Going camping doesn’t require sacrificing quality meals for convenient options. If fully functional kitchen space is one of your top priorities in a recreational vehicle, you have to check out these 5 amazing front kitchen fifth wheel trailers.
I personally love to cook and I can’t imagine not having a functional space to do so in my RV.
The main problem with cooking in an RV or travel trailer is that your kitchen is also the path between the living room and the bedroom or bathroom.
That’s not the case with a front kitchen fifth wheel, and it’s probably one of the largest benefits of this design.
Today, I’ll highlight and review five of my favorite front kitchen 5th wheel floor plans and provide some tips for choosing the best design for your family and cooking preferences.
Best Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels
The good news about front kitchen fifth wheel trailers is that you can’t go wrong with any of them. That being said, you can use the basic specifications we’ve highlighted for each model to help you start narrowing down your options.
From there, we’ll dive into some of my favorite features about these trailers and their front kitchen layouts!
The kitchen in this Jayco North Point trailer is elevated above the main level of the floor plan and features a front window.
That window features an automotive-style windshield design so that it’s just as durable as the windshield on your truck. It also lets more natural light into your kitchen during the day and gives you a great view outside while you’re cooking.
In terms of appliances, this kitchen includes a two-door, residential refrigerator and a stainless steel range with a glass cover for easy cleaning.
You’ll also be able to enjoy a convection microwave, a stainless steel kitchen sink, and solid surface countertops throughout.
Sticking with interior features, this fifth wheel’s central vacuum system makes it easy to keep things clean without having to find extra space to store a portable vacuum.
I am personally a huge lover of the quick-recover water heater in this rig, which can produce up to 20 gallons of hot water per hour.
You’ll also be able to remain comfortable for four-season living in this rig.
The underbelly is fully enclosed and heated so that you don’t have to worry about your pipes freezing on cold nights. It also features double-layer fiberglass insulation and a massive 40,000 BTU central furnace.
The Keystone Alpine fifth wheel features a total of four slide-outs and also boasts an elevated front kitchen that allows you to watch over the comings-and-goings in your living room while preparing meals in a more protected kitchen space.
This kitchen boasts a patent-pending front windshield design that opens things up and allows you to see what the kids are doing outside while you’re working in the kitchen.
It also boasts a large, 18-cubic-foot residential refrigerator, a convection microwave, and solid surface countertops throughout.
It also boasts bar seating and a legless dinette that seats four.
The dual-bowl stainless steel sink makes it easy to clean dishes without making a mess and it also comes with a solid surface sink cover that maximizes the amount of usable counter space when you’re preparing meals.
Some of my other favorite interior features in this 5th wheel include heated floors, abundant insulation for four-season camping, a 40-inch electric fireplace with 5,000 BTU output, and a central vacuum system.
Outside, this trailer boasts an additional outdoor kitchen and entertainment center, outdoor shower, a powered awning, 200-cubic-feet of heated basement storage, and preparations for a roof-mounted solar panel installation.
The kitchen in the Forest River Sierra is all about counter space. It boasts some of the largest countertops in the industry so that you don’t have to scatter your food items across your dining table and/or living room when you’re preparing dinner (if you’ve lived in an RV before, you know what I mean).
In addition to an abundance of counter space, it also boasts a 22-cubic-foot stainless steel refrigerator, a 30-inch convection microwave, a stainless steel sink, and soft shut drawers and cabinets that won’t wake up the kids when you’re trying to enjoy your morning coffee in peace.
Inside the rest of this fifth wheel trailer, there’s enough sleeping space for up to six people. That includes a king-sized bed in the rear master bedroom and two tri-fold hide-a-bed sofas in the living room.
Outside, a 20-foot awning covers both of the entry doors and creates a generous amount of protected outdoor living space.
There’s also an exterior kitchen with another small refrigerator, sink, and microwave, as well as a bumper-mounted gas grill for your barbecue cook-outs.
There are a total of six slide-outs on this fifth wheel, which creates a huge amount of interior living space.
Plus, there’s additional theater and bar seating in the living room and kitchen, respectively. So everyone will have plenty of seating choices when it’s time to sit down to enjoy a show on the 50-inch flat-screen LED HD television in this rig.
