Review of our Micro Lite

We’ve had our travel trailer for 2 plus years now. We have camped in it 117 nights. So, with that experience, I am writing a review of our 23FBKS Forest River 2019 Micro Lite travel trailer. Perhaps this review will provide some perspectives on those considering a purchase. Maybe it will spark an idea to someone who already has a travel trailer. Or perhaps it will inspire one of you to give us an idea for our travel trailer. Who knows where this will lead, but here we go!

Quality

Overall, we are very pleased with the quality of our travel trailer. Early on, we had a few minor issues – such as a screw loose on a drawer. The most “serious” issue though was when an electrical connection had shaken loose, and some critical functions stopped working. We wouldn’t have known how to fix this. However, we were very lucky, and a friendly fellow camper fixed it for us.

The one area where we feel the quality is not prime is the screen door. The slider on the door, which gives access to the main door handle, broke due to a tiny piece breaking off when the wind took the door. With this piece broken, the screen section could not be closed tight anymore. You know what that means – mosquitoes! The suggested repair was a whole new door, but instead, I fixed it. My repair held, but then we had another issue with the screen door.

The screen door handle was also plastic, and at one point, it broke. We could not get into our travel trailer. So, we had to “break” the door handle to get in, and then it would no longer latch. After this, we did have to replace the entire door at a cost of about $150. I can see our screen door breaking again as the new door handle and slider peg (issue #1 above) are still just flimsy plastic. If this does happen, I will think of something else to do because we are not paying for a new screen door again.

Storage

We are very happy with the amount of storage inside and outside of our travel trailer. We have never run out of room. As an organizer, I feel I have plenty of spaces to organize our items in a logical and accessible way.

My only “complaint” are the storage compartments on each side of our bed (which is a Murphy Bed.) Based on what I see in Facebook groups, this is a very common issue. The solutions show various shelves and hanging storage. However, the issue for me isn’t using the space, it’s the fact that I can’t reach into the compartment easily. I am 5’10”, and it is very hard for me to access anything in there – whether it is clothes hanging up or boxes I have put in there. We do use these areas to store bottled water (which I never buy except when we travel in our RV) and soda. Dan is taller (6’8″), so he can reach this more easily.

Murphy Bed

The Murphy Bed is great. My concern when we bought it was that it would be a hassle to put this down each night and then back up in the morning. Dan takes care of doing this, and it is a piece of cake. I would guess it takes about 30 seconds.

From what I see in Facebook groups, it appears many people replace their new RV mattress very quickly. Not us. Our mattress is perfectly fine, and we have really enjoyed the heated mattress on cold nights. That’s a savings on propane, too.

It would be a nice upgrade if the switch to turn off the overhead lights could be accessed when we are laying down. We like to read in bed, but when it’s time to turn out the lights, Dan has to sit up to reach the switch. We also have to pull out the curtains a bit to block the lights from the panel by the door. If we forget, then Dan has to sit up a second time. I’m just glad Dan chose that side of the bed. Lucky me!

Couch

The Murphy Bed goes up, and then we pop up a leather couch . So, that area of our travel trailer goes from a bedroom to a living room. The couch does have recliners on each end. Now, it is is not as comfortable as the recliners we have at home – or those we see in a nice Class A. However, it is “good enough.” There is also a tray which can be attached at each of the couch. This has come in handy when we want to eat a meal while watching TV or when we are just overnight somewhere and don’t want to go to the bother of setting up the table.

While sitting on the couch, the TV seems a bit far away. I guess we could put in a larger TV, but, you know me, I am pretty frugal. Once we start watching a show, we get engrossed, and the TV is just fine.

Kitchen

We chose this model as the table was larger and in the booth configuration. The U-shape configuration did not feel quite right to us; we felt too far away from each other. We use the table a fair amount as we like to play Scrabble.

The counter space in our kitchen area is minimal. There is some space behind the stove and sink, but you have to reach back to access it. This works great when I use the slow cooker. But when I want to do prep work, I usually use the table. I’ve thought about adding a drop down leaf on the side; however, this would block access to the cabinet that’s right there.

Bathroom

The bathroom in our travel trailer seems very spacious. There are two tall storage cabinets, one with a rod for hanging clothes. This makes up for the awkward storage on the sides of the bed, and it is where we hang all our clothes.

The shower has curved doors. We seem to have a constant issue with these doors. There is an additional strip on each door which has a magnetic edge. The issue is the magnet sticks real good. So good, in fact, that the plastic edging comes off one door and sticks to the other side. So, then we have to push it back to where it should be – again and again. We did ask the dealer about gluing this strip to each door, but there was some reason why it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done.

Decor

The decor of our travel trailer is okay, maybe a bit on the drab side. I have tried to brighten it up here and there. I know others have changed out the curtains, valances, bedspread, cushion covers and even painted the cabinet doors. Since we bought ours brand new, I didn’t want to do this.

