RVing: 2019 Sportsmen 240THLE

RVing: 2019 Sportsmen 240THLE

Story and photos by Howard J Elmer

Have you heard of the Four Corners? This label refers to the four geographic corners of the continental United States. Among motorcyclists, it’s an aspirational life goal to have ridden to all four. (For the curious these are: The southernmost point, Key West, Florida. The easternmost point, West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Maine. The westernmost point, Cape Alava, Washington. The northernmost point, Angle Inlet, Minnesota.)

Looking at the new floor plan for the Sportsmen 240THLE, I see a way to accomplish this goal without having to acquire another motorcyclists’ badge of honour – the “Iron Butt” award. This unit will house you and your bikes till you are within comfortable striking distance of each of these points on the map. As most recreational riders know, you trailer to the town of Sturgis, unload and then ride down the main street, looking as if you just pulled a 1,000-kilometre haul to reach this South Dakota destination.

The label, Toy Hauler, speaks for itself, but I like to think it’s so much more than just a mode of transportation. So, though I’ve chosen to illustrate my point with motorcycles, this trailer will obviously accommodate whatever motorized hobby you are addicted too (OK, bicycles included).

At almost 27 feet in length, this Sportsmen is ideal for two people and two bikes – though it will sleep four when needed. Its carrying capacity is 2,290 lb, (an important figure to consider if looking at this type of trailer), a number that needs to cover significant vehicle(s) weight plus the normal cargo items. The clear floor space inside, when configured for transport, is 17-feet, 3-11/16-inches.

The key to any Toy Hauler is the rear entry door/ramp. On the Sportsmen, the full rear wall drops down (73 x 88-inches) at a reasonable angle. A flip-down checker plate covers the gap and hinges as well, for easy entry. Inside the set-up requires just one cargo-carrying modification – folding up the 72-inch bench/sleeper to lie flat against the wall. A freestanding table is easily moved to wherever it’s needed to be. The flooring is an Armstrong Linoleum called “ToughGuard” – an important item for a trailer that is going to have motorized traffic pulling in and out. To secure your toys there are heavy-duty D-rings in the floor.

So, while transport is the primary function of the Toy Hauler, it’s worth mentioning that security is another less often thought-of feature. Normally, once at the campsite, toys are left outside, but they don’t have to be. Particularly, if you are out somewhere with your tow vehicle. A couple of expensive Harley-Davidsons is a tempting target for a thief. However, a few minutes not only puts them safely back inside the trailer for storage, but they are also out of sight.

A nice feature I noted on this trailer is a retractable screen wall (optional at $580.00) that would let you keep the ramp open for light, air and a feeling of inclusion at your campsite. There is also a storage rack mounted here at the rear wall of the bathroom, where items related to your hobby can be easily stored and accessed.

The layout of this trailer can only be described as utility-based. The bath and kitchen occupy the driver’s side wall of the trailer, keeping the length as uncluttered as possible. Nevertheless, this size does accommodate a fixed Queen-size bed in the nose with enough space on either side to allow for night tables and hanging storage. Even an overhead shelf makes use of the curved trailer nose. (There is also a Murphy-bed option with this trailer if you need even more floor space).

Below the bed, there is a flip-up storage space and even a reasonable sized pass-thru storage with two doors on the outside. The kitchen features a three-burner cook top, range hood with light and exhaust fan, microwave with turntable above it, and large overhead cabinets. The acrylic sink has a goose-neck faucet and a hard cover that adds to the counter space when in place. Below is more storage space, and a spot for the optional oven. The two-door, three-way refrigerator is 6.3 cubic feet in size. Next to it is a tall, deep pantry with adjustable shelves.

The bathroom is what is surprising in this unit. By that I mean it’s large. The shower is big – with a full surround. The toilet doesn’t get in the way of movement, and using it won’t require any sideways manoeuvres. Meanwhile, the corner vanity/sink has a built-in medicine cabinet and also has enough floor space to actually allow two people simultaneous access to the facilities. Overhead, there is a skylight and power-vent. Bathrooms, as we’ve seen at the RV shows, continue to climb higher on buyers’ must-have lists and this one – if you think of the road grime you’ll need to wash off – certainly fits that bill.

The HVAC and power system on this Sportsmen consist of a 13,500 BTU A/C unit, 30-Amp service, 20,000-BTU furnace, 6-gallon water heater and twin 20-lb LPG tanks. Insulation throughout the unit is listed as R-7, which makes it a three-season trailer. However, on my tester, there was a Climate package that featured heated, enclosed and insulated underbelly ($428.00). Given that many road trips start in cold climates and head to say, oh, maybe Bike Week in Daytona in February, these heated tanks will get you through the chilly states on your way south.

When it comes to standard comfort features, in general, I found the Sportsmen well-equipped.  This included the K-Z Convenience Package (which is a mandatory option) that includes items like the Smart Arm Awning (that has exterior controls and a wind sensor), magnetic cargo doors, an Omni-directional HDTV Antenna, a black tank flush feature, LED light and battery disconnect in the storage area, and LED lights in the exterior speakers. Speaking of outside, that awning is 18-feet long which will make the outdoor living space shaded and comfortable.

One last note – as these trailers sometimes need to get into “rough” campsite locations, I noted that the checker plate on the nose will help with stone chips, as will the covers for both the propane tanks and house battery.

By the way, my tow vehicle for this test was the 2018 Toyota Tundra. This pickup features the 5.7L i-force V8 that makes 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. It drives a six-speed transmission with a 4.30 rear axle ratio. Depending on the cab/bed configuration, it can tow up to 10,000 lb, so it was more than adequate for the max weight of 7,000 lb on my test trailer. Without an equalizing hitch, I experienced just one-inch of squat, which is very good. As an aside, this trailer hits the towing sweet spot for almost every ½-ton pickup currently on the market, making it that much more desirable.

Toyota’s tow package includes 4- and 7-pin connectors, a supplemental transmission cooler, trailer brake controller, tow-haul mode and a transmission fluid temp gauge. Also, front tow hooks – you never know. A relatively new feature is the 144-litre fuel tank, a welcome change for Tundra. Note: if you want “tow mirrors,” you have to order those separately.


Specifications for the 2019 Sportsmen 240 THLE

GVWR:                                              7,000 lb

NCC (net carrying capacity):         2,290 lb

Interior Height:                                 78 in.

Exterior Height w/A/C:                   10 ft 8 in.

Exterior Length:                               26 ft 9 in.

Exterior Width:                                 96 in.

Fresh Water:                                      38 gal (US)

Waste Water:                                     32 gal

Gray Water:                                       32 gal

LPG:                                                   40 lb

Tire Size:                                           14-in.

Base price: $26,847.00

Options on our test unit.

  • Aluminum wheels – $377.00
  • Climate package – heated, enclosed underbelly – $428.00
  • Retractable screen wall – $580.00
  • RVIA Canadian standard charge – $292.00
  • Sink Cover – $51.00

MSRP with options – as tested – $29,725.00*

*prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Check with dealer for current Canadian pricing.

Test unit supplied courtesy of Camping in Style, Brooklin, ON.

Categories: Features, RVing, Trucks Plus