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The upgraded kitchen appliance package in the Heartland Big Country fifth wheel makes it feel as close to cooking in a residential kitchen as you’ll find.
It boasts a residential range with three burners and an oven below, a 30-inch microwave, a french door-style refrigerator, a full-size pantry, and a recessed farm-style sink.
There’s also a small bar area with two chairs that overlooks the larger living area below the kitchen.
LED lighting throughout makes it easy to cook without being hard on your eyes and solid surface countertops give the whole kitchen a smooth, clean appearance.
The living room area at the bottom of the steps to the kitchen includes two slide-outs with hide-a-bed sofas built into each. It also includes theater seating and an entertainment system for watching your favorite sports or television shows.
The main bedroom boasts a king-sized bed with storage underneath and a washer/dryer prep area.
In terms of heating and cooling, this trailer boasts a 40,000 BTU central furnace and two 15,000 BTU air conditioning units. It also features a vacuum bonded main floor and upper deck for improved insulation in colder weather.
The Palomino Columbus is the most affordable front kitchen 5th wheel trailer on our list, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty to offer.
For starters, the kitchen features a large, french door-style refrigerator with 20-cubic-feet of storage space. On either side of the fridge, prep stations give you plenty of counter space for meal prep.
You’ll also find the kitchen equipped with a large, single-bowl stainless steel sink.
As a quick aside, I’m a huge fan of single bowl RV sinks if you can find them!
It also includes a full-size pull-out pantry, a two-burner gas range with an oven below, plenty of overhead cabinet storage, and bar seating with two residential dinette chairs.
In the master bedroom, rest easy on the king-sized bed and enjoy private access to the bathroom.
You won’t have to go into the main hallway to use the restroom in the middle of the night like you would with some other fifth wheel floor plans.
Plus, including the optional stackable washer and dry in the corner of the bedroom will eliminate regular laundromat visits while you’re traveling.
Outside this fifth wheel, an 18’6” awning provides covered lounge space for hot or cool days. It’s also equipped with a six-point hydraulic leveling system, a tire pressure monitoring system, and an extra quiet air conditioning system with 15,000 BTU and 13,500 BTU units, respectively.
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Tips For Picking A Front Kitchen 5th Wheel
Now it’s time to dive into the factors you can use to pick the best floor plan for your camping preferences and lifestyle.
Keep in mind that you might prioritize these factors in a slightly different order than I’ve laid them out.
Nevertheless, you can use them as a model for easier side-by-side comparisons of similar front kitchen fifth wheel trailers.
Trailer Weight and Your Truck’s Towing Capacity
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your truck can tow your fifth wheel.
Keep in mind that the weights we’ve listed below each of these models are ‘unloaded weights’.
That refers to the base weight of the trailer before you’ve added any non-standard features or loaded in your recreation gear, food, dishware, and personal belongings.
It’s easy to estimate that you’ll add a minimum of 2,000 additional pounds to the unloaded weight of a fifth wheel trailer before all is said and done.
Safer estimates suggest erring on the side of allowing for at least 3,000 pounds of additional weight when considering how much towing capacity you need.
Cutting it too close can put your family’s health and the health of your fifth wheel investment in jeopardy.
As you can see, it requires a larger truck to pull one of these front kitchen fifth wheels safely.
If you don’t have one (or you aren’t planning on buying one), then this may not be the best recreational vehicle for you.
Want to try before you buy? Rent a Camper Trailer: Top Tips and $40 Off!
Sleeping Capacity and Layout
Next, check into the sleeping capacity of the different floor plans you’re interested in.
To be quite honest, most of these fifth wheels boast very similar floor plans that include a master bedroom and multiple fold-out or slide-out sofa beds in the living room.
If you’re shopping for a 5th wheel for you and your significant other, you may not care that your secondary sleeping areas are all in one place.
If you plan on sharing this space with kids or other travelers, however, a communal sleeping space in the living room might not be your preference.
In addition, pay close attention to whether there’s a private entrance from your master bedroom into the bathroom.
In my opinion, this is a must-have privacy feature if you ever invite family or friends to stay with you in your 5th wheel overnight.
