From “half-ton towables” to extended-living RVs, the latest fifth-wheel trailers come with high-tech features and no shortage of creature comforts.
Full-time RVers who love to wine and dine friends will find the 43-foot, 7-inch, 14,500-pound (UVW) Champagne 38ERD (elevated rear den) quite attractive. The new triple-axle fifth-wheel is “a 324-square-foot luxury apartment with 8-foot ceilings,” said Nick Schrock, sales and product manager for the Forest River brand. “This model is for that customer who is stuck between buying a luxury motorhome and a fifth-wheel.”
Retailing in the $100,000 to $105,000 range, the five-slide 38ERD is built on a Norco drop frame. It’s made with 2-by-2-inch studs on 16-inch centers, residential insulation, laminated walls, dual-pane windows, real maple doors and fascia, and all-aluminum superstructure. According to Schrock, Cedar Creek’s superstructure includes aluminum-framed walls and floors, and aluminum roof trusses.
The huge basement storage areas are heated, appliances in the center kitchen are residential size (including a 20-cubic-foot refrigerator), and the master suite has a side-by-side washer and dryer along with a king-size bed. A large bath area is supplied by a 57-gallon freshwater tank and a Truma on-demand water heater so there’s never a lack of hot water.
The raised rear den, with recessed LED lighting and opposing slideouts, includes a 60-inch smart TV, power theater seats, 36-inch electric fireplace and twin sofa beds. The 38ERD is also equipped with Echo Dot for voice control of the lights, HVAC, tank monitoring, security and other functions.
CrossRoads RV took a whole new approach this year on the design and outfitting of the 42-foot long Redwood 4001LK, according to Tim Cress, national sales manager. The eye-catching Evershine Buff on the pure-white, full-body gloss-painted exterior features a black-and gold-painted accent treatment that makes the fifth-wheel stand out from the crowd.
With a 17,900-pound GVWR and a $140,000 base price, the 4001LK is designed for long-term living, said Cress. The impressive list of upgrades includes solid hardwood cabinets, residential waterfall-style kitchen countertops with a larger farmhouse sink, KeyTV technology and more.
On the outside, the heated front pass-through storage is completely finished from top to bottom and features a slat front wall for hanging an array of organizing accessories, from tool hangers to baskets.
The living area is set up comfortably with theater seats and a sofa facing an off-white brick fireplace and entertainment center. The entire living space and rear kitchen are bright and open, using country-style white cabinets above and brown below, with brown accents throughout. The rear gourmet kitchen with Insignia residential appliances also features a substantial amount of counter space, storage and plenty of windows.
Last year DRV Luxury Suites, manufacturer of high-end fifth-wheels targeting full-time and extended-stay RVers, came out with a 41-foot model in its Mobile Suites line. For 2020, the manufacturer is rolling out a slightly smaller model: the 36RKSB, which checks in at 36 feet long and has 100-, 75- and 50-gallon freshwater, gray and black tanks, respectively.
The 36RKSB features a pair of opposing slides, the first set in the rear kitchen and living area, and the other in the front bedroom. Bookending the bedroom is a three-piece bathroom offering under-cabinet accent lighting, while an ample wardrobe is tucked into the front cap.
DRV General Manager Shawn James said the smaller footprint of the $153,000 (base MSRP) fifth-wheel doesn’t com-promise on DRV standards such as four-season livability. DRV is known for its 3¾-inch-thick side-wall construction. “We’re also known for our 15-inch box-tube frame, fully enclosed and fully heated underbelly, and basement compartment area,” said James.
He added that the 36RKSB introduced a host of style changes for 2020, including new fascia and Shaker-style cabinet doors. Featuring black stainless-steel appliances by Whirlpool, including a French-door refrigerator and convection microwave oven, the rear kitchen offers plenty of countertop space and a desk area along the back wall next to a full walk-in pantry.
