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RV Review: Flagstaff Micro Lite 21FBRS; wifey’s choice

At the recent FMCA rally I was comparing the trailers we were seriously considering, if I don’t do the cargo trailer idea, and mentioned one in particular which I know I’ve reviewed. Well, it turns out, I haven’t. This is so much better than the times when I write a review and then discover that I’ve already written one. CRS is a bad thing. 

The trailer I was talking about was the Flagstaff Micro Lite 21FBRS, which is an identical cousin to the Rockwood Mini Lite 2109s. As you may know, I already have a 2017 Rockwood Mini Lite 1905s, which is about five feet shorter than this trailer. Frankly, now that I spend much more time working on the road, I want more elbow room. 

Why I like a small rig

But I still like a rig that’s small enough to fit into two tandem spaces at the grocery store or into those campsites that are still available after the larger ones have been spoken for. The way my wife and I camp, we make a lot of decisions that take into account the advantages of having a smaller rig. Just ask any friends or relatives whom we’ve moochdocked with. 

I’ve also used my trailer so much and taken it on so many adventures, many of which I’m certain it was never designed for, that it needs some attention in places. So I can fix those, but I can also get a new trailer. 

Or build a cargo trailer. 

Flagstaff/Rockwood

I have written before that I really like Rockwood and Flagstaff products. I’ve visited the factory, spoken with the decision makers and even run a Facebook Group with some 8700 owners and prospective owners. The difference between these two brands is essentially just the stickers. This is done so they can authorize a Rockwood dealer within the territory of a Flagstaff dealer to increase market share. This is not uncommon in the industry. 

For example, a Coleman trailer is simply a Dutchmen product with a different badge. 

In my own trailer, the fact that the wiring, plumbing, cabinetry and most of the rest of it have endured what I’ve dished up says a lot. 

The company does their own wall lamination in batches of two to ensure quality, for example. 

They use torsion axle suspensions, build all weight-bearing structures in-house of welded aluminum, and employ frameless windows – which require less maintenance. But then they include a high-performance vent fan (which I’m using as I write this!) to maximize air flow. 

Upgrades

Since my trailer was made, the few things I have had challenges with have been addressed and improved upon. For example, the frames are now much heavier Lippert frames. The flooring is now 5/8” tongue-and-groove plywood, and walls are laminated with Azdel both inside and out. 

Furthermore, now the trailers have significantly larger fresh water tanks than mine, at 52 gallons as opposed to just 42. Then, to make them even more boondocking friendly, there is a Showermiser which redirects water back into your fresh tank while you’re waiting for the hot water to reach the shower head. 

Same-grades

A lot of the things I do really like about my trailer have stayed the same. Those include the 22” oven, the lack of heater vents cut into the floor, the quality of the cabinetry, the ridiculous number of LED interior lights (each with their own switch) and more. If it weren’t for the elbow room necessitated by working while traveling, our trailer would be ideal.

More stuff in the Flagstaff Micro Lite

As the RV industry recognizes that boondocking is becoming a bigger piece of the pie, Flagstaff and Rockwood are in line with this and all newer models ordered with the 12volt DC compressor fridge include a 190-watt solar panel and 1,000-watt inverter. You can upgrade to a second panel if you choose. This is how I would roll as I am writing this from the desert in Arizona, where I am boondocking and will be for four more days. 

There is also the option of a traditional propane/electric absorption fridge, but that doesn’t come with all the solar goodies. If you go propane on the fridge, the solar is an option at that point. 

The trailers all now come with enclosed underbellies with 12-volt heating pads on the tanks. 

Blah blah the reasons

The reason this ranks so high on my list is my experience with the company and how they build things. Having recently visited the factory, I have no doubt that things are as well made, better in some cases, than they were when mine rolled down the line. That’s absolutely not typical in the RV industry anymore. 

But I like this short (22’4”) overall length that’s just bigger enough, to me, to add the space I desire. This trailer incorporates a slide room that has a jackknife sofa. There is no theater seat option here, but it does come with a free-standing table which you could take outside. There is a model that’s a foot longer that does have a theater seat option and also includes an electric fireplace, and that model is also tempting. 

What I would lose in the Flagstaff Micro Lite

What I will lose is a little bathroom space as my present bathroom extends the entire width of the trailer and this one is in a corner, sort of. Also, presently, I have a Murphy bed and I’ve taken the couch out so we use folding chairs as seating in the trailer. 

Having the larger trailer would mean that I could get up at 5, as I enjoy doing, and just zip over to the couch and start working on stories for you. What I really like is that this trailer can be used just as well with the slide room in as it can when it’s extended. 

