By Tony Barthel
Something I don’t see often are rear-bedroom travel trailers, but putting the sleeper in the back makes sense in some ways. In theory you have more shaking from road vibrations and such at the back of the trailer (behind the axle). So the bed is the least likely to suffer from that shaking. I don’t really think this is much of an issue but, in the theoretical world, it is.
So, with the idea of seeking out a couple of travel trailers with the sleeping quarters at the rear, I started with the KZ Connect SE C221FKKSE. Don’t RV names just roll off the tongue like water off a duck’s back?
Since the idea of the rear bedroom is the whole reason we’re here, let’s start at the front – where the bedrooms usually reside.
In the case of the KZ Connect, you’ll find the kitchen takes the full width of the front. It really uses the space well. To the right of the entry door is actually the entertainment center. This features some cabinets and a space to put whatever TV you choose, so long as it fits.
The KZ Connect features a darker finish on the entertainment center cabinetry, so it kind of sets it apart.
Next to that is where the galley begins with a three-burner stove and 17” oven. Above that is a small microwave.
Across the entire front of the trailer is a glorious countertop. In that is set a rectangular stainless steel sink right smack dab in the middle. There’s still a lot of counter space up here. This is the kind of kitchen that people who enjoy cooking might gravitate toward. Not necessarily bakers, though, because that smaller oven does limit what you can put in there.
Above that countertop is a small cabinet on either side and then a long storage shelf. The majority of your storage is below the counter – where there are lots of cabinets and drawers. However, I wonder about things flying off the shelf if they’re there in transit.
Windshield in the kitchen of the KZ Connect
I do like the fact that there’s a windshield here. It’s nice to be able to look out the window when you’re doing the dishes or prepping the grub.
The refrigerator is in the road-side slide room and shares space with the theater seating. That theater seating serves all the purposes for seating in this trailer with a free-standing folding table. I know there are some folks who prefer something more traditional and some who might love a massage with their spaghetti.
These theater seats feature a fold-down arm rest that sports a 120vac outlet as well as two USB plug and cup holders. With the arm rest up you could seat three friendly people here.
Moving back, there’s a bathroom with a linen closet and corner radius shower.
Nice bedroom with opening windows in the back of the KZ Connect
Lastly, the bedroom features a queen-sized bed in a configuration that you would normally find in a traditional travel trailer, except that it’s at the back. There is a hanging closet on either side of the bed. The advantage of having the bedroom in the back is that the closets are tall and relatively deep.
There are also side tables under each of these with power and USB as well. Of course, there’s more storage under the bed. But there’s also a full-height space behind each of the closets and, with the 120vac and USB ports on each side of the bed, these are the perfect place to put those electronic goodies that you’re not supposed to be looking at before you go to bed.
One of the really nice things about the bed being in the back is the fact that all the windows in the bedroom open, including the one right at the head of the bed. With most travel trailers, even if they have a front windshield, you can’t open this. So if you like having a lot of outside air inside, this might be another good reason to choose this configuration.
If you consider that the layout is backwards, you’ll also notice that the main storage for this trailer is too, sort of. The pass-through storage on this model as all the way at the back of the trailer and essentially goes under the bed, which is also back there.
KZ indicates that this trailer has a dry weight of 5,350 pounds with a tongue weight of 870. So you have about 15% of the trailer’s weight on the tongue, as it should be. But I wonder if there are times you can load the storage too full and get to less than 15% of the trailer’s mass on the tongue. Don’t forget you’re also loading the kitchen. My mind is wandering.
Along the middle of the KZ Connect is an outside kitchen with a flat-top griddle that can slide under a bar-sized refrigerator. I like that this kitchen takes up very little vertical space, but you’ll have to reach over the griddle to get to the fridge and that’s not my favorite situation.
Some companies are good at telling the story of why you should consider their products. With KZ, that would be that they offer a two-year warranty on their trailers. They also take a moment to brag about the enclosed, heated underbelly on this trailer as well as the PVC roof membrane, which carries a 20-year warranty.
Insulation is also a point the company mentions, including their one-inch thick baggage doors.
Also, this trailer features a control panel that any traditional trailer owner will like but that also offers the Lippert OneControl®. That enables you to operate many of the features of the trailer with a smartphone or tablet.
Some things I would like upgraded
But there are also things I would like upgraded on the KZ Connect, including the low-performance fans in the bathroom. I know I mention this quite a bit – but the better performance fans make such a difference when you need them. I’m a big fan of these – and now I feel good that I was able to throw a pun your direction while also making a valid point.
I think there are a lot of reasons to look at couple’s travel trailers with rear bedrooms, including slightly more closet space (the closet doesn’t have to accommodate the sloping nose of the trailer) and huge kitchen countertops.
But I also know that there are folks who would rather have more traditional dining arrangements, for example. So, with that in mind, tomorrow we’ll look at another rear-bedroom model about the same size that does things differently.
Also, I’m really disappointed in the complete lack of digital photographs of the KZ Connect SE C221FKKSE on the company’s website. Instead of making a dizzying array of almost identical floor plans, I wonder if it would ever make sense to offer fewer choices but choices that were just better represented. Oh, well. Right now the RV industry’s biggest issue is just being able to make enough RVs to quell the demand that exists over the next 18 months.
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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