Originally Posted by JJSureshot
I'm wondering if there are any Outback owners here at iRV2 and would love to hear the thoughts on models like the 277RL for 2 people.
We have a 2012 Outback 277RL and love it. Our previous trailer (2005 Jayco JayFeather 29N) was also a "rear living area" layout, so we were sure we would like that layout. It's just the two of us and the dogs, so we do not need a lot of sleeping areas, and we like having lots of large windows as we do as much waterfront RVing as we can.
We haven't seen a 2014 model in person, but from looking at the pictures online, it appears the only significant differences are a shorter window on the curb side over the kitchen counter, some open shelving alongside the bedroom wardrobe, and cosmetic things like dark painted front cap, more dark exterior trim, and different color choices for the interior wood and fabric.
Compared to our old 30' 6600 pound trailer, some of the pros and cons of our 277RL (35' 8600 pounds) are:
We like being high off the ground - makes it easier to do maintenance underneath, and avoids clearance problems going up steep driveways, etc. Downside is you have to go up three steps to get in the trailer.
We were glad to see it was built on 4500 llb axles, and uses 15" Load Range D tires which should be adequate for this trailer. Our last trailer had 14" tires which really limited replacement tire options. That being said, carrying capacity is pretty low for a big trailer - less than 1200 pounds. There is so much interior storage that I am sure it would be easy to exceed that amount.
Outside storage is limited. The forward pass through storage area access doors are small - for instance a milk crate or small grill will not fit in - which limits the storage area's flexibility. Upside is that the part of the storage area under the bed that is accessible from the outside hatch is a generous size, and having it up at waist level is very handy. The rear receiver under the bumper is handy for carrying a storage rack for some lightweight items like a sewer tote, etc.
The fiberglass front cap is a big improvement over the older style Filon caps that seemed prone to delamination - also should be more aerodynamic. The "docking lights" are handy for hitching/unhitching. The access hatch on the top of the propane tank enclosures is very handy. Definitely go for a heavy duty electric tongue jack, as it does not take much to get the tongue weight up to 1000 lbs. Downside is because of the fiberglass cap, battery space is limited - maybe two will fit.
The arched roof with the galvanized steel trusses seems very sturdy, and really opens up the interior. Downside is short people may not be able to reach the lights and ceiling vents. Optional MaxAir covers on the vents are a big help. If you were to install fans on the vents, I would recommend going with remote controls so you don't have to reach up to adjust them. An optional vent in the bedroom would be nice - I have heard that the framing is in place to install one, but haven't verified that. The rubber roofing is wrapped all the way over the edge of the roof and down the wall a few inches which makes a nice water tight installation. They also use extended gutter spouts which help prevent black streaks.
The stove vent hood is not vented to the outside, and, at least on our unit, the kitchen window interferes with any modification to direct the exhaust outside. From the pictures on the 2014 model, this window is smaller, so a ventilation mod may be easier to accomplish.
The large bedroom slide makes for a roomy bedroom - there is plenty of room to get dressed, etc. - we even use the dressing table as a computer desk, moving one of the chairs from the dining table into the bedroom (we have the table and chairs option rather than the dinette.) We need to figure out some kind of shelf or something for each side of the bed to store eyeglasses, alarm clock, etc. during the night.
The bathroom is generously sized, with a full sized shower stall, and plenty of room to sit down on the throne. Having access from doors on both sides is handy. Even with the slides pulled in, the bathroom (as well as the kitchen area) are accessible which is very handy when on the road. We find the hamper under the bathroom sink is pretty worthless and we will be installing some shelves under there. The built in black tank flush is a nice option. All three waste tanks (black, bathroom gray, and kitchen gray) drain to the same hose connection which is handy.
The entertainment center is handy, and there are three sets of speakers (in the rear over the chairs, in the bedroom, and outside) and hookups for USB devices or audio inputs for iPod, XM radio or whatever. It would be nice if they went up to a larger TV as it is pretty far away from the chairs. A 19" fits perfectly in the bedroom. There is a cable/antenna hookup as well as a separate, direct cable for use with a satellite TV system.
We really like the outside galley kitchen even though it is not a complete outside kitchen with refrigerator, etc. like you get on some of the bunkhouse models. We use the cooktop to make coffee and bacon and eggs in the morning, and to cook sauces and veggies for dinner. We mounted a RVQ grill just forward of the galley, and teed off the propane gas line to be able to use both at once. The only caution is to make sure the galley gets folded up dry, as it holds moisture and everything can get moldy and rusty in a hurry. We vented ours to the interior, and drilled some drain holes.
The jury is out on the electric awning. It is really nice to be able to deploy or retract it with the touch of a button, but once it is out, it is not very wind resistant. We have rigged some ratchet strips and twist in ground anchors to help secure it, but that takes away from the ease of running it in and out. Our old manual awning was much steadier in a moderate wind. This trailer is so high, that deploying a manual awning would take a long, long awning hook.
Because of the height, it is nice to have the slide topper option on the slides as you would need a ladder to get up and check the top for dirt and leaves before retracting the slides. They also direct any rain water off the top of the slides.
All in all, we really like our 277RL, and think it is one of the best RL's in this size/weight range we have seen. A few years ago, I put together a list of a bunch of Rear Living Area models for comparison which is attached.
Also don't hesitate to ask any specific questions you may have.