We towed the Sport Trek with a Ford F250 Super Duty, powered by the V8 Power Stroke engine.
Road test and photos by Norm Rosen
As the RV industry recovers from the recession of the past few years, one of the best indicators of a strong future is the introduction of new models and innovative design.
Venture RV, a division of K-Z RV, has created a very interesting line of travel trailers that incorporate new ideas and convenience features for the active RV family. While the Venture division is new to the RV market, K-Z RV is a family-owned business that has been manufacturing trailers for more than 40 years at its factory in Shipshewana Indiana. The 65,000 square-foot Venture RV plant is building units that embody the K-Z RV reputation for quality, value and customer service.
We visited The RV Warehouse in Cookstown, Ontario, to take a close look at one of the newest models to reach the Canadian RV market. Our test vehicle was hitched to a Ford F250 pickup with 4-wheel drive, an excellent choice for the trailer, and for the road conditions. We used a Husky round bar hitch with 1,000 lb. Equalizing bars to match the loaded tongue weight of the trailer and adjusted the ball platform to the proper height to assure that the trailer’s twin wide-trek AL-KO axles with auto adjust brakes carried equal load. The equalizing bars were set so that the weight of the trailer tongue was evenly distributed between the front and the rear axles of the tow vehicle.
The galley features appliances, a sink, a pantry plus a 3-burner stove top with oven and vented range hood in the slide-out.
The F250 pulled the trailer with ease, and the hitch performed beautifully on winding winter roads. In challenging conditions, we were happy to see the features that Venture RV has provided to cope with the real world. The diamond plate rock guard across the lower front of the trailer is a definite plus for touring on gravel roads, but it is even more important to fend off the salt used on Canadian highways.
Venture trailers are engineered to be user-friendly, comfortable, and durable. The trailer features a heated and enclosed underbelly with storage compartments and large pass-thru baggage doors, 5/8” tongue and groove plywood floor, and a fiberglass exterior with champagne coloured front and rear profile. The walkable roof is coated with Alpha Superflex roof material and carries an ASA Radius TV antenna. The trailer has tinted safety glass windows and deep slides with colour-coordinated end panels. There are rain gutters above the slide-outs, and gutters with downspouts along the roofline of the trailer.
The Sport Trek models have extra long awnings, and you can order an optional power awning as part of the “Power” package – along with a power jack and four power stabilizer jacks.
The spacious interior layout is complemented with the “VIK” (Venture Island Kitchen), which is perfect for entertaining guests and preparing meals.
As an affordable family travel trailer, the Sport Trek comes well-equipped, but there are several options that you may want to consider, including 15” radial tires with aluminum wheels, a flip-up cargo tray, outside grill, and upgraded 15,000 BTU roof A/C unit. There is an optional “Trail Package” that includes spare tire, carrier and cover, a ladder, and black tank flush.
Great Floor Plan
We were particularly impressed with the interior floor plan of this trailer, with an island galley, large slide-out sections, and a walk-through bathroom. The centre section of the Sport Trek 320 VIK is an excellent design, with the 42” “grand dinette” and 82” “Jiffy” sofa in a large slide-out section on the driver’s side of the trailer, and the refrigerator and stove in a slide-out section on the passenger side of the trailer. We liked the panoramic slide-out windows and the very spacious central living room area.
This trailer is an entertainer’s delight, with the “E-Center” on the bulkhead separating the master bedroom from the living room area. The entertainment centre has a standard DVD/CD/MP3/AM/ FM stereo with four flush-mount interior speakers, and you can add an optional 24” or 32” HD LED “Smart” TV.
The ST 320 VIK can accommodate up to 10 people in comfort.
One of the byproducts of the modern era is the widespread use of hand-held electronics. Every night, telephones, i-Pods, and other devices clutter countertops as we recharge in preparation for another day. Venture RV has eliminated the clutter of wires and devices by creating a special “Safe Tek Box” charging station within a special compartment at the entrance to the trailer.
