Excel-lent Design

winslow-Excel-1a

Photo Credit: Scott Hirko

The Excel 37SDF is a couple of inches longer than 38 feet and is fitted with four slideouts.

by Kevin Livingston
September 5, 2013
Filed under Feature Story, Reviews, Top Stories, Trailer News, Trailer Reviews, Trailers

Bookmark and Share

 

Peterson Industries introduces the Winslow 37SDF, the first-ever fifth-wheel with a slideout entryway using a unique folding step system; the new roofing material is icing on the cake

TL-exclusiveThroughout RV history, travel trailers and fifth-wheels have been subject to continual change with improvements found in virtually every area, especially those from technology sectors. In the past, the RV world was wowed by the slideout, a feature that could be argued as the most significant development of all time. Not only does the addition of slideouts open up usable living space, but creative placement of these expanding rooms also encourages designers to dream up new and different ideas not considered beforehand. Until now, slideouts were primarily used for housing sofas, galleys, dinettes or bedrooms. Entry doors had to compete with slideout placement so that the trailer could be accessed without slamming into a slideout wall or to prevent access from being too restricted. Peterson Industries, Smith Center, Kansas, has taken multitasking to the next level with the announcement of the RV industry’s first entry door built into the slideout. It’s no surprise that a manufacturer like Peterson has pushed the bound-aries of its Excel line of fifth-wheels to pioneer an RV industry first. The Excel Winslow 37SDF is the first fifth-wheel featuring this game-changing center main entryway built right into the living room slideout, offering unique access to the interior. Along with an entirely new fifth-wheel entry point comes a new approach to designing and implementing folding steps. The company has been catering to discriminating buyers for many years and these buyers typically use the fifth-wheel for long-term travel or full-time living. This exciting approach to floorplanning would not be possible without a well-crafted chassis and sturdy slideout framing.

Large windows behind the dinette and swivel rockers flanking the slideout entry door provide exceptional visibility to the outside.

Large windows behind the dinette and swivel rockers flanking the slideout entry door provide exceptional visibility to the outside.

Getting into the slideout entrance takes you up a small flight of four foldable, cleverly engineered scissorlike steps. Although the steps are a little on the unattractive side in the travel mode, function definitely overtakes form with unparalleled durability and strength. The new steps also have the appearance of being somewhat bulky, but it’s simply an illusion as the steps perform amazingly well with minimal effort. In fact, these steps were so well crafted that I bounced up and down on them as if they were a trampoline and experienced no adverse result from the abusive testing. When in transit, the steps fold against the door using a mechanism that is totally new to the RV industry.
Once aboard the Winslow 37SDF, immense gains in visual space are highlighted by the newly placed entrance. It was quite obvious how blending the entryway into the living-room slide greatly benefitted the remainder of the layout, transforming wasted space into useful space and providing a welcoming feeling immediately upon crossing the threshold. You’ve got to love the large window adjacent to the freestanding table and chairs that’s next to the newly placed door. Together they provide exceptional visibility to the outside and work in harmony with the living room/kitchen theme that dominates the rear of the fifth-wheel. From here the floorplan allows for a half bath tucked into the streetside wall and the steps that lead up to the bedroom and master bathroom. Think “motorhome bath-and-a-half plan” in reverse.

 Island structure with double sinks provides most of the counter space in the galley.  Residential refrigerator offers 18 cubic feet of food and beverage storage.


Island structure with double sinks provides most of the counter space in the galley.
Residential refrigerator offers 18 cubic feet of food and beverage storage.

Heading indoors for some home-style R&R you will be welcomed into a warm LED lighted atmosphere, surrounded by the inviting tones of the solid hickory framed and faced cabinetry configured in all the places you’d want and need them. The traditionally styled — and plush — sofa bed and twin leather wrapped recliners make kicking off your shoes and relaxing a no-brainer. This is especially true considering there is a standard 42-inch LCD HD television, complete with the usual cable and dual location satellite pre-wiring (for either roof or ground use) in the entertainment center section of the opposing slideout.
Nestled directly forward of the entertainment area is a portion of the galley that’s supported by the tastefully selected Residential Refrigerator Package option. Included with this package is the refrigerator dressed in stainless steel and offering a whopping 18 cubic feet of chilled space; the optional convection microwave is also trimmed in stainless. Since the optional Samsung house fridge doesn’t offer propane power, those owners who like to boondock will need to consider the optional generator or beef up the battery bank, add the appropriate power inverter/charger and maybe a solar system. The remainder of the kitchen isn’t overdressed with an extravagant stove or oven, just the standard three-burner range and oven combo, which is tied-in subtly using a wood grained center bordered by stainless décor. Top off the kitchen with an ideally placed island structure housing double deep under-mount style sinks coupled to a tall stainless faucet, and any cook will be feeling a little giddy.

