This video was created with my dashcam. Learn more about the dashcam I’m using HERE
Glacier Peak F30RDS
Way back in Sept. 2016 when I first visited the Outdoors RV factory in LaGrande, Oregon and got a “sneak peek” (click to see my original sneak peek post on this trailer) at their new Glacier Peak fifth wheel. Immediately I was excited about their new “project”.
You may know I’ve been living in a pretty good fifth wheel – full time – since 2011 and gaining even more experience with RV’s by working in the RV sales world since 2015. I spend about 1/3 of the year at a RV store in Casper, Wyoming, the other 2/3, I work while I’m on the road. It was in Casper where I was first introduced to Outdoors RV’s trailers (travel trailers and fifth wheels) and saw the “difference” between their trailers and most others.
As a full time traveler, I absolutely insure that life is never “all work” – there’s still lots of time for kayaking, biking, skiing and hiking. With all this time in and around RV’s (mostly towables – travel trailers and fifth wheels), when it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff, I have come to one BIG conclusion…
Construction quality and “design engineering” is a TOP priority
when selecting the best RV for you and your hard earned dollars.
Honestly, there is a lot of mediocrity out there in the RV world! Ask any service tech who works on RV’s!
The good news – there ARE a few companies who are dedicated to building a quality product – and Outdoors RV is most definitely among the “select few”. That said, when it comes to my next fifth wheel purchase, I’m not 100% locked into Glacier Peak (made by Outdoors RV) just yet. Yes, the dealer I work for carries them, but there is one other product – the Augusta RV Ambition is still in the running for my business. As their factory is in Indiana, I’m not likely to make a personal visit, but since I’m looking for a few specifics (I’ll detail as we move along in this article), I believe a phone conversation with their staff (as they only do factory direct sales) will give me the information I need to finalize my decision.
My focus in this article is to share the Glacier Peak F30RDS with you. The F30RDS is one of three just introduced “full profile” fifth wheels by Outdoors RV.
In case you’re wondering, a “full profile” fifth wheel is the larger of the two types of fifth wheels – the other being “mid profile”. To see the difference, look at Glacier Peak’s 26 and 28 series trailers. Briefly, full profile fifth wheels allow for more space in the bedroom – including closet space; there’s more room for storage underneath, larger refrigerators and microwaves. Features that all full timers would be dialed into – so, to have Outdoors RV release these full profile rigs is honestly an answer to my prayers!
Real Claims and False Claims
When you read brochures from many RV manufacturers, they’ll tell you their rigs are built to resist leaks for years and survive in nearly the harshest of 4 season environments – hmmm…true in most cases? Simply put, NOPE. They claim to use the best materials when constructing their trailers, but how do you separate the exceptional from the mediocre, and precisely WHAT should you be looking for?
Here is what matters to me – and what might matter to you…
I’m going to use the photo essay below (where I honestly “geek out”) with lots of photos and commentary. Skip to the end if you just want to read my summary. You can click on each photo to enlarge it. Use your browser’s “back” button to get back to the article. Alternately, you can right click on the images and open in a new tab, this will keep the article in one tab and the image appears in a new tab.
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Outdoors RV Construction
Overall, construction is key to me! The use of weather resistant plywood instead of “OSB”, the use of fiberglass where you would not expect it (like under the slides – further protecting your slideouts from weather and other stresses), the use of 2″ thick solid foam instead of fiberglass (pink panther) throughout all the walls (including each slide out wall) in the entire trailer, the use of shocks on the axles – with optional Monroe Air Shocks, this is especially important if you plan to camp in some of the more remote – and best – places! A design that keeps the overall length in check (under 35 ft). This allows access to some of the BEST camping areas. And there are more factors. Read my comments under each photo, they contain important thoughts I wish to share, in many cases areas where I was honestly impressed.
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The Glacier Peak F30RDS – Up Close and Personal
Outside Photos of the Glacier Peak F30RDS
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Interior Living Area (including the kitchen)
General layout: (see floor plan diagram above) Rear booth, mid-kitchen. Two dual-opposing slides in the living area (VERY IMPORTANT in my humble opinion!) A center island, one slide houses the entertainment center and directly opposite (nice to have) is the recliner/couch. Personally, I am more a fan of a “RLS” (rear living room which includes a dinette instead of a booth) – but – for now at least the only full profile Glacier Peak with a center island is a “RDS” (read dining). The center island adds more storage space (extra drawers/cabinet) AND more counter space for food prep – personally, I’m a bigger fan of the center island than I am of the rear living room. I can see how this floor plan with a rear dining area would provide for a panoramic rear view – a really nice feature. The rear booth also has two very large drawers for storage and allows for the outside rear storage (see photo above.)
