Best Fifth Wheels for a Family of 4

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View of inside a fifth wheel for a family of four.

When you’re a family of four, you may wonder about the best RV to suit your travel lifestyle. For many families, a fifth wheel is the best choice because it offers a lot more room compared to travel trailers and motorhomes. But there are also drawbacks, like needing a heavy-duty truck to tow it. 

Today, we’re looking at the pros and cons of a fifth wheel and listing our top five best family-friendly options. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Fifth Wheel?

A fifth wheel is a towable trailer that connects to a special hitch in the rear of a truck bed rather than a bumper. Fifth wheels are usually heavier and taller than travel trailers, requiring heavier-duty trucks to tow them.

There’s a lot of weight sitting in the bed of the truck. As a result, most ½-ton trucks won’t have the payload capacity to tow fifth wheels safely.

Fifth-wheel campers have a front cap with a kingpin that slides into a hitch bolted to the truck bed. Some owners choose to use a gooseneck ball and hitch instead.

But it’s the same concept of connecting to a hitch in the truck bed. The coupler sits on top of the ball, which is attached to the truck bed, rather than slides into the hitch like the kingpin.

What Are the Advantages of a Fifth Wheel?

Fifth wheels have certain advantages over travel trailers and motorhomes. First, you tend to get the most bang for your buck with a fifth wheel. While more expensive than travel trailers, they provide more interior space with higher ceilings. Many fifth wheels have multiple slide-outs that increase the room as well.

Fifth wheels are cheaper than the majority of motorhomes. Plus, they don’t have the front cab space, which reduces the amount of interior living space. A fifth wheel is the best deal for the price you pay and the space you get.

Traveling in a tow vehicle instead of a motorhome is also safer for families. While the cab gets crash-tested and undergoes other safety tests, the rest of the motorhome doesn’t. Even when strapped in seatbelts, kids and other passengers are safer in a standard vehicle than riding in a motorhome.

Plus, you can unhook the tow vehicle and explore once you arrive at a campsite. You don’t have to take the entire motorhome with you.

Some fifth wheels are rated for full-time living. Although you may not travel extensively, these models provide luxurious features and residential amenities like hardwood cabinetry, kitchen islands, solid surface countertops, and spa-like bathrooms.

These units can feel like a true home on wheels, whether just out for a weekend camping trip or traveling for months across the country.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Fifth Wheel?

Even though there are certain advantages of owning a fifth wheel, these trailers aren’t for everyone. The biggest drawback is the need for a heavy-duty truck.

This adds to the overall expense. It’s more money upfront to purchase both a fifth wheel and a truck, as well as more money for maintenance and repairs.

Not only do you have to maintain your camper, but you also have to take care of your truck. If you have truck repairs, you won’t be able to take out your RV. If your truck takes you across the country every year, you’ll pay for typical wear and tear more often.

While there are luxurious features in a fifth wheel, there are some amenities you just won’t find anywhere else except in a motorhome. If you’re looking for top-of-the-line quality and features like heated tile flooring or sleek custom full-body paint, you’ll need to look at Class A motorhomes.

Fifth wheels are also more expensive than travel trailers. You’ll likely find more options among travel trailers than fifth wheels if you have a tight budget. You’ll be hard-pressed to find new fifth-wheel campers for under $60,000.

What Makes a Fifth Wheel Family-Friendly?

Families often opt for fifth wheels because this class of trailers has a variety of floorplans and offers the most interior space. When looking for a family-friendly option, consider the storage space — both inside and outside. Will you have enough pantry storage for a family of four? Will you have enough outdoor storage for four camping chairs and your gear?

Also, the layout can make or break your camping experience. As you walk through trailers, think about your lifestyle and needs. You want sleeping space for everyone in the family.

Would you prefer a mid-bunk room or a rear bunk room? If you have older kids, would you like a sleeper sofa rather than bunk beds? If you homeschool or work remotely, you’ll want a workspace.

You’ll also want easy access to the bathroom during travel days if you drive long distances. This won’t matter if you just camp on the weekends an hour down the road.

But if you travel 3across the country or doing a month-long summer trip, pay attention to the unit’s configuration when the slides are in. Can you put together lunch at a rest area, or is the kitchen closed off when the slides are pulled in?

Finally, the amenities of a fifth wheel that make it family-friendly include ample countertop space, a large refrigerator, plenty of seating for everyone, and an extra bathroom. Some full-time families want washer and dryer hookups so they don’t have to load up the truck and visit a laundry mat every week.

5 Best Fifth Wheels for a family of 4 for Every Budget

Below, we’ve chosen five fantastic fifth wheels for a family of four. We’ve listed them from least to most expensive, as budget often dictates the model you purchase.

