Friday, October 7, 2022

MENU

RV Review: 2022 Venture RV Sonic SN190VRB… and my soapbox

Today’s review is of the Venture RV Sonic SN190VRB, a smaller trailer that has almost the same floor plan as the modern trailer that I had until this last weekend. Basically, this is a no-slide trailer with a Murphy bed and a bathroom that extends the full width of the rear of the floor plan. I like this layout. as you might expect, but I happen to see my soapbox over there so I’m going to go get it. Hold on. 

Tony’s soapbox

I see a number of things over and over in the RV industry and, eventually, they come to a head and make me want to call RV manufacturers out about things. 

Let’s start with windshields in travel trailers. 

I can see how these make a tremendous difference if there’s a dinette in the front or a kitchen in the front. In those circumstances you get to enjoy more of the beautiful places you go camping. 

But when you have a layout such as this one with a Murphy bed, what is the point? You have a big piece of glass at the front of the trailer that’s susceptible to damage along with a bed that blocks the windshield in the day time, when you’d want it. Then there’s a window right above your head at night when you don’t want light coming in. 

Glass in a moving vehicle

While I’m on the subject of glass, let’s look inside, shall we? Glass cabinet doors in a moving vehicle also make zero sense to me. Yes, they’re pretty. But a flying can of beans can do damage and I like to be barefoot inside my RV. I know I’ll find those shards of glass if the cabinet door gets broken. 

That’s the same story as the glass shower doors, which is an item that I have had to replace under warranty. Now, I am absolutely not singling out this trailer nor Venture RV on this. These radius shower doors are almost the de facto standard in the RV industry. But that doesn’t mean I have to like them. 

Curtains don’t shatter and leave shards of glass to surprise you in the middle of the night when you’re just wanting to pay off all that water you’ve been drinking. 

Observations

Again, Venture RV is doing what a lot of folks are doing, so I am not singling them out on these things. But to give kudos to Venture on these Sonic models, one of the better things about them is the fact that the fiberglass roof extends from the base of the front of the trailer all the way to the back. That’s unusual, and I like these fiberglass roofs. 

Many high-end motorhomes use this but not very many travel trailers. 

Another thing you almost never see from the factory in travel trailers is leveling technology. These trailers come with a gadget called the LevelMatePRO®. This is a digital level where you can see, from the cab of the towing truck, whether the trailer’s level or not. This makes finding a level spot much, much easier. 

You can actually add a LevelMatePRO to any RV as an aftermarket add-on. But it’s super cool that Venture RV is doing it right from the factory. 

To the same end, the stabilizer jacks in the Venture RV Sonic are mounted at a 45° angle to the frame. Now, I don’t know how valid this is, but I’ve been told that this kind of mounting results in a more stable trailer. 

Murphy’s bed

There are a lot of folks I’ve talked to who seem to have some dislike for Murphy beds, and I can understand that. The way this one’s done has some positives and some negatives. 

The mattress itself is a bendy bed mattress—so already not my favorite. But there is space on both sides of the bed to climb in. I’m seeing larger and larger “boxes” on the side of travel trailer beds lately, making it more and more difficult to crawl into bed. 

These boxes are there to improve storage in the front but they end up making it more difficult to get into bed. It’s like so many things in the world, a trade-off. The point of that is that there is walking space on both sides of this bed—which is a plus instead of these boxes. 

Observations

There are other things I like about the build of the Venture RV Sonic trailer. Those include the use of Azdel as a substrate as opposed to Luan, which can deteriorate if it gets wet. Azdel is lighter and provides better sound insulation, and is almost impervious to water damage.

Another thing that really stuck out to me is how thick the cushions on the dinette are. These are way above your average torture-grade cushions—so kudos to Venture on this.

Boondocking and travel access

Since the Venture RV Sonic has no slide room, travel access is ideal, since it’s the same floor plan all the time.

There’s 39 gallons of fresh water capacity. which is pretty good.

The solar option you have is just 100-watt panels, but there are plenty of aftermarket solutions to solar. However, it’s nice when the manufacturer offers them, as that means they’re covered under the RV’s warranty.

