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Old 07-30-2016, 11:20 PM   #1
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Brands of Fifth-Wheels for Fulltiming

So I'm new here! My husband and I are looking at full-timing in an RV next year with our 1 year old and baby due in November. We won't be doing a lot of actual traveling for a while (his parents have land with hook-ups that we will be staying at indefinitely) and will be buying a truck that will pull whatever we end up getting after we buy our RV. We live in northern Colorado and will be out on the plains with some wind protection on two sides but not all. So all-season and dual pane windows are definitely top priority.

I've been online looking at a ton of floor-plans for months now. Originally thought a bunkhouse but I don't ever like the living area which I feel is one of the most important parts since that were I hope we all be most of the time. They always put all the seating against one wall with the kitchen on the other but I like the living area as open as possible with L-shaped seating for conversations.

Also originally thought toy-hauler since we could do whatever we want with the "garage" part for the kids but I hate the garage feel, it doesn't feel as homey and it would be more difficult to keep warm for the kids. And again, same issue with the living area in most of them as with the bunkhouse. The biggest thing we liked with the toy-hauler was the actual patio for the kids to be out on.

Right now, I am really liking the den with queen loft in the middle of the RV so that there is a nice open and L-shaped living area where we can all be together for most of the time.

I thought I had found the PERFECT set-up with the greatest amount of storage I'd seen and with a patio. It is a KZ Durango Gold (says on website built for full-timing). But I don't know if they are actually weather tested by outside sources, etc. G382MBQ
Durango Gold G382MBQ Fulltime Luxury Fifth Wheel | K-Z RV

Went to RV America yesterday for the third time. We have a sales rep there that we really like and seems to know his stuff. He didn't recommend KZ as a high-quality built fifth-wheel.

His top recommendations were
#1 Redwood - They don't have floorplans built for families...more for retired folks so that's out.

#2 Grand Design Solitudes - From website they use actual cherry hardwood for cabinets which is important since we may be living in our rv for a number of years and we want the cabinetry to last and not peel. Found a floorplan 377MB similiar to KZ.

#2 Open Range3X Residential - Didn't find a floorplan similiar to KZ with a den, only one with a bunkhouse. Also, didn't say what their cupboards were made of.

#3 Montana - Found a floorplan with den 3950BR and they say they have the hard-wood cherry cabinet framing.

Out of the two brands recommended that have the den, we like the Grand Design the best but they don't have as much cabinet space as the KZ one I fell in love with! :'( Obviously, quality is very important but I really want my storage space too! The last thing I want to do is have the RV look cluttered because I don't have enough cupboard space!

So a couple of questions:
What has your experience been with these brands?

Are there other brands you think are well-built for full-timing beyond what our sales rep told us?

Does anyone have one with a den? How do you like it?

If we go with one with less cabinet space, can you install more cabinets?

Or is there another way you deal with less built-in storage space that doesn't look clunky?

Thanks in advance!!!

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Old 07-31-2016, 05:22 AM   #2
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Check out DRV

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Old 07-31-2016, 06:06 AM   #3
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Several manufacturers have a similar floor plan to the one you like. Personally, I'm a Jayco freak and they have one similar as well.
2017 Eagle Fifth Wheels 355MBQS | Jayco, Inc.
In 1978, I started in the RV business as an RV mechanic at a Jayco dealership. That is when I first started having great respect for the product and the company. The only fifth wheels I've owned have been Jayco products. I full-timed for three years in Jayco's entry level Jay Flight 5er. It served me well as my home and I had no major issues. I currently have a Jayco 5er which I really appreciate the quality and the cold rated structure as we're heading to inland Alaska very soon for 8 months.
Remember that on these forums you will find several opinions. Some of them are based on experience, some are based on hearsay, some are based in anger, some on misconception and some are based on joy. Be careful and as you've already started, continue with your due diligence.
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:37 PM   #4
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I would suggest that you check out Heartland RV's. they roduce three lines that are rated and warranted for full time use, the Big Country, Big Horn and the Landmark 365. We have lived in our Landmark for over five years and love it.

