Space Craft’s V-340 Fifth-Wheel
June 1, 2010
Filed under Trailer Reviews
By looking at the photos of Space Craft Manufacturing’s V-340 fifth-wheel, you’ve no doubt reached the conclusion that this trailer is huge. That’s the impression I had when I first saw it. Think again. At 34 feet in length, it’s nowhere near the longest trailer on the road, and at just north of 12 feet tall, it’s not the tallest, either. It’s not even the largest trailer we’ve reviewed this year. But even though the Space Craft may not actually be as large as it seems, this triple-slide fiver sure does deliver a big feel. And that sense of immense size spills over into the interior with its high ceiling and roominess, and pays off in a pleasant living area with a residential feel – which is precisely what Space Craft strives for in its design process.
Space Crafts are Custom Built
Space Craft trailers are fully customizable, and are generally intended to be destination-style trailers; that is, more for the full-timing crowd. Of course, weekenders with quite a bit of disposable income can enjoy the virtues of the Space Crafts as well, but I found that the detail and craftsmanship are best realized by spending an extended amount of time in it.
Space Craft offers a wide variety of floor-plans to begin new-trailer construction, or buyers can design their own based on their specific needs. After the floorplan has been selected, customers are then involved in the entire design process, from the wall paneling to the upholstery fabric to the interior paint (more on that in a bit). A long list of standard amenities and an impressive list of options are then hashed out for the “ultimate” fifth-wheel for each individual buyer.
Test of the V-340
The V-340 we tested was assembled for the RV show circuit to illustrate the possibilities of a Space Craft fiver. As with all Space Craft trailers, the frame was built in-house, specifically for this fifth-wheel. Because many of the features were selected to showcase the variety of options Space Craft has to offer, certain limitations – such as sleeping for only two and boondocking shortcomings – could easily be rectified by checking the appropriate boxes during the design process.
Our test V-340 features a minimalist exterior, with limited graphics and gray siding ($4,995) that’s not exactly striking at first blush. What it lacks in aesthetics, however, it more than makes up for in durability: the gelcoated fiberglass body and fiberglass bumper are smooth and seamless, and the sturdy triple-step entrance makes for easy access to the living area.
The holding-tank valve is contained in one of the small exterior compartments, easing the dumping process by keeping the handle at a reasonable height.
The rest of the compartments combine to offer adequate storage for most gear. The basement storage area isn’t huge, but it’s a decent size; likewise for the front pass-through area. It seems that if you purchase a V-340, you’re doing so to set it up in camp long-term, with most of your gear inside the spacious trailer for easier access.
Inside, there’s plenty of storage for smaller items in the cabinetry, and this maple-cabinet upgrade ($2,900) is simply stunning. Every cabinet door is reinforced to provide a sturdiness I have never before encountered in an RV.
There are several such cabinets throughout the living area and galley, all featuring premier craftsmanship. Some cabinets, however, are extremely high off the ground – so high, in fact, that a footstool is needed to reach some of the corners of the spaces. Also, the slideout-control switches are located quite high up, and although I can reach them being 6 feet 2 inches tall, the shorter members in the group could not.
Equally impressive as the quality cabinetry is the painted-walls option ($900). In a world generally dominated by bare surfaces and photographic paper, the ability to select the wall coloring, and even change it as your taste evolves, is quite refreshing. Plus, a chair rail throughout the dining/living areas means a two-tone color scheme is a possibility. The molded fiberglass ceiling is another feature that adds to the fiver’s inner beauty.
The galley in the V-340 has a crisp, clean feel about it, with little clutter, thanks in part to the electric smooth-surface cooktop ($200). Which leads me to my first recommendation: The cook-top is electric only, so you need shorepower or an AC-generator ($295, pre-wire only) to cook meals. If boondocking is in the cards, I’d definitely opt for an LP-gas cook-top and/or pay for the AC-generator pre-wire and purchase an aftermarket genset. Of course, with a trailer as luxurious as this, full-hookup parks and resorts are more than likely the prime locations to unhitch this fiver.
The kitchen features an L-shaped counter-top that will keep traffic out of the cook’s way, but space is limited between the cooking area and the large dual-basin sink. The upgraded counter is solid-surface Corian ($2,500) and is a real treat to view.
Across from the galley is the freestanding table with four chairs, located in a slide-out that also houses the sofa and one of the two leather Euro recliners ($905). Due to the decorative/ support beam between the sofa and dinette, it was necessary to move the table to the living area in front of the TV in order for the four-person test crew to be comfortably seated at the table. However, it would be perfectly fine left in place for a couple, or even a three-person family.
The sofa offers seating for three, and each end seat can recline for a comfortable spot while watching the 32-inch LCD TV and Blu-ray player in the built-in entertainment center (which also features a desk area below the TV).
We can’t fairly designate the sofa as an extra sleeping position, because the sofa in this particular trailer doesn’t convert into a bed. This means that the total number of sleeping positions in the test unit is only two. One more could sleep on top of the sofa if needed (it was for us). But if you prefer a sofa bed (which is actually standard), Space Craft will happily oblige. However, if you don’t plan on having any overnight guests, the non-convertible sofa in our test unit was quite nice.
Two leather Euro recliners ($795) with ottomans provide yet another seating area in the rear, though one of the recliners had to be adjusted while deploying the slideout to avoid damaging the walls.
Up the stairs, the Space Craft really shines, with its residential bathroom and impressive master bedroom.
The large bathroom features a porcelain toilet and a garden-style shower enclosure ($800) that more than did the trick for wash-up duties. A black three-bulb vanity light ($114) goes well with the black fixtures, resulting in a classy uniform look not often found in a trailer.
The master bedroom features the most comfortable RV bed I have slept in, period. This pillowtop queen was so comfortable it made getting out of bed in the morning difficult. There are no nightstands, but the window covering offers a ledge wide enough to hold a pair of glasses and a TV remote.
Across from the bed, there’s a large armoire with a cool baker’s dozen drawers, with an opening for a TV. The large cedar-lined closet with shoe rack above is perfect for swallowing your entire wardrobe, which can be laundered with the adjacent washer/dryer combo ($1,895). Plush carpeting throughout the room further adds to the residential feeling.
Overall, the Space Craft displays some top-notch craftsmanship, inside and out. The features of this test trailer are geared more for a full-timing couple, but a few choices here and there could easily turn this into a family-friendly fiver. When paired with a properly outfitted tow vehicle, the trailer tows with ease, but the residential-type livability and details are sure to be what catches the eyes of potential buyers.
Space Craft Manufacturing, (888) 463-7520, www.spacecraftmfg.com.