Thursday, March 23, 2023


RV Review: 2021 Riverstone Reserve 3850RK Fifth Wheel

By Tony Barthel
The 2021 Riverstone Reserve 3850RK is a recognition of the times in so many ways, and for which they have received an award for “Luxury Fifth Wheel of the Year.” This is a floor plan that pays homage to the fact that a lot of people now are able to take their work on the road and combine the enjoyment of this wonderful land with some time behind the desk paying for that adventure. 

The first tip of the hat in this direction is, well, the desk. The 2021 Riverstone Reserve 3850RK has one of two options in the camp-side slide: either a third hide-a-bed sofa or a work desk. While many have made do with dinette tables as workspaces or have actually modified their rigs to accommodate their work-life, this is a company coming right out and saying “let’s go to work.” 

This floor plan is one of those that offer very distinct spaces within the main living area. The RK designation may already let you know where the kitchen is with the designation indicating “rear kitchen.” This is a large U-shaped kitchen with a tremendous amount of counter space. 

Riverstone takes pride in mentioning that their appliances are recognized brand names. For example, the residential refrigerator and microwave are Samsung units rather than being from an RV-specific manufacturer. The stove is an Insignia unit with a 3.7 cubic foot oven, which is big enough to actually cook something in besides cookies. That Samsung refrigerator is 18 cubic feet. 

There is a prep for a dishwasher but that’s an option, as are the washer and dryer in a space we’ll get to later in the upper bedroom. 

The cabinets are all hardwood. There is real tile in the backsplash and even a garbage can with a circular lid cut into the countertop so you can prep veggies or whatever and put the peel right down the chute. Nice. 

There are a lot of very stylish details on the interior – it is as contemporary as a house designed by some celebrity TV show designer. 

Ahead of the kitchen is a lounge/living room area that exemplifies my point about different spaces in the RV. The lounge features theater seats as well as a hide-a-bed sofa in a slide. Those theater seats live up to their name, being placed directly opposite a 65” flat-screen TV, a big fireplace and a JBL sound system with surround sound in the ceiling. 

Above is an infinity lighting fixture and there are auxiliary controls for some of the lights right by the theater seats. 

Speaking of lighting, this rig features a Firefly central control system; however, there are a number of simple buttons too, so you can walk through the door and push a button and get lighting without having to mess with menus or anything. 

Upstairs there’s a nice bathroom area with a double-bowl sink. I like the flip-down seat in the shower that my wife tells me isn’t for sitting on, but for shaving legs. Okay. 

Upstairs in the bedroom is a 40” flat-screen TV, a king-sized bed, and plentiful closet and drawer space. There are a total of three slide rooms in this coach but I believe you can access the kitchen and I know you can access the bathroom even with the slides in. That’s not typical for a large fifth wheel, so kudos to the designers for pulling that off. 

Outside Riverstone features a 3” hung glass wall on aluminum studs that are spaced 16” on center with frameless windows. 

I watched a few factory tours of Riverstone’s and liked how their fifth wheel frames are made. They use plastic panels to enclose their underbelly (which are removable should there ever be a need to make a repair) that facilitate a heated space for the tanks. Rounding out this heated space is an R38 insulation package. 

To keep things level, this model features a six-point hydraulic leveling system. Other nice touches include a central vacuum system and a drawer in the second stair leading up to the bedroom. 

Riverstone Reserve 3850RK specificationsThe funny thing about the factory tour is the spokesperson bragging about their stickers. Oh, well. At least interiors have come out of the 1980s. It’s also funny, to me, that there was a lot of talk about this particular unit being smaller and more easily towed. I guess it’s all perspective. 

Overall this is a really nice floor plan that recognizes that some have become travelers who also have to get some work done. But all work and no play make a traveler a dull person – and the huge kitchen and well-designed living room area are going to almost guarantee that it won’t be all work. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. 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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Nancy K Michaels
2 years ago

The Samsung refrigerator may be beautiful, but I’d choose a regular old RV fridge any day over ANY Samsung model! Buyer BEWARE!! Samsung kitchen appliances are so poorly designed that they are constant sources of trouble. Our fridge has been worked on often by repairmen in 4 years who tell us to never again buy Samsung or LG. Their business thrives by multiple repairs on these brands.

Randy Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

the entry door on a Riverstone is wide enough so the appliances with go through.

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