In this article, I’m going to be discussing the best fifth wheel brands or manufacturers.
These are the ones that are kind of recognized as putting out the best overall RV products.
Now this article is one in a series about best brands and manufacturers of different kinds of RVs.
So here are the links to other articles I have written about Class A’s and C’s and so on. That way you can check out my recommended list of those kind of RVs too.
Table of Contents
- How I Chose The Best Fifth Wheel Brands
- Best Fifth Wheel Brands – Comparing Them
- What About Used Fifth Wheels?
- The Best Fifth Wheel Brands – 10 Years Ago
- Mid-range Brands 10 Years Ago
- Entry-level Brands 10 Years Ago
- Best Fifth Wheel Brands – New RVs
- Mid-range Brands Today
- Entry-level Brands Today
- What If The Fifth Wheel Is 10+ Years Old?
- Best Fifth Wheel Brands – What Is Quality?
How I Chose The Best Fifth Wheel Brands
Now let me start by saying that my best fifth wheel brands list here is really just an opinion. And it’s been formed by several sources of information.
Number one is from actually going through a lot of RVs. Secondly from inspecting many of them. And lastly from doing research by visiting
websites online. Such as review sites, forums, and the RV brand websites themselves.
But I also talk to a lot of RVers as well. And I like to ask them about their opinions and feedback regarding their RV.
So my opinion has been formed from all of those things. But what if my list doesn’t really match your opinions on the subject?
Well that’s okay. You’re certainly entitled to have your opinion. This is just my viewpoint on the subject. And it’s just information about fifth wheels in general. And that’s the way you can take it.
Now there are a couple of things I do want to mention before we get into the list though.
(Watch my video on this subject by clicking on the image above)
Best Fifth Wheel Brands – Comparing Them
First of all, you can’t really fairly and honestly compare high end RV fifth wheels with entry-level or low-cost fifth wheels. It just isn’t fair at all.
They’re made for two different kind of buyers and two different kind of applications. So you know the rule that you generally get what you pay for? Well, it applies here too.
So if you pay more, you should expect to have better quality, and better fit and finish. You should also expect better customer service, and all those kinds of things.
So then, I’m going to split my list up into categories. 1) Manufacturers that build for the high end. 2) For the mid-range. And 3) for the entry-level.
Also, fifth wheels are sort of made to be used by different types of buyers. So generally, fifth wheels which are on the high-end are great for full timers.
And you can actually live in those RVs comfortably on a full-time basis just fine. In the mid-range, well those are often good for snow birders or extended vacationers. They’ll definitely do fine for that.
And on the entry-level end, well those are mainly made for weekend warriors. And they’ll do fine for that application.
So that’s just a little information about who these manufacturers are actually making their product for.
What About Used Fifth Wheels?
Now, we’re also going to go into the used market in this list as well. We are not just going to be focusing on new units.
In fact, we will be going back about 10 years or so. And that way those of you that are looking for a used fifth wheel will have a little guidance on brands and manufacturers on the used market as well.
Now that we have covered all of that, let’s get into the list itself. So here we go…..
The Best Fifth Wheel Brands – 10 Years Ago
Let’s start by going back 10 years first. So we’re going to take a
look at fifth wheels that were made about 10 years ago. And see which manufacturers were turning out the best products back then.
And the first one we’re going to mention is Newmar. Now, that may
be a surprise for some of you.
Because you may be used to Newmar just building motorhomes. Well, years ago they were also a fifth wheel manufacturer.
In fact, they made fifth wheel RVs on up to 2012. So if you can get your hands on an older Newmar fifth wheel, you’re likely to get some good quality there.
Now here’s another manufacturer from 10 years ago. And that’s DRV. They used to be called Doubletree, but now they’ve just shortened it to DRV.
Let me tell you though, they make some luxury coaches of very high quality.
And there are three main models that they have put out over the years. That is Mobile Suites, Elite Suites, and a toy hauler that’s also called the Full House.
All of them are really well made too. So if you’re looking 10 years back, DRV is a great manufacturer.
Another one on that higher end is New Horizons. Now with New
Horizons, they don’t even want to be really big.
They’re just focusing mainly on building quality. In fact, you can even get a custom-built fifth wheel from them.
So if you can find one of these older higher-end fifth wheels that’s really in good shape and has been kept up well, then most likely you’re going to
have a really fine product there.
Mid-range Brands 10 Years Ago
Now how about the mid range area from 10 years ago? Well, we’re going to start with Jayco.
Jayco is a great company. And they have a very loyal following. A lot of fans of Jayco are customers that are buying their products repeatedly.
They use a lot of decent quality materials and even make use of Amish
craftsmanship. So that’s a big plus as well. So in the mid-range area Jayco is something you might want to look at.
