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How to Find the Perfect Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel for You

How to Find the Perfect Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel for You

Looking for a front kitchen fifth wheel? This new layout option hit the RV world a few years ago and completely changed the traditional look of fifth wheels, but they can be a little hard to find! Let’s take a closer look at these front kitchen RV floorplans, and who’s making them.

Intro to 5th Wheel Layouts

Fifth wheel RVs are towable RVs that have a raised area in front. This raised area hangs over the bed of a pickup truck while towing. The benefit of having this raised area is it adds several feet of trailer space without making the trailer longer. It also puts more weight over the rear axle of your tow truck, which overall has greater weight capacity than a bumper. This weight over the rear axle also provides a more stable towing experience.

The raised area of the fifth wheel traditionally has been reserved for the bedroom and bathroom. Steps near the entryway take you up into the bedroom, which also happens to rest over the front storage areas. Due to the tall fifth wheel ceiling, there is still plenty of room for standing in this raised space.  

Understanding 5th Wheel Kitchen Layouts

Over the years, fifth wheel RV manufacturers have played with various layout options. While most RVs have a rear living area with a centrally-located kitchen, or mid-kitchen, you will now find more layout options available. 

As you look at RVs, model numbers can help describe layouts, although manufacturers do not use a universal naming system. While these model numbers can seem meaningless, you can look for clues that will describe the general layout without having to look at a floor plan diagram. Look for the letter “K” to indicate “kitchen,” and the preceding letter can give you a hint on where it is located.

MK or CK means Mid-Kitchen or Central Kitchen. These are generally the most common kitchens and are centrally located in the middle of the RV. They traditionally share space with the dining area and the living area, although dividing features are sometimes used. They may or may not have a central counter or island. If they have an island, they may be designated as “IK” for “island kitchen.”

RK means Rear Kitchen. These rear kitchen fifth wheel models have the kitchen in the back, up against the rear wall. While rear-kitchen fifth wheels have been around for a long time, recently they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity due to the ability to create a wrap-around counter on 3 walls. 

FK means Front Kitchen. If you’re shopping for a front kitchen model, it’s usually the defining feature of the RV. And you’ll usually see “FK” in the model number. These front kitchen fifth wheels typically move the bedroom space to the rear of the RV and use the raised area for the kitchen and dining space.

Walkthrough of a Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel

Now let’s actually take a look at one of these front kitchen fifth wheels so you can visualize what we’re talking about. This was the first model RV we saw with a front kitchen. Watch our experience with the 2017 Montana 3820FK

Front Kitchen Fifthwheel Walkthrough Montana 3820FK

Pros & Cons

As you could see in the video, the front kitchen looks really cool! By elevating this common gathering space, it really changes the feel inside the RV. The light and the view out a front window is also a really cool feature. But as with all layouts, there are some things to consider with these models.

Shorter Ceiling. Having a shorter ceiling in your RV kitchen can be a bit more noticeable, as you probably spend more time (awake) in your kitchen than in your fifth wheel bedroom. Heat also rises, so this area is going to be warmer, especially when you’re cooking. 

Front Window. Not all front kitchen 5th wheels have a front-facing window, but many do. This is such a cool feature in a front kitchen fifth wheel, but you’ll also have a great view of all the bugs you hit driving down the road. Remember to scrub off the insects every time you arrive at a new destination to keep your view pristine!

Jayco North Point Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel

Three Walls & Wrap Around. Similar to the rear-kitchen models, the front kitchen fifth wheel can utilize three walls to create a cohesive kitchen space. This makes it seem a bit homier. 

Elevated & Up a Few Steps. You can be cooking and still participating in what’s going on in the living room. An elevated kitchen will give you a great view throughout the RV. Only now you’ll have a couple of extra steps to think about between the kitchen and outside. If you’re entertaining outside or just in and out of the kitchen a lot, you’ll be climbing more stairs. 

Full Height All the Way Back. Many of the front kitchen fifth wheels have full-height all the way back like a toy hauler. While this gives you much more headroom, it generally makes for a heavier RV and worse fuel economy than a sloped-roof fifth wheel.

Who Makes the Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel? Here Are All the Models We Could Find.

There are quite a few manufacturers and brands that make front kitchen fifth wheels. As with all RVs, models differ from year to year, and FK models may be discontinued.

Keystone Front Kitchen 5th Wheels

Keystone RV has at least three floor plans across their Montana and Alpine brands that are front kitchen fifth wheels. The Montana 3820K was the first model we toured back in 2017 and that was a hot layout then! Now, the front kitchen is available in the Montana 3740FK and 3741FK fifth wheel floor plans. These plans are exactly the same except the 3741FK has a residential fridge instead of a gas/electric fridge. The dinette is upfront beneath the front window and the bedroom is raised in the back with under storage.

Montana 3740FK Front kitchen fifth wheel floorplan
Montana 3740FK Front kitchen fifth wheel floorplan

Under the Alpine brand, they have the Alpine 3790FK that includes a full master suite in the rear. The kitchen has plenty of counter space, a sink that looks out the front window, and a dining table that overlooks the living room.

Keystone Alpine 3790FK Floorplan

Forest River Front Kitchen 5th Wheels

Forest River has at least 9 different front kitchen fifth wheel floorplans across 6 of their brands:

The Cardinal Limited 402FKLE has the sink up front looking out the window with a dinette overlooking the living room. 

Cardinal Limited 402FKLE

The Riverstone 39FK and 39FKTH models have a front kitchen with the fridge in front, no window, and an island sink. In the “39FKTH” model name, the “TH” means “toy hauler,” so this rear bedroom is raised and has a toy garage underneath the bed. The Riverstone 391FSK has the fridge upfront and an island range, while the Riverstone 3950FWK floorplan has the sink upfront and no island.

