Sunday, October 2, 2022


RV Review: Cedar Creek 371FL—more front living

Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Cedar Creek 371FL, a front living fifth wheel that may make our reader Dave ecstatic. When he suggested we look at this category, I shared that I was surprised how few I was able to find. But this one brings back fond memories, which I’ll share at the end of this article. 

No peeking. 

Front living

Seeing how different RV manufacturers tackle the same thing is rather intriguing to me. To me, front living fifth wheels make a tremendous amount of sense but then the way they handle the bedroom in back can be so different. So, rather than looking at the living room, let’s start in the back. 

A good number of people, when shopping for RVs, head to the bathroom first. This model features a really large rear bathroom that has a lot of space in it. Rather than trying to sleep a lot of people, it just makes the place you are really nice. 

The bathroom takes up the entire width of the rear of the model. They’ve made good use of this space with a large shower, as you’d expect in a fifth wheel. 

They’ve also included the provision to install a washer and dryer here. The bathroom’s placement, behind the bedroom, really makes it a master bath. So what about all the plebeians who might be with you? No, no, they don’t have to use a tree. Hold on. 

Cedar Creek has done a really good job in the bedroom in that there are cubbies above the bed in which you can put cell phones or even CPAP machines. While I’ve seen a lot of fifth wheels with king-sized beds where there is literally no place to put a phone, this one is not like that. 

One thing that always struck me as odd is the little cadet heater in the bedroom. But, I guess, if you’re in really cold country this makes sense to keep the bedroom warm while not having to heat the entire RV. Still, it just seems added on rather than thought in. 

Remember the plebeians? 

Okay, so back to the people who don’t rate to use the big bathroom at the back. There is an option for them besides showing off to the other campers. There is a half bathroom directly off the kitchen, so they’re covered. 

The kitchen in the Cedar Creek 371FL is really well-designed, as well, with a huge oven and residential-feeling stove along with a convection microwave.

Front living revisited in the Cedar Creek 371FL

I wouldn’t say that there is anything groundbreaking about the front living section of this rig. You get couches in slide boxes on either side of the space and then theater seats at the rear. A TV on a televator is at the front, which would block the windshield when up. 

Cedar Creek

Part of the Forest River family, Cedar Creek is a higher-end line of fifth wheels that incorporate some nicer features, which you’d expect in the upper price category.

What appeals to me in these models is the better Road Armor suspension and shackle kit. The standard wheels and tires on these are a “G”-rated 14-ply model. But I like that you can option in an “H”-rated 16-ply tire on heavier-duty 8,000-lb. axles. Good wheels, tires and brakes are such a simple way to reduce the likelihood that you’ll have issues on the road.

There’s also a standard TST tire pressure monitoring system. Also, all Cedar Creek models include a 190-watt solar panel along with a 1,000-watt inverter and charge controller. This is really more of a maintenance solution if you’re going to opt for the residential fridge and want to do any boondocking whatsoever.

The company brags about their insulation and climate control ducting. They claim that the walls are insulated to R-11, the roof to R-40 and the floors to R-45. The ducting is larger than is typical, at eight inches wide. They claim you can part your hair with the amount of air blowing into the upstairs bedroom.

Yeah, let’s see them try that with me.

You can also opt in a heat pump system—which would be something I’d definitely do.

Finishes on these are a higher gloss gel coat. I can still remember our rep talking about this.

In conclusion

Cedar Creek has been a solid brand that I keep forgetting about, but I shouldn’t. They build their walls differently in a process where the bond strengthens over time. 

The interiors of Cedar Creek products for 2023 have really been freshened significantly. I think the design is much more modern yet appropriate for the interior of an RV. Unfortunately, the photos I have are of the 2022 model. My apologies. 

When I was selling RVs I remember one of these coming in. By coincidence, that was right as we had big fires come through our region so, suddenly, full-featured high-end fifth wheels became quite a popular choice. There were people literally scrambling to buy that front living model, bending over backwards to do whatever they could to secure it. The fires happened near Thanksgiving. The customer who got the first one shared that they made Thanksgiving dinner for their family in the fifth wheel. Nifty. 

But, unfortunately, insurance companies don’t move as quickly. Since the person who came in second no longer had a home, as theirs had burned down, they had to take second choice, but they still got a Cedar Creek.


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 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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Steve H
22 days ago

When we first began looking at fifth wheels, we toured several Cedar Creeks at an RV show. We really liked one of their floorplans and their fit and finish and appliances, cabinets, and furniture quality seemed to compare to Mobile Suites. I thought their insulation was nearly as good as a sticks-and-bricks house, but I didn’t like the residential-style wood studs with a “hung on” fiberglass exterior. Although those studs were what allowed FR to include such high-R insulation, I didn’t want a wood-framed RV.

Apparently those wood studs have been replaced by aluminum since we were looking years ago, which is a good thing. But we are now past the fifth-wheel stage and have a motorhome. So the change came too late for us.

Bob p
22 days ago

My youngest son bought a Cedar Creek several years ago and loved it, that was when they built their slides with peaked roofs, that was great for shedding water, leaves, etc. It was quality through and through.

Bob M
22 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

I saw a used a fifth with the peaked roof over the slide. I thought it was neat. RV mfgs now are lazy and not innovative. They just make box’s. Look at some of the older rv’s and you’ll see what I mean.

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