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Old 12-04-2009, 08:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Zigidachs View Post
How have you all dealt with the heavier units short of a 450 or heavier TV?
One of the reasons we selected the 30RKE was because we wanted to be able to tow with a 1-ton DRW truck...we had no interest in going any larger.

Which truck you need depends on which length you're looking at. Since you are considering a Ford 1-ton, I would definitely get one with the Tow Boss option. That would allow you to tow a bit heavier fifth wheel without stepping up to a larger truck (within limits, of course).
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:14 AM   #16
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Zig,

I'd recommend the Tow Boss package with the F350. And, max out on brakes (disk) and suspension, regardless of which brand you choose. Carefully watch payload and GCWR on the truck selection. Plan for worst case conditions, at least.

Happy hunting!
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #17
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Late to this party, but I'll make my comments.

Ditto on the disc brakes and higher capacity axles. Watch the tire weight carrying capacity, too.

We have a Cameo dealer about an hour from us. Like others, above, our short list was Hitchhiker and New Horizons, but ran across an Excel that we really liked and purchased. Both Cameo and Excel were at the same show where we bought the Excel.

Why the Excel? We bought the Limited as I wanted the fiberglass roof. The Excel had LED exterior lights. We though the Excel had better built cabinets (our opinion). We wanted hydraulic levelers, 8K rated axles, disc brakes, washer/dryer, generator, 10 cu ft refrigerator, electric fireplace, air ride suspension. Our Excel was on the show floor with all but one of those options. We never saw a Cameo in that configuration, but I sure we could have ordered one or another level of Carriage that would have gotten us there. And of course, DW loved the floorplan. I believe you'll find the Excel will have the better insulation.

We've had two minor water leaks that were repaired, but one leak soaked our hydraulic leveler control box which damaged it and over time, took out the electrical to the hydraulic pump. We were on the road and Lippert & Peterson worked with the RV tech to get us back on the road. We did make a swing by Peterson to have things repaired and were promptly taken care of when we got there.

We do have an issue with the trim along the front cap that we want Peterson to look at and will swing by there this coming May to have that looked at and also upgrade to the 19 inch bedroom TV. (Yep, appointment already scheduled.) We've had one storaged door lock stop locking (but it works fine, otherwise) and we weren't told how to properly lock our recliners & we bent the locks. We'll have that straghten while we're at Peterson. BTW: take a look at the storage compartment locks and handles and see which ones you like best between the two brands.

Our vacuum died and Red Devil paid to have that repaired (bad circuit board).

I found that the pivot ease for the sewer hose is great, but I had to learn to love it. While the water manifold and valves are located in an area that reduces storage space and one storage area opening, I love it! If you have a water leak, it's real easy to isolate that faucet until you can get it repaired and there's no digging into the storage area and back under the floor to reach them.

I believe I'm the only Excel owner that's not a fan of the Reel-EZ water hose storage. It always reminds me that I'm a poor roller-upper of hoses! It also adds another potential water leak inside the trailer.

Lastly, we moved from 20 years of pulling 26 to 28 ft Sunlines behind various Suburbans and 3/4 ton trucks. Our biggest adjustment to our Excel is that we were totally unprepaired for the complexity of a tripple slide 5th wheel with all those new fangled appliances. I still get upset when I have to push the TV button on the TV remote to tell it it's running a TV. Shouldn't a TV remote know it's running a TV or at least default to the TV when you reinstall batteries?

Not to change your mind: If you do decide to reconsider tow vehicles in the future, bear in mind that I have a shorter turning radius with our F450 than I ever had with our suburbans and 3/4 ton trucks. Add quality tow mirrors and a backup camera and it's hard to beat as a tow vehicle. My issue with this tow vehicle is that you have to find insurance companies that know how to properly rate this thing. (2nd issue is the frigging diesel emissions and everyone trying to solve it with a ton of sensors and software.) I have the same footprint as most MDTs. So do most dual wheel one-ton pickups. So if you're considering a one-tow dual wheel tow vehicle, the bigger ones aren't that much of a leap. I read above where you are really trying to stay away from a F450. Have you driven one? Why do I say this? Because we started out looking at one-ton, non-dual wheel pickups, and no trailer over 32 feet in length. Now look at our signature, below. (Yep, it happens.) Oh, and the DW thinks the F450 is hers. She loves it and does roughly 70% of the diving when we're towing.

Finally, just have fun looking, research, etc. Go to some rallyes for both brands. Take your time and ensure that you have a floorplan you like. Ensure you get the options you want (don't sell out). If you can, visit both assembly plants.

Good luck! David
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:50 AM   #18
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I've been towing my 33LRSE for two plus years now. Loaded down with FT stuff , my combined weight has risen as high as 25,500, still below the 26,000 GCWR on my F350 PSD DRW with tow package and 4.3 axle.

I have the disk brakes on the trailer. Connected to the Ford factory installed integrated brake controller. Real good braking!!

Last year, my trailer brake actuator was not working for a while. Thus no trailer brakes. I towed from Quartzsite to Black Canyon City, north of Phoenix without trailer brakes. Up, down, up, down. No problem.

