Thursday, September 21, 2023


RV Review: 2022 Cherokee Alpha Wolf 28FK – A new floor plan

I have two friends who have a Rockwood Mini Lite 2516S, which is a front kitchen model where the bathroom effectively bisects the trailer. So when Josh Winters sent the heads-up that Forest River’s Alpha Wolf, part of the Cherokee family, built its own version of this, I had to take a look. 

Alpha Wolf 

Alpha Wolf is part of Forest River’s Cherokee family and is the top of that line. While many of the offerings in the Cherokee family are wood-framed and metal-skinned, the Alpha Wolf is not. Sort of. Instead, the wall construction on these is a 2”-thick laminated structure using aluminum framing. Now, the nose, roof and floor still incorporate wood and the laminate for the walls features a Luan substrate, as opposed to man-made Azdel. 

Cherokee in general offers a lot of value in their products with features that you might expect to be upgrades or options at the price point its models occupy. There are also a lot of details in these that I like quite a bit. Those include larger ovens, high-performance vent fans, no heater vents in the floors and other details that I think offer actual benefit. 

These also feature a heated and enclosed underbelly and relatively thick walls. 

Cherokee is also known for their Zebra shades. They allow you to choose how much of the light is blocked and how much is let in. Friends who have these have reported that they do like them and they work as promised. 

For 2022, Cherokee in general has upgraded its inside control panel to be a hybrid type model. This panel has a button for every function, as trailers have had for many years. But you can also link it to your smartphone and use Bluetooth to operate much of the functionality. This is the best of both worlds, to me. 


Another change for 2022 is the fact that these trailers come with a 50-watt solar panel on the roof and a 12-volt DC compressor-based refrigerator. 

Now kids, let’s think about this. Fifty watts of solar is not, by any stretch, going to operate that fridge. Period. The one thing it’s good for, and this is quite useful, is being a battery tender while this trailer is in storage. 

However, with any solar you need a device called a charge controller. That essentially prevents the solar panel from overcharging the battery and blowing it up, which would be sad. The good thing about the way this solar system was set up is that the charge controller can accommodate up to 500 watts of solar panels. 

So, if you’re a big-time boondocker, 50 watts of solar is almost a joke. But 500 watts of solar is plenty for almost anything but running the AC in this trailer. Thus, you only have to buy and connect the panels. 

If you never go boondocking, you at least have enough solar to keep the battery from dying – and that’s a good thing too. If most, but not all, your camping is done in RV parks, you can fire up that fridge and then connect to your tow vehicle. That’ll keep it running until you go plug into the park. So 50 watts isn’t as silly as I had originally thought. 

Further, if boondocking isn’t your thing, you’re not paying for solar you’re never going to be able to take advantage of. 

Alpha Wolf 28FK

This floor plan features the kitchen across the front counter. That’s why my friends bought the competing Rockwood model. This actually is a slick kitchen, with a large counter, up there. 

Alpha Wolf adds to the design with a bamboo cutting board that doubles as the stove’s backsplash and is held in place with magnets. I like this arrangement. There’s also a nicely sized sink and plenty of drawers and cabinet space. 

One thing, though. I usually think windshields in travel trailers and fifth wheels are silly. But this is the one exception and, here, there isn’t a windshield. However, there are three electrical outlets with both 120vac and 12vdc, so you have plenty of places to plug things in. 

Above the kitchen counter are cabinets along the roof which are useful. However, the doors flip up and there is no method to hold these open. I think a far better solution would be to have these swing from the sides or put in some form of strut or something. Heck, my 1970 Aristocrat even has a mechanism to keep top-hinged cabinets open – so this isn’t a new idea. 

Add to this that there’s a big pantry right at the front door, and storage isn’t an issue here. 

Alpha Wolf also is known for the looooooooong drawers underneath the dinette. The U-shaped dinette here features those. There’s also a couch in here facing the electric fireplace. In addition, there are provisions for attaching a TV – but the company doesn’t include one. 

I think this is smart, too, as many people trade up their TV, so you just get what you want. Or get none, which would be me. Yep, I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t have a TV. 

Road mode

One of the nifty things about this floor plan is that it can be fully used in road mode. There are two slides on the road side of this rig. When the front slide is in you can still get to the kitchen and pantry. 

