Dutchmen Kodiak Cub in-depth review
My girlfriend Mihaela of World Travel Bug and I recently purchased a new 2021 Dutchmen Kodiak Cub travel trailer. We know there are a lot of you out there considering buying a travel trailer, so we thought we’d share the ins-and-outs of ours, and, what went into the decision-making process in order to help you make a more informed decision.
We really wanted a travel trailer that had all the creature comforts of a micro home, but was also compact and lightweight at the same time. We’re towing our Kodiak Cub with an older half ton pickup, so we needed something we could easily tow. Our truck towing capabilities was a significant factor in our travel trailer purchasing decision.
BTW, we produced a video on why we purchased our Dutchmen Kodiak Cub, so if you prefer to watch that, just hit the play button below.
The Dutchmen Kodiak Cub (model 177RB) is made out of fiberglass versus aluminum, and there are a lot of benefits to that. It’s lighter weight, resists dings, provides better insulation, and in our case, our trailer has a better design profile and is a bit more aerodynamic.
The next thing we considered was the size and ride height. The Kodiak Cub 177rb is about 18′ inside and 21′ outside (from bumper to tongue).
One of the things we both really appreciate is the fact that this travel trailer has power stabilizing jacks. Now they’re not leveling jacks, which is completely different. These are stabilizing jacks, so that you can just make the whole unit more stable when you’re walking around inside. There is a button at the back of the trailer for the rear jacks and one inside the storage area for the front jacks.
You will see a lot of travel trailers that you have to take a hand crank to extend the jacks (a lot of people buy a drill to lower them). So much easier to have the power stabilizing jacks. There are a lot of features outside the unit, which is nice. For example, there is a TV bracket in case you want to put a television outside, you have power and cable outlets. There is also an external hookup for propane and a bracket where you can attach some cooking utensils, for example we have a griddle. This is perfect for those good weather days, and, when you don’t want to smell up the interior of the unit. There are also outdoor speakers if you care to listen to the radio while sitting outside.
Kodiak Cub Storage
One area the Kodiak Cub does not lack is storage. In front of the unit (which is beneath the bed) is a huge pass-through storage area. This area houses our solar hookup and inverter, but also has plenty of room to store our chairs, outdoor table, campground hookup items, drinking water, towing stuff, bins with extra food and clothes, etc. There are also lights inside so you can see what you need at night.
Inside the trailer there is storage under the bed, on the sides and above the bed, below the seats in the dinette area, above the dinette and in the kitchen area. Storage capacity is plentiful on the Dutchmen Kodiak Cub.
We bought our Kodiak Cub equipped with a solar panel on the roof. The unit also has a solar-ready plug near the front of the unit if you wish to add another solar panel while stationary. I was under the impression that the panel was 300 watts, but after checking one day while on top of the unit I discovered it was only 175 watt. That said, it seems to be enough for us to boondock for long periods. We did opt to buy a 2nd high capacity battery so we can take full advantage of the solar power.
By using the on-board inverter for the solar panel we can run all of our lights and several of the outlets inside to charge our computers, phones, camera batteries, etc. We however cannot operate the A/C, microwave or high watt appliances such as a hair dryer. For those items we need to be connected to shore power or use a portable generator.
For the refrigerator, hot water, stove and heat, we rely on our two 5 gallon propane tanks. Two tanks will easily last a month on the road. As long as you follow the weather and don’t need the A/C, you can operate for long periods of time off the grid.
When we do need the A/C, and to operate the hair dryer or other high draw appliances, we rely on our gas/propane dual generator, which is actually an inverter. Check out the video below for all the details.
Our specific model of Kodiak Cub (177 RB) has a little bit higher lift and all-terrain tires, which is great for more rugged areas of exploring/camping.
Kodiak Cub Capacities & Specs
One of the other things I really appreciate, and was a factor in considering this travel trailer, was the fluid storage capacities. Something I cannot figure out is why black tanks are often the same capacity size as the water, it makes no sense to me. This unit thankfully has a much smaller black tank than the fresh.
