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RV Review: Rockwood Ultra Lite 2442BS Fifth Wheel

We’ve looked at a few smaller fifth wheels lately at your request. Today we examine one that’s not much bigger than many travel trailers. It’s the Rockwood Ultra Lite 2442BS fifth wheel. So why would you want a fifth wheel at this size? 

Some RVers prefer fifth wheels for how they tow behind a truck. Fifth wheels also often have greater cargo carrying capacities. Further fifth wheels often have larger bedroom spaces and, frequently, much nicer bathrooms than the average travel trailer. 

Today’s Rockwood Ultra Lite 2442BS FifthWwheel is something unusual in that it’s shorter than even some travel trailers at just 28’11” in length. 

Unusual features

This trailer offers a number of things that are unusual. For example, its floor plan wouldn’t be possible with the kind of steps previously put on trailers of all sorts. Instead, the solid steps on this model literally come down over the tandem wheels. This allows Rockwood to provide an entrance point there which enables this floor plan. 

The other unique feature of this unit is that there’s no dinette. Instead, at the top of the stairs, there’s a bar with two bar stools. This could be great as a breakfast bar or a place to serve up margaritas. I’m not suggesting margaritas for breakfast, by the way. 

Beer tastes much better in breakfast cereal. (I’m kidding.)

However, the TV is there against the camp-side wall in a cabinet. This could bump some diners in the head or shoulder if they’re not careful. I’m not sure where else this would be and it is opposite the theater seats so it works. But you know there will be that one guest who bumps their shoulder on this. 

The kitchen in the Rockwood Ultra Lite forms a big “U” with good work space

With that bar there, the kitchen essentially forms a big “U”. So you have the bar top and then a camp-side surface and a large corner. And then there’s the sink which, when the cover is in place, is a food prep space. This is actually a pretty good work space. The “U” shape means you can stand in the middle and prepare meals like the conductor of an orchestra. 

This would be especially appropriate if you were preparing Beethoven’s favorite type of dessert. You know, one with banananaaaaa….banananaaaaa.

Okay, now that we’ve all recovered from that horrible joke, we can get back to looking at this kitchen. It features a surprising number of drawers and cabinets, as well as a pantry next to the refrigerator. For the size of this trailer, there is actually a lot of storage. 

Further, as usual, Rockwood has a 22” oven for their three-burner stove. 

Other Rockwood traits include the fact that this sports a 12-volt refrigerator with 190 watts of solar on the roof plus a 1,000-watt inverter. You can choose a propane-electric fridge instead, but then the solar bits are going to be an option. 

Without any doubt, this is absolutely a couple’s camper

So that means you’re sitting on either the bar stools or a theater seat. As such, that means there’s no guest bed, per se, if your neighbor’s spouse throws them out again and you want to accommodate them. So, this might be a good choice if you have that kind of neighbor and you don’t want to provide the opportunity to crash here. 

However, you can order this with a couch instead of the theater seating. That would enable you to sleep two additional campers, but then there’s no theater seating. And, well, your friends will know that they can stay inside instead of out in that tent they brought. 

One of the nicer things about a trailer this size is that it’s very towable – which is part of the appeal. But also it’s good to know that you can access most of the kitchen when the slide room is in. This is more important in a smaller trailer, by my guess, only because these are more likely to be towed around than a 43’ triple-axle beast. 

However, one of the things you won’t have access to is the refrigerator – which is a bummer. So, that means if you stop at the grocery store on the way to wherever you’re going, you’re going to have to put out the downstairs slide room to be able to get your groceries in there. 

More Rockwood features

There are a lot of things about this fiver that follow with other Rockwood products, from the tiny GeoPro to this and larger models. The walls are all vacuum laminated in lots of only two, and they incorporate frameless windows and a high-performance vent fan. Also, the suspension incorporates a torsion axle suspension, there’s a whole-house water filtration system, and more. 

Furthermore, the trailer rides on Goodyear Endurance trailer tires and incorporates a tire pressure monitoring system. 

While there is 54 gallons of fresh water aboard this trailer, the same as Rockwood’s travel trailers, there’s also the ShowerMiser system. That redirects water back into your fresh tank while you’re waiting for the water to get hot in the shower. I also really like Rockwood’s laminated roof design quite a bit. It’s is a metal-framed laminated block foam structure. Even a dude who displaces as much water in the pool as I do can walk on it without it flexing. 

Another thing I really like about the Rockwood brand is the fact that their control panel uses traditional switches so anybody can operate it. But then it also allows nerds (like me!) to sync their smartphones to the system and run many of the functions right from our phones. This is pretty typical of the brand. Whatever your priority is, they seem to do a good job of accommodating them. 

In summary

There are going to be some of you who see this and think you’ve seen the best fifth wheel on the market. And there are going to be some of you who see this and think this is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen. 

While lots of RVs are pretty good at not putting off a lot of people but not making anyone really excited about them, this one is very polarizing, from my experience. 

Where this unit is strong is in the cabinet and storage space inside, given the exterior dimensions. I also really like the kitchen counter and prep space. I also like the larger microwave and oven along with the 12-volt fridge standard. 

Of course, the challenge, to my way of travel, is that you’re going to have to open the slide to get to the fridge – and mid-journey stops are very common the way we travel. 

