Monday, November 29, 2021

MENU

RV Review: Luxe Elite Fifth Wheels

By Tony Barthel
One of the complaints I read often is that there are more than a million people in the U.S. living in RVs, yet most RVs aren’t warrantied, or even built, for full-time living. It’s a fair issue, so I thought we might look at one brand of RVs that is outfitted for full-time living: the Luxe Elite. 

You may not have heard of this company. I hadn’t until I ran across them in a forum for using heavy-duty trucks to haul fifth wheels. And, in fact, with the unit we’re looking at today, that’s not a horrible idea since this is a big rig with a GVWR of 24,000 pounds and an overall length of 45 feet. 

Luxe is unusual in that they predominantly build units to order and sell factory-direct – so whatever you see that you like in this particular unit, or don’t, you can probably have built more to your taste. As with all fifth wheel manufacturers, there are a number of floor plans and lengths to choose from, and Luxe has more mainstream models than this 2021 Luxe Elite 44FL. 

The 44FL is a front-living model that places a living room over the kingpin in the front of the trailer. In some ways being up here allows you to look down like an overlord on the folks in the lower section, which encompasses both the kitchen and, further back, the bedroom. 

This kind of floor plan makes for a nice living room area, and that is even more true with dual opposing slides in the upper section, each of which has a jackknife sofa. At the back of the living room are theater seats with all the usual recline and massage functions. I love that this particular unit’s upholstery is blue. 

Again, if there’s anything you don’t like here, you can alter that in your own build. 

On the subject of those slide rooms, and all the slide rooms in Luxe models, they do not have an overlapping flap on the outside when closed. Instead the slide rooms fit flush with the exterior of the coach much like the door of a car. This is the first time I’ve seen that and it does make for a clean look. 

The exteriors of these are painted and you can choose almost any paint colors you prefer. If you like the idea of a solid color, that can be done. If you like the swishes and swirls, that can be done too. I hope you’re sitting down for this… I actually liked the swooshy paint on these fifth wheels…!

Since these are all custom-built, you can choose the colors you want for the exterior. I saw examples in various forms where the tow vehicle and trailer were matched in color. It was a pretty impressive sight. 

Back inside what caught my attention was just how spacious this floor plan feels. I guess the tremendous size of this rig explains that, but also the width of the openings between the kitchen and the rear bedroom opens up a large rig even more. It really does feel more like a house than a trailer. 

All the appliances in these rigs are residential-grade and happen to be LG-brand appliances, not my first choice but that’s what you get. That brand includes the stove, soundbar, TV and refrigerator. 

The drawers in the kitchen are plentiful indeed, and are all plywood on the inside and hardwood on the front surfaces. Another thing used here that I haven’t seen before are drawer glides that are under the drawers. These allow the drawer to take up more of the width of the allotted space. Furthermore, all these drawer glides are soft close, of course. It might seem like a minor detail but these are all things that caught my attention. 

Another unique thing that Luxe uses is a marine-grade flooring in the slide rooms under the dinette and in the bathroom. It’s almost like a high-quality version of those carpets we all put outside our RVs. It’s waterproof and durable. The actual flooring in the RV is a panel flooring so if a panel does get damaged, it can be replaced without replacing the whole floor. 

You can get a sleep number bed if you choose, which this unit had; and there’s also a stacking washer-dryer in the mid-bath. At the back end of the coach is a large, full bath, including a shower with a teak fold-down seat in it. 

While I am impressed by appearance items and luxury trim, what really floats my boat is when companies go above and beyond behind the scenes. This reflects the kind of thinking that results in a better experience for the owner. Another bit of attention to detail is the number of temperature sensors inside the coach so that it’s not just a single point of measurement for the zoned climate controls. 

There are access panels in the storage bays so you can get behind the water system. Under the sinks are shut-off valves so you can disable a faucet without having to shut the entire water system off. These kinds of things might sound like no-brainers if you look at your sticks and bricks house, but your RV is not likely to be built this way. These are. 

I  appreciate the padded walls in the Elite series trailers, not because of any personal experience in padded rooms but because the soft-touch walls add an additional layer of sound protection. There are always those noisy neighbors in campgrounds…

If you choose to be that noisy neighbor there is an opportunity to do so with a specific outdoor audio system that incorporates an AM/FM radio and Bluetooth connectivity pumped through marine-grade outdoor speakers. Yes, we’ve all seen outdoor speakers on RVs before – but this is a specific entire system just for the outdoors. There’s another audio system altogether inside. 

The braking system incorporates disc brakes on all three axles and the tires are Goodyear Endurance. 

There seems to be extreme attention to detail with these – and that should be the case at this price point. The way the slide rooms sit flush with the outside walls and drop into a “bin” when extended, thereby creating a flat floor, is another example. 

On the downside, I am not a fan of the “disco light” effect over the front living room, the dining room and in the extensive cabinet space in the bedroom. This effect means you can set the LEDs to change colors or just be a solid color. Just seemed a bit out of place to me. 