We bought our travel trailer at an RV show. With Dan being 6’8″, there were only 2 travel trailers where he could stand up. The other model had a kind of Frank Lloyd Wright glass insert in some of the kitchen cabinet doors – which I really, really liked. However, this model also featured the U-shaped kitchen table, so the Forest River 23FBKS won out. At the time, Dan remarked that we could maybe change our cabinet doors to have this kind of fancy feature. Not sure we ever will.

Upgrades

When we bought our travel trailer, we upgraded the steps and bought a power jack. We’ve also added a bike rack, a slide topper, a cover for the vent lid, bug screens, and hitch locks for both the car and camper. We’re very happy with all these additions.

I looked into purchasing a backup camera this past Christmas, but the model we needed is no longer available. So, this would be something I would recommend purchasing right away. We would also purchase an auto leveling system if such a thing is even available for travel trailers. Not that it’s a big deal, but I think we would love an auto leveling system.

Summary

There’s so much more I could say – like the awning lights are too harsh, but I may have broken one of my own rules and made this post too long.

Overall, even though I wrote about a lot of piddly things, we are very happy with our travel trailer. Whether you have an RV or not, please feel free to put your thoughts in the comments below. If we can’t go camping right now, at least we can talk about it!

32 comments

  1. I enjoyed reading about your travel trailer. We hope to buy one next summer, probably something closer to 28 feet, but we’ll see. When I read reviews of RV’s (or any product for that matter), even the brands and models that have a very good reputation and are very expensive have a few bad reviews. It is hard to figure out what to be really concerned about. It sounds like the issues you have had have been easy enough to fix without major cost, so that is good. And overall it sounds like you are pleased with your purchase. Yay! Looking at the profile photo of you and your husband, it looks like you are very short. So I was surprised to read that you are 5’10!! I look forward to more posts about RVing once you are back out on the road again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I look short because Dan is 6’8″! 🙂 It’s good you are doing research. Yes, we are very pleased with our purchase. We paid $23,000 for the camper at an RV show. Have fun shopping for a camper. If I can be of any help with my 2 years of experience, I am happy to give my perspective. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice RV and thank you for your candid comments about it – both pros and cons. We have an older Class A motorhome,but despite being older, I love everything about it. We were to several RV shows in South Texas last winter, and I didn’t see a single new model that I loved as much as I do ours. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to head south again next winter. Just in case we can’t, we’re planning another 6 week tour of our province for the coming summer. They’re an expensive luxury to have sitting in storage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. It’s great that you love your Class A. Who cares if it is older? Often times, we are the on the smaller side of RVs, but that doesn’t bother me in the least. We bought our trailer new with the intention of keeping it a long time and taking good care of it. RV’s are an expensive luxury, but one can mitigate the cost by keeping a rig for a long time and various other RV travel strategies. A six week tour of your province sounds great – I look forward to reading your posts about it. I hope you can go south next winter. I hope to spend more time in Texas, too. There’s lots to see and do. Plus, my son lives in Dallas. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very informative, Betty!
    Does your RV have AC or heat? Are you satisfied with the black water storage system? If the cook stove is gas, how much propane are you able to carry onboard?

    I figured Dan was tall, but didn’t realize how tall BOTH of you are.

    PS. It’s ok to run a little long when the subject is interesting.

    PSS. I’ve never read something you wrote that wasn’t interesting. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. Yes our RV has both AC and heat. It also has a frig, freezer, stove, oven, DVD player, radio, wifi booster, and is solar ready. There is a grill to mount outside (we haven’t used yet – a future post!). And you can mount the TV outside, too. (Haven’t done that and probably won’t.) We are happy with the black water storage system; however, we do not put solids in there. Hope you get what that means. 😉 I learned this from my cousin who is in his 80’s (still travels) and has had an RV for as long as I can remember. The trailer has space for 2 propane tanks in the front. We probably use about 3/4 of a tank in a year. If we camped more in colder temps, I am sure we would use more. I am happy to give my perspective on any questions you may have. Are you thinking of getting a camper?
      Another blogger was also surprised by my height. A side of effect of Dan. 🙂
      You are very kind to say you’ve never read something I wrote that wasn’t interesting. I can say the same for your posts!
      Enjoy your Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I grew up camping with my family in an overhead camper—the kind that goes on a pickup. I loved it!

    However, Mrs. Duncan (Nancy) is a hotel/ cottage lover and feels like anything less is roughing it.

