2016 Gulf Stream Matrix SVT 18RBD Review

Lightweight travel trailer ideal for minivan or crossover owners

By Agata Gutkowska, May. 11, 2016, Photography by Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream Matrix is a great trailer option for your minivan or crossover vehicle. Light and easy to maneuver, all you have to do is hitch up and go. 

Fourteen floorplans are available to choose from, and we’ve decided to explore the newest one – the SVT 18RBD. It has an overall length of 21’, overall width of 96’ and interior height of 80’. Gulf Stream’s website is yet to announce the 18RBD’s exterior height, dry weight, hitch weight and net carrying capacity. For liquids, the Matrix SVT 18RBD has a black water tank capacity of 36 gallons, grey water tank capacity of 36 gallons, fresh water tank capacity of 23 gallons and LP tank capacity of 20 gallons. Its water heater capacity is 6 gallons.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Lance 2295

The Matrix SVT 18RBD features aluminum-framed/vacuum-bonded construction, which is designed to increase durability while decreasing weight. It’s built with state-of-the-art composite materials, replacing traditional wood substrates.

2016 Gulf Stream Matrix Bedroom

On the outside, the Matrix looks like a well-groomed athlete. The exterior sidewalls are made of fiberglass, and the steel wheel wells are galvanized. Under the required Canadian Edition package, the Matrix comes with an Oyster high-gloss gel-coat and Canadian Edition upgrade graphics. It features roto-cast holding tanks, easy-lube axles and 14” Bias Tires with white rims. Equipped with a fender skirt, lower metal wrap and vinyl roof, the Matrix is designed for all road and weather conditions. Gulf Stream likes to give its customers options: You can request a 14” spare tire, safety glass windows and Equa-Flex axles. For an extra price, you can also get treatment on your front window and a rock guard. The Gulf Stream Matrix is designed for outdoor adventures. You can enjoy evening barbeques with the swing-out grill and exterior speakers. If you’ve just finished a hike on the trails, you can use the exterior shower to rinse yourself before going inside.

2016 Gulf Stream Matrix Bunks

When you walk into the Gulf Stream Matrix, you automatically feel at home. The residential décor and warm cabinetry create a cozy environment, allowing you to shut off and relax after a day’s hike. The anti-stick vinyl flooring is easy to maintain, and the Matador white ceiling panel adds style to the space. The lumber core face framed cabinetry looks beautiful against the Desert Blush Easy Care wall vinyl. All the windows are tinted and crank-out, allowing you to bring the fresh outdoor air inside.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Prime Time Lacrosse Luxury Lite 336RKT

The Matrix living/eating area is a great place to relax after a day on the trails. You can enjoy home cooked meals at the cozy dinette, featuring reversible cushions, or kick back on the corner bed. There’s an upper and lower bunk located on the other end of the trailer. With overhead cabinetry located throughout the space, you won’t run out of room to hide your belongings and electronics. Beside the corner bed is a wardrobe, allowing you to organize your clothes. To top it off, the Gulf Stream Matrix comes with a pass-through storage compartment, conveniently equipped with a storage light. If you need a break from nature, you’ll be happy to know that the Matrix is equipped with a non-directional TV antenna, Bluetooth Stereo upgrade, interior speakers and a 19” or 29” LCD/HDTV.

2016 Gulf Stream Matrix Kitchen

When you’re camping out in the wilderness, you can’t rely on McDonald’s to keep you energized. Lucky for you, the Gulf Stream Matrix is equipped with a basic kitchen. You can make a stir-fry on the three-burner gas cooktop, which comes with a power range hood and light. You can store food in the six-cubic-foot refrigerator and reheat it in the microwave before placing your dirty dishes in the double bowl kitchen sink, equipped with a hi-rise faucet. A window is located right in front of the kitchen sink, which means you can enjoy the beautiful view while washing the dishes. There’s also a large window beside the dinette, making breakfast at sunrise that much more special.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2016 Heartland Prowler 30P RLS

Last but not least is the bathroom. Equipped with the necessities, you won’t have to do your business in the forest or campground toilet. The bathroom features a shower with a neo-angle shower (glass door), toilet and sink. Nothing fancy, but it does the job.

2016 Gulf Stream Matrix Bathroom

The Gulf Stream Matrix SVT 18RBD sells for around $15,000. Visit GulfStreamRVTrailers.com for more information.


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