Bathroom – space, space and MORE space
This is honestly one of the largest bathrooms I’ve seen in a fifth wheel! One “trick” used by Outdoors RV to create a large bathroom is to keep the hallway a bit more narrow (after all, how much time do you spend in the hallway!?) Lets start there…
A truly IMPRESSIVE bedroom
I saved (perhaps) the best for last. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a bedroom in a 5th wheel with more storage space than I saw in the Glacier Peak bedroom! Take note of how the bed box is designed, the front cap closet, and the dresser and accompanying cabinets opposite the bed.
Summary of findings in the Glacier Peak F30RDS
My initial reaction is to be thrilled with Outdoor RV’s new creation. Naturally, the big test – the test of time is yet to happen. If I decide to “pull the trigger” and purchase this model, I will most definitely keep you posted on my findings. Based upon my experience with their earlier models, I’m expecting only the best in long term results.
What I really like
- The use of 2″ thick solid foam insulation (it can be seen under the bench in the booth) throughout the rig’s walls and roof of the slides
- The design of the truss in the roof and the thickness of insulation used (See THIS VIDEO)
- The use of shocks on each axle, REAL tires (Goodyear, G rated), and a metal plate above the tires to protect the interior
- A rubber roof on top of each slide – having lived with “other” for years in cold/snowy winters, it matters!
- Cabinetry mounted into the aluminum frame which is backed by wood IN the aluminum frame – solid & lasting!
- Outstanding design to the entire bedroom with better storage than I’ve seen in most any other 5er
- 82 gallon fresh water tank
- Winter kit applied to the Norcold fridge – with heat tape in use to provide reliability down to 0F
- Approx. 12000 dry weight – 15000 GVWR – carry capacity 3000 pounds
- EVERY trailer is inspected BEFORE it leaves the Outdoors RV factory
- These trailers are built in the Pacific Northwest – a region that experiences plenty of rain, snow and cold weather – these folks “walk the walk”
- Reasonable price! The MSRP is about $82,000 (including transport to a dealer, Titanium package*, 12 cu ft fridge, living room fireplace, off road suspension package and 4 point leveling system)
*Refer to an Outdoors RV Brochure – or – Feel free to contact me (email@example.com), I’ll be glad to work with you to help you plan the BEST Outdoors RV trailer for YOUR needs, and get you a fair price on one – remember, I do work for a dealer that carries these trailers. My goal here however is NOT to pitch you, it is merely to inform and you can do what you will with the information.
What I wish they would add to an already well engineered fifth wheel…
- Cabinetry over the recliners – if sufficient room exists. Photo below illustrates what I’m thinking of. This is cabinetry over the sofa in my current 5er.
- Corner cabinets over the bed as illustrated below (again if sufficient room exists).
- Hinges on one (or more) of the stairs leading to the bedroom for hidden storage.
Last thoughts on the Glacier Peak F30RDS
I’m VERY inclined to make this trailer my next – BUT – I’m not going to finalize my decision until I take a closer look at the Augusta RV Ambition 33. While not (quite) perfect, the Glacier Peak (Outdoors RV) design does fit my definition of a well engineered true 4 season trailer. Having met the factory personnel, I can say they certainly do take pride in what they build.
Since I work for a dealer who carries Outdoors RV products, naturally I’m inclined to get the Glacier Peak (and if you are motivated to purchase one of their travel trailers or fifth wheels, please do feel free to contact me to check price and availability.)
While I’m (strongly) leaning towards the Glacier Peak, there are certain interior appointments in the Augusta RV Ambition that allure me. Frankly it will come down to build quality and not much more when I arrive at my final decision.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: In my review of an Augusta owners website, I learned that Augusta-RV merged with the RV Factory in November 2016. Whether or not this is good news or not remains to be seen, but I will certainly be speaking with their internal staff about this significant change – and – what appears to be some quality control issues I’m reading about from current owners of their products. From experience I know a certain number of issues are likely to arise in a new trailer – BUT – the entire reason to move away from the “big boys” (Thor and Forest River) is to see a better and more finished product leave the factory BEFORE the consumer takes possession!
An important closing thought –
Regardless of which fifth wheel I purchase next, you can be assured, I will be purchasing an Extended Service Contract – click HERE to see why.
Hey THANKS for reading all the way through! Enjoy the other articles here on RVAcrossAmerica.net – we’re approaching our 100th article soon!
UPDATE… Here is my NEW 5th Wheel Purchased 10/16/2017… http://rvacrossamerica.net/outdoors-rv-glacier-peak-4season-5thwheel/ (I went with the 30RLS as the 30RDS was only produced for a short while and then the book on it was closed.)