So choosing a particular fifth wheel trailer (manufacturer, model and floor plan) seems rather easy considering, as I said in my previous blog, there are only several manufactures that offer trailers that can hold up to full-time living. But then something else entered into the discussion, size, specifically weight and length. Our full-time odyssey is to be as mobile as possible, able to take our “home” almost anywhere we want without too many restrictions. Problem is many places would not be assessable to us if our fifth wheel were too big. For instance, I’ve done some preliminary research into RV length restrictions at various National Parks and found that few allow RVs greater than 40 feet in length at their campgrounds and most restricted RVs greater than 35 feet. The last thing we want is a fifth wheel we can’t use in the vast majority of National Parks.
Early in this process we became interested in a DRV Mobile Suites fifth wheel with a 2nd bedroom, seemed perfect for our needs. However, the particular model was 43 feet long and weighed almost 20,000 pounds! This is a great trailer for heading down to Florida and setting up camp for four months at a fancy RV park, but not for us, mobility is too important. So then came the task of finding a shorter fifth wheel with extra sleeping space for two children. Sounds simple enough but it is not. There are several manufactures offering shorter and lighter fifth wheels with space for a 2nd bedroom but they are not full-time fifth wheel trailers. Carriage’s (a full-time manufacturer) Cabo has a floor plan with a 2nd bedroom but it comes with an extra bathroom, something we don’t want. And the Cabo is 38 feet in length, a problem. At this time it appears there is just one manufacturer offering something we think could fit the bill, NUWA’s Discover America fifth wheel and their 339 RSB floor plan. What this floor plan offers is a slide with bunk beds, not exactly a 2nd bedroom but it might work. However, there is a hitch, this floor plan was offered on the 2009 model but no longer is shown going forward. We are in contact with NUWA to see if the bunk bed option is still a possibility (many manufacturers will do custom floor plans).
NUWA’s Discover America (DA) is a well-built fifth wheel, manufactured for full-time living. NUWA has been around for a long time and is a reputable company. The slide-out bunk bed I mentioned above is located in the “hallway” on the way to the back bedroom. Not exactly a perfect scenario since in reality the kids would be sleeping just several feet from us! But hey, if it is a full-time life on the road, certain inconveniences are to be expected. The 2012 DA 339 RE RSB (equivalent to the 2009 339 RSB) is 35.5 feet in length and weights 12,260 pounds (dry). These specifications would work well for us. Here is the floor plan; the bunks would be where the closet glide is shown.