Saturday, June 10, 2023


RV Review: 2022 Riverside RV Retro 190BH – colorful choices

Today we’re reviewing the 2022 Riverside RV Retro 190BH bunk model trailer, a smaller bunk trailer that carries a retro feel but is actually quite modern in its build. But first, a word about the readers and the comments on these articles. 

I can’t tell you how much I truly appreciate your readership and also your comments. And a poignant one was made in my review of the NeXus RV Rebel Super C by Devon who was understandably disappointed with the lack of photography accompanying the article. 

My soapbox is back!

In fact, the other day I whipped out the ol’ soapbox and gave the RV industry a little talking to about some of the decisions they make. While some of you might think, “So what, they’re not listening”—they actually are. 

In response to something I wrote, several decision makers from a specific company “friend requested” me on LinkedIn and asked if we could discuss some of the points. So, people in the RV industry who make decisions actually read this, and there are times I write stuff specifically so they can see it. 

So, let me write this to many of the RV companies out there in general, and to Riverside RV specifically. Go to the local Apple store, buy a doggone iPhone and take pictures of your RVs. The newer iPhone has a wonderful camera and outstanding software to manipulate those images. It’s really easy to get outstanding photos with almost no effort. 

Of course, you’ll have to go turning the lights on inside the RVs so they look a little bit more presentable but, for Pete’s sake, this can’t be hard. The RVs are right there at the end of the assembly line. 

No pictures of the Retro 190BH on Riverside RV’s website

Take note that Riverside has absolutely zero pictures of today’s reviewed Retro 190BH at all on their website. None. (Although I acknowledge their note at the bottom of the page: “More Coming Soon!” I hope that means pictures of their product.) How the heck do you make a $30,000 product and not take one single photo of it? There are belts on Amazon where I can see multiple photos of every color to help me buy. But Riverside offers multiple colors and interiors and doesn’t bother to get off their butts and take even one photo. 

So the photos included with this are literally screenshots of the walk-through video done by PJ Buerger at Princess Craft RV in Round Rock, Texas. Thank you, PJ. You do a great job. 

Riverside RV Retro

It’s truly a shame that you can’t see photos of the choices because Riverside has quite a few, including three exterior base colors and nine accent colors. You can also get a modern interior as was shown in the video linked here. But there’s also a retro interior that I absolutely love that uses walls that look like the old birch paneling that was traditionally in some travel trailers. 

Choosing the retro interior will also get you the option of several upholstery fabrics in bright, vibrant colors reminiscent of those used in the 1950s and ‘60s. I really like this look and would love to see it come back, rather than the prison gray that’s so popular in many of today’s RVs. 

There are also two flooring options with the retro look, a black-and-white checkered floor and a wood-look vinyl. 

Modern build

Even though the outside and inside can look retro, these are actually modern RVs in their core. Despite the corrugated aluminum skin, they’re framed in aluminum and use a PVC roof from front to back. Technically this is as modern as just about any RV but, given the right check marks on the order form, not everybody in the campground will think it’s modern. That’s kinda cool and the whole idea, really. 

Highlights of the Riverside RV Retro 190BH

Aside from the company’s website and marketing, looking at the product itself there is really a lot of punch packed into a smaller package. 

The true queen-sized bed in the front is mounted east-to-west, as you might expect in a trailer this size. But there is a nifty cubby behind the closet on the camp side for things like books or the iPad you’re reading RV Travel on. There’s a single closet but also a decent-sized shelf above the entire front of the rig. 

On the subject of bed size, the bunks at the back are 75” long. But if you’re looking for a decent couple’s camper you could remove the mattresses and now gain a tremendous amount of cargo space. Or perhaps sleeping space for a pooch or two plus cargo space. 

Otherwise, the interior is as you would expect in a smaller trailer with a tiny bit of kitchen counter space, but certainly acceptable cabinet space. 

The bathroom’s a bit tight but certainly usable. And there is a high-performance vent fan going back to good, modern features in a retro wrapper. 

Boondocking and travel access

Since this trailer has no slide, you can get to anything anytime. This is one of the many reasons I love trailers that don’t have slide rooms. These do now come with a Furrion 12-volt compressor fridge. There is no provision for solar built in. But it’s certainly easy enough to use alligator clips to attach a portable panel to the battery—as I’ve done in my genuine vintage trailer.

In summary

One of the many things I love about independent RV manufacturers is that they give us these unusual and special choices. It’s been speculated that color will soon return to RV manufacturing. That puts a company that makes retro-style trailers ahead of the game. 

I’ve written before that when I was selling RVs one of these came in and the reaction from people was absolutely extreme. Some wouldn’t want anything to do with them and others were absolutely thrilled. But that’s actually a good thing. 

The Riverside RV Retro 190BHT is pretty nifty

Overall, these are actually pretty nifty trailers that offer vintage style, lots of choices and modern build features. Now, if the company could learn to tell their own story, I think we’d have something. 

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 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!


Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel
Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.


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1 year ago

We have the Retro 171drd and like it a lot. North-south bed up front, dinette and entrance door in back, shower separate from the toilet and sink, good assortment of appliances for the price. Riverside is weak on photos and specs, but the build quality is ok. It would be nice to see a factory build video to see what’s in the walls. Is the aluminum framing 4 sided or 6? No idea. As for photos, I would recommend going to Cedar City RV’s(Lebanon, Tennessee) website. They do a great job with that and their prices are very good. it was worth the drive for us to buy ours there. Family type dealership with a very competent technical department. We had to bring it back a couple of times for warranty issues and they were taken care of promptly. Since we had to drive 300 miles to do it we got a couple of extra camping trips out of the deal.

1 year ago

500 lbs cargo capacity – and you don’t find that a problem? Come on, Tony…

Bob M
1 year ago

I agree that the RV manufactures don’t provide much information in the Web site or brochures. They are also not very innovative. Some were more innovative years ago. They need to get like the auto manufacturers with providing more information, newer designs and innovation. Make you look forward to the new model year. If they don’t change, RV sales will go down. We need more foreign RV manufactures to change american RV manufacturers thinking and sitting on their butt doing nothing. Then providing poor quality and equipment. Some won’t let you look at their Web site if you won’t allow cookies. Well don’t think I’ll consider their RVs.

Bob p
1 year ago

Well great review, this would be a great trailer if the bunks were eliminated, the bathroom was expanded, and the outside “kitchen” was used for storage as we don’t like bugs in our food. Also the East-west bed needs to be N-S to accommodate night time bathroom visits. Other than that I like it. I know the N-S bed comes standard in the retro look which we prefer. I think the prison grays must be a marketing ploy by manufacturers to eliminate different color options. Makes me wonder if the interior designers have spent time behind bars. Lol

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