Riverstone 39FKTH Floorplan

The Cedar Creek Champagne 38EFK has an island sink and a front refrigerator. Two dining chairs sit at the dining table overlooking the living area with a fireplace.

Cedar Creek Champagne 38EFK Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel Floorplan
Cedar Creek Champagne 38EFK Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel Floorplan

The Sandpiper 38FKOK and Sierra 38FKOK have the same layouts, just in different colors. They have an island sink, a fridge in front, and two kitchen slide-outs. 

Sandpiper 38FKOK Floorplan

The Palomino Columbus 388FK and 388FKC both have a front fridge, two slide-outs in the kitchen, and a raised bedroom.

Jayco Front Kitchen 5th Wheel

Jayco has one front kitchen fifth wheel floorplan, the North Point 383FKWS. With this model, the sink lines up with the front window so you’ll have a view outside while washing the dishes! The dinette overlooks the living area and a second entry door accesses the hallway to the bedroom.

Heartland Front Kitchen 5th Wheels

Heartland has 3 front kitchen floor plans. 

The Bighorn 3995FK is nearly 44 feet in length and you can find some of that space in the roomy kitchen, with the sink view out the front window. 

Bighorn 3995FK front kitchen fifth wheel floorplan
Bighorn 3995FK Floorplan

The Big Country 3895FK model is laid out exactly the same and comes in about 7 inches shorter in length. 

The Landmark 365 Tucson has the booth dinette under the front window and the sink view over the living room, with a length coming in just between the Bighorn and Big Country models. 

Landmark 365 Tucson Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel Floorplan
Landmark 365 Tucson Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel Floorplan

DRV Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel

The DRV Front Kitchen Mobile Suites 41FKMB does not have a front window but instead has the fridge and pantry on the front wall. Its spacious kitchen area has an island in the middle where the sink is. The dining area overlooks the living room and the bedroom has a master bathroom. 

DRV Suites 41FKMB Front Kitchen floorplan

Is a Front Kitchen Fifth Wheel for You?

We hope that this overview has helped you figure out if a front kitchen fifth wheel will suit your RV needs. All of the aforementioned models are large fifth wheels – over 40 feet long. These are big RVs intended to facilitate luxurious RVing, which includes a spacious front kitchen. As you search for and research these models, we hope you’ll let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below! 

Standing in a front kitchen fifth wheel
Is the front kitchen fifth wheel for you? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re shopping for an RV, we know the research can be overwhelming. That’s why we helped create RV Buyer’s Bootcamp. This course will answer questions you didn’t even know you had about buying your RV and how to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

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Daniel A.

Sunday 7th of February 2021

I was in love with the Columbus 388fk with the 1492 package. Well the 2021 1492 package is the same price but missing all of the following; induction cooktop,washer and dryer, heated towel bar, wine fridge, dishwasher (really wanted that), bedroom TV sound bar, Sanicon turbo waste, and the living room stereo system went from Bose to JBL. Those are just the things I noticed because I was very interested in how much that package came with. Also washer and dryers are scarse when they were standard in the higher trims. I was disappointed that the price stayed the same but lost all of those options. I'm sure there is more examples out there. The industry seems to be keeping that quite. Also one other thing I have noticed about front kitchens, the cooktop does not always have a vent above it. I was told just open the window behind it or use the vent in the ceiling. Kinda strange.

Daniel A.

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Hi, I loved the fact you put all of the available font kitchens in one place. Our first time discovering one was when we walked into a Cedar Creek Champagne 38EFK at a local dealer. We were blown away with seeing a kitchen in the front (and the price tag) Something to consider while walking around in one, is the toe kicks on the cabinets. While walking thru the kitchen I noticed when you walk up to any of the kitchen counters your feet will hit the toe kick and it feels awkward. We are looking into purchasing a Columbus 388fk. The kitchen does not have an island which lets the cabinets move in enough that your feet fit underneath properly. Another thing to pay attention to is overhead cabinets. The Columbus 388fk has zero overhead cabinets in the kitchen. Still love the look, price, and bathroom over the Cedar Creek. We will just be placing glasses and plates in some other area. One other thing I will throw in is that for year 2021 a lot of manufactures have cut down on extras. RV's area selling faster than ever so companies are putting less inside and charging the same. I have been shocked to find so many thing missing from 2020 models to 2021 models.

Mortons on the Move

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Great points and feedback. Its the little things like that that make such a huge difference in livability. That's a crazy point about RVs losing extras in 2021. Do you have any specific examples? I would love to do some research write an article about that.

Shelley Metzger

Thursday 4th of February 2021

DO NOT BUY A FRONT KITCHEN FROM KEYTONE 3810FWFKS. WE HAVE HAD OURS FOR A YEAR AND KEYSTONE IS THE MOST HORRIBLE COMPANY TO DEAL WITH. WE HAVE AS OF TODAY STILL HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO SPEND ONE NIGHT..HAS SPENT ALL TIME AT TRAILER DR..AND AT THE TRAILER DR THERE ID THE SAME EXACT AS OURS..THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO FIX THAT ONE..KEYSTONE SHOULD BE SO ASHAMED OF HIW THEY TREAT THEIR CUSTOMERS!!

Mortons on the Move

Thursday 4th of February 2021

So sorry to hear that. But a fair warning. What is the issue you are having?

George Chinea

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Thanks for the video and article. We are considering getting a fifth wheel and the FK layout is interesting to us. We were looking at forward living area. What size truck do you have to pull your rig?

Mortons on the Move

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Excellent! We run a 1-ton dodge dually. The dually really helps with these big rigs.

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