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RV Review: Tango 286 RBSS Travel Trailer

April 24, 2008
Filed under RV & Trailer Reviews, Trailer Reviews

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Offering clean exterior lines and smart uncomplicated layouts, the Tango trailers from Pacific Coachworks are turning heads for a number of good reasons. Floorplans that make good sense, top-flight appointments, and a high overall degree of functionality and utility have made Tango towables the talk of the town.

The 286 RBSS Tango offers a GVWR of 10,000 pounds; the unit we tested weighed in at 6500 pounds. The difference gives this unit a huge cargo carrying capacity (3500 pounds). Even with the 50-gallon fresh water capacity (approximately 400 pounds), there remains plenty of unused cargo capacity. The trailer’s tongue weight came in at 780 pounds, which means it falls within the suggested guidelines for typical travel trailers (between 10 and 15 percent of the trailer’s total weight). According to Pacific, the Tango 286RBSS trailer can be towed with a half-ton pickup or SUV. We suggest a weight-distributing device be used for this trailer if you do tow it with a half-ton vehicle, to spread some of that tongue weight out over the tow rig’s and trailer’s axles.

We towed the Tango on the highway, through urban settings and along country roads, and the Tango 286RBSS and its tow vehicle formed a good marriage (no need for Dr. Phil here).

Tango 286 RBSS Travel Trailer Structure

Lippert builds the trailer’s steel I-beam chassis. The company is also responsible for the electric mechanism that moves the slide-out, streetside room. The 140-inch-long and 40-inch-deep slide creates an additional 39 square feet of interior living space. We found the battery-powered slide-out mechanism so easy to operate that a stop along the way for a lunch break or to use the unit-wide full-service bathroom was so quick we were back on the road in minutes.

The massive front basement storage bay is one of the first things you notice. With an opening of 181/2 inches by 241/2 inches, and a depth that encompasses the entire width of the Tango, the storage space totals about 38[MSOffice1] cubic feet-it’s huge. Access is available from either side, and an aftermarket slide-out tray further heightens the utility of this exterior storage compartment. Other meritorious exterior features include the large scissor-type stabilizer jack at each corner of the unit. The ladder up the rear of the coach leads to full-length walk-on roof. The front cap of the unit is dressed with Centrex, which yields a surface that fends off road debris.

The patio side includes a Dometic A&E electric power awning. Because of the awning’s design, support poles are not required even when the patio awning is fully extended. All-weather speakers on the patio’s exterior wall bring sound out from the interior entertainment center’s CD/AM/FM player.

The walls are pinch-rolled laminated (reactive hot-melt adhesive) structures that feature welded tubular aluminum members with cut-to-fit block foam insulation inserted between the structural members. Interior walls are luan plywood with a low-maintenance vinyl dressing; exterior walls are high-gloss gel-coat fiberglass called Lamilux 1000. The roof features a bow truss system with an exterior membrane. The ceiling’s interior height is 6 feet, 9 inches and the ceiling’s insulation is residential-type fiberglass[MSOffice2]. The floor features a 2×3-inch wood-framed structure topped with OSB floor decking that is not stapled, but instead is glued and screwed to the subfloor. Residential-style fiberglass insulation is packed between the structural members. The interior floor is linoleum[MSOffice3], while the underside is dressed with a[r4] membrane impervious to dirt, moisture and debris. An automotive-type bulb-seal surrounds every window, creating a barrier impervious to moisture and dust. Windows are sliders made of tinted safety glass.

Pacific Coachworks does not characterize the Tango as a four-season or all-weather trailer, but with the optional heated and enclosed underbelly package the Tango is a comfortable extended three-season habitat.

Inside The Tango 286 RBSS Travel Trailer

The living areas in the 286 RBSS are kept separate and private. A fixed interior wall with two solid doors (not fabric accordion-style doors that are common in most trailers) isolates the front stateroom. The space between the stateroom’s two doors is filled with shelves for a small TV or other stowable items. On the side of the stateroom wall facing the salon/galley/dining area, the entertainment center can be equipped with an LCD flat-screen TV as a factory option[MSOffice6].

