Are you thinking of purchasing a Safari Condo Alto F2114? Making the decision to buy an Alto is one of the most exciting choices I’ve ever made- but, given what a chunk it took out of our savings account, it’s also one of the scariest!
So if you’re wondering whether this small but mighty camper is worth your hard-earned funds, I’m here to share my experience adventuring in the F2114 over the last six months. Are they worth the wait? And, perhaps, more importantly, are they worth the money? Keep on reading below for my honest review of the Safari Condo Alto F2114.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission, for which we are extremely grateful, at no extra cost to you.
Safari Condo has been gracious enough to lend us the F2114 trailer for a bit, but this post is not sponsored and all opinions are our own.
About the Safari Condo Alto Trailer
Before we dive into the juicy details about this Safari Condo Alto trailer, it’s important to understand that there’s a variety of different trailer models in the Alto family.
The trailers all have some important attributes in common- they’re all constructed with an ultra-light aluminum frame (all of the Altos weigh in at under 3,000 pounds dry!) and are designed with aerodynamics in mind. Plus, unlike many of the other mass-produced trailers on the road, Safari Condo is a family-owned and operated company, focused on delivering quality instead of quantity.
So what’s the difference between the Altos?
- R1713: This was Safari Condo’s first retractable roof trailer model. It sleeps three and comes with a toilet (but no interior shower).
- R1723: This Alto is very similar to the R1713, but the commode is converted to a larger wet bath. To compensate for these additions, there’s a slightly smaller bed and a narrower aisle along the kitchen area.
- F1743: This model is similar to the R1723, but, instead of having a retractable roof, this one offers a fixed roof. Because the roof doesn’t retract up and down, the F1743 makes use of the additional vertical space with a fully enclosed bathroom and lots of overhead cabinets.
- F2114: This trailer (i.e., the one we’re reviewing below) has a similar footprint to the F1743, but with an additional four feet tacked on. As compared to the retractable roof trailers, you’ll get larger beds (a queen in the front and a king in the back), a larger enclosed bathroom, and a wider aisle.
- A2124: This model is pretty similar to the F2114, but kicks up the aerodynamics a notch, by utilizing a frame and body that comes to a point at the front, enclosing features that contribute to wind resistance like batteries and propane tanks. This enables the A2124 to be 47% more aerodynamic than other Altos and also incorporates some fun additions, like a kitchen table that swivels (sans a floor mount, like in the other models).
- F2414: If you need lots of space and storage, this is the Alto for you, with a king and a queen bed, a separate shower and bathroom area, and all the storage you can dream of.
My husband, Justin’s and my first Alto trailer was an R1723- you can read our entire Safari Condo Alto 1723 trailer review, but suffice to say, we LOVE that trailer to the moon and back.
Currently, Safari Condo has been generous enough to lend us the Alto F2114 to test out for a bit (thanks, Safari Condo!!), so we get the opportunity to live that sweet fixed roof life for the time being.
That being said, my perspective of the F2114 is probably a bit different from someone who has never used another Alto trailer before. I plan to write a whole article detailing my experience in the fixed roof versus retractable roof Altos, but, for now, keep in mind that my experience with the F2114 is colored, in part, by my previous experience with the R1723.
Review of the Safari Condo F2114
So with that background in mind, let’s chat about the Alto F2114.
First things first, though- let’s set expectations.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be nervously wringing your hands and wondering whether the big ol’ price tag of an Alto is worth it (if you’re interested in hearing more about our buying experience and what kind of dent it made to our savings account, you can read exactly how much we spent on our Alto trailer).
And it’s no wonder there’s so much anxiety over such a large purchase- I’m confident that anyone in the travel trailer community has heard horror stories of folks driving off the lot with a trailer made by one of the large scale manufacturers and having it literally fall apart at the seams on the way home.
Travel trailers, vans, and recreational vehicles in general have exploded in growth in the wake of the pandemic, and pressure to meet consumer demand has, unfortunately, resulted in atrocious quality assurance practices. Complacent design and poor build quality have plagued this industry and, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, you could say this has become a pandemic of its own.
