Shopping for a fifth wheel can be both exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. There are tons of different layouts. Bunkhouses, front room living, and Toy Haulers just to name a few. Then there’s an endless amount of brands as well. We’ve been RVing for a year and a half now and continue to see different companies.
When it comes to choosing a layout, the best one depends on your family and how you plan to travel. What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another family. However, some questions you can ask yourself to help narrow your choices down are how fast and where does your family plan to stay? If you plan on moving rather fast and staying in National Parks, you’ll probably want to choose a rig on the smaller side. It will make traveling easier. Plus, you’ll get into more National parks. Now if you’re planning on moving slower and staying at RV resorts. You might want to chose something on the larger side. Another thing to think about is which room do you currently use the most in your home? Does your family do a lot of cooking or watch more movies together? Chances are those activities will stay the same in your RV. If you are in you’re kitchen more than your living room, you might want to make sure the kitchen in your rig will accommodate your families needs.
“Investment In Travel Is An Investment In Yourself”
Once you’ve figured out your preferred floor plan, it’s time to do your research. I’m talking hours and hours of research. Search the internet, talk to the different sales man, go to an RV show, join an RV forum, read loads of reviews, watch different RV Vlogs on YouTube, and if you happen to know someone already living in an RV, ask them a million questions. And after your done doing all of that I’d consider the following.
1) Does the warranty cover Full-time RVers?
When shopping for your RV, make sure the manufacturer’s warranty covers full-time RVers. Many companies will void your warranty if they find out you’re staying in it for 6 months or longer. They don’t want to deal with the added wear and tear that comes along with living in your rig. To me, this is a sign of low-quality. I would much rather put money toward a company that truly stands behind their product.
2) Is it a four seasons rig?
A four seasons rig can be lived in during all seasons. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying somewhere with freezing temperatures or in the heat of the desert. It can withstand the temperature. When you’re living in your RV full-time it needs to be able to withstand all types of temperatures. It’s also nice when you can’t feel the wind blowing while inside your RV.
3) Is the quality phenomenal?
When you walk into any fifth wheel chances are it’s going to be very pleasing to the eye. Companies are great at making their products look good on the outside, however, they tend to cut corners on the more hidden things. I’d suggest bringing a flashlight and checking the details before making the purchase. Are the counters one solid piece? What about the shower? Are the stairs aluminum or steel. Is the underbelly of your rig heated? Also be sure to check out the seems of the walls, the quality of your faucets. At first, these things may not seem like a big deal, but you need to remember it’s going to be going down the bumpy roads at 70 MPH and if the quality isn’t there it’s going to fall apart fast!
After doing our research and touring several different fifth wheels. Our family chose the 2016 357 bunkhouse reflection by Grand Design. You can take a peek inside by clicking here. This rig has been great for us this past year and in our opinion the best bang for your buck. However, there are several other options that other families love and are popular among full-timers. I have listed them below.
1) Grand Design Reflection
2) Forest River RV Blue Ridge
3) Keystone Montana
4) Coachman RV Brookstone
5) Palomino Columbus
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any additional questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.