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Old 01-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
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best quality 5th wheel manufacturers

We have had a 28' terry 5th wheel for 8-9 years and are thinking to upgrade to a larger 5th wheel, somewhere in the 32-36" range, just for trips, not long term, any opinions as to the best/top of the line manufacturers out there,thanks.
steve
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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Newmar, but they no longer make 5th wheels as of last year.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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High end short? Far and few. Excel, still in business. Carriage which is now the new Lifestyle company. Carriage made a 31ksls and a 32fws 33 and 34 feet resepctively. Great units with solid build and good insulation. Even though Carriage is closed, support is still available through the new Lifestyle Company. Good luck, Phillip
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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NuWa comes to mind. Excel is an other. Both make 32 to 40 foot 5ers. I believe NuWa is still in business. Artic Fox is another that make 30 - 36 foot units. DRV Mobile Suits, Dynamax Trilogy, Redwood, Montana, Columbus are a few others but some of these manufactures only build larger 37 to 42 foot units.

I just came from a RV Show - for the $$$ I think the Columbus is a good unit. 7, 000 lb. axles. Show prices were in the low 40's

If you are in an older unit you will like the newer units. A lot of them will have deep opposing slides in the living area. There will be a lot of very nice part time units. Enjoy picking out a new unit.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:43 PM   #5
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Redwood, Montana, Columbus...These are not in the same class as DRV, Excel, Lifestyle.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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What will you be using as your tow vehicle?

The units mentioned will require a diesel truck. Your older 28 foot Terry only has 1 slide maybe.These units mentioned will have at least 3 big slides and are more for full time living then short trips. Of course units made for full time living are the best and are heavy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:46 AM   #7
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You can buy a Headland Prowler same quality as Terry or a true vacationing Sundance for starters. They are lighter models and I have seen some towed by 1/2 tons. So gas 3/4 tons no problems.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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08 dodge cummins big trans, jake, 3/4 ton , beast , generally haul a 20ft Lund tyee tandem axle behind camper, long rig...
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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The Best

Hope you have deep pockets! lol If your talking Excel or it's equals you need to have lots of $$$, they are not cheap. You will also need a diesel one ton truck with dually rear wheels to handle the pin weight. But I might be telling you something you already know.
Look for a trailer that is supported after the sale by it's manufacturer - that's important.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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If you want to keep the 3/4 ton truck look at the smaller 5ers from the manufacturers mentioned. There just might be one or two that you can tow. Again I would look at the smaller Columbus or the Artic Fox 5ers.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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Heartland RV offers several models that you might want to consider from the mid profile Sundance and Greystone, the lighter weight Prowler to the full profile Bighorn and Big Country, both of which are rated for full time use.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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After a 2 year research campaign to pick ourselves a quality constructed full timing RV, I settled on a short list of Excel, NuWa and New Horizons. I am the type of person who when looking for a new house, spend all of my time in the basement and the attic, as these are the only places where you can see the clues to construction, quality of material and workmanship. At RV shows, crawling through the basement storage and underneath the rig, where you can see the real workmanship and how the manufacturer deals with areas that aren't in the public view. During factory visits, I get up close and pay attention to frame, flooring and wall construction and watching the people on the factory floor to observe their attention to detail and workmanship, especially in areas that they know will not be in public view.
Also talk to current owners, how does the mfgr deal with after sales service and warranty issues.
From a more personal perspective, I tend to shy away from manufactures who are part of conglomerates. Maybe at the beginning when they were independent, the product and attention to detail was very good, which of course makes them attractive product lines for takeover, but at some point, the conglomerate becomes more attentive to bottom line, looking for a higher return on their investment, and the quality of raw material and workmanship starts to get paired down.
One of the manufactures not mentioned in previous posts is New Horizons. Their Summit line is in tune with what you seem to be looking for, a comfortable vacationing rig, that is well made and stand up to years of use. Remember that most vacation rig manufacturers design and source their material to be used for a few weeks or months a year, so they don't need to be robust in their construction and material. A rig geared to full timing will be well made with quality material so that it can stand up to the rigors of years of travel and use.
Summit | New Horizons RV | Luxury Full Time RV & Custom Fifth Wheels
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:05 AM   #13
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In good conscience, I can't recommend any of the DRV 5th wheels for your 3/4 ton truck - too heavy; therefore, too much pin weight for your truck to handle. I believe the same is going to be the case for most other "full-time" construction units mentioned. Otherwise, our DRV Mobile Suites (see signature) has been an exceptional unit in our 8+ years of ownership since new. It has had only a very few minor problems, none requiring a trip to the manufacturer and most of which I took care of myself.

I have neither the need nor desire to look at another brand or, for that matter, any new unit at this time. Our Mobile Suites is still as quiet, comfortable and easy to heat/cool as it was when it was new.

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Old 01-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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As noted by Rusty, full time units and quality units are generally not compatible with a 3/4 ton and most 1 ton SRW trucks.

There are two parts to the towing equation:
GCWR (how much it can tow) and GVWR (how much it can haul). Yes, how much the truck can haul. The trailer pin on a 5er will typically put about 20% of the trailers GVWR in the bed of the truck. Full time units are heavy and really load down a truck.

Yesterday, I saw two grossly over loaded 3/4 ton trucks. Both were squatted very badly. One was pulling a DRV Mobile Suites and the other a long 3 axle Mobile Scout. There was a pretty strong side wind and they were not exactly driving in a straight line on I-10. By comparison, my 2012 F350 DRW Ford and the 36', 15,000# plus, Cameo was tracking beautifully and no weaving like they were.

RVing is supposed to be fun, not a lot of work. You need the right tools fro the job.

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