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Open Range

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Sport-utility RVs (SURVs) are one of the fastest-growing segments in the
recreational-vehicle market, and at 40 feet long and 8-1/2 feet wide, this Weekend Warrior
is one of the larger SURVs around. A properly optioned one-ton could pull it, but the next
step up – such as the medium-duty GMC 4500 we used with its greater capacities and
abilities – means you wouldn’t be towing right on the limit. Only one word describes the
space in this trailer: big. Since the streetside slideout is only 24 inches deep, a
6-foot-wide dune buggy or sand-rail front end will go past it, leaving almost 20 feet from
back door to built-in cabinets. This trailer is also built in a hard-wall garage version
with a 12-foot 6-inch-long garage and the overhead queen bed moved forward. The CL4005 is
designed for campsites where spaces are identified by boulders or tree stumps and not
polished brass lanterns, so luxury is out of the equation. However, that doesn’t mean
austerity, as it has two queen-size beds, a full galley, a 120-gallon water tank, a large
shower, room for two televisions and a built-in bar. The Watco conversion is one of the
least expensive ways to get into a medium-duty puller with a full bed, and the
minimal-frills but fully functional unit is just the ticket for taking to some dirt-eating
fun. A GMC 4500 comes with the 8.1-liter GM V-8 as standard, and the Duramax diesel is
optional with any engine available with the Allison automatic. Since this truck was an
early prototype, it was built on a 2003 chassis and driveline; performance should only
improve when the recently uprated Duramax becomes available. The CL4005 serves its
potential customer well, requiring little training in loading or other operations and
supplying everything needed for fuel-powered recreation. The Watco GMC never felt
overworked and is priced very competitively with anything that might pull better. Pick up
the May 2004 issue of Trailer Life for full test impressions and details on the Weekend
Warrior CL4005 & Watco GMC 4500 — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so
you can stay informed on the latest tests, previews, tow vehicles, and technical and
RV-lifestyle information. Weekend Warrior Manufacturing, (800) 500-9914, warriormfg.com.
Watco AMP, (432) 550-9999, watco-inc.com.

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