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RV Review: 2022 Forest River Ibex 19QBS – Small but mighty

Today we’re looking at the Forest River Ibex 19QBS. In smaller trailers, this shares a floor plan I really like for a lot of reasons. But there are some things about the Ibex that make me scratch my head.

As someone who owned a single-axle trailer for years, I like the simplicity of this type of design. Fewer tires, fewer parts, easy handling and more. I actually think there are a lot of reasons to look to a trailer that only has one axle. 

For all of you looking to fire up your keyboard and tell me about changing tires, let me introduce you to a thing called a bottle jack. You should have one with you anyway. That’s how you change the tire on a single-axle trailer if the tire fails. It’s how I change the tire on a two-axle trailer, which I just did on our vintage trailer. It’s how I changed the tire on my pickup truck. 

And, considering that this comes with Lions Head tires, changing a tire may not come as much of a surprise to anyone who follows the RV industry. 

Cargo carrying in the Ibex

Back to cargo carrying, this one has a capability of about 1,000 pounds. You could definitely live with that if you pack very lightly. But consider that a full tank of water is about 250 pounds (30 gallons). In fact, that may be more than enough for many people, but it is something to keep in mind if this is the choice you’re making. 

Also note, unlike a motorhome, the trailer isn’t carrying people as it’s shuttling down the road. Once you get where you’re going, you can add the people to the equation without worrying about cargo carrying. So 1,000 pounds in a trailer is very, very different from 1,000 pounds in a motorhome. 

What’s inside

I mentioned this might be my favorite small trailer floor plan, and for good reason. This has a single smaller slide room in which there’s a couch. In other instances, there are theater seats or dinettes, depending on the trailer. For example, the Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S is about the same floor plan but slightly larger and with two axles. There’s also the Coachmen Freedom Express 192RBS which has delightful under-bed storage. 

Ibex

The Ibex 19QBS has some very different ways of doing things. For example, while most RVs have closets by the side of the bed, this one does not. There’s a closet in a cabinet at the end of the kitchen counter if you must hang things while camping. 

That closet is sort of lower in height but still taller than the counter that holds the two-burner stove and round sink. So it adds a bit to the very, very limited counter space in the kitchen. That round sink is pretty large, all things considered. I also like that it is not an under-mount sink. 

However, Ibex includes a free-standing table that serves diners when placed by the couch in the slide. It could also be useful for whoever’s prepping the grub on this adventure by adding to kitchen counter space. 

Incidentally, the oven in this is a convection microwave—which is certainly a good enough alternative for many. I don’t have one of these, but I‘ve been told they do a decent job of being able to bake and such. Of course, this only works when the trailer’s hooked to shore power or a generator. The microwave is also really, really low on the counter, so you’ll be doing the Gumby bend to get that food out. 

The good in the Ibex

There are definitely some very positive things about this trailer. For example, the bed is a true queen. Plus. 

Ibex also includes a central vacuum on this with a provision to suck up dust in a kick-activated opening. Also very cool. And there’s no carpeting whatsoever—which makes me happy. 

One of the reasons I like this floor plan is that you can fully use it even with the slide in. All the slide does is open up the interior space somewhat. So not opening it doesn’t eliminate any functionality. 

Further, I also like that there are additional cabinets over the sofa and they’re held up with struts. Very cool. 

Ibex also includes a high-performance vent fan in this trailer. 

One of my favorite things about these is that they don’t include the absolutely horrible typical RV stereo system. Instead, you get a JBL Bluetooth speaker. It will both sound better and work better than the normal lousy RV radio system. Further, the TV is a 12-volt model, so you don’t need to run the inverter to catch whatever you want to watch.

Observations

While I’m sure the fine folks at Lions Head tires are good people, I just am not a fan, having had their product on a trailer I owned. Same goes for a few thousand others in a Facebook Group I started. Our collective experience wasn’t a good one. So, my first trip might be to drag this to a tire dealer and get Goodyear or Carlisle trailer tires. Or you could even do truck tires, since this is a single-axle rig.

There’s also very limited counter space in the kitchen.

The couch in this is a simple affair. But the only people I would let sleep on this are those who have been very naughty and need a night on the couch—or lightweight youngsters. You’ll hear adults complaining about their backs after a night on this folding job.

Lastly, I don’t know why the plastic toilets that find their way into RVs have to be such noisy things. You’re already in a small space with doors that don’t go all the way to the top and bottom. So why can’t the toilet companies make a plastic toilet that doesn’t squeak and squawk when it’s sat upon? The Camco plastic toilet I bought, which is portable, makes no sound whatsoever—so I know it can be done.

Lastly, I know these are more affordable—but no window in the entry door, Ibex? Come on. The vacuum seems frivolous when you don’t give me a piece of glass to look at my campsite. Or, how about just dumping the windshield instead? I never understand windshields in travel trailers that don’t have a cover on them.

Towing

These trailers are fairly light. They’re also 88 inches wide, about eight inches narrower than the typical travel trailer. Further, they’re also a bit lower, so this might be a good choice if you’re towing with something that has a lower capacity. While you should always know things like what your cargo carrying capacity is and what your vehicle can safely tow, this does open up the number of choices.

In summary

I like this floor plan and Ibex has done some nifty things with it. Since this is narrower than some of the others I mentioned in the beginning, it may be more appropriate to tow with something like a mid-sized pickup (know your capacities, including cargo carrying!). There are also 12-volt tank pad heaters and a fully enclosed underbelly. 

*****

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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Bottle Jack Buddy
5 months ago

Great write up.

Steve
5 months ago

The GVWR of the Ibex is about the same as our 2012 Rockwood 2109S despite being over 1′ longer (that extra axle must be heavy!). We towed it with a mid-size pickup, but wouldn’t do it again. Just not enough torque from most V-6s to properly tow it. It was the frontal area more than the weight that was problematic. A Dodge Dakota V-8 might have worked, but I would use something more like an F-150 Ecoboost if I were towing it these days.

Our front window had a cover, which we rarely opened. We mostly camped in spring and fall, so my wife finally quilted a “headboard” that we velcro-ed over the window. That definitely made a difference in the amount of cold air flowing down the window onto our heads and necks during the night. When shopping for our next RV, any with a window above the bed were immediately rejected!

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