Wednesday, February 8, 2023


RV Review: Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK Fifth Wheel

The 2022 Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK is a fifth wheel that I can see being a great choice for a full-timer. This is a floor plan that pays homage to the fact that a lot of people now are able to take their work on the road. They can combine the enjoyment of this wonderful land with some time behind the desk paying for that adventure. 

The first tip of the hat in this direction is, well, the desk. The 2022 Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK has one of two options in the camp-side slide: either a third hide-a-bed sofa or an actual work desk. While many have made do with dinette tables as work spaces or have actually modified their rigs to accommodate their work life, this is a company coming right out and saying “let’s get to work.” 

This floor plan is one of those that offers very distinct spaces within the main living area.

The kitchen in the Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK

Up top in the front is the kitchen with a large residential-sized Insignia range. Riverside notes that the brands of appliances they choose are from those that might be more familiar to home shoppers rather than RV buyers. 

Unfortunately, the brand that they chose is Samsung—when there are American-made ones like KitchenAid or Whirlpool. Bummer, because it’s good to support businesses that employ people in this country. 

There is a prep for a dishwasher, but that’s an option. Also an option are the washer and dryer in a space we’ll get to later in the upper bedroom. 

Hardwood cabinets

The cabinets in the Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK are all hardwood, and there is real tile in the backsplash. I’m also a big fan of the fact that almost all the toe-kick areas (that space under the counters where your toes go when you’re belly up to the counter) are lighted. This is a nice indirect lighting source. It can serve as a night light or just help you find that one vitamin you dropped that’s almost the same color as the flooring. 

This is the case where a windshield makes sense as it’s right above the sink in the kitchen. So you can see what’s going on in the campground while you peel those apples. Or whatever.

Stylish details in the interior

There are a lot of very stylish details on the interior. It is as contemporary as a house designed by some celebrity TV show designer. 

Speaking of looking down on others, that’s just what you might be doing if you’re one of the two campers sitting at the breakfast bar. That bar lords over the main living space and gives you a direct view across that space to that giant TV. 

Downstairs on the main floor, the living space features theater seats as well as a hide-a-bed sofa in a slide. Those theater seats live up to their name. They are placed directly opposite a 65” flat-screen TV, a big fireplace and a JBL sound system with surround sound in the ceiling. 

Above is an infinity lighting fixture. There are auxiliary controls for some of the lights right by the theater seats. 

Speaking of lighting, the Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK features a Firefly central control system. But there are a number of just simple buttons. That means you can walk through the door and push a button and get lighting without having to mess with menus or anything. 

The desk I mentioned is over on the camp side. However, those of you who don’t wish to have a desk can have Riverstone swap it out for a sofa. Then you can work up there at the breakfast bar.

A U-shaped chassis

If you looked at this from the standpoint of a cross section, you’d notice that the kitchen is up on the pin box, essentially. The living space is downstairs on the main floor. Then the bedroom and bathroom are back upstairs in the back, so it’s a U-shaped chassis. 

Upstairs in the bedroom is a 40” flat-screen TV and a king-sized bed. Closet and drawer space are absolutely plentiful.

Outside underneath that bedroom is a huge metal drawer that can hold a lot of camping stuff. While the front pass-through storage isn’t the biggest I’ve seen in a fifth wheel, this certainly is a good alternative to that and offers a lot of space for stuff. 

While we’re out here, one of the other things I really like is that there’s a marker light on the side of the trailer that flashes with the turn signals. That’s a nice feature in any RV, but especially one of this size. 

Outside, Riverstone features a 3” hung glass wall on aluminum studs that are spaced 16” on center with frameless windows. 

I like how the Riverstone fifth wheel frames are made

I watched a few factory tours of Riverstones and liked how their whole fifth wheel frames are made. They also use plastic panels to enclose their underbelly. They are removable, should there ever be a need to make a repair, but facilitate a heated space for the tanks. Rounding out this heated space is an R38 insulation package. 

