Today’s review is of the Coachmen Freedom Express Select 20SE. This is a floor plan that, to me, is almost a throwback—and that’s not a bad thing. This 24’6” trailer has no slides and no windshield, and makes really great use of the space. You know, like vintage trailers used to do.
In fact, my own 1970 Aristocrat Land Liner is truly a study in effective space utilization with its front kitchen and huge bureau, yet all in a 2100-pound package. This new Coachmen is also a good example of space utilization in a thoroughly modern platform.
There are a lot of things that have been the beneficiaries of progress. Among those are components like Azdel substrates in the wall build. Azdel is a man-made product that is not affected by water and it also has better sound isolation properties.
Our ability to harness the sun as RVers is another very welcome innovation of just the past few years. Part of that is the newer 12-volt refrigerators in RVs that can be safely operated in transit. They also chill faster and more effectively. There is also the improved PVC roofing material, in addition to the vast number of wall outlets and charge ports in modern rigs.
One of the best things we humans have come up with is tire pressure monitoring systems and, for 2022, this trailer comes with one of those.
All those are improvements over things we had in the past, and they are all part of the picture in the Coachmen Freedom Express Select 20SE.
But things that I am seeing more and more of which are not part of this trailer are windshields in bedrooms, for example. There is not one here.
Good things in the bedroom of the Freedom Express Select
But while in the bedroom, we should check out the actual queen-sized bed and the cabinets around it. These are all good things.
I like the bathroom in the Freedom Express Select, as well. It sort of bisects the trailer, almost, over on the road side. I’m seeing more and more glass shower enclosures. However, I much prefer shower curtains just because they don’t shatter mid-transit, leaving shards of glass all over the floor. I know this is an infrequent occurrence, but it’s a monster inconvenience when it happens. This trailer features a shower curtain.
That also makes the bathroom feel roomier when you’re on the toilet as you’re not bumping up against those glass doors. Unfortunately, you’ll be sitting on a plastic toilet. But these are easy to swap and not everybody is opposed to these.
Who am I kidding. Nobody likes plastic toilets.
Kitchen and dining area
On the camp side is the kitchen. It actually has a good amount of counter space, with the usual three-burner stove, albeit with small oven, and a double-bowl sink. But beyond that there’s a good length of counter. This one features the pressed membrane design that has a nice feel and shouldn’t be damaged by water.
Coachmen has this drawer which is a part of this trailer that is a U-shaped arrangement with a plastic insert in it to help organize utensils. The drawer is shaped to go around the sink and is a terrific use of space that is often otherwise just not taken advantage of.
The best feature in the Freedom Express Select
But the best feature, to my way of thinking, is the seating in the back on the Freedom Express Select 20SE.
A large bench or even gaucho lines most of the back wall. This gives plenty of space for three seats. Across from this is a bench with two more seats. So this really is a great place to sit and play games or enjoy a meal. This is predominantly a couples’ camper. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put out your pink flamingoes and invite the neighbors over for a drink and a card game or whatever.
I also really like the free-standing table as opposed to a table on a pole just because it allows you to accommodate all sizes of campers. I could sit across from a skinny camper and we’d both be happy.
You could also take that table outside or use it over in the kitchen area to add to the prep space. Further, you could just move the table and sit on the rear gaucho and watch TV or whatever. The TV is positioned to take advantage of this type of use case.
Heck, sitting on one side you could put your feet on the other until your wife gets out of the bathroom and tells you not to put your feet on the seat.
Lastly, there is a closet right at the entrance of the Freedom Express Select. It provides either pantry or hanging space, or even a place for a broom or whatever.
No slide = no damage
But not having a slide, you won’t have to be concerned about those tiny rocks on the floor that can do so much damage when the slide comes in.
I’m a big fan of keeping things simple, and this trailer is a prime example of this.
One of the reasons this trailer has a more spacious feel to it is the ceiling height, which is greater than average at 81”.
Boondocking and travel access
Since there’s no slide in this trailer, everything’s always accessible. But Coachmen also fitted this with a 50-gallon fresh water tank, which is pretty large.
While solar is not standard, it is an option with a 175-watt solar panel and 30-amp MPPT controller on the options list. If boondocking’s something you enjoy, as I do, then this might be a worth check box on the options list.
Sometimes I’m a bit concerned that my tastes might be far outside the norm in the world of RVs. I’ve talked to lots of RV decision-makers about units with no slide. Universally they tell me that larger units without a slide room are difficult to sell.
It could be that my judgment is colored by having to file warranty claims on slide rooms. Or maybe it’s just that my vision of wanting to go RVing means spending time outside under the awning more than being inside. But I also know there are plenty of places in the country where going outside means fighting off bugs and other pests, so being inside is better.
In fact, in my own world, if there’s a mosquito in the county I’m visiting, it’s going to be attacking me, which is why I’ve been such a big fan of the Thermacell. But that’s not the only pest that affects camping.
What do you think about no-slide travel trailers?
I’m curious about your take on no-slide travel trailers. Am I truly an odd outlier in this world? Or are there more of us who might be interested in something like this?
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.
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. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has an 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. 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!