Keystone's Laredo travel trailer features `Camp Kitchen'

  • Article by: JEFF JOHNSTON , Motor Matters
  • Updated: June 26, 2009 - 2:43 PM

Small is big with today's RVs. More succinctly, "lightweight" is big, with more people realizing how much affordable fun they can have by lightening up their RV ambitions.

The new Keystone "Super Lite"-series Laredo 291TG travel trailer not only boasts a sizable array of features in an easily-towed package, it also includes a fun new detail that may be a hit with a certain segment of the RV and camping crowd. Open a large hatch out back and you'll find a fully equipped exterior-access Camp Kitchen concealed in the curbside aft corner of the trailer. The Camp Kitchen feature is available in both Laredo's fifth-wheel and travel trailer lines.

"Since so much RV camping time is spent out of doors, we focused on creating a fully equipped outdoor kitchen as the centerpiece of this new floor plan," says Ryan Juday, Laredo product manager. "Dealers loved the product ... and it's been a big hit at retail shows. Sales of our two outdoor camp kitchen models, a Laredo travel trailer and fifth-wheel, are greatly exceeding expectations."

Although a 33-foot trailer isn't exactly downsized, its weight places the unit clearly in the scaled-down RV corner. Keystone lists the Super Lite Laredo as having a 6,685-pound shipping weight, a 1,515-pound carrying capacity and 600-pound hitch weight. Users will need to add the weight of 43 gallons of freshwater and 60 pounds of propane to that shipping weight figure when making an accurate guess as to payload capacity, as well as making a safe tow rig-trailer matchup.

The Laredo 291TG floor plan is definitely family friendly. Up front there's the usual island-style RV queen bed, and a curbside L-shaped galley and enclosed bath are arranged rearward from the entry door. Opposite is the slideout with sofa/bed and dinette, and includes three bunk beds in a fore-and-aft setup. Both streetside bunks are traditionally over-and-under style, while the curbside bunk is placed atop an enclosure that contains the exterior-access kitchen. A fabric curtain provides aft bedroom privacy while similar privacy screens abut the front-end master bedroom divider wall.

The designers chose a U-shaped dinette, an interior feature that's becoming more popular these days due to how well it works for group entertainment while seated around the table. Another item that's gaining favor among RVers is the entertainment island/wall unit at the foot of the bed with its large flat-screen TV that swivels for viewing from the bed or the living area.

Keystone builds the Laredo using its standard lightweight construction techniques that include all-aluminum framing with polystyrene and fiberglass insulation, double-layer floor substructure, crowned stamped-construction roof trusses and high-gloss Filon fiberglass exterior skin. An aerodynamic fiberglass front-end cap is standard, as are the EPDM rubber roof and sloped roof on the slideout room. In-floor heat ducting includes vents for warming the enclosed underbelly holding tanks and plumbing.

Standard features that adorn the trailer include a home theater system, 13,500-BTU air conditioner, 30,000-BTU furnace, and a 55-amp converter.

Combined with the fold-down dinette and sofa/bed with its inflatable air mattress the Keystone Laredo 291TG offers sleeping accommodations for as many as nine people. That many campers would seriously stress the unit's freshwater and wastewater capacities, but realistically, far fewer people will likely be the load for the trailer.

With the access hatch open and the propane stove swung into place with its counter extension, Camp Kitchen makes into a handy location for light meal preparation and as an augment to what's being cooked on the fire, for example. Convenient 120-volt AC plugs allow powering a blender or other kitchen accessories.

The 120-volt AC refrigerator needs shore power or a generator for operation, be mindful of that if you plan a remote campsite with no hookups. I think an extra awning above the exterior kitchen would be very handy for making the kitchen more usable when it's raining.

The Laredo 291TG with Camp Kitchen carries a $26,000 MSRP.

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