By Tony Barthel
A friend of mine has no kids and no dogs, but still bought a bunk model trailer. When I asked him why, he pointed out how he had removed the mattresses and used the bunk area for storage. When someone recently asked me about a very affordable small travel trailer, one of the units I thought they should look at was the Wildwood FSX 178BHSK.
This is a slick little trailer that can sleep up to eight people, though I doubt that you’d want to. It’s also quite towable and even offers a decent outside kitchen and legitimate dining/sitting space for all the people it can sleep. It’s a great little package.
An odd start
While I like to write these reviews starting with things I like or highlights, in this case I’m going to start with some things I presume people are going to pick apart. And they’re legitimate.
The Wildwood FSX 178BHSK is a 7 1/2-foot-wide trailer with a folding main sleeping area. In other words, this isn’t the trailer to get if mom and dad like privacy. There is no provision to separate any of the sleeping areas. So if you are using this for family travel, I would imagine it would be better suited for families with little ones.
Secondly, on the same subject, the main sleeping area is an east-west bed that folds in the middle. Back to the first point that this is likely for younger folk who are more nimble and able to crawl over one another in the middle of the night. Or, oh my gosh, don’t even have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Lastly, there’s only a two-burner stove inside and no oven at all. If you’re a weekend warrior and you can preplan your meals, and you travel more when the weather is decent, this likely won’t be a problem. Wildwood has significantly improved the counter top on this. There’s a large sink with covers that match the solid surface counter top. Plus, the stove top is glass and is flush with the counter as well. You could literally be the microwave chef and have planned most of your meals before you leave.
And now the good
There is a tremendous amount of good in the Wildwood FSX – even though I started on a negative note. Based on talking to folks when I was selling trailers, some of those negatives are going to immediately disqualify this trailer from their shopping list. But there are also a ton of folks who will love this floor plan.
First of all, that Murphy bed (which Wildwood calls a Jiffy bed) is kind of neat in that it folds in half. This means there’s a couch just as you walk in. To the camp side of the bed/couch is hanging storage. Above the bed is a large cabinet that essentially extends the full width of the interior.
The Wildwood FSX has a slide room with a Jiffy bed
This trailer does feature a slide room and in that slide room, on the road side, is a large U-shaped dinette. This actually makes into a decent-sized bed, as well. I could see some folks preferring to use this over the Jiffy bed. Maybe.
The slide room in this has no carpet whatsoever. In fact, the spiffy herringbone vinyl flooring is the only flooring material – meaning this is a jiffy to keep clean. There are also cabinet doors under the dinette seats, so you could store totes or whatever suits you under there.
Across from the slide room and dinette is the galley with the aforementioned features. There’s a microwave overhead and an overhead cabinet. For 2021, Wildwood has gone with a 12-volt compressor-based refrigerator. This means you get 10.7 cubic feet of chill space.
Since this is a bunk model, the next thing we’ll come to are the bunks. The bottom bunk has storage underneath it and the base of the bed flips up. You could conceivably bring a bicycle or two even in a trailer of this size. The space under the bunk might also serve as sort of a pet kennel – if you have a pet that would appreciate that sort of thing.
There’s a small dry bath in the Wildwood FSX
A small dry bath rounds out the interior of this trailer – and it is even equipped with a sink. I’ve seen smaller trailers with smaller tubs and, while I don’t expect anyone to really bathe in a travel trailer, these are handy for very small kids’ baths. It’s also helps keep the younger ones from splashing a lot of water out when showering. This unit has a shower with a curtain. I would be concerned about getting the floor soaking wet depending on who’s using the shower.
A final note about the interior There are two ventilation fans in this trailer: one in the bathroom and one in the main living space. There is no vent hood and these are not high-performance fans, but it is easy enough to install one. Do so.
Outside there is a camp kitchen complete with a small refrigerator and a flat-top grill on a slide. The interior of the camp kitchen is finished in metal so you don’t worry about damaging it with hot pans and such. If this were my trailer I’d be likely doing most of my cooking outside on this griddle which is probably true of most owners. Though, who knows?
While I started with a negative, I actually really like the Wildwood FSX 178BHSK, especially at this price. I think it would make a lot of sense for a lot of people.
It should also be known that this trailer can be ordered either with a traditional, corrugated siding or a more smooth fiberglass siding as part of a “Platinum” package that also comes with chrome wheel caps and lug nuts. The pictures that were available are of the Platinum package model.
Lastly, also know that this model is not currently being shipped to California, Nevada, Arizona or New Mexico. So if you live in those states and want one of these, you’ll be hitting the highway and listening to podcasts on your way to a dealer that sells them.
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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