Of course you’re going to need one heck of a truck to haul one of these around. With a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 24,000 lbs., you might want a medium-duty truck – and now you’re spending even more of your kids’ inheritance. In fact, I came across these through a heavy-duty truck group with some folks re-purposing heavy-duty commercial trucks to haul around their fifth wheels. 

One of the more unusual things about Luxe fifth wheels is that you get them factory-direct, so that means if you choose to have paint that matches your truck or want certain interior colors or whatever it is, there is a lot of flexibility. While there are spec units in the company’s showrooms in Southern California and Texas, which is where I found the particular example I looked at here, you can get your own custom model in about four-five months – which isn’t a horribly long wait nowadays.

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.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

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

18 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Boy
10 months ago

Hello all. My wife and I were seriously looking at these a few years back but then decided to get a 2017 Jayco Seneca. Now, If we did decide to go full-timing I be looking at one of theses. What do you pull it with. I myself a GMC 3500 Duramax Turbo BUT using the Safety towing system. I found all about this amazing towing system after I purchased a 2008 Chevy Silverado Dully for our 1st 5th wheel back in 2008. I had the pleasure of talking to Joe Jamieson the inventor. Here is a link to the site.
https://www.safetytowingsystems.com/

I’ve also talked with the lady (name escapes me) from Luxe to ask if their Toy Hauler garages could be shorter like 9′-10′ vs what 12′-14′. At that time no model was available. Well, so much for customization right. But we both love their RV’s from researching and viewing online photos. Have not been to see one physically.

John
Boy

Len Yancey
10 months ago

Why not just buy a mobile home? lol

Ed Kiefer
10 months ago

You can go up to 25,999 GVWR if you upgrade from the standard MorRyde to the Gen-Y hitch pin

Sink Jaxon
10 months ago

24,000 LBS?? What do you tow it with?!?

Ed Kiefer
10 months ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

You can go up to 25,999 GVWR if you upgrade from the standard MorRyde to the Gen-Y hitch pin

Ed Kiefer
10 months ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

I would also recommend looking at this towing guide for info on truck capabilities. https://webcontent.goodsam.com/trailerlife.com/digital_editions/TrailerLifeTowGuide2020.pdf

Drail
10 months ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

Great advice from Ed. We have a 44FL being built & what I found in researching a tow vehicle, is the payload/pin rating of the vehicle/fifth wheel. I was looking at purchasing a Ford F-450 4×4. I called a Ford dealership and asked if the 5240 lb payload included fuel/cargo/people etc, the commercial truck salesperson said no. The 44FL PIN weight is around 4800-5000lbs. We didnt feel comfortable maxing out the truck, The dealer said we could add airbags to up the payload.
A lot of the new trucks advertise they can pull 30,000+ lbs. That doesn’t mean anything if the truck payload isn’t rated for the fifth wheel pin weight. Its very important to look at the payload/pin weight of truck/fifth wheel.
We ended up purchasing a Freightliner sport chassis. Not much more money than a loaded Ford F-450. Unlike the Ford F-450, The sport chassis has great visibility.
The Sport chassis has a tight turning radius. These trucks are set up to pull these big luxury fifthwheels.

Kenneth Dunn
9 months ago
Reply to  Drail

Get a Ram 5500, I use it to pull my 30,000 lbs tractor on a gooseneck trailer, pulls great

Don
10 months ago

Yup, pretty spectacular trailer.
But – while you may not be concerned that the cargo capacity of this beast is just 2,300 lb, I sure would be. By the time you subtract 800 lb for the water, you only get to add 1,500 lb of “stuff” to stay within the gross weight. That’s comparable to most bumper-pull trailers, and is ridiculously little capacity for a rig advertised as “capable of full-timing”. Sorry – the price of this thing isn’t it’s only weak point… 🙁

Glenn
10 months ago

2300 lbs of carrying capacity on a 45 ft unit ? If you choose to fill the 100 gallon fresh water tank, you’ll have only 1500 lbs remaining.

Maybe I’m missing something.

Really
10 months ago

I have been to the factory and watched them build a couple of these units!
They are very nice and EXTREMELY Very expensive for a 5th Wheel.

As the author says you will need a Medium Duty (at least) to tow this beast and you will be limited to RV Parks that can take this BIG RIG!

On the down side. There are several articles about POOR Warranty service after the sale and you will be hard pressed to find a service center, other than LUXE, if you need any service done!

Tommy Molnar
10 months ago
Reply to  Really

I wonder if in THIS case, “Medium Duty” means at least an F-450 dually – 🙂

Drew
10 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Tommy,

Here’s an example of an MDT:

comment image

TommyMolnar
10 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Got it. Thanks.

Striper
10 months ago
Reply to  Really

I am finding mostly 5 star reviews, Google, BBB ect. I understand that they handle service directly with independent service companies. Ever try to get service on the road from a non selling franchise dealer? I have found that non-customers at dealerships are definitely the lowest priority, even if they carry the respective brand. Try calling in advance to see what the wait times at the authorized dealership in the area of travel, if you do encounter a problem.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

They’ll not only “have a job for life,” but they’ll get busier and busier with more and more RV sales, and frequently poorer product quality, unfortunately. —Diane at RVtravel.com