So…. do you need to worry about that with this trailer?
Well, friends, I’m happy to report that isn’t a concern at all with the Alto- while they come with a premium price tag, they’re absolutely worth every single penny, being painstakingly designed and lovingly constructed by hand. I mean, Altos often appreciate in value from when they’re originally purchased from an RV dealer- how many products can you say that about? I’ll wait.
So TLDR- if you’re looking for a trailer that’s built to last for years and years to come and that will provide a comfy- and, let’s be honest, luxurious- experience for you and your family, the F2114 is absolutely worth it.
Want more details about my experience camping in this trailer?
No matter how much you love something, everything has pros and cons—so let’s get into the nitty gritty of the F2114.
Things I Love About the Safari Condo Alto F2114
Let’s start off with the positives of this trailer- and there’s a lot of them.
1. It’s incredibly lightweight.
I would be remiss to write a review post about the Altos and not talk about the number one reason people are interested in purchasing them- they’re mindblowingly lightweight. The F2114 is just 2356 lbs dry (without any additional add-ons, luggage, humans, and whatever else you put into it), which is less than HALF the average trailer weight of 5,200 pounds. Amazing!
The F2114’s lightweight nature means you don’t need some monster truck with a diesel engine to drag it around. This REALLY expands your options for what kind of tow vehicle you can have, from an electric sedan to a midsize SUV and all the way up to a humongous truck, if that’s your jam.
We have a beloved Highlander Hybrid that has a 3500 pound towing capacity to tow our F2114. I absolutely love that we’re able to have a tow vehicle that, when we’re not towing, is easy to navigate around our hometown of Seattle’s comically narrow streets and gets decent gas mileage (around 29 mpg). And, really, even when we are towing, our gas mileage could certainly be worse (we usually get around 16 mpg, as opposed to some other RVers I’ve met that get around a horrifying 6-7 mpg).
I assumed that our fuel economy would drop when we transitioned to the F2114 from our R1723, given that the F2114 is 500 pounds heavier and more boxy in nature, but we really haven’t noticed a significant difference. And if you’re towing a trailer for the first time, I’m convinced the lightweight Alto is one of the easiest trailers to learn with—just get some weight distribution bars and you’ll be ready to go!
2. There’s so much storage!
If you’ve popped over to our Safari Condo Alto 1723 review, you know one of my biggest issues with that particular model is the lack of storage. The only real storage is under the benches in the back, meaning accessing your stuff while the benches are in the bed configuration is nearly impossible.
To make matters worse, you cannot access these storage compartments from the outside because of the way the roof folds down. In fact, I’ve army crawled under the bed to get my pajamas out more times than I’d care to admit—a feat that is becoming increasingly less comfortable with age.
The F2114, on the other hand, is anything but lacking in storage.
You get three large overhead cabinets in the back, a “coat closet” cabinet to the left of the bathroom, a thin, but deep storage space along the back wall, and an enormous cabinet over the fridge. In addition to a cabinet with slide-out shelving under the sink, you get even more storage space in the kitchen area, with two humongous drawers and a cupboard, perfect for storing pots and pans.
Plus you get a total of four(!!!) storage compartments that are accessible from both the inside and outside- two under the benches in the dining area at the front of the trailer, and two under the benches in the bed area towards the back. These storage areas are perfect for keeping your hoses, electrical cords, leveling blocks, and all the other RV essentials.
When Justin and I traveled in the R1723, we really struggled, even as minimalists, with a practical way to organize and store our things in an accessible manner.
In the F2114, on the other hand, you’d have endless ways and space to keep your things, making this an excellent option if you’re considering full-timing or traveling with more than two people. We’ve even commented that we’re worried all this extra space will enable us to keep and store more deadweight than we actually need.
3. There’s a fully enclosed bathroom, including a shower.
There’s a huge variety of the kinds of bathrooms that travel trailers provide, from no toilet setup of any kind to bougie trailers with literal bathtubs. And even in the Alto models, you’ll find a variety of bathroom layouts, from a toilet surrounded by chest-height walls in the R1713 to a separate shower and toilet areas in the longer 24-foot, F2414 model.