- Black Tank – 28 gallons
- Grey Tank – 39 gallons
- Fresh Water – 52 gallons
- Length – 21′ 5″ bumper to tongue
- Height (with A/C) 10′ 5″
- Dry weight 3600lbs
- Cargo capacity 1900lbs
- Single Axle
- Hitch weight 400lbs
- Refrigerator 7 cubic feet
- Queen (short) 60″ x 74″
- Air conditioning is 13,500 BTU
Lights on the Kodiak Cub
On the exterior of the trailer there are a number of lights that can be turned on independently.
- There are a set of lights to illuminate underneath the trailer.
- There is a blue light strip under the awning that really helps set the mood.
- The front of the trailer has some bright lights.
The interior of the Dutchmen Kodiak Cub has no shortage of lights, each can be turned on/off independently. Only complaint is that they are really bright, it would be nice if some could be dimmed. Additionally, it would be nice to have lights under the cabinets and under the bed. We purchased some pocket battery-powered lights for these areas, which has really helped.
BED – One of the things that was a huge consideration was a queen size bed. And, the other thing that I really wanted was a layout that had the bed going length wise vs horizontal (or across the trailer) this way you don’t have to crawl over your partner. We can get out of bed whenever we want without much effort.
BATHROOM – So many travel trailers this size have a really small bathroom and vanity area, we are really pleased with the bathroom size, the shower is really decent size and the vanity area has plenty of space to place your cosmetics, etc. There is also a medicine cabinet to store even more, along with space under the sink. The bathroom lights also are equipped with motion sensors (if you want to use them) to turn on when you enter the bathroom. The bathroom size and configuration was also a huge factor in our decision to get the Kodiak Cub 177RB. The only disappointment is that the sink is not under mount and not stainless steel. The facet is/was also really cheap and not well positioned for its style, so we replaced it with a nice stainless steel one and it works much better. I think we paid about $40 for it, great buy!
COOKING – One area we sacrificed was the fact that the unit only comes with a microwave, not a convection oven. I really enjoy cooking and not being able to have that feature was tough, but you can’t have everything you want in a unit this size. We love the large under-mount kitchen sink, but wish it was stainless steel to match the facet.
Something else that really went into our decision to purchase this unit was the fridge and freezer. For a 21 foot trailer the 7 cubic foot fridge is a great size and large enough to take extended trips. The fridge and freezer work remarkably well, although we did discover that it works even better connected to shore power (electricity), and, you really need to make sure your unit is level for the fridge to work its best.
Here is a great video on how to properly store your food in an RV Refrigerator.
OUTLETS – There are also plenty of outlets in the unit, however I do with more came with USB capabilities. There are two on each side of the bed which is nice for charging your phone at night.
AIR CONDITIONING – The 13,500 BTW system is plenty large enough to cool the unit nicely. Unfortunately, it’s very loud. Strangely, you can hardly hear it outside, but inside it is almost deafening.
WINDOWS – In hindsight we did not give the windows enough consideration. If you want to be comfortable in your travel trailer, good ventilation is imperative. Unfortunately the Kodak Cub 177RB only has 3 windows and one of them does not open. I cannot for the life of me understand why the one over the kitchen does not open. There should also be a vent like there is in the bathroom to help create some cross ventilation. I wish there was a window at the front of the trailer, but it would be tough with the current mold shape/design.
DOOR – Door and screen work fine, I just wish there was a way to block out the light from the defused door window.
AWNING – The Awning is a must-have feature and so glad it comes with the Kodiak Cub. Ours works great and is able to angle to provide better shade when the sun is lower on the horizon. Be sure not to use the awing if the winds are high. We almost lost ours in the Florida Keys when a storm came up quickly.
Well that’s a look at our brand new 2021 Dutchman Kodiak Cub, model number 177RB, and why we purchased it. While there have been a few issues, overall we’re quite happy with our purchase.
We hope you found this post and video helpful in your travel trailer research. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we’d be very happy to answer them. We are producing a series of videos about the many destinations we’ve visited while towing our travel trailer, so if you’d to see the the Kodiak Cub in action, click the following link: Road Trip Travel Videos.
*Full disclosure – we have not been paid by Dutchmen RV, but we did receive a small discount on the purchase of our Kodiak Cub as content creators.