installed at a 45° angle to the chassis. While Venture says this makes for a more stable feel when the rig is parked, I have no personal experience to either verify or debunk this claim.
I can say that a rack on the back capable of holding 200 pounds is very useful for carrying things like a generator or the kids’ toys. But being a couples’ unit the generator is probably a more likely sight.
Lastly, Venture’s Stratus line includes the LevelMate PRO leveling system. This essentially connects to your smartphone and lets you know when the trailer’s level. Since, on a travel trailer, you don’t have to worry about level front-to-back as you’re backing into a site, this makes the process really easy. Once you’re unhooked, you can use the tongue jack to level the trailer front to back and lower the corner stabilizers. Nice!
What really floated my boat was the layout of the interior. In a 23-foot-long trailer, there is a lot of usable space in here and several almost definable spots.
I write this as I consider what our next trailer is going to be. Part of the consideration is having a place to write RV reviews, obviously a place for the bathroom, sleeping quarters and then a place to eat. While, obviously, all of these are in one space (except the bathroom!), in this trailer I do like that the different spaces just feel like individual spaces.
For example, there are Thomas Payne theater seats in the slide room. So this could be where you have movie night or even get some work done. There’s a breakfast bar as well. And, of course, there’s the bed – although I wish they had put a curtain or some way to segregate this space more definitively.
Dry bath with glass door
As you step inside, there’s a pantry directly to the left of the entry door, the first of two. Further along the back, the dry bath incorporates a corner shower with a glass radius door. Different people have expressed varying feelings about these to me. Some love the residential feel; others are concerned about the glass. They’re pretty common, but I recently had a friend’s shower door break in transit, so this is front of mind for me.
Around the corner before you get to the road-side slide there is yet another little storage space.
In the slide is a 10-cubic-foot gas-electric refrigerator. You have a choice of what shares that space with the fridge – either a U-shaped dinette or theater seats.
Please note: Even Venture has two different floor plans shown on their website. One that correlates with the company’s video, one that is used as their mai image. We are fully aware of this discrepancy which stems from ongoing changes to production.
Theater seats or more storage?
Usually my personal bias here is toward the theater seats, and these are the Thomas Payne variety with heat and massage, so they arguably have higher-grade upholstery.
But Venture includes long sliding storage totes that fit under the dinette – and who doesn’t need more storage?
Across from the slide room is the galley, where there’s the usual RV three-burner stove and 17” oven.
Below the solid-surface countertops are four drawers. The cabinet space below the sink is almost completely devoid of plumbing (it’s there but not very intrusive) so it could absolutely be the place to keep a garbage can.
Yet more storage in the Venture Stratus
Furthermore, the counter takes a bend and is raised up to form the aforementioned breakfast bar. Under that? More storage. Storage isn’t much of a problem in this trailer, relatively speaking. Plus, as you might expect, there are cabinets above the galley as well.
The bed is a proper 60” X 80” queen-sized bed with, you guessed it, more storage underneath.
But what I like is that there is space behind the closets on either side of the bed for your noisy toys or a CPAP machine with plugs to accommodate those. Then there’s another space below this for a book or whatever. It’s a great use of this space.
As a couple’s camper this is going to be one that stands out to me as having a terrific floor plan along with way-above-average storage. There are also good, usable features like the LevelMate PRO and those little storage cubbies by the head of the queen-sized bed. Lastly, there is a decent amount of liquid storage on board so I could see this easily being able to accommodate 4-5 days of boondocking with two showers per person per day.
The bigger challenge, to me, is deciding between the U-shaped dinette and getting even more storage – or being heated and massaged in theater seats. I don’t think an intelligent discussion nor a number of coin flips might help my wife and I choose between the two.
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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