We’re going to also add Keystone to this category. Now, Keystone
was making very good RVs generally speaking back about 10 years ago. Especially in the fifth wheel market.
Cougars and Montana’s were what their whole reputation was pretty much built on. Those units were fairly well built and they have a lot of fans out there too.
So we’re going to include Keystone in that discussion of 10 year-old mid-range fifth wheels.
I’m also going to add KZ as a manufacturer that put out a really good product too. They have a very wide selection to choose from. And they are really known for their factory support.
So if you have issues of any kind, you can get a hold of them. And the feeling is among people that own KZ products, that you’re going to get those things taken care of.
So that’s my list of good mid-range brands from 10 years ago.
Entry-level Brands 10 Years Ago
Now on the entry-level end, I’m going to mention three brands. And some are going to have some issues with these.
But let me repeat an important point here. That is that you just cannot compare the quality from a lower-cost fifth wheel with those in the mid-range and higher-end.
They are all made for a specific reason like I said. And entry-level RVs are made mainly for weekenders.
So I’m going to recommend Coachman, Forest River and Dutchmen in this category.
Now keep in mind that you’re not going to see great fit and finish from these brands. But you will get a good quality coach for the money that you pay for it. So, if you’re a weekend RVer, it might be just the thing for you.
Best Fifth Wheel Brands – New RVs
Now let’s step forward a little bit and come up to the modern day. And things have changed somewhat in the fifth wheel market.
So today on the high end I’m still going to include two fifth wheel brands that were great 10 years ago. And that is DRV and New Horizons. They’ve been going strong for a decade now.
But I’m going to add a couple more on that higher-cost tier as well. And one I’m going to add is Vanleigh.
So the family has brought that kind of experience into their fifth wheels too. In fact, their Beacon model rivals almost anything out there, even the ones DRV makes. So it’s a very good quality company.
The next one I want to mention among the newer manufacturers from today is Grand Design.
We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about this very popular company. They really have not been around that long. But boy did they catch on.
They are known for excellent customer service and well designed fifth
wheels. So we’re going to put them in that higher-end list too.
Mid-range Brands Today
Now in the mid-range, I’m going to keep a couple manufacturers from 10 years ago. We’re going to still go with Jayco. And we’re still going to put KZ in this category too.
But I cannot really recommend Keystone to be in that top layer of builders. Not in the mid-range cost category.
In my opinion, their quality has sort of fallen off in recent years. So I’m going to replace Keystone with Outdoors RV.
Outdoors RV is a smaller company, to be sure. But they are really trying to focus on quality.
And they have an extremely loyal customer group that are very vocal about them. So we’re going to put them in the mix for mid-range new fifth wheels.
Entry-level Brands Today
Now back to the entry-level fifth wheel RVs for today. And I’m going to keep two of those that I mentioned for 10 years ago.
And that is Coachman and Dutchman. But I’m not going to include Forest River again.
My feeling is that Forest River has kind of fallen off in their quality as they are approaching 2021.
So instead I’m going to insert Palomino here. And Palomino is a fine brand if you’re looking for a low-cost weekend fifth wheel. So I feel that they deserve a solid look as well.
Well, there you go. That’s my list of the best fifth wheel brands and manufacturers. From both 10 years ago and today.
But let me remind you of one major point again. And that is that all these kind of lists are very subjective. They are just based on opinions.
So you shouldn’t feel that you have to buy an RV brand that’s on my list. Or that you shouldn’t buy a brand that’s not on the list.
Really what I’ve provided for you is just information that you can use in any way you like as you’re looking at fifth wheels.
What If The Fifth Wheel Is 10+ Years Old?
Now there are a couple more things I want to talk about here at the end.
And one is about whether the RV that you’re looking at is 10 years old or older.
And if it is that old, brands don’t count nearly as much as how well the RV was maintained over the years.
So you need to be looking for a quality RV brand from that time. But also pay attention to how it has been maintained by the owners thus far.
Best Fifth Wheel Brands – What Is Quality?
Also, when it comes to new RVs, when we’re talking about quality and quality control, it’s all relative in the RV industry.
So if you compare this industry with other industries, you’ll find the quality control is not the same.
But suppose we’re talking about the best brands or the best manufacturers for just RVs. Well then, the comparison is only to other RV brands and manufacturers in this industry.
What that means is this. If you’re buying a new RV, quality control is not really where it should be in the industry.
I’m hoping to see it improve. But in the meantime, it may be a good idea for you to have that new RV inspected by a certified RV inspector.
That way you can make sure that you take care of any quality control issues before you take ownership.
Well, I hope you enjoyed what I’ve covered here. And I hope it’s been very helpful for you.
Have safe and happy travels my friends. Until next time…..