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RV Review: 2022 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus 15DS – an affordable ‘unicorn’

Small camper. Dry bath. Affordable price. That’s not a combination you see very often, but it appears that the Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus 15DS is just that “unicorn” combination. RVtravel.com reader Steve H. asked me to look into this model, and it is indeed all those things. Not seeing much information out in the world, I realized I’m camping in Shipshewana several blocks from the factory. So I spoke with Jim Jacobs, the CEO of Braxton Creek. 

Braxton Creek is a small RV manufacturer located in Shipshewana, Indiana. At present they build two main lines, having started making small teardrop trailers and then moving into the Bushwhacker Plus series. It’s is a larger, more traditional travel trailer. 

If you’re into vintage trailers, the Bushwhacker Plus might almost be a “canned ham” trailer—but not quite. However, it is similar to something like an early rpod from Forest River. That model has been a huge success for that company. Braxton Creek is experiencing similar success with the Bushwhacker Plus. 

Highlights of the Bushwhacker Plus 15DS

There are things that I really liked in this small trailer, including the fact that the whole top of this is one large piece of fiberglass front to back. That explains the advantage of the teardrop or canned ham shape. To facilitate this, the air conditioner is mounted into the sidewall rather than on the roof. The AC the company is using is a 5,000 BTU wall-mount model. 

They also use a torsion axle suspension and feature high-performance vent fans. The front kitchen sports a two-burner stove and a smallish sink across the front. There’s a microwave below the counter surface and a cabinet. There are no drawers, but there is an open storage bin that runs the width of the top of the kitchen.

The 15DS has a proper dry bath with a separate shower. This is quite an accomplishment in a trailer of this size. 

The 15DS puts a 12-volt refrigerator on the camp side but still leaves space above that for a shelf and a cabinet. The very back of the trailer features two jackknife couches facing one another. Four people could legitimately sit here and enjoy a meal or have a game night. Windows on either side open for air flow. 

Surprising amount of space

In some ways this is almost a Tardis-like use of space. For a trailer of this size, there is a surprising amount of space in here. I had no issues standing up in most of the trailer, especially the bathroom and kitchen. 

In the model I saw, the raised shower deck meant that ceiling height was limited. But Jim Jacobs said that future models will have a skylight over the shower to alleviate this. I was in a prototype. 

My wife, Peggy, came with me on the tour and noticed that there is a lock on the bathroom door. That’s not something you see in RVs most of the time. I also liked the flexible shower door with integrated wiper. 

I also like how Braxton Creek does the sewer valves on this, which pull away from the camper. Many of these run parallel to the camper, which gives you an odd angle and little leverage. 

Observations

When you’re this far below the average market on price, some things have to give. That’s just normal.

In this case, there are no stabilizer jacks on the front of this trailer. I can imagine this might be one of the first things you’d want to add. Also, there’s just one propane bottle on this, which isn’t that big of a deal. But you’ll definitely want to keep a watch on propane levels because Murphy’s law dictates that you’ll run out in the middle of the coldest night and, with just one tank, there’s no switching over to the full one.

I will say I’ve seen more than a few comments in various places about the quality of some of the components on these trailers, primarily the wood in shelving and such. This could simply be a single individual’s observation, or it could be how the company can build such a well equipped trailer at this price point.

From what I saw, the wood and build materials were on par with the rest of the RV industry. I’m finding more and more first-time RVers are surprised at how things are built compared to regular passenger cars.

Summary

Overall this could be a great choice for a couple or a parent and child who want to get away now and then and have a nice way to do so. With an MSRP of about $20,000, that means dealerships may have them for much less than this—and that means a lot of value for the dollar. Since these are smaller, multiple units can be hauled to the dealership on one truck, thus lowering shipping costs, as well. Those have risen significantly. 


*****

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has an RV podcast with his wife, Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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!

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Steve
1 month ago

The dry bath, torsion axle, and 12v fridge are enough to sell me, Tony. I agree that this would make a great “weekender” for a young couple just getting started in RVing who already have a Honda CRV or Subaru Outback capable of towing 3,500#. Add a couple of 5#, 100w flexible solar panels the fit the roof curve and a single 35# lithium battery and you would have enough electricity and propane to just make it over that weekend. But no longer because you wil need to dump that tiny black tank after a couple of nights! Every RV has compromises, but I like the ones made in the Bushwacker + 15DS for the specific audience that they are aiming to attract.

Thanks for taking the time to visit Braxton Creek and for the review!

Warren G
1 month ago

Actually more counter space than many larger units.

Bob p
1 month ago

I presume the 2 couches make at least a double bed across the unit, an accidental omission I’m sure. I like the fact that the holding tank valves allow pulling out to the side. Our Mesa Ridge 23RLS has the black tank valve handle placed where it’s a hands and knees and pulling sideways toward the front of the trailer, a pain in the back side, the gray pulls out to the side like everyone else.

Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob p

The dinette make a 60″ x 74″ “RV queen*. Ie., too short for the average American male, but standard in the lower end lines of nearly every manufacturer. But then no one can fit an 80″ bed in a 81″ (6′ 9”) wide trailer

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