Need two bathrooms? Check out The Top 9 Travel Trailers with Two Bathrooms
Number of Slide-Outs
All of the front kitchen fifth wheels we’ve highlighted come with at least one slide-out.
In fact, most of them include multiple and they are strategically placed to make the interior of your trailer feel more spacious.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide whether a model with an extra slide-out (or two) is worth a slightly larger investment.
More slide-outs equates to additional interior living space and, coming from a former full-time RVer, that can sometimes make a massive difference.
If you plan on living in your front kitchen fifth wheel full-time, I’d recommend opting for more slide-outs. On the other hand, if you’ll use your rig seasonally, I’d say you can get away with fewer.
The size and design of the underneath storage space on a fifth wheel trailer should also be considered.
You want to have enough space for all of your recreation gear and you’ll want to be able to get to everything relatively easily.
There’s nothing worse than having to take everything out of a compartment to get to one item that’s shoved all the way in the back.
That’s why I’d recommend trailers with full-width storage compartments that can be accessed from either side of the rig. If there’s no central divider, it’s easier to get to items that you placed further into the compartment last fall (for example).
Some of these rigs also include a forward storage compartment that can be accessed from underneath the trailer hitch as well as the sides.
When it comes to ease of access, I think this storage design is the way to go.
Need some help organizing your RV? Check this out: 16 Space-Saving RV Kitchen Storage Ideas You Can’t Miss
One of the best parts about owning and traveling in a 5th wheel is that you get to see new places. While these rigs are all designed to make life inside as comfortable as possible, some of them also boast some pretty neat exterior features.
For starters, check out the size of the awning on the passenger side of the trailer.
With a larger awning, you’ll have more protected lounge space outside your rig. In addition, you can decide whether you want an outdoor entertainment center for watching shows or listening to music while you’re lounging outside.
Finally, some of the best fifth wheel trailers include exterior kitchens that allow you to finish meal prep while you’re still part of the outside party.
On a nice warm summer evening, it’s always kind of a bummer when someone (or two people) have to leave the festivities behind to retreat inside and begin food prep (even if you get to do so in an awesome front kitchen!).
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You also get to choose which interior amenities are most important to you and your family. Look at the size and design of the entertainment center, for starters, as well as the layout of the seating area in the living room.
Most of these fifth wheels include theater seating, which will be perfect for you if your family loves sports or movies.
If you’re more of a board game family, however, you’ll want to find a model that comes with some kind of folding table or dinette so that you can set up a comfortable place for your lively game nights.
In addition, full-time RVers (and even folks that sometimes take short trips during the colder months of the year) should consider choosing a rig with an electric fireplace in the living area.
While most of these fireplaces don’t put off a huge amount of heat (your rig has a central furnace for that), they provide the kind of ambiance that makes you feel more comfortable on a cold winter night.
Front Window Or No Front Window?
Another quick feature to consider is whether or not you want a kitchen with a front window.
This will greatly increase the amount of natural light in your kitchen during the daytime hours. It also makes it easier to keep an eye on the kids if they are playing in front of your fifth wheel while you’re cooking.
The downside of a front window is that you’ll have to clean it very often.
Just like the front grill on any RV, it’s going to become littered with squashed bugs while you’re moving your rig from destination to destination.
Looking for something lighter? Check out The 8 Best Travel Trailers Under 6000 lbs
Positives And Negatives Of Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels
When you start to compare trailers with a front kitchen layout to their counterparts, a few important themes begin to emerge.
So let’s provide a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of these trailers.
Lower Kitchen Ceiling
This is usually viewed as a negative because most RVers spend a lot of time in their kitchen.
If you are a particularly tall individual, you might not be as comfortable moving around in a front kitchen fifth wheel as you would be in a model with middle or rear kitchen design.
Because of their lower ceilings, the kitchen areas in these trailers also tend to heat up more when you are cooking.
Heat rises and there’s less space above your head for that heat to go. So, if you already live in (or plan to travel in) especially hot or humid climates, a front kitchen 5th wheel might not be your best option.
