I had written in the past about Winnebago’s Voyage 3639BHL fifth wheel and how I thought it might be a good choice for anyone who actually has larger grandchildren or even another couple that travels with them.
I found another fifth wheel that has a very similar layout but offers some features that might sway someone one way or the other in the Forest River Prime Time Crusader 395BHL fifth wheel.
When you’re talking the main deck of this fifth wheel you’ll find that both Winnebago and Prime Time could have taken the same design and gone over to the photocopier and just pressed “go.” I can see almost no differences from one to the next, and even the decor is really similar.
If they weren’t from different manufacturers I would swear that they just went across the hall and borrowed parts in the middle of the night.
But that speaks to RV companies in general. Since so many of the parts come from the same major manufacturers, it’s sometimes difficult to stand out. That’s also why I get so excited when I see a new design or some new features.
What I liked about this floor plan is the fact that there’s actually a queen-sized bed in the back. So if you do travel with another couple, it’s not a convertible sleeping space, but a proper bed. Furthermore, it’s in its own room and even has a bathroom back there. This really could accommodate two families on one vacation.
Furthermore, there’s an upstairs loft in the back with even more sleeping and storage space. If your little ones are the right age, this is absolutely going to be the sleeping fort.
That back bathroom also has a door to the outside so you can get to it or enter and leave without disturbing whoever’s sleeping upstairs.
Since the main living space is identical in many ways to the Winnebago’s, I won’t go into detail. But it’s a nice layout.
What’s different between the Crusader and the Voyage
With all of the similarities, what prompted me to share this rig is what’s different. The differences between this and the Winnebago are enough that I could see it swaying someone one way or the other.
I did like the higher-end appliances in this rig quite a bit. The stovetop is more akin to a commercial-grade design, albeit with three burners, but that’s plenty. There is a really large residential-sized oven and a 30-inch microwave. The advantage card definitely goes to Prime Time in the kitchen department.
The upstairs layout on the Prime Time is completely different than that of the Winnebago. This has more of a fifth wheel bathroom. By that, I mean it’s pretty large and also features a really nice shower that has a seat.
To me, one of the best things about fifth wheels is their spacious bathrooms and large showers. This unit absolutely has that. The Winnebago’s bathroom was more like one in a travel trailer, although it wasn’t a bad example of that.
The bedroom in the Crusader features a king-sized bed in a 3-foot slide room. So you do get walk-around space plus a huge bed. There’s a window above the bed and windows on each side of the slide room. So there’s also nice light in here.
Opposite the bed there’s a chest with six drawers. Above that is a cabinet with another space along with provisions for a television.
Since the bed’s in a slide room, the entire front cap of the rig is a closet. It has shoe cubbies as well as plumbing for a stacking washer and dryer.
I can see the king bed being a deal breaker on either side of the aisle. Some love this feature and others really don’t. So the presence of one will change minds. I will say that the way this one is implemented, in a slide room, is the best way to do a king in an RV.
Outside the Crusader
More differences exist on the exterior of this Prime Time Crusader. One of the most important ones in any RV is the suspension. The way this rig is suspended is on a Dexter axle with Dexter’s E-Z Flex rubberized suspension along with Dexter’s E-Z Lube axles.
There’s also a proper tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in the Crusader. It works much like the ones in most modern vehicles and is internal. That system monitors the pressure and temperature of the tires and sends that information to an included display.
This is the first time I’ve seen a factory-installed use of the Lippert Smart Arm Awning, which is now on my own trailer and which I really like.
There is an outside kitchen, too, with a small refrigerator and a grill. But that grill was literally at chest height of the individual I saw standing by it. So unless you’re really tall, this might not be such a great chill-and-grill spot after all.
I can see the challenges that face the RV industry. There are only so many suppliers and only so many ways to arrange furnishings and fixtures to balance weight and package things so humans can use them.
But it’s also entirely possible to mix and match and make enough of a difference to sway someone one way or the other.
I really like the things Prime Time did here with the bed, as well as the kitchen appliances. Furthermore, the bathroom design in this is more like a fifth wheel. I’ve been schooled (by my wife) on why it’s important to put a seat in a shower. It’s not necessarily for sitting, gentlemen.
I’m curious what your take is on these features and if it makes enough of a difference to alter your decision. As always, I really appreciate the RVTravel readers and your opinions and thoughts.
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.
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