Thursday, December 8, 2022


RV Review: 2023 Aurora 26FKDS Travel Trailer


Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Aurora 26FKDS travel trailer. I get alerts thanks to my friends at Google whenever new RV videos and stories appear so I can keep on top of things. I was surprised when I saw this trailer. 

Honestly, I had never heard of Aurora before. So when I saw this, my jaw dropped. Essentially, the windshield and nose design is identical to a Rockwood Mini Lite or Flagstaff Micro Lite travel trailer. 

If you don’t know, Rockwood Mini Lite/Flagstaff Micro Lite are a higher-end travel trailer and one I own myself. I’m quite a fan of this company and started a little Facebook Group a few years ago to get some of my own questions answered on my own rig. The Group has ballooned to more than 10,000 people. I am now on my second Rockwood trailer. This one is larger than the first, but with a tremendous amount of solar on it such that I can run the AC for hours. 

Start at the bones …

The Aurora trailer brand is not the same as the Rockwood/Flagstaff. It is a huge example of something I suggest to anyone buying a new RV. Start at the bones and work your way up. 

This is a wood-framed, aluminum-skinned trailer, first of all. The RV industry calls this stick-and-tin. There’s really nothing wrong with that type of build. RVs have been built like this for decades. As long as you maintain the seals of the RV, which you need to do with any RV, a stick-and-tin trailer can last as long as any. 

In fact, stick-and-tin trailers have some advantages if there’s ever damage to the trailer, in that they’re much easier to repair than a laminated trailer. 

Ask me how I know. 

Among the disadvantages of this type of build is weight—it’s a heavier build. But it’s also less expensive to build. And not all laminated trailers are built in the same way. There are absolutely better and less ideal ways to build a laminated trailer. And there are better and less ideal materials to use in the process, and even better and less ideal processes. Laminated trailers are not all the same quality. 

So, you see, just because a trailer is laminated or stick-and-tin isn’t really the only indicator of quality of build. 

What’s inside the Aurora 26FKDS

In fact, a friend of mine has the Flagstaff version of this trailer, so it was interesting to see the differences. 

This is a floor plan where a windshield actually makes sense. The kitchen is up front with a kitchen counter spanning most of the width of the front of the rig. There is a pantry on the road side. A second pantry/closet sits right by the front entry door of this trailer. 

A dinette and a couch occupy the first of two slide rooms on the road side. The dinette has the knee knocker pole mount. The couch, too, is really an entry-level unit. There is a very different feel to the interior of this trailer compared to the Rockwood/Flagstaff. 

This also features a queen-sized bed in a slide. The bathroom separates the front and back of the living space, but there’s also a hallway. That means the bathroom is skewed to one side. So it’s not as large as a bathroom you’d have to walk through, but it’s also not a bathroom you have to walk through. [Yes, he said that.]

Where things differ

Even though this trailer is an identical floor plan to the Rockwood 2608BS, it’s not, by any means, the same trailer. 

A couple of things I like about Rockwood/Flagstaff trailers is that they ride on Goodyear Endurance radials and have a Dexter torsion axle suspension. 

Not with the Aurora—which rides on leaf springs and has an off-brand tire. 

Other ways these trailers are less content-rich include having a plastic toilet and no standard solar whatsoever. The Showermiser system, which I love as it extends boondocking by diverting water back into the fresh water tank while waiting for the shower to get hot, is not here either. 

One more thing: This uses the 16” oven. 

Boondocking and travel access in the Aurora 26FKDS

There are two entrances to the Aurora 26FKDS, so you could go through the back door and get to the bathroom and bedroom. Plus, the steps at the back of the trailer are the older folding style—which means they’ll flip out quickly if you’re making an urgent potty stop. 

You can also get to the pantry by the door and the refrigerator from the main entrance, which features the newer solid steps. 

However, there is no mention of solar on this model. Further, as mentioned, there is no Showermiser. 

Also, there aren’t any specifications available at this point on this model including price, so there’s no chart. 

In conclusion

This trailer offers a really good floor plan. As mentioned a friend of mine has a Flagstaff with the same floor plan. It’s also a good option to offer customers a choice of high content/high value versus a more affordable/lower value proposition. 

But this is why I always encourage you to look at the bones before the beauty. It very well may make sense that this trailer is appropriate for you based on your camping style. As mentioned, stick-and-tin trailers do make sense as well and might be as good a choice, if not better, for some buyers. 

But I know RV salespeople, having been one myself, and I know there will be at least some who swear this is of comparable value/quality to the Rockwood/Flagstaff product with the same floor plan and even a very similar appearance. 

It’s not. 


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 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.

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


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Steve H
2 months ago

Is Aurora a Forest River brand? If so, it appears to be more like Cherokee or Wildwood than Rockwood-Flagstaff. Assuming that it has a propane-electric fridge since there is no solar; plus a short “queen”. So basically a weekender for someone who takes it to a private RV park or FHU state park campground.

2 months ago

Can’t tell if the doors have windows, but otherwise it appears the camp side doesn’t have any … maybe a very tiny one.

2 months ago

Tony, is there a way to search for a specific type of trailer, in this case toy haulers, in your reviews? Thanks

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  M D-B

Hi, M D-B. Just go to our homepage and put “toy hauler” in the search box at the top. Or on any of Tony’s posts, click on his name at the top and then search for “toy hauler” in the search box. But in the meantime, here’s the link: Have a great day. 😀 –Diane