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Old 07-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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Generally these types of rigs are popular because the unsuspecting buyer is impressed with lots of "foo-foo" cosmetics for the price and doesn't know enough to check out the important foundational elements that separate these from a true full-time 5th wheel.

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Rah-rah, x2, ignorance is blissful. The reason I'm so smart because I too purchased in the past, the entry level, "value priced" 36 foot fifth, went through five "RV" tires (it had four, two axles) and "THEN I HAD IT WEIGHED!!!"
That was the moment when my "real" RV education began and the meaning of "truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" when it comes to RV salespeople and RV manufaturers' specs.

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Old 07-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #16
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I read enough forum topics to figure out you need a high CCC or trouble is brewing down the road. We looked a several 5'ers before we bought our current one. Forestriver and Northwood were the two companies were looking at. We eventually decided on Northwood. The two light weight 5'ers we were looking at both had high CCC. Both are over 4,000lbs. That's a lot for a 28' 7200lb dry weight unit. Ours has 5200lb axles making it great for loading anything we want. Just like the saying you can't have to much tow vehicle, you also can't have too much trailer suspension.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:21 PM   #17
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I had a toyhauler that had 3500 axles on it. Way too small. If you like the trailer then I would buy new axles and be done with it. You will then have new brakes and bearings with it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #18
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you will only see 7k axles on trailers with above 14000 lbs GVW. and they are rare by Keystone. They usualy max at 6000lbs axles.

That is the reason they are so popular due to their lighter weight and construction.
My Alpenlite is only 12,000 lb gvw with 7000lb axles, centerline aluminum wheels and 16 inch tires. That is probably why they went out of business. Too much quality. I would buy a 15 yr old Alpenlite and clean it up before buying anything new.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:53 PM   #19
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For the OP:

According to the Keystone specs your trailer has a GVWR of 12,500#. If, in fact, your trailer’s certification label depicts 5200# axles you have a valid beef with Keystone. Of course they may say the established hitch weight of 1720 is a typo.

Below is a verbatim quote from the regulation that marries hitch weight with GAWRs.

“On RV trailers, the sum of the GAWRs of all axles on the vehicle plus the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tongue weight must not be less than the GVWR. If tongue weight is specified as a range, the minimum value must be used.”

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Old 07-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #20
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looks like as long as you never add one thing to the trailer it will be fine
no food
no clothes
no water
no toys

i had a coachmen fiver with 5200lb axles and I was dumb back in 96
it was overweight right after i put in a few groceries
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #21
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Welcome to the real world of TT's. We had two MH's then decided to get an F-150 and go the TT route. After three units, all entry level, we decided to go back to a MH. TT's are built on the cheap and on the edge of disaster. It is my firm belief that this is how the industry approaches the build for quality aspect. If they sell 1,000 units probably within 3-4 years 80-85% will be setting on the side of the barn or house getting little use. They figure that they can built on the edge, fix those that really, really, really complain and don't give up then take their chances with the remainder of the units. As long as there are no regulations for them to adhere to and they are not required to built for the extra weight they won't. Hey save a few bucks: no shock, no self-adjusting brakes, still using drum brakes when most everybody else uses disc because they work much better, no built in sway control.

Our last TT was 28', good room inside with two slides, weight was about 7,000 # and it was easy to pull. The size was just right for us the dog and cat. We'd set up, put the 4 equalizers down at the corners, then I placed two scissor jacks under the frame in the center then added two jacks under the long slide. The thing still felt like a trampoline. That's when we decided to go back to a MH with a real frame under it that also had brakes that would stop the unit and something that I would not be afraid to drive.

TeJay
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:56 AM   #22
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TeJay, you must've been doing something wrong or bought some really cheap junk. We have had to TT's and now a 5th wheel and have never had the issues you have. Yes they do bounce and wiggle, but it's easily remedied with add on's like JT Stabilizers and screw jacks right next to an axle. We put DIY Jt's on our last TT along with a permanent screw jack right between the axles. Rock solid.

I just added DIY JT's to our new 5'er along with a rear brace for the stabs. Again rock solid. Buying entry level TT's then saying all TT's are junk is ridiculous. You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #23
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I agree with Cumminsfan - not ALL TT's are junk - but probably Many are, just as MANY 5ers are junk.

Research before looking is a must - then only look at the quality rigs. I would buy a used quality rig before buying a new junk rig, or before buying a new middle-of-the-road rig. You generally get what you pay for.