The F2114 has a fully enclosed wet bath, with a toilet, sink, and shower and it’s just tall enough that Justin (exactly 6’) can stand upright in it without having to crouch. (Note: The bathroom has a few inches less head clearance due to its elevated shower pan built into the floor. The rest of the trailer has 6’4” clearance from floor to ceiling.)
There’s also a few extra bonuses like a large mirror, on both sides of the bathroom door and even a cute lil’ window (who doesn’t love a good view while you do your business?).
Justin and I lived in the R1723 for months, which has a toilet surrounded by chest-height walls and a shower curtain you can wrap around the area for privacy. We sort of got used to it, but I can definitely confirm that it would have been nice to have a bit more privacy (not to mention sound- and smell-proofing) than just a shower curtain can afford. So the F2114’s enclosed bathroom is definitely a welcome change!
There’s other benefits to the larger bathroom space as well, like, for example, being able to have a separate sink to brush your teeth and wash your face, as opposed to having one sink in the kitchen for both your kitchen and bathroom needs.
4. The kitchen is well-designed and perfect for cooking.
One of my favorite things about RVing is that you have a veritable home on wheels, including of course, a kitchen!
Due to the F2114’s 21-foot footprint, you get a really nice amount of counter space, especially when the tempered glass covers on the stove and sink are down. Plus, if you really needed to have a whole vegetable chopping party or something, the dining room table could probably fit six people in a pinch and offers plenty of room for all your chopping or food prep needs.
Besides having a ton of storage and counterspace, the configuration of where the kitchen is physically located within the trailer’s layout is genius. Unlike the retractable roof series, it’s right next to the door, with a huge window overlooking the “front yard” that clamshells wide open. So if you want to keep an eye on kids or your dog out front while you’re cooking or just want an easy way to pass food and drinks to someone outside, the kitchen is perfectly set up for that.
All in all, the kitchen feels very usable and livable, which is awesome if you love to cook!
5. The F2114 comes with features that make the outdoor space more livable.
In a similar vein, the F2114 has been thoughtfully designed to make not only the inside of the trailer livable, but the outside space as well.
Some of these features include:
- A sliding screen door so you can easily be inside the trailer and still enjoy the surrounding view and fresh air or chat with someone outside, while keeping the bugs out
- An optional built-in awning (with lights along its edge) over the entry side that you can quickly and painlessly pop out in less than a minute
- A track mounted to the exterior wall which allows you to easily attach the dining table, creating a very functional dining space outside. When setup, this table can be fully covered and protected from the rain by the optional exterior awning. We had dinners outside in the rain and it’s a lovely experience.
When you have such a tiny living space, every extra inch counts- so being able to more easily make use of the space around your trailer (which, let’s be real, is usually the reason we’re camping in the first place!) makes your camping experiences that much more enjoyable.
6. It handles heat fairly well.
I don’t want to turn this into an R1723 vs. F2114 article, but it’s impossible not to compare my experiences with these two trailers.
And one of the biggest concerns we had with the R1723 was how hot the trailer got any time the temperature was above 75°F (24°C) degrees or so outside. This was mostly an issue for us due to the way we RV—we almost exclusively camp at sites without hookups and thus, rarely get to enjoy using our sweet Dometic air conditioner (which, when we have used it, has done a marvelous job of cooling down the trailer).
While I LOVE the R1723’s huge windows running along the roofline, which provide epic views of wherever we happen to be camping, they essentially turn the trailer into a veritable greenhouse. This was especially problematic, given that we go RVing with dogs and left our pups in our R1723 when we went hiking or exploring around our campsite (obviously only when it was safe for our dogs to do so!).
Since the F2114 is still a small metal box baking in the sun, I was curious to know whether battling the heat was going to be as huge of an issue.
And after six months of using the trailer, I can confirm that, while it’s obviously going to be hotter inside the trailer than outside, it’s WAY easier to manage the heat in the F2114. This is for a few reasons- there’s fewer windows to trap in warmth, an optional built-in awning that can protect the trailer from the sun, and blackout cellular blinds that easily snap shut to keep out the light and reflect some heat.
