Living in a good-quality fifth wheel is like living in a small cozy apartment, but when the cold weather hits, it can get uncomfortably cold. That's when the best cold weather 5th wheel trailers play their ace.
If you intend to live year round, or at the very least use it during the cold winter temperatures up north, not all RVs cut the mustard. In this blog post, we have taken what we believe to be the best cold weather fifth wheel trailers that are designed to keep you comfortable, especially when the temperature hits sub-zero.
As well as reviewing different cold weather 5th wheel trailers, we look at what makes them perfect for the cold months, while comparing them against other RVs. We've also included a tips and hacks section to ensure you make it through the winter more comfortably than you might otherwise.
We've also taken all the questions we regularly get from our followers and added and FAQ section dedicated to everything cold weather 5th wheels.
Best Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailers: Keep Comfortable Year-Round
What Makes a 5th Wheel Great for Cold Weather?
You might be wondering what some of the top features are that make a fifth wheel ideal for the cold weather. The stand out feature is the incredible insulation system that these RVs have to offer, giving you the best of both luxury and comfort. Here’s why you should consider getting a cold weather 5th wheel trailer.
All-Around Extra Insulation and Temperature Control
Cold-weather fifth wheel walls showcase multiple layers of high-density insulation, moisture barrier, thermal barrier, etc. This is incorporated not only into the walls but also the roof and the floor. This is further enhanced by an efficient heating system, a key feature for traveling during the colder times of the year.
Extra Protection Through Insulated Pipe and Water Tanks
When you intend to use your vehicle for journeying in colder climates, you need to prevent the pipes of the RV from freezing. Cold weather fifth wheel trailers offer superior pipe and water tank insulation, which makes them the ideal choice. They also help stopping the pipes from freezing over, and ultimately offer for a comfortable living experience.
Having a cold weather fifth wheel with incredible storage options makes RVing much easier in the cold weather. Having plenty of storage will give you more room for the extra fleece blankets.
Double and Triple-Paned Windows
Cold weather fifth wheel trailers boast double and triple-paned windows, which are an excellent feature to have because they trap gas like argon between them for improved insulation. This is exactly what you need when you’re RVing in extremely cold climates.
Review of the Best 5th Wheels for Cold Weather
Let us now jump right into the reviews of some of the best cold weather fifth wheels available in the market as of yet. We’ve mentioned all the important details, so you can make your pick easily.
Best Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailer Overall:
Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel
357MDOK 2021 Eagle Fifth Wheels Specs
GVWR: 14,995 lbs
Dry Weight: 13,030 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 2,415 lbs
Exterior Length: 41.92 ft. (503 in.)
Exterior Height: 13 ft. (156 in.)
Interior Height: 8.58 ft. (103 in.)
Fresh water capacity: 74.0 gal
Gray water capacity: 87.0 gal
Black water capacity: 50.0 gal
357MDOK 2021 Eagle Fifth Wheel Layout
This premium fifth-wheel trailer was made with two things in mind: comfort and quality. It boasts a spacious bedroom with a queen-size bed with further space for more people in the bunk area and loft. The 357MDOK features two kitchens, one inside and an “industry-best” outside one. So the cook won’t have to give up on any camping experience cooking while everyone else is enjoying the outdoors.
Moreover, It has a bathroom that’s big enough to have a separate shower area and a tub. It also has a lot of storage space, which is perfect for all the winter clothes and quilts you’ll need. The 357MDOK has pass-through storage with slam-latch™ baggage doors and also a decent space under the bed.
Who is the 357MDOK 2021 Eagle Fifth Wheels Best For?
The 357MDOK 2021 Eagle is one of the most versatile fifth-wheel trailers on the market. It is perfect for every occasion, be it a romantic getaway with your spouse or a trip with your family and friends. You can easily live in it full-time with the luxury features, or you can just use it for a quick adventure alone out in the beautiful countryside.
ClimateSheild is one of the most innovative features this trailer has, making it a great cold weather 5th wheel trailer. It has amazing all-around insulation and a silent A/C system. Furthermore, it has a great entertainment system, a dryer/washer area, and much more.
Keep Comfortable Year-round:
DRV Luxury Suites Mobile Suites
Mobile Suites 44 Nashville Specs
GVWR: 24,000 lbs.
Dry Weight: 19,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight (Dry): 19,800 Lbs.
Exterior Length: 44.17 ft. (530 in.)
Exterior Height: 8 ft. (96 in.)