The stateroom offers storage below the queen bed that is accessible via pneumatic-assisted struts that raise and lower the bed. Three-quarter-length wardrobes with a drawer below sit adjacent to each side at the head of the bed. A nightstand on each side is incorporated into the drawer/wardrobe complex. Overhead cabinets sit immediately above the head of the bed with two individual adjustable reading lights. We liked how the windows were on each side of the stateroom, not at the head of the bed. Those who have camped in cold climates know heat can escape from a window at the top of the bed.

The super-slide houses a bench-style dinette (directly across from the galley) with cavernous storage compartments below each bench and a sofa/sleeper with large drawers below. Overhead cabinets are perched above the sofa. Optional day/night accordion-style shades cover the two large windows in the slide and the two small windows in each end of the slide. The large living/galley area floor is dressed with a low-maintenance vinyl linoleum.

It’s in the rear galley that the designers really shined- the curved countertop surface highlights L-shape galley. Huge cabinets below the countertop take full advantage of this space – there’s a rollout waste can drawer, a large single cabinet, and a stack of four roll out drawers. Above the L-shape counter are overhead cabinets that run parallel to the counter below.

The galley includes a double sink with a composite top that puts this area into service as part of the countertop when the sinks are not in use. A three[MSOffice7]-burner cooktop with a conventional oven below partners nicely with the microwave oven above, providing a full-service food preparation area. A 6-cubic-foot double-door (over/under) refrigerator/freezer sits immediately to the right of the stove, with a (really) huge floor-to-ceiling pantry right next to that.

The unit-wide bathroom includes a marine-style porcelain bowl toilet, an injection molded tub/shower, a radiused shower curtain and a skylight. Between the tub and porcelain toilet is a lavy/countertop/cabinet complex with a medicine cabinet and mirror above. On the curbside wall of the bathroom is a floor-to-ceiling linen closet.

NEW KID

Pacific Coachworks has only been around for a few years, but is going after an ever-increasing share of the towable market, and from what we saw of this product the company is well on its way to convincing consumers it has something interesting to offer. The Tango 286 RBSS is easy to tow with the right equipment, offers lots of living space, and with its very private stateroom, extra sleeping room on the fold-down couch and convertible dinette, and big galley and head, it’s a travel trailer worth serious consideration by the family looking for a great way to get out and explore the outdoors.

Tango 286 RBSS Travel Trailer Specs

Base MSRP: $30,797

Price as Tested: $32,118

Overall Length (bumper to hitch): 28′ 6″

Overall Width: 8′

Overall Height (incl. AC): 11′ 2″

Dry Weight (public scale): 6500 lbs.

Tongue Weight: 780 lbs.

GVWR: 10,000 lbs.

Fresh Water (incl. wtr htr): 50 gals.

Grey Water: 45 gals.

Black Water: 30 gals.

LPG: Two 30-lb. bottles

Sleeping Capacity: Six persons

Major Standard Features: 15-inch radial tires, floor-mounted foot-flush SeaLand porcelain toilet, 25,000-BTU ducted Suburban heater, three-burner 9000-BTU Suburban range, Dometic 6-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer, outside shower, rear ladder and walk-on roof, R7-rated polystyrene insulation, six-gallon water heater with DSI, hardwood cabinet doors with gas lift-struts, rounded kitchen countertop with Staron by Samsung solid surface countertop edging, dark-tinted safety glass windows, distressed German beechwood with country maple stain.

Major Optional Features: Day/night shades, flat-screen TV in living room, AM/FM/DVD player, heated and enclosed underbelly, aluminum wheels, raised refrigerator panels, Tango Advantage Package (power awning, doors under dinette seats, 20-inch drawers under sofa, 30-foot detachable marine-style power cord, courtesy lights in storage compartments, 30-watt exterior speakers, black water tank flush system.

Manufacturer:

Pacific Coachworks

549 Rivera Street

Riverside, CA 92506

951/686-7294

/pacificcoachworks.com/

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