A diesel-powered Ram 5500 chassis provides towing prowess for this RV, which is loaded with conveniences inside and out.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
The Dynamax Isata 5 Series is designed to form a bridge between entry-level Type C motorhomes and the larger Super Cs constructed on heavier medium-duty chassis. The Isata 5 is generously filled with features and amenities to answer the burgeoning demand for this kind of RV. Built on the Ram 5500 chassis, it delivers plenty of power and capabilities for a midsized motorhome.
The unit under review is the Isata 5 in the 28SS floor plan, one of three available, with lengths ranging from 31 feet to 36 feet. The 28SS features a driver-side slideout and can provide sleeping capacity for up to six people. Its Ram 5500 chassis is powered by a Cummins 6.7-liter six-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 360 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. An Aisin HD six-speed automatic transmission and 4.88:1 gearing deliver the power to the rear axle.
The dual rear wheels, as well as the front wheels, are shod with LT 255/70R19.5 tires mounted on polished aluminum wheels. Dual 220-amp alternators provide plenty of charging power for the chassis and the house batteries while in motion. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard, as is adaptive cruise control.
The Isata 5’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 19,500 pounds. The front axle is rated at 7,250 pounds; the rear at 13,500 pounds. A 10,000-pound-rated Class III trailer hitch and a 37,500-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR) allow for excellent towing capacity. The 52-gallon diesel fuel tank and 9-gallon DEF tank provide a respectable cruising range between refills.
The Isata 5 also is available in four-wheel drive for those who want to get off the pavement.
The Ram chassis is chock-full of amenities to help make the drive safe and enjoyable. Active braking assist and electronic stability control help to ensure that RVers will keep the motorhome shiny side up, wheels down, and won’t run into anyone. A six-way power driver’s seat, quad-view cameras (left side, right side, rear view, and hitch view) are standard. The 8.4-inch U-Connect dash screen serves as the entertainment center as well as a host of other functions. All in all, the nicely configured cockpit makes for an enjoyable place to spend a day’s drive.
Isata 5 construction begins with an aluminum-framed floor mounted to the chassis via rubber isolators. The floor is insulated, with block foam and a composite underbelly beneath it. The 2-inch sidewalls are framed with structural aluminum tubing and covered in gel-coat fiberglass over Azdel. Dow Blue Foam insulation board and interior board complete the sidewalls, which are then laminated. The seamless, contoured, one-piece fiberglass roof is supported by aluminum trusses and additional insulation; the fiberglass roof skin rolls over the top edges of the motorhome’s sidewalls to create a clean appearance. The seamless front and rear caps also are made of fiberglass.
All ducting for the HVAC system is foil-lined to minimize heat loss. The slideout is powered by an electric drive system, and the four-point hydraulic leveling jacks also can be controlled by a smartphone app via Bluetooth. Optional two-stage self-regulating front air suspension also is available.
The Isata 5 can be finished in any of six full-body paint packages. Heavy-duty aluminum running boards ensure easy entry and exit from the cab. Diamond Shield paint protection film covers the front of the RV to prevent damage by objects kicked up from the road. Frameless deep-tinted windows are used throughout the RV. The 16-foot, dual-pitch, armless power patio awning features motion-activated retraction and is equipped with LED lighting. In fact, LED lighting is used throughout the motorhome. The slideout is protected with a topper awning. Power entry steps, a keyless entry pad, and an illuminated acrylic grab handle adorn the entry.
The 28SS floor plan name may be misleading at first, because it’s actually 31 feet 2 inches long. The booth dinette slideout on the street side offers ample room for occupants to move around inside when it is deployed; when the slideout is retracted for travel, the interior isn’t overly cramped.
The coach features Shaker-style hardwood cabinetry and a soft-touch padded vinyl ceiling. Premium vinyl flooring runs throughout. Blackout roller shades cover the windows, with thermal reflective privacy shades provided for the front cab area.
The 28SS can sleep up to six, as noted earlier. Here’s how. A fixed (nonfolding) queen-size bed is located in the rear bedroom, and in the front, a 50-inch-by-80-inch mattress provides plenty of room for full-sized individuals above the cab. The booth dinette collapses to provide additional sleeping space, although it’s best suited for children rather than adults. A trifold sofa with a pedestal table is an option in place of the dinette. The dinette also can be replaced by optional power theater seating, in which case this coach will have sleeping capacity for four. The booth dinette features spring-loaded bench seats with storage underneath. A 39-inch LED smart TV is mounted to a swing-out arm in the front of the unit for ease of access.
