Thursday, December 2, 2021

MENU

RV Review: 2022 Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX diesel pusher

Sitting here at the FMCA Convention I feel like I’m in the land of the giants. Our small travel trailer sits in a valley of giant Class A diesel pushers. That also makes using the solar a bit of a challenge. Since Class A diesel pushers are what people are using here, that’s also what they’re selling here. So I took a moment to wander through a 2022 Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX. 

My wife and I got to sit in and try out all the furnishings and appointments of this all-electric coach. We opened and closed doors and cabinets and pushed lots of buttons. Meanwhile, we heard more about what makes this coach unique from Mike from the REV Group, which owns Holiday Rambler. 

All electric – no propane in the Nautica 34RX

One of the things that first stood out to me is that the 2022 Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX doesn’t have any propane aboard whatsoever. This is good for a number of reasons. You don’t have to go get the propane tank filled, obviously. But there’s also no having to deal with some of the restrictions in tunnels or on ferries either. Smart. 

The way around having propane is to use that tank of diesel fuel that runs the engine and generator through an Aqua-Hot system to heat the water and the interior of the coach – which works perfectly well. In fact it’s a nice, non-drying heat – so big plus there. Furthermore, the basement storage is also heated. 

For cooking you get a flat-top induction cooktop with two burners in the Nautica 34RX. There’s also a large residential microwave oven. While on the subject of residential stuff, the fridge is of that sort, too, being of the Maytag variety. 

Now, I will say I know dealers who stop ordering residential refrigerators altogether. That’s after having to deal with warranties on residential fridges involving removing a windshield to get the things out when the appliance repair person won’t work on them in a coach. I believe it’s less of an issue with Class A coaches, which ride less harshly than towables. 

I actually asked if they had considered using 12-volt fridges. After posing the question three or four times, I just gave up. But both Furrion and Everchill make a really, really nice larger 12-volt compressor-based RV fridge designed specifically for this environment. Hint, hint. 

What’s inside the Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX

The overwhelming feeling inside this coach, which was fitted with the “Summit Ash” interior, is really one of a rich feel. Both my wife and I really liked the look and feel of the cabinetry and overall interior in the Nautica 34RX. It was made even nicer by the cabinets all being carpeted on the inside. That means the plates and such are less likely to rattle. Nice. 

There are very comfortable theater seats in the road-side slide room facing a dinette. It is a “dream dinette”–  where the table is mounted to the wall. That way you don’t bang your knees and say something that gets you kicked under the table. That would be a double-oucher. 

The dinette easily converts to a bed

This style of dinette is also easy to convert to a bed by just moving a lever and pushing down on the table. Then the dinette sort of folds down and, bam, a sleeping surface. 

The whole living space in the Nautica 34RX is made more accommodating by the front cockpit seats rotating around and allowing those occupants to join the party. This makes room for up to eight people to solve the world’s problems. 

Above the cockpit on the model I saw was a drop-down bed that is rated for 500 pounds. The base of that bed is slatted like some of those beds at IKEA. They, reportedly, offer the feel of a box spring in a smaller space. 

Sleeping for six, or possibly more, in the Nautica 34RX

That, the dinette and the bed in the back make for sleeping for six. Add a drunk uncle sleeping in the theater seats after a night of telling us how to fix the world’s issues as he finishes off a twelve-pack and you can have up to seven. But I’m not sure this is an official number. No, I have no idea who that drunk uncle might be. 

If it’s time to catch a movie or whatever, there’s a televator on the wall of the huge camp-side slide room. I like this setup as there’s a window when the television is down. 

The galley in the Nautica 34RX has a beautiful glass-look backsplash behind that induction cooktop. There’s a large double-bowl stainless steel sink. Cabinets and drawers are all over the place. I’m sure most cooks won’t be looking for places for their stuff – there is a lot of storage here. 

The floor plan in the Nautica 34RX has a nice feel

The way the floor plan is done in the Nautica 34RX, it feels like the living room and kitchen and bedroom are not all one giant hallway. It’s a very nice feel in here that the varying depths of counters and walls reinforce. Sort of a zig-zag, but it makes this coach feel much less like a rolling hallway. 

Also, speaking of walls, on the wall at the back of the main living space is a space-heating fireplace and, again, a bit more storage. My wife liked the pantry at the back of the space which had drawers in the cabinet. 

The bathroom is in the middle of the Nautica 34RX on the road side. It features a sink, porcelain toilet and a 38” X 30” shower. 

In the bedroom in the unit we saw, the bed was folded so that you could sit up and watch the TV that was opposite the bed. That TV is, again, surrounded by cabinetry. 

One of the things pointed out to us was that there is no engine hump in the back. So when the slides are out and the bed is folded up for sitting, you could almost hold a barn dance back here. It really is a very spacious-feeling area. 