Dutchmen focused on the kitchen as well as additional storage inside and out when designing the 35-foot, 11-inch Astoria 3173RLP Platinum Series fifth-wheel. “It’s got a lot of cool features on the exterior,” said Matt Gipson, Dutchmen’s general manager. “But really, one thing that we amped up was the interior look, with a very modern, contemporary style.”
Solid-surface counter space is abundant with the residential kitchen hutch, and there’s removable shelving in the floor-to-ceiling pantry, with motion-sensor lighting and a frosted-glass insert in the door. A dual waste-bin drawer lives in the center island. Stainless-steel appliances include a 30-inch overhead microwave, two-way 12-cubic-foot refrigerator and a Furrion 21-inch oven and range with flush-mounted glass top.
High-backed theater seating with footrests, cupholders and USB ports face the 50-inch TV and electric fireplace. Counters bookend the rear sofa. The plentiful storage and countertop theme continues in the bathroom with open shelving and dual sinks. Farmhouse-decor closet doors are accented with mirrors in the bedroom, which houses a king-size bed.
A three-slide fifth-wheel, the 36-foot Classic 8529RKSB features a rear kitchen, a U-shaped dinette, theater seating, sofa, electric fireplace and entertainment center. The dinette can be replaced with a table and four chairs.
The kitchen sits at the rear and has a sink with overhead cabinetry, a wood-paneled refrigerator that matches the cabinets, an oven and stove, microwave, and countertop space that wraps around in a U-shape. “The rear kitchen allows you to take those major components out of your main living area and creates a flow like you would have at home,” said Zach Rininger, regional sales manager for Forest River. “It also makes the kitchen more functional and gives us the opportunity to include more countertop space.”
Toward the front, the bathroom features a walk-in shower and vanity. The bedroom has a standard king bed and wardrobe and is washer/dryer prepped and TV ready.
The Riverstone brand has combined what were previously two segments — Riverstone and Legacy — with Legacy now offered as an upgrade package across the line. The package includes Goodyear tires, hydraulic brakes, full-body paint, a water-manifold system, Bose soundbars, a Waste Master system and a few other options that will add about $20,000 to the price.
Among the new Riverstone models is the $120,000 (base MSRP) 39RKFB, a rear-kitchen, bath-and-a-half floorplan that features a large walk-in closet off the master bedroom’s front bath. The bathroom also includes twin sinks and a 30-by-48-inch shower with a seat.
A three-slideout floorplan with a GVWR of 19,084 pounds, the 42-foot, 11-inch 39RKB features opposing slides in the expansive main cabin lounge — one home to a trifold sofa, and the other to the dinette and a desk option or second sofa. Theater seats are tucked up to the kitchen half-wall opposite the entertainment system.
Part of Sabre’s lightweight bunkhouse series, the 301BH offers all of the standard amenities that the line’s bigger fifth-wheels have, just in a smaller package, according to Steve Troyer, sales manager for the Sabre line.
Featuring an outdoor kitchen, the 33-foot 301BH has a dry weight of 8,063 pounds and includes rear bunks that can sleep three to four people. The living area features a U-shaped dinette and theater-style seating. An electric fireplace and entertainment center also highlight the space. In the kitchen, residential appliances are surrounded by solid-surface countertops and overhead cabinets, while the forward master suite offers a queen-size bed, his-and-her shirt closets and a wardrobe. The bathroom is next to the bedroom and has a walk-in shower, vanity and toilet.
“We eliminated the slide in the bedroom and adjusted the storage,” Troyer explained. “There isn’t a wardrobe, which makes the hitch weight lighter. There’s still more storage and walk-around space than would be available with a wardrobe slide, though.” Starting price for the Sabre 301BH is less than $40,000.
According to Curtis Gunter, general manager of the Sandpiper line, the 39-foot 3550FL was a new concept on Sandpiper’s “C Class” fifth-wheels, designed to hit a specific price point. “We wanted to create something that landed in the high-$40,000 to low-$50,000 range,” he said. “We also wanted to be able to offer a very well-featured trailer.”