We really like the rear bunkhouse concept in this trailer – for families with young children this is an ideal place for the kids to relax in a safe and entertaining environment of their own.
In The Galley
You know how important the galley is to the design team when they name the vehicle after this feature VIK = Venture Island Kitchen. The SportTrek 320 VIK galley is a three-phase design, with appliances, sink, and pantry each located in its own area. The slide-out section houses a 3-burner stove top with oven and vented range hood (with light), a microwave with turntable, and a 6.3 cubic foot refrigerator.
The island galley features a large sink with 60/40 sink covers to add even more counter space. Cognac maple cabinet doors throughout the trailer add a touch of elegance.
The SportTrek 320 VIK has an excellent pantry cabinet featuring adjustable shelves – ideal for customizing the shelf height. You can easily add extra shelves to maximize the efficiency of your galley. Galley drawers extend fully on ball bearing glides, and the array of cupboards in this trailer will bring a smile to the face of your campground gourmet. It is obvious that this galley has been designed by an experienced camper – from the tilt-out utility tray to the ledge stone backsplash and high rise satin nickel faucet, every component is ideally suited to a trailer of this size.
Comfort and Convenience
Built for active families, the SportTrek is easy to maintain, with Shaw® R2X Stain Guard residential carpet and Congoleum® linoleum in key areas of the trailer. We really liked the “flipside” reversible sofa and dinette cushions that offer the cool comfort of cloth on one side and the easy-clean leatherette surface on the back.
Our test vehicle was equipped with the optional cargo rack.
Ideally suited for all-season use, the SportTrek 320 VIK has a Coleman® Whisper air conditioner, and an option to upgrade to a 15,000 BTU unit. With durable construction ideally suited for four-season use, the trailer will provide a comfortable home away from home.
In The Bedrooms
This trailer features a front master bedroom with queen-size bed, “Sleep Tight” innerspring mattress, and solid wood night tables on either side of the bed. Décor includes a designer padded headboard, and window treatments with valences and night shades. Storage in the master bedroom includes overhead cabinets, a large shirt closet with a builtin shelf, and under-bed storage that is easily accessible thanks to the use of twin struts to lift the mattress platform. There are TV and satellite connections to facilitate the addition of an optional LCD TV in the front bedroom.
The Sport Trek features a front master bedroom with a queen-size bed, “Sleep Tight” innerspring mattress, as well as solid wood night tables.
While the master bedroom is similar to many in the RV industry, the rear “bunkhouse” bedroom is quite unique. On the passenger side of the trailer there is a top bunk over the compartment that houses the exterior galley, and the designers have integrated a closet and storage area below the bunk, essentially maximizing the use of space in this area. Across the rear wall of the trailer there is a 74” bed, and the driver’s side of the trailer has a 28” deep slide-out section with a dinette and a 28” x 70” fold-up top bunk. With the slide extended, there is generous floor space where kids can play and enjoy a private area.
The fold-down bunk in the rear bedroom of the Sport Trek. When the bunk is folded up it produces extra space, providing the kids with an area to enjoy their own meals and play area.
In The Bathroom
The walk-through bathroom in the ST320 VIK has a tub with shower, a vanity, a mirrored medicine cabinet, and a foot-flush toilet. The rear entrance is convenient although we would suggest that visitors always “knock before entering.”
In The Campground
One of the standout features of this trailer is the external galley with optional grill. This feature adds significantly to your campsite entertainment facilities. You also have an exterior shower and the SportTrek has a modern array of RV system controls. The six-gallon DSI gas/electric water heater supplies the galley and the shower, and has a recovery rate sufficient for two to three showers per hour.
The Sport Trek rides high to match the towing height of the average pick-up truck, so Venture RV has used a triple entry step with a stairwell courtesy light, and there is a large assist grab handle for easy access.
The Bottom Line:
This new Venture RV model is an interesting approach to the enjoyment of family camping. With an excellent floor plan, quality construction, and great value for the RV dollar, it is certain to be a stand-out in any campground situation.