To keep things on the level, this model features a six-point hydraulic leveling system. Other nice touches include a central vacuum system and a drawer in the second stair leading up to the bedroom. 

The frame is of particular interest to me in that it’s a fully boxed steel frame at the front of the trailer. It provides two structural points and much less flex in the overall structure. 

Boondocking and travel access

Few large fifth wheels are shown with the slides in, from what I’ve seen, and this one is no exception. Looking at the floor plan, I am guessing that the slide that has the desk in it might block the hallway to the back of the rig where the bathroom and bedroom are. I’m not as saddened about getting to the bedroom as I am about the bathroom because that’s my first destination after a long road trip. 

And, usually, I am moving on the double to get there.

There are 190 watts of solar on the roof of this trailer. You can go up to three times that, if you choose. I’m not so sure if even 190 watts will compensate for having to run an inverter to run that residential fridge. So, if you are considering doing much boondocking, you could opt for the propane generator that this trailer is prepped for.

There’s nothing like a small piston engine rattling away to make any trip out away from people a more memorable experience.


I’m not sure if the folks at Riverstone have tried using these in an actual camping experience, but the kitchen has these open, flat shelves instead of cabinets. This is one of the dumbest uses of space I’ve seen in an RV. That’s unfortunate, given how nice the rest of the Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK is.

Open shelves—not even cubbies, but shelves—are going to look cluttered as soon as you put things on them. Also, there is no way you can leave anything there if you’re planning a travel day. So now you have the job of figuring out where all those things go before you go.

In summary

The build quality and materials on the Riverstone Reserve 3950FWK are really at the top of the heap. There is almost no sticker wrap, which is the cheap wood wrapped with a sticker to make it look like less cheap wood. Instead, the woods are all predominantly real hardwoods. The tiles upstairs in the front kitchen are also real tiles. It’s a nice, high-quality feel. 

A really nice floor plan

Overall, this is a really nice floor plan that recognizes that some have become travelers who also have to get some work done. But all work and no play makes a traveler a dull person—and the huge kitchen and really well-done living room area are going to be almost guarantees that it won’t be all work.


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 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 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. 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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Richard Chabrajez
8 months ago

Looks like a great floorplan for short trips or job sites. Camping questions: Is there more than one water heater and grey tank or does hot water have to travel all the way to the washer at the back and then forward to a grey tank? Do you have to crawl under a slide for effluent connections? Also, a spouse who likes that great kitchen would likely want to use their own potty during travel days, hmmmmn.

Jeff Craig
8 months ago

I really like this floorplan, and I don’t think the bathroom location is an issue, although stair lights should help this issue. The breakfast bar is brilliant, IMHO. The dinette in our Class A is part work desk, part seat for the TV and mostly bench storage. Theater seats would be where we normally eat, just like our ‘sticks & bricks’, and the bar would be a great workstation. That desk wouldn’t really be needed in our situation, and we’d likely use the sofa option. The black tank is a bit small, but this isn’t a rig meant for boondocking. Definitely is nice…. wonder how quickly my dogs would destroy all that white paint??

Tommy Molnar
8 months ago

I really like this floor plan and the bright interior, but with a few issues. Thumbs down on the open shelves, of course. And I agree with Steve on the bathroom placement. But, THIS bathroom actually has a big fan that will actually DO something! I like the breakfast bar overlooking the downstairs kingdom, and that huge TV. With that king-sized bed there is no shelf next to the bed for ‘stuff’ that you might need at night. Not to mention those who use CPAP. And, I wonder if this would require a ‘dually’ to pull it. It’s pretty heavy! My meager F-350 SRW might not cut it.

Leslie Schofield
8 months ago

Although quite glamorous I am disappointed that there is no table.. If this is a full time unit a person might entertain periodically. I must admit I like a real table to have my dinner.

8 months ago

My problem with this design is the steps between bed and bath. At two in the morning, that’s an obstacle I don’t want to have. Give me our baby fifth wheel with the bed and separate toilet room on the same level anytime!

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