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Old 07-11-2013, 02:33 AM   #24
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Welcome to the real world of TT's. We had two MH's then decided to get an F-150 and go the TT route. After three units, all entry level, we decided to go back to a MH. TT's are built on the cheap and on the edge of disaster. It is my firm belief that this is how the industry approaches the build for quality aspect. If they sell 1,000 units probably within 3-4 years 80-85% will be setting on the side of the barn or house getting little use. They figure that they can built on the edge, fix those that really, really, really complain and don't give up then take their chances with the remainder of the units. As long as there are no regulations for them to adhere to and they are not required to built for the extra weight they won't. Hey save a few bucks: no shock, no self-adjusting brakes, still using drum brakes when most everybody else uses disc because they work much better, no built in sway control.

Our last TT was 28', good room inside with two slides, weight was about 7,000 # and it was easy to pull. The size was just right for us the dog and cat. We'd set up, put the 4 equalizers down at the corners, then I placed two scissor jacks under the frame in the center then added two jacks under the long slide. The thing still felt like a trampoline. That's when we decided to go back to a MH with a real frame under it that also had brakes that would stop the unit and something that I would not be afraid to drive.

TeJay
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:37 AM   #25
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While I did not praise the TT quality I don't believe I used the word, "Junk."
I guess my standards and expectations are different. We bought a Heartland and a Forest River product. The Flagstaff was very nice inside and the fit and finish was very good. I don't remember all the stats but on both units the tires were barely rated enough to carry the weight and the axles were rated at 6-K while the TT was rated at 7-K. In my humble opinion that is an accident waiting to happen.

I added shocks to the first TT and the ride quality vastly improved. It also helped settle the bouncing while parked. Adding shocks cost me $150. If the TT industry did it their buying power would cut that cost at least in half. I could not increase the tire weight rating because the tires were 14" and they don't make a tire rated higher in that size. I inquired about having 15" tires added at the factory and they said they wouldn't fit. After receiving the TT I believe that 15" tires would fit. They just didn't want to slow the line down enough to change the tires.

I would have added shocks to the second TT but it was totaled in a service area by a dump truck on its maiden voyage. We ordered another one just like it. We took one long trip and while it was very nice inside I still was not happy with the bouncing. I believe 8 supports under the frame, not on the axles, should have settled most of the bouncing but it did not. That tells me that the frame was flexing because it was thin to save weight. When you are pulling with an F-150 I could have pulled up to 10,000# but did not want to stress the maximum pulling capacity of the truck. So we bought the lighter 28'-29' units (around 7,000#) to stay in a reasonable weight range.

I realize that they have to make $$$. I would be more impressed with the TT industry if they at least offered some upgrades (at a fair price) to those smaller units and even the bigger units as well so individuals who wanted a bit more safety, ride quality, better brakes and a more solid frame would at least be able to add some of those options. Is that not what the auto industry does very successfully today?? You are enticed into the dealership with a great price offer then you start adding the options.

Since we started on this new journey in 2010 every one of the units that we purchased we ordered and waited 8-12 weeks. At least with the MH we will get good brakes, a decent suspension with shocks and ride control, sway bars & track rods. We were told that the TT assembly line is so fast moving and so controlled that they make very few changes while the units are under construction. Where would we be if we were never allowed to order specific options for our cars/trucks. They did and still do allow special ordering in the auto industry.

I realize that their are probably decently built units out there but we never found one. At 69 I don't have enough years left or $$$$ laying around to keep searching so we did the flip back to a MH. Every time you buy in AR you pay the state a 6.25% PP tax to buy your license the first time. I really hate ti give them that $$$.
Happy Motoring/Camping
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #26
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TeJay, sounds like you did get some lemons. I do agree that the RV industry builds some bad stuff. Even with all the shopping around and research a buyer can still get junk. I don't think it matters from brand to brand either. It's just the nature of the business. I'm just glad Forestriver, Keystone, Heartland or any of the other RV makers out their don't build airplanes or we would be in a world of hurt.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:10 PM   #27
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Now that's an interesting perspective

I don't believe we really got some lemons. I just believe that in an attempt to keep the weight down while adding all the amenities that people expect got in the way of quality. Something has to give and that shows up in poor flimsy frame designs. One time while we were camped I had the DW walk and jump around inside while I watched the Equalizer jacks. They flexed and moved all over the place. That's one area where they should have improved the quality instead of trying to save some weight. I was going to try adding some aluminum angle iron to stiffen those jacks but the DW suggested we get a MH so all my idea went out the window and we started the search for a MH.

Actually the fit and finish on the 2 Flagstaffs we got was very good and except for the flimsy frame the inside was very nice and liveable. Even the underneath side looked good. The Heartland product was no built as well.

TeJay
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #28
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In my observations the light models don't skimp on the comfort to sell the units. But structure snuffers. Holes in the frames. Light axles. No bumpers. Cable slides. Light roofs. Thin walls. Not for me.
Higher profit.
But it's all I see lately, they are popular.
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