Best fifth wheels for full-time living

5 Best Fifth Wheels for Full-Time Living

The fifth wheel camper combines loads of space and amenities and a level of luxury not found in most travel trailers and even large Class C motorhomes when it comes to recreational vehicles.

A fifth wheel is ideal for RV family vacations and full-time RVers looking for a comfortable living arrangement while on the road.

To learn which fifth wheel RV may be best for you, check out this guide that explains the benefits of a fifth wheel versus a travel trailer and a list of the top ten fifth-wheel campers, including all the details on features and price.

If an RV purchase is in your future, make sure you include some of the fifth wheel models below on your next trip to the RV dealership or trade show, and see for yourself why they get the highest ratings from customers!

Why a Fifth Wheel Is Better Than a Travel Trailer

Full-timing fifth-wheel

When you want a towable RV, your choice falls between a bumper-pull travel trailer and a fifth-wheel trailer.

The size and type of truck you own to tow your camping trailer may decide which RV type you’ll need to purchase, as a fifth wheel weighs much more than a travel trailer.

At the bare minimum, you’ll need a 3/4-ton truck to pull a smaller fifth wheel. However, most RVers choose a one-ton or more diesel truck with an eight-foot bed so they can safely haul any size fifth wheel to their favorite camping destinations.

While a travel trailer will nearly always cost less than a fifth wheel, they fall short in the top features below, making any camping experience much more enjoyable.

A Fifth Wheel Has More Space and Sleeping Capacity

When you enter a fifth-wheel camper, the first thing you’ll notice is the various levels instead of one single level found in a travel trailer.

A fifth wheel will have a raised living room or bedroom that overhangs the hitch at the front of the camper, as well as a rear step-up that may house the kitchen, living area, a second private bedroom, or a bunkhouse.

What makes these upper levels even more impressive is that the ceiling height, while lower than it is on the main floor, is still tall enough for most people to move about comfortably without stooping.

The roof height of a fifth wheel is very high, with many of them topping out at 13′ 6″, which is the maximum most states allow by law for road vehicles. In contrast, most travel trailers have a roof height of ten to 11 feet, with the tallest model coming in at just under 12 feet.

Fifth wheels are also long. While models start at 25 feet long, most are in the 35-45 foot range in length.

Add in anywhere from two to six slideouts, and the interior living space of a fifth wheel rivals many small apartments.

With the combination of longer length and taller ceiling height, fifth-wheel manufacturers can design models with impressive amounts of sleeping capacity. You can find models that can sleep up to 12!

Having an RV option that can fit even a large family, including bringing along a few friends, is a huge benefit for those who love camping but want the comfort and safety of a trailer versus sleeping in a tent.

If you’re a couple, having the ability to turn all the extra space inside a fifth wheel into an office, craft/hobby room, entertainment center, fitness room, or even more storage is another benefit of choosing this type of RV over a travel trailer.

A Fifth Wheel Has Plentiful Storage inside and Out

A fifth wheel has plentiful storage inside and out

The amount of storage in a fifth wheel is incredible. I have yet to see any fifth-wheel owner fill all their compartments and cabinets, even those with big families.

The rear upper level inside the camper means all that space underneath is available for pass-through basement storage compartments that can often be four feet tall inside! You just can’t find that amount of storage in any other RV, even a Class A motorcoach.

There will be plentiful cabinetry, closets, drawers, and pantries to store away all your food, clothing, camping supplies, and more on the interior.

Everywhere you look, there are upper places to stow away items, which keeps your camper more organized and allows you to pack for even extended vacations without stress.

A Fifth Wheel Has Better Towing Stability

The 5th wheel is always the winner versus a travel trailer when it comes to towing.

The hitch of a fifth wheel sits in the center of the truck bed, moving the center of gravity of the trailer forward between the truck’s rear axels, so the camper is much more stable when you tow.

Even owners of 45-foot fifth wheels claim they barely feel they are towing such a big trailer, and turning corners and parking at campsites seems much easier versus a long bumper-pull.

A Fifth Wheel Has More Residential-Style Interior Amenities

A fifth wheel trailer

I love my Class C motorhome, but nothing feels more like a home away from home than when you enter a fifth-wheel camping trailer.

Not only does the sheer size feel residential, but the style and quality of the furnishings are always better than their travel trailer counterparts.

