Extreme Carriage

October 2, 2006
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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Try as they might to replicate the residential experience, most trailers can’t fill the
bill for one simple reason: space. Confined to a basic breadbox shape, there are only two
ways to expand living space: Length, which most folks don’t want too much of, and width,
which is limited by lane size. The answer to the elbow-room equation in recent years has
been the slideout, and we’ve seen them grow in number from one, all the way up to four in
the larger fifth-wheels. The Carri-Lite CL36XTRM5 (better known as the XTRM5) by Carriage
Inc., however, takes it one step further with five slideouts. “Slideouts enhance the
livability of the unit,” says Don Emahiser, vice president of sales and marketing for
Carriage. “If four slideouts are good, five slideouts are better. We believe you can’t have
too much of a good thing.” It would appear that consumers agree; the XTRM5 is not just the
best-selling floorplan in the Carri-Lite line, it’s the best-selling floorplan in the
company, according to Emahiser. “People are surprised at how much room there is, especially
in the bedroom, where there are opposing slides,” he says. “We call it the ‘ultimate
bedroom’. It adds space to the area that you just don’t find in other products at this
price point. And that’s really where the idea for the fifth slide came from — to expand
the bedroom area.” Ordinarily, fifth-wheels have a queen bed in a large slideout on the
streetside, and a solid wall on the curbside. The XTRM5 puts a wardrobe in the large slide
as well, opening up the bath area, and places a small wardrobe slide on the curbside. This
dramatically increases walk-around room, and adds a truly residential feel to the bedroom.
A large bath area features a generously proportioned neo-angle shower, linoleum flooring,
lavatory, separate toilet room and a wardrobe with the option of a washer/dryer. Step down
into the kitchen — with the expansive living area just aft — and you’ll get the
impression that this is an inviting place to spend time. A large, L-shaped center island
with genuine Corian countertops provides plenty of space for meal prep, and a streetside
slideout houses the Norcold 8-cubic foot refrigerator, a pantry, a three-burner range and a
microwave oven. A sofa bed and freestanding, four-place dinette are located in a
flush-floor slide on the curbside, while a desk and entertainment center are located in an
opposing flush-floor slide aft of the kitchen. Two leather Euro swivel recliners and a
small center cabinet reside at the back of the fifth-wheel. Standard features include an
exterior hookup center, rear basement storage and MOR/ryde suspension/pin box. Significant
options include the popular Arizona room (a glass-topped sofa/dinette slide), a Carefree of
Colorado electric awning and a 70 x 80-inch king bed. The 2006 model is pictured here, but
dealers are already taking delivery of 2007 models. Carriage Inc., (574) 642-3622,
carriageinc.com

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