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Forging Ahead

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Potomac RV’s 5435 with a rear living-room entertainment slide is the manufacturer’s first four-slide fifth-wheel. At nearly 37 feet long, it has enough room for just about everything, and for less than 200 bucks, the manufacturer will throw in a king-size bed. The floorplan of the test unit is not new in the industry, but we did note that attention has been paid to serviceability.

Powder-coated frame rails supply the foundation for one-piece, 5/8-inch flooring, aluminum framing and gel-coated fiberglass side walls. End caps are also glass, and the roof is thermoplastic overlay (TPO) on top of 7/16-inch decking and rafters on 16-inch centers. Underneath, EZ-Lube axles ride on a basic leaf-spring suspension with standard shock absorbers (2005 models will use MOR/ryde’s RE system), and optional aluminum wheels.

The slideouts are framed in typical fashion to fit up against the exterior walls with just a little of the seal visible. We never experienced any leaks or major dust intrusion, but we wished ours had the 2005 model’s stiffening bracket to hold in the bottom skirt.

Up front, the king-size bed dominates the bedroom area and takes away a portion of nightstand space on the back side — only the forward slide edge has a window. Storage space below is voluminous, as you could throw stuff in there for 10 minutes and still not fill it.
The kitchen is an efficient place to work, with everything grouped around essentially a wide aisle. The double sink is in the center peninsula with hanging lamps over it, and the cabinets below and adjacent above open to both sides; drawers and cabinets in the slide supply extra space. Across from the sink is the dining table, a fixed rectangular unit with a pop-up extension.

The overall floorplan makes sense, with the peninsula kitchen making it seem as though there are three zones in the trailer that are separable if necessary but equally workable as a single expansive space. And if serviceability is important, the Potomac is even better than its price suggests.

Pick up the November 2004 issue of Trailer Life for full test impressions and details on the Potomac 5435 RLES — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so you can stay informed on the latest tests, previews, tow vehicles, and technical and RV-lifestyle information. Potomac RV, (574) 970-0559, potomacrv.com.


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