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RV Preview: Incredible Riverstone Signature 41RL fifth wheel

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Today’s RV review is, again, a prototype. This time we’re looking at the Riverstone Signature 41RL, a very large and very nicely equipped fifth wheel that rivals high-end motorhomes for appointments and overall feel. 

But many’s the time I’ve suggested starting at the bottom and working our way up. Beautiful cabinetry is one thing, but if an RV is built poorly then those cabinets don’t mean a thing. 

Out of sight, top of mind

The first thing to take note of is the suspension on the Riverstone Signature 41RL. This features three “axles,” as it’s a heavy beast weighing an estimated 18,000 pounds dry. This isn’t something you’re towing with your half-ton pickup, although we did have a prospect at the dealership I worked at who argued with one of our team about being able to tow a fifth wheel with his Corolla. 

I kid you not. And, yes, they were serious. 

Anyhow, this rides on a MORryde independent torsion axle suspension system that also incorporates shocks into the build. Further, there are disc brakes at each wheel. 

This is the same suspension system they use in some trailers that are intended to haul very high-end automobiles or show horses, that sort of thing. No leaf springs here. 

What you can’t see in the Riverstone Signature 41RL is worth taking note of

Further, the suspension itself is mounted to a subframe on the heavy-duty existing fifth wheel frame. That frame also includes a steel box section for the upper deck, making it a structural component of the whole build. If for no other reason, just the parts you can’t see are worth taking note of. 

Slide room mechanisms are the larger and more capable gear-driven models that are typically found in larger motorhome slides.

The plumbing is done with a manifold system so that you can shut off an individual fixture from the manifold located in the front compartment. The advantage of this comes into play if there’s a failure and you’re camped for the season. You can shut off that fixture until someone can come and address a leak without compromising the entire water system, or even having to shut it off. 

Riverstone has also put in the Truma Aventa air conditioning system and is examining that for performance and efficiency. 

Now the fancy stuff in the Riverstone Signature 41RL

What surprised me most is that this fifth wheel is rigid enough that you’ll find actual tile inside. There’s tile behind the stove and the shower is made of porcelain tile. For those with big motorhomes, this may be something you’re already used to. But I can’t recall the last time I saw actual tile in a towable, except on those Facebook Groups about modifying RVs. 

I know a lot of RVs are sold because people fall in love with the interiors and, in particular, the cabinetry. This is funny, to me, because so much of RV cabinetry is very specifically designed to be lightweight and isn’t all that great. 

In this case, the cabinetry is built in a cabinet shop off-site and is made of actual wood. That comes into play in that you have the ability to adjust shelf height inside many of the cabinets in the kitchen area. That’s not at all typical. 

But what’s a big surprise is that the cabinets below the solid-surface countertops open up to reveal drawers. This makes so much sense because those drawers in a cabinet are also height-adjustable. That is terrific. 

Speaking of cabinets behind doors, the entire entertainment center swings out and there is storage behind there. That’s neat. 

The upholstery used in the production versions of this rig will actually be genuine leather rather than pleather or some other man-made product. I don’t know if you will have a choice if leather’s not your thing, though. 



Top floor upstairs

The lower floor exudes a nice feeling of premium build. But what is truly impressive is the upper deck on this thing. 

Riverstone fifth wheels have a single roofline rather than the angled rooflines of most fifth wheels. That comes into play in that the bedroom and bathroom are significantly larger than you would expect. 

In fact, there is the bathroom where you’d normally find one in a fifth wheel. Then the bedroom is adjacent to that, of course. 

But then there’s a place to just sit and relax ahead of the bedroom. You can see this from the bedroom through a large, circular opening that is both super contemporary but also kind of retro. 

Up there is a single chair and then a desk with an ottoman. You can use the ottoman as the chair for the desk or to prop your feet up onto if you’re enjoying the chair. 

Conclusions

While this is a prototype, it was mentioned that Riverstone is going to make about 100 of these overall. The sheer size and weight of this rig is going to be one of the limiting factors in how many will find homes. But I’m sure it will be a very pricey unit, too. 

The perception of this thing is pretty impressive, indeed, and the attention to detail is, as well. Since this is a prototype, I’m sure things will change. I don’t have the greatest photos to share, but I will keep following this brand to see what progresses. 

More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with Peggy. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

##RVDT1967

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Leonard Rempel
1 month ago

And yet no mention of cargo capacity. Reviews like this are a waste of time, but no doubt they are sponsoring the content so all is fair I guess.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

And no doubt you are incorrect, Leonard, about the RV Reviews being sponsored. Tony writes about whatever RV, etc., interests him and thinks might be interesting to our readers. And since this is a “Preview” of a prototype, and not a “Review” of an existing RV, there are no stats on it to report. Have a good afternoon. 🙂 –Diane

Alaskan Steve
1 month ago

What a rig! This is definitely one of the best we have seen. That said though, I have the same question that Tommy had, what price range are we talking here? Also, my wife and I did not see any closet space in the bedroom!! We were hoping that with all that spice in the 5er the closet space would have been awesome but we did not see any! I was also curious about a lot of the specs of the rig that was not discussed, fresh water, gray water, black water, and propane tanks.

But I gotta say, the rig is absolutely beautiful! I am just not sure we wold be boon docking in Alaska with that!!

Steve H
1 month ago

My favorite fifth wheel floorplan with my favorite suspension system! What more could I ask for? Well, to begin with, a choice of decor, because I HATE black kitchen countertops and backsplashes. And leather upholstery requires waaay too much care and maintenance. I know that from the leather upholstery in my classic cars.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

Boy, I love this unit! I rarely say that about any trailer or motorhome, but this just exudes class and usability. It would take a bit to squeeze into some of our fave boondocking sites but I might still make it.

I think the video said the complete solar package would come in around $20k. I would rather take it to one of the two excellent solar installers in Quartzsite for this work. Then I’d know exactly how it was installed, and I would guess it would be somewhat cheaper as well.

One of the things I’m not a fan of (on most higher end 5’ers) is how the stabilizers hang so low even when retracted. Ok if you only go to paved RV parks, but possibly a problem if you go to any unpaved areas. But that’s just me.

I’m waiting for the price estimate so I know by how many tens of thousands I can’t afford it. 🙂

Bob p
1 month ago

Great review, very entertaining, waaaay out of my league. Lol

patti panuccio
1 month ago

This sounds like a 21st century version of a 45′ triple axle Spacecraft 5th wheel I had in the 80’s. It made me feel special with tile in the kitchen and bath and a slide( not room but sofa), I would have kept it forever but it was hard back then to find 50amp service or a campground that had a site long enough. It was a great unit, well built , with everything I could need except a place to park it when traveling. Great review.

Jewel
1 month ago

The suspension and the leather put this rig at the top! And I love the full body paint. I’m still trying to figure out that awesome bonus room in the bedroom…is that the nose of the fifth wheel?

But did you not know Grand Design uses real ceramic tile in it’s units? We have actual subway tile on our Solitude kitchen backsplash. We also have drawers behind cabinet doors though I don’t believe ours are adjustable. They do hold our large pots, pans and induction cooktop.

Floorplans are only as good as their function. This one seems like a winner – if you can access everything without opening slides. Nice review.