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RV Review: Travel Lite RV Extended Stay 890SBRX Truck Camper

Today’s review is of a Travel Lite RV 890SBRX truck camper. This is a larger pickup camper that is a larger model than the previously reviewed Travel Lite RV Super Lite 626XSL that the company claims can potentially be used with mid-sized trucks. 

It can’t. 

But this much larger model makes no bones about the fact that it’s designed for the big pickup trucks like the Ram 3500 or Ford F-350, that sort of thing. It’s actually referred to by the company as the Extended Stay edition. 

Observations

Speaking of bones, the way this camper is made might be a surprise to you, looking at it from the outside. It’s actually a wood-framed camper with an aluminum skin, or what the industry refers to as a “stick and tin” camper. 

This is probably the most traditional build method and is how a lot of travel trailers are built—like the Grand Design Xplor series, for example, or the Cherokee line. But those usually have a corrugated appearance rather than the smooth sides in this camper. 

An advantage of this style of build is that it costs much less to do. A disadvantage is that it tends to be heavier. That can be a bigger disadvantage if you’re carrying something, like a pickup camper. But if you get enough truck, won’t have to worry about carrying this at all. 

I’ve seen pickup campers all over Clear Lake, CA, this past weekend as folks roll in for a bass tournament. One of the reasons bass fishermen seem to love pickup campers is that you still have the hitch on your truck to tow things. Like a bass boat. 

In fact, I got to wait in line behind several of these rigs as they filled up both their pickups with fuel and their bass boats with fuel, the trucks getting diesel and the boats preferring gasoline. Catch two fish with one rod, so to speak. 

Unlike a smaller pickup camper, this one affords you a full bathroom, although it’s still a wet bath. That means that all the functionality is in one spot, so you literally could take care of all the “S’s” at the same time. 

You know, shave, shower … that sort of thing. 

People either like these or don’t, and the “don’ts” are probably in the majority. But you still have limited space in here to deal with, so these are a reality of this world. 

Dinette can become a bed in the Travel Lite 890SBRX

There’s a “U”-shaped dinette, and this has the provisions to become a bed. The table for this sits on a pole mount. 

The kitchen consists of a sink and two-burner surface-mount stove. I wish they had used a flush-mount stove instead, as the counterspace is also limited just by the available space here. So not being able to use this space for prep is a bummer. 

Speaking of a bummer, the table is mounted on a pole and the placement of the pole mount makes the table almost unusable in any position. This would be so much better as a Lagun table or a free-standing table. I suspect that one of the first things anyone is going to do is get rid of that pole cup and pole mount and put some feet on the table so it can be a freestanding unit.

Someone at Travel Lite needs to go camping and test this kind of thing out. It’s a bad implementation.

Otherwise, the Travel Lite 890SBRX has a very pleasant interior with solid surface countertops, including the table itself. There’s actually hanging closet space in here. Travel Lite uses a three-way fridge, which I think is good. You can use the 12-volt functionality while meandering down the road, and then either switch to gas or propane, depending on where you’re camping.

Considering that there’s no slide in this camper, it actually also feels pretty spacious. That has to be partially because of the light colors, but ceiling height isn’t bad in here.

Another big plus is the demand-based water heater. Essentially it heats water as you use it. So if you want to blow through your whole fresh water supply as hot water, you can. But these are also generally smaller and lighter and you’re not heating up a tank of water, so they do make sense.

In summary

Overall the Travel Lite 890SBRX is not a bad choice for someone who wants to also take advantage of a higher-capability pickup truck for things like towing and such. 

Companies like Lance and Host both make similar campers. But both of those are also considerably more expensive. I saw these priced at under $30,000 on several dealers’ websites, including Bish’s, when watching Josh Winters’ video. 

I think Travel Lite knows their customers and what their priorities are and have done a decent job appealing to them. 

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.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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Stuart Spillman
4 months ago

Good review. Liked the comment about the dining table. I call those “torture devices” because you cannot sit and eat in them. You did not give the camper weight in the specs.. That is important. Too many people think their half ton pickup can haul it if it fits in the bed.

Bob p
4 months ago

The specs are in the video

Steve
4 months ago

Josh shows dry weight as 2105# and, if all 3 tanks were full (yea, I know, why would all 3 be full at the same time?) the combined weight would be about 2450#. Add propane, food, clothes, etc., and the GVWR has to be approaching 3000#. So, an F-350 equivalent would likely be a good idea to carry this camper.

But, if I had to have a one-ton truck anyway, why not get a dually and a larger camper with a dry bath and a “real” queen-size bed, not a short, “RV” queen? With apologies to Josh, even installing a better mattress in this camper would not give me a better night’s sleep if my feet hang over the end of said mattress!

Scott R. Ellis
4 months ago

Given that weight is probably the most critical concern in any truck camper choice, the lack of that spec here is odd.

If that low price is critical, this might be your choice. If not, keep shopping: the wet bath is common but one that cramped is not required, but then again, with five gallons (are you kidding?) of black tank, you won’t be using it much.

If you can swing a few more bucks, keep looking.

Last edited 4 months ago by Scott R. Ellis

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