By Tony Barthel
Yesterday I wrote about the Keystone Outback 328RL as a large, livable travel trailer that is almost like a fifth wheel in the floor plan. But Keystone’s Outback line is also a truly premium brand of the trailer and that may put it out of reach for some buyers.
Furthermore, there are customers who prefer the “stick and tin” style of trailer builds which means a wood frame and an aluminum skin. There are advantages to either method of building a trailer. But one of the key appeals of this style of build is that it’s less expensive.
So today I look at the similarly sized Coachmen Catalina Legacy 333RETS travel trailer. I’d like to thank Steve Marshall for suggesting this review.
In many ways this is a similar floor plan and size to yesterday’s Outback. However, the Coachmen Catalina is built using wood-framed construction and, of course, shows how companies interpret floor plans differently.
Coachmen Catalina 333RETS
Like yesterday’s Outback, the Coachmen Catalina 333RETS is a large travel trailer with three slide rooms. It is potentially better suited as a destination trailer or one that you might live in full time. That depends on the buyer, of course.
As such, there is a significant amount of living space in this trailer due to the slides and size. Stepping inside this model one of the things that really stands out is how open it feels – with the slide rooms out, of course.
That open feeling is due to the very light colors Coachmen used in the interior, which I like very much. But it’s also due to a 6’9” ceiling height. This also means the slide rooms can be taller, and you get a bit larger refrigerator as well.
What’s inside the Coachmen Catalina Legacy 333RETS
One of the first things you’ll come to in the Coachmen Catalina is the eating place. In this rig it could be either a dinette or a table and chairs – Coachmen offers the choice to the buyer. That table shares a camp-side slide room with two recliners that are not attached to the floor. That means they can be moved around to face the kitchen or the TV and the first of two fireplaces, which is at the back of the trailer.
Opposite the recliners is a tri-fold sofa that makes into a pretty decent bed. These newer tri-fold sofas use thicker padding, so it’s a pretty comfortable sleeping surface. It’s certainly more comfortable than grandma’s old sleeper couch – which we justifiably called the sleeper ouch.
Since we’ve moved over to the road-side slide room in the Coachmen Cataline, that’s where you’ll find the 7-cubic-foot RV refrigerator. Beyond that is counter space with a three-burner RV stove with 17” oven with cabinet space above. There’s even a drawer under that small oven for the pans and such.
If you’re standing at the stove, then behind you will be a large stainless steel sink in a peninsula. To your right are more cabinets. There’s a microwave on the wall facing the front of the trailer and lots and lots of countertop space all around. Below all that space are either drawers or cabinets, so you will likely not have an issue with storage.
The bathroom and bedroom in the Coachmen Catalina
Beyond the living space, the bathroom is very similar to that of the Outback. In each there’s a door on the main hallway between the bathroom and bedroom, as well as a door to the bedroom. And, like the Outback, there’s a good amount of space in here. That includes in the shower, where the ceiling height also affords more headroom.
In the bedroom, this rig features a queen bed in a slide. There’s a closet along the front wall of the trailer. In addition, there is a tall door on the nose of the trailer. Behind the door is a closet-height storage space plumbed with hot and cold water valves for a stacking washer-dryer.
There’s also a baggage door to the outside. So, if you don’t opt for the washer-dryer, this could be a great way to access shoes or other things in the bottom of the closet. Now, this also means you’ve got a bit less outside storage space if you take up this closet with a washer-dryer. So that’s something to think about.
On the camp-side wall is the second electric space-heating fireplace and the second TV. There are windows on either side of this, but know that these are the only windows in the bedroom.
So what are the big differences between the Coachmen Catalina Legacy 333RETS and the Keystone Outback 328RL besides, of course, the build methodology?
The Catalina features two electric fireplaces which means that, when you’re plugged in, you might prefer to use these over the propane furnace since power is generally included in a site rental.
I was surprised by how few windows were in the bedroom of this Coachmen Catalina. I’d like to see windows cut into the sides of the bedroom slide for a cross-breeze, for example. Even better would be an additional window above the headboard of the bed for the same reason.
There are also fewer premium features built into this trailer or available as an option. These might include full auto level or the little night lights or two refrigerators. But that may not matter and the price difference is about $8,000. Significant.
In fact, if you’re parking this for extended periods of time you may not even find value in auto level – that makes a bigger difference in set-up and tear down. However, it also makes for a much more stable trailer when the auto level is engaged. This is because there are 11 points of contact with the ground (including the four tires) – so the trailer would tend to be very stable. Furthermore, the chassis on the Outback is considerably stiffer so that trailer may just be more stable when parked for those reasons.
The price difference between the Coachmen Catalina and yesterday’s Outback is significant. If a “stick and tin” trailer is good with you, this isn’t a bad choice and offers a lot of features that should prove useful.
Catalina’s awning lights can be changed in color – if that has any value to you. There are JBL speakers outside. Those are much better than the typically lousy outside speakers of so many RVs. Also, there’s a soundbar inside which, again, is a treat for the ears.
I do believe that the additional build quality and features of the Outback are worthwhile. But where the price difference is worth it to the individual buyer is a choice they obviously have to make. However, I don’t think this trailer is a bad choice either by any stretch. And it does offer a large, usable and comfortable living space. This could be great for a destination trailer or even a full-time living situation.
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.
Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!