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Old 04-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Deciding on 5th wheel?

My husband and I are nearly ready to make a decision about our first RV purchase, which will ultimately be used to fulltime. What I'm looking for is feedback on towing a 5th wheel, specifically a Heartland Bighorn.

I would appreciate any and all feedback...Length, tow vehicle, newby stories, whatever.


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Old 04-10-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Hi Kayteebee6! I can't help you with anything 5th wheel, but want to welcome you to IRV2. You might also want to visit the 5thwheel discussion forum and the towing and tow vehicle forums further down the page. You might get more responses there. Good luck on your purchase and safe travels.

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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True fulltime rigs are heavy and generally require a properly equipped f350/3500 or F450/4500 series diesel truck for towing. Also, a full-time trailer will NOT have a statement in the warranty excluding full-time use. I don't think that Big Horn is rated for full-time use. You need to carefully review the warranty documents and DO NOT belive the word of the dealer.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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If you're going to FT, I suggest getting a rig that is designed for FTing and that will actually last. Look at Excel, Mobile Suites, New Horizons, Newmar, and Nuwa to name a few.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! Good luck on your search! We enjoyed a 5er for 10 years but were not fulltiming so I can't help you much there. Have fun & God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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Hello and welcome to iRV2.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

As someone who just went through this, figure out how much tow vehicle that you want to pay for, look at the max axle weights and the max GVWR.

Figure 20% king pin weight for your calculations on the truck, then work backwards to come up with a weight that will not bust either of the three limits for the tuck, Front Axle and Rear Axle weight ratings or Gross vehicle weight rating, GVWR.

If you already have a tow vehicle, check the door tag for that info.

I did this AFTER I bought my 28 foot 5th wheel toy hauler and was darn glad that I bought a 1 ton diesel dually 7 years ago

Have fun, it is exciting!
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Follow Ken's advice and get at least a 350/3500 Diesel Dually which will handle most, but if you think you might really go big and heavy then the 450/4500 route. I believe the Big Horns are heavy and would require the 1 ton Dually to give you some safety margin. We looked at them, but liked the look and feel of the Montana better, but now we're trading up to a Redwood, which is warranted for Full Time use.
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LT Ext Cab 4x4 Duramax/Allison, 2016 Redwood 39MB, Disc Brakes, Mor/ryde IS, GY 17.5" H tires, 5.5K Onan, Dual ACs, auto level, auto sat dish, stacked washer/dryer, residential fridge, King sleep number. Michelle & Ann
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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In reguards to being full time rvers.I have towed a 35ft Montanna for over 20,000miles with a 97 Ford super duty 73 diesel.Handled great never had a problem.I have since gone to a New Horrizon 38' weighs in at 14,000 lbs.Tripple axle.This coach is a full timer for hot or cold.Comes with generator,solar and an invertor for any where stopping.This is a custom coach built in Kansas.They have certain floor plans but you put what you want in them.We even have a dish washer five pullouts.If you have never towed a fifth wheel before get a smaller one and a used truck and go out a few times to see how it handles and what you like and don't like.Don't buy first time thinking this is everythink I want.You will find some things you like and don't like.We spent 5 months in the Montana and loved it.But there are always things you like better.The New Horison is definately a full timer.It also has heated holding tanks etc.Take your time and get it right,don't be miserable when you go full time.The truck I have now is a Dodge dually for the extra weight as the Montanna was only around 10,000lbs.We still have our house but sure love rving.Will be heading out in May an return in Oct as we live in Las vegas,nice winters.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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We love camping in our 5th wheel. We have a GMC Sierra w/duramax allison and it drives like a dream. When you go down a steep mountain when that allison kicks in you won't ever drive anything else.

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