Best Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels – 2021 Top Picks

| Last Updated: June 5, 2021

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Due to the comfort they bring to travel, front kitchen fifth wheels are becoming increasingly popular. The addition of a kitchen to the trailer truly lets you experience the homely comfort while you are on the go. 

The kitchens are well-equipped. They feature countertop spaces, pantry storage, refrigerator, and stoves. A dinette is also present in the layout.

There are numerous options available to choose from with different designs, features, and layouts. This article discusses some of the best front kitchen fifth wheels available today. Have a look!

Photo credit: rvingplanet.com

Are All Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels The Same?

No, all front kitchen fifth wheels are not the same. The difference is majorly on the basis of size, layout, and the interior of the wheeler. Some have a larger space with a minimalistic layout, while others pack a lot of features in a small space. 

The interior design differs on the basis of the number of rooms, their positioning, and overall structuring and positioning of the furniture. Some fifth wheels are intended for use by fewer people and have limited space and furniture, while others can house a large number of people. Hence, in order to get the best deal, you must be fully aware of your requirements.

Benefits of Investing in a Fifth Wheel With a Front Kitchen

Fifth wheels with front kitchen are arguably one of the best RV types. They have plenty of features and can fit the needs of a wide variety of users. The main benefits you can reap from a fifth wheel with a front kitchen are as follows:

Privacy

With the kitchen at the front, that means the bedroom is moved to the back, allowing for privacy for couples with children or when inviting guests over.  Being able to put guests in a private space is a nice option to have.

Palomino Columbus 388FK (Source)

Higher Ceilings

This benefit has less to do with the placement of the kitchen and the upside for the other rooms. With a kitchen in the front, the bathroom and bedroom are moved to the back, allowing for extra headroom with the taller ceilings making you feel less boxed in. 

More storage

Owing to their tall interior, fifth wheels have storage space to offer. Usually, there is a large storage compartment under the floor of the RV and an additional storage area at the front. You can easily store your supplies and gear for the trip. Tents, food, luggage, etc., fit fine, and do not crowd the insides of the fifth wheel. With the kitchen at the front, your supplies are at the forefront of the vehicle for ease of access. 

Feel of Home

This arrangement makes a fifth wheel feel more open and spacious akin to living in your own home or apartment. It is less boxy and more of a functional space you can enjoy together. 

Why Did These Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels Make Our List?

When picking the best models of the front kitchen fifth wheel, we were looking for certain factors. The models that made our list feature factors like enough water storage, towing stability, and easy reversing that impart undeniable utility and convenience of use.

Heartland North Trail (Source)

Stable towing

We all know that an RV is as safe as its ease of towing. An unstable RV with inefficient brakes as well as a flinging RV are both equally dangerous and difficult to tow. 

Fifth wheels with a front kitchen having a heavyweight are pinned right over the axle of a heavy-duty truck. Hence, the connection is not only strong but also stable. 

However, all the fifth wheels on our list have stable overhead connections with the truck, allowing them to move fluidly behind the truck, following its exact motion. The presence of a direct connection instead of an intermediate hinge greatly adds to the overall towing stability and lowers the chances of the two vehicles crashing or the fifth wheel dangling behind the truck.

Large water storage capacity

This goes for both clean and waste water. Our featured fifth wheels come with plenty of water storage space in large tanks. Most have separate tanks for fresh, grey, and black water. Hence, these models can be used for road trips and camping, or other long-route adventures.

Quick backing out

Often, when driving down unknown paths, we are not sure whether we would come across a dead-end or if the road would continue. With RVs, drivers need to be extra careful in planning their route since backing or reversing it could be difficult. 

Due to their small towing setup, they need more space to be turned around; otherwise, they need to be backed out separately after disconnecting the hinge. 

However, in all of our picks, the direct and overhead connection between the fifth wheel and the truck makes it very easy to back out or reverse. All the driver has to do is reverse the truck, and the fifth wheel follows the motion, unlike larger motor houses for which large space is needed to turn the driving vehicle around so that the RV can follow.

Review of the Front Kitchen 5th Wheels

For camping, cross-country expeditions, and intercity trips, front kitchen fifth wheels are popularly used. With such a vast market and plenty of options to choose from, it might get confusing to decide upon one option. A review of some of the best front kitchen fifth wheels might help ease the decision. For this purpose, this section reviews the top picks we chose based on function and layout.

