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.
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
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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.
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