Wednesday, November 29, 2023


RV review: 2023 Cedar Creek 371FL front living room 5er

Today’s RV review is of the 2023 Cedar Creek 371FL fifth wheel. This is a large, high-end fifth wheel with a living room up front over the pin box. These Cedar Creek fifth wheels are also built differently than most RVs. This isn’t something you’re towing with most pickup trucks—you’re going to need something larger. 

In fact, I have shared with you the fact that we sold quite a few of these while I was working at the RV dealership. These would sit on the lot for a good long time until there were natural disasters in the area, particularly fires. Then we’d sell the heck of out of these to insurance companies who found it cheaper to buy one of these for someone than to put them up in a hotel while bureaucracies slowly figured out how to help people rebuild. 

The front living models, in particular, were difficult to come by for us and sold very, very quickly. That makes a lot of sense because these offer a large living space in the front, a great kitchen in the middle, and a first-rate bedroom and bathroom out back. 

Ceiling height

Cedar Creek offerings use a low-profile air conditioning system so that the ceilings can be taller. This works out in the bedroom at the back and the living space in the front where there is appreciable headroom, more than in some other fifth wheels. 

This also makes the shower, which is all the way at the back of this model, pretty great in the amount of headroom. 

I also like that Cedar Creek is putting a high-performance vent fan in the shower as well as in the main living space. There is a rain sensor on this fan and, of course a remote for the units. 

Remotes in the Cedar Creek 371FL

Speaking of remotes, like so many RVs nowadays, this one incorporates a digital control system that operates a lot of the functions in the RV, but particularly the lighting. Some of these systems are rather complicated and fiddly, but the one here is rather well thought through. 

Part of that thinking includes the remote units which are upstairs and in the bedroom. These remote systems allow you to control specific lights, particularly those in the specific rooms you’re in, but also control all the lighting in the rig. In other words, you can shut off the lights in the whole trailer from the bedroom, which is a plus. 

I said that nighty night means nighty. Night. 

Built differently

Most RVs with fiberglass exteriors are built with aluminum cage construction. Between the aluminum ribs are foam for insulation. The walls are generally laminated to a substrate, which is then glued to the foam. 

The advantage of this is that it makes a solid structure and, for the weight, it’s pretty darned strong. But the disadvantage is that, if the glue doesn’t hold or water gets in there, the structure fails and you get delamination. 

Delamination is a curse word in the RV industry. Saying your RV delaminated is like speaking ill of someone’s mom in Indiana. 

The way the walls of these trailers are bonded is somewhat different and the substances used actually grow stronger over time. Further, the exterior fiberglass is a true gel coat, high-gloss finish—which does last longer. 

The underbelly uses sections so that you can remove just one panel should you need to effect a repair. Of course, the underbelly is heated and fully enclosed, and the tanks feature 12-volt heaters. 

Even the roof features aluminum trusses. Then 3/8” wood decking is placed on top of that and protected with a PVC membrane on top. 

The suspension is a Trailair Road Armor system with bronze bushings. Frames are Z-frame metal with additional bracing. 

Essentially, these things are well made and built to last. As such, they’re neither inexpensive nor light, so know that you’re not pulling this with most three-quarter-ton pickups. 

2023 upgrades

There have been a number of upgrades to the 2023 models that are worth noting. But the biggest change might be to the appearance inside and out. While Cedar Creek fifth wheels have been solid high-quality models, they have also not been on the cutting edge of styling. That’s not the biggest issue, but there are people who have wanted some modernization. 

Well, both interior and exterior appearances of these have been changed markedly. I think these are a very fresh and different from the company’s offerings in the past. Instead of being super trendy, though, they’re just clean and modern. It’s a nice departure, especially for Cedar Creek. 

Another change which I really like is the almost complete lack of furnace vents in the floor. I’m not a fan of holes in floors, and I could count just one from what I saw. 

Also, the carpeting has been replaced in the slide rooms and is now a marine-grade woven flooring. This stuff is durable but without the cold feel of some vinyls. Not as warm as carpeting, but it’s much easier to keep clean. 

More thoughts

There are a few more things I like about the Cedar Creek 371FL, but the rear bathroom is definitely high on that list. The bathroom stretches all the way across the rear of the coach, but the higher ceilings mean more space in the shower. 

I also like the large oven—as large as some residential models. 

There’s also an option of either a second bathroom or a large pantry in the main section. If you think you’re going to have guests over, the bathroom might be a good choice. There’s still a pretty decent amount of storage all over, including in the kitchen.

On the subject of storage, you might be disappointed when you first open the front baggage compartment. But, fear not. There’s a very large storage bay at the back of this coach. 

Tony’s thoughts on the Cedar Creek 371FL

If you haven’t been a regular reader of these reviews, you should know that I’m not a big fan of residential refrigerators in mobile environments. This has a residential fridge with an inverter. You can also get a generator, if you think you’ll be off-grid much. 

My reasoning for this is that not all appliance repair people will work on fridges in RVs and not all RV techs can work on residential appliances. Further, residential appliances don’t always fit through the door of an RV, so replacing one may mean taking an entire slide room out. Ask me how I know. 

With the first-rate 12-volt compressor fridges available nowadays that run directly from the battery, there’s really no more reason to use residential appliances in RVs. You can get larger 12-volt fridges with multiple doors nowadays that rival the functionality and capacity of residential models. It just is going to require a change of thinking—but I see that happening. 

Otherwise, I really like these quite a bit. I do feel they are a better built offering than many of the other choices out there. 

As for weight, as always, check with this towing guide before matching any tow vehicle with any towable RV. Period. In this case, you will likely find that a one-ton truck is what it takes to do the job. You might even think about a heavy-duty truck for this. 

No matter how you get it there, the changes made for 2023 to the already good Cedar Creek line really make it very competitive. And the build quality is better than many in this category. 

More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our 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.

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.

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


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.



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Bob p (@guest_208543)
1 year ago

With the one commode what is the purpose of dual black tanks? Otherwise it’s a great RV.

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