After almost five years in our 44’ triple axle fifth wheel, it was time to downsize. We weren’t very savvy RV shoppers the first time around, so this go round we took our time to be sure we knew what we wanted and how much we were prepared to spend.
Our first step in the process was to develop a list of criteria. Our “must have” list consisted of the following:
- 30’ or less
- Great insulation
- Adequate water tanks for boondocking
- Walk around bed
The Arctic Fox 27-5L Fifth Wheel made by Northwood Manufacturing met all of these needs and had several other bonus features. Although we weren’t limiting ourselves to another fifth wheel, it certainly made things easier as we already have a truck with a hitch.
With an exterior length of 29’5” (with the hitch), this fifth wheel is a great size! We wanted our new RV to be 30’ or less to allow ourselves more flexibility in where we can camp. While we still love RV resorts, we want to be able to mix things up with national and state parks too. In fact, right after making this purchase, I booked 4 national park campgrounds for this fall!
We were so cold this winter in the southwest. Our previous RV just wasn’t insulated well and we went through a lot of propane. So many of the places we want to go are very crowded in the summer, but get cool very early in the fall. If we had a better insulated rig, we would have more flexibility in the spring and fall.
Northwood does a great job of this on their RVs. The Arctic Fox has:
- Four Seasons Insulation with R-18 Ceiling
- R-15 Reflective Foil Insulation in Roof / Slides
- Heated Holding Tanks
- Double Pane Windows
Adequate Water Tanks
Now that we’ve done some boondocking, we’d like to have the ability to continue without having to run into town to dump tanks and fill fresh. What is “adequate” is different for everyone, but we based our criteria on our last 9-day boondocking stint where we used about 66 gallons of fresh water. Our new fifth wheel has:
- Fresh Water Capacity: 82 gallons
- Two Gray Water Tanks: 67/35 gallons
- Black Water Tank: 65 gallons
Walk Around Bed
The older we get, the more important this is to us. I’m a little clumsy and I don’t want to fall off the bed trying to climb over Sean to get up in the middle of the night. Not only does this RV have a walk around bed, it has two doors leading into the bathroom: one on each side of the bed. As a bonus, each side of the bed has its own nightstand, independent reading light, and two storage cabinets.
Other Things We Love
In addition to meeting our needs, there were some other terrific features about the Arctic Fox 27-5L that we love.
Solar Ready – It was already wired for solar and actually had one panel. While we planned to modify it to add an additional 680 watts, we thought it would be easier than starting from scratch like we did with our last RV. That actually did not turn out as we thought. The wiring was not adequate for the additional solar and we had to do more than we expected. Click here to see our new 680 watt solar set up.
Rear Kitchen – Many fifth wheels are rear living, mid-kitchen. I love how the kitchen is in the rear of the RV with windows around the sink. It is very light! And although an island kitchen was tempting, the lack of one makes the space feel huge!
Accessibility with Slides In – We were amazed at how much space is in this RV with the slides in! In fact, we can access everything except the bedroom closet. I have full use of my kitchen, the table, our recliners, the bathroom, and the bedroom.
Quality Build – We’re going to tour the Northwood factory next month so we will soon have a lot more to share on the build process of the Artic Fox Fifth Wheels. Here are a few highlights:
- Independently Certified, Off-Road Chassis
- Fully Welded, Thick-Wall Aluminum Frame Construction
- Solid Core Anchor Blocking and Continuous Welds
- Bonded Roof Truss System with Cathedral Arched Ceiling
- Custom Built Face Framed Solid Wood Cabinets
9-Month Follow Up
We filmed the video below after 9 months of full-time RV travel in our Arctic Fox. Spoiler alert: We still love it! Watch to see why.
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