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Old 07-17-2016, 07:35 AM   #1
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Brands, Models, and Build Quality

I need help trying to navigate the murky waters of the RV world.

From my research I believe these are the qualities that I am looking for in a TT/5er:
1. Vaccuum Bonded laminate walls
2. Aluminum framing
3. Marine grade floor decking
4. Reinforced radial walls
5. Steel/aluminum wheel wells to protect from blowouts.
6. Buytl seals
7. Upgraded axles
8. Powdercoated box frame
9. Aluminum wheels
10. Ducted a/c & heat??
11. Solid core wood cabinetry
12. Roof??

What I don't underatand is roofing materials. It seams all rv roofs leak and are pretty crappy.

Q: What is the best roofing material and why?

Q: what frame design is best?

Q: is ducted a/c & heat a good choice for long-term reliability? I noticed many airstreams don't offer it, why?

What Brand/models offer all of these features? What is the price point?
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #2
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Wow !!!!

You got a list there !!! Can't be of any help to you ! I'm on the other end of the scale. Sound like your going to need a Custom Build, maybe i'l see you on one of those custom RV shows !!!

Best of luck ! And Welcome !!!
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:47 AM   #3
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Take a look at Outdoors RV/Northwood Manufacturing. They have several price points to fit most budgets but every trailer has all those features plus true four season insulation, thermal pane windows, wet bolt kits and neoprene bushings, pre-wired for solar etc.

They make rugged, off road ready trailers that are built to last. A bit heavier than others because of that. Only the smaller trailers are really 1/2 ton towable despite advertising. You have to give up something to have a large ultra-lite.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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High Dollar, but probably worth every penny over units priced half as much. There's a fourth brand that's slipping my mind right now, but if I think of it, i'll pop it in here.

The reason you don't see many airstreams with ducted A/C is because they just started doing it to 100% of their units in 2015... and I'm glad I have it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:46 AM   #5
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:46 AM   #6
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I love #5, protect the wheel well from the Chinese ST tires rather than just go with good tires.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:08 AM   #7
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If you can find a Lifestyle, they're probably the best deal in a residential trailer because their parent company just went under. Good time to get one on closeout and they have all this including a good Dicor vinyl roof.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FaithBowls View Post
If you can find a Lifestyle, they're probably the best deal in a residential trailer because their parent company just went under. Good time to get one on closeout and they have all this including a good Dicor vinyl roof.
Up to 2016 - the 2017s offered when they fell on their butt was no different than any other 5er - I beam Lippert frame, etc. All the stuff Lifestyle was founded on was removed on the 2017 as a last ditch effort.
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:48 PM   #9
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If you have the funds- New Horizons, Forks / Continental Coach, and Space Craft all build custom to your liking.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acanania View Post
I need help trying to navigate the murky waters of the RV world.

From my research I believe these are the qualities that I am looking for in a TT/5er:
SIC...
9. Aluminum wheels
SIC....

What I don't underatand is roofing materials. It seams all rv roofs leak and are pretty crappy.

Q: What is the best roofing material and why?

Q: what frame design is best?

Q: is ducted a/c & heat a good choice for long-term reliability? I noticed many airstreams don't offer it, why?

What Brand/models offer all of these features? What is the price point?
Wheels...Aluminum is great, but are less durable. Aluminum will crack if impacted, steel will dent and can be hammered back into form. If planning to use the RV off the beaten path, recommend steel with hub caps that can easily change as desired.

Roofing on RV's are: Rubber, fiberglass, and metal.
-Rubber is typically EPDM and TPO. Both are very lightweight, stout and will last for a long time if cared for. Caulking the edges and opening will need repair before the surface fails. Rubber roofs can be torn by trees and such.
-Fiberglass is a premium surface and is basically bulletproof. The joints and edges must be attended to. The surface can crack if loaded (walked-on) wrong.
-Metal is almost extinct as a roof material. It can rust/corrode. It can rattle if lose between fasteners. But if cared for, it could last forever.

Framing is typically 2 types: Wood and metal.
-Wood is just like a house, but typically smaller dimension lumber. It is heavier but can be strong and affordable.
-Metal is tin or aluminum framing that is tack welded (better) or screwed together.
Comment...The corrugated metal exterior RV's will often be over wood frames.

Frame design is typically just a simple metal grid. Look for bigger materials in the frame to provide better service life.

Ducted HVAC is better for distribution. Simple 12v fans can improve that problem. Ducting requires space in the roof and floor...something some designs do not allow.

Most current brands have a wide variety of offerings. Some will have few amenities...some will offer lots.

Best luck
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:08 PM   #11
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Thamks for providing so much info. I will definately have to look into some of those companies. Build quality seems to be a hot topic... lol
Atom Ant I didn't mention the tires because I plan on replacing the tires immediately no matter what trailer I purchase. I figured a G rated LT would work well.
Scarab0088 that is good info on the roofing. I don't plan on taking the rig off the road, but you never know where the adventure takes you.
I guess at the end of the day I am willing to sacrafice amenities for structural integrity. Sounds like Lippert is a frame to avoid. How do I know which trailers have Lippert frames?
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:24 PM   #12
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If you're planning on G rated LT tires then you've taken yourself out of mid priced an lower trailers. G rated requires 110psi which equates to 16' 8 lug rims. You won't find those on anything but larger 5th wheels. So TTs are out of the question. No TT's have 8 lug rims.
You're needing to find a 5th wheel with at least 7000lb axles.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:40 PM   #13
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What would be the best tires in the lower category?
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:41 PM   #14
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How do I know what the axle rating is when researching the trailer?
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