No need for a 450. Unless you go above 33'

According to the RV Consumer Group, the biggest factor in safe towing is TV wheelbase. 33' required a supercab or crew cab. I chose the supercab for a shorter turning radius and lower weight (200#).
Newb here: I understood that truck-size in reference to the length of a trailer was only in force when using a TT and not a 5ver!!!!????

I am looking to upgrade to a 5ver in the future. I am considering Cameo, Excel and HH, but from what I am seeing the extra money from these high-enders gives you nothing and it all boils down to the warranty friendliness of the company.....
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:31 PM   #19
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I believe I'm the only Excel owner that's not a fan of the Reel-EZ water hose storage.
No, you're not. We did not order that option as it seemed to us just another problem waiting to happen. We also did not order the Pivot-EZ for the same reason.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:35 PM   #20
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Newb here: I understood that truck-size in reference to the length of a trailer was only in force when using a TT and not a 5ver!!!!????
You are correct. I've never seen anything in the RVCG's information that mentioned wheelbase-to-length ratio for fifth wheels.
Quote:
I am looking to upgrade to a 5ver in the future. I am considering Cameo, Excel and HH, but from what I am seeing the extra money from these high-enders gives you nothing and it all boils down to the warranty friendliness of the company.....
I'd beg to differ. If you are looking to fulltime in a rig, a high-end rig will generally give you longer life with less problems down the road than a low-end rig. Why? Because they're made with better quality materials.

Now, if you're looking for a rig just to do some weekend camping in, that's a whole 'nother ballgame.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:53 PM   #21
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I am looking to upgrade to a 5ver in the future. I am considering Cameo, Excel and HH, but from what I am seeing the extra money from these high-enders gives you nothing and it all boils down to the warranty friendliness of the company.....
Well, MCGeorge RV near Ashland, Va used to be an HH delaer and they're still a Cameo dealer as they still had then on the lot as I passed by there Monday. Two years years ago in August of 2007, we walked through all the fivers there at McGeorge RV. The HH's were significantly cooler than any other brand on the lot. So that leads me to believe that the higher-end units will have better insulation.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:50 AM   #22
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Thanks for the input! I was hoping to hear that response regarding higher-end units!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:26 AM   #23
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You are correct. I've never seen anything in the RVCG's information that mentioned wheelbase-to-length ratio for fifth wheels.
When we purchased a full membership in RVCG in 2007, they sent us several books, including "How To Tow Safely." Which contains a chapter on the importance of length of tow vehicle wheelbase for towing stability.

The author emphasized the importance of a minimum ratio, and provided a table of wheelbase of TV to length (wheelbase?) of trailer. For a 35' trailer (mine), an F350 with extended cab met the minimum wheelbase. Which was one reason I did not purchase a full cab truck. (The others were additional weight, turning radius, and cost. Plus we have no friends. )

I can't comment on his mathematical analysis. But I can see the logic of wheelbase of TV for control. I'm sure it's more complicated, such as weight of TV too.

I don't have that book any longer.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:37 AM   #24
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Regarding applicability of one person's opinion of TV wheelbase to trailer length ratios for towing stability of a 5th wheel, I'd suggest looking at an 18-wheeler where a COE/non-sleeper tractor is pulling a 55' trailer using a 5th wheel hitch. I suspect this rig wouldn't come anywhere close to being stable according to this individual's mathematical model.

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Old 12-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #25
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When we purchased a full membership in RVCG in 2007, they sent us several books, including "How To Tow Safely." Which contains a chapter on the importance of length of tow vehicle wheelbase for towing stability.
Yes, but if you go back and review that information, you'll find that they were talking about a travel trailer, not a fifth wheel.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:39 PM   #26
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Yes, but if you go back and review that information, you'll find that they were talking about a travel trailer, not a fifth wheel.
Do you recall them mentioning the length from the rear axle to the hitch ball? I recall reading somewhere that the shorter that distance the better the handling when towing. Makes sense considering what we're doing with 5th wheels. David
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:56 PM   #27
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Thanks for the input! I was hoping to hear that response regarding higher-end units!


I guess now one other thing to consider is comparison of warranties and if you have the time visit the manufacturers and see what they are doing for Quality Control of their product while being made.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:06 PM   #28
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Regarding applicability of one person's opinion of TV wheelbase to trailer length ratios for towing stability of a 5th wheel, I'd suggest looking at an 18-wheeler where a COE/non-sleeper tractor is pulling a 55' trailer using a 5th wheel hitch. I suspect this rig wouldn't come anywhere close to being stable according to this individual's mathematical model.

Rusty
Not exactly. He's talking about a Class 2 or 3 truck, and a fifth wheel trailer with one or two (or three?) axles close together more or less under the middle of the trailer. An 18 wheeler is a different animal, with axles at the front and back of the trailer. Which makes it far more stable. Don't think the comparison applies.
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Yes, but if you go back and review that information, you'll find that they were talking about a travel trailer, not a fifth wheel.
You mean they as in the author of the book? I don't have the book now, but I recall a chapter on fifth wheels with a TV and wheelbase chart. I seem to recall a section on TTs too, but I'm not referring to that one.
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