Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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RV Review: 2022 Wildwood Heritage Glen 353BED fifth wheel

What can I get that’ll allow me to work on the road? Size is no object. Must be under $100,000. 

Now there’s the challenge that I was posted by someone of you who found my personal email address. If you don’t know, you can write in through the form at the bottom of all of these stories and I get notified that someone has requested an RV review. I’ll also admit I am woefully behind on responding to those, as there must be 200-300 requests. 

I’m as far behind as the RV industry is at delivering the actual RVs. But that email made me think of the Wildwood Heritage Glen 353BED fifth wheel. 

Class of 5s

I think RVs come in various “moods” or use-case scenarios. For example, some RVs like the new Ember series are definitely going to see a lot of mileage put on them. I think toy haulers, even the larger ones, also see a lot of miles. But then there are giant fifth wheels and Class A RVs that probably go somewhere and stay for a long time. Part of the reason is they’re just so unwieldy. 

But the plus side of this equation is that you get these huge interiors and features that are more residential feeling. That’s why people have a higher likelihood of living in these types of rigs. 

I could see working in this rig, as well. 

Wait. Isn’t it a bunkhouse? 

By definition I guess you could say this trailer is, indeed, intended to be a bunkhouse model. In the back there’s a whole separate bedroom that has a folding foam couch along with a flip-down bunk over that. There’s a bureau along the camp-side wall and then another bunk loft over that. 

In fact, as it comes from Wildwood it could easily sleep 10 people. But no matter how big this space is, I can’t imagine 10 people camping in here and it not feeling ridiculously crowded. 

But that back bedroom could also serve if you like to travel with another couple. They would have their own bedroom, entry door and even the second half-bathroom. It would be also good if you and a work mate wanted to share road expenses. 

For example, when I was selling RVs I would sell them to electrical line workers quite frequently. This would be a great solution for them. One could buy the rig and the other could pay that worker rent and have the back room. This scenario wasn’t all that uncommon. 

Debunking things

But that back bedroom’s folding foam couch isn’t attached at all, so you could easily take the thing out and park it somewhere. The fold-down bunk above it is also held in with just a few screws. So it, too, could be similarly dispatched. 

Now you’ve got a second room with its own entrance that could be a terrific office or craft room. With all that loft space upstairs, you could also store crafting supplies or office stuff to complete the solution. 

The separate entrance to this area means that, if it’s appropriate to do so, you could even have people come to your office. For example, think about a mobile tax accounting service or mobile lawyer. Or you could maybe service fairs and festivals. That upstairs loft might have enough storage to carry some of your inventory. 

Incidentally, that upstairs loft is accessed by a permanent ladder. This is nice in that it won’t get all wiggly if you are placing your supplies up here or if the kiddos, or even adults, are heading upstairs. The rungs on the ladder are pretty small, so here’s your Tony pro tip: You can cut a pool noodle to make them more tolerable to bare feet. Or, if you don’t want bright colors, you can use pipe insulation to cover these steps, making them much nicer. 

Let’s be normal

Whatever your use-case for this, the main living space really doesn’t offer a lot of surprises. It has a camp-side galley that includes the usual three-burner stove and too-small 17” oven. 

I’m on a one-man mission to get these too-small ovens discontinued from every RV parts catalog out there. 

The refrigerator in this rig is nifty in that it’s a Furrion model. That initially made me assume (and you know what that means) that this runs on 12 volts. But that’s not the case, as it runs on household 120vac current. That explains the 1200-watt inverter in the basement. That fridge does have a wine compartment. So if wines are the business you’re in, this rig is certainly outfitted for tastings. 

Hey, I wonder how illegal it would be to have a mobile wine tasting facility? Or, here’s something even better: A mobile beer sampling facility! 

If any of you own a brewery and need a dude to go ‘round to festivals and events offering beer samples, I would be happy to be your man on the job. It’s a legit idea – because this is how New Belgium Brewing Company in Colorado started. 

Of course, there’s the usual folding couch and dinette here. There’s storage under the dinette which you access through cabinet doors. I really like when RV companies provide drawers under here. 

There’s also a pantry at the front of the space with a larger drawer in it. Perhaps that’s where the red wines would go. Or the meads, in the case of my new brewery job. 

On the angled entertainment center there’s a pretty large TV. Then there is what appears to be a shelf over that with a live edge (looks like rough-cut wood). That’s not really a shelf, though. It’s a light. 

Upstairs in front

This rig is unusual in that it sports an Olympian Queen-sized bed, which is 66” X 80”. There’s also a nice closet up here and fittings for a washer and dryer – as one would expect of a larger fifth wheel. 

After all, I’m going to have to wash all those shirts with the beer company logo on them. 

One of the weird things that was done in the upstairs bathroom was the placement of the toilet paper roll holder on the opposite side of the bathroom from the toilet. Now, I don’t know who at Wildwood has arms longer than a pro basketball player. But they shouldn’t be in charge of placing things like the toilet paper holder. 

This actually might be the dumbest place I’ve ever seen a toilet paper roll holder installed, so maybe I need to come up with some sort of award. Everyone else has awards. 

Wildwood stuff

There are a few things I like about Wildwood, including the fact that the underbellies on their trailers are called access-a-belly. Each individual panel can be more easily removed for service. 

This is far, far better than having to remove the entire underbelly if there’s a leak or something along those lines. And while we’re down here, it’s good to note that Wildwood has placed a heat pad on every tank under here. They have also ducted the furnace to keep this space warm. 

On the subject of that furnace, I also like that Wildwood doesn’t have floor ducts, proving that it can be done with a model that has a heated underbelly. 

In summary

I’m sure being on the road telling people about the wonderful beers my brewing partner makes won’t cut into my being able to check out RVs for you. In fact, given enough beer, perhaps the reviews might take on a whole different perspective. 

After all, if there can be a drunk history channel, there could certainly be something comparable in the RV space. “Tony’s Drunk RV Reviews.” Hey, there’s even a bottle opener downstairs in the cargo bay.

Okay, maybe not.

Oh, yeah. Something I thought was funny is that Wildwood refers to the storage bay as Texas-sized.

This is certainly a floor plan that could serve someone well in a variety of configurations. The combination of an MSRP that’s likely lower than that of whatever you’re towing this with (please get a one-ton, at least) along with a lot of flexible use-cases make this an interesting choice, for sure. 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

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.

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

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Back room/loft
Access-a-belly
Upstairs toilet paper roll holder
17" oven

SUMMARY

The Forest River Wildwood Heritage Glen 353BED offers a large rear bedroom and second bath that could easily serve two traveling families or, perhaps, a work situation.

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Drew
24 days ago

I’d like to see the bathroom with the remote tp holder!

Wayne
24 days ago

The under belly panels are good as well as the fact that the awning covers the entire entrance area.
But for a trailer this size it is very short on counter space, it would not be comfortable watching tv with my sore neck. Another thumbs down is once again a trailer that you have to open a slide to get into the fridge.

Scott R. Ellis
24 days ago

That “too-small 17″ oven” is perfect for us, thanks.

Tommy Molnar
24 days ago

They should just include a free-standing toilet paper holder and be done with it.We have these in our “sticks and bricks” for just this reason. And like Tony, I prefer drawers under the dinette rather than just a door. That lip means you have to lift everything over it when putting stuff in or taking stuff out. It also means getting down on your hands and knees (tough for us ‘older’ gents – ahem) to see where your stuff has ended up under there. I like the installed holding tank warmers though. Wish our trailer had these.