Today’s review is of the East To West Alta 1900MMK, a smaller travel trailer with really terrific use of space. In fact we’ve seen this floor plan used before in the Grand Design Imagine 17MKE travel trailer.
My wife and I looked at the Grand Design very, very seriously. The principal thing about that model was the incredibly long counter space relative to the overall length of the trailer. In fact, there’s no way not to be surprised the first time you see this much counter space in a trailer of this size.
East To West awards
While East To West is a relatively new brand under the larger Forest River umbrella, the company has been making strides in both availability and how customers and dealers perceive the product. There have been all sorts of awards for the company in general. Those include awards for best new product, best of show, and top RV debut. But, potentially, the most important award is the one from the RV Dealers Association recognizing East To West among the brands that have highest satisfaction by dealers.
The more skeptical among you might think this is because the dealers earned the most profit or something like that. But actually, as someone who worked at a dealership, I can tell you brands that treat the dealership well in terms of ordering and warranty support are the ones we tend to keep.
For example, we had one brand that we signed up with where we got the initial five units from our order—which we were very excited about. But then our techs went through the trailers and found they weren’t built as well as they claimed to be. The procedure for making a warranty claim was terrible and the service to us was terrible. So we never ordered more of these units.
Conversely, I’ve written about brands that were really terrific to deal with. The easier it is to make our customers happy, the happier dealerships are. And, hence, the validity of this award.
As mentioned, one of the highlights of this floor plan is that the kitchen counter extends from the entry door all the way to the back of the trailer. It’s gargantuan! There’s plenty of space for meal prep and even to use as a buffet.
Since there’s so much counter space, there are also plenty of drawers underneath. These include several fairly large drawers, three normal drawers, cabinet space big enough to hold a garbage can and more. If you like preparing meals while you’re on the road, this is a great place to do so.
Not only are there all those drawers, but there’s a pantry, too.
There are also comfortable places to sit—with a theater seat in the slide room that incorporates the two theater seats which feature the obligatory cup holders. There are little tables that can slot into the cup holders if you need them.
Further, there’s a couch across the front of the rig that features footrests that kick up, and storage under the seat cushion. Storage is not an issue here.
The one deal breaker for some buyers might be the Murphy bed, which has a bend in the mattress about 1/3 of the way down. If you’re like most RVers and place some sort of a pad on the bed, then this won’t matter. I’ve been told this bed is much more comfortable than the average RV bed, which is like saying the torture aboard one pirate ship isn’t as bad as it is on others.
More highlights in the East To West Alta
Other highlights include the fact that there are no floor registers and no carpet in the slide room. I’m also pretty enamored with all the window coverage in this unit.
Further, I like that the shower is pretty large. It features a shower door that’s sort of a roller door with a wiper seal on it. I’ve already shared my concerns with glass shower doors. The ceiling height in this rig is also taller, which makes the unit feel much larger.
While thinking of the shower, East To West actually plumbed the holding tanks such that there is but one dump point. You see, RV companies. This can be done and East To West did it. I’d give them an award if I had any to give.
I have to admit I am no fan of the solid steps that are so prevalent in modern travel trailers. But, to their credit, East To West puts a tool box under those steps so you can store things like wheel chocks and that sort of thing that you’d use in setting up the trailer. This is a brilliant use of space.
There are a lot of pluses in this floor plan in general, and the way East To West has implemented them, specifically. But a few things are worth noting, by my observation.
One of those is that there are three skylights in this trailer, including two with vent fans. But those are just the cheap fans that really do nothing more than make noise. Also, as good as this kitchen is, there’s only a smaller 16” oven—so forget about baking anything of consequence.
Boondocking and Travel Access
In some ways this trailer’s design is almost perfect for the way many people camp. You can access the bathroom at the back as well as almost the entire kitchen, except the pantry, with the slide room in. However, you cannot fold down the Murphy bed with the slide room in, so it’s less than ideal for stealth camping.
The standard solar on this trailer is a 50-watt panel intended primarily to keep the battery topped up while the unit is in storage. However, you can opt-in a 170-watt panel with a 30-amp controller and second battery from the factory in what is called the West Coast Power Package.
So, would I get this one, or the Grand Design if I were writing the check? I’m leaning toward the East To West implementation of this floor plan. It’s a taller ceiling and a bit longer trailer—which makes the countertop longer, as well.
Interestingly, you’ll notice that East To West describes their walls as including Azdel in the construction. But this is only on the outer wall lamination—the inner still employs Luan. Not the worst thing in the world, but something to know.
Overall, this is definitely a floor plan that offers a lot to the right buyer, and one I like quite a bit.
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 a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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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