There is a bedroom slide as well and, with that in, you can still get to the bathroom in the middle. While you can’t get from the kitchen to the bathroom without opening the front slide, I give this a pass as you can use almost everything in here with the slide rooms closed. 

Sleep tightly

The back bedroom in this features an RV queen in a slide room and, unfortunately, you literally can’t get a bigger bed in unless you never close the slide room. With everything buttoned up, the bed tucks under the wardrobe on the other side. But Josh had a terrific idea in his video on how to overcome that limitation. 

Basically, get a cushion to fit between the mattress and the wall so you effectively extend the mattress. This would be under the pillows so you wouldn’t feel the split at all. Pretty good idea. 

You can use the bed with the slide in as long as you don’t run in your sleep and kick the mirrored doors on the cabinet. 

In summary

This is a good floor plan and friends who have them really like them. The one challenge is that there isn’t a lot of outside storage in this unit. But I know how Forest River can fix this. Put a baggage door behind the wall section of the U-shaped dinette. You can also add one that goes under the bed in the slide. This would open up that space to the outside, which would make it far more useful. 

The lack of exterior space might turn off some prospects but it’s not a huge deal and there is a lot of space inside that you just can’t get to from the outside. 

But this is a good and usable floor plan that might be a great couple’s camper. I’m curious if you think that the plethora of plugs on the front wall is better than having a windshield up there. 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long 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 a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

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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Usable with slides in
Front kitchen
Outside storage
Flip-up kitchen cabinets


Cherokee's Alpha Wolf 28FK is a new floor plan that features a front kitchen and is a usable floor plan even with the slides in.
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.


  1. With a dry weight of over 6500 and only 2 3500 pound axles, it doesn’t allow any extra weight capacity for added gear, ie. Dishes luggage, food, propane, water for flushing while on the road. Its typical forrest river under engineered junk. The axles are woefully undersized for a trailer that size, then you add 2 slides on 1 side and you have overloaded the tires on the side with the slide outs and they will prematurely wear out. Educate yourself before you buy. I wish someone would have pointed these things out to me before my purchase

    • Remember about 15% of a travel trailer’s weight is intended to be on the tow vehicle. That means that the 7,000lb axles are about right all things considered.

      I am a big fan of not reaching capacity on any aspect of any vehicle so having the trailer at max capacity on the axles is not my ideal situation but it’s also pretty typical in this field.

  2. Not only is the freshwater tank woefully small, the oven is as well. Sometimes, it would be nice for a Forest River oven to be big enough to hold more than a frozen pizza. It doesn’t need to accommodate that 35 pound Thanksgiving turkey; but a 3 lbs. meat loaf would be nice. Is 60 gallons of freshwater and a 22 or 24 inch oven asking too much?

  3. The floor plan shows “removable and adjustable steps”. What’s up with that? Who removes their steps? They appear to be just the new but not so great fold up stairs. And a grey tank way larger than the fresh tank. We’re seeing this a lot and I don’t understand it.

    • If you put on a permanent site, you might build a deck on it and this would let you do away with the stairs. I know and have seen plenty of campers that do this.

      • You’re right about the deck builds, but then you are no longer camping. You’re ‘living’ there. We see this in an RV park down in Houston where we go a couple of time a year for med reasons. These folks aren’t going anywhere!

  4. Loooooonnngg drawers but no drawer glides?
    Also, why do manufacturers continue to put in open cubbies in their units? These trailers go down the road, up hills, and around corners. We need drawers in, or doors on these open spaces to keep items secured.

  5. Actually a front kitchen makes sense when you think about how the rear of a trailer bounces while traveling. My first 5th wheel had a rear kitchen and after the first short 30 mile trip to the closest state park my wife opened the cabinets to prepare the evening meal and everything was a mess. She went shopping the next day and purchased several couch type pillows to hold everything in the cabinets in their place while traveling. The front of the trailer is the smoothest riding area of the trailer as the truck and trailer suspension is supporting that area, the back is like riding a teeter totter with a heavier person on the other end.


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Cherokee's Alpha Wolf 28FK is a new floor plan that features a front kitchen and is a usable floor plan even with the slides in. RV Review: 2022 Cherokee Alpha Wolf 28FK – A new floor plan

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