Sunday, December 4, 2022


RV Review: 2023 Forest River Ibex 19MBH—a cargo master


Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Ibex 19MBH trailer. I mentioned a few days ago that I had the chance to sneak into a dealer preview event and see a number of 2023 trailers recently. One of those was this trailer.

The Ibex 19MBH is a nifty smaller bunkhouse trailer with no slide room. The Ibex line was created to appeal to the increasing number of younger RV buyers who want something that can be taken to more remote places. 

Using 15” wheels and more aggressive tires along with a torsion axle suspension, these trailers certainly look like they’re equipped to go off-roading. Further, I like that the spare tire is a fifth example of the tires on the trailer. I literally have seen some trailers designed for off-road use with lesser spares. Weird. 

Highlights of the Forest River Ibex 19MBH

To me the cornerstone feature of this trailer isn’t the off-road appearance or even ability, but rather the cargo door in the bunk. I see so many bunkhouse trailers where there is a flip-up lower bunk but almost no way to access that from outside, except through the front door. That just doesn’t work for a lot of cargo. 

Ostensibly, the kind of buyer who is going to spend time off -rid is likely bringing a bunch of outdoor stuff with them. That might be mountain bikes or climbing gear or whatever. With that in mind, Ibex put the bunk all the way against the outside wall and then put a cargo door out there to access this space. 

The lower bunk does flip up—so now you have a decent amount of cargo space and a way to get to it. That’s smart. 

These bunks are also rated to hold 300 pounds each, so you could bring other adults with you. 

Rhino-Rack RVT system on the Ibex 19MBH

If those people brought stuff, as well, another cornerstone feature of the Ibex line has been the inclusion of a Rhino-Rack RVT system. This is a series of products from Rhino Rack that can hold all sorts of things like bicycles, kayaks, cargo and that sort of stuff. This rack system is mounted up on the roof. There is a ladder, and the roof is rated to accommodate 500 pounds. 

I will write that I don’t know if hefting bicycles up to the roof of the Ibex 19MBH is going to be in a lot of owners’ plans. There are things you can put up there that make more sense. 

What’s inside

Despite not having a slide room, this is a handy trailer in a lot of ways. I personally like that there’s a Murphy bed in the front. That gives you a couch by day and a full 60” X 80” queen at night. 

There is a two-person dinette. But with the couch and dinette, everyone who can sleep here also has a place to eat. 

There’s also a 12-volt TV which won’t need the inverter to operate. I also have mentioned how much I like having a Bluetooth speaker instead of a built-in sound system. This one has it. For those who long for a traditional FM radio, I’ve found that the 12-volt TV actually has this built in. 

Kitchen in the Ibex 19MBH

On the subject of food, there is a two-burner propane stovetop and then a convection microwave. Those are certainly sufficient to get the job done. The one challenge with the microwave is that, unless you’re bringing a generator, you’re likely not using that microwave out there in the way-beyond. 

There is a 1,000-watt inverter. But that won’t run the microwave, either, no matter how much battery you have. 

One of the other signature features of the Ibex 19MBH is that the underbelly is fully enclosed and heated. Further, there are 12-volt tank heater pads. This would be good as the weather gets colder. I also like that the gate valves for the black and gray tanks are located within the enclosed underbelly rather than out in “the weather.” 

Boondocking and travel access

Of course not having a slide room means that everything’s always accessible. 

One thing I noticed was that this trailer has 30 gallons in each of the three tanks. I can easily see blowing through 30 gallons of fresh water in two days with two people, or in one day if there are four. That is a rather small fresh water tank. 

My observations

So what’s the big news on this trailer? You know that CURT independent suspension that was such a huge deal on the Ember trailers? Well, it is reportedly coming to this trailer, too. 

As much as I like that suspension already, I went to the factory where they’re being made and learned more about it. It is fully adjustable for caster and camber, like an automotive suspension. It’s also built like a tank, quite frankly. It’s an impressive piece, indeed. 

While I do like the torsion axle suspension, there are people I know who have been able to bend and damage theirs. The solution to that is simply replacing the whole enchilada. There’s really no fix for that kind of damage. 

That CURT independent coil spring suspension is a different story, and you’re not as likely to bend it or damage it. 

So is it worth waiting for that to be officially released? I don’t know. If you’re not doing serious off-roading, then probably not, as it will be a notable price increase to opt that system in. The standard tires and torsion axles have been good in these trailers for some time, so they will likely serve you quite well. 

Outside cargo door and flip-up bunk on the Ibex 19MBH

I do really like that outside cargo door and flip-up bunk much, much more than I would an outdoor kitchen. That’s what many trailers put there, and this just makes more sense to me. I do wish Ibex had put some sort of hold-back on this door, though, as it was flopping around in the slight breeze even at the expo. 

However, what Ember did in the 191MSL, which is a similarly-sized trailer, is revolutionary. That movable bunk system is such a game changer compared to fixed bunks, in my opinion. But the Ember is also much more pricey. 

This is certainly a decent package that’s flexible enough. You could easily use this as a couple’s camper, if you don’t mind sleeping on the bunks in back. Or bring along friends and flip down the Murphy bed. Or, of course, you could even bring the littles along, if you must. 

Storage is certainly a strong suit here, and it’s a good layout that could serve travelers well. 


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.

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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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3 months ago

I want it

Steve H
3 months ago

Better MSRP than most of the other 25′, no slide trailers Tony has reviewed.

Ham Radio
3 months ago

Given cargo carrying capacity, this unit needs 50 gallon fresh water tank.

Steve H
3 months ago
Reply to  Ham Radio

Couldn’t agree more. 3000# of CCC and the difference in weight between 30 and 50 gallons is only 166#!

Dennis Johnson
3 months ago

I have seen this floor plan on several other models. What stands out on every one is the terrible tv placement. The thought of craning my neck upwards to try and see the screen mounted to the sidewall directly above the sofa is a neckache waiting to happen.

Roger Spalding
3 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Johnson

Amen, Brother.

Steve H
3 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Johnson

TV would be better positioned for anyone on the sofa, in the REAL queen bed, or in the dinette seat next to the door if it was on the back dinette wall (the one at the foot of the bunks.

3 months ago
Reply to  Steve H

Not to mention needing to be on a swivel arm! Perhaps even a ceiling mount?

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