Friday, August 12, 2022


RV Review: 2022 Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL destination trailer

Today’s RV review is of the 2022 Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL. This is what is known as a destination trailer, but it reminds me of something I’ve read about. 

After World War II, a lot of changes happened in this country. There were companies that had built things for the war that needed to find something else to build, and there were people who served this country who needed to find jobs. What happened is that a lot of Americans took to mobile living as a solution. 

Companies including the Spartan Aircraft Company went from building airplanes to building really incredible aluminum-bodied trailers. Those trailers are highly collectible today for a variety of reasons, including how beautiful they are and how well-made they were. 

The realities of post-WWII life are sort of back with us in some ways. When COVID hit, a lot of Americans obviously had to stay home and quickly figured out how to turn our homes into our offices. And then we had to stop going on planes and cruise ships and realized RVs were the way to travel. 

And a lot of Americans looked around, saw how much junk they had, realized how little value that stuff had and decided to just take their work and their RV, combine them, and live better. I’m part of that wave. 

The point of all of that is today’s RV review, something called a “destination trailer.” While many RVs are designed to be easily hauled around by vehicles that are pretty common such as pickup trucks, destination trailers are a bit less ideally mobile but more like houses. As such, they’re really designed to sit in a specific destination and utilize the infrastructure of that destination rather than being able to be fully self-sufficient. 

If boondocking is your thing, this isn’t the trailer for you, essentially. 

What the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL is

Essentially, the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL reminds me of some of the old Spartan models in the floor plan. Except, in those days, nobody had slide rooms. 

But this does have a large front living space with big windows for admiring any view you might have. For example, if you have a property somewhere in the mountains or desert with a great view and full hookups, this could be a great choice if you point the nose toward the view. Those big windows up front will let you better see what the view is. 

However, if you’re in a trailer park, those big windows will let you see that view, too. Life is all about choices. 

Appliances in destination trailers

The appliance choices in destination trailers, too, are different than in some RVs. For example, this uses a residential refrigerator, a very large oven, three-burner cooktop and a large residential-style microwave. 

One of the big differences between destination and travel trailers is in the water heater. This one features a residential 120-volt 20-gallon water heater. This makes sense if you’re consistently hooked to the 50-amp shore power. However, it is almost worthless if you like boondocking. 

Other interesting aspects of this trailer include the fact that you can get it with a removable hitch. If this has been placed semi-permanently on a property, it would make sense to remove the hitch altogether and stow it until you need to move. 

It’s also available with no holding tanks whatsoever, reinforcing the need to be at a location that offers full hookups. But if you know that’s where you’re going to be, there’s no reason to have holding tanks. You get the same kind of toilet you would have in a home and not have to deal with tanks at all. 

Sleeping spaces in the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL

Like some of the older trailers, this one offers some interesting sleeping spaces. 

For the people paying the freight, there is a proper bedroom at the back of the trailer with the bed in a slide. That bed is a king-sized model measuring 66” X 80”. Well, sort of a king. 

But then there are two lofts in this trailer. I’ve read in a number forums about people who grew up in trailers with lofts and how much they either loved it, or didn’t. 

The main loft in this has a 37” ceiling and sports two 42” X 74” mattresses on the carpeted floor. There’s also a closet for anyone occupying this room. 

The second loft is something we used to call “baby jail” when I was working at the RV dealership. We called it this because it has slatted walls on two sides and we imagined someone up there looking like they were in jail. But it’s really not that bad and does sport a 30” ceiling height. Not something you want for your basketball star friends, but wee ones might really enjoy being there. There are curtains that pull around this space, so there is some privacy. But there’s not much sound deadening. So, if someone’s up and making coffee, whoever’s in “baby jail” will hear it and come talk about the latest dinosaur they’ve painted for the front of the fridge. 

Who is the Wildwood Grand Lodge 42FLDL for? 

As mentioned, this could be a great choice if you have a property and want to have a cabin or place to stay on the property, so long as there are full hookups. But it would also be smart to know what your local zoning laws are. This counts as an RV in some places and living in an RV may be prohibited. 

This could also be a home that you take with you seasonally, if you’re able to do so. While this thing is an absolute beast, I also know there are haulers that most RV dealerships have lists of who will gladly move this on a seasonal basis. 

Hot & not

There are some things that are nifty about this, including the fact that the main living space has the same kind of height as a fifth wheel might.

Of course, you can get this with a washer and dryer. Also, the appliances portray that residential feel.

I also like how Wildwood has something called the “Accessibelly,” where the underbelly is made of segmented panels. If you suspect an issue in any section of the underside of this trailer you can simply remove the panel covering the offending spot and mitigate the situation. I can tell you this is much, much better than having to peel back an entire underbelly—which is a giant pain in the neck.

But I don’t like that there is a lot of carpet in this trailer under the dinette and theater seats. I know why RV companies use carpet here. But carpet is about the last thing I want under the dinette if I have a bunch of kids.

Also, again with the floor furnace vents. I don’t like these, but at least you can get that magnetic stuff to cover them in the summertime so they don’t make “that smell” when you first kick the furnace on in fall.

In summary

I can see these making sense for a lot of people. Since many people, including myself, have adopted a more mobile lifestyle, this offers shades of residential living while still remaining somewhat mobile.


More from Tony

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.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

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. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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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Steve H
14 days ago

In the Great Lakes region, I’ve seen many of these destination trailers called “park models” by dealers. But that is (intentionally?) misleading because they aren’t the same at all. Park models are built to very specific construction standards and have no slides. They are wider and shorter than this trailer with a 399 sq. ft. maximum floor area and must be hauled by a commercial hauler due to their 11-13′ width, ie., they are mini-mobile homes.

Due to their construction standards, some localities consider park models as modular homes, not trailers, if they are put on a foundation. This trailer would never qualify, even it were on a foundation, because it is built as a trailer, not a modular home. And park models, not destination trailers, have taken over many snowbird RV parks in Southern and Southwestern states, limiting the space available for real, mobile RVs.

Bob M
15 days ago

Don’t just check the zoning, also check the deed. I was looking years ago at property in the country. When I looked st the deed it said no trailers.

14 days ago
Reply to  Bob M

Excellent advice and very true! I’ll stick to a traveling RV & not a destination trailer. I can understand why some people would think about this lifestyle. Do your homework because this lifestyle is NOT as easy to say, oops this is not for me or my work moved to another destination so I must move or quit. Big dollars for an oops.

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