All new from Holiday Rambler for 2011 is a Class C motorhome that would be perfect for a young family with small children just starting out or a couple of empty-nesters beginning the next chapter in the story of their lives. Either way, the Aluma-Lite 23RB can fill the bill.
A few of the notable highlights of this small, easy-to-maneuver motorhome begin to reveal its character. There’s the whopping 61 gallons of freshwater capacity, the distinctive Newport cherry wood cabinetry, a galley filled with top-notch appliances, the extra-large rear storage bay with side and rear exterior access, and for those who like to bring along motorized recreational toys, a 5,000-pound-capacity hitch receiver for towing. The 23RB would be great for weekend getaways or for getting away for weeks at a time.
This little wonder is wrapped up in a nice package, too. We found laminated fiberglass side walls and roof structures with aluminum frames, and the motorhome is topped with a seamless rubber roof. Its molded fiberglass front cap looks good and helps deliver superior aerodynamics for improved fuel mileage. Aluminum running boards, ABS wheel fenders, breakaway exterior mirrors, an electric Carefree of Colorado awning, a 4-inch rear tube bumper with end caps and storage capabilities, and a rear ladder offering access to the roof round out the key exterior standards.
There are five more floorplans in the works for the Aluma-Lite Class C line, and the 23RB is just the start, but what a beginning. From bumper to bumper, you can tell the designers at Holiday Rambler put some time into this one.
Let’s start with the shower that a 6-foot-2-inch guy can stand up in without hunching over. When was the last time you saw that in a 24-foot motorhome? The bath features a stainless steel sink and single-lever satin-nickel faucet – all very classy looking. The handle-flush toilet also helps it look and feel like a nice, little home rather than like a little camper.
And generous storage space is provided in the sink cabinet.
A queen-size bed with a cushy 54- by 74-inch foam mattress fills the curbside rear corner of the coach, and there is a sizable storage cabinet above it on the rear wall and another storage cabinet above it on the wall at the foot of the bed. Although there is space underneath the bed, it’s not wasted – it’s incorporated into the cavernous rear storage area previously mentioned, and it can be reached through exterior bay doors. One notable omission from the bedroom area is a TV. There is a TV over the entry door, but it can’t be seen from the bed.
Just forward of the bathroom and across the aisle from the queen-size bed is a wardrobe that measures 43 inches tall and 25 inches wide. There are a couple of drawers underneath the wardrobe as well. There’s enough room to store the clothing for the queen and king, and a couple of their princes and princesses, too, if necessary.
The galley leads off with a standard Norcold double-door 6-cubic-foot, two-way-power refrigerator/freezer that can take on enough food to last a weekend or a week, depending on the size of your crew. A lighted and vented range hood hovers over the Wedgewood three-burner cooktop, and a built-in 900-watt Hamilton Beach microwave is stacked atop both. The stainless steel double-bowl sink features a high-arched faucet, and while the sinks aren’t huge, there’s enough room to wash a decent-size load of dishes. The appliances are high quality, storage space above and below is good, and all is laid out well. Our only gripe about the galley is that without the flip-up countertop that blocks the entryway when in use, there is not much food prep space other than the table at the booth dinette directly across the aisle from the galley.
A huge window offers great views from the booth dinette, and it was immediately obvious to us that the dinette area would be an ideal location for a slideout – though this floorplan doesn’t currently offer that option. The dinette features fat, comfy cushions and converts easily into a sleeper that can take a couple of kids for the night. Here, too, we ran into a real estate issue with table space. The dinette seat could comfortably fit four for dining, if they are two adults and two kids, but the diminutive half-moon tabletop would only comfortably fit three plates. Storage abounds above the dinette, but was surprisingly lacking below the seat cushions. A 26-inch flat-screen TV is mounted above the doorway on a swivel-extension arm that allows it to be pulled out and viewed from the dinette.
The cabover sleeper echoes with cavernous room above the cockpit and is floored with a 57- by 80-inch split mattress. There’s plenty of room for a couple of guests; and there is a storage cabinet at the end, with storage cubbies on both sides.
The cockpit in the Ultra-Lite 23RB is comfortable and well-organized. The plush captain’s chairs are inviting and will make hours on the road seem like minutes. This particular unit was built on the Ford E-350 chassis, with a powerful V-10 engine, durable and sure-shifting automatic transmission, and familiar instruments and controls that are easy to read and operate.
If you need any more help imagining just how easily maneuverable this Class C motorhome is, picture this: A Ford Crew Cab pickup truck has about the same wheelbase length as the all-new 2011 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 23RB.
Chassis: Ford E-350
GVWR: 11,500 Lbs
Length: 23′ 11″
Height (w/AC): 10′ 8″ Interior Height: 6′ 10″
Freshwater Cap: 61 Gal
Gray-Water Cap: 33 Gal
Black-Water Cap: 35 Gal
LP-Gas Cap: 42 Gal
Base Price: $67,142
Holiday Rambler 800-245-4778, www.holidayrambler.com.