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Tiny Trailer: KZ RV Sportsmen Classic 181BH

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

KZ’s ultralightweight, budget-friendly bunkhouse sleeps five and boasts many amenities found in larger travel trailers

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In business for nearly 50 years, KZ Recreational Vehicles has gained a solid reputation for being a premier manufacturer of travel trailers, fifth-wheels and toy haulers. The 181BH is the smaller of two bunkhouse trailers among the nine Sportsmen Classic models in this budget-friendly line of compact, ultralightweight travel trailers and toy haulers. With an exterior length just shy of 21 feet and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3,500 pounds, the nimble little trailer is easily managed by a host of tow vehicles.

Dinette with bench seats in Sportsmen Classic 181BH travel trailer

The rear bunks and bathroom design maximizes sleeping space while fitting in the much-appreciated convenience of a flush toilet and stand-up shower/tub in such a small footprint. The dinette folds down for even more sleeping room.

Living Area

One of the first things we noticed about the Sportsmen Classic 181BH is the dinette housed in a slideout, which opens up the small trailer and makes more room for family meals, card playing or just lounging after a full day of adventure. The dinette folds down for extra sleeping room midship, next to a pair of 28-by-75-inch bunks at the rear on the street side. A 54-by-80-inch bed for the adults stretches across the front of the trailer with cabinets overhead.

KZ tucked the stand-up shower and flush toilet at the rear of the camper, essentially placing a wall along the back half of the bunk beds. The bunk configuration is nice for kids, and having the bathroom right next door is convenient for late-night trips to the loo. With a 6½-foot-high ceiling, the interior features residential-grade linoleum laid over tongue-and-groove plywood flooring, a 20,000-Btu furnace, and a stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity and USB charging ports.

Front bed with overhead cabinets in Sportsmen Classic 181BH travel trailer

The adults get to sleep in the 54-by-80-inch bed that fills the front of the 181BH. Overhead cabinets and a pass-through area beneath the bed offer a good amount of storage for a trailer in this class of small ultralights.

Kitchen & Storage

The galley suits family needs with a deep sink that’s large enough for filling pots and pitchers, along with a microwave, two-burner cooktop and a centralized cabinet-end electrical control panel. The optional two-way 7-cubic-foot refrigerator-freezer fits curb side between the counter and bathroom.

Storage space is ample for a trailer this size with kitchen cabinets above and below the counter, open areas under the bunks and dinette benches, and a roomy exterior pass-through compartment under the front bed.

Refrigerator, kitchen drawers and bathroom in Sportsmen Classic 181BH travel trailer.

Left: The optional two-way 7-cubic-foot refrigerator-freezer takes the place of what would be a pantry/storage closet located between the galley and the bathroom. Center: Plastic pullout bins in the midship galley are a nice touch to maximize storage space while minimizing weight. Right: The bathroom is compact, but it affords an enclosed shower/tub and flush toilet.

Special Features

KZ’s keyed-alike system prevents standard RV keys from opening doors and locks, which is a nice security feature. The Alum-a-Tough roof boasts a 12-year limited warranty. And this Sportsman Classic model comes with an 8,000-Btu Low-Pro air conditioner, power awning, diamond-plated front protection and tinted windows.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

2020 KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH
Exterior: 20′ 9″
Exterior Width: 7′
Interior Height: 6′ 6″
Exterior Height: 9′ 4″ (without A/C)
Freshwater Cap.: 20 gal.
Gray-Water Cap.: 15 gal.
Black-Water Cap.: 15 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
UVW: 3,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 430 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $17,603

Sportsmen Classic 181BH travel trailer floorplan illustration.

Bruce W. Smith head shot with tan capA respected automotive and RV journalist and longtime Trailer Life contributor, Bruce W. Smith has held numerous editorial titles at automotive and boating magazines, and authored more than 1,000 articles, from tech to trailering. He considers his home state of Oregon a paradise for RVing and outdoor adventure.

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Bruce W. Smithlightweightlightweight RVsNew RVsNew RVs for 2020RV ReviewTiny TrailerTravel Trailer Review

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