In summary

I loved this floor plan for the five years we had our trailer. But we also had a smaller version, slightly. I think Rockwood/Flagstaff do a far better job with the comfort of their Murphy beds as well. The mattress is one solid piece rather than being a bendy bed. But the disadvantage is that it consumes some of the front pass-through storage. Again, trade-offs. This isn’t a bad offering with some common negatives typical of the RV industry, and a good roof design that’s more of a step above. 

Venture RV website has great photos

Speaking of a step above, I was surprised to see how many really good photos Venture RV has of this model. Whoever it is that is responsible for this, give them a raise. They’re great photos. 

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.

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

##RVDT1833

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

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

12 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sherryl Anderton
1 month ago

Great Review! We have loved camping in this model of the Sonic RV this summer. Enjoyed your comments. One positive note about the front window… looking up at the stars before you go to sleep, from your warm bed. Or, pulling up the shade in the morning and deciding about whether or not to get up if the weather is nice, or just roll over and sleep in!

Thomas
6 months ago

Hi, We actually took delivery of a (new to us) 2021 Sonic 190vrb. We love the glass in the cabinets because it reflects the light and make the interior nice and bright. Same with the skylight although I understand the comment about too much light at night… On the negative side the front outside storage is very small, the space underneath the couch is really unusable and there is very little storage for the kitchen. We added two shelves in the (large) cabinet in the bathroom and use it as a pantry instead.
We did really like the (very staged) pictures as well….:-)

Thomas

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

I think a king sized Murphey bed would be nice up front, I agree with shower curtains and cabinets that go to the ceiling.

Spike
6 months ago

Looks like a nice trailer, but do I really see upper kitchen cabinets that don’t go all the way up to the ceiling? Looks like a nice place for filth to settle that would be hard to clean. Why wouldn’t they increase kitchen storage a little by having slightly taller upper cabinets while removing a dust collection area?

Steve
6 months ago

As I have mentioned often in thses comments, we had a front window in our Rockwood 2109S but with a translucent plastic cover. So, it was protected from rocks, but not from cold. My wife finally quilted “headbord” that completely covered the inside of the window to enable us to actually sleep without a cold draft on our necks.

Our Winnie Navion has a “tweener” shower door, not glass, but not curtain either. It’s an accordion sheet of translucent vinyl that is spring loaded. You just pull it out and fasten it to the opposite side of the doorframe. When finished it springs back into its side of the doorframe. Works great . . . unless I lose my balance in the tiny shower and fall through it. But better then falling through a glass door!

Snayte
6 months ago

Totally agree with you here. I do not want ANY windows in my bedroom much less one right over my bed. I like to sleep past dawn.

Bob M
6 months ago

Expensive for a small travel trailer.

George Sears
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

I wish someone could explain the ‘big picture’ on this. I had a 2010 FR Mini Lite, about 19′ with a slide. Pretty standard. Paid $13k from a wholesaler in Ohio. So that whole segment is gone? Forever? I have a 4 year old Ram PM City. It’s a challenge, for vanlife, but I’m getting hyper motivated to make it work as well as possible. To buy a truck and a basic trailer? Really? And all my state parks are booked solid this time of year. I paid $23k for the van, a ’17. There are listings around $26k, used. The trailer brought $8k after 7 years. I think there are creative ways to make simple, almost DIY, RV’s work. Lot of good tech out there to play with, combine and recombine. So much of RVing is almost a strange pride in shooting money out a fire hose.

Bob p
6 months ago

I agree on the walk around bed, our Mesa Ridge 23RLS has the short queen bed all the time, the shirt closets on each side of the bed are nice. The base for the bed which is above the front storage compartment extends about 12-15” further out than the shirt closet. Getting into and out of bed is a feat of acrobatics, sitting on the edge of the bed closest to the under bed storage I lay down which positions me short of my pillow by the aforementioned dimensions causing my to impersonate an inch worm on its back to get onto my pillow. DW gets into bed and crawls on hands and knees to her pillow. Getting out of bed is the reverse procedure. I will differ with you on the shower door, we have the shower curtain that insists on clinging to my side the water isn’t hitting during the entire shower, I long for a shower door. And I agree with the foldabed mattress, deal killer for me. Good revue!