If you’re an adventurous camper who’s been looking for a travel trailer that can handle off-road travel and off-grid camping, we’re featuring a new kid on the block — Ember RV. They may be new, but they’ve got some serious RV genes with experience and expertise to match.
Ember RVs have a modern, chic look you might not expect from such a hardy, durable, overlanding rig. Let’s take a closer look at Ember RV to see what they offer and how they might compare to the competition.
What Is Ember RV?
Ember RV is a new brand of overlanding travel trailers made for adventurous RVers. Located in Bristol, Indiana, the company is just minutes from the epicenter of the RV world — Elkhart.
Launched in 2021, Ember RV was founded and is run by President & CEO Ashley Bontrager Lehman, the granddaughter of Jayco founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager. This makes Ember RV’s founder a third-generation RV industry veteran. In addition to this distinction, she owns a campground and is an RVer herself.
Ashley chose Bristol as a location owing to the great workforce available in Elkhart County, as demonstrated over more than seven decades of RV manufacturing.
In an industry whose leaders are mostly men, Ashley Bontrager Lehman’s self-described mission is to build a better RV company that turns out better-built RVs with the needs and desires of RVers strongly at the forefront of every design and innovation.
In 2021, she officially co-founded Ember RV with Chris Barth, Steve Delagrange, and Ernie Miller. She credits Barth with the idea and design of Ember’s intriguing overland vehicles. Following RVing trends, they knew that more people wanted to get off the beaten path and off the grid.
Ember RV seems to have successfully produced a trio of innovative travel trailers with off-road capabilities that are affordable to more RVers than most overlanding rigs.
RVs from Ember Recreational Vehicles
Ember RV offers a series of three travel trailers: Micro, Overland, and Touring Edition Series, available in a wide range of floorplans. All Ember RVs share several features, while each series has a unique design and distinguishing features.
According to its President & CEO, Ember RV worked hard to create products that are intended to outlast the loan payments on the rigs, through family generations, as opposed to a few years.
Ember has designed its RVs to be virtually impervious to water, removing the fear of damaging leaks that often signal a rig’s decline. The Azdel Onboard composite walls are made of recycled material that won’t deteriorate even if it gets wet.
Here’s how construction goes from the outside, in:
There’s a fiberglass layer on the exterior, followed by a layer of Azdel. Next comes aluminum framing, foam, and another layer of Azdel on the interior walls.
Ember uses the same method for building the ceiling as it uses to build the walls, which isn’t typical in the RV industry. So, all five sides (the roof and all four exterior walls) are fully composite and laminated. That’s right – there’s no wood inside the walls or roof (though wood IS used inside the RV for interior walls and, of course, cabinetry).
The floors are made of TransCore, a waterproof one-piece composite material. And instead of using wood on top of the floors, Ember uses water-resistant Shaw flooring similar to that used in Airstream trailers. But Ember’s composite material is twice as thick as in an Airstream.
So, Ember RVs are constructed using no wood at all. (Azdel is also 50% lighter than wood, is sustainable, and is made in the USA.) All of this means that water damage, mold, mildew, and rot aren’t threats to Ember RVs.
Here are some features you can find on Ember RV travel trailers.
- Sleek exterior with a characteristic black & orange color scheme
- European dual pane acrylic windows with integrated shades/screens
- Steel fenders
- LED interior lighting
- High visibility LED exterior lighting
- Clean, chic, modern interior design
- Lots of storage space
- Solar panels
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Curt independent suspensions (coil spring)
- Dual shock absorbers
- Off-road tires
- Electric stabilizer jacks
- Electric tongue jacks
- Backup cameras
- WiFi boosters
- Smart TVs
The company looked at European and Australian markets for inspiration and its travel trailers reflect that research. Let’s look at each of the three series of overlanding travel trailers from Ember RV.
Overland Micro Series
Ember RV’s Overland Micro Series combines impressive standard features in two floorplans.
Well-prepared for off-road and off-grid camping, Ember’s Micro RV series is available in two floorplans – the ROK (Rear Outside Kitchen) and ROL (Rear Outside Locker). You can opt for the well-equipped kitchen or a huge cargo locker for recreational gear, camping accessories, etc.
Both the ROK and ROL have an integrated CURT Independent Suspension (IS) System. This high-performance, axle-free design built for traveling over terrain takes you off the beaten path to destinations that would otherwise be tough to reach.
The ROK is a travel trailer with a dry weight of 2,215 lbs and a hitch weight of 345 lbs. With a length of 12’10” and a height of 9’2″ it’s easily towed by just about any SUV or small truck. It rides on nitro-filled 16″ Goodyear Wrangler off-road tires – load range E (including spare).
The ROK sleeps 2-4 people and has a starting price of $31, 109.
The ROL is also a 12’10” travel trailer with a height of 9’2″, but slightly lighter weight. With a dry weight of 2,020 lbs and a hitch weight of 385 pounds, the ROL also sleeps 2-4 and has a starting retail price of
The Overland Series includes 10 floorplans ranging from 17 to 22 feet long. They’re designed to accommodate couples and families with adventurous spirits.
Ember RV’s Overland Series features the same integrated CURT Independent Suspension (IS) System, dual shock absorbers, and nitro-filled 16″ Goodyear Wrangler tires with custom aluminum rims, including the spare.
The ten floorplans of the Overland Series offer options for single or double bunks, Murphy queen beds, front or rear bathrooms, outdoor kitchens, Ember’s Stargazer skylight, and slide-outs. Depending on the floor plan, they have a dry weight of roughly 4,000 to 5,000 pounds and can sleep up to six people.
Fully enclosed underbelly and heated tanks mean they’re safe even in cold weather.
With a 55-gallon fresh water tank and an off-grid solar package, Ember’s Overland Series is well-equipped to handle extended stays off the grid. Every unit is also equipped with a 30-amp electric service.
Retail prices for the Ember Overland Series start at $54,378.
The Ember RV Touring Edition travel trailers come in eight different floorplans in lengths from 26′ 6″ to 34′ 1″. Ranging in height from 11′ 5″ to 11′ 6″, Touring Edition units have a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) from 7,295 lbs to 8,995 lbs.
All Touring Edition campers ride on torsion axles with 16″ Goodyear Endurance tires with TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) for additional safety.
Built with Ember’s 5-sided aluminum frame construction, Touring Edition units include double-sided Azdel Onboard composite walls and Evermore composite flooring.
The Touring Edition offers European dual-pane acrylic windows with integrated shades and Ember’s exclusive “Stargazer” skylight. Every unit in this series has a slide-out in the center and a full rear bathroom.
A queen bed is featured in four of the Touring Edition’s eight floorplans, and four feature a Murphy bed. Many floorplans also offer double bunk beds. There’s plenty of sleeping, lounging, and dining space in all Touring Edition units, so every one of them will take you overlanding in comfort.
For more information on Ember RV or any of its products, check out the Ember RV website. Ember RV may be the new kid on the block, but they’re off to a fantastic start!
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