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RV Review: Steppin’ back in the Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser 19TWD—old style, new tech

If I haven’t written it here before, let me say that I love the style of vintage things. Cars, houses, appliances, the whole lot. Before we learned to design for function, there was a time when styling was the leader of the pack—and I appreciate the heck out of that. 

But what I really miss in interior design is the use of bright colors that represent an enthusiastic outlook. While today our appliances are austere stainless steel or, maybe, white or black, there was a time when we could get greens, yellows, reds and, yes, even pink. Or, desert rose as the name of the paint color my kitchen’s appliances are painted. 

Yep, I’ve got pink appliances. And I sought them out at antique stores. Why be normal?

So, I guess that’s why I think the folks at Gulf Stream RVs latched on to such a good idea with their Vintage Cruiser line. 

Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser line

Gulf Stream’s Vintage Cruiser line is a series of lightweight, aluminum-framed, vacuum-laminated trailers that might appeal to those who like a more traditional style. It’s an interesting dichotomy because traditional trailers are generally wood-framed with an aluminum skin. But Gulf Stream has taken a different tack. 

I recently took a look at a 2022 Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser 19TWD which features a twin bed arrangement much like you might see in an episode of I Love Lucy. Ricky and Lucy never shared the same bed, at least on the show. But this kind of arrangement is good for couples who prefer to not sleep with the cover-stealing spouse, or could be used for friends going camping together. 

For those who do want a larger bed, there is a provision to put a panel between the individual mattresses at the front and create one very large king-sized bed. You can also get the same floor plan with a walk-around queen bed in the 19ERD, if that’s your preference. 

Funny thing—a few friends of mine who are out there selling RVs have told me that the models they can get with twin beds are really popular nowadays. 

In some ways this is a very similar floor plan to the Airstream 25FB we looked at recently. 

A bathroom effectively bisects the trailer with the toilet and sink on one side and a shower on the other. That shower has a z-folding sliding shower door. There is also a curtain to close off the bedroom from the split bathroom. And there’s a proper door to close off the whole bathroom area from the main living space of the trailer. 

Interior of the Vintage Cruiser looks like an old-fashioned diner

One of the things that sets the Vintage Cruiser line apart from some other brands is that the interior reminds me more of an old-fashioned diner than any modern trailer. The upholstery is two-tone on the dinette with a choice of either cream-and-turquoise or cream-and-crimson.

Whichever of the two you choose, there are matching accents. The door of the refrigerator, which is a gas-electric, has a matching insert, as well. Lastly the countertop is finished with a color-coordinated strip along the edge to complete the look. 

I showed this to a few people and the polarized mix of responses was surprising. People either gushed over the look or absolutely disliked it. I guess it’s good to stand out in the field. There are so many RVs out there that if you had one of these you could easily point it out to someone who wasn’t an RV enthusiast and they’d recognize it right away. 

The Vintage Cruiser really stands out from the crowd

Outside, the retro colors continue with all trailers being white as the base but then a turquoise or crimson accent color to match the interior sets that off. Additionally, the chassis is painted to match, as are the steel wheels. Baby moon hubcaps accentuate those, along with whitewall tires. Again, it really stands out from the crowd. 

If that’s not enough stand out for you, there is a third exterior option. That option is simulated woodgrain stickers much like the simulated woodgrain on all those station wagons of the 1960s and ‘70s. As much as I’ve griped about stickers as a decorative item in RVs, I had actually considered buying some of this woodgrain material and using it on my own travel trailer as we go to vintage cars shows. 

And my wife wasn’t so keen on the woodgrain idea. 

Knotty pine interior with woodgrain exterior

For those who choose the woodgrain exterior decor, that comes with a knotty pine interior decor that I was quite enamored with. I think the company’s standard interior is already nifty with the traditional birch appearance, but the knotty pine is really attractive to me. 

Retro theming aside, there are a lot of actual logical reasons to look at this design. Gulf Stream vacuum laminates their walls with an Azdel substrate. The exterior baggage compartments all feature slam latches and magnetic catches. But the best thing, for some, might be that the interior ceiling height is 6’11” at the peak. Considering that the beds are full 80” twins, these trailers are well-suited for taller travelers. 

As part of the company’s quality control, each trailer is subjected to a leak test before leaving the plant where the trailer is sprayed with a soapy liquid and then pressurized. If there were to be a leak it would show up as bubbles under inspection. 

In summary

What I didn’t like in these was pretty minor, but worth noting, nonetheless. The air conditioner in this trailer is not ducted, and I could see that the bedroom wouldn’t be as chilled as the main living space. Also, this uses the 17” oven, which I think is pretty worthless. Either give me the option of the larger oven or the option for not having one altogether. 

Interestingly, Gulf Stream is a privately held company. Whether this has any value to you is your own decision, of course. But for those to whom this matters, there you go. The family has built a golf course, club house and recreation area behind the factory for visitors and team members to enjoy. 

Gulf Stream also makes the Vista Cruiser line

If the retro look is not to your taste, Gulf Stream also makes the Vista Cruiser line. Those are identical in every way but are more what you’d expect in the style and decor of a modern travel trailer. 

As someone who has had a lot of vintage cars, I appreciate the vintage style, even though these are modern trailers in their build methodology. They definitely stand out in style. I personally prefer the knotty pine interior, which you can get even if you don’t choose the woody exterior style. 

*****

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.

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.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Unique style
Small oven

SUMMARY

The Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser is a series of smaller travel trailers that incorporate some of the vintage style of trailers of yore.

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DLPJ
3 days ago

Very cool~ I love the wood!

Bob M
3 days ago

I think it’s nice. Color matches my Harley. But the tanks are too small. Agree about the small oven. If A/C is loud, I wouldn’t buy one unless the change it to a different quiet brand. How is the quality on these travel trailers.

Bob
3 days ago

I can just imagine that pulling into an RV park with a 10 year rule. Keep the registration handy.

Steve
3 days ago

Love the floorplan for a couple’s trailer. But the exterior would be a lot more “retro” if they had the metal door trim and propane cover in almost any color but black. That black awning especially detracts from a retro look. Guess the first thing I would do before towing it behind a turquoise and white ’57 Chevy Bel-Aire 2-door hardtop would be to paint all that black trim cream to match the fiberglass!

Donald N Wright
3 days ago

I have friends in the Aliner club who also no longer wish to raise the roofs, they have the “Retro” trailers, and love them. Larger bathrooms and built for a couple , easy to tow, easy to park.

McTroy
3 days ago

Our friends have a 26 foot Vintage and they love it. Great floorplan and enough room for 4 to sit at their table. We refer to it as the diner. Two downside points are that air conditioner and the fiberglass roof. The noise from the AC is loud! The thermostat is hard to use too. And not being able to get on the roof makes maintenance and covering this unit hard. This unit does get alot of attention while camping though.

Stu Neilson
3 days ago

Hi Tony,
Love your reviews.
We bought a 21 ft Gulf Stream Amerlite 3 years ago. Love it! Performs great. Perfect for 2 people. Configured differently from this retro style, but essentially the same – for Half The Price you show in the specs.
Have prices really gone up that much???
Just askin’. Not Sellin’!