Good luck in your choice.
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:32 PM   #5
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Get the Grand design or look at Luxe both great 4 season 5 th wheels that will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Don't believe the garbage the salesman tells you . He or she just want to make a commision.Get on line and read the specs go look at the build quality. These 5 rs are made by hourly workers not piece work and are quality probucts not BS.
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:11 PM   #6
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I meant DRV . I can't afford either but if l was living in Co l would definatly by somthing along these lines.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:53 PM   #7
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Luxe or drv for four season use and or full timing would be at top of my list
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:38 AM   #8
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I can't recommend a brand for your needs, I just have a comment. It's really hard to choose a floorplan in an rv unless you've spent time in it. My 2 cent advice would be to choose a gently used rv of whatever you choose and live in it for awhile, you can always buy a new one later. There are lots of newer used units on RVTrader.com: RV Sales - Class A, B, C Motorhomes, Travel Trailers, & Pop Up Camper RVs For Sale.
You really need a separate area for the kids. Even if you don't like the living area, you will be grateful for the kids area. Look at the Facebook page for Fulltime families, they are living it and would have better suggestions.
Jan & Thomas
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:54 AM   #9
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I am responding to your thread as a motorhome owner.

I hope you find validity in my points. For every buyer on every budget there is a RV - new or used.

My wife and I have not been afraid to switch back and forth as we have had 3 Fifthwheels over 40' and 4 motorhomes.

Personal opinion is very subjective. We have learned the hard way that the best fiberglass motorcoach is a Newmar, if money was no object I would drive a Newell or a Prevost Conversion. You get what you pay for and quality and reliability go a long way in helping you enjoy your time in your RV.

As far as mass produced FW's go I would take a long look at Heartland's Landmark. Personally I would purchase a gently used high end DRV Suites that my budget would allow. You save big time and get HIGH quality. Save a little of your budget for a new tires or interior extra's like storage slide trays or outdoor Dometic fridge.

I recommend you spend time in multiple floor plans from multiple manufactureres. Have a look at sleeping arrangements, shower size, storage space and so on. Then take the time to look at build quality - doors, panels trim, quality of carpet and appliances. Push, pull and shake - Some builders are terrible!!

Can you get to the fridge, bathroom or bedroom with the slides closed? Does it have a residential fridge, extra roof AC units, slide toppers etc?

All this just for a start! Enjoy the shopping.

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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I think I would go the used route to give you time to figure out what you really want as far as layout etc. if you buy new as your first unit I guarantee you will want to trade within a year or two. You would lose a lot of money on the trade. There are lots of good used RV's out there. I would look at the DRV's.
Stay away from any Keystone or Thor model. My brothers new Champagne Edition Forest River is a real piece of junk. I have spent more time working on it than he has actually camped in it.
You might want to look at the Arctic Fox 35Z model. It is a nice unit. All brands have problems so try to avoid the ones that have known issues.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:30 PM   #11
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Look for Residential fifth wheels. Most normal brands are very poorly built, bad materials, poor construction and definitely not 4 season. The ones you mentioned are pretty good. Redwood and Grand Design are not the best but better than most. Arctic Fox has good 4 season trailers. We are very happy fulltiming in our Lifestyle. Mobile Suites is known as a good high end 5er. There aren't many high quality builds. Look beyond floor plan at the materials, construction and equipment. Most rv's seem to be made like a disposable product. There aren't many really made well.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:35 AM   #12
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I agree on the DRV Suites. The most important thing to choose, IMHO, is the frame and drive train. An RV really is a rolling earthquake, and the conditions of roads and highways today make it even worse. DRV has the most robust frame out there, save for the big custom builders like New Horizons, SpaceCraft, Forks, and Recreation by Design. I have a 2014 38TKSB3 Mobile Suites that also includes the Mor-Ryde independent suspension, along with 17.5" wheels, which were must-haves when we were looking. It does you no good to pick a floor plan on a lousy coach. If you've got a year to look, you can find a DRV that has a floor plan that will suit your needs. Buy your 3rd 5th wheel 1st!
David & Sherry
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:53 PM   #13
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I'm not a big fan of the welding that Lippert does.............
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #14
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Sewcreative. you looking new or used. If you look at used, you will find several really good full time units that are no longer produced....Teton, HitchHiker Champagne, Excel, Carriage Cameo.

Your salesman's list is not what I consider full time units. I suspect he is listing only what he sells. Redwood is a lot of glitz and bling, but not well built.

One of the top full time reasonably priced RVs is DRV Mobile Suites. The heartland 365 is a pretty unit, but not a true full time unit IMHO.

If you really want to high end full time, look at the custom units from Custom Coach (Forks), Spacecraft or New Horizons.


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