Today’s review features the Flagstaff 206STSE, a pop-up trailer that offers a surprising interior layout that really makes it quite usable.
Remember a short time ago I wrote a three-part series on RVs that have reduced fuel consumption and mentioned pop-up trailers like the TrailManor as one of those choices. But Rockwood, along with its twin, Flagstaff, is one of the companies that still has some pop-up trailers in their lineup, including this one.
Wait, one of the companies that has these? Aren’t there a bunch?
Actually, a number of companies have pop-up trailers on their website but you’ll notice phrases like “limited to stock on hand” (i.e., there is none) or “dealer stock only” (i.e., they have none). What this means is that, theoretically, these models are still in their catalog but they aren’t planning to produce any anytime soon.
You see, if an RV company can sell anything they can make, then why not just make the more pricey models that return greater profits? That’s Business 101. So, while all RVs are still in short supply, some of the less- expensive models are just gone. For now.
So, back to the Flagstaff 206STSE. Many times in pop-up trailers you really want to be in the great outdoors because there isn’t much “inside” to be in. This trailer actually has a largish “L”-shaped lounge at the rear which can seat four adults easily. Then there’s a second sofa facing that lounge that could seat 2-3 people. A free-floating dinette table can be placed between them. So if the weather does rain on your parade, you could legitimately use this for family game night.
Take the table outside or fold it up and plop it on one of the two beds in here and now you just have a place to sit and chat. Generally small trailers and pop-ups in particular offer almost no way to have folks just sit around inside. This is a real exception.
Otherwise, this one has many of the things one would expect in a trailer of this format. There’s a three-burner propane stovetop and a sink. The fridge is a three-way model. So you can pre-chill it at home when plugged in, then use 12-volt vehicle power to keep things cool along the way. Finally, you can use propane to chill the chill box at the campground if you’re off the grid.
Off the grid
Speaking of being off the grid, this model features 190 watts of solar on the pop-up roof. Also, it has a 1000-watt inverter that ties in to all the outlets inside. I am currently camping with a 12-volt fridge and 160 watts of solar. It’s doing just fine, thank you. So the additional power and the fact that the fridge can run on propane makes this a good choice for boondocking.
However, you can forget about travel access, of course. That’s one disadvantage of pop-ups.
One other big surprise is that the full-sized mattress in the back and the queen-sized mattress up front are both heated. Yep, not only is there a furnace to heat the interior of the trailer, but the mattresses themselves are heated.
There’s also a power lift mechanism for the top.
I also really like the Suburban flat-top griddle that Flagstaff and Rockwood include with their trailers. This griddle sits on a rail on the side and works quite well. I have one myself.
Of course, trailers this size don’t have much storage. However, this one has sort of a bulldog nose and there’s actually a decent amount of storage in that space. There are also nifty little netted bags that hang over the beds so you can use these for clothes or devices or whatever. Neat.
I make no secret that I think Rockwood and Flagstaff build some of the better products in the RV industry. This one is no exception. You get things like a high-performance vent fan, torsion axle suspension, Goodyear tires and other features that I think will make a difference along the way.
The downside of any smaller trailer is that there just isn’t the room for all the goodies. For example, there is no gray tank, although the camper I’m borrowing right now doesn’t have one either. We just have a hose and a folding plastic container as the gray tank. It’s pretty easy to deal with.
The toilet in this model is a porta potty, and I can say from having used one the past week, they’re actually not bad at all. These modern portable toilets are almost as good as having one that feeds into a black tank and are really, really convenient. But I know there are folks who don’t like them, but neither did my wife until she tried one. Now we’re putting one in our vintage trailer build.
The porta potty is on the edge of the dinette. There is a curtain you can draw around it so that all those nice folks you invited over don’t have to point and laugh. Or be jealous.
In addition to causing less drag on your tow vehicle, these are also garageable and that can be a big plus. Without fresh water or a gray tank, winterization is super easy as well. These trailers offer a lot of value and even more so when you consider the fuel you’ll be saving over some other configurations.
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.
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