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Old 10-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #43
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SWeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet Isn't she. When your talking to her make sure you address her as mam or your highness or better yet Y O U R M A J E S T Y. I know it aint much but for me I'm retiring this month and It's going to be a part time home for me my wife and granddaughter

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Old 11-16-2014, 06:30 AM   #44
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Mucho congrats! Montana's are fine units.

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Old 11-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #45
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Also make sure you buy a tow vehicle that is made to tow your 5th wheel. Don't buy a 1/2 ton Tundra, Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Nissan etc... they are not made to tow a fifth wheel. just because they can doesn't mean they should!! I have been on the road as of today for over 100 days and have seen suv's, 1/2 tons etc pulling campers into the campground and believe me, not one of them would say it is wrong. But they haven't done their homework. Please make sure you do!!
Again I do like the FR!![/QUOTE]
For the off the lot 1/2 ton, I agree with you, but for the properly optioned 1/2 ton, say an F150 with Max Tow and HD Payload, matched with a reasonably sized fifth wheel, your advise is too generic. My fiver is 9500 lb loaded and my rated towing capacity is 11,200. I have about 16,000 miles of towing, including up and down the mountains of Wyoming without issue or white knuckles. While I am 500 lbs over the rear axle rating, it is because the HD payload package wasn't available for the 2011, but I added Bilsteins and SuperSprings to beef it up. The new F150s are rated up to 12K towing and 3000 lb payload and that should easily handle any fiver that doesn't exceed a 10K gross and be well within all load ratings.
If I get another fiver, it will be heavier and better suited for 4 season, so I will get a 1 ton diesel for towing it. You just need to match the fiver to the truck.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:25 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by JDT View Post
You will not find anything that I know about to evaluate fifth wheels other than looking at how they are constructed and comments by others. There was and probably still is a guide for motorhomes but the publishers had never been in, little less driven, any of them. They use a formula of some kind based on wheel base to predict how they will handle on the road. Not very useful in my books.

Some will suggest looking at a particular brand based on personal experience, which I think is valuable information. We chose Excel because they make their own boxed frames in house, have a pretty good reputation and we owned a couple of them in the past. There are others who also build their own frames and are just as good I'm sure. We have had it 2 years and put over 20K miles on it. The only warranty work was for a couple of slide adjustments. Excel has flush mounted slides and they were not square in the frame. Other than that we had a few issues with a few things like the gas leak and carbon monoxide detectors which the factory just sent me new ones.

You will also find good things said about DRV, Lifestyle and others. Sometimes I think it is more the luck of the draw than how much money you spend. Good luck.
You hit it on the head with your comment about it being the "luck of the draw". Maybe not as often as with other brands, but I have read comments about upper level 5th wheels that have many problems. More mid to lower level rv's roll off the assembly line than the upper level 5th wheels, and therefore you will hear complaints about them. We are pulling houses down the highways and there will be problems, regardless of the level of the 5th wheel. As long as the owner has a good service department to go to, then these problems may not be so bad.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:21 PM   #47
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I've never found comprehensive data for any RV product. As far as FWs go, anecdotally, Teton, Newmar (no longer made), Excel, Heartland, seem to satisfy their owners.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:31 PM   #48
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I would add Arctic Fox to the list. Well built. We have had a Nash fifth (no longer made) and now have a Fox. Also had a Forest River Cardinal that was a good unit. Our truck is rated at 12,550 so we target GVW to be below that as much as possible, 2,000 less preferred.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:12 PM   #49
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RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models

Not exactly 5er specific but may help a little.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:33 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by bjlakatos View Post
RV Rating - Customer Survey of RV Makes and Models

Not exactly 5er specific but may help a little.
I have seen this list before but forgot about it. Bookmarked it this time so it will not get lost. I am in the process of listing manufacturers and their products. To that I am adding a subjective ranking based on what I have read here and from other sites. The above will add another level of data.

When we find a rig or two we like, I then plan to talk to the men who have serviced our current and previous fifths to hear what they have to say.

Newer units have features, like power awnings, that we would like but in most cases not show stoppers. A ten thousand dollar difference between a brand new rig and something a few years old, assuming it was well maintained, is something to think about. Add to that the possibility that previous owners have added a few features is also a plus.

The question I am trying to answer is how old before it is too old. Five, ten, more?

Some of the manufacturers we liked in the past have either gone out of business or were purchased by conglomerates, like Thor, and it seems in some cases the quality is nowhere near what it once was. I have been told that Komfort is one.

Alpenlite, Holiday Rambler and NU Wa come to mind as ones going out of business. All, I believe, solid units.

From reading on this forum it seems Thor should be avoided or at least approached with care. Forest River is one many seem to think a good manufacturer. There are others so this is just a sample.

I don't expect we will be moving to a new rig anytime soon. April at the earliest. No plans to travel until late April so I have time to do the analysis. If no hits, then we keep what we have.

Hope this is not TMI.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:34 PM   #51
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My .02 only.

As someone already posted, the supposed *consumer* comparison guides are based on "comparing" the specs the manufacturers indicate.
Basically guesswork.

Sooooo what to do?

Find the brands & floor plans you like. (shows, dealers, etc.)
Go to the owner's groups (yahoo groups, etc) for the brands you like.

See what kind of problems (if any) the owners are looking for help with from other owners.

Narrow it down - and you should be ready to start searching for the best price on what you want.

BTW - "Quality Control" is just a couple of words on paper or cyber space!

The Jayco I purchased new in '06, came with a 2 year factory warranty. Never needed it. - (Although I did do some simple "fixits" myself).

Good luck.

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Old 02-13-2015, 08:58 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Greytraveler View Post
I would add Arctic Fox to the list. Well built.

X2 that..

Buy a truck larger than your present requirements a)because you DW may want something larger and flipping truck is expensive...and b) it make the hauling (stopping, turning, etc) so much easier...

Price and weight can be used as an indicator.. I have a 31 foot with one and a halk slide outs...@12k pounds..just talking to a guy that has a 40 plus a bit 5th with 5 slide outs..he is 15oo pounds heavier....which one is going to last better ? Hint, he had to brace his entire frame...

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