Oh man, oh man, oh man. I get a lot of requests where folks have an adventurous soul but a vehicle that isn’t so well-equipped for towing. But these same folks have stuff they want to bring along to share the adventure, which further complicates the formula.
Small. Lots of cargo space. Perhaps some larger holding tanks. And make it light. Throw in a dry bath and you’ve got me sold.
I have found the unicorn that these people might just love, the Coachmen Apex Remote 16R. There is so much right with this model that I’m pretty excited to share it with you all.
Apex Remote 16R
First of all, you might see on the link I’ve provided to Coachmen’s website that it shows the Apex Nano 16R. But then you see the photos from my friend Josh at Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, and they read, “Apex Remote.” What gives?
Well, apparently Coachmen changed the name of this little guy somewhere along the line. So you would think it might take some time, like 1 minute, to go to their website and update that. But, you see, this is Forest River’s miserable website. So I would imagine whatever programmers from the 1990s have control over this backwards clunker, it makes it difficult to update so customers actually know what they’re getting.
There’s a lot in the Apex Remote
Oh, well. At least the product people have it nailed, and there’s a lot wrapped up in this small package that’s worth looking at.
For example, this is a 7-foot-wide trailer, which means that many vehicles like the new Ford Ranger or some Jeep Wrangler models that are properly outfitted to tow this won’t have to go and get outfitted with fancy towing mirrors. It’s never a bad idea to do so, but you don’t necessarily have to.
I like the fact that this is built with laminated sides that feature Azdel on the interior and exterior walls of the laminate. Also a good thing – it’s more sound-deadening, it’s waterproof, and it is just better than Luan in almost every way.
Use cases for the Apex Remote
But the best thing is the crazy number of use cases I can imagine for this trailer.
The configuration is such that there’s a dinette at the front and a bed at the back. Like all RV dinettes, this one folds down to become a bed. So now you have a bed at the front and one at the back.
If you go camping with a buddy, you each could have your own bed. So this is a great camper for hunters or adventurers. In fact, if you’re both mountain climbers you could easily tote your climbing gear and also each have your own bed.
If you’re a single parent, bring the little one along. Again, each with your own bed.
Store your gear via the half-door at the back
If you need a way to get kayaks or bicycles or any other adventure gear to where the adventure is, this trailer features a half-door at the back and a flip-up rear bed. So you can easily load in those adventure thingamabobs. Heck, this would even be a nifty rig for the upcoming ski season, as your skis or snowboards will easily fit in here.
That back door is pretty slick. The rear bed platform folds up, the mattress folds in half, and you have almost completely unrestricted access to the full length of this little camper for your stuff. Since the table in the front dinette is free-standing, you can tuck it out of the way when your stuff is in transit.
When you get to where the adventure is but it’s time to call it a night, there’s a really slick gear tie that’s attached to the frame of this camper. That way your adventure gear doesn’t go on its own unplanned (by you) adventure.
More inside the Apex Remote
For a camper of this size, there’s actually a decent-sized fridge at 6 cubic feet. But you get one choice: a gas-electric absorption fridge. A lot of campers still prefer these, and they are great for boondocking.
Also in the galley there’s a two-burner stove and a round bowl sink. The microwave is right at crotch level below the counter.
Across from the galley is the bathroom. It doesn’t have a sink but it does have a proper shower and toilet. I’d much rather wash my hands in the kitchen sink than have a wet bath, if those were my choices.
Augmenting the indoor kitchen is an outdoor two-burner stove top inside a cabinet on the camp side. There’s a similar-sized cabinet on the road side that’s nothing but storage. There’s another storage cabinet on the camp side in the front. This has more outdoor storage than some much larger trailers.
While the RV industry is making a bunch of noise about boondocking, they’re not always doing a good job of making RVs that are well-suited to it. But the Coachmen Apex Remote 16R is, with a 50-gallon fresh water tank. That’s surprising in a rig of this size.
Up on the roof is 100 watts of solar. That will certainly keep the batteries charged for anything you want to do but run the AC or microwave.
There are only a few things I’d like to see changed when they get around to it. First of all, there are no cargo tie-downs in this trailer. So, if you do have bikes or whatnot, you can expect interior damage. That’s not good, because Coachmen does a decent job with their cabinetry.
A higher door in the back would be cool
Also, I wouldn’t mind if the back door were a full-height door. In fact, they could make it a second entrance door. The higher door would be cool to make loading bicycles easier.
But, overall, I could see a lot of the people I’ve been talking to of late snapping these up. The price is right, the build quality is decent, and the ability to store your gear and also have a dry bath makes this almost unicorn status.
So you could say that Coachmen has “homed in” on quite a niche.
My thanks to Josh Winters from Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, for use of these pictures.
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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