Fresh water capacity: 100.0 gal
Gray water capacity: 75.0 gal
Black water capacity: 50.0 gal
Mobile Suites 44 Nashville Layout
DRV Luxury Suites mobile suites are spacious and comfortable cold-weather fifth-wheel trailers. They’re the best option for adventurers who are going to have a lot of people over. They have a great master bedroom that features a king-size bed with a spacious attached bathroom. Overall, they can easily sleep up to six people with space for more if you’re creative enough.
Moving onto some specifics, It has another small washroom without a shower area as well. Moreover, you are provided with a lot of space for storage use in cupboards, closets, under the bed, and external storage as well.
This trailer is built with extreme temperatures in mind, which is why it features high-density and EcoBatt insulation partnered with the great temperature control system.
Who is the Mobile Suites 44 Nashville Best For?
Mobile Suites 44 Nashville is a great option if you are looking for a lot of space for actually living full-time. It can hold a lot of your things for a long period without it ever getting in your way. This is mainly why we think it is perfect for you and your family.
This cold wether fifth wheel trailer boasts a multitude of features, with the most famous being a great kitchen and internal heating system with external storage. It also boasts heavy-duty 17.5" Goodyear tires, commercial e-z Lube hubs, Kodiak automotive disc brakes, and one-touch auto-leveling. Other minor features that are a bonus are LED lighting, keyless entry door, great water system, solar prep, etc.
Best Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailer for the Money:
Forest River Arctic Wolf
Arctic Wolf 3880SUITE Specs
GVWR: 14,005 lbs
Dry Weight: 10,803 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 2,005 lbs
Exterior Length: 43' 2"
Exterior Height: 13' 2"
Fresh water capacity: 49.0 gal
Gray water capacity: 70.0 gal
Black water capacity: 35.0 gal
Arctic Wolf 3880SUITE Layout
The Arctic Wolf 3880SUITE is a great modern-styled fifth-wheel trailer. It has an amazing and spacious master bedroom with a king-size bed, multiple shelves, closet, dresser, and shoe storage. There's a bathroom with a decent-sized shower area, as well. And, the bunk beds are great feature the kids especially would love.
It offers a great living space with heated theater seats and a fireplace. On cold winter nights, it is a great place where a lot of people can enjoy movies together. Storage is another thing that will never be an issue as you will get it inside and out. The pass-through storage is especially huge, even compared to other RVs in the industry.
It features a great functional kitchen where you can cook your delicious meals without the need to go out in the cold to get food.
Who is the Arctic Wolf 3880SUITE Best For?
We think the 3880SUITE Forest River Arctic Wolf is best for families mainly due to the huge space you are provided, and especially because of the bunk beds, which we all know, the kids love. The living area is another thing which is great for families with children as you can spend time together there.
This cold weather fifth wheel trailer giant is jam-packed with amazing features and functionalities, from things like one-touch auto-leveling, motion-sensing lighting, pet safety technology to a huge amount of storage space. It also features an amazing 20-feet awning made of durable and strong material. Lastly, it has an outside shower with both cold and hot water.
Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailer from Coachmen:
GVWR: 14,500 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 2,310 lbs
Exterior Length: 41’9”
Exterior Height: 12’6”
Fresh Water Capacity: 48 gal
Gray Water Capacity: 90 gal
Black Water Capacity: 45 gal
The 381RD fifth-wheel trailer features a bedroom with a queen-size bed, dryer, washer, wardrobe, and dresser. It also has a spacious bathroom, which has a good shower area with a decent-sized tub.
If you want a home-cooked meal on a cold winter night, you can use the kitchen, which boasts all the essentials. These include a refrigerator, pantry, stove, and a residential pantry as well. The kitchen also boasts a lot of storage space in the cabinets.
As well as this, the 381RD has an incredible living area with two tri-fold sofas and a great theatre sofa. This means movie nights would be just as amazing as cinema viewing. All in all, this model has a lot of space for long trips, full-time living, and all your winter clothes & quilts.
Who is the 381RD Best For?
The Coachmen Chaparral 381RD is a great cold-weather fifth-wheel trailer with so much more to offer than just a shelter from the cold. It's made for you to live and hang out as you would in your apartment suite. This is great to have family and friends over or even to invite other RV-ers you meet in RV parks.
The RV also features energy-efficient LED interior lighting used throughout the vehicle, as well as AM/FM/CD/DVD player with Bluetooth. When talking about the exterior, users will be able to enjoy vacuum-bonded and aluminum-framed side walls as well as UV and corrosion resistant TPO roof.
