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Old 01-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
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Cardinal 3850RL

Went to the Boat/RV show last night. Saw a nice Redwood 38GK but didn't like the slide in a slide. That gave you a queen bed...and we want a king this time as we have a 22 pound Garfield cat that wants his share.

Saw a nice Cedar Creek 36CKTS but didn't like the "Lazy Susan" in the bedroom closet. With washer/dryer (a must have per DW) you are down to half a closet and instead of a rod for hangers they put in this Lazy Susan looking thing. It may work better than it looks, but that is the only closet.

Also saw a nice Cardinal 3850RL. It had Washer/dryer, 5.5 LP generator, king bed, residential refrigerator, 6-point hydraulic leveling, Although you loose about half the bedroom closet there is a second wardrobe closet on the other side of the bed so that is plenty. etc.

List is $109K and show price is $80K. I think I can get them to 76K or so...is that a decent deal?

By the numbers:
GENERAL INFORMATION Manufacturer Cardinal Model Year 2014 Model 3850RL Color LINEN WEIGHTS Gross Vehicle Wt Rating (GVWR) 16,255 lbs. (7,373 kg) Unloaded Vehicle Wt (UVW) 12,324 lbs. (5,590 kg) Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) 3,931 lbs. (1,783 kg) Hitch Weight 2,575 lbs. (1,168 kg) MEASUREMENTS Length Feet 39 Overall Length 39 ft. 7 in. (12.1 m) Exterior Height 13 ft. (4 m) Exterior Width 98 in. (2.5 m) Wheel/Tire Size 16 in. BODY No. of Slide-Outs 3 Exterior Storage Yes Awnings Electric Patio Awning Awning Length 19 ft. OPERATIONAL Fresh Water Capacity 77 gal. (291 l) Self Contained YES Gray Water Capacity 80 gal. (303 l) Black Water Capacity 40 gal. (151 l) Air Conditioner BTU Rating 15,000 Furnace BTU Rating 42,000 Water Heater Capacity 12 gal. Propane Tank Capacity 60 lbs. (2 tanks, 30 lbs. each) Axle Quantity 2 Leveling Jacks AUTO LEVEL UP SYSTEM

So...is Cardinal a good quality unit? I know it's not a Excel, Mobile Suites, New Horizons...but is it a unit that will last us with normal care and maintenance?

How does Cardinal compare with Redwood, Trilogy (haven't seen yet), Cedar Creek, Sanibel, Solitude? Is this list comparable with each other?

I'm looking at 2014 Ram 3500 diesel dually 4X4 for a pull vehicle...think it'll do the job?

Please give us your opinions! I think we can find a great 5er in the $55K - 75K range that will last many years. We will be traveling a lot and "snow birding" but will keep our house in Tulsa, so we'll not be full timing in this trailer.

Going back to the show today to look at more. And to a local dealer to see some units they didn't bring to show.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:31 PM   #2
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That little "lazy susan" thingy is great. It holds many more hang up clothes that any two rods. If You get one of them, be happy cause they really work great.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBDAWG View Post
That little "lazy susan" thingy is great. It holds many more hang up clothes that any two rods. If You get one of them, be happy cause they really work great.
Mine is working great also. I was not a believer at first.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
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X3 will hold a lot of cloths +my hats on top.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:41 PM   #5
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The Redwood 38GK comes with a king bed standard, the queen slide in slide is an option.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:32 AM   #6
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Having owned 2 Cardinal - 2010 and 2012, I found that they under rate the hitch weight by 500#+ and they use just enough axle and less than optimum tires. Check the I-beam frame size. If its not at least 12" the frame flexes. I had the front cap start to separate from the roof on my 37'.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:48 AM   #7
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I was just going to say the same thing about the frame. I looked at a new Cardinal at a RV Show last month. It only had a 10" I-Beam frame. For the same $$$ ($70k - $75k) you can buy a Trilogy or Landmark on a 12" I-Beam frame.

Back to the Cardinal. I think it is the best 5th wheel built by Forest River. There are probably 15 other 5th wheels that compete with the Cardinal.

The Ram Dually will do a great job of towing the Cardinal. You will really be impressed with any new dually's towing behavior and power. The Ram has the best exhaust break so going down a mountain will also be easy.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I was just going to say the same thing about the frame. I looked at a new Cardinal at a RV Show last month. It only had a 10" I-Beam frame. For the same $$$ ($70k - $75k) you can buy a Trilogy or Landmark on a 12" I-Beam frame.

Back to the Cardinal. I think it is the best 5th wheel built by Forest River. There are probably 15 other 5th wheels that compete with the Cardinal.

The Ram Dually will do a great job of towing the Cardinal. You will really be impressed with any new dually's towing behavior and power. The Ram has the best exhaust break so going down a mountain will also be easy.
They must have changed over the years. The Cardinals are on a 12" frame, except for the 3030RS a 10". I just looked at the web site as I don't have it here.

I've had a couple of Forest River products over the years and had no problems at all. I've always heard Cardinal was one of the better 5th wheels.

I really like the Ram dually in just the little bit I've driven it! Can't wait for the roads to get better next week. Pick up the Cardinal next Thursday...transfer stuff from the motorhome...and haul buns south out of this cold and snow!
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