Friday, July 1, 2022

MENU

RV Review: The new Keystone Avalanche 352BH Fifth Wheel

Today’s RV review is of the Keystone Avalanche 352BH, a bunk model fifth wheel that features three air conditioners and a nice upstairs bedroom. This RV also has a surprising amount of storage inside at every station, more than I would typically expect. This new floor plan prioritizes the upstairs bedroom with a decent main living space, but the bunk room might be better suited to occasional use. 

The bunk room

Since I’ve already thrown shade on the bunk room, let’s look at it. It’s there at the back of this large trailer, of course. It has its own door from the main living space. 

The upper bunks are an “L” shape with a larger 72” X 48” bunk along the camp-side wall. The other bunks are 28” wide. There’s a number of drawers in here, too, but the niftiest thing is access to an outside storage compartment. 

This would be the ultimate hide and seek hiding spot. 

The access to this is interesting with a door to a netted-off section of a larger rear storage bay that’s also accessible from the outside of this trailer. Certainly a unique idea. 

This room also gets its own 13,500 BTU air conditioner so the occupants will be cool as a cucumber—you don’t have to chill them if they got in trouble in the campground. Again. 

Main living space

The main living space is a bit of an odd arrangement as the couch is at the front bulkhead. There’s a choice of a “U”-shaped dinette in a very large slide room or theater seats. 

Regular readers will know my preference for theater seats, but not in this case. It would limit the number of places people could sit and eat, or play games. In this RV I think the dinette makes more sense. 

The kitchen, on the camp side, is an “L”-shaped affair and there are a lot of cabinets that surround it. In addition, the cabinetry extends above another set of drawers that also conceal a televator. Not a bad idea at all—window by day, movies at night. 

You have a choice of either a propane-electric absorption (RV) fridge or a Samsung residential model in this. Of course, this luxury fifth wheel also has a small oven. Seriously? 

Upstairs Abbey

The upstairs is the part of this floor plan that I like the most, as the bed and a closet are in a slide. That bed is a king-sized model. 

Having the bed in a slide means that you get the entire nose cap of this rig for storage, and they’ve done a pretty decent job of this. There are larger hanging closets on the left and right side. Between those is a set of drawers, and then there’s a windshield that the company proudly proclaims is patent pending. Beneath the windshield is a semi-hidden flip-up storage compartment that might be a good place to put jewelry or whatnot. 

Ooh, ooh. I have an idea. Save the money on the windshield and buy a bigger oven! Win-win!

There’s additional storage over on the camp side in the form of drawers. There’s also a bench here which flips up for, you guessed it, more storage. 

Storage is the name of the game in this rig for sure. 

Boondocking and travel access in the Avalanche 352BH

For the most part, larger fifth wheels aren’t great at mid-journey access. You can get to the bathroom, which might be the most important fact, but it also seems that you can access the fridge. 

The rear bedroom is blocked by the slide unless you figure out that you’re small enough to crawl in through that outside storage compartment. 

Like all Keystone products, this comes with at least 200 watts of solar power on the roof. It’s also prepped for an inverter from the factory. Further, you can go up to 600 watts of solar with a 3,000-watt inverter. Keystone now has a partnership with battery maker Battle Born/Dragonfly such that you can buy their products at many Keystone dealers. 

Since the refrigerator choice is either a residential model or a propane-electric absorption model, those who like boondocking might go with the traditional propane-electric fridge. It consumes almost no electrical energy when on propane (a tiny amount is still required to run the circuit board for the fridge). 

Keystone features

In addition to the solar, Keystone has been working to set their products apart and, in my opinion, they have succeeded in many ways.

Part of how they’re doing this is by establishing standard wiring for these rigs. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it actually is unusual in the RV world. The benefit to the customer is a much lower time in diagnosing electrical issues, if there is one. That is because a red wire in this fifth wheel does the same thing as that same red wire in all of these fifth wheels.

The company has also made strides with the air conditioners in that they have a unique air handling system that Keystone says provides up to 20% more air. Further, Keystone is the only company I can think of that uses residential air filtering, so the air is cleaner inside, as well.

In summary

Storage is the word in this fifth wheel. With cabinets, closets, a pass-through to the outside in the bunk room, and more, this trailer really does have a lot of space for your stuff. 

I do think the main living space is a bit odd but not so much so that it’s a lousy design at all. Plus, having that bedroom in the back does reduce some of the space available for the living room. 

Avalanche?

The naming convention on some RVs is funny, to me. Normally I’d want to avoid an avalanche but, in this case, it’s not really a bad thing after all. 

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 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 .

You can also check out his RV podcast 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!

##RVDT1884

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

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

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve
15 days ago

Make the cabinet (leave the drawers) under the bedroom windshield a desk. Then you could keep the windshield and have a quiet, private office space far from the noisy kids in the living room/bunk room area!

Leslie Schofield
15 days ago

That large a trailer and only the sofa to sit, which does not face the tv. With bunks you anticipate more then two people using it and they must sit at the table. Do not like the layout.

Sign up for our newsletter

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