RV Review

The Gulfstream Vintage Travel Trailer

There’s a trend that’s been going on for some time now, but for a while it sort of flew under the radar. It’s called the “retro look”. Now it’s no longer flying under the radar but front and center in just about anything you see these days, including RVs.

Why just a few years ago vintage looking retro trailers were only being built by smaller, specialty RV manufacturers. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find any major manufacturer who isn’t building at least one retro model trailer. In other words, Retro is hot.

Here, Jeff Johnston takes out a new Gulf Stream Coach retro-model trailer called the Vintage Cruiser, which, by the way, has become one of Gulf Stream’s hottest lines. As Jeff often does when he reviews RVs, he took a Vintage Cruiser for an extended weekend review and was pleasingly surprised with this light-weight trailer.

The design harkens back to the fifties both in its exterior and interior design, only these beauties have all the 21st century technology you’d expect in a modern RV. The Vintage Cruiser series is available from 17 – 23-feet in length. The company now offers a new model with bunks for the kids or grandparents. Check out Jeff’s review and who knows, maybe one of these may be in your driveway soon.


Our latest road test project for Rollin’ On TV was a Vintage Cruiser trailer from Gulf Stream. The Vintage Cruiser is a contemporary model done with vintage style graphics, upholstery and other trim.

ROTV vehicle features are done in several formats including a brief walk-around, which is a quick look at a new RV product of interest, on up to a full-on road test feature that’s a hands-on user evaluation.

The road test means exactly what it says in that we use the RV the same way a retail customer might enjoy it. We set up the unit with water and propane, make sure all the systems are operational, load it with a modest amount of camping gear and our video equipment and head out on the road.

The destination was Detroit Lake State Park located Southeast of Salem, Oregon, in the Cascade mountains.

Pam studies her crossword puzzle at camp. Our test trailer was provided by Lassen RV in Albany, Oregon. We towed the Vintage Cruiser 19RBS with a 2004 Nissan Frontier pickup rated to tow 5,000 pounds. The trailer weighed in, via a certified CAT scale, at 3,540 pounds empty of cargo and mostly “dry” with one propane tank full but the freshwater and holding tanks empty. That weight is going to easily push 4,000 pounds once fully loaded.

Although the manufacturer’s specifications list this trailer at 3,325 pounds “Overall weight”, or dry and empty, that’s not how people tow their RVs. I would not recommend this trailer for any vehicle rated to tow just 3,500 pounds. Use a 5,000-pound tow rating as a better target.

The drive to Detroit was drama-free and the trailer fit the back-in campsite with ease. Beautiful warm days and an evening cool enough to enjoy the fire set us up with a perfect camping weekend.

One of the best parts of RV camping is the really fine people you can meet in a campground. On this trip we met three families who rented their first-ever RV and were taking their first-time RV trip through the Pacific Northwest. The three families were from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and they started their journey in Seattle where their Russian contingent now lives.

We shared some snacks, including their miniature Belarus pancakes that are dipped in maple syrup and eaten with the fingers, along with some fun sipping adult beverages. I can say this is the first time I’ve ever had authentic Russian white lightning and it was definitely throat-warming on the way down.

We enjoyed our time with our new Eastern European friends and the Vintage Cruiser was an integral tool that facilitated the fun of the trip. Learn more about it on our upcoming feature story on Rollin’ On TV.