Many kitchens come with an island or bar-top seating and a separate free-standing dining table. Living rooms will have several cushy theater-type sofas and loungers, and the master bedroom may have a king-size bed, large closets, a private bathroom, plus room for a washer and dryer.

A second full bathroom is becoming more common in large fifth wheels because manufacturers listen to their customers who find fighting for time in a single bathroom a major frustration when camping.

The appliances in the kitchen are nearly always full-size residential-style versions, along with large sinks, fancy fixtures, granite countertops, and soft-close cabinets.

Include an outdoor kitchen, entertainment center, and shower, and you gain more function and flexibility to increase your comfort at any campsite.

When you combine all of the benefits a fifth-wheel camper provides, it’s easy to see why most people consider this type of RV better than a travel trailer.

5 Best Fifth Wheels for RV Camping

The fifth wheel brands and models below rank the highest from customers for quality, styling, floorplans, amenities, value, space, and storage.

1. Keystone Montana

Length35′ – 41’4″
Height13’4″ – 13’5″
Sleeps4 – 8
Dry Weight12,367-14,345 pounds
Price$112,568 – $123,173

The Keystone Montana fifth wheel is extremely popular, with thousands sold each year for decades.

The Montana is a top seller because the line offers nine efficient floor plans, so just about anyone can find the ideal combination to suit their camping needs. In addition, prices are very reasonable considering the number of features and luxurious design that goes into each model, and the units are fairly lightweight for the size.

Floor plans have three to five slideouts to increase livable square footage while at the campsite, along with many models that have an extra half or full bathroom, so guests don’t have to wait to wash up.

The Montana is built tough, with durable aluminum framing and fiberglass exterior, and high-quality interior cabinetry and finishes by some of the most experienced RV craftspeople in the business. Annoyances like popping trim or flooring are nearly unheard of in this line of fifth wheels.

All appliances and equipment are top-of-the-line and RV-ready, so you don’t have to worry about breakdowns or malfunctions when you travel. The dual awnings operate at the push of a button, and you can add an outdoor kitchen or entertainment center for a reasonable cost.

Basement storage is abundant in all the Montana models, so there’s no problem packing bulky camping gear, sports equipment, and RV supplies for even long trips. Inside, you’ll find lower and upper cabinets everywhere you look, which means you can keep RV clutter to a minimum.

Keystone Montana Fifth Wheel Updates (Video)

2. DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites

Length36′ – 44′
Height13’2″ – 13’4″
Sleeps2 – 6
Dry Weight16,300 – 24,000 pounds
Price$119,999 – $257,338

The DRV Luxury Mobile Suites is made with the full-time RVer in mind with 16 convenient floorplans to choose from. The build of the Mobile Suites is second to none, with a triple-stacked boxed tube frame and the thickest sidewalls that are glued and screwed together for incredible strength that won’t rattle loose over time.

Rot-free floor construction with R-29 insulation and three weather barriers will keep feet comfortable through decades of camping trips. With R-16 wall and R-25 ceiling insulation, the Mobile Suites line is a four-season fifth wheel without a doubt.

The interior is wonderfully modern and crisp, with your choice of high-end finishes and materials that hold up to the luxury reputation of DRV. The kitchen offers all the features serious cooks demand, while the bathroom layouts make the most of every inch.

Each model comes with the latest technology for keeping devices charged and streaming or gaming on the entertainment centers. Outdoors, enjoy the oversized basement storage compartments with gas-lift cylinders and a large power awning for sun or rain protection.

With models offering up to six slides for maximum living space, you can fit a family easily, or a solo or couple RVer can enjoy all the extra room. In addition, the dining table has a unique setup that allows you to turn the chairs toward the built-in dual desk station for working or crafting on the go.

For towing and campsite setup, the Mobile Suites provide numerous features that make them effortless. Large 17.5″ H-rated Goodyear tires on 8-bolt rims and Kodiak disc brakes can handle heavier loads safely, and the push-button Level-Up System with industrial-grade hydraulic jacks even out your camper in seconds.

DRV Mobile Suites Fifth Wheel RV (Video)

3. Coachmen Chaparral

Length34’8″ – 42’6″
Height12’4″ – 12’6″
Sleeps2 – 8 (or more with sofabed options)
Dry Weight9,574-13,030 pounds
Price$76,406-$92,789

The Coachmen Chaparral fifth wheel line offers seven incredible floor plans that use multiple slideouts to expand the living area as well as increase sleeping capacity.