The 3550FL, which has a dry weight of 10,880 pounds, is the largest three-slideout model the Sandpiper line offers. The mid-kitchen layout features an L-shaped countertop with solid wood cabinetry, a stove and oven, 12-volt DC refrigerator, microwave and a double-basin sink. A slide on the opposite side holds a freestanding table and four chairs.
Up front, the living area offers theater seating, a trifold sofa bed in a slideout and an entertainment center with a fireplace and two cabinets. The bathroom features a walk-in shower with a seat and is next to the rear bedroom with a queen bed, two wardrobes and a dresser.
Designed for couples, the 41-foot Solitude 390RK offers residential livability. The new floorplan utilizes a dual-elevation layout, with a raised rear galley and spacious elevated bath and master bedroom up front.
Entering from the outside door, the dual-slide midship living room features opposing trifold sofas for guest accommodations. Theater seating is across from the electric fireplace and entertainment center on a wall adorned with reclaimed wood “tiles” that are an upscale addition to the room.
The galley is three steps above the living room and features a dining bar for two and a center island. Meals for more than two will require folding tables or trays, or heading outdoors. Kitchen appliances and the remaining counter space line the back wall and two opposing slideouts. Beneath this is abundant exterior storage with a sliding tray projecting from the rear of the fifth-wheel.
The master-bedroom-and-bath suite is roomy and ideal for a couple spending extended time aboard. The front wall holds a large closet with shelf storage and space for an optional washer-dryer. Base MSRP is $75,480, UVW is 14,562 pounds, and GVWR is 16,800 pounds.
There’s no mistaking the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly attracted to smaller recreational vehicles, and that holds true for many fifth-wheel buyers. The new 37-foot, 8-inch Bighorn 3375SS is a case in point, said Director of Sales A.J. Jones. “It has a gorgeous updated interior, all new woods, all new decor items, but in a shorter unit,” Jones explained.
The problem with crafting a shorter fifth-wheel, Jones pointed out, is that certain aspects are often compromised. “So what we did is, we came up with a slide-in-a-slide bedroom — it’s got the biggest bedroom of any unit at 37 feet. We completely changed everything up by putting in such a large bedroom area.”
With a $87,285 base price and 16,000-pound GVWR, the 3375SS features a rear-lounge floorplan. Theater seating and a dinette are in a curbside slideout that is opposite a second slide in the main cabin that houses the galley. Between the two sits a kitchen island with a sink.
Jayco has completely revamped its North Point brand of luxury fifth-wheels. On the outside, the North Point is differentiated from the Pinnacle, Jayco’s top-of-the-line fiver, by going from beige to polar-white side walls with a brushed-nickel front cap and rear wall, accented with flowing monochromatic graphics. Based on the Pinnacle 36FBTS, the bath-and-a-half 37FBTS offers a good example of the North Point’s interior changes for 2020.
Measuring 42 feet, 10 inches, weighing 13,325 pounds (UVW) and with a claimed 2,675-pound CCC, the 37FBTS has a starting price of $87,549, said Product Manager Jason Martin. It is offered with a choice of the traditional Cashmere Cottage interior decor or the more contemporary Modern Farmhouse.
Among its highlights, the 37FBTS locates the stackable washer-dryer prep on the main floor next to the pantry so the space can be used for laundry appliances or as additional pantry storage. The entire North Point line features a patent-pending dedicated drinking-water system, as well as the JayCommand RV control system with an app-enabled touchscreen that can monitor and control certain functions and components.
One of the top-selling fifth-wheels in the industry, the Montana underwent a makeover for 2020 to give it a more contemporary interior, according to Assistant Product Manager Sam Langerich. “The only thing that didn’t change was the countertops,” he said.
Upgrades include new hand-glazed gray-toned hardwood cabinetry and slide-out fascia, and new off-white ceiling panels. Slideouts housing a dinette or theater seating now have woven-PVC flooring with an integrated carpet pad on the back. “It’s been very popular in the boating industry and is practically indestructible,” Langerich said.
