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Old 04-29-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
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A newbie needing advice from experienced

Hi there.

We would like to purchase a 5th wheel to go full time for at least one year. I am not mechanically inclined so I'd like to get one as maintenance free as possible. I have no ideal where to start. There are so many manufactures and models to choose from. Our budget is $30,000 to $40,000. I am not so keen on buying used due to maintenance issues. However, with this price range, I may be forced into used. I'd like to know where to even start to look.

Many thanks.

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Old 04-29-2012, 11:22 PM   #2
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Remember this; when you drive a new RV off the lot you lose about 20% of the price tag and sometimes more and there is NO guarantee that you won't have problems with the rig. As a matter of fact I can almost promise you'll have something go wrong, not work, fall off, not fit, break, jam, get hot, not get cold or go pfffst. RVs have multiple systems and two electrical systems and sometimes three plus an on board water system and cooling heating systems. So the dream of buying new to save trouble is just that a dream.

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Old 04-30-2012, 05:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jeffreys View Post
Hi there.

We would like to purchase a 5th wheel to go full time for at least one year. I am not mechanically inclined so I'd like to get one as maintenance free as possible. I have no ideal where to start. There are so many manufactures and models to choose from. Our budget is $30,000 to $40,000. I am not so keen on buying used due to maintenance issues. However, with this price range, I may be forced into used. I'd like to know where to even start to look.

Many thanks.
Hi Jeffreys; Kayjulia certainly told you right. Just because it is new does not mean there is no problems. Yes you may have some warranty, but when you look at the difference between new & used you will soon see enough difference to off set some out of the pocket repairs. $$15,000. will buy a nice used trailer. That is 1/2 of want you mentioned. You are a newby, maybe it is not for you. If you want out later, your losses will be much less. Most trailers a few years old have many of the bugs worked out. I have a 14 year old class A motor home. No more problems than those with newer models, and I spent $100,000. less. Another thought, since you apparently do not have an RV to trade, I would be looking to buy from an individual and save even more $. There are thousands of nice trailers for sale. Happy trails, old trucker
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:47 AM   #4
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New seem to have more problems than a gently loved use RV. $30 to $40K will bet you a lower mid line new RV and it will depreciate like mad the first year. But for that kind of money you can get some noce 4 to 5 year old higher end 5ers that are better suited for full-time living.

Next issue, if you are really after a trailer for full-time living, you will need a 1 ton diesel dually as a minumum to tow the trailer. For get a single rear wheel truck and a full time 5th wheel.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:55 AM   #5
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I agree that used is the way to go! We recently had friends who purchase a brand new travel trailer to live in while their house was being built. Within 3 months they had 12 leaks. The warranty was a joke. They traded down for a used 5th wheel and haven't had a problem since.
Let someone else workout the kinks and you enjoy the benefits and save money.

And you can buy one awesome used 5th wheel with $30,000!

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Old 04-30-2012, 06:05 AM   #6
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If you don't already have a truck to pull it, you better check into one of those first. You may find your budget really squeezed after that.
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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Howdy and welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy your time on the site and many fine folks you'll meet. Don't be afraid of buying used as far as problems you'll have them with either new or used. These things are a labor of love. Hope you find th rv that fits you best and enjoy many miles traveling. Be safe and Happy Motoring!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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I don't know how anyone owns on of these things without being a mechanic. Types of problems: Mud dobber seal up jet in furnace. Mud dobber puts chunk of mud on sail switch on furnace. Board fails on furnace. Board fails on hot water heater. Board fails on fridg. DW suggests, park under that tree for shade. You are dumb enough to take her advise. Buy a roll of Etenabond and become comfortable with it's use. House flys love propane. They will deficate inside of the jet on your fridge. Flame will burn but not hot enough to cool. That is a good one to diagnose. All these problems can happen to the best rigs. Buy a Quality rig with big axles and tires and a rubber roof that extends over the sides a few inches and you should not have roof leak problems. I look for a roof that can be walked on and has lots of slope. Not flat. This is experience over 30 yrs. Good Luck
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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I've had a few of the issues that Oldbeek mentioned. My advice would be buy a quality used rig and go buy a copy of Bob Livingston's RV Repair, it's available at Camping World. Most stuff on an RV is easy enough to fix with some guidance. Don't take the hit on depreciation and don't think new means problem free. It doesn't.

The DW and I are full-timing by accident, as the home we thought we bought fell through. Our nearly seventeen year old Jayco is small, but comfortable. I paid $7500 for it seven years ago. With only what I consider minor issues over the years like replacing the refrigerator control board and the furnace thermostat, and just normal maintenance, it is as maintenance intensive as a regular sticks and bricks.

