The Highlander fifth-wheel garage-style toy hauler has the right stuff to keep the whole family happy
The first toy-hauler manufacturers had humble aspirations. Create a trailer that had adequate cargo space in the back for a couple of motorcycles or ATVs, and bestow it with the capacity needed to carry them.
And that’s about as far as the thought process went for an undetermined period of time. Yes, these early beasts had the basic necessities, but there was never any escaping that, once the toys were unloaded, you were essentially living in a box. This fact was not lost on the female half of the buying equation, who, while recognizing the positive effects of tribal patterns and a “killer stereo” on the male ego, were otherwise unimpressed with the apparent lack of accoutrements.
Well, no one ever accused us guys of being quick on the uptake, but eventually we caught on, and manufacturers started making toy haulers more family-friendly, well-equipped and, dare we say, luxurious. One of the latest is the 2019 Highlander HF327G by Highland Ridge RV, a nearly 40-foot fifth-wheel that should tick most of the boxes for families seeking an adventurous lifestyle — in comfort, of course.
Highland Ridge Highlander HF327G
Exterior Length 39′ 11″
Exterior Width 8′ 4″
Interior Height 6′ 4″
Exterior Height 13′ 1″
Freshwater Cap. 110 gal.
Black-Water Cap. 41 gal.
Gray-Water Cap. 114 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 11,365 lbs.
Hitch Weight 2,534 lbs.
GVWR 16,850 lbs.
MSRP, Base $67,353
Highlander toy haulers are, in industry parlance, garage-style toy haulers, meaning that the cargo area is isolated from the living area by a solid wall and entry door. This design, while not offering as much cargo space as a comparable open-box layout, goes a long way toward making the trailer more livable, in our opinion. As in a home, vehicles and people needn’t share the same space — although, like other toy haulers, the Highlander’s garage does convert into a separate living and sleeping area.
Opposing bench seating as well as a queen-size bed lower from the ceiling, and the loading door can be supported horizontally by cables to form a patio, complete with railings that can be installed to keep the kids (and inebriated adults) from toppling. The forward bulkhead offers TV prep with ceiling speakers to turn the garage into a viable entertainment area, and the curbside front corner is plumbed for a washer and dryer. The composite diamond-plate floor houses nine D-rings to tie down the toys.
Walk through the residential-style door that has a frosted center pane, and you’ll find yourself in a comfortable, dedicated living area designed for family time, with another bunk above the doorway. In the streetside slideout is a comfy Thomas Payne Collection theater-seating group, which accommodates four across, each with his or her own pop-up footrest.
The seats are directly across from the roomy L-shaped kitchen, featuring dark woods, a solid-surface countertop and stainless-steel appliances, including a Frigidaire residential microwave, Dometic range with standard oven and a Norcold PolarMax 18.3-cubic-foot double-door refrigerator. There is plenty of cabinet and drawer space, including a pullout pantry that is appropriately sized for canned goods and spices.
The forward hutch features a 43-inch Furrion flat-screen television on an extending/swiveling mount, a Furrion DVD player and a Titan Flame electric fireplace. A floor-to-ceiling cabinet on the street side can serve as a pantry or storage for extra blankets and pillows. There is additional storage above the TV with matching frosted-glass panels, and another, smaller compartment to the right of the fireplace. In the hallway is the command center where you’ll find the necessary switches for lights, slideouts, tank levels and the Onan 5.5-kilowatt gas generator, if so equipped (a $4,350 option).
A quick hop up the stairs takes you to the bath area, which utilizes an efficient Jack-and-Jill layout for easy access from the bedroom as well. Nothing fancy here, just a good-size one-piece fiberglass corner shower with a sliding-glass door, porcelain toilet, vanity with mirrored medicine cabinet and a roomy linen closet, which is housed in the bedroom slideout along with the adjacent wardrobe. Like many newer fifth-wheels, this one is equipped with a king bed that is fairly wedged into place — there is room for the streetside sleeper to get out of bed, but the curbside partner will have to scoot off the end (just so you know, guys, that will be you).
Four-point auto leveling, Equa-Flex rubberized suspension, fully enclosed and heated underbelly, JT Strong Arm stabilizers, power awning, exterior speakers, solar prep and a 30-gallon fuel station are standard.
Special thanks to Blue Dog RV in Troutdale, Oregon.