By Tony Barthel
If you’re in the market for a smaller travel trailer but don’t have youngsters traveling with you, does it make sense to get a bunk model? The obvious customer for these would be someone traveling with children, but what if that’s not you? You might actually still consider the floor plan of the Venture Sonic Lite SL160VBH, especially in a smaller trailer. Here’s why.
Smaller travel trailers don’t usually have as much storage as larger trailers, but folks often still bring the same amount of, well, camping “stuff.” While the obvious places to stow things would be in the cabinets and various closets and drawers, smaller trailers have fewer of these handy things.
Enter the Venture Sonic Ultra Lite SL160VBH. Recently Geri Russel asked us what we thought about these and I went and took a look.
This floor plan offers a lot of what you might be looking for storage-wise. The bunks are generally uncomfortable but do make great places to stow totes – as my friend who owns one of these does.
Venture Sonic Lite
Venture’s Sonic line comes in two flavors, as it were – the Sonic and Sonic Lite. Adding “Lite” to the name gives you a smaller trailer on a single axle. This is going to make some readers feel compelled to write in about how they would never tow a single-axle trailer. Fine, I’ve towed mine all over the western U.S. with zero issues.
But let’s say you were a couple with a dog or two. The dogs could get the lower bunk, which means you could take the Teddy Bear mattress from the upper bunk and put it on the lower one which would probably make the dogs happier.
Sit back and relax
Then you could bring totes and use the upper bunk for storage and could draw the curtain across the opening so you wouldn’t have to look at the totes when you’re not accessing them. See how this makes sense and opens up a lot of space you wouldn’t otherwise have in a 21’ 10” travel trailer?
But there’s a term “bury the lead” – which is exactly what I’ve done here. The big story in this trailer is that there’s a large L-shaped seating area at the front of the trailer. Most smaller trailers don’t give you such a nice and comfortable space to sit. You could easily sit four folks here.
Under the road side are two pull-out sections that work as either footrests or as additional seating with the portable table that comes with the unit. They somewhat resemble drawers with cushions on the front. You flip them on their backs and you can sit on the faces – which are padded to match the couch.
The pull-out sections also have covers and can work as drawers. The company suggests this as a good place to put bedding. I can’t disagree with that idea. It’s a smart use of space.
Then, when it’s time to sleep, the couch portion of the whole arrangement is a tri-fold sofa and flips open to complete the bed. It’s a slick setup. I often look at smaller trailers and think about what would happen on a bad weather day. But this absolutely has plenty of seating space for those days.
The galley of the Venture Sonic Lite SL160VBH
Kitty-corner to the seating is the galley. It’s a relatively simple arrangement featuring a two-burner countertop stove and a round stainless steel sink. The sink has a cover that matches the rest of the solid-surface countertop, so it can double as prep space. I wish they had employed a flush-mount stove for the same reason. Oh, well.
Below the countertop are two drawers and a convection microwave. Kudos to them for including this. Presently, a Furrion 12-volt refrigerator is standard. But you can also get a gas-electric refrigerator.
Above the counter are two cabinets with glass-faced doors for storage. There’s hanging storage by the door as well. Furthermore, opposite the galley is additional storage which can be either a pantry or hanging storage. There’s also storage under the bottom bunk under a plywood panel. But the modification nut in me would want to cut the facing panel and put in a cabinet-style door here. They really have made good use of the space in this trailer.
Moving on to the bathroom, Venture has put the tank monitors and water heater and water pump controls by the sink in the bathroom. This makes so much sense. There’s also a USB charging port and a 110vac outlet by the sink. That sink, a stainless steel model, is a pretty good size for a trailer of this dimension. There’s a porcelain foot flush toilet and a corner shower to complete the room.
Another cool feature
I’ve been thinking of putting a LevelMatePRO in my own trailer. This is a device that makes leveling a travel trailer very, very simple. Essentially, it’s a digital level that works with your smartphone to tell you when your trailer is level.
Leveling a travel trailer, especially a single-axle trailer, is easy – but this makes it significantly more so. The way I would use this is with a set of Camco leveling wedges. You turn on the LevelMatePRO app and just back onto the wedge on the side that needs raising. Bing, bang, boom! You’re level side-to-side. Then, chock your wheels and use the power tongue jack and the app to determine when the trailer is level front-to-back. Easy.
Finally, I use an electric drill to buzz down the four stabilizers on the corners of the trailer and I’m ready to camp. Honestly, I have timed it and, using this method, I can level a single-axle travel trailer in under 10 minutes. Take that, auto level, with all your warranty claims and hiccups at the worst possible time!
Seriously, though, the LevelMatePRO function being standard in the Venture Sonic Lite SL160VBH is a good thing.
I really appreciate that Venture thought out of the box with this trailer. Rather than a traditional bed, they gave us a surface that can serve for dining, sleeping and lounging in a small, light trailer. Even if you use the bunks as bunks, there’s still a decent amount of storage in this trailer.
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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