Best Overall:
Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel

Pros

  • Large water storage capacity
  • Includes shower and entertainment center
  • Very spacious with a well-designed interior
  • Has the option to select between a king or queen-sized bed
  • Partitioned areas with sleeping, sitting, and kitchen areas divided

Cons

  • Only one layout available in the model
  • Few small windows allow little natural light inside

Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Specs

GVWR: 16500lbs

Dry Weight: 13700 lbs

Hitch Weight (Dry): 2915 lbs

Exterior Length: 42’2”

Exterior Height: 43’5”

Interior Height: 106-7/8”

Fresh water capacity: 75 gallons

Gray water capacity: 37 gallons

Black water capacity: 37 gallons

Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Floor Plan

Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Layout

Only one layout option is available for this model; however, it is very well designed. Different areas are divided for ease of use. The sleeping area has a bed, a wardrobe, and a toilet. Next to it is the sitting area with an entertainment center and comfortable tri-fold sofas.

The kitchen area lies next to the sitting area. It has a fridge, microwave, cabinets, and a cooking range. An L-shaped dinette is also added to this space. The advantage of such divisions is that it allows for organization. Plus, it allows you to rest in peace as well. You won’t be disturbed in your sleep by the sounds from the kitchen, which is a huge advantage for such small spaces.

Who Is The Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Best For?

This model would work best for long road trips. Routes that have fewer stopovers do not provide the option of frequent refilling or restocking. For this reason, the 75-gallon capacity of freshwater can suffice a family of four to five for three to four days.

Moreover, designated pantry space and a refrigerator also help with stocking enough food to avoid the need for frequent stopovers. This fifth wheel would be very suitable for a medium-sized family or a group of four to five friends.

Popular Features

Some of this fifth wheel's popular features are its well-equipped interior, double awning, and a couple of options available for both bed size and fridge size selection. Inside the RV, you will find a TV, a fully functional shower, wardrobes, and dressers. This allows the home-like organization of your luggage and prevents cluttering.

The kitchen, too, is very nicely equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, cooking range, and designated pantry space. Additionally, there is enough countertop space available to run multiple things at the same time. Lastly, depending upon your need, you can either choose between a king or a queen-sized bed as well as between a smaller and a larger fridge.

Runner-up:
Palomino Columbus 388FK

Pros

  • Very well-equipped interior with a modern look
  • Comes installed with a full cooking range and a separate microwave
  • Two stair steps between each section separating one from the other
  • Could offer a queen or king-sized bed based on the buyer’s preference
  • Dinette positioned at a height to have an unrestricted view of the television

Cons

  • Only one entrance is present in the layout
  • Very small windows increase dependence on electric lights

Palomino Columbus 388FK Specs

GVWR: 16709lbs

Dry Weight:

Hitch Weight (Dry): 2350lbs

Exterior Length: 41’2”

Exterior Height: 13’6”

Interior Height:

Fresh water capacity: 79.00 gallons

Gray water capacity:

Black water capacity: 39.00 gallons

Palomino Columbus 388FK Floor Plan

Palomino Columbus 388FK Layout

Palomino understands that the buyer wants to have a homely experience, and it does a lot to deliver it. This fifth wheel is one of the best equipped among our picks. It could have a king or queen-sized bed as the buyer wants, but that’s not all. The bedroom has a proper linen washer area that also includes removable drying racks for maximum space optimization.

A large area for the wardrobe, along with an additional shelf, is present along the wall. The bathroom is second to none as well. It has a complete vanity with two washer sinks and a glass-enclosed showering area facilitated with a shower seat.

The entertainment room has two sofas and a large screen. The screen is visible from the dinette inside the kitchen, too, so that you don’t have to bring your food to the sitting room to enjoy the TV. Lastly, the kitchen has a pull-out pantry, prep station, good counter space, and a full cooking range. All of these factors combined make for a very well-managed layout.

Who Is The Palomino Columbus 388FK Best For?

The model offers a very luxurious space while you travel. Everything is built and placed to match the needs of those who want unquestioned comfort in their RV. This fifth wheel is best for a small family of two to three but may be able to accommodate up to four people if the sofas are used for sleeping too.

Popular Features

In the kitchen, the Columbus features soft close cabinets and drawers to make your trip more enjoyable. The solid surface countertops also increase the longevity and homey feel to the space. 

The 5000 BTU fireplace provides plenty of warmth and comfort when traveling in cooler temperatures. You can easily relax on the theater seats with USB charging for all your must-have devices. Another convenience feature is the tankless water heater which means you don't have a full water tank and never have to worry about running out of hot water. 

