A little more than a year ago I won a 2021 Thor Freedom Elite 22HEC from an Instagram giveaway hosted by @UsTheRemingtons on Instagram. The giveaway was sponsored by GoodSam and, as my old 1979 Coachmen had just blown its engine, the new RV could not have come at a better time.
When Camping World reached out to me to ask me to review life in a Freedom Elite, I was stoked. As someone who’s experienced both extremes of RV dwelling– from a very old vintage RV fixer-upper to a brand new model – I feel confident and qualified to review this experience. I hope my review helps you determine if a Thor Freedom Elite is right for you!
Learn more about the Thor Freedom Elite here.
What I Love About the Thor Freedom Elite
First, let’s start with the good. There is, after all, a LOT of good with this RV.
It’s relatively inexpensive on gas which was an absolute delight as gas prices surged over the summer. Sure, it’s no Prius, but when compared to diesel vehicles or Class A RVs with lower mpg ratings, driving the Freedom Elite is a relatively economical way to see more of the country without leaving the comforts of home behind.
It fits into 1.5 parking spots! This agility is wonderful when traveling through cities. In my opinion, a small RV opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to exploration.
The Thor Freedom Elite is also customizable as far as aesthetic changes go. Updating wall color and accents in the Freedom Elite are weekend tasks at best (though if you’re not into that sort of thing you can send it to the Camping World Design Center and have the pros handle it for you.) Since my last RV was a complete gut and remodel project, I’ve personally found it incredibly refreshing how simple and painless it is to make aesthetic upgrades to the space.
The Freedom Elite also has an incredibly spacious storage bay and multiple cabinets for storing belongings and food. It also comfortably sleeps 5 people. For its size, this is astonishing. I have the 24-foot model, but some of the longer ones have space for pantries, wine storage, and more. If you plan on regularly camping with a group I definitely recommend considering a 27 or 28-foot model.
What I Don’t Love About My Thor Freedom Elite
Now for the less-than-great. Just like cars and homes, an RV investment comes with repairs, maintenance, and unexpected expenses. Here’s my experience.
To be completely honest, this thing has caused me its fair share of grief with trips to the service center. Within 4 months of owning it, the staples that were used to fasten the bed frame and storage bay had worked their way out, causing my bed to collapse. Now, I’d be willing to write it off as a fluke, however, several other issues occurred at the same time. When I dropped it off at my local Camping World for service, not only were there at least 6 other Freedom Elites in the service yard, but a technician mentioned that they do frequently see Freedom Elites for servicing and warranty repairs. As I didn’t pay for the unit outright, I’m alright with a few visits to get things fixed; however, if you plan on purchasing one I’d be prepared to perform some DIY enhancements and maintenance to the structural components of your living space for added peace of mind. As is the case with most RVs, there’s maintenance involved – they are, after all, earthquakes on wheels.
I know I listed this as a pro, and yes – making small interior design upgrades is easy. But there’s a flip side too. For those of us who are handy and like to really reconfigure an RV to our liking, the Freedom Elite makes it difficult to remove RV furniture or rework the floorplan. They are designed in such a way that, between living and storage spaces and fixed components like electrical and water systems, there isn’t really a lot of room to customize a DIY remodel in the way that is possible on older RVs. The Freedom Elite floorplan is locked in. I’d advise thinking about how long you plan to own the RV and what changes you think your life may take through that time period before committing to one. Worst case scenario though, you can always sell, consign, or trade-in your unit through Camping World!
The last and, if I’m being honest, most frustrating negative in my experience with the Thor Freedom Elite is its electrical capabilities. Despite being prewired for solar, making my Thor Freedom Elite off-grid capable in the same way that my 1979 remodel was, has proven to be a significant challenge in my experience. Full disclosure, this could be a unique issue to my experience. However, Camping World service centers aren’t typically equipped to install full off-grid solar setups. Most solar installers don’t generally like to mess with performing that kind of upgrade to new RVs— especially when they’re under warranty. To that end, I don’t know that I could recommend it to someone whose ideal RV experience includes a lot of boondocking or dry camping. However, if you’re willing and excited to plug in and use the RV as a home base, the Thor Freedom Elite has an excellent towing capacity for your extra vehicle and is a very cozy home on the road.
Overall, the Thor Freedom Elite is a wonderful, compact, and efficient option for full-time RV living or traveling the country with family. I have traveled in mine for more than a year now with my two dogs, and we’ve certainly made it our home.
We’ve had friends visit and co-stay with us. We’ve taken it through cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, and St. Louis. And we’ve never had a problem navigating city streets or finding parking. Despite its drawbacks, the Thor Freedom Elite is an RV option that lives up to its name in terms of the freedom it affords in exploring the country.
Explore the features and floorplans of a Thor Freedom Elite.
Bio: Jupiter is a 20-something wanderer who has traveled the US full time in a Class C RV since 2019. They are accompanied by their two dogs, and enjoy hiking, writing, reading, seeking out the best food on the road and finding new Black & LGBTQ+ friendly places to explore.