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Old 09-09-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
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5th Wheel Satisfaction Data

We purchased a new 36' 2011 Coleman Signature by Dutchman in June of 2010 and have had nothing but trouble. This begs the question ... where can I find reliability data on different 5th wheel products? Is there a well built sturdy 5th wheel out there? From the comments I've heard over the last 3 years I'm beginning to wonder. I'm not shelling out $50 for a so called "comparison guide" because they appears to be an advertisement for different manufactures. Does anyone collect and report actual customer reported data?? I looked at Consumer Reports, but I want actual customer comments. Thank you.

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Old 09-09-2014, 06:21 AM   #2
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Good luck with a solution.

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Old 09-09-2014, 06:31 AM   #3
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Welcome to IRV2.....Depends if your using your 5er to full time, seasonal or just trips throughout the summer. You will get a host of opinions regarding what company makes the best rig.....It also depends on how much you are willing to spend....Spacecraft and New horizon are at the top and are top quality....from that point there are a host of doo to medium quality 5ers. There are a lot of older threads that you can research 5ers relating to good, better and best, by using the search box at the top of the page. I always remember that we are towing a small condo down the road which flexes, bumps and moves. Hoping that it wont need maintenance is a dream.......We keep up with the maintenance on our rig and knock on wood, nothing major in terms of repairs has happened.......yet. I haven't heard of any report out there that wasn't a cut and paste of a manufactures spec sheet......probably better to search out info on sites like these from actual owner. Good luck with your search for a new rig.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:55 AM   #4
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Not that i have ever heard of. At least nothing reliable. If you want the real skinny on what might be better, start asking questions of service people. Mobile service techs will probably be willing to answer honestly about what brands they see the most and least of. Other than that, ask fellow campers.
Don and Lorri
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:57 AM   #5
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang here!

We had a 36' Cedar Creek 5er that we pulled for 10 years before getting the MH in 2012. We loved it!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 09-09-2014, 11:07 AM   #6
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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.
2013 Excel Winslow 34RKM
2015 GMC 3500 Denali Duramax 4X4 dually
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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Glad you're aboard. I'd urge you to read the posts here about the different model 5ers you are looking at. Once you have found a couple post a new thread on each asking for owners to tell their experience with theirs. JMHO Best of luck in your search and decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #8
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It also depends on what was wrong, and who fixed it and if they were good.

Because sometimes it's not the trailer, but the repair person.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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We absolutely love our Rockwood! Even more so we are Forest River Owners for life - for good reason. A decent product at a fair price backed by a corporation that really seems to care (YMMV with a LOCAL dealer though)

Every year, Forest River puts on a Rally at they home base in Goshen IN and, for the price of the Rally (which includes food, camping and entertainment) they will fix ANYTHING on your rig - in or out of warranty for *free* - YES anything - I saw them take a unit to the plant and replace a roof...another unit cad the complete side frame replaced!

we had bent our steps (self inflicted) on the way to the rally and FR said no problem and pulled off the steps and replaced them with a new upgraded design.

So yeah we are sorta Forest River fans
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #10
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I agree w/ you about the service tech's having good suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:48 AM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for the suggestions and ideas. I greatly appreciate it. HSVBamaBob - Great info. This is the first good thing I've heard about Forest River, and it is a GREAT thing to know.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:22 AM   #12
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There is also the idea of expectations. The more deluxe a unit is the more things there are to fail.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:37 AM   #13
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Northmark, i think you have forgotten that 90% of the appliances and stuff come from one or two manufacturers. It is how it is assembled that makes up most of the price differences.
I too am a fan of Forest River products. We have owned our Cedar Creek for over nine years. In that time I can count on one hand the number of issues we have had with it. And most of those issues have either been caused by me or normal wear and tear items. Have a couple of projects for this winter and it will be back in top shape again.
There is probably only one other brand I would consider if we were shopping new again. And that is Arctic Fox by Northwood Mfg. They are still privately owned, make their own frames and have a stellar reputation.
Don and Lorri
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:56 AM   #14
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I think that "bang for your buck", a Heartland product is hard to beat. We have had very good service from the units that we have had and truly outstanding customer service from the company.

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