Best for the Money:
Keystone RV Cougar 367FLS

Pros

  • Spacious and open design
  • Linen washer and dryer included
  • Very large water carrying capacity
  • Sleep sofas added to cater to more people
  • Unobstructed basement pass-through storage under the floor

Cons

  • Toilet cuts into the size of the room
  • Small countertop space in the kitchen

Keystone RV Cougar 367FLS Specs

GVWR: 11100 lbs

Dry Weight:

Hitch Weight (Dry): 2455 lbs

Exterior Length: 39’4”

Exterior Height: 12’5”

Interior Height:

Fresh water capacity: 81 gallons

Gray water capacity: 76 gallons

Black water capacity: 31 gallons

Keystone RV Cougar 367FLS Floor Plan

Keystone RV Cougar 367FLS Layout

With quite a spacious interior, this fifth wheel could be designed according to the user’s needs, based on where they plan to go. Beds, sleeping sofas, an entertainment center, and a fully functional kitchen are the basic features, but you can upgrade the space with any of the six packages available.

Based on your need, you can get a more robust A/C, Wi-Fi connectivity, or design updates like glazed hardwood, etc. In either case, Cougar wants to give users the best experience. Moreover, a 20” awning is included in all designs for outdoor activities. A 70”x80” king-sized bed along with two sleep sofas are enough to cater to quite a number of people.

Who Is The Keystone RV Cougar 367FLS Best For?

A larger group of around eight people would find this fifth wheel suitable for their use. After that, depending on what they prefer, they can get customized interiors suitable for their adventure. Be it camping, luxury travel, or road trip in style, Cougar has buyers covered.

The water capacity is enough to serve around eight people, and so are the bedding arrangements. A king-sized bed could be shared between three people, while two double-seated sleeping sofas can take care of the rest.

Popular Features

Cougar has given quite some consideration to the attention to detail in this model. The resulting design provides maximum customer satisfaction and user comfort. Things like a linen washer and dryer, an 80+ gallon of fresh water capacity, and underfloor storage are some of the most popular features in this fifth wheel model.

When outside the RV, you can extend the awning and even use the optional free-standing dinette to eat your meals out in the open. Now, you can enjoy your trips in style, convenience, and comfort inside as well as outside.

Editor's Pick:
Forest River Sierra 38FKOK

Pros

  • Two kitchens: one interior and one exterior
  • Exterior swivel grill for BBQs or grilled food
  • Linoleum flooring is sturdy and easy to clean
  • A lot of storage with overhead cabinets and pass-through basement storage
  • Large kitchen countertop space allows multiple people to use the kitchen at the same time

Cons

  • No A/C or heating systems included
  • Few windows limit the natural light entry and increase dependency on electricity

Forest River Sierra 38FKOK Specs

GVWR: 15823 lbs

Dry Weight: 12823 lbs

Hitch Weight (Dry): 2256 lbs

Exterior Length: 41’9”

Exterior Height: 13’5”

Interior Height:

Fresh water capacity: 50 gallons

Gray water capacity: 134 gallons

Black water capacity: 52 gallons

Forest River Sierra 38FKOK Floor Plan

Forest River Sierra 38FKOK Layout

This model by Forest River is quite similar in layout to our first pick, except for a few differences. It also has the same three divisions of bedroom, living room, and the kitchen positioned respectively from back to front. But sofas can be turned into beds and are placed in outward extensions of the interior wall.

Moreover, the sink of the kitchen is installed on the island of the kitchen rather than on the side, leaving more space for kitchen countertops. There is also an addition of an exterior kitchen and a buffet cabinet. Safe to say, the outward extensions that house different furniture and appliances greatly enhance the space inside.

Who Is The Forest River Sierra 38FKOK Best For?

Up to six people will easily live in this fifth wheel. Those who want an adventure but still want the feel of home inside their RV will especially appreciate the sectioned areas of the fifth wheel. If you like cooking outside surrounded by nature’s views, then the additional exterior kitchen too would serve you well.

Popular Features

Who doesn’t enjoy the utility of an exterior kitchen? Being able to cook out in the open and enjoy the weather is one of the most pleasant experiences you can get on a vacation. This fifth wheel has an exterior kitchen equipped with a stove, refrigerator, microwave, and even an entertainment center that adds to the fun and increases space.

But that’s not all; there is tons of space in this RV, which is enough to house the luggage of six people and supplies for the trip. Two entry doors make access easy and also allow for cross ventilation of air.