Good luck in your search.
SSgt. Richard L Ray, USAF (Retired) - Laura L Ray
Our second home is a vintage 1995 Jayco Eagle 277RB 'The Love Shack"
towed by a 2008 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab short bed "The Green Goblin"

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Old 05-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
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I am not suggesting that you should purchase this and i am not promoting this dealer, but here is an example of what you can get for $40,000 (and what a one ton truck might be able to handle): http://leestrailerranch.rvusa.com/in...asp?id=434632#
'02 Carriage Carri Lite 32RS3
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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My wife and I purchased a 2007 Keystone Cougar last year from an individual. Not only did we get it for half of what it was new but it has had no major problems at all. We spent 18k on a 35k trailer and saved the rest for refreshments. Look at used all day b/c like others said there are no guarantees with an RV. I would buy another used Keystone in a heartbeat, there product has held up great.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:26 AM   #12
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If you are on a budget, I agree with everyone else USED. I purchased a used 32 Foot Fleetwood Wilderness and paid hardly anything for it as the family were desperate financially to sell. If you can find a private owner who has taken well care of it, you will do better in the pocket book.

And if you are not mechanically inclined, then get manuals and books on RV repair. You will be surprised with much attention to detail how you will learn.

I am mechanically inclined and it comes natural for me, but I know there are people who are not. A 5th wheel takes maintenance and you have to do your homework and shop around for the best prices on replacement parts and supplies. This forum is awesome for suggestions and directions to walk you through some difficult repairs and solutions to dilemma's.

good luck. I hope you can find a rig you are looking for in your Price range. If you have to purchase the truck too, it is quite an expense so do your homework and shop around. I found a great Diesel truck with only 92 thousand miles on it. That sounds like quite a few miles, but really it is just breaking in. They can run for a long, long time with good maintenance. RVing can be fun, but it does come with it's expenses and upkeep. And if you are going to pull safe on the road you have to stay on top of all the upkeep of both the truck and the 5th wheel. And pay attention to the weight of your 5th Wheel, the weight of your truck and stay within the specificaitons for safe towing weight. These are all very important areas to be mindful of. Good tires on the 5th Wheel and truck ARE A MUST !!!!!!!!!!

I hope you find what you are looking for.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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Jeffreys -

You made one post then disappeared. So I don't know if you received the info you were looking for.

You said you had $40,000 to invest in a full-timer fifth wheel. Laker17 linked to a used DRV 5er for $40,000. That trailer was probably about $100,000 when brand new. DRV is the new name of Doubletree RV, makers of the Mobile Suites 5ers. Mobil Suites is the manufacturer of the Mobile Suites fifth wheel RVs, recognized as one of the best RVs for full-timing. They are a "luxury" RV and therefore expensive.
Models - DRV Suites

But they are well-made and therefore heavy. So you need at least a dually tow vehicle, and preferably one with at least 29,000 pounds GCWR. So if $40k is your budget for just the RV, and you already have a suitable tow vehicle, then that trailer is worth looking at. But if the $40k has to upgrade the tow vehicle as well as buy the 5er, then you'll probably be looking at a lot less trailer than the DRVs of the world.

Here is a list of Mobil Suites 5ers that were sold by PPL in Houston during the last couple of years:

size/year/description/price/month sold

36' 2004 Mobile Suite w/3 Slides 30,500 07/2010
36' 2004 Mobile Suite w/3 Slides 29,995 01/2011
36' 2009 Mobile Suite w/3 Slides & Generator 64,000 12/2010
38' 2008 Mobile Suite w/3 Slides 49,000 08/2011
38' 2007 Mobile Suite w/3 Slides 39,495 05/2012
38' 2005 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 40,495 08/2010
36' 2005 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 29,995 07/2011
36' 2006 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 31,000 04/2011
36' 2009 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 54,950 06/2011
37' 2005 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides & Generator 33,000 05/2011
38' 2008 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 48,000 06/2011
36' 2006 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 39,995 06/2011
36' 2005 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 34,495 10/2011
36' 2007 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 46,500 12/2011
34' 2004 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 25,995 11/2011
36' 2004 Mobile Suites w/3 Slides 23,995 03/2012
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:05 PM   #14
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Visiting PPL online is the next best thing to going an RV show. When I was shopping, I started at the shows and then looking over many RV sales sites. but once I found PPL, I was amazed at the sheer number of units that were available for sale (it's true what they say... "everything is bigger in Texas"). Take SmokeyWren's advice and look at the 5th wheels, the floor plans and asking prices

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