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RV review: 2022 Chinook Dream 259RB travel trailer

Today’s review is of the Chinook Dream 259RB, a “stick and tin” couple’s travel trailer that might seem pretty average at first—until you look deeper. 

Wait a minute, you say. Chinook? Didn’t they build those funky little Toyota-based motorhomes? Any relation? 

Actually, yes! Chinook is a small, independent RV manufacturer based out of Peru, Indiana, and they still make motorhomes. But the company is working to make a name for itself in travel trailers, too. How are they doing that? 

Build quality of the Chinook Dream

There are a lot of things I noticed on this trailer that were definitely above and beyond in the build quality department. 

First of all, wood-framed trailers with corrugated aluminum skins tend to be the most affordable models with the least content and features. So, building something that’s a step above might really stand out in this field. 

In some ways, Chinook absolutely does. 

This trailer starts with a Dexter E-Z Flex® suspension. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this used as standard equipment in a travel trailer. That’s a surprising upgrade, indeed.

The wood base for the trailer is also very different, being a 7/8-inch sheet of plywood. This is thicker than what is used in many higher-end trailers, fifth wheels and even toy haulers. Very surprising. 

The cabinetry and finish inside are also quite surprisingly upscale. Rather than everything stapled together, the cabinets are wood core, pocket screwed. The trim along the ceiling is also completely finished in, unlike any other stick-and-tin trailer I’ve seen. There are quite a few examples where Chinook has really gone above and beyond. 

The cabinets are sticker wrapped, which is pretty typical, but I really like the wood look that they’re using. It’s almost more like a cabin, and this appeals to me. 

What’s inside the Chinook Dream

This model is the same layout as others that we looked at a while ago. So the assumption is, same layout, same features. But nope. 

The first thing that’s unusual about this trailer is the back bathroom which takes the space that the bunks use in the company’s very similar 260BH. That’s a good amount of space and they make interesting choices on how to use it. 

Most notably, the bathroom here has two sinks. Not like some fifth wheels where there’s a counter with two sinks, this actually has two completely separate sink assemblies. This would be great for a couple who are both getting ready at the same time. The amount of space in the bathroom is huge for a travel trailer. 

But I wonder if it would have been better for them to just make more closet space rather than plumb in a second sink? Even so, there is a good amount of closet space in the back, so it’s not like you’ll be starving for storage. 

This also has a couch and a dinette in the main area. The type of galley is what you’d expect, with a three-burner stove and a gas-electric refrigerator. Also as you would expect, the couch and dinette both do double duty as beds. 

The bed in this is a shortie queen. But there are interesting tables on the side of the bed with flip-up lids. This is an interesting way of doing this. 

In summary

There are some things I didn’t like about this trailer, but nothing that is terrible. But, of course, there are floor vents for the furnace. 

There are not many windows on the camp side. There isn’t a window in the entry door, either. Also, not sure why they don’t put cabinets above the dinette, but they don’t. That’s pretty excusable considering how much closet space there is in the bathroom. 

Chinook’s website needs improvement

Sometimes I think I keep beating a dead horse, but the company’s website almost couldn’t be worse, to me. If you’re a small company working to make a name for yourself, wouldn’t a great website be part of that? Maybe with floor plans, photos, that sort of thing. 

As it is, I stole stills from Josh’s video (see below) as the only way to get interior shots of this rig. Come on, Chinook. As they roll off the end of the assembly line, get your doggone iPhone and take some pictures and then go get a website with something like Squarespace. As easy as it is nowadays, there is literally no excuse for a lousy web presence. If a ding dong like me can build a good website, almost anybody can. 

Good things in the Chinook Dream

Chinook has some good things to offer in this trailer, but they seriously need to get with it so more folks know what they’re up to. Wouldn’t we all love to know the MSRP for this unit, or even see a floor plan illustration? Well, we found a tiny floor plan in their online brochure, but that was it. I told you their website was lousy.

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 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.

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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Build quality
Huge bathroom
Few camp-side windows
Lack of consumer information

SUMMARY

Chinook is a name you might associate with vintage tiny RVs of the 1970s but the company is still here and makes travel trailers like this Chinook Dream 265RB. But there is a distinct lack of information available so the company really needs to step up its game if it wants to compete with the big leagues.

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Jay
5 months ago

The lack of windows is a deal breaker. The shortie mattress is also disappointing. The Dexter ez flex is a great feature. I am installing that on my Jayco next month. The wall separating the bedroom is not necessary in a couples trailer. The large bathroom is also wasted space. We like a rear dining trailer because you get a nice big window in the back and on the sides so the natural light is fantastic. This looks like a decent trailer but not a good fit for us.

Megan Edwards
5 months ago

To me no window in the door just makes the units look cheap. . Glad you brought this up because I have been noticing this on units a lot lately.

wanderer
5 months ago

Kudos for highlighting better build quality. We need all of those designs we can get.

Vanessa
5 months ago

Photos presented are of several different configurations. Looks like the only way to get into the bed is to climb in from the foot…what’s with the long “counter” beside the bed?

Hube Choen
5 months ago

It would be nice if there was a large slide out for this model with large windows. Window views are very important to see what is going on outside: Especially during rainy weather.

Jeb
5 months ago

Has to be the blandest interior I have seen.

Scott
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeb

I agree…the strips look strange along with a very plain look inside

RV review: 2022 Chinook Dream 259RB travel trailerChinook is a name you might associate with vintage tiny RVs of the 1970s but the company is still here and makes travel trailers like this Chinook Dream 265RB. But there is a distinct lack of information available so the company really needs to step up its game if it wants to compete with the big leagues.

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