Northwood Fox Mountain
Fox Mountain 235RLS Specs
GVWR: 12000 lbs
Dry Weight: 6831 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 1930 lbs
Exterior Length: 27’10”
Exterior Height: 12’9”
Fresh water capacity: 59 gal
Gray water capacity: 42 gal
Black water capacity: 36 gal
Fox Mountain 235RLS Layout
The Fox Mountain 235RLS has one bedroom with a 60”x80” bed and nightstands on both sides. The bedroom also features multiple wards, a separate shower, and a separate toilet. Moreover, the dinette turns into a sleeping area, increasing the sleeping capacity to six people.
This model also features a decent kitchen with all the essentials such as a refrigerator, microwave, stove, pantry, and plenty of countertop space etc. The aesthetics give it a feel of a small apartment with wooden accents. It even boasts a little overhead ceiling fan.
The living area is also quite spacious and is quite customizable as well in terms of the arrangement. It has storage space available throughout the RV.
Who is Fox Mountain 235RLS Best For?
This isn’t the most feature-packed model, but it is one of the most functional and comfortable trailers out there. It is a great little winter getaway for couples and even small families. It has space for up to six people and a cozy little living space to enjoy late-night movies.
Some features that must be mentioned are one-piece, corona-treated continuous fiberglass, a cathedral-arched ceiling, and an Equa-Flex axle suspension system. There are a semi-automatic winterization/bypass system and a 13.5m BTU air conditioner with condensation-resistant ducting.
Users can also enjoy contemporary interior styling with solid surface kitchen countertops and fabric shade (day/night) window treatments.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
Buying a fifth wheel for the cold weather can never be an impulse buy. Just as you base your decision on whether the company offers the best features, you need to consider some crucial aspects as well.
The main reason for investing in a fifth wheel is so that it can be used in cold weather. So, you need to analyze the insulation of the models you’re considering. There are models specially designed to withstand the colder temperatures below freezing, snowy situations, and icy winds, owing to their excellent insulation system.
Additional Storage for Winter Clothes and Food
Since you’ll be using your RV for traveling in the winter, you’ll be needing extra space in terms of storage. This will help keeping your thick woolen sweaters, long winter boots, or cozy winter jackets, and, of course, your extra thick blankets for the night as well.
In addition, more storage for food will be required. So, an RV that promises to take care of all these needs will be the perfect one for the cold weather.
Venting and Heating System
Like the insulation system, your RV's venting and heating system need to be exceptional if you want to survive the colder weather. There are plenty of models that offer good heating systems, but that’s not enough. You need one that offers the best venting and heating so you can live comfortably without having to put on layer after layer of clothing just to stay warm.
Each type of RV comes with its own set of features, specifications, and perks, but not all of them are suitable for the extreme cold. Let’s compare a few variants to better understand the main idea behind these.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel for Cold Weather
Travel trailers for cold weather differ from 5th wheel trailers in the following ways:
Fifth wheels vary greatly in size as compared to travel trailers. Travel trailers range in length from 12-35 feet, although you can get larger trailers. With 5th wheels' lengths ranging from 25-45 feet, you’ll be committing yourself to a huge rig. So, you’ll also be able to enjoy a fireplace in the cold weather.
The windows of travel trailers are usually single-paned because manufacturers don’t consider the ‘cold’ factor during fabrication. On the other hand, cold weather fifth wheel trailers boast high-quality double or triple-paned windows that trap gases in between the layers for superior insulation.
Fifth wheels incorporate thick walls that feature some kind of registered technology, like vacuum-bonded, aluminum-framed, high-density block foam insulation, and are laminated and climate shield protected to maintain the temperature inside and block the cold.
On the contrary, travel trailers only incorporate standard walls that aren't ideal for year-round travel, especially the winter months.
All cold weather fifth wheels come pre-installed with an efficient cold weather protection package that ensures a higher and more efficient insulation system. Travel trailers, on the other hand, don't boast any similar characteristics. If you want to weatherproof your travel trailer, you will have to add additional insulation tools yourself.
4 Season 5th Wheel vs Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailer
Four-season and cold weather fifth wheels are similar in many regards. Here are a few important aspects pertaining to both.
Both four-season and cold weather fifth wheel trailers are designed to offer superior insulation, and will help keep the warmth in and the cold out during the winter months.
RVs that are marketed as cold weather fifth wheels tend to have thin roofs to facilitate more radiation during a sunny day. On the other hand, four-season fifth wheels tend to have comparatively thicker roofs to avoid inconvenience during hot summer days.
