2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 285 BHS Review

Explore the latest fifth wheel from Holiday Rambler

By Amy Tokic, Oct. 20, 2011, Photography by Holiday Rambler
If you want to keep your RV weight down while keeping comfort and convenience at a premium, try the 2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Fifth Wheel on for size. Designed for the towing capacity of a half-ton pickup truck, the Aluma-Lite makes a great towing companion.

2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Review

Available in four spacious floorplans, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the 285 BHS, a mid-size plan in the series. It measures in with an overall length of 31' 10", an overall height of 12' and an exterior width of 8'. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 9,600 lbs, a hitch weight of 1,430 lbs, an unloaded vehicle weight of 6,900 lbs and a net carrying capacity of 2,700 lbs. In terms of water capacity, it comes with a 6-gallon water heater, a 30-gallon grey tank, a 30-gallon black tank and a 30-gallon fresh tank.

Built on a powder coated 8" I-beam frame, the Aluma-Lite 285 BHS is constructed with laminated sidewalls, a fiberglass skin, laminated flooring and an aluminum frame with foam and wallboard to offer durability against the elements and road debris. For improved aerodynamics, it comes equipped with a front molded fiberglass cap, a crowned roof and smooth fiberglass exterior walls. Underneath, you’ll find pass-through storage so you can bring along even more camping essentials, as well as heated and enclosed under floor fresh water and holding tanks. To ensure your journey is as smooth as possible, this fifth wheel comes with 15" radial tires, aluminum wheels, and 4,000 lbs E-Z Lube tandem axles with 10" electric brakes. And once you get to your destination, its front power landing jacks and rear stabilizer jacks will get you set up safely and securely in no time.

2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Review

Other exterior features include a frame mounted entry step, a flat floor slide-out, a hard board vinyl ceiling, a manual awning and a roof ladder.

Letting the light in and giving you a gorgeous view of your surroundings, the Aluma-Lite is outfitted with radius safety glass windows, a galley window and a skylight in bathroom. Making it simple to load up all your equipment (and your family), it features a radius entry door with a window, dead bolt and screen door, a sidewall fun door (that turns into a fold-up bunk), slam latch baggage door handles and a swing away entry door handle.

Because you like to travel all year long, the Aluma-Lite 285 BHS has what you need to keep your living environment comfortable. A ducted 13,500 BTU air conditioner keeps you cool in the summer, while a 30M BTU hydro flame electronic ignition furnace keeps you warm in the fall and winter. You’ll also find a gas line hook-up at front of the trailer, manual roof vents in the rear and front bedroom and a 12V roof vent in the bathroom.

2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Review

Things get brighter in the Aluma-Lite, thanks to a variety of power and lighting features. You’ll have plenty of juice to power your appliances and other necessities, with a 30 amp electrical management system, a detachable 30 amp power cord, patio side 120V exterior receptacle and a 55 amp converter with charger. Keeping you out of the dark outside are a porch light, an exterior hitch light in the alcove area and an exterior light by the hook-up area. The interior lights up with plenty of decorative lighting in the living room, dining area, bathroom and bedroom. 

The Aluma-Lite 285 BHS’s interior comes in a choice of decors. You can pick from Night Fall or Fascination decors and Newport Cherry Glazed or two-tone Fulton Cherry/Concert Cherry cabinetry that’s highlighted by brushed nickel cabinet hardware and raised panel doors. On the floor, you’ll find carpet in front of the slide-out and in the bedroom, and linoleum throughout the rest of the trailer. Other decor features include a wallpaper border, decorative slide-out fascia and hardwood grain doors.
 
2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Review

Making our way into the main living area, a fabric-covered fold down sleeper sofa offers both a place to sit and extra sleeping space. For your entertaining pleasure, it comes with an AM/FM/CD/DVD/iPod/MP3 stereo with four interior speakers and two exterior speakers, and a 32" LCD TV with HD tuner and mounting bracket. For meals or a game of cards, make yourself comfortable in the 42" booth dinette with fabric cushions and vinyl backs.

In the kitchen, you’ll never go hungry, thanks to an 8 cu. ft. refrigerator (with wood grain panel insert doors), an Apollo three-burner cooktop with glass top and a half-time oven. Getting meals prepared or cleaning up is simple, with plenty of countertop space and a stainless galley sink with a single lever pull-out sprayer. There’s room for all your sundries, pots, pans, dishes and cutlery with a large pantry and lots of drawers (that come with metal roller bearing drawer guides).

2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite Review

The main bathroom is the next stop, and this mini spa retreat will have you feeling refreshed. Start your day off right by cleaning up in the neo angle shower that offers the added privacy of a glass door. There’s also a vanity sink and medicine cabinet, as well as the extra convenience of a toilet.

When it’s time to hit the hay, the Aluma-Lite 285 BHS offers lots of room to sleep. At one end of the trailer is a sleeping area that’s outfitted with bunk beds (perfect for the kids) and a large wardrobe. At the other end is the main bedroom that comes equipped with a queen-sized bed that’s outfitted with a bedspread and reverse shams. For your storage needs, you’ll find two wardrobes on either side of the bed, as well as shelving. You can also choose to upgrade with a 19" LCD TV in the bedroom.

The 2012 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 285 BHS Fifth Wheel retails for around $33,900. For more information, visit http://www.holidayrambler.com/.

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