Appliances in the 28SS galley consist of a propane range with a glass cover; a convection-microwave oven; and a 9-cubic-foot propane/electric absorption refrigerator (other Isata 5 floor plans have a 16-cubic-foot double-door residential refrigerator with ice maker). Additional galley amenities include a pull-out pantry, solid-surface countertops with LED edge lighting, and a stainless-steel dual-bowl sink. A MaxxAir power vent fan with a built-in rain cover provides plenty of ventilation for the interior space.
The rear bedroom in the 28SS holds a 60-inch-by-75-inch queen bed with a gel-infused memory foam mattress, which is backed by a padded headboard. LED reading lights and USB charging ports are nearby. The twin wardrobes flanking the bed are cedar lined. A 32-inch LED smart TV is mounted to the barn-style bedroom door opposite the bed.
The 28SS’s bath area is equipped with a large ABS shower that has a skylight and an Oxygenics BodySpa RV shower head for enhanced water pressure. The stainless-steel sink in the vanity is recessed beneath a solid-surface countertop. A porcelain electronic flush toilet (with macerator) and a power vent fan complete the bath area.
A 42,000-Btu propane furnace keeps the Isata 5 toasty on cold nights, while dual 15,000-Btu air conditioners with heat pumps provide plenty of cooling as needed. A 60,000-Btu Truma on-demand water heater supplies domestic hot water to the coach’s fixtures, including an outside shower attachment in the service bay.
The fresh-water tank holds 78 gallons, while the black-water tank and the gray-water tank each hold 45 gallons. All tanks reside in heated compartments.
The Isata 5’s 120-volt-AC electrical power is supplied by a 50-amp shore power cord or an Onan 8,000-watt diesel-powered generator with automatic generator start. A 2,800-watt pure sine wave inverter provides 120-volt-AC power to the entertainment center and receptacles from two Group 27 AGM deep-cycle house batteries.
The entire coach is connected by a networked multiplex wiring system, which is controlled by a touch-screen panel or an app on a Bluetooth-equipped smartphone. A Winegard ConnecT 2.0 dome antenna links the Isata 5 to the rest of the world via a Wi-Fi extender, available 4G LTE connectivity, or over-the-air TV. Cable TV and satellite connection points also are located in the service bay. A pass-through basement storage compartment at the rear of the coach can accommodate large recreational gear.
The Isata 5 is likely to meet the needs of many prospective owners. It makes a great bridge between units that are too small for many or too large (and expensive) for others. It’s packed with features that help make RV use enjoyable.
For those who want to venture out a bit farther or to stretch the camping season, an optional Xplorer package offers dual-pane dark-tinted frameless windows, an insulated cab curtain, four lithium house batteries, an 800-watt solar package, and an insulated utility bay with a secondary tank heater and temperature sensor. The Xplorer package kicks it up another notch with an attractive custom exterior full-body paint design featuring a mountain scene and compass rosette.
Considering that this RV also is available with a four-wheel-drive chassis, I’m sure many will agree that the Isata 5 Series, including the 28SS floor plan, is worth a look.
SPECIFICATIONS | DYNAMAX ISATA 5 SERIES
Dynamax, 2745 Northland Drive, Elkhart, IN 46514; (888) 295-7859; www.dynamaxcorp.com
Isata 5 Series
Ram 5500 SLT
Cummins 6.7-liter 6-cylinder turbo-diesel; 360 horsepower at 2,800 rpm; 800 pound-feet torque at 1,700 rpm
chassis — (2) 12-volt AGM deep-cycle; house — (2) Group 27 AGM deep-cycle
8,000-watt diesel-powered Onan; automatic generator start
31 feet 2 inches
12 feet 4 inches
6 feet 10 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATINGS (GAWR)
front — 7,250 pounds; rear — 13,500 pounds
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (CCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 45 gallons; black water — 45 gallons
1 year limited; 2 years structural
BASE MANUFACTURERS SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE