Saturday, October 1, 2022

MENU

RV Review: Fleetwood Frontier 36SS Class A diesel pusher

A while back we already looked at the Fleetwood Frontier when the company sent out a press release about the new model. This Class A diesel pusher has been getting quite a bit of press and a lot of accolades since that review went out, so I thought you all might be interested in just how this rig stacks up. 

The Wow factor

I think the first thing that really struck me is a thingamajigger that Fleetwood calls the Adap-Table® dinette. This really, really makes sense in that it’s a table that sort of sits parallel to the camp-side wall. In this mode the table makes a desk for two—but there’s more. 

Under the cabinet that the table is mounted to are lots of drawers and space so you could keep files or forks or whatever there. In the mode where it’s flush with the sidewall, the table is really set up to be a desk for two. In addition to storage at your feet, there are power outlets for both 120vac and USB devices up at the top. So it really is well set up to be a desk. 

The only rub in this is that the molding at the bottom of the slide that this is contained in has a protruding section. So you have to basically choose one side or the other—you can’t sit in the middle and take up the whole darned desk that conveniently. 

This same table can also pull out and swivel around. So now you have a proper dining table instead. There are four chairs that come with the rig. It’s really one of the best table arrangements I’ve seen to accommodate both working and dining. 

It’s electric

No, no, not the entire motorhome is electric. Well, not the drivetrain, by any means. But this motorhome follows the trend that’s becoming more popular in that all the kitchen appliances are electric. That translates into no propane aboard whatsoever. 

Recently we got a portable induction cooktop and I’m totally hooked. These things are fantastic and they work with all the pans we have. Those include our commercial-grade chef’s pans that we kept from the old bed-and-breakfast days. So, seeing induction cooking in a motorhome makes me happy. 

For baking, the solution is the rather large convection microwave—and that’s fine. 

Funny thing—one of you wrote to me asking why I complain about small RV ovens all the time when a convection microwave isn’t much larger. But a convection microwave doesn’t have the ridiculous hot spots that a propane oven has. Also, the entire space is usable as opposed to only the small sliver above the burner in an oven. So there. 

On the subject of electricity, the refrigerator is a residential model. I suspect that many motorhomes spend a lot of their time in developed campgrounds with full hook-ups. But I go to FMCA conventions where we all get to spend a week off the grid. I’m surprised that 12-volt fridges haven’t become more prevalent in motorhomes. Yeah, yeah. This thing has a monster Onan 6.0 generator aboard. But it would be nice if you did camp off grid and didn’t have to use the inverter as much. 

But I will fully buy into the fact that I may camp very differently than someone who is the typical buyer for this—so this is just a moot point. At least it’s not a lousy Samsung refrigerator—it is a Whirlpool. However, neither of them is going to last as long as my 1959 Hotpoint or my 1954 International Harvester freezer. Betcha!

More stuff in the Fleetwood Frontier

While this is a couple’s camper in many ways, it does have the option of a drop-down hide-a-bed over the cab. This bed is designed to hold up to 500 pounds, so you could bring the big grandkids with you.

The main bed, in the back, is a king, where you can raise the head of the bed for sitting up and such. The company very specifically states that they designed the sides of the bed to accommodate CPAP machines.

One of the nice surprises is that there are two bathrooms. That isn’t horribly unusual, but even the guest bathroom is rather spacious. I’m not sure this is a good thing or not, as it may encourage guests to spend more time in the bathroom than they might otherwise do.

On the subject of those guests, there is a rather long sofa also on the camp side of the rig. This is much bigger than I’m accustomed to seeing in these rigs. You could easily seat four of me—if you could find four of me. Further, the two of me at either end of this couch would get to put their feet up with kick-up footrests.

I can only imagine the conversation and how little time it would take to degrade to inappropriate jokes and comments or talk of RVs with four of me in one place.

Observations

One of the things that I caught, which was also pointed out in Matt’s video (below), is that there really isn’t a provision for the passenger to sit and get work done while on the road. I’ve seen a number of motorhomes where there’s a nifty fold-out table so the passenger can look at their confuser or at maps or whatever, but not here. Bummer.

Before you read the next paragraph…

In the following segment I commented on the lack of photography of this model and Fleetwood reached out…and also updated their website with a significant number of photos. The RV industry definitely reads this column and I appreciate the updates to the website as do, I’m sure, their customers. Thank you Fleetwood.

In Summary

The Fleetwood Frontier is certainly a rig that has some nifty aspects to it—so at least the designers seem to know what they’re doing. I like that reconfigurable table/desk, the big couch and the spacious bathrooms. 

I would also like to read your input on residential fridges. If you could get a larger 12-volt fridge and you are a motorhome owner or customer, would this make sense to the way you camp? 

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.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong 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!

##RVT1048

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

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

3 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tina
5 months ago

Why do they keep putting the bed on the driver side? I don’t want to be in my “neighbors yard” when I’m in bed!

Steve
5 months ago

Our 2020 motorhome has an OEM-installed, single-burner induction cooktop and convection microwave. Both can run off the inverter for the needed cooking time without using the generator (aren’t solar panels and lithium batteries great?). In our previous fifth wheel, we had to be hooked up to shore power to use either our portable induction cooktop or the microwave.

Next step for RV manufacturers? Eliminate the generator from RVs sold in the US Southwest and substitute 12v fridges, 12v evaporative AC (ie., Turbokool), and more solar for those residential fridges and ubiquitous, power-wasting, 120v rooftop refrigerated AC units. That would be a “real” year-round boondocking rig operating only on solar power! If you must travel to the humid East, buy ($300-400 on Amazon) a small, portable, floor-mounted, refrigerated tower AC unit (like the electric heaters we now use in RVs). Then stay in campgrounds with hookups (COE cgs in the East are our favorites).

Sign up for the RVtravel Newsletter

Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.