Buyer’s Guide: Fifth-Wheels Big Enough for the Whole Family

Have: A big family that likes to go camping. Need: A lightweight fifth-wheel with room to spare.

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Camping World/Keystone

fifth-wheel trailers for families

Photo Credit: Forest River

Forest River Arctic Wolf

Bring the Whole Pack

Forest River knows its fifth-wheels: The colossal manufacturer turns out a couple of dozen brands of them in a gazillion floor plans. The Arctic Wolf is the company’s lightweight series, and its 287BH model sleeps ten between a queen bed, a pair of double bunks, a trifold couch, and a converted dinette. When it isn’t a bed, the dinette is oversized and U-shaped, with room for a crew, and feeding them is simpler with an outdoor and an indoor kitchen—the latter has a walk-in pantry and full residential fridge. MSRP starts at $46,995 for the 2024 model.

Pro: Walkaround bed; nice electric fireplace.

Con: Interior is on the industrial side.

Exterior Length: 35 ‘2″
Exterior Width: 8 ‘
Exterior Height: 13 ‘2″
GVWR: 10,395 lbs
Dry Weight: 8,368 lbs
Hitch Weight: 1,325 lbs
Freshwater Tank: 81 gal
Gray Tank: 70 gal
Black Tank: 35 gal

fifth-wheel trailers for familiesv

Photo Credit: Keystone

Keystone Cougar Sport

Triple Threat

An even lighter option that doesn’t skimp on features, the 2700BH floorplan was a 2023 addition to the long-running Cougar line. It can tow behind a half-ton but still offer room for ten, with a queen up front, a sleeper sofa, and a triple-decker double bunk in the rear (although you lose some exterior-access storage when using the bottom bunk). A single slide-out widens the living area and the kitchen, which is full of Furrion appliances. MSRP starts at $47,235 for the 2024 model.

Pro: Impressive cabinet space in kitchen and bedroom.

Con: Smallish tanks for a family rig.

Exterior Length: 32′ 3″
Exterior Width: 8 ‘
Exterior Height: 12’ 7″
GVWR: 9,500 lbs
Dry Weight: 7,580 lbs
Hitch Weight: 1,390 lbs
Freshwater Tank: 54 gal
Gray Tank: 60 gal
Black Tank: 30 gal

fifth-wheel trailers for families

Photo Credit: KZ RV

KZ Durango Half-Ton

Touch of Class

Skewing swankier, the Durango Half-Ton’s D286BHD floorplan sleeps eight with a queen bedroom, two queen bunks, and a hide-a-bed sofa. The latter’s in a slide-out, as is the U-dinette, and the living space feels roomy when that’s extended. Nice touches include lavish basement storage, composite sidewalls, a porcelain toilet, an outdoor kitchen, a 40-inch smart TV, and a closet prepped for a washer-dryer combo unit. Big full-timer energy. MSRP starts at $59,995 for the 2024 model.

Pro: Nice hardware throughout; options like theater seating and a fireplace.

Con: Some models have a standard pellet smoker but not the D286BHD.

Exterior Length: 3 3’7″
Exterior Width: 8 ‘
Exterior Height: 12’ 5″
GVWR: 10,500 lbs
Dry Weight: 7,670 lbs
Hitch Weight: 1,580 lbs
Freshwater Tank: 55 gal
Gray Tank: 90 gal
Black Tank: 50 gal

Bigger Truck! Give Me More…


fifth-wheel trailers for families

Photo Credit: Jayco

Room to Haul

Jayco Seismic

The big garage on the 405 model (it’s 11.5 feet long) has serious room for toys (GVWR is 16,995 pounds without them). Drop the electric-lift queen bed, though, and it’s a spacious bunkhouse. Comfortably sleeps nine, with a second bathroom and washer/dryer prep. MSRP starts at $110,918 for the 2024 model.

fifth-wheel trailers for families

Photo Credit: Highland Ridge

Room to Move

Highland Ridge Open Range

At 43’8″, the 395BHS model accommodates a second bathroom, a kitchen with an island, a pair of recliners alongside a big couch, and a primary bedroom with a desk, dresser, and wardrobe. Tips the scales at 16,250 pounds GVWR. MSRP starts at $97,350 for the 2024 model.

fifth-wheel trailers for families

Photo Credit: Grand Design

Luxe Features

Grand Design Solitude

The 391DL model drips: two bedrooms (one lofted), two full baths, washer/dryer, and dishwasher prep. Sleeps eight comfortably, with five slides and a mess of upscale details and amenities: hardwood cabinets, solid-surface counters, and enclosed undercarriage. At 18,000 pounds GVWR, you’ll need some towing capacity. MSRP starts at $140,323 for the 2024 model.

Let Things Slide

If you’re driving a half-ton truck of recent vintage, odds are it has a bed on the shorter side, not more than 6.5 feet. This can bring your trailer’s nose uncomfortably close to your cab’s back window—shatteringly close when you’re taking tight corners. Solution: an automatic sliding hitch, like those made by PullRite, Reese, or Demco. As the truck starts a sharp turn, the hitch head glides backward on a track along its base—away from your unsuspecting kids in the crew cab—then slides forward again once you’ve straightened things out.

This article originally appeared in Wildsam magazine. For more Wildsam content, sign up for our newsletter.

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