I ended Part I of my last post writing about space, as in living space in a 5th wheel RV. To get things in perspective I did some measuring and calculating over the weekend on this topic. To begin, the three bedroom house we live in now is small, some might say tiny. However, we do just fine in it with two kids, a dog, and two cats. I got my tape measure and calculator out, and with help from our daughter determined our living space is just 775 square feet. Then I started trying to figure out the space in the three 5th wheel floor plans we have zeroed in on. Two are from NUWA Industries, Inc. and the third from Carriage Inc. The two Hitchhiker Discover America models from NUWA are the 339 RSB (2007-2009) and 349 RSB (2009-2012). And from Carriage Inc. the Cameo 37CKSLS (2010-1012). Here are the floor plans with specifications.
We really like this Hitchhiker DA (Discover America) 339 RSB because it has a bunk slide near the bedroom. The bunks aren’t located in the best spot (kind of a privacy issue here) but as I wrote in Part I we do have to make some compromises. The DA 339 RSB is relatively light weight, good for mobility and fuel savings. There are a couple draw-backs, we don’t like the location of the kitchen and the refrigerator is small, only 8 or 10 cubic feet (I measured the one we have in our house and it is 17 cubic feet, could be a problem). Total living area, 367 square feet.
The NUWA Hitchhiker DA 349 RSB is a foot longer, and a little heavier than the DA 339 RSB. We like the location of the kitchen over the DA 339 RSB and it comes with a bigger refrigerator. This one is roomier too. But the problem is no bunks are available as an option. So we would have to get a little creative. The slide space here, as opposed to the DA 339 RSB, is a little smaller and is taken up with closet space and a cabinet. The space measures 24″ x 69″ (approximately) with the cabinet removed (speculation on our part that the cabinet can be removed, but we think it can). So the idea is we build and install bunks in that space. Total living area, 382 square feet.
Carriage, Inc. Cameo’s 37CKSLS is a really nice floor plan. Of the three 5th wheel RVs this one is the fanciest, heaviest, longest and offers the most living space (385 square feet). There is nothing we don’t like about the 37CKSLS except that bunks are not offered. Like the DA 349 RSB we would have to be creative. This time the space is where the wardrobe/washer/dryer is, next to the bedroom. The space measures 24″ x 54″, a little tight for our oldest (She would fit today but what happens in two years?). This could be a deal breaker for the Cameo 37CKSLS.
We have not actually been in any of these models, well at least I don’t think we have. Early on we visited the Cleveland RV Show and after being in too many really cheap fifth wheel RVs we walked into a Cameo, the model we did not note at the time, and what a difference. It was easy to see why the Carriage Inc. 5th wheel RVs have such a good reputation, they were so much nicer than anything else we saw that day. Then in Hershey Pennsylvania we looked at the NUWA Hitchhiker models and they were just as nice. Back then we were too new at this to make any sort of decisions or plans. Now though we are in the hunt to find all three of these models and get inside them and really take a close look (I’ll have my tape measure with me you can bet). There is a 2010 Cameo 37CKSLS in Knoxville, Tennessee, a 2008 Hitchhiker DA 339 RSB in Madera, California, and one in Chanute, Kansas, and also there, two 2012 Hitchhiker 349 RSBs. Guess we better hit the road!
So living space is probably always going to be somewhat of a difficulty for anyone living full-time in an RV, no matter what type RV or its size. It is something we think about and discuss often. We live now in a relatively small space but with one of these 5th wheel RVs we would have half the space! Sure we plan to be out and about as much as possible but there will be times, such as rainy days, when it won’t be possible to get out. And a certain amount of time will be spent indoors with homeschool. I like to say that folks can get used to anything and feel that is the case with living in the small space found in in these three 5th wheel RVs.