When shopping for a new RV, finding that perfect floorplan is a bit like panning for gold. You sift through model after model until, finally, you end up with a choice or two that best fits your requirements. For those ready to step beyond the weekend warrior lifestyle, this new Yukon near-luxury fifth wheel from Dutchmen RV is looking to fill that need.
Dutchmen RV, headquartered in Goshen, Indiana, is one of the most widely recognized respected names in the RV industry. Founded in 1988, the Company dominates the affordably-priced product segment with its Coleman travel trailers, and scores high with its Kodiak brand ultra-light and Voltage fifth wheel toy haulers. Now with Yukon, Dutchmen is stepping into the near-luxury space with what it calls a “reimagined” fifth wheel.
Camper Report spoke with Dutchmen General Manager Josh Staley about the move into this competitive market segment.
Said Staley, “We know there is stiff competition in this area. We wanted to do it right and come up with a genuinely different product. So, during the design process, we broke the coach down into five key zones and focused on areas where we could significantly enhance the customer experience.”
Here are the key takeaways:
Exterior No doubt, the first thing you will notice is that there are TWO full-sized pass-thru storage doors on the curbside and TWO on the roadside. (The pass-thru is the enclosed storage area upfront, which sits above the pickup bed ). All these doors allow for easy access to the approximately 9-foot wide storage bay, made even more convenient by a pull-out storage tray, similar to those you find on a diesel-pusher motorhomes. Staley claims the bay is big enough to hold a recreational kayak or two, though we haven’t put that do the test. Another cool feature of the Yukon exterior is the built-in metal toolboxes found near the rear. There’s one on each side. The toolboxes keep dirty items like blocks, wheel chocks, and tools from sliding around with the rest of your baggage.
Main Living Area The 100-inch wide-body construction and eight-foot-tall ceilings are intended to add to the Yukon’s sense of roominess. We think it works. The extra inches make a difference, especially if you’re planning to spends weeks or months living in your RV. Cabinets can be a bit taller, increasing storage. Also, the flat ceilings make possible seven-foot-tall slide-out rooms, adding to the spaciousness of the interior. Don’t get me wrong, I like the look of vaulted-ceilings, which some other brands offer, but I like the additional space the flat ceiling provides even better.
Kitchen The Dutchmen design team made the cabinets, pantry, drawers, and countertop space a priority, and it shows. We’d be hard-pressed to fill all that space with kitchen goodies, although trying would be fun! A Samsung residential refrigerator is standard build, as are LG solid-surface countertops. The range is a premium Insignia stainless-steel model with an oven that could probably hold two Thanksgiving turkeys.
Bedroom Again, the theme here is increased storage. For example, most fifth wheels in this price category locate the washer-dryer prep along the front wall in the bedroom, eating up a substantial amount of storage space. Instead, the Yukon moves the washer-dryer prep to the bathroom. With this design, the closet and wardrobe run across the full width of the coach and includes a hanging locker, separate cabinet, pull-out hamper, and nine drawers. At the foot of the east-west bed is a 50-inch TV, positioned perfectly for bedtime viewing, with a watching with fireplace below.
Bathroom “Usually, the first reaction we get when someone walks into the bathroom is WOW!” Dutchmen’s Staley commented. Fact is, the bathroom is enormous, more extensive than my bathroom at home, and almost as large as the Yukon’s bedroom. The bathroom includes a separate toilet room for privacy, walk-in residential shower with seat, dual vanity sinks, and a closet prepped for a stacked washer and dryer. While some might find this large of a bathroom excessive, we find it appealing, especially eight weeks into a four-month trip.
If you’re in the market for an extended stay—or even full-time—fifth-wheel this new Dutchmen is worth a second look. At 42 ½ feet in length and about 13,500 pounds dry weight, with a GVWR of 16,800 pounds, you can accumulate a lot of stuff.
The Yukon is just now shipping to dealers, so check with the factory to see where you can tour one. Dutchmen.com