Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV review: 2021 Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL Destination Trailer

Tony Barthel
When I was selling RVs I think I only once saw what’s referred to as a “destination trailer.” It was interesting because these types of trailers aren’t like what many of us buy. Instead, they’re outfitted to basically stay in one place for long periods of time. In fact, many of them find a home and just never leave. As such, today we’re looking at the Forest River Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL. 

Why a destination trailer?

For those who want to put a trailer on a piece of land or add a second dwelling or just place one in an RV park for seasonal use, there are a number of advantages to using a destination trailer as opposed to a fifth wheel or travel trailer.

Destination trailers usually have fairly inexpensive wheels and tires and suspensions. Rather than the more elaborate suspensions you’ll find in many fifth wheels or travel trailers, these simple leaf spring suspensions and steel wheels just cost less than the aluminum wheels and more elaborate suspensions. There are also not things like the solid entry steps. 

The reasons for this include the fact that, oftentimes, these trailers make one trip to their final destination. Many times the entry steps get used once or twice and then never again as porches or decks are built as the entry point. So the built-in steps are just for those few times people go in and out until the porch can be completed. 

Inside out

The interiors are where these Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL trailers shine. Let’s be honest – for well under $100,000, these are as nice as many houses – nicer than some. This model is unusual in that you can sleep 10 people if they really like one another. Or it can just sleep five folks, two in the queen bed in the bedroom and the rest each with their own rather large mattress. 

The main entry to this unit is a sliding door like a patio door. As you walk in you’ll head left to get to the main living area. This is where the overwhelming impression is windows galore. 

The layout in the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL is much like what you’ll find in many fifth wheels. To the right as you enter the main living area is a short cabinet with a counter on top and cabinets up above. Next to that is a large residential refrigerator. In these destination trailers a residential refrigerator is usually what you’ll get. That’s because there is a general assumption that wherever these land there’s going to be power. 

The kitchen in the Wildwood Grand Lodge

Around the bend is a large, almost commercial-quality three-burner stove top above a very large residential-sized oven. Above this stack is a convection microwave. 

Since you have a potential of 10 folks to feed, there’s a large pantry and then the entertainment center. This has a large TV on top and an electric fireplace down below. 

Those people need a place to sit. That’s covered with a three-seat jackknife couch at the very rear – which folds open to become a bed. Two theater seats occupy the camp-side slide room and then a table and chairs. No booth here. If you’ve only counted nine seats your math is accurate, as someone has to stay standing and make sure the food keeps coming. Some vacation, eh? 

But that’s not necessarily the point of this trailer. In many cases these are the permanent residence for people. Sometimes it’s a destination trailer like a cabin in the mountains. In fact, this kind of thing is not at all unprecedented. Check out this two-story trailer from the 1950s. 

The boudoir

Before we get to the bedrooms of the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL, though, let’s take a look at the bathroom. It’s positioned under the first of two second-story bedrooms. Yes, second story. 

Because the bedroom is up on top of the bathroom, the bathroom’s ceiling has to be slightly lower. It is, but not to the point where it compromises headroom. 

There’s a seat in the shower, and the whole bathroom is nicer than some bathrooms in some houses that I’ve been to. It’s really a nice bathroom. However one odd thing about this bathroom is that it’s completely land locked. In other words, there are no windows to the outside world. There is a vent fan in the bathroom and there is a cover on that vent. Inside the bathroom is a convenient switch to open the vent cover and then a second one to turn the fan on. I can’t see youngsters caring a lick about this so I would be concerned about mold and such building up here. I wish there were just a fan that kicked on when you turn the light on in the bathroom and which exhausted out without having to switch a switch. 

Upstairs bedroom

Back on track, the first bedroom is the one above the bathroom. Essentially this is a large loft that overlooks the main living area. There are privacy curtains that could be drawn to offer solitude for whoever is occupying this. Additionally, there are wooden slats to keep you from rolling out – to the incredible surprise of whoever is in the space below. 

I could also see, if I were to occupy this space, that a Nerf gun would be an essential tool to attract attention to myself up in the bedroom over the bathroom. 

Headroom in this and the other bedroom are minimal. While you could sit up, that’s about it. There is some storage up here as well. However, it’s not the place to be if you’re not the most agile person, as you’ll be crawling into the beds. 

Also, let’s be honest about something. There are emergency escape windows but you’re probably 10’ off the ground. I would really recommend figuring out some sort of ladder arrangement so people don’t break bones jumping out these windows.

Master bedroom

The last bedroom is sort of the basement bedroom, as this trailer features a drop frame so the main bedroom is a few steps down. There is a good deal of storage in this bedroom and, again, windows galore. 

This model comes with a residential-sized queen bed, and that’s the better choice. 

The bed limits how far you can open the closet door where the washer-dryer would be. If you opt for the king bed, I don’t know if you could open the door far enough to even load the washer or dryer. 

Nice touches in the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL

When you look at what you get in this trailer, it’s really a great value. Compared to a fifth wheel with comparable interior amenities, this trailer is thousands of dollars less. For example, the furnishings and other fittings are of nice quality. In addition, there’s a central vacuum system, residential electric water heater and much more. 

Tank sizes may seem ludicrously small until you consider that the fresh water tank in this may never be used at all. These trailers are designed to stay in one place and be fully hooked to water. I’m not even sure why they put in a fresh water holding tank. Maybe there’s some rule about these being travel trailers if they have one and mobile homes if they don’t. 

Normally I’d ding a unit like this with small tanks but, in this case, it doesn’t affect the usability of the rig whatsoever. I might also make some mention of what can and cannot be accessed with the slide rooms in. But, again, it’s almost irrelevant here as this isn’t the kind of trailer you’re going to want to be able to stop at a roadside rest spot and grab a bite and hit the bathroom. 

But is it towable?

That being written, a lot of folks who buy these might not be able to tow them even with a 3/4 ton truck. But if this is the kind of trailer you’re interested in having at a destination and moving infrequently, if at all, there are companies who will gladly ship these for you. Whether you want it moved near or far, someone out there is willing to use their vehicle and move this wherever you want it to live. 

There are a lot of RVs that a lot of people would be interesting in. Then there are a number of units that serve a smaller market, like this one. But the same person who buys this probably is completely disinterested in the Kodiak Stealth from Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers that I reviewed yesterday and the owner of that trailer may not want this one. I’m just glad there’s something for everybody!

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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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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Donald N Wright (@guest_114588)
2 years ago

Perhaps a motion detector to turn on a small light and exhaust fan would be helpful. The more windows you have, the more you have to clean.

blll (@guest_114577)
2 years ago

I don’t know how 10 people, or more than 2 would be comfortable watching the tv. The only good visibility is from the 2 lounge chairs directly across from the tv. Typical bad design on most RV’s today for a decent view of the tv.

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