2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL Review

Spacious fifth wheel offers travelers a touch of luxury

By Amy Tokic, Feb. 28, 2011, Photography by Forest River
Forget flying to your vacation destination this year. Travel in style in the 2011 Forest River Cardinal Fifth Wheel. Luxuriously appointed, the Cardinal not only allows you to enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings outside your door, but also those inside your RV.

2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL

Available in six floor plans, we’ll be setting our sites on the 3450 RL, a mid-size model in the series. The 3450 RL measures in with an exterior length of 40’9”, an exterior height of 12’8”, an interior height of 77”, and has a hitch weight of 2,235 lbs.

No matter where you decide to haul your Cardinal, it will always be up for the rigors demanded by the roads and the elements. That’s why it’s built tough right from the start. You and your family are well-protected within its welded, aluminum framed, laminated 2" side, slideout, front and rear walls and roof. Built on a 12" powder coated steel I-beam with Z-frame, the 3450 RL also comes equipped with floor insulation, double insulation in the roof, sidewall insulation and living room and kitchen flush floor hydraulic slide-outs.

Its hydraulic actuated slideouts make it simple to expand your space, while its extra wide front jacks with quick release pins and 8" foot pads allow you to set up camp easily. Hehr frameless windows not only look great, but also give you a perfect view of your campsite, and its drop frame pass thru storage compartment gives you plenty of room to bring all the supplies you’ll need. Other exterior features include a 30" X 76" entry door with light and a patio light. You can also choose to upgrade with features such as slideout awnings, dual pane frameless safety glass, generator prep and a 5.5 Generator LP, an outside entertainment center with DVD and iPod control, an outside icemaker, 6-point automatic leveling system, trail air roto-flex extended hitch, custom paint package and boat hitch.

2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL

To ensure you’ve got all the power and water you need in the great outdoors, the Cardinal comes with a host of appliances and system standards. Things like a 65 amp 12 volt converter, a 30lb LP bottles and a command center with system controls and monitoring panel provide all the comforts of home, as does its 42k furnace and its stackable washer/dryer prep. Other features include a heated and lighted exterior compartment, a lighted docking station (with outside shower, black tank flush, water heater and fresh water tank bypass, water filter, gate valve controls, soap dispenser, quick winterizing kit), roof mounted satellite prep, LP leak detector and carbon monoxide detector.

It’s time to a look around inside and you Forest River’s attention to detail is obvious. A treat for your feet, the Cardinal’s floor is decked out in deluxe residential carpet and pad, as well as Beauflor linoleum flooring. There’s residential cabinet construction with crown molding throughout this fifth wheel that’s adorned with deluxe oil rubbed bronze hardware, while the residential raised panel cabinet doors come with hidden hinges and hardwood stiles. Other interior features to note include pleated day/night window shades, independently switched reading lights, flush floor slideouts, an overhead cabinet in the main slideout, wood exit-assist grab handle, corkboard message center, crown molding along the entire ceiling perimeter and slam latch baggage doors.

2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL

Whether you’re having some fellow campers over or you and the family are just hanging out, the living area is the place to do it. There are plenty of places to sit, including La-Z-Boy high-back swivel fabric recliners and a sofa. Keeping you entertained is the 40" HD LCD TV on a swing arm bracket and a residential 110V home theater system with AM/FM/CD/DVD and 5.1 surround sound. Popular options include a fireplace and a freestanding dinette.

When the gang gets hungry, head to the kitchen to cook up some great eats. It’s easy, thanks to a Dometic 8 cu. ft. double door refrigerator and a 3-burner high-output range, with 22" oven and range covers. Not only is it functional, this kitchen does it looking good – it comes outfitted with residential overhead cabinets with shelves, deluxe oil rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures and hardware and flush floor slideouts with decorative fascia. Other kitchen features include an LP leak detector, an extra large double bowl sink, a single-lever pull-out faucet and a manual roof vent.

2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL

When it’s time to get your sleep on, call it a day on the 72" x 80" Serta innerspring king mattress decorated with an ultra deluxe bedspread, pillows and headboard found in the master bedroom.  Store all your essentials in the cedar-lined closet (complete with shoe rack and under-bed storage. Other features include two bedside windows in slideout for cross-ventilation, manual roof vent, sliding mirrored closet doors, a 32" HD TV, a safe and extra large emergency escape window.

Last but not least on the tour is the bathroom. Forget the outhouse – the Cardinal has everything you need to keep clean and comfortable. It comes full equipped with a shower (complete with a glass door and adjustable shower head), toilet and residential size porcelain sink. Giving it that “just like home” feel is deluxe oil rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures and hardware, Corian lavatory countertop and a medicine cabinet with a mirrored door. Other features include a cosmetic light, a Fantastic power fan, solid panel bathroom door with oil rubbed bronze handles and a laundry chute with bag.

To learn more about the 2011 Forest River Cardinal 3450 RL Fifth Wheel, visit http://www.forestriverinc.com/.

Related Reading
2011 Forest River Sandstorm SLR 2935 Review
2010 Forest River Salem Sport XL Review
2009 Forest River Cedar Creek Silverback Review
2008 Forest River Wildcat Review

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