It’s really fun to look at things like the $7.7 million Volkner Performance S with its Bugatti. But there are a lot more of us for whom the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS trailer might be more along the lines of what would fit in our budgets. This isn’t even something to be sad about. The Cherokee line has done a really good job with these little trailers.
Forest River’s Cherokee line of travel trailer is what is referred to as “stick-and-tin” type trailers. This is a traditional way to build trailers where the framing is all done in wood and the exterior skin is a corrugated aluminum design.
What I like about the way the Cherokee brand handles this is that almost all the exterior decoration is painted on, like in a high-end motorhome. The way they’ve gotten around the entire side seeming like a giant slab is by painting some of the panels blue or black and the majority of them silver.
That means that the exterior has a tastefully (to me) stylish look. And it won’t fade and crack long before the loan payments stop. There are a few stickers including the branding stickers. But it’s not like most RVs where it’s swooshes and swirls. Maybe this is one of the reasons I sold so many Cherokee trailers.
Another thing I like about the exterior of these trailers is that the nose material is a thicker aluminum skin rather than a fiberglass mold with stickers. There are other “stick-and-tin” trailers, most notably the Jayco models, where the nose material is corrugated like the rest of the exterior. I believe this smoother surface on the Cherokee is just better suited to towing.
The company also uses a control panel that integrates with the Lippert OneControl system. It enables owners to either use the traditional switches on the panel or an app on your smartphone or tablet to control many of the functions in this trailer.
That ability to accommodate whatever style a camper might prefer is really a good thing, to my way of thinking.
The Cherokee Wolf Pup has a camera at the back
Cherokee is also including cameras at the back of these trailers for 2022 that integrate into that Lippert OneControl app. You can actually see what the camera is seeing on your phone. That means it’ll work as a security camera at the campground or as a backup camera.
I’ve been told that the refresh rates, in other words how often the camera refreshes the image on your phone, is rather slow. So it’s not the best backup camera. But it is included with these trailers and it works with your phone. That means one fewer screen on your tow vehicle’s dashboard compared to having a dedicated camera.
Another thing I like about the Cherokee brand is the fact that the valve stem covers on the tires have indicators on them that reflect the tire inflation pressure. A green tip means the tire is properly inflated, a yellow means it is improperly inflated, and red means things are significantly off. It is a simple yet inexpensive way to handle a significant safety issue.
I also like that the wall sections inside use a plastic “T” connector instead of using wall board trim. It might seem like a little thing, but I have replaced probably a mile of seam tape and it’s nice that there isn’t any in this trailer.
What is Black Label?
I already wrote that the Cherokee brand is a traditional “stick-and-tin.” But they offer an upgrade, if you believe it to be, which replaces that corrugated aluminum skin with a higher gloss fiberglass skin. So this is still a wood-framed trailer, but it just looks different.
That Black Label outfitting includes magnetic baggage door hold-backs and also frameless windows. I really like the frameless windows, but there are some who argue that they don’t permit as much air flow. To counter this, Cherokee also includes a high-performance fan inside. It happens to be in the bathroom of this particular model.
There are some material and color upgrades inside, as well, to reflect an overall upgraded model.
The thing that surprised me the most on the 2022 models is the new shower head. It offers multiple surfaces from which is sprays water. This is a pretty fancy shower fixture in a trailer at this price point.
I had mentioned that the traditional Cherokee models have almost no stickers on the outside. However, this is not true of the Black Label models. While I like the mountain scene graphics on the outside of these trailers, they are stickers.
The Black Label models are a bit heavier than their traditional aluminum-skinned counterparts.
What about the Cherokee Wolf up 16BHS?
As you might expect with this being the 16BHS, this is a bunk house model. That means that there are two single bunks in the back of the trailer.
The lower bunk has a bonus feature in that there’s a door to the outside of the bunk and that bunk flips up. When you’re on your way to or from the campsite you can use that space to hold the kids’ bicycles or other adventure gear.
But if you don’t have kids, this floor plan makes sense as you can use it for your own adventure gear. If you took out the lousy mattress for the upper bunk, that, too, could be storage for stuff. Some totes would make accessing that space with “stuff” a really easy thing to do.
What’s not to like?
When you consider the price of this trailer and how much it comes with, it’s pretty easy to see why they sell so many of these.
I know there are going to be people who find the fact that the “sink” in the bathroom is a corner sink inside the shower to be a big inconvenience. But this is a pretty small trailer and that’s a smart way of doing two things in one space.
Also, Cherokee includes a “Juice Pack” when you get these with the 12-volt refrigerator. Frankly, that’s just not enough solar. Sure, it might be a battery tender if the refrigerator is turned off. But that’s the best you can hope for. Keystone has included 200 watts of solar with their trailer, and this is one area I’d like to see Cherokee step up.
Considering the price of this camper, you really do get a lot of value. There are also some really nice features like the MAXXAIR fan and that really, really fancy shower head. Overall, I can see why Cherokee sells so many of these trailers, especially in the more pedestrian model (as opposed to the fancier Black Label edition). There’s a lot of value here.
My thanks to Josh Winters from Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, for use of his photos. You can also watch Josh’s video review of this unit here.
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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