When looking for an SURV to haul their toys, some RVers are in the market for little more than a compact mobile garage with a couple of bunks, a cooler and perhaps a toilet. Those RVers need not apply here. The Dutchmen 2014 Voltage V3895 we tested is anything but Spartan. In fact, it boasts practically every amenity and upgrade we’ve ever encountered in an RV, let alone a toy hauler. Dutchmen has packed so much into this plus-size fiver that it’s virtually impossible to tell it’s an SURV from the inside … until you walk into the garage, that is.
As you can see, this thing is big, nearly 43 feet long, including the 12-foot rear garage. The exterior is in-your-face aggressive. From its imposing frame, the optional full-body paint ($8,693), gelcoat fiberglass upgrade ($1,878) and standard black with blue accent color scheme, all scream for attention while on the road or in camp. The large garage door out back adds to the aggressive aura; you just know that Voltage owners have some serious motorized toys stored within.
The garage is accessed either via a side-entry door (a concept we love), or via the easy-open, spring-assisted ramp door. The garage package ($1,428) nets buyers a 32-inch LCD TV, a stereo with DVD player, heat and air conditioning ducts, 22-inch diamond plating on the walls, washer/dryer prep and 2,500-pound-rated tie downs. Add to that the roll-up carpeting ($218), the Happijac electric bed and rollover sofa system with table and bench inserts ($3,473), and the pull-down garage door screen ($573), and you can scarcely tell it’s designed to haul toys rather than it being an extension of the living area. Of course, it helps that the corner of the garage houses a half-bath, with a toilet and sink. The toilet itself does seem a bit cramped, but who cares? There’s a half-bath in the garage!
The test trailer also included the optional ($2,893) Aluminum Ramp Door Patio System with a Carefree awning, which only adds to the workable living space in the trailer. Also included as part of the V-Series Exterior Package ($3,944) is a second 30-gallon fuel station for off-pavement vehicles, which extends the off-the-grid vacations adventurers generally crave. That same Exterior Package also includes an exterior convenience center, an AC-generator, 16-inch aluminum wheels and a detachable roof ladder, among other appointments.
Entry to the trailer proper, through the tasteful solid door with a glazed glass insert, leads to the galley/living area. The galley is a bit cramped, but Dutchmen has done its best to make the most of the space, with a curved, peninsular-type kitchen countertop, dual-basin sink with one side enlarged for pots and pans, residential microwave-convection oven ($450), 12-cubic-foot refrigerator ($2,603) and oven in place of two kitchen drawers ($283). Unfortunately, this cooktop is little more than the industry standard that is included in trailers a mere fraction of the cost of the Voltage, so we were left wanting a bit more. We’d expect an upscale stovetop in an upscale trailer.
Contemporary pendulum lighting hangs over the counter prep space, shedding some light on what is sometimes a pretty dark, albeit inviting environment.
The test trailer included the Desert color scheme resulting in deeper, darker earth tones — a look I quite enjoy but will definitely necessitate leaving the shades open to let some light in. A large pantry is located curbside, and will easily handle nonperishable items and probably much more.
The living area features a giant leather couch nestled in the 107-inch curbside slideout, and although it cannot be converted into a bed (nor can the opposing two-person recliner/couch), there are plenty of sleeping options with the Happijac bed out back. In addition, above the garage’s entry door you’ll find a two-person bunk for the kiddoes, accessible via a removable ladder. This is a great fort-type area for the kids to climb up into, or could also be used for storage should all the occupants wish to keep their feet on the ground.
A 46-inch LCD TV mounted above the electric fireplace completes the living area, and the sightline is adequate from all seating areas.
Up the stairs (and past the well-disguised systems monitors and breaker panel) brings you to the “hallway,” which is abbreviated in this fiver due to the space needed for the garage out back. With the bathroom door open, the door to the master bangs against it, which will call for some communication between occupants to avoid costly — and embarrassing — incidents. The bathroom itself features a full-size shower with plenty of headroom, and the foot-flush porcelain toilet has been installed at an angle for increased comfort. The vessel sink and faucet are part of the Luxury Interior Package ($4,053). The Luxury Package also includes upgrades throughout the trailer, including quartz granite countertops, day/night shades and the large TV in the living area and a powered kitchen vent fan, to name a few. A mirrored medicine cabinet and wall mirror make sure you can look your best from all angles. There’s a large cabinet behind the toilet that isn’t quite deep enough for more than magazines and washcloths, but it’s a nice use of the available space.
The master bedroom features a pillared entertainment center that differs from most others in that it’s part of a solid wall … and there’s plenty of room between it and the foot of the comfortable queen bed. The master features a mirrored wardrobe with his and hers cabinets for hanging clothes and drawers, and the requisite cabinets above the bed are useful for storing odds and ends. There are full-size nightstands with a cabinet below on each side of the bed, which is yet again a much-appreciated use of the available space.
It does seem odd that we’re lauding the use of “available space” on a trailer that’s nearly 43 feet long. That’s one of the Voltage’s best traits. You completely forget you’re in a toy hauler, so much to the point that you begin nitpicking and wish for more open space. But taking into account there’s a 12-foot garage out back — with a bathroom, no less — it’s a snap back into reality that this dual-purpose trailer is smartly designed, well appointed and offers residential-type luxury that’s hard to ignore.