Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Sneak preview: Coachmen Freedom Express 298FDS – counter and storage galore

Today’s RV review isn’t about a product that you can rush out and buy this afternoon. Instead, we’re looking at a prototype—but it is something that’s coming soon. Not to a theater near you, but potentially to an RV dealer near you. Essentially what we have is a large travel trailer with a mid kitchen and a front dinette.

This is a floor plan that I had in my 1970 Aristocrat and one I really like for a lot of reasons. Why? 

Features worth noting

I have been pretty critical of a few things in travel trailers of late. Anybody who reads this regularly will probably know what those things are, but they include front windshields. Front windshields in travel trailers are silly when you have a bed there, because what the heck are you looking at? 

If you’re in bed, you draw the blind, which usually still lets in light. During the day you’re not likely in the bedroom (unless you’re a newlywed), so you’re not taking advantage of the view from the windshield. Although if you’re a newlywed you might want to draw the blind anyway because you don’t want others taking advantage of the view from the windshield either. But I digress. 

Plus, my 1970 Aristocrat had a protective cover that came down over the windshield for travel and provided a bit of shade while I was camping. 

Anyhow, this trailer puts a large U-shaped dinette at the front of the trailer instead of a bed. Now the windshield makes a lot of sense. Coachmen also put windows on either side of this large U-shaped dinette for a nice cross-breeze. I really like this. The table is also of the free-floating variety, another thing I like. 

Lots of counter space and storage

This is not a small trailer, at 35’ 5” in total length. But it will reward you with a “redonculous” [yeah, that’s a Tonyism, not a typo] 42 square feet of counter space. You could put the buffet line for a wedding celebration in this trailer. 

Since there’s all that counter space, there are also plenty of drawers, including one with a U-shaped insert where your cutlery would go. This drawer is smartly located directly under the sink—so wash, dry, put away. 

Storage space galore in the Coachmen Freedom Express 298FDS

Another area you’ll be rewarded with in this trailer is storage space, both inside and out. 

Starting outside, there is a front pass-through storage, but it’s a bit blocked by the U part of the U-shaped dinette. However, there are doors under the edges of the dinette where you can access the front pass-through storage. 

No worries, though. There’s also a rear pass-through storage that’s larger than most and has a door on either side of the trailer as well as one at the very back. This occupies the space under the bed, which is of the queen-sized variety. There’s also a plastic table mounted in here. 

Another place there’s storage outside is on the side. There’s a rectangular storage compartment on the side. This is where I’d put the included flat-top griddle if this were my trailer. 

Flushed with storage

Inside there are all the aforementioned drawers but there are two very large cabinets in the bathroom, which bisects the trailer. 

One of the two large closets in the bathroom is plumbed for a washer-dryer and is big enough to accommodate one, of course. 

In the back bedroom, this trailer follows how Coachmen has been doing things lately. So there is another U under the bed, sort of. The center space is open and then there are drawers on either side of the U. You could put a pet kennel in the middle or just totes or whatever, but it’s nice how this is configured. 

Back bedroom

Since the bedroom is at the back, the storage on either side of the bed doesn’t have to accommodate the slope of the nose. As such, there is both hanging space and drawer space. But what’s unusual are the three shelves on either side behind the hanging closet. There are holes provided to route wiring from the power outlets that are also back there. 

In this case, the windows in the bedroom make sense with one on either side for cross-breezes. The window over the bed can also be opened—so you can challenge the bear with your snoring proficiency. 

Boondocking and travel access in the Coachmen Freedom Express 298FDS

The large slide room does block access to the bathroom and back bedroom. So if travel stops are your thing, you might want to plan ahead. 

Coachmen offers a single 200-watt solar panel, but that’s it—and the panel is an option. However, I know plenty of RVers who buy a trailer and plop it into a seasonal site, where solar is the last thing they want to pay for. I like making solar an option, but I also think it would be good if they offered more capable packages. However, there are some great aftermarket companies doing solar now and they would make sure all the components were good. 

Final thoughts

To be fair, this was a preproduction model we all looked at and there will be changes before this becomes a regular offering. That means they have an opportunity to dump that stupid 17” oven in favor of a larger one, which would fall in line with the incredible counter and drawer space. 

A few more things I saw included the manual scissor jack stabilizers at a 45° angle to the frame which, I’m told, makes for a more stable camper. 

Construction on this features Azdel on both inner and outer wall laminates. I also like the spread axle design, which I’m told makes for more stable towing, and the included tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). 

Overall, this is a design that totally floats my boat and one that would really work out for those who like to entertain, whether that’s indoors or out. Since this is a preproduction model, Coachmen is still dialing things in. So I’m sure they’ll appreciate your comments, as do I. 

Since this is a preproduction prototype, I do not have a chart for this model. 

More about these RV reviews

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
Tony Barthelhttps://www.anthonybarthel.com
Tony worked at an RV dealership handling sales and warranty issues before deciding he wanted to review RVs and RV-related products. He also publishing a weekly RV podcast with his wife, Peggy, which you can find at https://www.stresslesscampingpodcast.com.



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Joe (@guest_255173)
1 month ago

Still another junk product from Coachmen. Poor build quality and terrible warranty support.

Bob P (@guest_254687)
2 months ago

Love it, a few tweaks would be perfect.

David F. (@guest_254682)
2 months ago

Wife and I love to sit in bed and read. Like that bedroom set up.

Bob M (@guest_254676)
2 months ago

Seems like a nice TT, but I would want the dinette against the rear wall. Don’t like the table and wouldn’t buy another RV with it. It is too long for me and would want my next TT 30’ or less. Plus it would be best to see this in person. Also would be nice to have a large oven instead of RV manufactures being too cheap to install one. I like a front window in the bedroom as well as the outdoor kitchen. Hopefully, it has only one sewer hookup.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_254641)
2 months ago

I like the wrap-around dinette where four adults could probably sit comfortably. Would love that in our current trailer. Trying to access the next to the bed nighttime storage looks really awkward, and making the bed looks to be a nightmare. I really like the kitchen and all that counter space and drawer storage. Glass door cabinets look high class. Washer and dryer in a trailer this size? C’mon man. No way. Wide space between the axles looks like you might be able to fit those ‘ramps’ in to level off-camber sites. As usual, I just don’t get the outside kitchens. And I guess the old fashioned power cords hard wired in a box inside the trailer is a thing of the past. Now it’s up to you to find a place to store that big coil of wire. I love Josh’s term, “Nap and crap” camping!
But overall, I see potential in this unit.

Leslie Schofield (@guest_254620)
2 months ago

Think it is a well planned trailer. There is always ‘give and take’ in a trailer. The one thing I don’t like is the bed set up as far as making it up in the morning. Almost wonder if they could come up with some slides so it could be pulled out to make it up in the am.

Lee Ann (@guest_254616)
2 months ago

Would love an option to replace dinette with a couch or office/buffet/table setup to make this a couple’s rv. Also, the tall open space on each side of the bed have an option for shelves to hold baskets and/or door. Otherwise, on first blush, this looks like a promising design!

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