On Top of the World
Jayco’s five-slide Pinnacle fifth-wheel lives up to its lofty name
There’s something romantic about loading up the old pickup with the family and camping gear, finding an out-of-the-way fishing hole, pitching the tents and wetting a line. The whole crew enjoys getting away from it all and making do with what Mother Nature has to offer in terms of accommodations, entertainment and — if you keep what you catch — dinner.
That may be the sentiment for some happy campers, but many seasoned RVers have moved up to something more.
Jayco’s 2016 Pinnacle 38FLSA fifth-wheel is that something more, and then some. With five slideouts, a Food Network-worthy galley and a bedroom straight out of a home-decor magazine, the Pinnacle makes you wonder if this can really be considered camping. To us, it felt more like vacationing in an upscale time-share with the option of transporting it almost anywhere.
The 38FLSA is big, and its profile juts nearly 13½ feet into the sky, which limits its ability to travel on roads with low clearances and park at some of the more primitive campsites. But if you’re in this fiver, who needs primitive?
The Pinnacle can be fitted with the MORryde LRE 4000 suspension (part of the $4,498 Pinnacle Advantage Package) and pin box (part of the $7,496 Luxury Fifth Wheel Package) to soften the ride. The vacuum-bonded, laminated side walls look great, and the front and rear fiberglass end caps are outfitted with LED lights. The Pinnacle Advantage Package also adds gelcoat to the side walls and end caps.
An electric six-point landing system from Lippert Components makes campsite setup easy, and the powered 50-amp cord reel is a nice convenience. The pass-through storage space should accommodate most gear, from luggage to outdoor chairs. Oversize aluminum entry steps include a fourth platform, which is great. For four-season living, the fifth-wheel has a 40,000-Btu furnace, Astro-Foil in the roof and floors, and a heated and enclosed underbelly.
Stepping inside the Pinnacle is where the real fun begins, and it doesn’t take long to forget you’re in a fifth-wheel trailer. High ceilings, handmade furniture, attractive flooring and stunning solid-surface countertops transform the RV lifestyle into a residential experience.
The 38FLSA utilizes five slides in a front-living-room floorplan, making entertaining the neighbors or simply watching TV an impressive affair. In the entertainment area that’s up front (where the bedroom would usually be), dual slides house a pair of couches. A third couch, this one with theater seating, is directly across from the 60-inch LED HDTV, electric fireplace and faux stone hearth. The opposing sofas fold down to form one gigantic crash pad up front, which is great for families or overnight guests.
The galley features eye-catching Hi-Macs solid-surface countertops from LG in the island configuration and kitchen slideout. The island itself is home to a dual-basin stainless sink with a high-rise pull-out sprayer. An innovative cylinder pops out of the counter to provide power outlets for a toaster, mixers and other small appliances. The light fixture above the island is an acquired taste, but it emitted the right amount of lighting for food prep and post-meal chatting.
Housed in the slideout that also holds the range and under-cabinet microwave, the stainless residential refrigerator is a 23-cubic-footer with an in-door water and ice dispenser.
On the wall to the right of the fridge, a small computer desk makes good use of the space, though it was a bit awkward placing a dinette chair in one of the trailer’s main thoroughfares. The adjoining hall tree with flip-up storage is a great place to store shoes and smaller outdoor toys. On the opposite wall, the spacious corner pantry lies behind frosted, etched glass, further proof that Jayco is reaching for the top with the Pinnacle.
The dinette is of the freestanding, expandable variety and is placed in a sizable nook with tinted windows that let in more than enough natural light to offset the darker tones of the cherry cabinets. The kitchen and dining area has what looks like wood-plank flooring, but closer examination reveals it to be vinyl, a common choice in many of today’s fifth wheels. Stain-resistant residential carpeting covers the living room and bedroom floors.
At the back of the 38FLSA, the elegant master bedroom is a treat. Tall ceilings and the king-bed slideout really open things up. The full 80-inch luxury mattress is incredibly comfortable, and there’s still plenty of room to walk around it while making the bed in the morning.
A good-size dresser across the room holds a 32-inch TV with a DVD player, as well as drawers for storage. The trailer’s back wall is plumbed for a stackable washer-and-dryer unit, though our tester used that space for additional storage right next to the oversize cedar-lined closet with integrated shelving. Needless to say, storage was not an issue.
Because of the high ceilings, the bathroom looks larger than it actually is, yet it is still more than ample. The 36-inch shower offers a residential experience, the porcelain toilet affords plenty of legroom, and the large linen closet is much appreciated.
Inside the 38FLSA, nearly every bit of space is smartly utilized for storage or high-line gadgetry. Of course, all those add-ons can up the price in a hurry. Our tester had a $91,822 price tag, once all the option packages were added in, including a mandatory (which means standard equipment) $2,999 Customer Value Package and a third air conditioner in the front living room.
If you want to get back to basics and reconnect with your inner wild, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for something more, and you’re in a financial position to get it, the Jayco Pinnacle is true to its name.
574-825-5861 | www.jayco.com