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Old 01-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Best 5th Wheel - Trilogy, DRV Tradition or Excel?

DW and I will be full time in 18 to 24 months. We will be part time this summer. (Part time means 4 to 6 months). We currently have a nice part time 5er but not sure it is heavy duty enough for full time. It is a 2011 SunnyBrook Bristol Bay 3510. It only has 6,000 lb axels (ugh).

So I am looking for a good full time 5er. The 3 that are in our budget is the Trilogy, DRV Tradition, and Excel. Of these 3 which is the better full time unit? Better to me means will hold up longer.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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Why do you think 6K axles exclude it from being a full time rig? There are many many fifth wheels on the road full time with 6K axles under them. People just load them to the hilt and have just as much fun.
6K axles will give you a loaded weight of 12K on the axles. Add in pin weight and you are probably in the range of 15,000 pounds GVWR for your current fiver. That's not enough?
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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If I were otherwise satisfied with your current 5th wheel, I'd upgrade axles (along with wheels and tires required for the 7K or 8K axles) for a LOT less money than trading for a new 5th wheel.

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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Yes, I like the SunnyBrook. How much to upgrade axles and wheels at a shop? And would you go up just to 7, 000 lb axles or go up to the 8, 000 lb axles?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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The DRV Tradition does not have the same frame as the other DRV trailers. It use and cheaper I-beam and is not as tiff as the stacked box sections. 7000# plus axles are needed fro full time use in my opinion as are 17.5" wheels.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Just doing some Googling, I found 7K Dexter Nev-R-Lube axles with 12" x 2" electric brakes for around $685 retail HERE; this price doesn't include suspension or hardware, just the axle assembly with brakes. I have absolutely no connection with or experience in dealing with the website shown - it just came up on a Google search, so you may be able to better this price.

I upgraded my 7K Dexter Nev-R-Lube axles to 17.5" wheels and 4805 lb @ 120 PSIG 17.5" load range J tires HERE. The wheels and tires come mounted and balanced, ready to bolt on - be sure to get the appropriate lug nuts and center caps. Give Scott a call for current pricing. For budgetary purposes, I suspect you're looking at something like $2500 today for 4 tires & wheels with accessories and shipping.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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...The 3 that are in our budget is the Trilogy, DRV Tradition, and Excel. Of these 3 which is the better full time unit? Better to me means will hold up longer.
I just went through the process.

I ordered an Excel Winslow.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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The problem with upgrading the axles is then the frame becomes the weak link. Just enjoy what you have for a few years, then if you really really think you want more, upgrade then.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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The problem with upgrading the axles is then the frame becomes the weak link.
No weaker than it was before, right? As an engineer, I see no problem with upgrading the bearing sizes, brake capabilities, etc. by going from a 6K to a 7K axle if the OP so desires. A number of individuals have done this due to the OEM-supplied axles, wheels and tires being marginally sized to begin with.

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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As Rusty has noted, there is always a weak link in any design. So if the axles and tires are the weak link, move them up one size, but do not over lad the frame based on the new axles or tires. The tires and axles will no longer be a problem.

Many RV manufacturers put the absolute minimum axles and tires on the rig. So if you are running close to the weight limit on the RV, your tires running at the limits and in hot weather you have no reserve capacity. AS an engineer as well, I do not like running tires and axles at limits constantly.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
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DW and I will be full time in 18 to 24 months. We will be part time this summer. (Part time means 4 to 6 months). We currently have a nice part time 5er but not sure it is heavy duty enough for full time. It is a 2011 SunnyBrook Bristol Bay 3510. It only has 6,000 lb axels (ugh).

So I am looking for a good full time 5er. The 3 that are in our budget is the Trilogy, DRV Tradition, and Excel. Of these 3 which is the better full time unit? Better to me means will hold up longer.
The best of the three is the Excel, but I'd run with the Sunnybrook for a year of two more and then think on a trade.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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If you like what you have keep it. While on your 4-6 month trip, stop by a CAT scale and have the truck/rig weighed and then the rig weighed. That will give you the weight (DATA) per axle, to make a decision. If you're overweight then you need to make a decision. Without data its just a conversation.

Sorry it doesn't answer your original question.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #13
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I am sure I am at a safe weight now. But when we go full time I am sure DW will want a lot more stuff. Even I would load more tools.

I like the idea (this was something I was planning to do anyway) of getting truck and 5er weighed. Already scoped out a Loves truck stop. It would be great if it is much lighter than I think. This has to be step 1.

I know the Tradition is the bottom of the DRV pecking order. The Mobile Suites is probably a better option used than Tradition is new.

No one sells Excel around my area but I will check them out.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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I know the Tradition is the bottom of the DRV pecking order. The Mobile Suites is probably a better option used than Tradition is new.
I agree!

Rusty
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