Many who decide to upgrade to a larger fifth-wheel consider the purchase to be a step toward the full-timing lifestyle. But Fleetwood’s new offering, the 2009 Terry LX 335RLDS – with its attractive, in-your-face raised detail on the front cap – appears to have been designed with the recreational adventurer/explorer in mind, rather than the prospective full-timer.
No matter if you’re seeking a season-long snowbird hiatus, weekends at a local lake, infield action at your favorite auto race or a well-earned chunk of pure solitude under a canopy of rustling trees, this trailer suits all of these activities well. The cavernous front pass-through storage area features double-door access from both sides and enough real estate to swallow a host of outdoor accessories, from standard fare such as backpacks, ice chests and fishing poles, to large, bulky items like kayaks, water skis and surf boards, which are usually relegated to aisle storage inside the trailer. This not only solves many cargo-storage issues for adventurous types, but it also helps keep the interior of the fifth-wheel clean.
Extra attention was also given to the cabinetwork in this fiver. Not only are there numerous cabinets for ample storage, they appear to be top-notch. And the lighter Symphony Cherry finish on the wood matches well with the Ivy Green décor package, making the interior look larger and lighter. A darker Storm Gray and an earthy Terracotta Clay are other options, as well as an additional choice of a medium-dark Plantation Cherry finish for the cabinetry.
Once you park and extend the two slides, the curbside awning opens with the push of a button. Overall, the 335RLDS offers an expansive floorplan. The nearly 12-foot-long living-room slide allows an extra 36 inches and carries the sofa/bed and freestanding dining table.
Ever notice how the typical fixed dinette has enough room for four full-sized dinner plates, but not much else? Well, this freestanding expandable-table design makes it easy to accommodate four or more without feeling too cramped. The dining area also includes four individual chairs rather than the traditional bench seating.
Across the trailer on the curbside is the galley. Just forward of the 30-inch-wide entry door, there is ample counter space in addition to a fold-up extension that transforms the food-prep area into a convenient L-shaped workspace. Six drawers, with full-extension roller-bearing drawer guides, provide generous storage, including one beneath the 22-inch oven and another under the Dometic three-way refrigerator. Nicely styled overhead cabinets keep pantry items within easy reach, and the 50/50 stainless sink features a nickel-plate faucet with pullout rinser. While the High Pointe 900-watt microwave seems to be a little small for a fifth-wheel of this size, the three-burner Amana stovetop and oven should take care of any additional cooking needs.
Just to the left of the steps leading up to the lav and sleeping quarters is the entertainment center, with a 26-inch LCD television mounted on an articulated bracket that allows you to select the best viewing angle. Located behind the cabinet doors – which feature real glass inserts – is a DVD player with surround sound. Dome speakers are mounted in the ceiling, which definitely provides a nice balance of sound for those in the living room.
The spacious bathroom includes a glass-enclosed neo-angle shower, Dometic china toilet with ample legroom and a corner mount lav and medicine cabinet that helps to optimize available floorspace, providing plenty of room for two adults.
Upstairs, the bedroom is also roomy, with a good amount of closet space. Large mirrored doors conceal a massive closet that almost spans the entire width of the trailer. The area is deep enough to accommodate a washer/dryer, an element worth discussing when comparing this fiver to one designed specifically for full-timers.
The bedroom also features a second 26-inch LCD television – this one is freestanding – that can take care of any video entertainment desires. The king bed rides out in the second streetside slider, increasing the living space by providing 22 inches of clearance at the foot of the bed.
As an RVer who likes to enjoy a nightly movie before retiring, it’s nice to have some table space for my favorite beverage or my reading glasses when it’s time to turn out the lights. But this bedroom layout has only one end table (25 x 30 inches) at the door side of the bed, while the closet side has none. I would prefer to split the difference and have smaller end tables at each side of the bed.
I was pleased to find that the bed is equipped with hydraulic struts and is hinged at the head, so you can easily access the additional underbed storage.
And if an extra bit of heat is necessary, this Terry offers an optional CFM electric fireplace that sure warms the room. While the fiver is insulated to ensure comfort for every season, sometimes the comforter isn’t quite enough to keep your toes toasty.
The Terry’s laminated fiberglass exterior features aggressive styling and offers rigidity and insulation (R-7 rated for walls and floor). It’s built with a durable, lightweight aluminum frame, and radiused ceiling trusses ensure strength, water runoff and reduced weight.
Climbing onto the roof via the rear-mounted ladder, I found a one-piece seamless rubber roof membrane, warranted for 12 years. Inside is seamless vinyl flooring covering the entire living-room area. Checking out the rolling gear, the Equa-Flex rubberized suspension provides a smooth ride, which should prevent structural damage due to excessive road-induced shock.
All in all, it’s easy to see a family of four outdoor adventurers making the jump to this fiver from a smaller travel trailer or even a Class C motorhome. Just the same, the additional living space it provides could bring extra comfort to an empty-nester’s lifestyle.
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., (951) 351-3500, www.fleetwoodrv.com.