There is no better feeling than hitting the open road with your camper hitched up and a full tank of gas. Gypsy that I am, I love a road trip with no real agenda. Just…GO! I have had the pleasure of pulling this RPod 196 around since September and it fits the bill for long road trips. I hardly knew it was back there as I toured around the beautiful state of West Virginia…chasing the autumn colors and discovering new places to visit.
At a dry weight of only 3,578 pounds, the 196 provides all the amenities of home in an easy to tow package. It’s just a touch over 22 feet long and easily backed into even the most challenging of campsites I encountered. I carried plenty of water for washing and showers in the 36 gallon fresh tank to last several days. And, with the wastewater tanks topping off at 30 gallons each, I didn’t have to pull into a dump station every time I passed one.
One of the best features of this camper is its solar capabilities. The 196 comes from the factory wired for solar. This particular camper had the optional solar panels installed on the roof. I didn’t have to rely on the solar during the fall color tour as each campsite had electric available. However, I have boondocked in it since then and had plenty of power to run the furnace, lights, and USB ports.
My very favorite feature of the RPod 196 is the oversized front window that is over the bed. The front of the 196 is curved enough that I could lay in bed at night and look out at the night sky, which gives you that “camping under the stars” feel. Propping up with pillows and sipping coffee in the mornings is an added bonus.
The three piece dry bath adds an extra level of comfort in such a small camper. You no longer have to straddle the toilet to take a shower and the sliding pocket door gives you privacy without blocking the path through the camper. This is especially welcome for any camping companions you may have along. The shower curtain bar is curved outwards to give you more elbow room while showering. There is a magnetic latch that holds the shower curtain closed securely and prevents leaks. The medicine chest is roomy and there is ample room under the sink for storage. In addition to that, there is an area to the left of the sink with an extended counter top and a storage area for linens.
I have to give praise for the jack-knife sofa in the 196. I have never found a camper sofa to be anywhere near comfortable, but this one has the real feel of residential furniture. When we took this camper from “Factory to Fabulous”, we took the sofa out and had it reupholstered to give it the comfort of home. I was pleasantly surprised it went far beyond aesthetics…that couch was really comfy. It has a large widow behind it to bring in lots of sunlight. The sofa is located in the slide-out and folds down into a twin sized bed. I added a little memory foam on the seat side before topping it with an inflatable mattress and dressed it lit regular linens from home, thus creating the perfect “guest room” when one of my girlfriends came to camp with me.
I towed the 196 with my Ford F-150 and had plenty of power to pull the camper with a full load of water up and down the steepest of West Virginia hills. It tows like a dream and you hardly even know it’s back there. I think it’s a perfect trailer for the Girl Camper. Affordable, easy to tow and park, roomy on the inside while maintaining a fairly small footprint on the outside. Hitching and unhitching is the easiest of any camper I’ve had. I even found that I can look back in my rear view mirror and see straight through the camper at any traffic behind me. An added bonus, especially if someone is traveling a little too close for comfort.
I can’t wait to spend more time in this little camper before it goes to the lucky Grand Prize winner of the Girl Camper Annual Trailer Raffle. Don’t forget…you can buy your tickets for the raffle here. Proceeds will be donated to our charity of choice…the HoldYou Foundation…which provides assistance to families of critically ill children.
Till then…Enjoy the Journey!