    Maybe I need to take her to an RV show so she can see how nice camping can be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand Mrs. Duncan’s point of view. We wanted to travel a lot and felt our travel would be much more restricted by staying in hotels and eating most meals out. But maybe, with all the costs of an RV, the costs may be equal. Not sure. However, I love the feel of a campground. I love staying in our own “home.” And I love making most of our meals in the TT. We do eat out when traveling (pre-Covid), but it’s limited to a few times, rather than most our meals. I eat more healthy at home. While I refer to “camping”, many refer to it as glamping. Bottom line, I absolutely love when we are ChambersontheRoad. 🙂 RV shows are so fun! You could go and see if she gets bit by the bug. It seems best when both have been bitten. I am so glad Dan loves it, too! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You really do have a nice set up – and it seems very cozy. I’ve said for years that if I could manage a travel trailer I would have one! When my children were small we had a pop up camper that we used as much as possible. It served our purposes very well. Funny, but in re-reading about the problems with your door I remembered that we also had a problem with the pop-up door, but I don’t remember what! We would put the table outside by the door and I used it for cooking and dishwashing. We always had a picnic table at our sight and we ate meals there and put the table back in at night to make up the third bed. I rarely cooked on the two-burner stove as it was very small and food splatters were hard to control (and it was hard to clean up). I’m looking to your next travel season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like you have many good memories from your “popup years.” I could not handle the Micro Lite by myself either. However, I do know many single women go traveling in vans, tear drops, Aliner, etc. We’ve met a couple, and we know of another in our Scrabble circle. I believe there is even a Facebook group. Would I be that brave? Not sure, but I do admire them for making it happen. Either with Dan or alone, I am not brave enough to Boondock. But I do like to watch Slim Potatohead on Youtube. He really enjoys nature. Sorry for the digression, but you may enjoy him, too. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am one of the ladies that will go alone or with girlfriends. My husband and boys aren’t interested.

        I bought a 2nd hand 2014 2109s, which I pull with my Tahoe. So far no Problems. I love it!

        I’ve only stayed in designated campgrounds too; no boondocking

        I feel the Rockwood is a solid lil camper and when I retire in a few years I plan to upgrade to new or even possibly a small Class C. I want to tour the USA and can’t decide yet which I would prefer. Still thinking

        In any event, really enjoyed your story and look forward to more

        Happy Camping!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you! I like to think I’d go alone, if it came to that. We travel just the two of us (mostly), but people are so friendly, we find ourselves always chatting with folks. We do like how we can unhitch and then take our car to wherever else we want to see or go. That would be the only downside to a Class C or A – which we have thought about – because not towing something is nice, too. In any case, good luck with your decision. Safe and Happy travels to you!

        Like

  6. Thanks for the post. Looks like you have had some good luck with your camper with the limited amount of problems you’ve had. You hear so many horror stories even when buying new. It seems to be a good size for two people and I don’t see any scars or bandages on Dan’s head. You are also getting to use it quite a bit which is great. I’ve been think about upgrading our steps. I hear that one of the cons with the steps is the dirt that falls into the camper when you lift them up. I understand they need to be swept off but was told it is still a problem. We will have our camper two years in March. Maybe I should do a review of ours too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you should do a review! Those stairs do get dirt in the camper. We do use the broom, mostly to sweep out the camper – as we forget to sweep off the steps before putting them up. We also have a mat right when you walk in, so most of the dirt goes on that. While it is a minor issue, the stairs are so much more comfortable and sturdy. It’s a trade-off we are willing to make. I look forward to your review. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing. It’s very obvious that you did your research before you went shopping for your rig. You knew what you wanted, what would work for you and that enabled you to purchase “your trailer”. And that is what people need to keep in mind when they go shopping for an RV. How are you going to use it? What features are important to you? What can you do and do without? For instance, in our case as full time RVer’s our needs are far different than those who take occasional trips during the year. And so, the type of rig we need is also far different. In fact, we don’t even refer to our rig as an “RV” – a “recreational vehicle” instead we call it an “LV” – a “living vehicle”. Bottom line, there is no perfect rig. You get what is close to your dream and then you work to make it your own. Enjoy your rig. May it bring you many miles of smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your term “LV”, and your closing sentence, “many miles of smiles.” We saved up our money for 6 years before buying, so we could pay cash for both the trailer and the vehicle. So, that gave us a lot of time to think about what we wanted. We went to a couple of RV shows and talked with lots of people who had some kind of RV. We are very happy with our choice, and the best part is it allows us to travel so many places. Thanks for reading, and have a great Sunday!

      Like

  8. No, your post was not too long. All of your articles keep me engaged. I like the bits of humor that sneak in. But, really. Only one screw caused you a problem? Jon has replaced almost all of the cabinet screws in our unit. Even the million dollar units end up with problems. It pays to have a handyman on board when RVing. Here’s to many more happy miles ahead for you and hubby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Actually, the quality was very good (knock on wood!). We are not really handy, but we are good at watching youtube videos! Thanks for reading and your good wishes. Enjoy your Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think over time and after many memorable (for good or bad) camping trips our RV becomes a home away from home. It’s always nice to see a review of an RV that has been used for a full season or more. 👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

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