Fifth Wheel Floorplans

posted in: RV | 4
Fifth Wheel Floorplans image of Grand Design RV Solitude 366DEN
This is the Grand Design Solitude 366DEN . . . a wee bit out of our budget. But oh so nice!

 

Finding the right RV is not an easy task, and neither is deciding on the right floorplan for you and your family. For us, we’re seriously looking into which fifth wheel floorplans would be most suited to our lifestyle on the road.

I think we’ve settled on the idea of a fifth wheel as being the best RV choice for us. You would think that answer solves everything, but it only opens up more questions and concerns.

If you happened to catch some of the back-and-forth discussion in Finding the Right RV, then you know we were kicking around the idea of a Class C for a bit as well. But, alas, the better choice for us will be the livable space provided with a fifth-wheel.

Now, at the forefront of our though-process, is the debate of what the right floorplan would be. One that will complement both our family and our upcoming adventures.

I know there are other questions to be addressed, but most of those already have answers:

Price: Under 20k, preferably closer to 15k.

Age: Mid 2000s or newer.

Length: Under 35’

Slides: The more, the merrier. Two would be great though.

Bunkhouse: Preferably, with an actual room as opposed to just open bunks on the side.

Bath: 1 is perfectly acceptable (more like mandatory), a half-bath would be cool but not necessary.

Butler: Yes, please!

Against our wishes, Nevaeh continues to grow and get older . . . the nerve of some children. Keeping that in mind, we would like to provide her with her own little sliver of space. Preferably in the form of a room.

Floorplan Options

The amount of floorplans out there is astounding! There really is no foreseeable end to the options and configurations available in today’s RVs.

Without compiling an exhaustive list, we’ve broken things down into the three categories that we have considered, toured, and tire-kicked.

Rear Living

Fifth Wheel Floorplan, rear living image
Rear living offers numerous options for the stowaways/guests: fold-down dinette, pullout sofa . . . the lawn.

 

RVing with two? Possibly a new family testing the waters? Weekend camper? This is what comes to mind when we have looked at some of the rear-living, fifth-wheels out there.

The concept is fairly straight forward. The front of the RV has a bedroom (usually a queen bed) and typically has the bathroom up there as well.

The back two-thirds of the rig holds the kitchen and living area, usually with two awesome captain’s chairs gently swiveling in the back.

 

Fifth Wheel Floorplan rear living floorplan a
What did I tell you? Swivel chairs! Be the envy of the RV park.

 

It seems like we almost have to throw this one right out . . . for us.

Toy Hauler

Fifth Wheel Floorplan toy hauler floorplan
Not that you can really tell with this birds-eye-view, but that power bed lowers from the ceiling, giving ample room to park the Vespas.

 

A couple Tonka trucks, maybe a skateboard or two, and quite possibly a Vespa. That is what makes toy haulers great . . . they haul toys!

One benefit of some of the newer toy haulers is that the fold-down door in the back can convert to a deck area (check it out), easily adding some much-needed square footage of outdoor living space.

Another great feature provided are the fold-down bunks that can sometimes be found in the rear garage area. This would make a great room, or could even double as an office.

 

Fifth Wheel Floorplan toy hauler floorplan a
Here’s another toy hauler example, without the beds in the back. Throw in a fold-down desk and you could really work in style.

 

The downfall for us, is two-fold. The rear garage/room is not as well insulated, making it not as comfortable as a dedicated room. Secondly, these rigs tend to exceed the length that we are looking for.

*Now, if the wife authorizes a couple Vespa purchases, then you can bet we’ll be rolling in one of these!

Bunkhouse

Fifth Wheel Floorplan bunkhouse floorplan b
Fairly common bunkhouse floorplan. This one with the additional half-bath.

 

There are so many configurations we have seen out there that offer “bunk” space in a fifth-wheel. Some will have a couple bunks stacked in a rear corner, with no discernable room to speak of, while others seem to provide a secondary living area with up to four bunks (hello quadruplets).

The attraction of a bunkhouse model for us is the ability to provide a separate room for Nevaeh in the rig. This will give her the opportunity to have her own space that can be decorated as she wishes. Plus, we’ll have our own space as well (it’s ok, you can call us selfish).

Visiting dealerships, viewing Craigslist and EBay adds, and looking at manufacturer websites has opened our eyes to the numerous bunk configurations out there.

Rear-corner Bunks– This isn’t out favorite option. If you have a couple kids, and are looking for the weekend/vacation experience, then this may be a great choice. As for long-term, it doesn’t afford the privacy we would like to offer our daughter.

 

Fifth Wheel Floorplan bunkhouse floorplan
We’re not huge fans of this floorplan, as the bunks are just stacked in the corner. The use of space does go a long way in this type of plan, as they can be found under 30′ . . . may be a good vacationer.

 

Second Room– Most often this second/bunk room is located at the rear of the rig. There is an actual door back there that leads into a smallish room with a couple bunks and some open area (think a small desk and/or dresser).

 

Fifth Wheel Floorplan bunkhouse floorplan a
Here’s a nice example: separate room in the back with a bunk above some storage, along with a fold-out sofa in the slide.
The appeal here is that Nevaeh would have her own space. We could tear out the bottom bunk, opening up even more floor space, and she could have semi-cart-blanche in regards to decorating.

 

Fifth Wheel Floorplan loft bunkroom in heartland elkridge 39MBHS.
While visiting a dealership we came across the Heartland Elkridge 39MBHS. This thing was a beauty. They switched the concept a bit and placed a second room between the kitchen and the master. Oh yeah, there’s also a loft above that secondary room.

 

The Right One

As of right now, it seems that a bunkhouse model with the actual room, most likely in the back, is the way to go. Of course . . . that could always change.

We like the rig to be as short as possible (within reason), allowing for a bit more maneuverability to (hopefully) access some off-the-beaten-path locations.

We’re also open to any great DIY projects that could turn any of the above 5ers into our “ideal for us” RV. So, if you have done a renovation of this kind, or even have a good idea, we’d love to hear from you.

For us, this is what we’ve come up with. We understand each family is different, and we’re all free to travel our own path. For us, the important thing is to get on the road, while sharing even more significant moments with each other.
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4 Responses

    • Lou

      I think we really have our sights set on a fifth-wheel, but I like the floorplan of that one . . . could be a good option if we go the TT route.

  1. Jill

    I can’t believe its this hard to find the right floor plan. We’ve been looking for a few months now. We found one that we liked a few months ago and we’re kicking ourselves for not writing down the information on it. Trying to find a 5th Wheel with a raised front kitchen and a raised front bedroom seems impossible. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Lou

      Wow, that’s a tough one. We’ve seen a few fifth-wheels with the front kitchen, which seems to be the new trend. Haven’t seen any with both a bedroom up front along with a kitchen. At there RV Show in Tampa we saw plenty sport the new front kitchen/living room/bathroom models (Open Range, Redwood, Montana, and Columbus). I can’t find anything to match what you are looking for on the interwebs, but I’ll keep trying. Maybe contact a larger RV dealership in your area to pick their brains.

      We’re really close to getting a fifth-wheel ourselves. It’s looking like a bunkhouse with a bit of floor space for our daughter, bathroom that doesn’t have to be accessed through the master, and under 35′. Those are the main boxes we have to check. We’ll keep you posted as we get closer to buying.

      Best of luck in your search.

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