What can I tow with my SUV or mid-sized pickup? What’s a small camper for just me and my pups? I get these questions a lot and I’ve been curious about the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 14CC for some time. Then my buddy Josh Winters goes and does a video on one, so I had to check it out.
This trailer weighs in at under 3,000 pounds dry weight, with a hitch weight of about 400 pounds dry and a gross weight of 3,900 pounds. So this little single-axle trailer could be a really good option for a number of people who only need two beds but want a dry bath. In fact, Josh said it best: this is a pickup camper but on wheels.
Regular readers of this daily RV review column might know that I travel in a small travel trailer myself. Several times on my most recent journey, this was the reason I was able to get a spot at the last minute. From boondocking sites to camping overnight at breweries (priorities, folks, priorities) to crashing in friends’ driveways to getting a full hook-up campground in one of their smaller spaces on the same day, having a small camper has never been a disadvantage to me and has often been an advantage.
The one thing I will say is that smaller campers have almost the same deleterious effect on your fuel mileage as larger trailers. Am I crazy? Yes, but the biggest factor in fuel economy with RVs isn’t as much weight as their complete lack of aerodynamics. Once you’ve reached about 50 miles per hour, what’s really cutting into your fuel economy isn’t the weight of the rig. It’s how difficult it is to shove (or drag) the trailer through the air.
Better mileage with smaller trailer?
Buying a smaller trailer isn’t necessarily going to result in appreciably better fuel mileage.
However, this is a narrower trailer at seven feet in width. That could be helpful in towing as you’ve simply reduced what’s referred to as the frontal area. There’s just less of it, making this easier to tow.
The grand tour of the Cherokee Wolf Pup
One of the things I really like about this model is that it does have a dry bath. How that’s accomplished is a little different.
The entry door to this is at the rear. So going into the camper on your right, or the camp side, is a closet with a toilet. That’s all there is, period.
On the left side of the Cherokee Wolf Pup is the shower room. In that shower room is a sink – but you have to use the showerhead to get water to the sink. Fortunately, they have placed a shower head holder over the sink. RV shower heads have push-button on and off. So, in theory, this might result in your using less water as it’s just easier to shut off the flow when brushing your teeth.
Next up is a 12-volt compressor fridge. Cherokee includes a 50-watt solar panel when you have this installed. However, I just don’t see 50 watts as doing anything more than being a battery tender. With the greater affordability of solar panels nowadays, I would expect something more than this if you’re going to try to compensate for a 12-volt fridge, honestly.
The galley in the Wolf Pup
The galley on this camper is the next thing down the line on the road side, with a two-burner flush-mount propane cooktop. There’s a smaller sink next to that in the pressed membrane countertop, and then a bit of prep space. There’s a cover for the sink made of the same material as the countertop. Combined with the glass top on the stove, you get this space for prep before cooking. But it’s not a huge kitchen.
There is cabinet space below the sink and above. But there are absolutely no drawers in the Cherokee Wolf Pup whatsoever. In fact, Cherokee products are known for their comically deep drawers under the dinette. But there are no drawers there, either.
It would be possible to get one of those Rubbermaid drawer cabinets and stick it in one of the cabinets under the sink, perhaps, to solve the drawer issue. And then you can get what suits you and might make load in/load out easier.
Lots of widows in the Cherokee Wolf Pup
Since I brought up the dinette, there it is on the camp side in the glow of an absolutely huge (for the size of the camper) window. This window and all the glass in this camper really open it up and make the space brighter. However, on that note, the all-glass entry door has a window at the top that is thin shade ready. But when that window is in the space you’re sleeping in, as is the case in a camper of this size, I wish it were thin shade outfitted.
I bet a thin shade will be the first thing you get on Amazon after your first camping trip! Well, add an Oxygenics shower head to that order, as well. You’ll thank me later.
The dinette features two knee-knocker table pedestal legs. The table can be dropped down to make sleeping for one person. This camper might make sense if you have a junior ranger who comes with you occasionally.
Lastly, the bed in the Cherokee Wolf Pup is an RV queen-sized bed facing east-west. There’s a shelf over on the road side of this for medical devices or digital noise makers. And there are windows on either side for a nice cross-breeze. Fortunately, Cherokee isn’t following the trend of putting windshields in their trailers. I just don’t think they make sense.
One of the things the Cherokee line offers is a control panel that features all your controls in an easy-to-understand fashion. But it also implements Lippert’s Total Control system which enables you to use your smartphone to manage many of these functions as well. This is a pretty high-end feature in a camper at this price point.
But wait, there’s more! Cherokee is also including the backup camera in this unit, as well. It operates through the same Total Control system. That means that the phone that’s likely already in your tow vehicle that’s mounted to your dash – even though you’re not supposed to have it there – is also your backup camera.
Compared to most backup cameras, I like this much better. That’s because you’re not trying to find one more spot to put a screen on your dash board that also blocks the view out the front windshield of the tow vehicle. This is my favorite RV backup camera solution, period.
Overall, this is a nifty little camper. Its narrow body and light weight make it a good choice for some people who simply don’t want a larger camper or can’t tow a larger trailer. The entry door at the rear means this could almost serve as a toy hauler of sorts, able to stow a bicycle, perhaps, or other adventure gear.
I also like that Cherokee has valve stem covers on the tires that show green when the inflation pressure is correct and red when it’s not. Since a lot of RV tire failures happen because of improper inflation, this is a good safety measure.
Considering that, according to the NADA guide, the average retail of this unit is about $20,000, there’s a lot of value here. Plus, who doesn’t love getting a spot at a campground that those with triple slide fifth wheels will be turned away from. And I believe a neener, neener applies here.
Thank you to Josh Winters from Haylett RV for use of the photographs.
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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Have you tried out the “Black Label” version and do you think the upgrades are worth it?
“widow” or window???
Good grief! Thanks, Jules. I can’t believe that’s been “out there” for a week and no one said anything about it. It’s been corrected. Have a great day! 🙂 –Diane
We love ours.. Dealer knew NOTHING about it and was wrong about what they thought they knew. Solar does not run the frig for long term as told. Unit cheaply put together. Forest River/Cherokee UNRESPONSIVE to our inquiries via email and voicemail. Aside from it all… this is perfect for us. Our tow vehicle is a 2021 Jeep Gladiator and it does a great job.
I love the rear enter, but I see a problem with it. Having camped when there’s been a storm, a cover over the entry is detrimental. As mentioned by Josh, you could use a pop up canopy, but wait,I have yet to find one tall enough to be able to go over the door so a person won’t get soaked when going in or out during a storm. Yes, you do need to go in or out during a storm, especially if the dog needs to go out or if you need to give shelter to family camping with you in tents & they get flooded. So yes, the rear door does need some type of awning (with optional side panels) to protect from rain &/or direct sun (if door is East-West when camping)
Some spots I have been camping in a rear door could be a problem.
What? Original thinking in a camp-trailer floor plan? Isn’t that illegal? 😀
Not really illegal, but you don’t get to hang with the cool people.