Friday, October 22, 2021


RV review: Lightweight 2021 IBEX 20BHS travel trailer

By Tony Barthel
According to RVBusiness, the IBEX 20 BHS is one of the 10 most noteworthy new RVs for 2021, so we wanted to check it out. IBEX is a new brand from Forest River that is designed to be ultra-light in weight and towable by some SUVs and even mid-size pickups. All IBEX units feature a 1,000-watt inverter, cold weather package which includes heated and enclosed underbelly, tank pad heaters and enclosed tank valves. 

IBEX 20BHS floorplanAdditionally, they all feature a PVC roof construction which carries a 15-year warranty. There are all-terrain tires with a higher level of ground clearance than some trailers. Inside is a central vacuum system, and the entertainment system includes a JBL Bluetooth speaker and a 32” 12-volt television. There are also Rhino-Rack RVT tracks, and an outdoor kitchen (all IBEX units have one).

The 20BHS features two single bunks at the back of the trailer, and a full-sized queen bed at the front. The dinette is in a slide room and can be converted to allow for two adults to sleep, bringing the total number of places to sleep to six in this unit. 

While a number of the IBEX models are narrow-body, this one is a full 8 feet wide but still weighs only 4613 lbs. dry.

Clearly, this line of trailers is aimed at those seeking adventure with the larger tires and above-average ground clearance. Rhino-Rack makes a number of accessories that fit into the roof rack mount on this trailer so you can outfit it to hold kayaks, roof boxes, bicycles, snow gear and much, much more. 

Even though the trailer is designed to offer a gateway to an outdoor adventure, I really like the diffused lighting behind the cabinets in the front. They offer a nice glow at night without forcing direct lighting. As with all modern RVs, all the lighting in the IBEX is LED. 

A few of the other touches I thought worth noting were the stabilizers on the steps of the trailer. Since this model is higher off the ground than some RVs, there are three steps leading into the trailer, the bottom of which has extendable feet that offer a much more stable feel to the step. 

Furthermore, these steps do not fold up into the camper and are the more traditional RV steps so you don’t have to worry about getting dirt and debris in the body of the camper when folding the steps. 

IBEX 20bhsThis model also features a full 15,000BTU ducted air conditioner which brings cool air throughout the coach as opposed to just a central unit, which is more common. The roof, too, is a fully laminated structure with a PVC surface that carries a 15-year warranty. 

Your pets might also enjoy a bit of adventure and the IBEX has an integrated tie-down that can be used to hold one end of a leash. Or, it could serve to attach to the other end of a locking cable for generators and such. 

Oh, and on the subject of keeping things safe, there’s an actual safe in the closet. Seriously. There are also little storage spaces behind the closets at the front of the trailer so you could put your tablet or book back there after enjoying a bit of reading on, or something else. But why would you read something else? 

Other noteworthy touches are a built-in vacuum where you sweep debris to the opening and give it a kick. That turns it on and also turns on a light so you can see the dirt disappear. Slick. 

There is also a 100-watt solar panel on the roof to give the batteries some juice in the day and a 1,000-watt inverter to power the outlets at night. If I were seriously into boondocking, and I am, this would be a pretty good choice and I would likely drop a couple of lithium batteries onto the tongue for maximum juice storage. 

Another “little thing” that I think makes a difference is that there are physical switches by the door for the awning and interior light. The awning light also is a lighted switch so you don’t forget to turn it off at night. 

Additional switches in the bathroom operate the included tank heaters, water heater controls, water pump and tank level sensors. I guess you can do your business and take care of business all at the same time. 

IBEX 20BHS specificationsThe only thing I didn’t like about this trailer was the fact that the front bed was not isolated at all from the rest of the coach. In my own trailer, there’s at least a curtain and it would be easy enough to hang a curtain in here, but it’s odd that they didn’t think to do so from the factory. Also, the kitchen counter space is tiny, but it is in my own trailer too, so we just bring a plastic folding table along for this reason. 

For those with a bit of adventure in their blood, the IBEX line is very well situated to support those visions of back trail camping and setting up a base camp for further exploration. With solar, heated tanks and a power inverter, the only thing you’re going to want for on a back-trails adventure is more days off. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with my own research and represent the most accurate information and opinion at the time of writing. Your experience is always encouraged.


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11 months ago

Patrick has obviously never owned a Forest River product.

11 months ago
Reply to  Maxwell

You’re absolutely right Maxwell, I’ve never owned an RV. Perhaps you own one and you were one of the lucky few that didn’t get a lemon. But the evidence is overwhelming:

847 Reviews / 1.7 / 5 Rating (F Grade)

18 Reviews / 97 Complaints / 1.17 / 5 Rating (F Grade)

1873 Reviews / 3.59 / 5 Rating (C- Grade)

21 Reviews / 1.5 / 5 Rating (F Grade)

Caveat Emptor = Buyer Beware = “A Fool and Their Money are Soon Parted”

When we the consumer continue to buy products like this, we are enabling these companies to continue doing business in the same low quality way and thus they have no economic incentive to improve. But when enough consumers choose not to buy their products, we can either force them to change or force them out of biz.

Tony F Stekar
11 months ago

I bought a forest river vibe , piece of junk , trim fell off first two trips. glued and screwed back on . Fan/ and light above stove has never worked , nor the oven. ice box 6 cu. had to be fixed third trip out. But the worst of all things is it carries only 20 gallons of fresh water , a park model . Not for BOON docking .Wiring under slide out had to be repaired and move from above tires. The 8 inches of spacing between tires make it turn wide . There’s more ; too much to keep going on , have had it out three times each year ( 5 years ) and have had to repair something every other trip???

11 months ago

Remember it’s still a Forest River product, and overall have a reputation of poor build quality, and lousy warranty response from customer service. I’d wait to see what actual owner’s experiences are in the 1st year or 2 of usage. I’d hire a Certified RV Inspector and make the dealer fix everything before taking delivery.

11 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

What is a good quality trailer do you think/recommend?

11 months ago

There’s no perfect trailers out there, but these companies are generally very high quality:

Northwood Manufacturing
Outdoors RV
Black Series
InTech RV
Leisure Vans (Motor Homes)
Tiffin (Motor Homes)

This is not an exhaustive list but should get you off to a good start. What type of RV are you seeking?

Dave Helgeson
11 months ago

Is the converter / charger set up to accept lithium batteries?

Bob P
11 months ago

A 4600lb UVW and 7500lb GVW trailer isn’t considered a light weight trailer.

Mike Morrell
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

It is when you are thinking about a full size RV verses a Pop Up or Tear Drop. These lighter pull behind RV’s are in a different class just as a Motorhome or 5th wheel are in a different class from Lite or Ultra lites are.