Looking for the best fifth wheel RVs? If so, you’re in the right place!
Buying a fifth wheel RV, or any RV for that matter, isn’t as simple as just searching by price and choosing the one you like the most or that is the most luxurious. There’s a lot to consider, which can be overwhelming for newbies. That’s why we created this list of the best ones for you to easily pick from.
We’ll also be covering the things you should consider when making your choice.
Sound good? Let’s get started.
What is a Fifth Wheel RV?
Fifth wheels, sometimes known as fifth wheel trailers or fifth wheel campers, attach straight to the truck bed. And unlike other towables, fifth wheels employ a special fifth wheel hitch known as a jaw hitch, as compared to the traditional ball and coupler hitch.
Fifth wheels have a very recognizable protruding forehead, which extends over the truck bed. This design isn’t just for aesthetic purposes, but provides additional space. This space in the extended portion is often used as either sleeping or storage space. This not only gives you a separate space for sleeping, but also means you have much more living space.
Size-wise, most fifth wheels range from 20-45 ft. This means there’s an RV for you, regardless of whether you’re a couple looking for a weekend getaway or a large family of ten.
10 Top Fifth Wheel Brands and Models
With so many models out there, we thought we would do you a favor and give you the ten best ones to choose from. We’ve included a variety to cater to everyone. Whether you’re looking to splurge on something luxurious or keep costs down, we’ve got something for you.
Grand Design Solitude
The Grand Design Solitude incorporates luxury and practicality along with a large degree of personalization. You’ll find high-end features like a spacious kitchen and residential refrigerator. The best part? These all come without compromising space thanks to the practical design. All these are built with high-quality materials and superior insulation too, so comfort is a given.
I also like that they allow for tailored floor plans, so you can opt for a king-size bed or even a fireplace if you’d like. Plus, it can quite safely accommodate 4 people and has ample storage, just right for a small family.
If you’ve got the money to spare, this could just be the 5th wheel you’re looking for.
Forest River Cardinal
Another luxury fifth wheel RV, the Forest River Cardinal also has a well-thought-out floor plan, though it’s not as customizable.
Perhaps the best part of this RV is its homely feel. It’s got a large living area, sofa bed, recliners, and even a ceiling fan.
Like the Grand Design Solitude, this fifth wheel also boasts a huge kitchen with a residential refrigerator and three-burner stove. This luxury also extends to the toilet. Inside, you have a seated shower and porcelain amenities.
Truly, Forest River spared no effort in making the Forest River Cardinal feel like home. Those who really want an RV they can feel at home in may want to give this fifth wheel a shot. Of course, you can turn a small RV into a homely place too, but with the Forest River Cardinal, it’s quite literally a house on wheels.
DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites
This next fifth wheel is as good as it gets. At more than twice the price of the previous two RVs, few RVs out there can measure up to the DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites. Here’s what it offers.
Starting with the construction, you’ve got a state-of-the-art insulation system that guarantees your fifth wheel remains your safe haven, even in the coldest climates. But what really sets it apart is what’s inside.
This RV is decked out to the max with just about every appliance you could need.
Inside the kitchen, you’ve got a residential fridge, dishwasher, convection oven, and even a wine cooler.
Moving on to the bedroom, you’ve got not just a king-size bed, but also a cozy fireplace, and an entertainment center for movie nights. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s even a walk-in closet.
DRV didn’t forget about the bathroom either, giving you a super big shower along with dual sinks.
The furniture, like the solid surface countertops, are all top-of-the-line too
To top it all off, DRV included a central vacuum system, washer/dryer hookups, power awning, and made the fireplace electric.
Basically, luxury every way you turn.
Oh, and don’t worry about the many luxury features cluttering up the space. This fifth wheel features four slide-outs, giving you plenty of space whenever you need it
This fifth wheel is akin to getting a first-class ticket on a plane. If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further.
If you found the past few options too pricey, then you might be looking for the Keystone Montana. A familiar name in the RV world, the Keystone Montana is one of the best-selling RVs in the world. This is no surprise given its affordable quality and variety of floor plans.
