Thursday, January 20, 2022

MENU

RV Review: East To West Ahara 325RL fifth wheel

One of the most popular articles I’ve written recently is the look back at the 2021 RVs to see what’s hot and what’s not. While that was essentially a recap of my favorite features, there are others who are actually handing out awards to RV companies. 

Honestly, I often take these with a grain of salt because a lot of awards are the same given year in and year out. What if one year all the new RVs kind of stink? You might have gotten an award for a half-baked effort. In that case you were probably using a 17” RV oven. 

Common fifth wheel floor plan

But East To West has been awarded for their Ahara series of fifth wheels, which are a “full profile” fifth wheel and occupy the top of the company’s line. Full profile means the big dog in the yard and, in this case, it means that these are 101” wide. Today we’re actually looking at the smallest of this line in the East To West Ahara 325RL simply because this is the floor plan that so many fifth wheels come in. 

So that begs the question, how do you stand out in the field? 

In fact, this is something we just discussed a few days ago when looking at the Forest River Wildwood Hemisphere Elite 36FL, and it’s something worth looking at in this rig, as well. 

Standing out

This floor plan is probably the most common fifth wheel floor plan on the market, and East To West is a relatively new company. So they have to do a few things to stand out. What have they done? 

There were a couple of things I really liked in here. I had avoided talking coloring and appearance until some goofball in the RV industry drew a line in the sand with black cabinets and gold handles. So, I will mention how tasteful I think the interior of this fifth wheel is. It is almost what I would expect to find in a beach cottage. 

One of the most striking details of the interior is the kitchen counter. It extends all the way from the refrigerator to the very back of the rig. I fully understand the idea of multiple counter heights in rigs so you can establish different “zones.” But this single long counter is pretty striking and I bet I could actually use that for meals and such. 

However, this counter also is the place where the televator rises from. So you better not have that green bean casserole there when your bratty nephew decides he wants to watch whatever kids watch nowadays. Actually, I think they more look at iPads and phones than TVs, but who knows. 

There is a 22” oven here with a three-burner stove on top of it. Below the oven is a nifty drawer that matches the oven. This would be a nice place for these pots and pans. 

Above the oven is a really large 30” residential-style microwave. That’s pretty large as far as RV microwaves go. 

All the countertops in the Ahara 325RL are the same height

One of the things that I noticed about this is that all the countertops are the same height—the kitchen, the extension into the living room and the island. This isn’t always the case, either, and makes it just a bit easier to work with. 

Speaking of that island, there is a trash can holder in a drawer here. 

Refrigeration is the usual series of choices—either an all-electric residential-style refrigerator or an RV-style gas-electric fridge. Both of these are pretty large with the gas-electric model being the Dometic four-door unit. 

Speaking of large. the front of the main living space features sort of a super-duper pantry where there are two doors that span almost the whole width of the front of this space. On the left is a proper pantry with shelves and such. On the right there’s a similarly sized space that has adjustable and removable shelving. 

I wish the shelving on the left side was adjustable and removable, too. But it’s not that big of a deal that they’re not. 

No floor registers

Another thing I like about this space is that there are no floor registers for the furnace. Even better, the registers are squared-off in the bottom of the cabinets so they don’t look like someone just put round heat registers in the cabinets willy nilly. They look nice, but are also pretty discreet. 

As is becoming more common, this fifth wheel has absolutely no carpeting. Instead there is vinyl flooring and a marine-style flexible flooring material in the slide room. I, for one, am happy to see built-in carpeting go away, although I also do bring throw rugs into the trailer because I like the feel of carpeting. But this also means I can replace it easily. 

The rest of the interior of the unit is pretty typical for a higher-end fifth wheel, with a decent-sized bathroom and shower, and plumbing for a washer and dryer in the bedroom. The 70” X 80” bed is in a slide room and is east-west. That leaves the nose cap of the rig for closet space. 

Build features

A few features stand out on the exterior of the Ahara, including a nicer gel coat fiberglass finish.

