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Old 02-23-2019, 05:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Northern, Ca.
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Advice On First 5th Wheel Purchase

We are new to RV community and looking for some advise for our first 5th wheel purchase. We enjoy backpacking in the national parks so we and have been told that we should keep the length below 30 ft. 30 ft is also probably the max of the parking are in our rear yard. We are looking for something pre-owned maybe 4-5 years old. With that said many of the used 5th wheels out there that are under 30 ft are listed as "Ultra Light". Is there anything to be lost by going with an Ultra Light? Our tow vehicle is 2018 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax short bed SRW so weight is really not an issue.
Also Is there any manufactures to avoid? Any input would be appreciated. .

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Old 02-23-2019, 06:10 AM   #2
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The best advise I ever got was this. Buy the highest quality used one you can afford. I have an old Jayco and I love it. My next one will be an Arctic Fox 4 season.

Get out there in the lot and start walking through them. I would avoid the ultra light ones. I have never had an ultra light but I have walked through a bunch of them. They seem to be made cheaply. With that tow vehicle you can handle any 30 footer you want with ease.

93 Jayco RK 325, 03 freightliner Columbia HDT 435 hp 60 series Detroit, 10 speed, 3:55 gears with full locker. 260 inch wheel base, 07 Chevy classic crew cab long box LBZ Duramax. I am a Father, Farmer, and A Trucker.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:32 AM   #3
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Terms like "light and ultra lite" are marketing ploys to sell too much trailer to unsuspecting buyers. Generally to make them lighter you will sacrifice things like large holding tanks.
If you want to stay around 30 feet actual length, look at an older Alpenlite. Yes they have been out of business for years, but they made one heck of a trailer. Nash has sold smaller fivers that you might find attractive.
Plersonally for what your asking a TT might be a better fit. Smaller fivers tend to not have a great deal of storage, so your not loosing anything either way.
As for brands? Anything from Northwood or Outdoor RV would be my top choice today.
Don and Lorri
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
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The only thing that comes to mind that is short, full profile and a decent reputation for quality is Arctic Fox. Good luck.
2014 Lifestyle LS36FW
2018 GMC 3500 Double Cab DRW 4x4 Duramax/Allison
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:50 AM   #5
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We definitely what to stick with a 5 wheel
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:47 PM   #6
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We owned a Sunnybrook 5th. 2001 27ft. It was solid as a rock. I'd still own it if I hadn't got laid off. It was better than any of the new stuff out there. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-23-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DMAX18 View Post
We definitely what to stick with a 5 wheel
Not trying to argue with you, but why?
While there are advantages to fivers there are also disadvantages galore. Floor plan and living comfort should be more important than what type of RV you choose. Add your life style and what sorts of toys your pqcking along with you can alao dictate RV type.
OutdoorRV Glasier Peak series offers a 30 foot actual length mid profile fiver. This might fit your bill
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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ORV/AF fivers are the best in the <=30’ fifth wheels but they’re niche products with somewhat of a cult following and are priced accordingly. It can take awhile to find a used one. Heck, sometimes it can take awhile to find a new one.

Some of the now defunct brands were really good too but those will fall out of your age window.

You have plenty of truck, no need to restrict yourself to an ultralight model. Why not a TT? Floor plans are better in the sub 30’ range and AF or ORV makes those too. My ORV, at over 300 pounds per foot dry, is more solid than A LOT of fifth wheels...You’d open yourself up to more high quality brands as well since that’s a bigger piece of the market.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:15 PM   #9
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Some of the ultralight fifth wheels were designed to fit half ton trucks which generally sit lower. Make sure you measure the trailer's front overhang height, when level, to confirm you will have adequate bed rail clearance for your truck. The overhang on an ultralight should probably be 5 inches higher than your tailgate height. This will give you six inches of rail clearance assuming one inch of truck squat. Otherwise, you may be looking at expensive trailer lifting modifications from the outset.

Good luck and have fun with your search.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:12 PM   #10
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I'm a new 5'er owner and I went with the 295bhs from Open Range. So far it's great. I'll agree with others that have said lack of storage is something to consider. I'm a handy person and my wife has amazing organizational skills, so we've made everything work without any issues yet.

My .02 says since weight isn't going to be an issue, go in every 5'er available in your price range and buy the one that when you walk in it just feels right. Of course do your research, but I went to buy a Reflection and came home with an Open Range. Time will tell if I made the right decision, but for now I'm happy and that was my whole reason for buying an RV.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:39 AM   #11
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Thanks for heads up on the ride hight. I ordered our truck with the GM factory puck system so it is already set up for a fifth wheel hitch. Reading though past posts its looks like the Pullrite Superglide would a good choice for a hitch. We have made the decision to go with a fifth wheel rather then a TT. Most of our trips will consist of less then 3 weeks.
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:13 AM   #12
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We had the same concerns as you when we went with our latest rig. Previous rigs were too big to go where we wanted. We chose AF 27-5L and are very happy. Some older 5ers such as Jayco and Sunnybrook would also fit you needs, but a really nice one is hard to find and you need to look at rigs older than 4-5 years. Another option would be Fox Mountain 235.

IMHO you don't need a slider hitch unless you get a flat front 5er. I've towed for 20 years using B&W companions without any problems. Be sure to adjust your hitch to have at least 6" bedrail clearance. BTW, great truck choice!
2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:45 AM   #13
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Found a 2013 Heartland Sundance XLT 277RL that really clean and had little use. It is about the right size for us. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:49 AM   #14
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We had a 2000 Sunny Brook 30’ 5th wheel. Excellent rig. Sold it to a friend and he still has it and we’re still friends.
We moved up to a Newmar class A.

Bill & Sandy Hunt
2017 Ventanna LE 4037, 2014 F-150 4 door & Cricket
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