Tips and Tricks: How to Prepare Your 5th Wheel for a Winter Adventure
If you’re about to jump into your RV for a memorable adventure in the cold winter season, remember these tips and tricks. They’ll be sure to make your journey a lot more pleasant and comfortable.
The bay includes freshwater tanks, pumps, filters, etc., that need to be protected from the frost. One tip is to insulate the bay door since it serves as the weakest link because it’s usually not insulated. Once the door has been insulated, the bay area should be very well protected.
You can also put a space heater in the basement area near the water pumps and filters.
The area underneath the RV is where the vehicle has all of its valves to the black tanks and grey tanks in order to empty them. If this area freezes, it can cause serious problems. In order to provide insulation to this area, you can either use a heat cable or an insulation sleeve and wrap it around the valves to insulate it. You can even protect these pipes by putting a skirt around the entire rig of the RV.
Some portions of your RV might not get as much airflow, or the duct might be too small for the area it’s trying to heat up. If that's the case, you can use an electric, oil, or a vent-free propane heater for a comfortable and warm living space.
Insulating the Vents
When you insulate the bay door, pop the same insulation material into the vents in the bedrooms or elsewhere. This is because condensation and losing heat through those vents can be fairly difficult to manage in colder environments. So, this is one way to combat that problem. Make sure to open the vent when you take a shower to let some of the humidity out.
Close Your Shades
If you don't have direct sunlight coming in from your window, you should close the shades. Putting layers between these will just help the insulation process, making it more effective.
For a more detailed explanation of what we just described, refer to the following video.
People Also Ask - Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailers FAQs
Still got some unanswered questions when it comes to cold weather fifth wheel trailers? Fear not, here are some FAQs we regularly get...
What is the Arctic Package on a 5th Wheel?
Arctic package programs are designed to improve the thermal efficiency of RVs. They do so by enhancing the insulation systems installed in the RV. An arctic package involves the use of an R+heat shield radiant barrier coupled with mass insulation.
What Are the Benefits of RV Skirting in Cold Weather?
RV skirting creates a little insulated space in the bottom of the RV to protect the parts present inside, including pipes and tanks, from freezing. It essentially seals off the underside from the outside temperature and creates its own little pocket of air insulation to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. The air inside can be warmed up, and it won’t dissipate.
Do I Need an Insulated Underbelly?
The underbelly of your RV contains necessary parts and components that need to be protected. It is a big source of heat problem because it is exposed to the cold weather, and failure to protect it from the cold temperature can have detrimental impacts on the functioning of your RV.
By insinuating the underbelly, you can significantly reduce the power needs of the vehicle. Furthermore, it will reduce the pressure on your heating system to maintain the air temperature.
What Types of RV Windows Improve Thermal Efficiency?
Recreational vehicle dual pane windows improve the overall thermal efficiency of the RV. They are quieter, more comfortable, and also cleaner.
How Much Wind Can a 5th Wheel Withstand?
RVs can successfully withstand winds under 53MPH. The figure is suited for an 18-foot travel trailer, so a fifth wheel can withstand even higher wind speeds.
How to Warm Hydraulics on a 5th Wheel in The Cold Weather
You can warm the hydraulics on a fifth wheel by insulating them. Insulation can be achieved by special insulated sleeves or insulation wires.
Do You Need a Cold Weather Package on Fifth Wheel?
Cold weather packages are a good thing to have since they significantly impact your RV's thermal efficiency. So, you and your RV will be in a better position to tackle the colder climates.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a 5th Wheel Cold Weather Package?
You can create your own cold-weather package by adding whatever insulation products you feel are necessary. Generally, the package might cost you around $100 to $200.
Should You Leave Your Outside Drains Open During Freezing Weather While Camping in a Fifth Wheel?
No, absolutely not. This can freeze the RV pipes, which can cause serious problems while camping. The outside portion of the drains should be wrapped with insulation material, like with foam wrapped in pipe insulation tape
Cold Weather 5th Wheel Trailers for Year-Round Travel
So, there you have it: some of the best cold weather 5th wheel trailers and all the information you need to make aan informed decision.
Remember, not all RV types are designed for the extreme cold, and a 5th wheel is certainly best for this. Whichever one you go for, make sure it has plenty of storage space and boasts all the thermal walls, roof and underbelly necessary.
We hope that after going through this article, you’ll be able to make a more well-informed decision. And also, enjoy all future endeavors to the best of your RV’s capabilities.