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.
By Tony Barthel
One of the great things about the RV lifestyle is all the different forms it can take. I’ve written about everything from roof-top campers to large Class A diesel pushers. And, of course, there are fifth wheels, like today’s review of the Forest River Wildcat 368MB, which was awarded a “Must See” by RVBusiness for 2021.
This floor plan is one of those that is good for both spending time inside and outside.
Like most fifth wheels, this one features a bedroom on the upper deck that includes a king-sized bed in the slide, and a walk-in closet along with provisions for a washer and dryer or a good amount of drawer and closet space. It could (probably) hold enough clothing for someone to live here, honestly, including having space for all those bulky winter outfits.
Then there is that mid-bunk that makes this special. You can enjoy the couch by day, then transform the space into two beds by night, with that drop-down bunk overhead. I’ve seen a number of these mid-bunk models before, but this one seems particularly well-configured since there is a wall of closets opposite the couch which has shelf space for a TV.
You could also use this separate room as an office, or as a place to play video games or watch movies. There’s a sliding door that exits to the galley of the rig which you can close to drown out the folks in the main area. Of course, this could easily be a kids’ bedroom or even a place for guests to have some space of their own if that’s your style. It’s a good space that can serve multiple purposes.
Once the occupants of that room have exhausted their supply of video games or work or movies or whatever, and they choose to come out into the rest of the lower area, there is a couch at the back if they want to observe what’s going on. If they can talk mom and dad out of them, there are two recliners that have heat and massage on the driver side in a very large slide room that also includes the stove and refrigerator.
Those seats directly face an electric fireplace, audio center and a flat-screen TV, which has a bit of magic of its own. That TV flips up on struts to reveal a “secret” compartment that’s pretty sizable allowing you to store a good amount of stuff back there. The obvious things are movies and that sort of thing, but it’s a pretty large space.
As for the galley, Wildcat is one of the RV companies that is using the 12-volt compressor refrigerator that I think will be an industry standard as battery and solar technology improve. That being written, there is an outdoor galley, as well, that features a flat-top griddle – another thing I’m seeing in an increasing number of RVs. There is a refrigerator there, too, but that one requires 110vac and is of the bar fridge variety.
If you are going to camp in this full-time you might appreciate that there’s a PVC membrane roof that radiuses over the edge onto the sidewalls so there isn’t quite the sharp edge on the top. All the tanks have 12-volt heat pads along with heat ducted into the underbelly of the rig. Wildcat rates the insulation in this fifth wheel at R38 in the floor and ceiling and R9 in the sidewalls, which are constructed of 2” aluminum studs and vacuum laminated.
On the outside kitchen, I like that they’ve put the second awning actually on the large slide room over the kitchen rather than having the awning on a fixed wall with part of that awning being consumed by the slide room, although I can see a justification for both ideologies.
Back inside, a few nice touches include a big loft area above that second bedroom. I could see arguing with my cousins over who would get to sleep up there and then doing so with all of them just because the space was cool. That would keep us out of the second bedroom area during the day – which is where the fuse box is – and knowing my cousins and I, having access to that fuse box might mean trouble for everyone else along with trouble for us later.
I could also see us accidentally dropping things down the heater floor vents in the main area of the trailer, so I do wish these were on the upper cabinets – but I know that’s not always possible.
Opposite the 30” entry door with a friction hinge is a shallow closet, which would be a logical place for jackets or muddy shoes and that sort of thing.
If you’re checking boxes, check the ones to show that this fifth wheel includes Lippert’s Ground Control 3 automatic level system; has Lippert’s One Control which allows you to control slides, the auto level and other things from a control panel or your phone; has a 2” receiver hitch at the back if you’re bringing bikes or kayaks; and is prepped not only for rear camera but for side cameras as well. Not a bad idea when you’re towing over 40’ of trailer.
One last thing: I like that the underbelly is enclosed with ABS removable panels so if there is a reason you have to get in there you can. Let’s face it, being able to remedy things that can go wrong with towing a huge house down the bumpy road is important in any RV.
This fifth wheel can make a lot of sense as families or even couples adapt to being able to spend more time on the road. With a big, comfortable upper bedroom and a convenient, flexible mid-bunk room, this could be a unit that might make sense to change your permanent address to.