If you’re here, you probably already know how much fun exploring on wheels can be. But finding the right travel trailer for your needs is harder than it sounds. With so many available options, choosing an RV that will perform and grow with your planned trips may feel paralyzing. Today’s RVs are packed with features designed with specific kinds of travelers in mind.
So what do you really need?
The Coleman Rubicon 1200RK is a lightweight towable built for fearless off-grid curiosity. And that’s exactly why Kody and Kyler McCormick, two brothers who live for a good adventure, chose this capable trailer for their backcountry journey to visit the northwesternmost point in the contiguous US.
We think the Coleman Rubicon is the optimum tool for fueling epic adventures. But ultimately, it’s not up to us –– is the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK right for you? To answer that question, we spoke with Kody and Kyler about their trip as they set out in the Pacific Northwest to uncover what the Coleman Rubicon is capable of.
Kody and Kyler grew up RVing, and they’ve traveled in RVs big to small, motorized to towable. They work together as professional filmmakers and run the production company The Outbound Life. They sought an opportunity to revisit the Pacific Northwest, where they did much of their early tent and RV camping.
Q: How much previous camping and RV experience did you have?
Kody: Growing up, our grandparents owned RVs at different times, so they always took us on road trips across the country. So we would camp with them and our parents in RVs, in tents, all of the above. So, it’s a big part of our roots, and it’s still something we love to do. We’ve done a bunch of camping over the years in our work lives as filmmakers, and for filmmaking, RVs have been awesome because they let you stay in all these really remote places, so we’ve done a lot of that for work, but also just for leisure going back to our childhood and now as adults.
Kody and Kyler set out to step foot on the northwesternmost point of the contiguous US – Cape Flattery, Washington. It’s a place known for its rugged coastline and spectacular sunsets over the jade waters of the Pacific.
To start their adventure, they flew into Seattle and headed south to pick up their Coleman trailer at Camping World of Fife, about 25 minutes from the airport. They hooked their trailer up to a Ford Bronco and headed northwest to the top of the Olympic Peninsula.
The brothers had adventured in the Pacific Northwest before, but never quite like this. We asked them how this trip came to be:
Q: What inspired this trip?
Kody: We always love going into a trip with a specific goal and outcome. Since we had never been to Cape Flattery before, which is the northwesternmost point in the contiguous US, we were like, “You know what? Let’s make a mission and go there!”
Kyler: The Pacific Northwest has always had a special place in our hearts. Kody was engaged there. We’d taken multiple family trips there as kids. Although we’d been there a decent bit, it’s one of those places where no matter how many times you go, there’s always so much more to explore. We’d visited the Olympic Peninsula in Washington before but only scratched the tip of the iceberg. This was a chance to explore new regions of the Olympic Peninsula that we’d never been to. When Camping World approached us about a road trip, the Pacific Northwest was at the top of our list.
The Coleman Rubicon 1200RK
- Length: 13’5”
- Weight: 1,682 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 2
Exploring the rugged Pacific Northwest required Kody and Kyler to have a camper capable of handling that terrain. Enter the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK.
Q: Why this trip with this RV?
Kody: So, we’d never taken a trailer camping trip that has been this off-road. This trailer unlocked more grounds to explore. We knew that this is the kind of RV we needed to achieve our goal of exploring the Olympic Peninsula in a new way. Honestly, it all added up to the perfect combo of off-road access, being off-grid, and living in the moment. We were able to move the 1200RK in a much more convenient way than you can do when you have a 30-foot trailer, for example. A lot of times with camping, you can overpack. But this is a good trailer for you if you want to keep it minimal and sleep in remote places.
Kyler: It forces you to have an intentional trip. I feel like that’s one of the main ingredients of a good trip, whether for work or play. When you’re forced to bring just the essentials, you really think through why you’re doing this trip and what would make it most meaningful. We had to do this from the get-go because space was limited.
Kody: It kind of forces upon you that minimalist lifestyle, and I am a notorious over-packer. It’s fun to be forced to bring less, and we cut a lot from our initial packing list that we didn’t end up needing. It eventually helped us be more clear minded on the trip because we had fewer things to think about or keep track of.
Q: What first caught your eye about the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK?
Kody: I think what first caught our eye with the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK was the fact that it’s smaller, so it’s more nimble and more off-road capable. So it really just allows you to get almost anywhere, and you don’t have anything more than you need.
Kody and Kyler aimed to explore the northwesternmost point of the contiguous US. Their trip required a detailed itinerary, but some of their favorite moments couldn’t have been scripted.
Q: Tell us about the most unexpected part of your adventure.
Kyler: We went into our trip with our plan and itinerary, but there are always things you just can’t plan. For example, one day, we were on the road and looked out the window and saw eagles flying around. So we had to pull over, jump out, and grab our cameras to capture photos.
One of our highlights was staying at a remote campground next to a creek. We set up a high line over the creek, which was so cool.
You do have to get a little creative living out of a small unit. For example, my shower was in the creek that day! But it makes incredible memories that you’re certainly not going to get if you’re staying at a hotel.
Q: Please provide any specific locations or campgrounds you visited that might be relevant to readers.
Kody: We boondocked for the majority of our trip, which meant we frequently stayed outside of developed campgrounds. To provide power to the unit, we relied on a portable generator that we used throughout the night. This allowed us to enjoy the electric fireplace and charge our phones and cameras to capture memorable photos along the way.
