To kick off my honest Alpha Wolf travel trailer review, let me start by clarifying one thing — I'm in now way associated or sponsored by the brand. The reason why I chose to write this honest review is because I'm often asked about RVs when friends are scoping out a new rig. Questions like:
- What size do I need?
- Should I get a bumper pull, toy hauler, or fifth wheel?
- What do you LOVE about yours?
- What do you not love as much about yours?
- What are those perks I should be looking for?
I've been there with asking all of those questions. Before we ended up with the Forest River Cherokee Alpha Wolf travel trailer (that's a mouthful, which is why I typically shorten it to Alpha Wolf, but I wanted to be clear about which trailer model I'm talking about before getting too far in here), we had a Keystone Bullet. It was a good trailer, but the model we got was too big for our family.
One night, while the kids were inside the rig sound asleep, my husband and I were enjoying some quiet by the campfire outside. Our campsite overlooked the entry to the campground, and there were a surprising number of new rigs rolling in late that night. It got our wheels turning about what our ideal RV would look like — or at the very least, what our next RV should look like.
We knew that we needed a new rig to tow to the places we wanted to go. It had to be smaller, but it also had to have all of the amenities I wanted because, ahem, I'm not a tent camper. I love those creature comforts.
That night, watching and wondering about the various rigs around us, got us looking for new RVs. The first step? Narrowing our list down to the specific must-have options and amenities.
We knew we wanted a 26 foot bunkhouse RV, which would give us enough space for our family, plus a friend or two for our kiddos.
We knew we wanted an outside shower because, yeesh, the amount of dirt that those boys bring in is a lot.
We knew we wanted a u-shaped dinette to have more room to play games or enjoy time inside when the weather outside was less than ideal.
We knew we wanted a private master bedroom because privacy matters when you're the only female in the family (that's me).
After hours of searching, browsing floorplans, and even a few trips to RV shows in our area, we decided we wanted one of the Alpha Wolf RVs. Ultimately, we landed on the model year 2019 Cherokee Alpha Wolf trailer 26-foot bunkhouse. Here's what I love about it, and a few heads ups on the things I've upgraded since buying it.
Plenty of Storage
You'd think that shaving off several feet would also shave off storage space. That wasn't quite the case for us. The layout of this trailer actually made it so that it felt like there was more storage space than I'd expected.
In the bedroom, both sides of the Queen bed have a narrow, deep closet area. Above the bed is a long storage cabinet that we rarely, if ever, fully fill. It's here that I put my unmentionables (how old do I sound using that term?!), headlamps, extra batteries, inflatable lanterns, lighters for the fire, knife, and other gear that I like to have easily accessible to me but out of reach of the kids.
In the main living room area, there is additional storage underneath the couch, which is where I store extra linens and towels. There's also storage underneath the u-shaped dinette, where I have a dedicated drawer for extra pots, pans, and serving dishes, and another dedicated for our boys' toys.
In the kitchen, there is a ton of cabinet space to store our tumblers, plates (we use enamel plates to save on space and waste), sporks, and napkins. There's a full pantry with three shelves where we can store all the snacks. I have kids so when I say ALL THE SNACKS, I mean, a LOT of snacks. That thing is a hot spot in our trailer for our boys (and admittedly, me too).
The bathroom storage is small, and I'm still working on getting that adjusted. However, there's enough storage to avoid any of us having toiletries on the tiny triangle shaped counter top, so it's still plenty enough for us. The shower is big, too, so I use it to store our soaps and lotions during travel.
The set of double-sized bunks are nice. But, there's no storage there, so I'm getting our boys some baskets, or maybe hanging a mesh netting to help them get extra storage. They'll still have plenty of sleeping space with that setup.
Outside of the chickens at our sticks-and-bricks home, I'm the only girl in our family. That means, I need my privacy when getting dressed. I prefer to not take up the bathroom just to squeeze into my swim suit, so having the double doors to offer privacy in the bedroom is huge!
It's worth noting that this privacy is also important for getting dressed because the bathroom door has a little gap over the top that allows someone to peek inside from the top bunk. My kids have just discovered that gap, which they think is fun sometimes. Typically it isn't a problem unless they're slowly waking up and I'm in there doing my thing first thing in the morning. Otherwise, they're too busy outside to make it problematic.
Large Refrigerator (but Not Residential Refrigerator)
I am someone who prefers to bring food with us on trips instead of going to the grocery, so having a large refrigerator was a huge plus for me. However, I'm also someone who values the cold in the fridge, so it was important to me that we had one that could run on propane. Some residential sized refrigerators don't run on propane, which would be problematic for boondocking (sure you could use your generator but do you really want to use it for the fridge when there are other options? and travel days (we like to push far with 12 hour travel days sometimes).
In the Alpha Wolf camper, there's a large refrigerator that easily fits our food for a week or more. And there's a freezer that works well. I put our s'mores chocolate up here and other things that can be frozen until the day of needing to use them.
Easy Access Bathroom
Remember how I said I don't want a lot of dirt in my rig? Trapsing in and out to use the bathroom is a great way to get that extra dirt inside.
One thing we love about this Alpha Wolf RV is that there's a separate bathroom door. That door has proven to save a lot of dirt, mud, and junk from getting inside the living space.
Deep Kitchen Sink
We use enamel plates, sporks, and stainless steel tumblers in our RV. None of that paper plate flimsy-ness for us! That means, though, that we're washing more dishes. Having the large, deep kitchen sink has offered a lot of extra space for washing and drying alike.
I also like that the kitchen sink matches the other stainless steel appliances, including the stove, microwave, and the refrigerator. It all flows together so nicely, making it aesthetically pleasing.
Extreme Weather Package
We ended up getting the extreme weather package, which wasn't something we felt we needed but wow were we glad to have it. Especially in these camping conditions.
The reality is, you never know what camping weather you're going to bump into. Having that extreme weather package has helped us stay warmer inside more times than I thought we'd need — something I personally love (because this camping mama doesn't love the cold).
Extra RV Features and Creature Comforts
What ultimately sold me on this rig were a few extra creature comforts.
Our boys love how the bed folds out and lets them relax inside on a cold, windy day, or a hot day when they just need a break from the sun.
I love the fireplace space heater for warming the rig without using propane. This one was a huge feature to me and one we use every fall and winter when camping!
Upgrades We Have Made
When we got the Alpha Wolf, we had a few minor issues.
First, the paneling on some of the cabinets fell out while driving. My husband was able to quickly repair this and they haven't fallen out since. I blame the heat for that.
Second, our window coverings fell down after a year, so I added new curtains instead. I'm not a huge fan of how these ones look but here we are. I might get a tweed window covering instead, but I don't want to let in too much light too early in the day, and since we never know which direction you'll be parked, we chose blackout curtains instead.
I also added blackout shades with simple fabric covered foam board pop-ins to help reduce light pollution in the mornings. It's helped our sleep tremendously and doesn't look bad, like foil looks in windows (my opinion).
Third, the tabletop warped. I ended up ripping it off and refinishing it with these vinyl tiles. I love the way it looks! All that's left is to wrap a new siding around it and we'll have a brand new table.
Overall, we love our Alpha Wolf bunkhouse RV and I've recommended it to many friends.