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 brief overview of the product, not a comprehensive critique which would require a personal inspection and/or test drive.
By Tony Barthel
When I was at the California RV show last year (I miss RV shows) I happened upon a Thor Outlaw Class C Toy Hauler Motorhome and it intrigued me. This is not something you see very often and my mind got to wandering.
I saved those thoughts and, in some of the comments you all have made on these reviews, it took me back to that model.
What prompted the memory was that someone mentioned an RV I had reviewed that might be a good choice for those with mobility challenges. And that made me think of this.
Winnebago in particular has a team that works to make and customize RVs for people with mobility challenges. But if you’d rather just pick something off the shelf – perhaps the Outlaw is for you.
Or, if you happen to bring toys along with you…
Another consideration is if you want to have a separate office, for example. Of course, you can use the cargo space for toys but what if you wanted to use it for an office as well – or instead? In the Outlaw 29J that cargo area is separated by a door and is completely isolated from the rest of the coach with the door shut.
And, perhaps, you happen to also bring your motorcycle to zip around while your RV stays parked.
One of the things this toy hauler allows you to do is bring some toys in the cabin of the motorhome but also tow a trailer – like a horse trailer or boat. Heck, I knew a guy once who traveled with a trailer that was customized just to make horseshoes and he’d travel the rodeo circuit shoeing horses. Seriously.
Underneath it all is Ford’s venerable E-Series platform with a 7.3L V8. The gross weight of this RV is 14,500 lbs., and Thor says that the garage is capable of hauling around 1,000 lbs. That’s a Harley, by my calculation. There is also a 12-volt jump station in the garage, and it has its own 5,000btu air conditioner.
As far as the RV portion of the equation, there are a lot of features you may appreciate including a tankless water heater, rotocast storage compartments, convection microwave and – wonder of all wonders – they actually included a kitchen wastebasket. I know this sounds silly but there are forums I belong to where people ask repeatedly where to put the kitchen wastebasket and the reply “on the floor” is a way to get banned from said forums.
There are also plenty of places to lay one’s head once the toys have been sufficiently played with, including a sofa bed on both sides of the coach and a drop-down queen-sized bed in the toy space. Honestly, I’ve bought new toys that I was so excited about that I asked my wife if I could sleep with them. Apparently sleeping with a vintage car isn’t acceptable in our household. Harumph!
As a kid, a friend had a class C and the most coveted space was over the cab as we rolled down the road. Never mind that that’s illegal in many states nowadays – at least that bed is still there for sleeping in at night.
You can sleep eight people in this RV with all positions occupied, and there are six belted seating positions. One word of caution: The driver- and passenger-side seating positions in the back are facing inward and, in California at least, it’s illegal to transport people of a certain age in a position other than forward-facing.
Another nice thing about this toy hauler configuration is that the ramp can also serve as a patio. With cables holding it parallel to the floor, there are gates around the outside and it is able to hold 1800 lbs. in suspension. That would be a nice situation if you backed this up to a stream or river: Sit out on the patio and watch the world go by. There’s also an awning over the patio which makes it more usable.
There is also a large screen that covers the opening left by the large back door if you choose to leave it down. Sleeping in the drop-down queen with the back deck open and the screen zipped up might just be the perfect camping experience by some people’s judgment.
To power the four TVs aboard this Class C coach, there’s a 4,000-watt generator; and it also comes standard with a power leveling system.
One thing – I noticed that the hold-backs for the storage bays are the cheap latches that always break after a couple of years (if you’re lucky to make it that long). There are so many nice features in this hauler that the hold-backs just seem unnecessarily cheap.
Speaking of the exterior, Thor warrants the structure for 12 years, the lamination for six and the rest for a year. That’s a solid warranty. Also, I have to give Thor credit: The company itself has a really thorough series of videos on the various systems on this vehicle, and they were pretty honest and straightforward. Heck, Thor even put reviews on their own website.
We have the class A outlaw (38mb floor plan). Love the idea and concept, but like many RV out there, the “fit and finish” really leaves a lot to desire. They slap this thing together and you end up with door handles in your hand or screws falling out when you’ve only gone 5 miles down the road. Our house battery bay was so badly corroded, they didn’t even put pans under the batteries and used tie downs that had metal on them! Really? The attention to detail is horrid, but overall not a bad unit.
Mobility issues, Americans tend to be taller and wider than they used to be, but RV doorways tend to be short and narrow. Why is that? Do any RV’s offer a wheelchair lift option? A “toy hauler” Class C is a good idea, thank you for testing one.
I think it depends on the issues one has but there are companies who build RVs specifically for those with more significant mobility challenges such as requiring a wheelchair. I do plan on writing up a review of these units as well and have several in the pipeline. So, to directly answer your question, yes there are several RV manufacturers who very specifically design RVs with things like wheelchair lifts.
To your point, RV doors can be really narrow to the point where some RV repairs, such as replacing a refrigerator, necessitate removing slide rooms in travel trailers or windshields in Class A rigs. Not always, of course, but we had to do this at the dealership I worked at.