The bottom line, no matter what brand or model of RV you settle on is to go out and play house for an hour or so. Get rid of the salesman and actually play house. Where does the garbage can go, Can you fit in the toilet room easily. Can you actually use the shower, how about sleeping. Well, you get the point. Do it with each and every RV you think fit your needs and you will quickly discover that there are issues with each one. As for access when the slides are in? Who cares! I cannot get to the kitchen with my slides in, but to me it is no big deal. I pull into a rest stop, park with the trucks and open the LR slide. Whats the big deal? I can access the toilet and bedroom with everything closed and that is more than enough. There is always a place to park where I can open things up if needed.
As far as rear kitchen vs others, it is a personal preference thing. We do not live in our kitchen so it was not as important as living space for us. What we ended up with was a mid kitchen, rear living. What we got was a hugh picture window out the back. a nice living room and in the process because of the model we choose a nice kitchen with a fairly large wrap around counter. We can both use the kitchen without bumping into each other. I can actually get down and use the oven without being a contortionist. To me these things were far more important than kitchen placement.
Answered this question several times, and each time, my reply is: enjoy our rear kitchen and island. More cabinet/counter space than any other I've seen. Keep temp. locks on cabinet doors while traveling, place non-skid liner in shelves which holds all plates, glassware, bowls in place, and not had any problems with bounce. It is simply a matter of preference. Like previous OP said, send salesman away and try pretending your camping in it for about an hour checking out appliance placements, dinette table/chairs fit and easy to use, recliners convenient to adjust in space, bathroom large enough, etc., does bed arrangement feel open or too enclosed, etc. I'm glad they make these choices.
Ibought a 30rk sandpiper new in 97 and used it for 4 yrs and never had a problem , sold it and bought 38' MH, i sold it in 06 and went back to a 5er, liked the RK before so i bought a 28RK new in 06 and have never had a dish or glass hit the floor, if i ever buy another 5er i would not hesitate to buy another rear kitchen, plus you get more cabinet space in a RK.
My last fiver was a RK, 06 HR Savoy 29RKS. Not really an issue, but, you do have to pack carefully. Heavy objest in the refer will move. In fact we broke a shelf support. DO NOT put a gallon of milk or 12 pack in the refer when traveling. Pantry was next to the refer and cans and plates would move around. Can't really compare other than a TT things did not move as much. Would suggest plastic dishware, cermaics not so good. They do have a nice layout and give more room.
When you get a new rig you will notice that the tires/wheels have not been balanced, so take it to a tire shop to have this done first thing and your kitchen supplies and entire coach will have a much smoother ride. I had to put screws and glue to improve the supports where the factory only used staples on our Cougars pantry. Damages to tires, suspension bushings and unit will take place if the wheels are not running smooth. My two cents and humble opinion! Enjoy
2014 Arctic Fox 27-5L 5.5 Onan 4pt AutoLevel RearCam Central Vac
2002 F350 Power Stroke Diesel 4x4 CC SRW SB Bully Chipped
DW and sister Bull Terriers
Well, although we currently do not have an RK - we did purposely purchase the Heartland BH 3055RL because we can access everything in the kitchen (including the fridge), and access the bathroom, shower, and bed, with the slides in. We searched high and low for this layout because we often stay at rest areas or truck stops along the way and needed the accessability overnight.
Should've mentioned that our previous rigs - 4 TT's - of those, two had RK's. Glasses would bounce around (were plastic) but nothing major. As some have said here, lots of room in some RK's. I wouldn't worry about an RK, but instead more the floor plan you can live with. What we didn't like about our last RK was that when the slide was in, it blocked the fridge completely - not good for those overnight stops at truck stops or just en route. Instead we learned to carry a cooler with us and packed our lunch for meal breaks on the road. Now, since we have full access, when we stop for lunch at rest stops, I just open the fridge and we sit at the table (with all the slides in).
2011 Bighorn 3055RL
2011 F350 SD CC DRW 6.7L Diesel Lariat, Hensley BD3 with Ford Under-Bed Adaptor
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, and Missy in spirit), Maggie, and Mica!