Rockwood products are well-made and have great “standard” features

What is something I will say about this and other Rockwood (and the identical Flagstaff) products is that it follows their pattern of being well-made. Also, they incorporate a lot of features that may be optional on other RVs but come standard here. 

One example of that is the shade in the door. It’s really common nowadays to have RV doors that are “shade ready.” Okay, just give me the darned shade. Rockwood does.

As always, I really value your input and what you think of this rig and whether it would work for your way of venturing out.  

My thanks to Josh Winters from Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan, for use of the photos.

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 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!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Rockwood build quality
Kitchen area
Mid-trip fridge access

SUMMARY

The Rockwood Signature 2442BD is a smaller fifth wheel with a unique floor plan that offers a great kitchen.

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Steve
19 days ago

We just sold our 2016 Rockwood Sign. Ultra Lite 8244WS fifth wheel. A Mobile Suites owner we once parked beside said, “Look, it’s a baby fifth wheel”. We took that as a complement because we could park it in nearly every national and state park campground we encountered.

It was, however, shorter and considerably lighter than the “small” fifth wheel in this review–26′ 7″ long and a GVWR of 8645 lbs. We also loved the N-S 60″ x80″ queen bed and wardrobe slide instead of a bed slide. Plus we had a huge picture window in the rear for a view of the state park or COE lake we backed up to! Personally, I would not have traded our fifth wheel for the current plan.

Dan H.
19 days ago

We looked seriously at this rig in Feb. 2021 and the same model in a Flagstaff . Really liked everything except having to step down the stairs to go into the bathroom in the middle of the night. We are in our late 70’s and its hard enough to make it there when you are still half a sleep and than falling down a flight of stairs and ending your life. We ordered a Outdoors RV 26KVS TT in May and get it next May as 2023 model.

Tommy Molnar
19 days ago

I’m not a 5’er kind of guy, but I see a lot to like about this trailer. The layout is easily usable, especially because wifey and I travel as a couple – no kids. It seems like there’s two grey tanks so I hope they are somehow connected when it comes to emptying. You can get around the bed to make it easily. Not a fan of Tony’s sleeping bag thingies – 🙂 I also like how you can turn lights on and off the old fashioned way. Not a fan of phone control – OF ANYTHING. And it has the deployable shelf on the back for your mega-pound generator and a cooler. Doesn’t eveyone carry those on the back?

Donald N Wright
19 days ago

This is a nice fifth wheeler, probably can slip into campsites rather than crash into trees.

Cindy Rusconi
19 days ago

I really like all the storage this little guy has in it. It looks like it actually has more storage than our 34 ft 5th wheel in the bedroom area. I would miss having a dinette table because we do play a lot of games together that require sitting across from one another. Other than that, my husband would have probably preferred this to the one we bought in July of 2020 because of the shorter length!

patti panuccio
19 days ago

I am glad to see smaller 5th wheels back in the picture but this one is unusable with slides in.

Bob
19 days ago
Reply to  patti panuccio

I agree. You cannot even access the frig for a cold drink or snack while traveling.

John the road again
19 days ago
Reply to  patti panuccio

Yup. Being able to pull over at will and have access to the kitchen and bathroom while on the road are 2 of the best features of the RV lifestyle. I’d never buy a rig that blocked one of those features with the slides in.

Vickie McClellan-Benson
19 days ago
Reply to  patti panuccio

Patti: I agree. I’m not a big fan of slides of any sort, let alone ones that block things you may need to get to in transit. I do like all the storage in it. There is more than much bigger units.

Richard Petrein
19 days ago

We have a 2021 Jayco Eagle HT 25.5 reok which we had asked to be reviewed and did. Slightly larger slightly heavier but we think is much better layout. We love nite space in bedroom and being able to entertain 4 for dinner. Oh lacking in counter space but made up with over sink drain boards. Love the pantry and outside kitchen. Yes a couples trailer.

Bob M
19 days ago

I like the floor plan, but also would want an elect fireplace. In the bedroom they should have made the windows on the campside. the same size and symmetrical. You’d think they could have designed the cabinet above the breakfast bar so it isn’t so close to the person sitting. Couldn’t you step on or slide across the theater seats to get to the fridge. I have a Jayflight 29RKS and put the table side ways so I can get to the fridge. Important because the gas fridge may not kick on when Elect is disconnected. I’d have to look at this 5th wheel personally to see if I really like.

Marvin
19 days ago

Interesting. That may be the downsize I’ve been looking for. Nice layout. Storage looks good, especially important for a full-timer. I am a recent widower, and my 40′ Heartland is now just too big for my cat and me. The only question I have is interior height in the bedroom/bathroom. At 6′-4″ my head often finds the lowest spot in any rig – the hard way. Then, when i put on cowboy boots . . .

Roger V
19 days ago

I like it. The biggest drawback to me is the lack of a dinette.

Bob p
19 days ago

Great article, what’s the pin weight? Back in the early 90’s I had a 27’ 5th wheel that was just right in size for weekend camping. It was easy to maneuver into smaller campsites in state parks. The only thing bad about it was it was heavy with the stick and tin construction plus my late wife’s full collection of cast iron skillets. Lol

Marvin
19 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Pin weight is 1,252 lbs

Tony Grigg
19 days ago

2 thumbs up from me and the Mrs. It’s very rare for us to access the inside at a mid-trip stop.