With a 16,300-pound GVWR and a starting price of $82,000, the 3780 features an island kitchen and “more kitchen storage than we’ve ever had in a Montana,” Langerich said. This is also the first floorplan in the Montana series with a full double-vanity bathroom, he added, and the downstairs has been upgraded with a dual-door washer-dryer and pantry. The 40-foot, 2-inch 3780 also features opposing slideouts in the bedroom — a full bed slide and a smaller dresser slide.
Keystone expanded upon the modern front-kitchen concept in fifth-wheel floorplans with its Montana line, and the Sprinter 3610FWFKS takes it a step further, creating an open, airy layout with dual kitchen entry and a bar-top eating area.
“All the other front kitchens are in a different price point, and the living room is very much separate from the kitchen area,” said Sprinter Product Manager Jonathan Gust. “I wanted to bring that all together.”
The 40½-foot Sprinter, which retails in the mid-$60,000s, features a main-floor lounge with the king-bed master bedroom to the rear. Access to the kitchen is via stairs on either side of the Live Edge bar-top, which moves casual dining to the kitchen level.
“We found that a lot of people didn’t like freestanding dinettes — they had difficulty accessing the inside chairs,” Gust said. “Plus, more people are eating outside, which is why we added the outside kitchen.”
With an 11,200-pound GVWR, the full-profile fifth-wheel also features new Aspen Oak wood tones inside, along with a host of pet-friendly features including a leash holder affixed near the entry door, a drawer with food bowls and a concealed pet bed in the rear bed platform.
After a complete redesign not long ago, the Durango brand of fifth-wheels — including the Durango Half-Ton, Durango and top-of-the-line Durango Gold lines — enters 2020 with a few tweaks here and there. One noteworthy development is the reconfigured Durango Gold 381REF, which offers an optional two-person office desk/dining counter in lieu of the freestanding table and chairs.
“We’ve actually changed the back end and elevated the living room area, which gives us a big basement storage area in the back,” said KZ General Manager Brent Froman of the 40½-foot 381REF, which retails for about $105,000. “An 11-foot kayak can actually fit in there, plus it has a nice big rolling tray that pulls out. With all that storage, it’s very much set up for full-time living.”
The rear living room features an entertainment center with a 65-inch TV and 40-inch electric fireplace along the back wall. Theater seating faces the entertainment center and is flanked by opposing sofa slides. Also featuring opposing slides, the middle of the 381REF has a well-appointed kitchen, offering an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator and a freestanding table and chairs.
On the lighter side of the fifth-wheel weight spectrum, the “half-ton-towable” Fox Mountain is available in two 11,500-pound-GVWR models, both with one slideout and a queen bed up front. With a $48,773 base price, the 235RLS floorplan (above right and top row below) has a rear living room, while the 255RKS (above left and bottom row below), which retails for $55,247, devotes the rear to the kitchen.
Northwood has always hung its hat on rugged chassis construction and four-season capabilities, noted National Sales Trainer Doug Karr, and although the Fox Mountain
is lighter, it still utilizes the proprietary “certified off-road chassis” found in higher-end models like the Arctic Fox Grand Ronde fifth-wheels.
The company has focused on upgrades for 2020. “We went to a new walnut interior, new linoleum and Furrion ovens with high-output three-burner cooktops,” said Karr. “And all the units we build are [livable in] four seasons, so all the holding tanks and water tank are heated individually. We don’t use any particleboard — everything in the floor is 5⁄8-inch tongue-and-groove, marine-grade wood. All the linoleum is 20-mil commercial grade.”
