By Tony Barthel
Coachmen does a good job with their larger trailers but also does some really, really interesting things with their little trailers. A while back we looked at the Coachmen Clipper 12.0 TD Max. I thought that was a nifty design, but I think I like today’s Coachmen Apex Nano 16T even more.
Your stuff will fit in the Apex Nano 16T
One of the biggest problems with smaller trailers is that folks who buy them are often adventurous souls and want to do things like kayak, ride bicycles and that sort of thing. But they also enjoy off-roading or finding hidden spots – so they want to tow with something like a Jeep or other SUV. That means the tow vehicle has limited cargo carrying capacity and space, and the trailer’s small – so you’re stuck wishing instead of fishing.
The Apex Nano 16T travel trailer absolutely solves that in a very, very big way. It’s one of the best little trailers I’ve seen besides a tiny toy hauler at this.
Essentially there’s storage the entire length of the body of the trailer accessible through a rear door. The bed in the back of the trailer flips up and stays up. The dining table at the front of the trailer is not fixed in place, so that can be put out of the way.
That way you could literally haul bicycles or a kayak or that sort of thing in this trailer. There is about 1,000 pounds of cargo carrying capacity. So it’s reasonable to haul a full fresh tank and some stuff and still be within that weight limit.
Oh, and speaking of that fresh tank for a trailer of this size. It’s huge – 50 gallons! Furthermore, there’s a SHOWERMI$ER water-saving system. This recirculates the shower water back into the fresh tank while you’re waiting for it to get hot rather than just filling up the gray tank.
With boondocking and adventure camping so much on the forefront of a lot of trailer owners’ minds, the Apex Nano 16T really fits well into that. In addition to a lot of water storage, the trailer is only 84” wide. So if you are towing with a mid-size pickup or an SUV or something, you might not even need towing mirrors.
For 2021 there’s a “Tera Wilderness Package” which is a mandatory option (isn’t that like jumbo shrimp?). That includes a 100-watt solar panel and 10-amp charge controller. It also includes beefier 15-inch all-terrain tires on a raised suspension. In addition, there’s a front bicycle rack and a toy lock. The package also includes 12-volt heat pads for all three holding tanks.
With a gas-electric refrigerator and the 100-watt solar panel, you may be fine being off-grid for some time with this, depending on the weather. You won’t be able to run the AC or the microwave, but everything else will work just fine.
My own trailer only has 37 gallons of fresh water aboard. So that limits me to about 3-4 days off-grid even with daily showers for both my wife and me. Yep, we’ve got the Navy shower thing down to a science.
But with 50 gallons of fresh water and 30-gallon gray and black tanks, along with a 100-watt solar panel, I could easily see us being completely off grid for five days, no question.
This is definitely a small trailer but one that makes good use of space. Up front is a two-person dinette with a windshield, along with windows on either side. So it feels relatively open. Since the table is free-standing, you can adjust as needed. Or just take it out or make a day bed. Whatever.
On the road side is the bathroom and it’s a dry bath, which is surprising. There’s a decent shower and a toilet but not a sink. This would absolutely not be a deal breaker for me. There is one thing, however. The shower walls are lined with that wallpaper stuff that’s in the rest of the coach. Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be water-resistant. But I think my first stop with this trailer would be the hardware store to get some sheets of FRP to line the shower with.
The back is part of the magic of this trailer, and that’s not just because the bed is there. But the bed is part of the story and it flips up sort of like a drawbridge. That leaves the entire length of the floor for storage of stuff while you’re traveling.
You’ll also notice that the bed frame is welded aluminum. This is a nice touch and is superior, in my eyes, to a wood frame.
The galley isn’t going to make a big-time chef happy – but you work with what you’ve got. There’s a solid surface countertop in which a small, round sink is placed. There’s also a flush-mount two-burner cooktop. Below that is the microwave, a couple of drawers and a cabinet and there are more cabinets overhead.
Storage in the Apex Nano 16T
I’ve already written about how you can use the whole length of the interior as storage. But wait – there’s more, as they say on late night TV.
On the road side in the back there’s a surprisingly large cabinet for storage. There’s also one on the camp side at the front. I’ve seen larger trailers with less exterior storage. Plus, there’s that whole interior storage factor.
Lastly, there’s another door on the camp side at the back. This holds the camp kitchen, which is only a two-burner stove and more storage.
Interestingly, there is no water in the camp kitchen – but there’s an outdoor shower on the road side. If this were on the camp side or in the camp kitchen, you could use this to complete the camp kitchen. Oh well, nothing’s perfect.
If you can’t tell, I really, really like the Coachmen Apex Nano 16T Travel Trailer. Despite its small size, the trailer has a good amount of storage so I can store everything I want to take with me. The walls utilize Azdel substrates, so water intrusion is less of a problem.
The one thing I’d change is to put the outdoor shower on the camp side (but I have rarely seen this done) and line the shower differently. Other than that, this is really a nifty package.
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.
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