Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Review: The r-pod 190 is iconic

Today’s RV review is of the r-pod 190 travel trailer, and I’m surprised that I’ve never looked at one of these before. When Forest River brought out the r-pod line it became a huge hit and several other companies immediately copied the shape and style of this trailer. For a while there were Jayco Hummingbirds and Winnebago Winnie Drops which had the same narrow body and rounded shape as the r-pod.

But the original is now the only one that looks like this. Once again, the r-pod has updated their look and shape along with some of the features. This is also a very likely competitor to yesterday’s Winnebago Micro Minnie 1808FBS. So which one makes more sense? We’ll get to that. 

What’s inside

The r-pod 190 has been a staple of the r-pod line for some time and it’s easy to see why. This is a smaller, narrow-body trailer with a distinctive look (now that the competition quit ripping that look off) and a surprising number of features included. 

Inside this particular model there’s a U-shaped dinette at the back, and then an RV queen at the front. 

The r-pod has been one of the smaller travel trailers that incorporates a central vacuum system for some time now. I remember when I first saw this, how fancy I thought that was at the r-pod price point. They also put an actual high-performance vent fan in this trailer. (Are you reading this, Winnebago?)

This model features a dry bath. and it’s not a bad size considering the overall size of the trailer. 

Like yesterday’s Winnebago, this one features a propane stove and convection microwave. But Winnebago’s stove features three burners and this one has but two. Since they’re going with a two-burner cooktop, I wish that they had chosen the one with linear burners rather than this one, as counter space in this kitchen is absolutely nonexistent. 

Those linear burners do seem to allow for more counter space, so that would make sense here. 

This also features a convection microwave oven in lieu of a propane oven—which I like. 

Sleep tight…ly

These smaller, narrow-body trailers have a challenge when it comes to bed space, as there just isn’t much. This is why I’m such a fan of Murphy beds in an RV of this size—but that’s not happening here. So you get a 60” X 74” bed facing east-to-west. 

What I do like is that there are windows on three sides of the bed for air flow, including an acrylic front windshield that flips up. There are shades that pull up that incorporate a screen, or one that pulls down that blocks the light. While I am not the biggest fan of windshields in travel trailers, this is second only to a windshield with a flip-up outside cover. 

Sit yourself down

There is a larger U-shaped dinette at the back, as mentioned, and this can also be another bed. There is a table with a live edge look to it, but this is also mounted on poles. With as little prep space as this RV has, wouldn’t it be nifty if they mounted that table on legs so it were freestanding and then allowed you to lift the table to counter height? 

Now that would be some sexy stuff! But this table configuration only exists in my imagination so, Lippert, if you’re listening … there’s your idea. Call it the Barthel-O-Matic table lifty-upper-a-ma-jiggy. Or maybe just SmarTable. That might catch on. 

Boondocking and travel access

You can get this trailer in two flavors, regular and Hood River Edition. The Hood River Edition offers knobbier tires and a slightly lifted suspension. 

But no matter what ‘hood you park in, you won’t be getting to the bathroom, the front bed nor the refrigerator with the slide room in. Oh, well. 

In conclusion

I have a surprising number of friends who have r-pod trailers and more than one of them has chosen this model. I can see why. The dinette in the back can be a sleeping space if you have a friend over, it has a dry bath, and it’s small and light enough that everyone I know who has one of these pulls it with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. 


So would I prefer this or the Winnebago from yesterday? I frankly like the Winnebago better because of the two axles—which translates into much greater cargo carrying capacity. 

Also, there is a gate valve and connection for the black tank and a separate gate valve and connection for the gray tank on this trailer. This just makes me cuckoo. If a yahoo like me can figure out how to plumb these two together, you’d think an RV company could, too. And the black tank flush is over on the camp side, so you’d have to hook up the black tank flush and then monitor it on the other side of the trailer. No thanks. 

Still, these are iconic trailers that offer a decent value and some class-leading features. Not bad at all.

More from Tony

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.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

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. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. 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!


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.



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Steve H (@guest_201226)
1 year ago

Walmart sells a “snack table” that you are talking about for around $25. Washable plastic top, X-shaped legs, height adjustable. We have one in our motorhome to replace the heavy, single-pole, drop-in table that Winnebago used. The problem with it is those X-legs that I can’t get my long legs under except from the narrow end. So, it wouldn’t quite meet the Barth-O-Matic specs!

Jewel (@guest_201175)
1 year ago

How about the BarT-able? See what I did there?

About this trailer….becareful suggesting it’s a Jeep-ready trailer because virtually all Jeep Wranglers are only rated for up to 3,500 pounds towing. The 2-door (which I have) is up to 2,000. I have friends who had this model R-Pod and ended up selling it because they couldn’t take it where they wanted, meaning it was hard to pull up even slight elevation (from Texas to Arkansas). It was definitely overweight of their capability with the 2 people, 1 large dog, Blackstone, gear, hitch and all the Jeep upgrades like steel bumpers.

Sadly, it is hard to find a trailer like this to pull with a Wrangler. Many would buy one if it existed.

Nope, I’m not getting a Gladiator.

Jeffery H. (@guest_201334)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jewel

Yup, we have a Gladiator Sport S w/tow package. It tows our, full-time, Airstream Caravel 19cb, all around the country, up and down and round and about.

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