This fifth wheel features a drop frame in the front, so there’s a huge storage bay as you might anticipate in a “full profile” fifth wheel. 

The standard suspension on this large fifth wheel is a MORryde CRE 3,000 unit. And I love the fact that you can upgrade to disc brakes. I’m a big fan of upgrading anything at all that improves the safety of transporting over seven tons of my stuff. 

Another unusual thing is that East To West implemented three 11,000 BTU air conditioners. The company says these can be run more efficiently while also providing more uniform air handling. 

In summary

East To West’s Ahara line has been awarded for a number of things by a number of people. Considering that this is a floor plan that just about every fifth wheel manufacturer uses, that’s saying a lot. 

The one thing I really didn’t like was that East To West incorporated the Dometic thermostats that I had to replace so very frequently under warranty. Unless they’ve made some changes, these use a foam material as the spring behind the buttons. It seemed to break down very quickly, and typically when it was least convenient for the user. Worst of all, I counted three of those things in here. Yuck. 

On a positive note, there are traditional buttons and switches for everything in this rig. So, instead of forcing you to figure out a series of nested menus just to close the two awnings outside, all you do here is push the awning button. Bam. 

Lots to like about the East To West Ahara 325RL fifth wheel

What I liked about it is that it was just a solid, well-designed and tasteful rig. 

Oh, and if you’re curious what in the Wide, Wide World of Sports “Ahara” means, the company explains: “A Sanskrit term used in yoga philosophy to refer to the vehicle, or support, of consciousness and is one of the basic principles upon which health, happiness and harmony rests.”

Okay, whatever. But I just think they’ve done a decent job putting together a solid competitor in the field. 

And, see …  I didn’t abuse your eyeballs by ever saying that I had an Ahara moment!

*****

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.

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!

##RVDT1772

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Huge counter
Dometic thermostats

SUMMARY

The East To West Ahara is a very tastefully done "full profile" fifth wheel that offers a a floor plan you've seen before. There are a few touches to help this rig stand out but it's just a nicely-done rig.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve
9 days ago

I’m with you, Tony. I am an engineer and began writing computer programs in the early ’60s, but didn’t own a cell phone until after I retired. I never carry it when working around the house, so I depend on my wristwatch to tell me the time. I have no social media apps and I read a real newspaper, not online opinions, every day. So, if I was forced to turn an LED light fixture on using my cell, that would immediately end my shopping for that manufacturer’s model and/or brand of RV. Now, if I could just clap my hands to turn it on, I might actually consider buying it. Problem is, you would still have to use the phone or a monitor for the furnace, vent fans, AC, water pump, etc. When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I don’t want have to take my cell with me just to turn on the pump.

Roger Spalding.
9 days ago

Tony, I read your articles faithfully, but I regret that you have joined Matt (of Matt’s RV Reviews) in the campaign against modern technology. Your senseless criticism of Firefly, InCommand, LCI and BMPRO and those who like and use them, is becoming boring. You fall in with those who condemned Galileo for the notion that the sun, and not the earth, was the center of the universe, attacked Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb as the devil’s work and campaigned against Dr. Jonas Salk receiving the Nobel prize for curing polio because he was Jewish. We know you don’t like computer panels even though you work on one every day. Move on. This is becoming tedious. I still look for your column first even before picking up the newspaper everyday.

Tommy Molnar
9 days ago

Sounds like the dual grey tank thing. If they are both accessible through the same dump system, great. If not, then it’s a PITA. We had our brakes updated to disc brakes several years ago and that’s the best money we EVER spent. Therefore, I like that you can do that upgrade on this trailer. Some friends have a Forest River 5er that is almost an exact copy of this one, and they LOVE it. It’s a nice unit if you like big 5ers.

Jim Thomas
9 days ago

Tony, you say it comes with either an all-electric residential-style refrigerator or an RV-style gas-electric fridge, but the floorplan says a 12v compressor fridge, which would be better. Which is it?