2014 Forest River Sierra 356RL Review

Storage space abounds in Sierra fifth wheel

By Agata Gutkowska, Apr. 07, 2014, Photography by Forest River
Family excursions are best accomplished on the Forest River Sierra. If you want to provide convenience for your family, the Sierra will make your road trip feel as comfortable as a cottage getaway.

Available in eleven floorplans, deciding on one layout was not an easy task. So we went with the customer favorite: the 356RL. The Forest River Sierra 356RL has a hitch weight of 2,076 lbs, ship weight of 10,690 lbs, gross vehicle weight rating of 15,500 lbs, and cargo capacity of 4,810 lbs. Breakout out the tape measure, the Sierra 356RL has an exterior length of 39’6”, exterior height of 12’10”, and exterior width of 96”. As well, the unit has a fresh water capacity of 64 gallons, gray water capacity of 108 gallons, and black water capacity of 54 gallons. Its awning size is 18 ft.

2014 Forest River Sierra Exterior Fridge

Built on a welded aluminum-framed, vacuum bonded superstructure, the Sierra boasts 2” by 3” floor joists, along with 5/8” tongue and groove plywood floor decking. Its walk-on roof features 3/8” roof decking. A cambered powder coated frame is equipped with a rust prohibitor. It features a fully enclosed and heated underbelly. Bathroom floor, sidewalls and slideout walls are laminated; the bathroom is also fully insulated. As well, the Forest River Sierra features R-10E sidewall construction.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 CrossRoads Rushmore Franklin Review

Before we go inside, let’s talk about Sierra’s looks. Its exterior fiberglass features a color-match, high gloss gel coat. It has a painted aerodynamic fiberglass front cap with a turning radius, while its docking station provides easy winterization, a hot and cold spray port, black tank flush, and pull valves for the tanks. Sierra’s exterior also features large tinted windows with an 80/20 UV prohibitor, protecting your family from the sun’s rays. To prevent black streaking, the Sierra is equipped with rain gutters that have extra long drip spouts. Heavy-duty slam lock baggage doors are insulated and the pass-through storage area is unobstructed, making it easy to put things in place. Since family time is best spent outdoors, the Forest River Sierra is equipped with the outdoor essentials: LED lights, exterior fridge, porch light with an interior switch, and two exterior speakers.

2014 Forest River Sierra Sofabed and Dinette

Open the Friction hinge entry door and welcome to your second home. Whether your interior comes in the color package of Mocha, Cashew, Java, or Chocolate, we promise that it will feel as pretty as a catalogue cottage and as comfortable as your childhood home. All the handmade cabinetry features screwed lumber core stile construction. The recessed residential lighting adds warmth to the cozy space. The large windows feature designer window treatment accented per décor.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Coachmen Brookstone 334RE

Upon entry, you’ll find yourself standing on the Beauflor linoleum floor in the kitchen. Equipped with stainless steel appliances – 9 cu. ft. fridge, sink, residential pullout faucet, and a three-burner high output range, equipped with an oven – the Forest River Sierra will be the chef’s favourite room in the house. The double sink is located on the kitchen island, which is cast in stone. All the ball bearing drawer guides are full-extension. The kitchen cabinets feature crown molding and the solid wood drawer fronts have birch sides. The Sierra comes with washer/dryer prep, a great option for families that fight over dishwashing responsibilities. During the day, Sierra’s interior is well lit by the extra large picture windows throughout the space. Families can enjoy meals together at the freestanding dinette, located in a slideout alongside two La-Z-Boy chairs.

2014 Forest River Sierra La-Z-Boy Chairs

After a three-course meal, family members can fight over the La-Z-Boys or settle for the hide-a-bed sofa. Both seats are located across from the entertainment center. If your family enjoys movies or video games, turn on your TV – the Sierra is equipped with satellite and cable hookup (RG-6 cable). It also features a home theater premium sound system. If you’d rather play board games and sing Kumbaya, then start the fireplace. The Sierra is well equipped with storage space. An overhead storage compartment sits above the hide-a-bed sofa. End tables are located on both sides of the sofa, where you can keep books, clocks and remote controls. Adding to the cozy atmosphere, a residential ceiling fan hangs in the living room.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2014 Lifestyle Luxury LS32FW

Before your call it a day and retreat to your Master Bedroom Suite, clean yourself up in the bathroom. Equipped with a porcelain foot flush toilet and a Fantastic Fan, the Sierra bathroom has everything you need and more. It features a colored shower surround with an etched tile pattern. The walk-in shower is equipped with a seat and adjustable showerhead.

2014 Forest River Sierra Bathroom

When you’re finally ready to call it a day, escape to the large bedroom. Featuring a king-size mattress, the bed can comfortably sleep three.  The Serta memory foam mattress is covered by a quilted bedspread. Storage space seems unlimited; the bedroom is equipped with a dresser, wardrobe, pass-though storage compartment, and shelves. TV lovers will be happy with the TV hookup in the bedroom, right above the dresser.

The Forest River Sierra 356RL Fifth Wheel sells for around $40,000. For more information, visit http://www.forestriverinc.com/.