After months, no years of searching and researching fifth wheel trailers we finally settled on the Excel Winslow 34IKE. Our order is in, deposit made and they tell us the build time will be around three months. Three months poses no real problem, believe me we will need the time. Our hope was to be on the road this past October but February will be fine, though a little cold for moving in.
Excel by Peterson’s Industries is located in Smith Center, Kansas. They have been building RVs since 1966 starting with pick-up campers. Their fifth wheel trailers are built for full-time living, wood frame construction, fully insulated, hardwood (hickory in our case) woodwork and cabinets, well you get the idea (here is their address: http://www.excelrvs.com/). Our Winslow model is the 34IKE. Gee, we went from looking at 43 foot behemoths down to this 34 foot model. The change of heart came after talking to full-time fifth wheel owners and we often kept hearing the same thing, “if we had it to do again we would have bought a shorter and lighter fifth wheel”. We get it, and gee is a few extra feet going to make such a big difference for living space, RVs are small, your real choices are just small, smaller and smallest. What is more important I think is weight and length. As I wrote before, we do not want to be restricted from parks and campgrounds because we are too long, so 34 feet seems just right to us now. The 34IKE floor plan is simple and the major change will be the custom addition of a bunk area for our two children (five and seven) where the two recliners are shown. Excel tells us the bunk area will include storage, as well as curtains so they have a little privacy and a place to call their own.
Below are a few photos of the 34IKE Winslow. Boy, they sure can make these fifth wheel trailers look big! Trust me they are not. I wrote before of how we currently live in a rather small space, I did some measurements and it came to around 750 square feet. The Winslow 34IKE measures around 350 square feet, and yes we must be nuts.