I can do that now with the dinette in our present trailer, but we bring more junk than we should. Oftentimes, the dinette is full of stuff so I have to wait for a seat. Yes, I know there’s a porcelain model at the back of my trailer – and some of your comments indicate that the content of some of my stories align well with the content of that particular seat. But it’s not all that comfortable for sitting and writing on. 

Why I haven’t jumped yet for the Flagstaff Micro Lite

Aside from these just being scarce, why haven’t I jumped yet? Having managed warranties at a dealership, I just really, really do not want a slide room. A version of this trailer could easily be made without one. If Airstream can do it, Rockwood/Flagstaff can do it. 

That’s also part of what drives my thinking about the cargo trailer idea. I can put in my own modern AC unit, flush the toilet with water from the gray tank, and also have space in the back for our Rad Power Bikes. I have already learned to weld aluminum to build the structure. But I am nobody’s cabinet maker, and Rockwood/Flagstaff do a beautiful job of this. 

Another reason I don’t need a slide

I would be willing to buy one of these despite the slide and, yeah, it does make for a lot more interior space. But I am often outside under the awning writing these articles as I go places to see places. If I want to stay inside I can go back home. That’s just my personal style. 

But this is a nifty trailer that offers a lot of usable interior space and features in a very towable package. Oh, one more thing. My wife loves this trailer. So I’m sure you readers know which direction I’m leaning – because I also like to be able to sleep INside whatever trailer we end up with. 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Usable with slide in
Build quality/materials
Drawers/cabinets/storage
Could be a no-slide model

SUMMARY

The Flagstaff Micro Lite 21fbrs and identical Rockwood Mini Lite 2109 are a great compromise of exterior size and interior space in a light, easily towable and well made package.

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Steve
1 month ago

This has many, very nice improvements over our 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S. However, they come at a cost–6″ of extra length, but 1,000 pounds of extra GVW! That’s likely not a problem for most 1/2-ton truck owners, but we towed our 2109S 27,000 miles with a Nissan Frontier.

Vickie L McClellan Benson
1 month ago

I actually like this one if it did NOT have a slide. I suppose a person could leave the slide in and seal that thing solid so it didn’t leak inside. I don’t understand why your wife loves it. The floor plan is nice, but I see very little space for dishes, pots & pans, or groceries. I suppose you could turn the “wardrobe” beside the fridge into a pantry. Does the linen closet in the bathroom have a rod for clothes or shelves for towels? That looks like a decent sized space that could be modified.

Vickie L McClellan Benson
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

Thanks for the links. I do have nesting pots that are space savers, and they work well for most things. Some, not so much as some foods tends to stick, making cleanup a pain. I have 3-4 means of making coffee but usually just prepare iced coffee to take along. (Guess I should remove those items, but some work for other uses). If you two can manage with your current set up, then I would think the extra space would feel luxurious. I still like the cargo trailer concept though & prefer mine to my actual camper for most outings. I love having a “rear deck” for me and the dog to sit outside without being in the dirt, mud, snow.

Michael Roach
1 month ago

I have a 2019 21FBRS and I love it. I’ve had a few minor issues but nothing I couldn’t fix myself. I’ve seen stealerships break more than they fixed ! I have (6) 100 watt solar panels mounted on unistrut on the roof and I can boondock for days. I’m really impressed with the suspension on these trailers. They ride really nice.

Bob P
1 month ago

Spoken like a man who knows that “happy wife, happy life” means. Lol

Eric Kropp
1 month ago

I noticed you mentioned 12 volt DC fridge and boondocking in the same sentence. I’m not seeing why anyone would want a 12 volt fridge for boondocking when propane lasts so much longer. I’m aware of the spaced increase and more consistent cooling advantages of a DC unit over a propane unit. You’d need a lot of solar, batteries and possibly a generator to support that. And with all the 120 volt “necessities” that people seem to think they need, that further drains the batteries with an inverter. I do read a lot about people that are spooked by propane for one reason or another. And I see the green movement starting to show up in RV manufacturing, so that could be a factor too.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric Kropp

You are right about the fridge, Eric. SO many people have found that the dc compressor fridge costs more power than they thought it would. I almost ‘jumped ship’ from my stock fridge to one of these – until a dealer steered me away from one, lining up all the reasons to stick with my existing (and trusty) gas/electric fridge.

Mary Masters
1 month ago

I just bought a 2014 Rockwood mini lite. I haven’t used it yet, still getting it all set up. I wish it had a heated, enclosed underbelly. Do you know if I could get that added on?
I like having the extra floor space that the slide gives me. I bought this to travel with my German Shepherd to agility trials. Not having to trip over him is what I like about having the slide. 😊

Michael Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Masters

Yes indeed you could have the underbelly enclosed. My sister had it done to her 2018 Flagstaff 21FBRS.

Mary Masters
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Roach

Thanks! 😃