This line of lightweight travel trailers is packed with comfort and convenience.
By Lazelle Jones
The Rockwood Geo Pro caught my eye during an RV show, and the curiosity juices began to flow. This line of lightweight travel trailers is offered in 12 floor plans (some with slideout rooms and some without) and features intriguing exterior lines. After talking with the folks at Rockwood, a Forest River company, I settled on reviewing the G19FBS, a 20-foot-long unit with an unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) of 3,075 pounds and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,413 pounds. With this rating, 1,338 pounds of fluids and cargo can be loaded onboard and towed down a highway or country road to a favorite destination.
The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the Geo Pro G19FBS is $24,396. When it is equipped with all options offered by the manufacturer, the price comes to $26,963. So, with the minimal difference in price, buyers may want to consider the fully equipped version.
The G19FBS sleeps two adults in the queen-size bed (60 inches by 80 inches), and the fold-out sofa tucked into the living area slideout comfortably sleeps one adult or a couple of youngsters. So, this unit is well-suited for a young family or a couple.
The Geo Pro can be purchased with an off-road package, which seems like the perfect place to begin a deep dive into how the travel trailer is designed and built. With the off-road package, D-rated (8-ply) 15-inch wheels and tires replace the standard 14-inch wheels and tires. Built-in tire pressure sensors alert the driver to underinflation or a loss of pressure. The system comes with a digital readout device that can be placed on the dash or the instrument panel — good stuff!
The wheels (whether the 14-inch or 15-inch versions) are mounted to a Dexter Torflex axle system that provides independent suspension to each of the two wheels. An exceptionally hard rubber compound surrounds a square metal rod inside a square housing and twists to accommodate the up and down movement of each wheel individually; however, it retains its memory and returns the axle rod to a neutral position after the wheel negotiates the irregular surface. The Dexter axle system mechanically fastens to the powder-coated steel chassis.
A huck-bolt process connects the perimeter of the chassis and its six steel cross members. A steel pin is inserted through holes drilled into the two structural members being joined. The steel pin is then hydraulically stretched with a nut-type device that is tightened to the threaded pin. Thousands of pounds of hydraulic pressure are then released, leaving the two structural members unitized. The railroad industry has been using the huck-bolting method to build railcars forever.
A single sheet of Darco composite material covers the bottom of the floor, making the undercarriage impervious to road hazards. It also acts as a vapor barrier. Behind this sheet of Darco, a layer of residential-style fiberglass insulation (R-12 rating) is laid with the 5/8-inch marine-grade plywood interior floor mechanically fastened to the top of the chassis members.
The gray-, black-, and fresh-water holding tanks (30, 30, and 37 gallons, respectively) can be wrapped in optional heat pads that use 12-volt DC from the house battery. Because this unit is ideal for primitive RV camping, the end user can choose one or two house batteries, either 6-volt DC or 12-volt DC. Batteries are supplied on the dealer level. More on the electrics in a minute.
The side walls, the rear wall, and the roof all feature tubular aluminum structural members with wood inserted in the aluminum tubing. The wood improves the ability of the aluminum tube member to receive and anchor the mechanical fasteners that attach various components to the walls and roof. The walls have 1-inch-thick block-foam insulation fitted between the aluminum members. Azdel panels are utilized as the substrate in the vacuum-bond laminated walls. Azdel is a composite material that is lighter than the traditional wood lauan panels used by others; in addition, it is water-resistant and will not delaminate. The roof includes 21/2-inch-thick block-foam insulation. Sheets of gel-coat fiberglass form the exterior walls.
The roof measures 76 inches high along the walls and 78 inches high down the centerline of the unit. Few people will have head-clearance issues inside this RV. The rear ladder provides access to the roof.
A solid piece of molded fiberglass forms the front cap and is lined with a radiant foil insulation. Windows throughout the coach feature dark-black tinted tempered safety glass that helps to control the interior temperature and provides a high level of privacy for those inside.
With the addition of an aftermarket accessory, the rear ladder can carry two bicycles. An optional two-bike carrier also can be added by the manufacturer to the front of the travel trailer, above the A-frame where two 20-pound propane cylinders and the house batteries reside. The advantage of two 20-pound cylinders is that they can be swapped out for filled cylinders at most big-box and hardware stores.
The Geo Pro G19FBS has a single, 30-cubic-foot storage bay located all the way forward, spanning the width of the RV. Cargo doors on either side of the unit provide ease of access. The cargo doors measure 24 inches by 16 inches; they seal when closed to prevent moisture and dust from entering and also help with temperature control.
The G19FBS comes standard with an 11-foot-by-8-foot powered awning by Dometic. The entry steps at the rear feature adjustable feet that permit the stairs to be used on uneven ground. The steps fold into the RV when not in use. A power tongue jack is included as standard equipment. A crank-down stabilizing jack at each corner of the RV manually extends and retracts.