The Camping Gear
Choosing the right camping gear is at a premium in a compact trailer like the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK. Here’s some of what Kody and Kyler packed to make the adventure a success:
- Portable generator
- Power extension cord
- Food prep table
- Canopy tent
- Electric space heater
- Portable gas can
- Firestarter, matches, lighter, and lighter fluid
- Sleeping bags
- Lights and lanterns
- Patio mat
- Camp chairs
- Insect repellent
- Garbage bags
- Hand sanitizer, soap, and shampoo
Even brothers who work together and spend time together outside of work learned that a trip like this changes you. We asked them about their favorite features of the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK and what insights they took from their adventure.
Q: What was your favorite feature of the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK by the end of the trip?
Kody: We loved the simplicity of the design as a whole, with clear places on where to keep our food, where to sleep, etc. But what ended up being really awesome was the griddle. It certainly made a delicious breakfast omelet more possible.”
Kyler: Yes! That flat-top griddle was incredible and made us wish we owned one at home, to be honest. The trailer in itself has all the essentials, but the griddle was on another level. It made grilling that much more fun.
Kody: We should also note that the overnight temps were in the mid-30s for most of the trip, and the electric fireplace kept it toasty inside. We even had to crack the door slightly for ventilation some nights.
Q: What made Coleman Rubicon 1200RK a good fit (or not) for this adventure?
Kody: I just keep returning to having the freedom to roam and explore. We set out with a goal, which was getting to Cape Flattery, but along the way, we allowed ourselves a lot of freedom to spontaneously explore cool-looking forest roads that you wouldn’t typically pull a 30-foot trailer down.
I do think you can feel pretty limited when you’re towing a large trailer. Even a decision as seemingly simple as changing the plan to explore a forest road can get you stuck if you can’t find a spot with enough space to turn around. We’ve never taken a trailer camping trip where we explored off-road this much. This nimble RV unlocked territories we couldn’t explore in another RV. We could live in the moment and pivot to check out new spots more easily than with a 30-foot trailer.
Kyler: The fact that it is such a small unit means you can get it to such incredible places without worrying about where you’ll park or whether the road to get there will be navigable. So even the campsites we could fit into were incredible, and you’d have trouble getting larger RVs into those spots. We got to park right next to this beautiful creek that was one of the coolest campsites we’ve ever stayed at – Lyre River Campground in Washington – and having such a small unit made that possible.
Q: What tips would you have for aspiring RVers looking to buy or rent an RV for the first time?
Kody: Don’t overthink it! We can all invent plenty of reasons not to take a trip. Then we wind up months or years down the road, and we still haven’t done it. Especially with RVing, in a smaller unit, you don’t need everything planned out and can be more flexible. Once you’re out there and seeing some of the most beautiful places the country has to offer, it’s always worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever looked back on planning a trip like this with regrets. So I’d say just go for it.
And you learn as you go. Yes, RV camping is different than tent camping, and there are things to learn when you’re new. But if you can embrace learning along the way, you’ll wind up with good memories and funny stories of how you did something wrong and how you learned from it. For example, you’ll always remember how you parked on a slight angle, didn’t level the unit, and didn’t sleep well because all the blood rushed to your head. So next time, you’ll look for a spot that’s level. There’s so much that you’ll just pick up by doing it.
Kyler: I think you just have to identify your priorities because few RVs have it all. There’s a spectrum between comfort and adventure; maybe you want more of those comforts. There’s nothing wrong with that if you want a shower, bathroom, or more interior space for friends or family. But if you want to take it more to the other extreme on the adventure side, the smallest unit you can get away with could be a fun experiment.
Q: So your trip began without you really knowing what this adventure would mean to you, maybe individually and collectively. Do you have a different perspective on what it means to you now?
Kody: For me, it was just fun to take a trip with my brother. We went back and drove down some of the roads we had driven or camped along as kids. I think our grandparents had taken us up to Washington and through Seattle. Making a trip like that with somebody you care about and having the memories and bonds that come through means a lot. You learn a lot more about someone when you’re in close quarters like that. I mean, we’re brothers, we’re very close, we run a business together, we do everything together, but you still learn new things about each other when you travel like this. You get frustrated at things, but you also laugh harder than you’ve laughed in a long time.
Kyler: Yeah, when I think about, “Why this trip?” or “Why should people go on adventures in general?” I come back to this idea that our problems seem so big when we’re stuck in them and going through the day-in, day-out of life. So travel, and going on adventures, is a way to remind ourselves that life is big. When traveling across the country, I can’t help but be in awe of how expansive it is, and it can reframe how big my life is compared to my problems. So, for me, looking back, it was a way of getting perspective on where I’m at. I believe that going on an adventure is always a good idea psychologically. It gives you new ideas, you meet new people, you gain new perspectives, and you come back with all of that. It can give you some new momentum in your life when you return.
There’s a Hunter S. Thompson quote that says, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” I just can’t encourage people enough to do something like this in their own lives, even if it’s a more local trip or a weekend getaway. Whatever makes sense for you, it’s going to pay off.
Kody and Kyler’s trip showcases the wonderful opportunities that come with owning or renting an RV. Discover Camping World’s selection of small campers made for big adventures, or see what RV rentals are available in your area.
To see more from Kody and Kyler, check them out on Instagram @theoutboundlife.
What questions do you have about their adventure or their RV? Share in the comments below.