Wrap Around Cooking Space
The biggest positive of this style of fifth wheel is that the kitchen usually boats wrap around countertops that maximize the space for cooking and food prep.
This also makes the kitchen feel a bit more self-contained instead of blending into the living room or dining room areas of your trailer.
It also makes things easier for two people to be cooking together without constantly bumping into one another.
This is a major problem with many middle kitchen fifth wheels and it’s why many couples end up trading off nights where just one person is responsible for cooking and the other handles cleaning up.
Front Window Visibility
Now, we need to begin with a disclaimer that not all 5th wheels with a front kitchen boast a window that looks out of the front of the rig.
Those that do, however, provide extra visibility that other fifth wheels don’t have. In a way, they become similar to the best class A RV brands with their large front windows.
Having a window that allows you to look out the front of your rig while you’re cooking is great for keeping an eye on the kids or monitoring incoming weather.
You’ll just need to spend a little extra time after each trip scrubbing the insects off the window if you want to keep enjoying that view!
Another positive of this fifth wheel floor plan is that you’ll be able to enjoy full-height ceilings from the steps that lead up to your kitchen all the way to the back of your rig.
This means that your master bedroom and bathroom will have much more headroom than in other 5th wheels with middle or rear kitchens.
At the end of the day, it comes down to whether you prefer more headroom in your kitchen or your bedroom and bathroom.
That also means more headroom in the shower (which is always tricky for taller folks) if you choose a front kitchen 5th wheel.
The final advantage of all fifth wheels is that you retain the ability to set them up at a campground or RV resort and then detach your truck.
This makes it easier to spend several months living in your trailer every summer and it’s also an ideal set up for full-time living because you won’t have to move your rig every time you need groceries or cleaning supplies from town.
Even the best small RVs for full-time living don’t provide this freedom.
They might be able to fit into more campgrounds with smaller spaces and access more remote locations, but you won’t have the freedom of a living space that can be separated from your everyday vehicle if that’s what you desire.
Frequently Asked Questions About Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels
If you’re new to the world of 5th wheels, you are probably realizing they require a few unique considerations that you don’t have to worry about with an RV or even most travel trailers.
So I thought I’d take a few moments to address some common FAQs about this style of camping trailer.
How much should I care about freshwater and wastewater holding tank capacities?
The more you intend to spend time off-grid, the higher you’ll want your holding tank capacities to be.
If you know you’ll always be plugged into city water and a sewer connection at a campground or RV park, holding tank capacities will be less of a concern.
Those that are interested in remote camping, however, should choose a front kitchen 5th wheel with higher freshwater, greywater, and black water tank capacities.
What are BTUs and why do they matter?
The term ‘BTU’ stands for ‘British Thermal Units’.
In RVs, travel trailers, and 5th wheels, you’ll commonly see this term of measurement associated with your largest appliances, such as the furnace and air conditioning units.
In many ways, a higher BTU rating is a sign of a more powerful appliance.
A furnace with a higher BTU rating should be better at heating your rig than a furnace with a lower rating. The same is true for air conditioning units, but on the cooling side.
That being said, there are other factors that play into the true efficacy of these 5th wheel appliances. For a more thorough breakdown, I recommend checking out this article.
Is there an easy way to know I’d be looking at a front kitchen 5th wheel without seeing an image of the floor plan?
Actually, yes! If you notice from the models I reviewed above, they all contain the letters ‘FK’ at some point in the model number.
Other fifth wheels with kitchens in the middle or rear part of the floor plan will have model numbers with ‘MK’ (middle kitchen) or ‘RK’ (rear kitchen).
Knowing this should help you pick out front kitchen fifth wheels from a list of trailers if you don’t have easy access to images of the floor plan.
Conclusion On The Best Front Kitchen Fifth Wheels
Choosing a front kitchen 5th wheel will give you the freedom to cook delicious meals without having your fellow trailer inhabitants constantly passing through your cooking space.
While we recommend checking out our full article on the best 5th wheel toy haulers for full-time living, these front kitchen trailers can also be great for full-time RVers.
I hope you’ve found the reviews and insights I’ve provided in this guide useful. As always, I welcome your feedback if you have personal experience with any of these 5th wheels and I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming recreational travels!
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