Potomac 31'

September 5, 2003
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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Since a group of seasoned industry professionals at Elkhart, Indiana-based Potomac RV
launched a line of conventional travel trailers in November 2002, customers who were
impressed with the rigs’ quality were asking when the company would offer fifth-wheels.
Answering this call and true to its goals of “setting revolutionary standards,” Potomac
began shipping fifth-wheels in May 2003. Initially, the company is offering two floorplans:
a double-slide, model 5231RLS and a triple-slide, model 5333RLES. The 5231RLS is a 33-foot
6-inch unit that uses a straightforward, conventional layout consisting of a slideout queen
bedroom up front, followed by a walk-through bathroom. The rear portion, which represents
two-thirds of its floor space, contains a second streetside slideout with a freestanding
dinette and sofa, a curbside galley and a rear living-room area. Model 5231RLS provides
cargo space in its front pass-through storage bay, located beneath the bedroom. With a
gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) of 12,550 pounds and an unloaded vehicle weight (uvw) of
9,610 pounds, users can expect a cargo capacity of 2,940 pounds. Construction of the new
fifth-wheel includes 2-inch aluminum framing utilized throughout its superstructure for
lighter weight. Other architectural materials consist of laminated side walls with an
extra-wide 30-inch entrance door; polystyrene block-foam insulation; a single piece,
screwed down floor deck; and a thermoplastic roof overlay. Enhancing the unit’s
roadability, it is built on a heavy-duty powdercoated steel frame with Dexter E-Z Lube
axles, shock absorbers and 16-inch wheels. Finishing touches include front and rear molded
fiberglass end caps and contemporary graphics. Standard amenities literally abound on this
fifth-wheel, such as an 18-foot main awning, a 15,000-BTU ducted air-conditioning system, a
10-gallon gas/electric water heater and heated holding tanks. Considering that the rig is
well-outfitted from the get go, its base price of $35,250 compares to similarly outfitted
other brands. If buyers wish to add some available options, such as power front jacks,
slideout awnings or a VCR/DVD player, for example, the cost will be commensurately higher.
Décor elements used in the Potomac fifth-wheel reflect the look and feel of a higher-line
rig. Included are designer-coordinated interior fabrics, white or Bentz oak cabinetry with
heavy drawer guides, Corian-edged countertops and deep, “plexi-stone” sinks. Deluxe
carpeting with substantial residential padding is used in bedroom and living-room zones
while the galley and bathroom sport sturdy and easily cleanable Armstrong Scuff Guard
floorcovering. For convenient meal preparation and food handling, the galley is outfitted
with a double-door refrigerator, a deluxe microwave oven, a high-output three-burner stove
and a slideout pantry. Bathrooms are appointed with a private stool area, a porcelain
washbasin and toilet and a one-piece fiberglass shower. Holding-tank capacities –
49-gallon freshwater tank plus black- and gray-water reservoirs of 45 gallons each — endow
it with extended dry camping potential. A large bay window at the rear of the fifth-wheel
helps brighten the unit’s interior. Seating in front of this window includes two barrel
chairs and a lamp table with built-in cup holders. Further complementing this area, the
living-room slideout hosts overhead storage cabinets, a jack-knife sofa bed and a
freestanding dinette with four chairs. Potomac RV, (574) 970-0565; potomacrv.com

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