Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Cherokee 274WK, a couple’s larger travel trailer. While I’ve seen a few 2023 changes in some brands that are minor, that’s not true of the Cherokee line.
To my way of seeing things, the Cherokee line had been the poster child of interior design gone wrong last year. The black cabinets with gold handles were something that might look good on one of those TV shows about interior design in a monster house, but absolutely didn’t work in a towable. At least not for me.
So, the first thing that absolutely struck me was how very bright and airy and nice the 2023 interior is. It’s a totally different approach and one I really, really like. I’m going to guess that Cherokee sold a lot of trailers last year, as did everybody, but that I wasn’t the only one who really disliked their choice of interior colors.
I’ve written before that Cherokee has been a hot seller for a lot of reasons, but two really stand out.
The first of those is value. Being a stick-and-tin, or wood-framed build with aluminum skin, Cherokee products lean toward the more affordable end of the price spectrum. What they do with that build is part of why they stand out, to me.
Instead of following RV industry norms of festooning their offerings with stickers and swooshes and swirls, Cherokee’s wood-frame trailers use painted panels instead. So the blue stripe along the top is a blue section of the corrugated paneling rather than being a sticker. To me this is both more tasteful and will also last longer since it’s paint instead of a sticker.
I also like that they utilize a smooth front made of a thicker version of the aluminum that is used on the sides. This aids a bit in towing and, again, I think it looks cleaner.
The second area where Cherokee really stands out is in standard equipment. This has gone above and beyond for 2023.
For example, the Cherokee 274WK sports a wireless backup camera as standard equipment. They use a system that allows you to operate many of the features on the trailer with your phone, or just push a simple button.
The bathroom features a high-performance vent fan instead of the cheap fan others use. There’s even an integrated subwoofer in the ceiling, although I can’t vouch for whether this is really better or not. A subwoofer is always a good idea with most audio systems so it can’t hurt.
But a big upgrade for 2023 is the inclusion of a Furrion tankless water heater.
Tankless water heater in the Cherokee 274WK
There are a lot of reasons why the inclusion of a tankless water heater is a big deal, especially in a more budget-friendly offering.
You get an essentially unlimited supply of hot water. Sure, if you run out of water or propane or your battery dies (tankless water heaters have electronics that must be fed) or you fill your holding tank, the party’s over.
But the nice thing is, if you take a shower and immediately your spouse takes a shower, you could legitimately let your teenage daughter take a shower right after that and you won’t get her yelling at you from the bathroom. There will be enough hot water.
RV water heaters are traditionally set at 140° F because the idea is that you can have a small water heater but it’s so hot, you mix in a lot of cold water and thus have plenty for a shower. However, the downside is, if you have youngsters who don’t grasp this concept, that hot tap delivers very, very hot water.
Having a tankless water heater means you can dial in the temperature you want the hot water to be and you’re set. No more scalding water if you’re not paying attention. I think this is both a tremendous convenience feature but also a safety feature. I do not believe there is any downside to having this system. That’s pretty rare.
There are a few other things worth noting on the Cherokee 274WK. Cherokee has been playing with lights and has put one over the entertainment center that is supposed to optimize the lighting for watching movies and such. That’s a nice touch. And there’s that subwoofer.
There’s also an interesting projector light on the exterior that projects the Cherokee logo on the ground. Hey, if you’re drunk at night, this will help you figure out which Cherokee is yours. Well, unless you didn’t turn on that light.
The kitchen is certainly different with there being a three-burner stove and 16” oven. But the microwave is mounted under the counter next to the oven, so it’s right at about the same level, rather than being high on the cabinet. This does leave more counter space.
There is no shortage of cabinetry and drawers in the Cherokee 274WK. It’s seemingly everywhere in the main living space. And that main living space features opposing super slides, so it feels huge.
In fact, this is sort of like a fifth wheel floor plan, but in a travel trailer.
Boondocking and travel access in the Cherokee 274WK
I suppose it’s possible to go boondocking in this trailer, but it’s absolutely not well-suited for doing so. It sports a 12-volt fridge and, at best, 100 watts of solar. That, my friends, isn’t likely to flush.
Further, with the slides closed, you can’t get to anything in the main living space nor in the kitchen.
I suspect the buyer of this trailer is far more likely to use it as a destination trailer or seasonal unit, quite frankly. So if it’s not the best boondocking trailer ever, that may be absolutely fine for the likely buyer.
I know absolutely that some of you will not be happy that the bed in this rig is 60 X 74, first of all. Your thoughts are always welcome in the comments, and this is something many, many readers have commented on.
I don’t like carpeting under the dinette nor in the slide room, and I also don’t like pole-mounted tables. But the pole thing can easily be remedied and something I would consider a one beer project.
There are a lot of camp-side windows in the camp-side slide room, which is bucking a trend I’m seeing lately. Thank you, Cherokee.
Lastly, Cherokee dumped the ladders on their offerings last year but have recanted that statement like a politician caught with their hand in the cookie jar. For 2023, there is a mount included where you can hook one of Lippert’s new folding ladders. I also like this arrangement as it will stop people from hanging bicycles and poop tanks from the ladders.
Overall, I really, really like the style changes for 2023. But, even better, the features that are coming standard are absolutely class leading. Again.
If you’re looking for an affordable travel trailer, the Cherokee line is tough to beat. Also, with the new features and style, it just pushes the brand more into the forefront at this price class.
More from Tony
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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. 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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