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Old 10-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
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Do I go for quality or a floor plan that I really like?

This is really tough...We are strongly considering full-timing. For that purpose, I have been told that I need to look at the higher end makes, like Nuwa, Excel, Lifestyle, or Mobile Suites, Carriage, etc.

I have not seen floor plans in these makes (used) that I really like! So frustrating!! I have seen floor plans in other makes, like Heartland, Keystone, etc...but they are in the lower end of those lines...

So...what does one do? Sacrifice floor plan for durability? How have you all compromised when it came down to this type of a choice?

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #2
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Gosh, when thinking about full-timing, quality should win out over some floorplan problems. You can maybe fix the floorplan (we made our peninsula into an island) but you really can't fix lack of quality.
Which floorplan are you interested in?
Joe
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:32 PM   #3
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I agree. Quality is gonna be more important when FT BUT I recommend having patience. Don't settle on a floor plan that you don't like. You will regret it later if you do.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #4
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A friend of mine at work. His Father and mother Full-timed in two Jayco 5th Wheels for over twelve years, they loved it. They never had a problem material wise. The only reason they switched units was because they were T-bone in a intersection in Kansas. The driver ran a red light speeding and talking on a cell phone, not paying attention. No injuries but Totaled the Jayco. Insurance bought them a new Jayco. It really is up to you what you consider the correct 5th Wheel for your needs. If floor plans are your priority that is what you should stick to. Get a Quality unit you are Comfortable with in the floor plan you want. Best of luck in your search. I am searching myself.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:43 PM   #5
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Let me add to the quality discussion for FT use. Compare the insulation values, frame construction, floor material and axles when selecting to what those higher end models offer.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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full timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuMu View Post
This is really tough...We are strongly considering full-timing. For that purpose, I have been told that I need to look at the higher end makes, like Nuwa, Excel, Lifestyle, or Mobile Suites, Carriage, etc.

I have not seen floor plans in these makes (used) that I really like! So frustrating!! I have seen floor plans in other makes, like Heartland, Keystone, etc...but they are in the lower end of those lines...

So...what does one do? Sacrifice floor plan for durability? How have you all compromised when it came down to this type of a choice?

Thanks for your help in advance!
A friend bought a 2003 Topaz by Triple E 5th wheel 27ft with a dinette/sofa slide. A very quality trailer.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:50 AM   #7
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When we were considering 5th wheel unit for full timing the Heartland Landmark series was on the short list along with Mobil Suites etc as to quality/construction/ for full timing.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quality is the word that outweighs all else.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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Many of the "high end" used units were bought by fulltimers for fulltiming which came to an end. So a lot of thought went into prepping them for that purpose. Yea, everybody's tastes are different and we all desire that "perfect unit", but if it meets most of your requirements and it was quality built from the beginning, that's sure trumps the, full body paint and glitz that covers substandard build and shortcuts in places you can't see. I had two quality fifths and one crappy one in between. When it got totaled and it went on the hook to go to an RV junkyard, I was a happy man jumping for joy.
By the way, even though I wasn't fulltiming in it every time something broke or went wrong with it, it didn't happen when it sat in my driveway or side lawn, it happened on the road or in a campground 100's or 1,000's miles away. And since the company that built it was bankrupt (no mystery why) it made it that much more "interesting".

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Old 10-29-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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Agree with most posters - - - QUALITY. Most companies produce a floor plan that will make a great fulltime unit. How much time have you spent in a fifth wheel? Are you sure you know what features are most important when full timing? I will quickly yield to some feature I would rather have different to stay with quality. Don't look at the glitz - - look under the skin. That cheap cabinet that looks so cool when new quickly looks like junk with some usage.

Start with frame, then running gear. Then move up to walls and roof. Those considered top line are almost all NOT bonded walls. Look at Carriage, Teton, Excel - - all framed like a house (aluminum of course), wired, insulated and finished out similar to a house. Look at floor material. Does it have MorRyde IS suspension? Does it have disk brakes? All that is hidden, but adds up to a lot of peace of mind on the road living in it.

If I were looking for a new one, I would highly consider the Lifestyle - - very well made and some great floor plans. Not cheap, but not overpriced for the quality. Good luck. QUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEH.

Bob
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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No brainer....Quality!! Especially if you are considering full time. You will need the best quality you can afford for 4 season traveling. RV manufacturers have been playing around with floorplan variations forever. They know what works well. Rear kitchen, middle kitchen, etc. Each floorplan has it's benefits. None of them are any better/worse than the next. You will get used to it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Gosh, when thinking about full-timing, quality should win out over some floorplan problems. You can maybe fix the floorplan (we made our peninsula into an island) but you really can't fix lack of quality.
Which floorplan are you interested in?
Joe
Thanks everyone, for your input!! We newbies need some sage advice by you experienced RVers!! I am beginning to see that quality should win out.

We prefer the floorplans with the island that does not have a sink it it. I love the floorplan of the Lifestyle LS35SB, which is out of the budget, as there are not any old enough. It is very close to the Carriage Cameo, but improved, in that the LS allows for a stackable washer and dryer whereas the Cameo only allowed for a combo unit.

My second favorite floorplan is the Heartland Big Country 3251TS....which is, what I have been told, not fulltime worthy. The Landmark Mesa is nice, but too long.

Another one, is the Palomino Columbus 420RK. I don't know if the Columbus line is fulltime worthy...

We found a 2009 Mobile Suites 36RSSB in our price range but we do not like these things about it: It has a sink in the island. Also, there is no door between the bedroom and the living area. The plus side of the MS is that there is tons of storage.

We are also concerned about the weight of the rig. Do we really need something so heavy if we are fulltiming?
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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The short list by the OP is a pretty good list to look for good used units. I would not step down from the quality for a floor plan. Keep looking and expand your search area.

I would concentrate on the ones with stacked box section frame...DRV, Lifestyle and Carriage.

For some of the short comings on a floor plan, you can get cabinet work done to make it more to your taste. We took out the fireplace...area space waster and put doors and storage units in the place. We also added a medicine cabinet in the bath. The coat area right at the front door had shelves added and we had doors made for the NEW extended pantry area. I stained and varnished them to perfectly match the existing woodwork.

Ken
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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I am puzzled that DRV, NuWa, Excel, or LifeStyle do not make a floor plan that would work. There are only 4 or 5 floor plans in the world of 5th wheels.

What floor plan are you looking for?
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