The Chapparal is so popular because of the affordable price range for such large, well-built, amenity-filled RVs. The interior is possibly the best laid-out of all the brands, with excellent traffic flow and ample storage that works for weekend and extended RV trips.

When you can push a button to level your camper or put out the awning, it makes setting up camp so much more enjoyable. The huge basement storage bays can fit bikes, a grill, camp chairs, pool toys, and so much more.

Move inside to cook meals in the gourmet kitchen, with all but one model featuring an island for more food prep, serving, or eating space. The living area offers a wide-screen TV and plenty of seating that you can switch to convertible versions for extra beds.

Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel RV (Video)

4. Grand Design Solitude

Length32’7″ – 41’5″
Height13’5″
Sleeps2 – 11
Dry Weight11,442 – 16,800 pounds
Price$122,158 – $144,311

The Grand Design Solitude 5th Wheel knows what experienced RVers want, and they deliver with this line that offers 17 super-efficient floor plans.

If you have a large family, the Solitude may be ideal as it offers several models with a bunkhouse or double bunk so everyone can have their own space to unwind after full days at the campsite. In addition, with Weather-Tek Arctic Insulation, you’ll be able to camp in any region during any month without worry.

The kitchen has residential-style appliances tons of cabinets to hold all the food and cookware, and you can pick if you want a convertible booth dinette or a free-standing table and chairs that are more comfortable for various size guests.

If you love to cook or entertain, consider the Solitude floor plans that offer bar-top seating in the kitchen area that overlooks the living space. Not only does the seating come with a view of the TV, but the tabletop provides a vast surface area to use for prepping or serving meals, something any RVer knows is hard to come by.

Outside you can relax under two separate awnings, another great feature that allows kids to have a separate outdoor space while the adults can have theirs. The storage compartments in the Solitude line are massive, whether it’s under the bed in the master or the exterior basement cargo holds.

Hitching and towing this line of fifth wheels has never felt more smooth due to the MORryde suspension and rubber pin box, which reduces bouncing and vibrations dramatically.

Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheel RV (Video)

5. Heartland RV Gravity

Length38’6″ – 42′
Height13’3″
Sleeps5 – 8
Dry Weight12,388 – 13,122 pounds
Price$98,150 – $116,094

If you love to camp with all your toys, then you must check out the Heartland RV Gravity line of toy hauler fifth wheels that are under the Thor Industries brand. This camper offers superior quality and space for gear storage and guests with all the amenities and details serious RVers require for long and short camping trips.

There are seven great floor plans in the line, and all come with a ramp door patio kit that expands your outdoor living area while remaining more private and secure so that you can allow pets or small children outside without worry.

The best part about owning a toy hauler is that you can always customize the garage space to create a bunkhouse, office, fitness, or craft room if you don’t need it for kayaks, a golf cart, ATV, or other outdoor equipment.

With several slideouts and a power queen bed that drops down in the garage, you have essentially two separate bedrooms. In addition, with two entry doors and many of the models having two bathrooms as well, you’ll never have an issue with congested foot traffic or bathroom visits.

This fifth wheel is made for fun, with tons of storage to pack away gear neatly. In addition, the interior styling of all the models does an excellent job keeping the look modern while ensuring every appliance, cabinet, and furniture piece is durable for life on the road.

The Gravity fifth-wheel line also features a locking 30-gallon fuel station to keep your toys ready for action. In addition, it comes standard with power stabilizing jacks, a JBL Hi-Fi sound system, solid-surface countertops, wireless charging ports, and frame-integrated tie-downs in the garage to secure heavy loads, so they don’t shift in transit.

Customers who switch over to the toy hauler, even those without toys, find it much easier to stow and organize all their traditional camping equipment that no other type of recreational vehicle can provide.

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Final Thoughts

A fifth wheel is the best choice for the most “residential” of any recreational vehicle when you want to camp with the ultimate in comfort and convenience.

For towing, a fifth wheel hitch sits inside the truck bed, making it much easier to maneuver in any situation on the highway, at gas stations, or inside a campground.

A fifth wheel also stands out for luxury details and tons of storage, along with upgrades in design and amenities.

If you’ve got a bigger budget and desire a towable camper, you need to put one or more of the best fifth wheel RVs above on your shopping list.

Once you walk through a fifth wheel after spending time inside a travel trailer, you’ll immediately understand why thousands of people each year choose to become fifth-wheel owners!

QUOTE:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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