Honorable Mention:
Heartland North Trail

Pros

  • Multiple floor plans with varying features
  • Interior accent walls for added style and ambiance
  • Dual ducted ACs, DVD players, TV antennas, etc. included
  • Strong aluminum frame construction with a fiberglass skin
  • Hidden storage space in the entertainment center for valuables

Cons

  • Water capacity is not very large
  • Rubber for roof material is not the sturdiest option

Heartland North Trail Specs

GVWR: 6900 lbs

Dry Weight: 5400 lbs

Hitch Weight (Dry): 550 lbs

Exterior Length: 27’11’

Exterior Height: 11’4”

Interior Height: 8’4”

Fresh water capacity: 52 gallons

Gray water capacity: 40 gallons

Black water capacity:40 gallons

Heartland North Trail Floor Plan

Heartland North Trail Layout

Numerous different models with varying layouts are available in the North Trail series by Heartland. You can utilize the space however you want by selecting from the large variety. From multiple beds to the inclusion of sofas and chairs, the options are plenty. You can extend the kitchen or get models with more floor space.

Options like a dinette, additional pantry space, and open entertainment centers are widely available. A bedroom, kitchen, and an entertainment center are the shared feature among all layouts. Standard features also include a TV prep, exterior shower, pull-out kitchen faucet, spare tire, etc.

Who Is The Heartland North Trail Best For?

If the right model is selected, then a fifth wheel can be found for every use from the North Trail series. With a housing capacity of up to more than nine people, these RVs are built to protect against temperature changes, be used for long trips, and move through varying terrains.

Whether you are going on RV camping, a cross-country trip, or are simply interested in experiencing a trip in a fifth wheel, you can find a suitable layout that can act as your travel home.

Popular Features

The overall framing and construction of the RV are quite dependable with an aluminum frame and fiberglass skin. The AC and furnace can keep the temperature inside the RV as you want, while the thick walls provide insulation.

The option of more than one bed provides comfort for all and makes good use of space, depending on the group’s needs. Moreover, it is equipped with entertainment options like a TV, antenna, DVD player, AM/FM, etc.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel?

A few things, if kept in mind when deciding which front kitchen fifth wheel is right for you, can help with the decision making. It will also ensure that you get the best deal for your buck and that all your needs are covered by the model you select. 

Number of people

When going on a trip, whether solo or with friends or family, you want maximum comfort. A space that falls short to house everyone soon becomes frustrating. Hence, always match the carrying capacity of the fifth wheel with the number of people you intend to share it with. The sleeping spaces such as beds or sleeping sofas must be enough in number for all users.

Storage space

Some travelers are heavy packers, while others are light. However, for traveling in an RV, you need more than just personal luggage. Food and supplies for the trip are also included in the luggage you carry. Therefore, to have a clutter-free interior, you must ensure that enough storage space for your personal belongings as well as supplies for the trip is present in the fifth wheel. 

A larger group of people will require more space. Also, the closets and cabinets should be enough in number to house all your luggage so that nothing is left on the floor or on the tables with the chance of breaking upon encountering a bump on the road.

Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel (Source)

Enough water carrying capacity

Nobody wants their RV to run out of water in the middle of nowhere. It completely disrupts the washing and cleaning process, making it very difficult to sustain living in the fifth wheel. Enough water carrying capacity is a key feature that all buyers must take into accounts. This not only depends upon the number of users but also on the frequency of use and number of stopovers that offer refills along the route. 

If you are traveling in a large group on a route with scarce refilling stations, then buy an RV with large water carrying capacity. Black and grey water tanks are equally important as freshwater ones.

Common 5th Wheel Kitchen In Front Issues

Despite the extreme utility and convenience offered by a fifth wheel kitchen in front, some common problems are associated with it. It is better to know about these problems beforehand to avoid any inconvenience in the future.

Loosening nuts and bolts

Mostly, the nuts and bolts used in the fifth wheels that hold different parts like the lights, sliding panels, showers, etc., are not tight or safe-locked. They are simply screwed in, which means they loosen up as a result of constant vibrations produced by moving on the road. 

If the nuts or bolts come out, the objects can drop and even break. Hence, make sure that you check these nuts before every ride or regularly. If you plan to use the fifth wheel for a long trip, invest in a model with screws locked tight in place.

Storage compartment under the floor

The pass-through storage present under the interior floor may be lying next to the heat duct. In case of improper insulation, your luggage or supplies might get damaged due to overheating. To counter that, you can replace the wall separating the two with an insulated material that does not transfer the heat from the ducts to the storage.

