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Old 02-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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5th wheel

My husband and I are going to Full time in about two-three years. We are looking to purchase a 37 foot 5th wheel. Will pull the rig with a 450 ford dually...

Your ideas on the 5th wheel? Our budget is 75,000-100,000
Thanks
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
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For full timing, it would be either a class A, or the 5'er. Just make sure it is "built" to withstand full time living. Many are not. Many are just for summer, or vacation use. There is a difference....
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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What have you looked at so far?
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:06 PM   #4
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Full tome 5ers to look at are DRV (Mobile suites), Lifestyle and Excel. These are all designed and rated for full time use. They do not simply take a lower line RV and add a coating of glitter and call it full time. Some manufacturers tout an "Arctic Pac" as being full time. It takes a lot more to make a full time trailer, starting with a heavy frame and axles.

A step up the food chain is New Horizon, Space Craft and custom Coach.

Look for a gently used 2 to 5 year old 5er and you will save a lot of money due to the depreciation on new RVs.

Ken
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:56 PM   #5
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We've looked at big horn and Montana...I'm interested in the drv and excel...
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:18 PM   #6
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Ken is right on the main brands to consider--you should be able to live well in any of them. Our DRV has served us well for many years. But, as he also mentioned, especially for your first one, it might be best to look over some used units and see how much you can save off of a new one.
Couple internet sites to shop are: RVTraderonline.com and
PPLMotorhomes.com

Big selection on those sites and you can begin to get a feeling for prices. If you go new, and want to check prices on new DRVs--check out the following:
RollingRetreats.com and RVsforless.net
These 2 get lots of good reviews on the owners forums.
Joe
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks! Lot's to consider...our journey is just beginning...we're very excited
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:44 PM   #8
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We've looked at big horn and Montana...I'm interested in the drv and excel...
Keystone products are in another country's ballpark compared to DRV and Excel.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
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We've looked at big horn and Montana...I'm interested in the drv and excel...
As noted, Big Horn, Heartland, Montana and the likes are not in the same ball park as DRV, Lifestyle and Excel.

Ken
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:49 PM   #10
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We have been full timing in a 39 ft Big Country 5th wheel by Heartland for 5 years. It was a little over $40K investment while able to tow it with our existing $20K truck that is now 9 years old.
You need a simple unit that age well without expensive repairs.
We joined the Heartland forum before our purchase and was impressed with the support. Forest River has a similar forum that also gives honest unbiased support. Keystone, Openroad and others do the same.
Don't have to believe everything said here.
Here you are told you need to spend $100K that might end up out of business as it happened 7 years ago.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
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What happened 7 years ago?
Joe
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #12
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No one is telling you to spend $100k. Just recommending.
In all reviews, you hear more negative reviews with more mass produced "cheaper" units.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
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What happened 7 years ago?
Joe
Actually it was 6 years ago ...2008...the economic down turn got more than one higher end manufacturers. It was nothing they did wrong other than poor economy and management that did not make the necessary adjustments in time.

My personal opinion and most engineers, the units built on a 12" thin wall I-beam frame are not as structurally sound as those built on the stacked box section frames.

For a full time trailer you want one that is structurally stiff. No frame twist/movement means less movement of the trailer walls, etc.

I know there are folks full timing in trailers that are not true full time trailers and doing OK.

Ken
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Actually it was 6 years ago ...2008...the economic down turn got more than one higher end manufacturers. It was nothing they did wrong other than poor economy and management that did not make the necessary adjustments in time.

My personal opinion and most engineers, the units built on a 12" thin wall I-beam frame are not as structurally sound as those built on the stacked box section frames.

For a full time trailer you want one that is structurally stiff. No frame twist/movement means less movement of the trailer walls, etc.

I know there are folks full timing in trailers that are not true full time trailers and doing OK.

Ken
I had a high end 5 th wheel build on a stacked tube frame copied from 60 ft mobile home setup. I know because I had to repair it using the frame section from and old Mobile Home.
It twisted so much that the roof leaked often and there was a tag by the slide switch to make sure the stabilizers were set before opening the slide.
I can move my 12in framed unit with all the slides opened. Again the other day I jacked each wheel to adjust my brakes with all landing gears on the ground and the frame was solid and did not twist. Been doing it for 5 years. Would not have tempted doing it with previous unit, the walls would have fallen.
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