When Augusta RV opened its doors early last year, the shareholders wanted to offer something they felt was lacking in the market: RV construction that mimics the durable build of most residential homes. In addition, Owner/National Sales Manager Leif Freehafer says Augusta’s brain trust was most interested in providing not only a well-built product, but one that delivered maximum bang for the buck. “At Augusta we are committed to using the highest quality materials, and we refuse to cheapen our units by cutting corners and substituting subpar materials,” says Freehafer.
Eager to put Augusta’s no-nonsense approach on construction to the test, we decided to take a look at the company’s flagship fifth-wheel, the Flex AF-34RS.
Like all Flex trailers, the AF-34RS features 11⁄2-inch aluminum tubing in the side walls spaced 16 inches on center. The tubing, which is 50 percent larger than the usual 1 inch, helps aid in longevity and leads to a more durable, sturdy package. The frame is powder coated, and the floors are also aluminum framed with a stout 5⁄8-inch tongue-and-groove plywood decking. The fully walkable rubber roof is first covered with 3⁄8-inch plywood, and is also reinforced every 16 inches. This results not only in a more durable product, but also a much quieter interior — especially when it rains — according to Augusta. This refreshing overall approach to residential-type construction is essentially what Augusta hangs its hat on. “The Flex is built the way a trailer is supposed to be built,” says Freehafer. “We are so confident in the build of our trailers that we offer a tswo-year warranty on the construction.”
The Flex features so much more than rugged construction. The exterior’s high-gloss gel-coat fiberglass walls are available in white, gray or brown, and the tasteful graphics package works well with the standard fiberglass front cap to offer a look of luxury. The power awning, aluminum wheels and the deep-tinted windows are much appreciated, as are the wide-stance E-Z Lube axles.
Inside, the Flex’s residential appointments go a long way toward making owners feel right at home. “We take great pride in producing a high-quality product, with a rich, luxurious feel, yet [one that is] very functional and provides a level of comfort not always found in today’s market,” says Free-hafer. The all-natural, maple hardwood cabinetry looks great and is scratch-resistant, according to Augusta. Although we didn’t exactly rake our keys across the doors, we can see how the sturdy cabinets would stand the test of time.
The entrance door opens into the galley which features impressive solid-surface countertops and a space-saving kitchen island. The cabinets below the island are ideal for pots and pans, and the dedicated spot for a wastebasket is always appreciated. The galley is appointed with the usual list of three-burner cooktop, stove, microwave and fridge, but little touches like the wall border and backsplash above the sink and the rubbed-bronze high-rise faucet help perpetuate the residential feel.
The living area features a 42-inch HDTV above an optional electric fireplace, which can be viewed from the large sofa bed in the rear, the dual recliners curbside or even the spacious convertible dinette.
The furniture is crafted by Lane, a residential manufacturer that, in my opinion, offers some of the more comfortable available in an RV.
The bathroom is located amidships and provides just enough room to get the job done in comfort. The spacious corner shower is a smart use of space, and the linen closet is a fine place for towels, washcloths and the like. The bathroom does feature two entry doors (via the stairwell and the master), so users need to communicate in order to avoid any embarrassing situations.
The master bedroom features an RV queen bed that’s a welcome retreat after a long day of adventuring. The dresser and wardrobe offer more than enough space for your clothes, and the unit is built with a washer/dryer prep area should buyers decide to add to the long-term livability of the trailer. The overhead storage cabinets and under-bed storage area are great places for duffel bags and odds and ends. The bedroom is cable- and satellite-ready for additional entertainment options.
When it comes to purchasing a trailer, prospective buyers should take into consideration the amount of time they plan to own the trailer, and how often they plan to travel. By using residential-type construction practices, Augusta has done its best to manufacture a trailer that is designed to last, offering a two-year warranty on build and a 12-year warranty on the roof. Add to that thoughtful features like a sleek appearance, higher-end furniture and upgraded carpeting and padding, and the brand-new Augusta Flex is more than worthy of a second look.
Exterior Length 35′ 8″
Exterior Width 8′ 5″
Exterior Height 12′ 6″
Interior Height 7’6″ to 8’6″
Freshwater Cap. 54 gal.
Black-/Gray-Water Cap. 38 gal./76 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
Hitch Weight 2,185 lbs.
GVWR 11,235 lbs.
MSRP $55,000 – $60,000
Augusta RV: (574) 848-0200, www.augusta-rv.com