Stiletto 38'

October 15, 2001
Filed under Trailer Reviews

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You could say that Stuart LaMarr, president of LaMarr Motor Coach, thinks outside the box.
Literally. His new 38-foot Stiletto fifth-wheel is not only shaped radically different from
any other trailer, it also employs construction techniques and engineering principles
uncommon in the RV industry. “I wanted to bring technologies from other industries such as
automotive, aerospace and marine into the RV industry,”said LaMarr. “For example, instead
of the typical flat-panel stick construction, we’re using the coach’s form as the
structural component. The Stiletto has no framework. Instead, it’s all structural
composite, and its various curves and arches are what create the trailer’s structural
integrity.” The Stiletto uses a two-piece, nine-layer shell comprised of fiberglass and
high-density foam with bonding agents, which is then vacuum-drawn. The pieces are joined in
similar fashion to a deck and hull on a yacht, according to LaMarr. “There is no plywood in
this coach,” he says. “It’s all composite — the flooring, the interior walls, the studs
… everything. The only wood is the solid hardwood Cherry cabinetry inside.” Underneath
the unique body is a 2- x 8- x 5/16-inch tube steel frame, which is actually integrated
into the body mold. Channels in the shell accommodate the chassis rails, and then the shell
is bonded and bolted to the chassis. Instead of traditional axles and leaf springs, the
Stiletto rides on four wheel independent air suspension, featuring control arms made of
1.5-inch-thick steel plate. “The coach can be lowered completely to the ground,” says
LaMarr. “Basically, the first step into the coach is four inches off the ground, then
you’ve got another five-inch step, and you’re in the coach.” LaMarr points out that this
will be especially useful for those with knee, leg or back problems. In addition, the
36-inch- wide door can be fitted with an ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant door,
which folds down to double as an access ramp for wheelchairs. Inside, the Stiletto features
a full walk-around queen-size bed in a rear bedroom, while the front overhead bunk area is
occupied by a console housing a standard 36-inch television, VCR and CD player with
surround sound. Behind the console is where all of the fifth-wheel’s vital systems are
housed. These include a 175 psi air compressor and air tanks (for the air suspension and/or
to run air tools, inflate a raft, etc.), optional central air conditioning system (when
standard roof air is specified, this area can be used for added storage or a children’s
bed) and a heat pump. Ventilation and air intake for these systems is provided by a vent in
the nose of the trailer; heat is exhausted through the roof with solar-powered fans.
Currently the Stiletto is not offered with any slideouts, but the company is working with
HWH to build slideouts — both living room and bedroom; up to three slideouts will
eventually be offered. The slideouts will utilize aluminum framing, but will have composite
skin like the rest of the fifth wheel. “Every effort has been made to make all the surfaces
on the coach a flush fit,” says LaMarr. “The slideout(s) will close similarly to a
door/doorjamb in a car,” he says, “and all of the glass used in the coach is
automotive-style frameless glass bonded to the frame — much the way an automotive
windshield is.” The 38-foot Stiletto has a projected UVW of approximately 12,000 pounds,
which LaMarr claims has already been obtained in pre-production units (production units
were expected to be available in September). Gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) will be
18,500 pounds, and the fifth-wheel will hold up to 200 gallons of fresh water, up to 100
gallons each of black and gray water and 24 gallons of propane. The Stiletto comes standard
with a 10-gallon water heater, a 30,000 BTU furnace, twin 13,000 BTU roof air conditioners,
a 6.5 kW propane Onan AC generator, 2000 watt Trace inverter, 50 amp converter/charger and
electric leveling jacks. Base retail price is $78,000, and other lengths will be available
within one year, according to LaMarr. LaMarr Motor Coach
Inc.
, 3005 E. Ainsworth, Pasco, Washington 99301; (509) 543 2005

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