With over 20 floor plans to choose from, there’s something for everyone, from lone wolves to whole families.
And despite its affordable price point, you’re still getting a queen bed, sofa bed, dinette, and kitchen island. The kitchen also includes a residential refrigerator, microwave oven, and pantry.
My favorite part of this fifth wheel though, is its rugged design. On chilly nights, the enclosed heated underbelly keeps you warm. On uneven terrains, the auto-leveling system keeps your appliances running smoothly and your rest comfortable. And the backup camera helps you park anywhere with ease.
Overall, this fifth wheel is nowhere near as luxurious as the previous options, but it offers a great balance of luxury and affordability. You’ll have everything you need and a few nice-to-haves at a wallet-friendly price.
Jayco North Point
The Jayco North Point is like a slightly more luxurious Keystone Montana.
The Jayco North Point is equipped with many of the same amenities, like a sofa bed, residential refrigerator, microwave oven, entertainment center, kitchen island, and auto-leveling system.
However, it has a few more things that put it above the Keystone Montana. For one, it’s got a wardrobe and dresser. These aren’t necessary but are much appreciated. Additionally, its toilet is made out of porcelain and it has an electric awning with LED lights.
Though none of these are essential, they do make a RV more livable, which is why the Jayco North Point does cost a bit more than the Keystone Montana.
At the end of the day, it depends on your personal preferences. I, like many other RVers, bought the Keystone Montana, because I felt like I didn’t need many of the Jayco North Point’s additional features. But if you find the slight price increase worth it, this is also a great fifth wheel RV.
Forest River Wildcat
Another budget-friendly high-quality pick, the Forest River Wildcat can sleep up to seven people.
The Keystone Montana, and Forest River Wildcat are strikingly similar, with the key difference being that this fifth wheel has an added entertainment center and recliners.
Between this fifth wheel and the Jayco North Point, the key difference is the recliners.
Given that all three RVs are quite evenly matched, if you want recliners in your RV, then go with the Forest River Wildcat. Just note that it can fit one more person than the Jayco North Point. If you don’t need that much space, then you might want to go with the Jayco North Point instead.
Redwood RV Redwood
Another super high-end luxury fifth wheel, the Redwood RV Redwood possesses pretty much the same features as the DRV RV. This includes a dishwasher, convection oven, wine cooler, central vacuum system, and so on. The only difference is, the DRV RV can only accommodate four people. The Redwood can comfortably allow up to six people to stay.
Essentially, if you need a larger DRV RV, this is it.
The Heartland Bighorn delivers quality without breaking the bank, much like the Keystone Montana and Forest River Wildcat.
For instance, you’ll see similarities like an auto-leveling system and a backup camera.
Heartland seems to place a bigger emphasis on warmth and coziness though. It’s got a heated and enclosed underbelly and an electric fireplace, which can be a neccessity to certain RVers. That’s why I included this option for RVers who really can’t live without a fireplace.
KZ-RV Durango Gold
For those who liked the Jayco North Point, but didn’t need the extra space, this could just be what you’re looking for.
The KZ-RV Durango Gold was built for couples and small families. With a capacity of 2-3 people, its price reflects it too. It’s a tad more luxurious than the Jayco North Point too, with a heated and enclosed underbelly.
RVers who want something along the lines of the Jayco North Point might want to consider this fifth wheel.
If you’re still here, I’m guessing it’s a matter of size. Well, if that’s the case, you’re in luck. With models for 8-10 people, the Coachmen Chaparral was designed with large groups in mind.
The best part is that this fifth wheel has all the amenities you could need, and is priced very reasonably.
There’s a kitchen island, a residential refrigerator, a king-size bed, a wardrobe, and a spacious toilet. And for the systems, you have a heated and enclosed underbelly, auto-leveling system, and it’s prepped for solar panels.
In a nutshell, the homely Coachmen Chaparral is ideal for large families and even large groups of friends.
What Should You Look Out For When Buying fifth Wheel RVs
Buying a fifth wheel, heck, buying any RV, is no small matter. You’re going to be spending a large portion of your savings. And you’ll likely even have to take a loan. As such, it’s of the utmost importance that you do your due research. Here’s everything you need to consider when buying a fifth wheel.