Prime Time’s 40-foot, 10-inch Crusader 395BHL has two separate bedrooms, a spacious living area and an outside kitchen. “One of the things that makes the 395 unique is that it’s a spin of a rear bunkroom,” said Michael Herdrich, Crusader’s product manager. “But rather than just being a bunkhouse for children, it also works for adults. The bottom bed is a full-size, and the top loft has a full-size bed as well, so you could sleep four adults or six kids. “
The three-slide, two-entry 395BHL has one and a half baths; the half-bath is accessible from outside and from the bunk room. The front master bedroom, with a window over the king-size bed, has lots of floor space for accessing the residential-size closet.
Shiplap-style accent walls and doors are merged with wood cabinetry with glass-door insets, residential furniture, stainless-steel and black appliances, black faucets and light-colored solid-surface countertops. The Furrion Chef Collection range and oven, and two-way 12-cubic-foot refrigerator are housed in the kitchen’s slide, and the sink is located in the center island. The entertainment center with a 40-inch HDTV and electric fireplace are at a good viewing angle from anywhere in the living area.
Outside, two awnings span more than 20 feet. Base price is $57,500, and GVWR is 14,241 pounds.
The first Vanleigh fifth-wheel with an elevated rear den, the Beacon 42RDB features opposing couches in the den as well as a sofa with theater seating. Chase Davis, Vanleigh’s regional sales manager, highlighted the taller ceilings, which ensure plenty of headroom and also allow the 42RDB to offer 220 cubic feet of pass-through storage underneath.
The midship kitchen features an island and real wood cabinetry, which is built in-house at a 70,000-square-foot cabinet shop right across from the main plant Vanleigh uses to manufacture its RVs, explained Davis.
Moving forward, the bathroom features a sink, vanity and walk-in shower with a glass door. Up front is the master bedroom with a king-size bed, walk-in closet and room for a washer-dryer combination.
With a $135,000 base MSRP, the Beacon 42RDB also features the Spyder Multiplex system, which is designed to control every aspect of the RV, from retracting the awning to checking tank levels, said Davis.
The first fifth-wheel from Vanleigh RV that offers an outdoor kitchen and self-contained mid-trailer bunk room, the Pinecrest 392MBP retails for around $71,000 and was designed for budget-minded families, said Vanleigh’s Chase Davis. With a length of 41 feet and a GVWR of 14,995 pounds, the 392MBP is also the longest model in the Pinecrest series and offers plenty of storage, Davis said.
At the front sits a master bedroom with a queen-size bed, walk-in closet and room for a combination washer-dryer. The bathroom is next to it, and down the hallway is a midship room with a sofa bed and a wide bunk accessed by a ladder.
Toward the back, the kitchen has an island with a double-basin sink and overhead lighting. The rear living area includes theater seating and a sofa bed, along with a 40-inch TV and an electric fireplace.
Aimed at satisfying the tastes of younger families, the Voyage line of fifth-wheels and travel trailers has a modern look and feel, with features active families need, according to Adam Christofferson, product manager for Winnebago Towables.
The 3134RL is a 34-foot, 4-inch, triple-slide, rear-living-room fifth-wheel, with Winnebago’s new W series platform underneath, which allows for larger front storage and a flat upper deck that increases front headroom. All five floorplans, from 32 to 38 feet, have a gray exterior that features graphics inspired by a starship.
A 15,000-Btu air conditioner, electric fireplace and 50-amp service are standard, as are the convection microwave and the new air-conditioning duct system, called True Trax, that allows the rear A/C to circulate cool air efficiently up to the front without using the optional second A/C unit.
Light colors and Rich Sienna Maple cabinetry appear throughout the 3134RL. An RV queen bed is standard, but a true residential queen is available. Packages include extended-season livability, six-point leveling, Wi-Fi, charging ports and more. Base MSRP is $54,900, and UVW is 10,740 pounds.
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Online RV Buyers’ Guide
For information on new and used towable RVs, including specs, floorplans and photos, visit Trailer Life’s online RV Buyers’ Guide at rvbg.trailerlife.com. The search tool has model-year-specific details on RVs going back to 2003. Searches can be done by length, price and manufacturer, as well as model year.