At the back of the rig is a full-width closet, where you’ll find a stacking washer and dryer. 

In summary

I fully understand the appeal of a rig like the Nautica 34RX. It’s lavishly appointed and the convenience of a lot of water and a lot of power and battery resources mean it’s great for boondocking. That’s one of the reasons there are so many surrounding our trailer at this event, where the majority of us are boondocking. 

I still will not be convinced that a residential refrigerator is better than some of the newer 12-volt compressor fridges that are now, or will be soon, available. You don’t have to run an inverter to run those and they’re designed for the rigors of this environment. 

Better emergency exits needed in Class A RVs

Also, once again, I wish all Class A RV makers would do a better job of accommodating the individual who is the typical buyer of this kind of thing in the fire escape department. Having that residential fridge probably lowers the chance of an RV fire in here. But in case of a fire, you still have to run all the way to the front of the coach in a disoriented state to get out. 

Considering one of the panelists in a seminar I went to has had two RV fires thus far, I think my point is valid. But I’m also happy that they were here to tell the story. Yes. There’s a fire window. No, you’re not likely to jump out that window and not incur injury. This should be addressed by the industry as a whole – which is why I keep harping on it in these reviews. 

I do think Holiday Rambler has moved the bar forward by creating this all-electric coach. I like the way the various spaces feel more defined in the almost “zig-zag” floor plan. The appointments are really, really nice in the Nautica 34RX, and the furniture is quite comfortable. While I fully admit I like towables, there are few with ceiling appointments anywhere close to being as nice as this. Also, of course, storage is a big plus in a diesel pusher. 

I’m not shy, BTW

Having little shyness in my nature, I asked why all Class A diesel pushers are festooned with those swishy graphics, be that paint or stickers. Apparently, they did used to offer a non-swirly graphics package a few years ago and it just flopped. So it’s on you, dear reader. I guess you like this look – so that means I’ll stop harping on it. 

I have often fully admitted that my taste can be way, way outside of the mainstream. 

Overall, if you’re in the market for a diesel pusher, this award-winning coach wouldn’t be a bad one to put on your list to consider. 

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!

##RVDT1641

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Carpeted cabinets
Interior decor
All-electric
Emergency exit
Residential refrigerator

SUMMARY

The Holiday Rambler Nautica 34RX is a diesel pusher that has no propane aboard and features a really pleasant interior whose zig-zag layout makes it feel much less like a hallway than some coaches I have been in.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Montgomery Bonner
4 months ago

Newmar’s Ventana 3400 series is a better MH, did not consider price. Bigger engine/transmission. No pass through storage. Oasis hydronic versus Aqua Hot. Oasis seems to me to be easier to service. Did not find chassis information, Newmar uses freightliner based units with Cummins engine. Ours is all electric so that option is available. DONT GET WHIRLPOOL washer and dryer, lots of problems with those units, maybe fixed now, but argh, read the forums. Splendide is way better quality. Opt for the plumbing option then upgrade to those units. Size is same.

Wow
4 months ago

Must be nice to have that kind of money to spend

William Stanley
4 months ago

King size beds and small kitchen counters??? I would love large kitchen counters and a queen size bed. I don’t get it!

Roger Spalding
4 months ago

Tony, you spoke of boondocking, but you didn’t mention a generator, a solar package, batteries or the size of the inverter. It’s becoming commonplace for large residential fridges to have their own dedicated inverter built in. This reduces some of the worry about overtaxing an inverter shared with the a/c units (which should have an Easy Start built in anyway if boondocking in on the docket). Also, is that you and the lovely Mrs. Barthel in the photos? There is, at least, one vlogger who refuses to show his face to his followers and has lost subscribers for it.

Bob M
4 months ago

Why don’t they offer larger RV AC/DC refrigerators. Norcold DE-0061 offers a 7 cu ft. A/C D/C refrigerator. As for the fire escape we need to pester our congress men/women to force RV manufacturers to ensure their products have safety features and better quality built in. Don’t expect RVIA to be in our interest.

Neal Davis
4 months ago

It seems as though only expensive (as in >$450,000) RVs offer the option of a rear escape door with ladder. I wonder if some enterprising outfit will offer after-market modifications focused on adding escape doors. I wonder if such a development would spur the industry to offer them as an option for all RVs?

Dan
4 months ago

Please, do not quit harping about the swishy swoops and swirl graphics. It was nice at one time, but it’s been run into the ground. And for $300k there ought to be some options on the paint job. While I’m ranting…that thing is plenty large to offer an emergency exit in the bedroom area. OK, one more…if it has a motor to pull it or push it down the road, why would a 12 volt refrigerator not be standard?