Travel trailer reviews can be as much about exposing construction details in an idyllic setting as they are about hitting the open road for a major shakedown. In this first look of the Tango 309BHSS, we kicked the tires, pulled up the cushions and looked under the cabinets to see if it had good bones. Because based on our experience, the trailer's value might have more to do with what's not seen, as it did with what was. Here's what we mean.

We're referring to the absence of particleboard construction in the Tango line. That's a good thing. This might seem trivial to some buyers, until the particleboard found in many trailers begins to rot and deteriorate.

Particleboard is a cheap and commonly used alternative to plywood and other solid woods. Some RV manufacturers use particleboard in the kitchen and bathroom to keep production costs lower. While it offers a great savings for manufacturers, any sense of value is lost on the consumer who has to deal with the aftermath.

We learned that Pacific Coachworks incorporates a wood hybrid called Lumbercore in the cabinets and a layered plywood for countertops, where it matters most. After all, particleboard and moisture don't mix...so bravo to Pacific. Lumbercore is the choice for Tango. LBC is a 5-ply construction material made up of 2 face veneers, 2 cross-band veneers, and a solid lumber core. Its unusual strength and resistance to buckling, twisting or warping make it the ideal material for RVs, especially those suggest they are "family friendly." Another aspect we liked about the Tango 309BHSS also had more to do with function than form. Tango uses an aluminum-framed wall construction (not wood stick), insulated with R7 structural-block foam, then covered with a gel-coated fiberglass Lamilux 1000 skin that resists denting. Within the wall structure, Tango has galvanized steel backings at all interior walls and cabinet mounting points for improved fastener retention. The walls are mated to a one-piece molded front cap that is impact resistant Centrex plastic and extremely aerodynamic. Put it together with features like the radiused ceiling truss, seamless rubber roof membrane, cambered steel I-beam chassis, and OSB roof decking that can be walked on, and you begin to see Tango as a tough investment that is going to give you years of enjoyment. The soundness of Tango was even more apparent by the lack of body flex. And when you settled inside the plush interior of the 309BHSS we reviewed, there was a sense of calm and quiet that isn't typical of other affordably priced family trailers.

Pacific Coachworks
When industry veterans Tom Powell and Dane Found started Pacific Coachworks in 2006, their philosophy was simple; design and build excellence at an affordable price. After two years in business, they haven't strayed off course. If anything, Pacific Coachworks cranked it up a notch with customer service. This was not by happenstance. Tom Powell and Dane Found are RV industry veterans who understand the wants and needs of their customer base. By offering travel trailers like the Tango 309BHSS (MSRP $31,915 as seen here) Pacific Coachworks definitely filled the niche for families, husbands and wives, looking for an adventure without a steep price tag.

First Impression
Trailers are only as gratifying as their warranty program. Things happen with even the best intentions. A quick scan of Tango's warranty further backs-up Pacific Coachworks' stance on quality service. The Tango 309BHSS warranties every major feature with anywhere from 2 years to lifetime guarantees. That kind of peace of mind is priceless for a traveler who needs to get years of reliable use from the RV. While Pacific Coachworks offers Tango in many floors plans, as a fifth wheel and/or bumper pull, the 309BHSS we evaluated seemed to be ideal for a small family or empty-nester (with pets). The Tango 309 BHSS is very accommodating when the one-button controlled slide-out is opened. The interior features are well planned for activity. The interior design (fridge, shower, sofa, bedroom) also painted a picture of a trailer with a sense of class. The 309BHSS sleeps up to 9 thanks to a number of fold-down features and the bunk bed in the rear. The headroom is also quite generous. A comfortable sofa and dinette face the kitchen and pantry area so you're never far from a conversation. A bedroom with a queen-bed features privacy doors and can double as a retreat when things start to get too lively inside the galley. Linoleum floors with minimal carpeting makes spills or tracked-in dirt easy to clean. Storage was plentiful (there's a place for bikes too) and the raised panel cabinet doors with their stylish hardware were impressive touches. The interior is available in three distinct color patterns, too. The design of the kitchen countertop provided plenty of working room for meals and a pullout utility drawer cleverly hid a removable trashcan.

Next time in RV Magazine
Until we revisit the Tango 309BHSS in the field to see how it well it does on an extended stay, I'll leave you with this thought. Travel trailers like the Tango offer more to you than just savings and comfort. Whether your family likes to bike, hike or just sit around the campfire, trailers like the Tango get you out of the house and into the great outdoors. No matter what you end up buying, the freedom you'll enjoy can't always be measured in dollars and cents. And our first look at the Tango proves that you don't need to be wealthy to live like a king.

Tango Specs
MSRP: $31,915 as tested
Overall Length: 31.3 (ft)
Overall Width: 8 (ft)
Overall Height: 11.2 (ft)
GVWR: 10,000 (lbs)
Dry Weight: 6780 (lbs)
Hitch Weight: 900 (lbs)
Fresh Water: 50 (gal)
Gray Tank: 60 (gal)
Black Tank:
30 (gal)

SOURCE
Pacific Coachworks
549 Rivera Street
Riverside
CA  92501
951-686-7294
http://www.pacificcoachworks.com
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