Better heat management makes it easier for us to find campsites that we can safely stay at with our dog and do what we love the most about RVing- exploring outside!
Things I Don’t Love about the Safari Condo Alto F2114
Like any relationship, our love affair with the Altos is not without bumps along the way. So let’s dive into some of the not-so-great things about the F2114.
1. The length makes storage, finding campsites, and parking challenging.
So you know all of those awesome things I had to say about tons of storage and counter space and an enclosed bathroom? A lot of these attributes are, in part, thanks to the 21-foot length of the trailer, a whopping four extra feet longer than the smallest Alto models.
And just like there’s some really awesome benefits that go hand in hand with these four extra feet, there are definitely a few drawbacks as well.
- We’re able to squeeze our R1723 down the long and narrow L-shaped driveway of our townhouse, whereas there’s no way we could maneuver the F2114 down the driveway. Accordingly, we need to get storage, which can easily cost $100 per month or more, depending on where you live.
- Whenever we look for campsite reservations, many of the campgrounds we prefer to stay at only take 20-foot trailers and smaller. And if you like to stay at more unconventional sites, like Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome, many of them really only have space for even smaller RVs, like campervans. The longer the RV, the more limited your options are going to be with respect to campsites.
- While our SUV with the R1723 cleanly fit inside two pull-through parking spaces, I can’t say the same for the F2114. So we’ve had to get a lot more creative regarding parking at grocery stores or restaurants, like finding space along the back of a parking lot or parking perpendicular across several different spots.
None of these issues, by themselves, are a huge deal or have substantially impacted our ability to RV, but in concert, are definitely a bit on the annoying side.
2. The F2114 can feel dark.
If you’re comparing the F2114 to pretty much any trailer on the market (other than the retractable roof Altos), you can just ignore this point entirely. But, again, it’s impossible for me not to compare the F2114 to the R1723, which lets in a ton of natural light and offers incredible views of wherever you’re camping. In fact, it kind of feels like you’re camping in a treehouse!
The F2114, on the other hand, feels a lot more like exactly what it is- a trailer. Other than the big front window, the windows along the sides are not particularly big and, given that they’re tinted for privacy, don’t let a ton of light in. To be clear, the limited and tinted windows are presumably why it’s so much easier to manage the heat in this trailer, as compared to the R1723, but alas, just like the additional four feet, these changes can be a double-edged sword.
Beyond the limited window real estate, the trailer could also benefit from some additional artificial lights inside, especially towards the front of the trailer. Admittedly, I think I would notice the lighting issues less if photography and videography weren’t part of my job, but nonetheless, any small space benefits from having as much light as possible.
3. The bed is hard to make.
Okay, I legitimately feel embarrassed typing this, but here goes- it’s, like, really hard to make the bed.
The mattress is flush against the walls of the trailer, so it’s nearly impossible to pull the edges of your fitted sheet around the mattress. And whenever I get one corner of the fitted sheet around the mattress, another corner of the fitted sheet that I’ve already tucked in comes flying off. It can feel like a not-very-funny Charlie Chaplin routine.
There’s also some confusing buttons along each side of the bed that I haven’t quite figured out how I’m supposed to use, not to mention a stabby hinge that opens the benchtop. In sum, I’ve gotten a number of cuts on my hand and have quite literally worked up a sweat on more than one occasion while trying to make the bed.
I know that many Altoistes don’t even bother making their bed, instead using a large two person sleeping bag, like this one or this one, to make their lives easier. And I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out some tricks to make it easier to make the bed (if anyone out there has any suggestions, I’d LOVE to hear ‘em!).
But, for the time being, making the bed in my F2114 is definitely one of my least favorite moments while we’re camping.
4. There are a few odd design choices in the trailer.
Overall, the F2114 is exquisitely designed- seemingly every square inch is thoughtfully engineered to make sure that you can make excellent use of the trailer.