Whether you choose a more entry-level Keystone Cougar or the luxurious Grand Design Solitude, all of these models will provide comfortable accommodations for everyone in your family.

1. Keystone Cougar Half Ton 29BHL

The Keystone Cougar Half Ton 29BL is an excellent option for weekend warriors who don’t want to spend more money on a 1-ton truck. It has a GVWR of 8,360 pounds, a hitch weight of 1,610 pounds, and an overall length of 33 feet 4 inches. This model is also a more affordable option with a starting price of $65,010.

But this family-friendly fifth wheel still has everything you need. There’s a tri-fold sleeper sofa for older kids who want more sleeping space. Bunks and a storage closet for the kids’ clothes and toys sit in the rear.

The L-shaped table dinette and ottoman provide ample seating for meals or card games. This Keystone Cougar is worth considering for families looking for a perfect weekend trailer.

Keep in Mind: Are you a family of six and need more space? Then you need to see these RVs!

Inside a Keystone Cougar Half Ton 29BHL.

2. Alliance Avenue 31BHS

The mid-range Alliance Avenue 31BHS has a starting price of $82,685. It measures 33 feet and 11 inches long and has a GVWR of 12,500 pounds. For drivers who don’t want to haul around a  40+ foot fifth wheel, this travel trailer provides everything you need in a smaller package. 

There are large double bunks that have enough sleeping space for the kids to invite a friend or two for the weekend. There’s also ample countertop space in this fifth wheel for meal prep and storing items like a coffee maker or Instant Pot. 

The 16-cubic-foot refrigerator will also provide plenty of room to store food for a family of four. Finally, if you enjoy boondocking, the Alliance Avenue 31BS has huge tanks to last you several days so you can enjoy being surrounded by beautiful open landscape.

Bunk beds inside an Alliance Avenue 31BHS.

3. Grand Design Reflection 324MBS

The Grand Design Reflection 324MBS has a similar starting price as the previous model at $83,186. It’s longer than the previous two units at 37 feet and has a GVWR of 13,995 pounds.

You’ll need a heavier-duty truck to tow it, but you’ll also find nicer finishes like a kitchen island, a residential refrigerator, and a huge pantry.

There’s a large rear U-shaped dinette with panoramic windows. Combine the dinette lounge with the 78-inch sofa, and there’s plenty of room for family movie or game nights. For families who homeschool or parents who work remotely, the mid-bunk room provides a designated space to work and individual sleeping areas for the kids.

Bunk beds inside a Grand Design Reflection 324MBS.

4. Jayco North Point 377RLBH

The Jayco North Point 377RLBH is a higher-end, family-friendly fifth wheel. This unit might be a good fit for families with a larger budget or who want to travel more than just a few weekends a year.

With a starting price of $142,351, it’s out of the price range of some RVers. But for families who want a larger, roomier space, the 42-foot-11-inch length and four slide-outs make this an ideal choice.

You’ll find two sofas for ample seating and a free-standing dinette for older kids who need more space. The residential fridge, large pantry, kitchen island, and overhead cabinets provide a homey feel. 

There’s also a desk in the mid-bunk room for homeschooling or working. In the front bedroom, there are washer and dryer hookups as well as a large wardrobe for parents. Finally, two large awnings provide shade to extend the living space outside.

Keep in Mind: We hate putting sheets on our RV mattress, but these Camper Bunk Sheets are perfect for oddly shaped spaces!

View of the living space inside a Jayco North Point 377RLBH.

5. Grand Design Solitude 391DL

Another Grand Design to make our list is the Solitude 391DL. This fifth wheel measures 42 feet 5 inches, has a GVWR of 16,800 pounds, and a hitch weight of 3,050 pounds. You’ll definitely need a dually to tow this beast. The MSRP for the Grand Design Solitude 391DL is $143,283.

This is the only unit on our list with two bathrooms. The rear suite has a second entrance into the bathroom and a spacious separate room instead of the typical bunk room.

This could be ideal for teenagers who want more privacy and need a larger bed than the standard RV bunk. There are two opposing slides to create a huge rear suite.

The living space also has opposing slides and residential features like a kitchen island, 20-cubic-foot refrigerator, pantry, hutch, and free-standing dinette. The front main bedroom also has washer and dryer hookups and a large wardrobe for parents.

A bedroom inside a Grand Design Solitude 391DL fifth wheel.

Is a Family-Friendly Fifth Wheel in Your Future?

If you’re a family of four, a fifth wheel is a fantastic option to provide ample space to hang out together while creating separate sleeping spaces for everyone.

If you’re uncomfortable towing a 42-footer, smaller, lighter options still have everything you need. And they’re more affordable. But if you’re looking for luxury, there are also excellent options to make you feel like your home on wheels is truly a home.

Will you be looking at a family-friendly fifth wheel soon?

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