Size and Weight
The first thing I always check is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR is the maximum weight that your RV can handle. You’ll have to factor in everything on board, from passengers and cargo to propane.
Next is the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). This is the maximum combined weight that your truck and RV should stay within when they’re hitched together.
New RVers often attempt to compromise on these, thinking that they can get away with it. My advice is, don’t.
Don’t even go close to that number. Stay at least 10% away. I would highly discourage you from trying to fit as much as you can on your RV. This is because on the road, jerks and bumps put extra weight on your wheels. And the bigger problem is that always pushing your fifth wheel to its limit wears it out much more quickly. You’ll end up damaging your fifth wheel and putting yourself and your passengers in danger.
Weight Capacity and Towability
To determine how much you can bring on your fifth wheel, you need to calculate your Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC). This is the difference between your GVWR and your Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW).
Another factor to take into account is towability. If you plan to drive through areas with curves, hills, and uneven terrains, you’ll need RVs with better towability. Look out for enhanced suspension, sway control, tire pressure monitors, and high-quality braking systems.
After making sure safety is good to go, the next most important thing is comfort.
Needless to say, more luxury is always better, but most of the time, you’re going to be limited by your budget. The trick is to maximize your comfort while staying within budget.
This means deciding which amenities and luxuries matter the most to you and then making some tradeoffs.
For example, a fireplace invokes a sense of home for some, making it a priority. For others, a fireplace is nice to have, but not a must.
Consider which are your must-have features. For those who love to cook, this could be a kitchen island. For wine lovers, you might want a wine cooler instead.
It’s always all fun and games until your RV breaks down or starts making weird scary noises. At times like these, I can’t stress enough the importance of a solid warranty.
A good warranty should cover both the structure and components for a reasonable mileage and length of time.
And a warranty is no good if a company doesn’t honor it. You’ll also want to ask around and ensure that they offer great customer service.
This is actually one field that I’ve found Forest River is quite lacking in. Whenever I contacted Forest River, it took days for them to get back to me. It also sometimes took multiple attempts. That’s why I usually stay away from Forest River RVs, though in this case, I made an exception for those two exceptional ones.
Another key consideration is how well the RV is constructed. You should be getting sturdy and durable materials and excellent workmanship. This isn’t just for durability, but also for safety on the road. The best way to check this is by seeing what others are saying. Ask your friends who RV, look around on forums, and of course, look through reviews.
Even the cheapest fifth wheel is a substantial investment, not only in terms of money, but safety. As such, make sure you do your research thoroughly to avoid wasting your money.
These ten may be the best in our opinion, but there’s nothing stopping you from finding your own preferred model elsewhere. As long as you remember our considerations, you’ll be able to find the right RV for you.
Here are some frequently asked questions about fifth wheels.
What is the Best Brand for Fifth Wheels?
There isn’t an RV brand that specializes in fifth wheels. In general, each brand has some fifth wheels worth purchasing and some that aren’t. It’s not about the brand, but the RV itself. Still, certain brands like Forest River do have terrible customer service. You might want to stay away from such brands unless you’ve found a really great fifth wheel such as the Forest River Cardinal.
What to Know Before Buying a Fifth Wheel?
I think one mistake new RVers make is not checking out other models. They tend to find one that they really like, which may actually be pretty good, but there could be a better RV for you out there. Make sure you know what your options are.
How much does a 5th wheel cost?
A new fifth wheel can go for anything between $30k and $150k. A used one is a good deal cheaper, ranging from $10k to $100k (or higher if it’s a super luxurious one). These aren’t the only costs though. Make sure to factor in maintenance, fuel, parking, insurance, and taxes.
How to Choose The Best 5th Wheel For You?
Some other ways to narrow down your choice are to consider its toughness and frequency of usage. If you’re going to be in extreme weather and rocky terrains, you’ll need something more robust. And if you’re going to be full-time living, you might want a better RV. On the other hand, if you’re only going to take it out once per month, it might not be a good idea to splurge $100k.