A friend of mine was shopping RVs at the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV show and came across a Forest River Impression 240RE fifth wheel. Since he and I both have Rockwood Mini Lite travel trailers, he asked me how this model would compare to the Rockwood.
First of all, if he wanted to stay within the Rockwood family there is a comparable floor plan in the Rockwood 2621WS, although this is now dealer stock only, so it’s out of production. But there may still be one out there.
When I see folks shopping at RV shows, and I watched a number of them doing so at the Quartzsite show, I always encourage them to look underneath an RV first. Yeah, yeah, the cabinets can be pretty and RV companies are good at outfitting their rigs with nice features.
In fact that’s all I heard folks talking about while watching them look at RVs. I wonder if they wondered who the odd person was listening to them shopping?
But down under, so to speak, is where you’re going to find a very appreciable difference between this and the trailer my friend already has in the form of suspension. This fifth wheel uses a traditional leaf spring arrangement, which is okay. But any time you can get something that’s going to perform better, I go that route.
In the case of the Rockwood, you’re getting a torsion axle suspension. Both models do come with Goodyear Endurance radials which, in my opinion, are the best trailer tires on the market. The Rockwood also comes with a nitrogen fill (not that big of a deal, really). But what is a big deal is the tire pressure monitoring system that the Rockwood has.
Again, anything you can do to improve safety and functionality is usually worth doing.
But in the side of the Impression, it features the AccessiBelly which is an underbelly that allows you to remove sections of it. That makes it much, much easier to service when there’s a leak.
The Impression also features an automatic leveling system. I am so biased against these only because of the number of warranty claims I had to handle for them. But a lot of folks like them.
What’s inside the Impression
The big daddy rabbit feature of this unusual floor plan is the entertainment center. It isn’t made unusual by the TV and fireplace, but the fact that those are mounted on a huge folding “door.” Behind that door are a good number of shelves, and Impression includes canvas boxes to store things in.
That’s a running theme with the company, as there are canvas organizers in the upstairs closets, too. That’s nifty.
Another unusual thing in this rig is that there’s a dining table, but instead of four chairs, you get two chairs and an ottoman. That ottoman offers additional storage. But it also can be a footrest if you’re sitting on the couch—which happens to be directly opposite the TV on a door.
There’s OK storage otherwise in the kitchen. It is more like a travel trailer than a fifth wheel, although there is a peninsula. A 17” oven resides below a three-burner cooktop and a small microwave.
One of the odd things about this, as a fifth wheel, is that the forward wall of the main living space offers almost no storage whatsoever. This is usually a space that really sets fifth wheels apart from travel trailers. Not here.
The steps up to the upper deck are the “floating” kind. The company claims this is an industry exclusive, but I’ve also seen them elsewhere. I often wonder when a company says it does something unique if anyone ever actually verifies this?
Oh, yeah. That’s my job. No, Impression, you’re not the only one to do this.
The upstairs is what you’d expect of a fifth wheel with the exception of those nifty closet organizers, which are removable. The bathroom is decent, indeed. There’s a true 60” X 80” queen-sized bed with storage underneath, of course.
This fifth wheel does offer a nifty floor plan, and that “secret” storage is one of the cooler things I’ve seen. Almost like an escape room, but, well, not really.
Until my friend brought this rig to my attention, I had never heard of this brand of Forest River, so I wonder how widespread the dealer coverage is. However, honestly, RVs are mostly made of outsourced components, so that may not even be relevant. I like the floor plan but there are other brands who make this, including Jayco in the Eagle 24RE or the aforementioned Rockwood for a number of reasons.
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 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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Tony Barthel posts misinformation on brands and does not go back to correct his misinformation. I would advise against his ‘advice’ when choosing your travel trailer.
Chase, Tony responded to your earlier comment regarding the Surveyor Legend by referencing your comment in that post. He is waiting for further information from the folks at Surveyor then will update the post further, depending on what they say.
Tony does not intentionally post “misinformation on brands and does not go back to correct his misinformation.” If he learns that he has made a mistake, he will go in and correct it ASAP, with apologies and thanks to whoever brought it to his attention. Tony is one of the most knowledgeable and honest people in the RV industry, and we trust him and his information completely. He will be the first to admit when he makes a mistake.
I would refrain, Chase, from disparaging Tony and his integrity in your unfounded comments.
I am only responding on behalf of Tony because he is on the road today and can’t respond himself. But he told me in an email that he will reply to your comments tonight, as soon as he can get on his computer. –Diane
It has the stupid idea of going down steps to open the bathroom door, not good at 4 AM.
Yep, you have to stand on a step to open the bathroom door. Better have some step lights on all night so at 4 am you can see where to stand!
Gee, no mention of the outside kitchen, scant that it is. I think that space would have been better served by using that space inside for more storage. Who wants to walk outside to fry an egg? Oh, and I love Scott Ellis’ comment.
A window over a north-south queen bed in a fifth wheel? What a waste. Just another example of a designer who has never spent a winter night in an RV!
No plumbing in the slide to fail? Full access with the slide in? What madness is this?
So the hidden storage is cool but I can picture as I am making dinner and getting supplies out of the hidden storage area kids in the background “Hey I am trying to watch a movie”. LOL
I had a ‘99 Carrilite 32’ that actually was 35’7” hitch to bumper that we loved. I think that is the ideal size if you’re still working for a living. I don’t remember the GVW but it was close to10,000 lbs and pulled like it was nothing behind my GMC 3500, it was the perfect size for empty nesters.