Friday, September 22, 2023


RV Review: RKS Off-Road Motive is a breakthrough toy hauler

Today’s review is of the RKS Motive, a new toy hauler offering coming from the folks at RKS Off-Road. We’ve looked at the RKS Purpose trailer in the past and described it as absolutely game-changing in so many ways. Now they’ve taken their novel approach to trailers and changed the game in toy haulers.

I can often tell the difference between trailers designed by people who stay in hotels and those that are designed by people who actually camp. This is the camp side of things. 

Hauling toys

Of course, the purpose of a toy hauler is to haul toys—and this one will. In fact, it’ll hold a side-by-side despite the overall length of this trailer being only about 22 feet.

The garage length is 174 inches long and 78 inches wide. But wait, you say. The whole trailer is less than 10 feet longer than that and there’s a bathroom and such. How is this possible? 

Brilliant design. The couches on either side of the trailer flip up against the wall, which isn’t truly that unusual. But the kitchen, too, flips up against the wall. This is possible because the stove top is actually a dual-burner induction cooktop, and these are relatively shallow. 

On the other side, the couch flips up, too, as does the table. Which can be a workstation, made more usable by there being USB outlets incorporated into the 120-volt outlets. 

Gas-free living

The induction cooktop is part of the reason the entire interior of this trailer has zero gas lines around or under it. All of the utilities are in a triangular metal nose. That includes the Truma AquaGo tankless water heater as well as the Truma VarioHeat heating system. 

Yes, there is propane aboard, but the lines end at the nose of the trailer. However, there is a high-pressure fitting on the outside of the nose so those propane grills or fire pits will actually work well. 

12 volts 

The refrigerator in this trailer is actually a 12-volt dual-chamber cooler, similar to, but bigger than, the 12-volt Alpicool model I have. Another Truma product, this one can be two refrigerator compartments, two freezer compartments or one of each. 

On the subject of 12-volt appliances, here’s one to knock your socks off. The air conditioner is also a 12-volt model. With the standard batteries aboard, which are 400 amp-hours of lithium, the company estimates about eight hours of run time with the unit on high. If that’s not enough, you can double the battery to 800 amp-hours—effectively doubling the amount of time you can run the AC. 

And, of course, there are solar panels on the roof. But that’s not all that’s up there. 


As with the Purpose, the Motive also has a provision to hang out on the roof. It’s been a year since I reviewed the Purpose and yet nobody else has done this. Except now RKS offers roof-top access in the Motive, as well—for entertainment or sleeping. 

Part of the way they’ve accomplished this is by having no ventilation holes on the roof. Instead plumbing and the kitchen vent exhaust through the sidewalls. This is one fewer pain point of a hole in the roof that needs to be maintained and, well, you can go up on the roof. 

There are railings that pop up to keep your drunken uncle (or me) from falling off the edge.  It’s a fantastic idea. 

The way this works is that RKS uses a honeycomb laminate that’s both light and strong—very strong. But then, to be sure, the roof is also reinforced with aluminum trusses. 

Water smart

But the thing that made the RKS Purpose one of my favorite trailers is the water system. That same system is here, where they use the gray water tank to source the water used in the toilet. If this isn’t one of the smartest ideas ever, I don’t know what is. That’s also why the company has only a 25-gallon gray tank but a 60-gallon black water tank. 

Those tanks, though. The way they accomplish this liquid capability is by having tanks consume almost the entire space between the welded aluminum frame rails. Then the gray and fresh water tanks are baffled so that water doesn’t slosh around in there as much. The frame itself is all welded aluminum, crafted right there in the company’s Southern California plant. The main structure is 6” x 2” aircraft-grade aluminum I-beams.

Boondocking and travel access in the RKS Motive

Since this trailer has no slides, travel access is perfect. Further, with the solar panels and either 400 or 800 amp-hours of lithium batteries aboard, you can head to the desert and stay out there for a long time. Also, with the smart water usage, the biggest limiting factors of most RVs, water storage, is less of an issue here.

In summary

With so many people buying the same trailers, it’s nice to see a company that just steps back and looks at the whole picture. Then they erase most of it and come up with something that’s absolutely game-changing. 

There is so much to like about this trailer in the way it was thoroughly thought through and designed. Heck, you can even opt in a safe big enough to store rifles. The standard brakes are disc brakes, one of the only times I’ve seen this as a standard feature in a travel trailer—but definitely a welcome one. 

Overall, this is another absolutely game-changing offering from RKS Off-Road. If I had one complaint, it’s the industrial feel of the interior. But that’s just an example of a trailer that’s meant to live life in the kinds of places the wheels, tires and suspension advertise that it can go. 

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 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 his wife, 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.


  1. Lots of things to like about this if you need a toy hauler, especially the huge fresh water tank for such a short trailer, the 102″ width, gray-water reuse, electric kitchen, 12v AC, and lithium batteries. Obviously designed by a western RV company for use in the West where there is plenty of sunshine to run all those electric appliances.

    The primary downside for me are those ridiculous solid steps. The trailer may have good road accessibility, except for those steps that must be pulled down just to get in the door. In addition, that 10,000# GVWR means you would have a trailer only 25′ long that may not be towable by many 1/2-ton trucks.

  2. You speak of the induction cook top. I just ordered an induction cook top and found out that I really shouldn’t be using it in that I have a pacemaker. Nothing in the advertising mentions this, but in small print in the manual, it says to consult your doctor before using if you have a pacemaker. I did, and the pacemaker manufacturer indicates that you should stay AT LEAST two feet away from the cook top.

    • How long are your arms, also a good excuse not to cook your on meals. Lol. Is there any kind of apron you could wear to protect you. I don’t even know how they work, are they like a microwave?

    • I had no idea that there was an interference issue with induction cook tops and pacemakers. That’s a good thing to know – thank you for sharing this!


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