Excel Fifth-Wheel Trailers

I recently checked out the line of Excel fifth-wheel trailers and here is what I found. Excel fifth wheels are manufactured by Peterson Industries located in Smith Center, Kansas and established in 1966. Peterson Industries has survived a long journey in the RV industry while many other RV manufactures have come and gone. For any RV manufacture to survive that long, they must be doing something right.

First we will start out with an Overview of the Excel RT line which includes three model sizes a 28’ (two-slide), 3 different 30’ (three-slide units), and a 32’ (three-slide). Next we have the Excel Classic line which includes three model sizes with 3 different 30’ (three-slide units) and 4 different 33’ (three-slide units). Topping off the Excel line is their “Limited” which includes four model sizes beginning with 3 different 30’ (three-slide units), 4 different 33’ (three-slide units), 5 different 35’ (three-slide units) and eight 36’ (three, four and five-slide units), that’s right they make a couple of five-slide units! WOW! This is one heck of an offering of fifth wheel trailers.

Let’s start by looking at “Quality of Build” I noticed on all of the Excel line-up. The outside walls appear to be of great structural design with high R-Value insulating factors. Peterson Manufacturing utilizes a unique lamination system called the PPLS (Positive Pressure Lamination System) making for a very strong sidewall. With an industry 1% delamination standard, Peterson Manufacturing is a leader in this technology with a growing record of over 5000 PPLS built side-wall fifth wheel trailers and not one delamination issue. They build their entire line of 5er’s on what they call their exclusive “Drop Z” frame design providing a lower center of gravity allowing for easier towing and greater basement storage capacity (kind of reminds you of what U-Haul did with moving trucks). Another great feature Excel offers is their Self Adjusting Flush Floor System eliminating any ledge between the main floor and the slide-out, this is only a feature used by top notch RV builders mainly found in higher end motorhomes.

Ecel Fifth Wheel Trailer Interior

Let’s take a look inside these nicely appointed fifth wheels. When comparing all three models in the Excel line-up we find the RT slightly limited on the plusher features but you are still getting the quality of build associated with all Excel models. I spent most of my time looking over the “Classic” and the “Limited”. A lot of upgrades are standard on the Limited, and optional on the Classic. Some of these include items like maple cabinetry along with solid surface countertops (standard on both), deep drawers storage, quad door refrigerator (optional on both), slide-out pantry (nice optional feature depending on floor plan), flush range and sink covers — a very nice feature for added food preparation area, laminate flooring for easy care.

Excel Fifth Wheel

The 36 BDE/BDO models both offer the kitchen at the rear and living area near the middle. A fabulous lighted arch prevails above and acts as an accent divider between the living and dining on the 36 BDE (a truly must see, as this really brings out the luxury feel). Now moving on up to the bath and bedroom area we find the option of queen or king beds with available pillow top mattress and standard on the “Limited” is even a box spring set for that real home sleeping pleasure. You will also find mirrored wardrobe, authentic looking headboard with elegant storage above. The 36 TKE has a nice vanity with a window view. Over in the bathroom you will find an optional shower skylight allowing the suns rays to gleam into the granite looking shower for that refreshing showering experience. This concludes my overview of the interior, but I would like to mention some other fine available features and options most will find appealing and those are Magic Store” Sofa Cady, Central Vac System, Chill Grill A/C (standard on all models), “EZ-UP” Coffee Table (what a great feature for living room dining and extra storage), Solid Wood Pedestal Table, Pre-wired Computer Center, Ceiling Fans, and the “Flexsteel” Theatre Group. Something Excel is very generous on is the nicely thought out storage on all models.

Moving on Outside we look around this fiver and find smooth siding with matching gel-coated access doors, LED taillights, massive storage compartments with over a 1000 lbs of available storage capacity, sliders (“Joey Bed” type) for ease and convenience to all those quickly needed items. They even offer nifty lawn chair storage. Available is an optional Sliding Propane Compartment.

Excel has two different optional leveling systems with one being their “New Generation” hydraulic system and very nice it is. Some key featured amenities include Excel’s “Pivot-EZ” Sewer Hose compartment, you’ll never have to disconnect your hose from the RV again. Making the chore of dumping your waste tank a quick and easy task. An integrated external “Utility Center” with scene light makes night hook-up a breeze. Includes a hot and cold water sprayer, 110V outlets, and more! Their “Reel-EZ” water hose makes extending and retracting your hose a breeze (this is a nice feature). An electric awning is available on all models. For added safety Excel has a lower ladder extension standard on the “Classic” and “Limited” while an option on the “RT”. Probably one of the neatest options of all if you want to haul your motorcycle, golf cart or ATV with you anywhere is their unique “Hydralift” motorcycle lift! Ground level roll-on-off and a central control box let you easily load the lift yourself. The all-hydraulic drive powerfully lifts up to 1000 pounds. Way Cool!

Pricing and warranty are as follows: Base on Excel’s “RT” line range from $43400 to $48580, while the “Classic” line ranges from $57783 to $61408 and then you climb up to the most expensive model the “Limited” with a price range of $65946 to $78851. All prices are standard plus many available features. The standard warranty is a 2 year full warranty.

Final Thoughts on the Excel fifth wheel trailers: I give the Peterson Manufacturing an “A” for quality of build in all areas of construction. From their base model the “RT” through their whole line up to the “Limited” they go first rate. With the price range of 5er’s climbing in the past decade I would have to say when comparing the Excel line-up to some of the other medium to high-line fifth wheels, they are bargain priced. They have a strong resale and for good reason. The only negatives I could find is that they don’t offer some of the finer options on the “RT” line and make others standard on all models. I look forward to the day when most medium to upper end RV manufactures start making Plasma or LCD TV’s standard equipment. This allows for extra storage while providing better esthetics in those areas of use.

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