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Old 03-03-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
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Question best 5'er for living in the desert; opinions please

We are making plans to move out west, most likely to the Phoenix area. We currently have a 2004 Newmar Mountainaire which eclipses our tow vehicle. Because of its weight, we're considering a different 5th wheel.

We're looking at NuWa, Forest River, and KZ. Specifically we're considering the Hitchhiker, the Durango and the Cedar Creek. We want one that has an adequate insulation package that will provide comfort in the desert heat of the day, and the cooler nights of the low desert. Is there anyone here who has any experience with these manufacturers from this point of view?

Also, a question about R-factors. If a manufacturer uses three different insulation products, is it correct for us to just add the R-factors together to get an overall R-factor?

Your opinions are valued here and greatly appreciated.
Lorraine
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #2
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Have you looked at Montana or Bighorn? They are both real popular and we see a lot of them on the road in our travels.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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I am not going to tell you what is the best brand fiver, but I have been in 118 degree tempts. I have double pane windows, run two ac units and have a wooden frame. I feel wood is cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and quieter in the camp ground. Good luck on your decision.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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I can't answer about the Durango or the Cedar Creek but I can tell you the HitchHikers use a Blue Dow foam in sidewalls that creates over 25% greater insulation than most RV's. The floors and roofs are very well insulated with blanket insulation and high tech materials. In extreme heat, when someone walks into a HitchHiker on a dealer's lot, it is noticeably cooler than the other brands. It is obvious this unit is retaining the cooler night temperatures longer.

They also use a high tech foil wrap insulation (originally developed for NASA) which covers the roof, floor, front and back caps, glide rooms, and underbelly. This material is a reflective barrier that rejects heat/cold outward and retains heat/cold inward. Good luck with which ever fifth wheel you choose, I'm sure you'll get a quality trailer with any one of the three mentioned.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Not one of the brands you mention come close to the quality of your present rig. Much cheaper to consider a different truck than change the RV.

Bob
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:15 PM   #6
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My thoughts are included:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sky_watcher View Post
We are making plans to move out west, most likely to the Phoenix area. We currently have a 2004 Newmar Mountainaire which eclipses our tow vehicle. Because of its weight, we're considering a different 5th wheel.
I think you have an excellent 5er for that location. Have you considered upgrading your tow vehicle? It should be a cheaper alternative. Visit the HDT forum for information. If you want a small vehicle to run around in once there, just buy a used one, then sell it when you want.
We're looking at NuWa, Forest River, and KZ. Specifically we're considering the Hitchhiker, the Durango and the Cedar Creek. We want one that has an adequate insulation package that will provide comfort in the desert heat of the day, and the cooler nights of the low desert. Is there anyone here who has any experience with these manufacturers from this point of view?

Also, a question about R-factors. If a manufacturer uses three different insulation products, is it correct for us to just add the R-factors together to get an overall R-factor?
No. You must then divide by 3 to obtain an average.

Your opinions are valued here and greatly appreciated.
Lorraine
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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We want one that has an adequate insulation package that will provide comfort in the desert heat of the day, and the cooler nights of the low desert.
You apparently haven't ever lived in the desert Southwest. It can be 110 degrees AND MORE and the temperatures at night don't fall all that much. What that means to you is that you will be running your air conditioners 24/7 (and you should have two if you hope to survive a Phoenix summer in an RV). If at all possible, I would recommend putting a Kool Kover over the rig.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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You apparently haven't ever lived in the desert Southwest. It can be 110 degrees AND MORE and the temperatures at night don't fall all that much. What that means to you is that you will be running your air conditioners 24/7 (and you should have two if you hope to survive a Phoenix summer in an RV). If at all possible, I would recommend putting a Kool Kover over the rig.

Quite to the contrary, I was raised in Tucson(23 years) and lived in Phoenix for 2 years after that. So, I do have a realistic view of what living in the southwest desert means. The place in the Phoenix area we're considering is at the tree line, so it is a bit different from the urban heat effect that living in Phoenix itself entails. Yes, I know in July the temperature at 10pm in Phoenix proper can be 110. Been there, experienced that. I should have been more specific about the part of Phoenix I was referring to.
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #9
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To everyone else who has responded so far, thank you for your thoughts. I agree it's between a larger truck to adequately pull our heavy trailer, or a lighter trailer easily pulled by our current truck. Talked it over with hubby and keeping the current truck is on his list.

On another note, we crossed Forest River off our list this weekend, and added Heartland. There will be an RV show in town at the end of this month, and plenty of dealers to visit in our area in the meantime, so the search goes on.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:04 AM   #10
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To everyone else who has responded so far, thank you for your thoughts. I agree it's between a larger truck to adequately pull our heavy trailer, or a lighter trailer easily pulled by our current truck. Talked it over with hubby and keeping the current truck is on his list.

On another note, we crossed Forest River off our list this weekend, and added Heartland. There will be an RV show in town at the end of this month, and plenty of dealers to visit in our area in the meantime, so the search goes on.
Based on the problems I've had with my 2008 Big Horn I recommend you also cross Heartland (HL) from your list. Many serious problems with Lippert components that HL installs on their units.

Eh!
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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With the exception of the HitchHiker, none of the brands you're considering are in the same league with the 5th wheel you already have. True 4 season full-timing 5th wheels are, by definition, heavy. You really need to consider what you're giving up in going to a lighter weight 5th wheel - in other words, what's disappearing to get the weight reduction?

We can hang meat in our 5th wheel (see signature) on 100+ degF, high humidity days in Texas, and because of the insulation package it's amazingly quiet inside as well - but it's not light!!

I'd cast my lot with upgrading the truck.

Rusty
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:19 AM   #12
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If you look at the specs for all the rigs you are considering, you should find the r factor for floor, roof and side walls. That should give you the info you are looking for. We have a new Cameo and the insulation is much better than on our old Cardinal.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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Based on the problems I've had with my 2008 Big Horn I recommend you also cross Heartland (HL) from your list. Many serious problems with Lippert components that HL installs on their units.

Eh!
Thank you. We need to know specific problems like this.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:01 AM   #14
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With the exception of the HitchHiker, none of the brands you're considering are in the same league with the 5th wheel you already have. True 4 season full-timing 5th wheels are, by definition, heavy. You really need to consider what you're giving up in going to a lighter weight 5th wheel - in other words, what's disappearing to get the weight reduction?

We can hang meat in our 5th wheel (see signature) on 100+ degF, high humidity days in Texas, and because of the insulation package it's amazingly quiet inside as well - but it's not light!!

I'd cast my lot with upgrading the truck.

Rusty
And this morning, my husband is agreeing with you Rusty. We have a Dodge 1 ton Dually which would be upgraded.
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