I love the layout of the trailer and there’s plenty of really cool and thoughtful design elements- for example, the lights in the back of the trailer are perfectly positioned in a place where they’re not beaming into your eyes when you’re lying in bed, but still provide plenty of light for the back of the trailer.
That being said, there’s a few design choices that have left me scratching my head.
- There’s no shelves in the back corners of the trailer, so if you’re drinking something while you’re sitting on the benches or laying in bed, you kind of just have to hold your drink.
- There’s these neat reading lights over the bed with built-in USB ports- really cool in theory, but if you plug a device into the ports to charge, you then have three feet of a USB cable dangling from the ceiling, just asking to be accidentally yanked out of the USB port and break your cord- or the port itself.
- There’s a magazine rack in the kitchen area- I know I’m more on the minimalist side of the spectrum, but do that many campers bring magazines with them? I hear that new F2114s may be doing away with the magazine rack, so perhaps this will no longer be an issue!
- While the bathroom is decently sized, it only offers a very tiny medicine cabinet that’s way too small to fit all of your bathroom essentials. I’d be so curious to know where other Altoistes with F2114s store all of their bathroom necessities- in the kitchen drawers, perhaps?
I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of thought and engineering that have gone into these trailers, so these small quirky odds and ends pale in comparison to how awesome the F2114 is. But, nonetheless, I’d say there’s still room for small iterative improvements.
5. Some of the features have had maintenance issues.
I don’t think anyone will ever argue that Altos are not extremely well-made, especially when compared to the shoddy construction of some of the big name trailer manufacturers. There’s plenty of folks who have owned their Alto for well over a decade and have had minimal maintenance issues.
I, too, have had limited issues with Safari Condo’s construction of the R1723 that we own and the F2114 that we’re reviewing, but for a bathroom door that rattles (which could probably be really easily fixed with some door insulation). We have, however, had a few features and appliances, manufactured by third parties, that have had maintenance issues, like a defective Shurflo water pump, a very squeaky Fan-tastic Vent roof fan (that’s very annoying when you’re trying to sleep), and a Dometic fridge door that gets stuck occasionally.
Aside from the broken pump (that was easily replaced), none of these issues have been anything other than minor annoyances—plus, I’m a bit more forgiving of slightly imperfect products in this post-COVID world, with supply chain issues and swelling prices. That being said, I can definitely understand that some folks may be frustrated to drop $50,000+ on a trailer and still have to grapple with fixing random odds and ends around the trailer.
All that said, talk to your fellow RVers at any campground and you’ll quickly discover just how bad it can get with other new trailers. From broken gas lines to extensive electrical damage, seemingly no other luxury trailer manufacturer is immune to these problems and, by comparison, we feel pretty fortunate considering the Alto’s exceptional build quality.
It’s also worth mentioning that Safari Condo’s customer support has always been extraordinary. Even in supporting our Alto R1723 that we purchased used from a third-party with no warranty. They’re just a great family owned business that seemingly cares a lot about their products—and their customers.
6. Low ground clearance.
If you primarily drive on paved roads and stay at established campgrounds, this may not be much of an issue for you. But for Justin and I, who love to stay in National Forests or on BLM land, we’re often traveling down unpaved gravel roads, some of which are riddled with potholes and steep inclines.
While the F2114’s 15” tires provide decent ground clearance, there’s been a number of uneven roads or steep inclines to campsites where I’ve been biting my nails and worrying about our bumper dragging on the ground. I’ve always drooled over the dreamy ground clearance on this Tab 400 trailer and hope that, someday, Safari Condo manufactures an Alto that’s a bit better-suited for offroading. A girl can dream!
If you’ve made it this far, congrats and thank you for coming to my TED Talk on the F2114. I hope your takeaway is this- despite there being a few things I’d love to see updated in this model, the F2114 is an incredibly well-built and thoughtfully designed trailer.
I seriously can’t imagine my life without an Alto in it- these trailers have taken Justin and me on so many adventures and allowed us to be cozy and comfortable, no matter if we’re camping in a casino parking lot or in the middle of the Sedona desert.
And over to you- are you looking at or do you own a F2114? What do you love… and what do you not love? Let me know in the comments below!