Jack-knifing damage

A fifth wheel offers easier turning with a wider angle compared to a bumper-mount trailer. But, with an inexperienced driver, the smallest of mistakes can result in huge losses. 

In case the driver jackknifes the trailer against a surface, the impact will cause the trailer to bump into your vehicle. This could prove quite dangerous for the driver and destructive for both the RV and the towing vehicle. Hence, only experienced drivers must tow the fifth wheel.

Comparison Overview

Exploring the differences and similarities between different brands and types of fifth wheels helps to understand what feature is better and which vehicle is more suited for us. Thus, here we compare two of the renowned brands and the front kitchen against the rear kitchen in fifth wheels.

Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel (Source)

Jayco vs Keystone

Both of these are leading brands in front kitchen fifth wheels. Their designs have an intelligent layout with all the basic needs covered. 

Similarities

  • You can choose either a king or a queen-sized bed in either.

  • Both brands offer entertainment centers and sofas for relaxing and unwinding inside.

  • Both provide very spacious layouts for more comfortable settling.

Differences

  • Jayco usually gives more countertop space than Keynote.

  • A clear division between bedroom area, sitting area, and kitchen area is seen in Jayco’s design, while in Keystone, all compartments co-exist in an open space.

  • Keystone offers six different packages to choose from for RV upgrade with appliances and luxury items, etc. Jayco has just one package.

5th Wheel With Front Kitchen vs Rear Kitchen

Fifth wheels differ on the basis of the position of the kitchen in the layout. As the name suggests, the kitchen lies in the front of the RV in the front kitchen and comes right after the towing vehicle. In rear kitchen wheels, the kitchen is situated back in the RV.

Palomino Columbus 388FK (Source)

Similarities

Both the layouts seclude the kitchen either to the front or the back to allow an uninterrupted flow of work.

Usually, the living room with the sofas and the entertainment centers lie in the middle of both the layouts.

Dinette is included in the kitchen area in the rear, as well as, front kitchen fifth wheels.

Differences

In rear-kitchen fifth wheels, you don’t get the big window in your bedroom or the living room and miss out on the chance of enjoying the views and scenery from the rooms.

Front kitchens feel the impact of bumps, and sudden stops more severely since they are situated right after the vehicle. This results in the rattling of utensils and might also lead to earlier loosening of nuts and bolts in the kitchen.

Conclusion

The addition of a kitchen to an RV enhances the utility of the vehicle. Front kitchen layouts make efficient use of space by secluding the kitchen so that not everyone is in the range of boiling waters and hot pans. It is especially useful for families and groups with children and pets. Before investing in a front kitchen fifth wheel, make sure that the model fulfills your needs, and provides comfort.

People Also Ask

This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions about front kitchen fifth wheels. This way, our readers will be more aware of the vehicle's different features and hence end up making an informed decision when buying a fifth wheel RV.

Forest River Sierra 38FKOK (Source)

Are Front Living Fifth Wheels More Expensive?

Front living fifth wheels are generally more expensive than other RV types. This is mainly because they offer a complete home experience and are also more securely attached to the towing vehicle. A secure connection ensures stable towing as well. 

Also, this type of RV is designed for permanent residence or long period travel trips. Therefore, they use the highest quality material. Even if they cost more, the investment is worth the value.

Is Forest River a Good Brand For 5th Wheels?

Yes, Forest River is among the top-tier brands dealing in fifth wheels. They have a range of different models with added features like an exterior kitchen or a swivel grill, which isn’t common among other brands. Forest River is among those brands that ensure not only comfortable living inside but also fun and utility in the exterior design.

How Much Does a Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel Cost?

Depending upon the size, interior, and water carrying capacity, the cost of front kitchen fifth wheels varies. The average expense for a normal-sized fifth wheel is around $35,000. Smaller fifth wheels with fewer utilities can cost around $20,000, while high-end fifth wheels with specialized structures and additional kitchens or bedrooms can cause up to $50,000.

Are Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels Considered Luxury 5th Wheels?

Front kitchen fifth wheels are designed to feel luxurious. The kitchen's positioning up front keeps it out of everybody’s way and allows for peaceful working. It also leaves the end of the RV to be utilized either as the living room or the bedroom. Both are great options and provide a luxurious feel with the big back window showing beautiful views and open scenery. 



My husband and I live a life on the road so we figured no better way to share our journey than through a blog! While traveling place to place as RV noobies, we quickly realized how often we were in need of RV accessories and supplies. This led us to launch RV Expertise and sharing our top picks.