The semigloss white exterior surface of the Geo Pro is accented with subtle but eye-catching graphics.
Much can be said about the Geo Pro’s electrical system. As noted, the owner can opt for either one or two 6-volt or 12-volt batteries. With the batteries wired in series, the voltage yield meets the electrical needs of the off-grid RVer. A 1,000-watt true sine wave inverter supports the 120-volt requirements of the unit. Exceptions are the microwave oven and the optional 13,500-Btu roof air conditioner, which require 30-amp shore power.
The batteries receive their charge from three sources: 30-amp shore power, the roof-mounted 100-watt solar panel, and the 7-pin connector that delivers current from the towing vehicle’s alternator back to the house batteries. Of course, those who want to do some long-term primitive RVing can purchase a portable auxiliary generator.
DC systems include interior lights, the power awning, the slideout, the flat-screen television, the blower on the 20,000-Btu forced-air furnace, and the heat pads that wrap and winterize the holding tanks. Propane fuels the furnace; the cooktop (and oven, when this option is included); the two-way (propane and AC electric), 5-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer; and the water heater (propane and electric). The thermostatically controlled furnace is ducted directly into the living space. A quick disconnect in the patio area makes it possible to tap into the propane system and fuel the portable griddle that comes standard.
The floor plan of the G19FBS Geo Pro is functional and well thought out. The 16-foot-long-by-78-inch-wide structure that sits atop the 20-foot-long chassis houses the residential features many RV enthusiasts demand. With the main entry at the rear of the unit, heating or cooling loss is minimized in the living area when people enter and exit. Traffic flow is well managed. The refrigerator stands off to the side and to the left of the rear entry, and the microwave is located above the refrigerator.
Also occupying the rear of the unit is a full-size, residential-style private bath. Composite interior walls and a door surround the bathroom, which comes with a porcelain toilet; a full-size corner shower equipped with a Showermiser water-conservation device; a medicine cabinet; and a lavatory cabinet and sink centered in the composite countertop.
Extending the slideout, with the touch of a button, provides access to a 72-inch jackknife sofa bed. A 55-inch-long-by-18-inch-wide table stows behind the sofa when not in service but can be put in place for dining and other activities that require a large, flat surface.
The Geo Pro’s galley comes equipped with the accoutrements a chef would expect for food preparation, be it a snack or a full-on feast. The standard three-burner propane cooktop has a fold-up glass cover that wipes clean easily and acts as a backsplash when the burners are being used. A propane oven can be added as an option. A country-style stainless-steel galley sink sits adjacent to the cooktop.
Immediately to the left of the galley is a floor-to-ceiling complex that includes the entertainment center. The standard 12-volt-DC television features a 24-inch screen attached to an articulating arm, which allows it to be viewed from the sofa or from the forward bedroom. The TV also features a built-in DVD player. Speakers and a stereo occupy the cabinet above the television.
Below the entertainment center is a large double-door wardrobe. Cabinets line the area above the sofa and the window in the slideout, above the galley, and in the forward stateroom above the bed.
The centerpiece of the bedroom is the queen-size bed. Oh, yes, the house battery powers one more thing: A heated mattress pad comes standard, so even on the coldest nights, occupants can stay warm and toasty and all snug in their bed. This feature is evidence of the Rockwood product development team’s focus on livability.
The large roll-out drawer below the bed measures 17 inches deep, 18 inches wide, and 81/2 inches high. It is the perfect place to stow extra bedding. Black-tinted safety glass windows are found at the head and the foot, and a tinted windshield is at the side of the bed that rests against the front of the unit.
Pull-down roller-style shades are tucked behind the fabric-covered valances that line the tops of all the windows in the Geo Pro except for those in the galley area, which have mini blinds.
The materials chosen for the Geo Pro are intended to be attractive, durable, and low maintenance. Vinyl wallpaper dresses the interior walls and the ceiling. Owners can wipe them clean using a damp cloth. The floor features a continuous sheet of linoleum atop the plywood subfloor.
Although it was the exterior of the Geo Pro that first drew my attention, a closer look revealed that its beauty is more than skin deep.
SPECS | ROCKWOOD GEO PRO G19FBS
Rockwood, 201 W. Elm St., Millersburg, IN 46543; (574) 642-2640; www.forestriverinc.com/rockwood
TIRES AND WHEELS
14-inch standard; 15-inch optional; aluminum alloy
available at dealer level
9 feet 9 inches with A/C
6 feet 6 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (CCC)
R-7 walls, R-12 roof and floor
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 30 gallons;
black water — 30 gallons
6 gallons, quick-recovery propane and electric
13,500 Btu, optional
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS REVIEWED