Master bed is tucked into the streetside slide, and windows on the slideout walls offer expansive views of the outdoors. There are plenty of storage cabinets.

Master bed is tucked into the streetside slide, and windows on the slideout walls offer expansive views of the outdoors. There are plenty of storage cabinets.

Stepping up into the bedroom takes you through a short hallway where a command center is located giving easy access to the monitor panels and the most commonly used switches/controls. Just beyond this point the space opens up into bedroom bliss. The well-laid-out master bedroom offers more than just ample room for movement and a pillow-top mattress. Once past the optional matching wood/glass inlaid door, the remainder of the homelike features really stand out and shine.
A giant closet with a sliding door at the foot of the bed is pushed out with the slideout mechanism and its storage capability is complemented by a linen closet and a drawer structure that houses the bedroom TV. Three surrounding windows accented with handsome valances and day/night shades balance out the bedroom nicely. Another doorway leads to an appropriately sized master bathroom in the very front of the fifth-wheel. A 6-foot 5-inch ceiling height provides the open space necessary to accommodate a nearly home-sized glass shower enclosure, his-and-hers matching sinks and expansive cabinet space, while allowing plenty of room for the porcelain toilet and requisite maneuverability. The two closets easily afford the space needed for bathroom supplies and the larger enclosure is pre-wired and pre-plumbed for a washer and dryer.

Newly designed entry steps for the slideout door look bulky when folded against the side wall during transit, but in use requires minimal effort.

Newly designed entry steps for the slideout door look bulky when folded against the side wall during transit, but in use requires minimal effort.

Scrutinizing the Winslow 37SDF interior, you’ll learn to expect a certain level of quality that extends to the outside after considering fit and finish and the choice of materials. The official tour of the exterior starts with clean gel-coated fiberglass, which quickly draws your attention to the external storage system. From the 13/8-inch-thick insulated compartment doors to the ultra-organized all-in-one utility center, sliding basement trays and a payload capability upward of a full ton of heated storage, the Winslow screams long-term convenience without being seasonally selective.
The user-friendly super storage system is a product of Excel’s exclusive Drop Z full tube frame structure, encapsulating the entire com-fort heating and insulated plumbing systems while lowering the center of gravity.

Scissor-type mechanism and mounting system are new to fifth-wheels.

Scissor-type mechanism and mounting system are new to fifth-wheels.

Helping to aid in ride comfort is the optional MOR/ryde suspension tied to Nev-R-Lube axles (maintenance-free bearings) with disc brakes. The chassis rolls on 17.5-inch Goodyear tires mounted on alloy wheels.
The exterior is fitted with frameless Thermopane windows, which look very smooth and offer the necessary utility to give the fifth-wheel a 10-degree below 0 F rating that is guaranteed to be accurate. Peering up toward the roof shines light on yet another industry first. This Excel has an almost indestructible lifelong roof. Excel worked with Rhino Linings, maker of one of the truck aftermarket industry’s leading and most resilient spray-on bed liners to create a one-time permanent roof liner. The new Rhino Eco-Coat roof is a very impressive system that also covers the tops of all four fully hydraulically operated slideouts. It will not streak or chalk and is designed to last so long that the company is looking into the possibility of extending the warranty for this material for life. It does add to the price of the fifth-wheel that carries a base MSRP of $110,745 (as tested) for the 37SDF.
Excel has certainly done a fine job with this fifth-wheel. The Winslow 37SDF utilizes just about every square inch in this floorplan and the entry through the curbside living room slideout dramatically expands versatility. In fact, due to the new entrance, the Winslow has opened up enough free space in the living area that it’s sometimes downright hard to remember that you’re aboard something on wheels.

winslow-37SDFspecs

 

Print Friendly

Comments

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!





Get a FREE issue of Trailer Life Magazine

Sign up for your trial subscription and you'll receive a FREE issue. If you like Trailer Life, pay just $17.97 for 11 more issues (12 in all). Otherwise, write "cancel" on the invoice, return it and owe nothing.