Silver Lining: Arctic Fox 27-5L
Northwood Manufacturing delivers stout construction and a long list of amenities in its Silver Fox Edition half-ton towable fifth-wheel
Northwood is one of the RV industry’s leading manufacturers that truly builds four-season trailers. Combine this feature with a proprietary aluminum super-structure frame, which utilizes thick-wall aluminum tubing ranging from .060 to .125 inches thick, and the company’s fifth-wheels end up sporting a solid platform and rigid wall structure that allows Northwood to designate its trailers as suitable for off-road service, an aspect of travel that fits nicely with the factory’s rugged Pacific Northwest location.
The stout, independently certified chassis is just the beginning of a solid construction approach that makes the Arctic Fox 27-5L Silver Fox Edition a feature-rich compact fifth-wheel contender in the half-ton towable marketplace. Continuing the theme of building a foundation that’s designed to last a long time are higher-end components like Goodyear tires mounted on 16-inch aluminum wheels managed by a shock absorber at each wheel.
Service is a big deal for Northwood, so using name-brand components makes it easier to handle replacement or service issues.
Adhered directly to the frame for maximum strength are the spare-tire carrier, entry step and electric stabilizing and landing jacks that aid in steadying the platform when set up in camp as well as when it comes time to hitch up. Standard is a Reese 5th Airborne pin box, which helps maneuverability in tight places.
Blended nicely beyond the pin box is a handsome gray aerodynamic fiberglass front cap with integrated LED lights and radius corners. Located below is a diamond-plate rock guard that runs the full width of the trailer, and the front storage area is conveniently prewired and prepped for a generator install. The rest of the body is assembled using a top-tier lamination process for building the high-density one-piece walls and roof.
A single-layer heavy-gauge rubber membrane is laid over a sturdy backer on bow-style roof trusses to promote easier runoff and eliminate standing water. Northwood prides itself on the strength of the roof structure and commonly invites factory workers to pose for publicity pictures as a group standing on the roof.
As part of the exterior hardware, a Carefree Travel’r power awning with 12-volt DC LED lighting is mounted to the patio side wall, complemented by deep-tint windows. Stereo speakers are integrated for easy outdoor listening. The exterior convenience center is well conceived, and there’s plenty of storage space in large compartments accessed by 1-inch-thick doors. The doors are fitted with slam latches that have the supporting elements to provide decent security.
The whole unit is outlined with large rain gutters and has twin 10-gallon LP-gas cylinders, instead of the 7-gallon units normally found on fifth-wheels this size. There’s also an LP-gas quick-coupler for connecting a barbecue, fire pit or camp-style lanterns.
The interior could be mistaken for a small luxury condo. While sitting at the dining room table, occupants will instantly notice how homey the living area feels. It has a wide-open floorplan, considering the fifth-wheel is less than 30 feet long. Ample floor space is highlighted by majestic decorative features with hints of iron decor tossed into the mix of antique glazed cabinetry.
Spaciousness in the Silver Fox Edition is defined largely by the healthy-size living/dining room slideout. This main slideout is packed with an extremely comfy sofa bed wrapped with the Royal Estate package patterns and tones, along with the aforementioned dining table and chairs.
Besides the typical sofa and dining set, the living quarters are also home to a freestanding rocking recliner and a large mirror. There’s also a ceiling-mounted sunshade and a fan. Just below is an LCD TV coupled to a Jensen DVD/CD AM/FM entertainment system with an iPod dock and auxiliary ports. Control switches for items like the awning and lights are located within the entertainment cabinetry as well.
This integrated approach is supported by an all-in-one cabinet by the entry door. There’s also a small coat closet that’s ideal for leaving keys, caps and jackets on a user-friendly sliding rack, all tucked in behind the TV/entertainment/command center.
In keeping with a rear-galley design, the corner cabinets make kitchen storage extensive and accessible. There’s a residential-size convection/microwave above the three-burner stove. Between the two appliances is a custom designer backsplash that adds a decorative accent. The oven is a large 22-inch model with three shelves versus the usual two-shelf version. Next to the oven are three very large, deep drawers ideal for big pots and pans or hefty quantities of utensils. Also in the kitchen is a dual-pane glass rear window to let in some natural rays. Below the window is a deep, double stainless-steel sink with a retractable faucet. There’s also a large pantry with extensive shelving (stationary and pull-out) that’s good for cans, seasonings and other foodstuffs.
At the top of the stairway to the bedroom is a door decorated with an antique-style black frosted glass inlay. Directly ahead as you enter is the 60- x 80-inch queen bed, positioned lengthwise and complemented by matching nightstands. Highlights in the bedroom include a TruRest mattress, a roomy wardrobe slideout, independent LED lighting on each side of the bed and a Starlite sunshade, plus a fan. At the foot of the bed is a TV stand with the usual connections for ancillary components.
Like many smaller fifth-wheels, the bath area incorporates a Jack and Jill arrangement, with an entry door off the hallway and a second entry from the bedroom. The latter makes late-night visits convenient, and inside the spacious lavatory are two mirrors — one is a telescoping lighted vanity mirror, also known as a beautifying/magnification mirror, and the other is perched above a corner placed sink. For a more home-like feel, a porcelain toilet is provided, and the combo bath/shower is finished in a somewhat unusual but attractive brown color and enclosed by frosted glass — no dealing with a small tub and oversize curtains.
Everything about the Arctic Fox 27-5L Silver Fox Edition suggests quality, from the main structure to the smallest of details such as coiled controlled wire routing to prevent damage and support longevity. Details like these demonstrate Northwood’s commitment to quality throughout its line.