I just went through the same process in May that you are going through now. I consulted the forum on my purchase and got varying responses. Basically what I found out about my purchase is, it is considered an entry level 5th wheel. It does not mean it is poor quality, just affordable and definitely not high end. I purchased a 2000 Fleetwood Wilderness GL, 30G. It s 32 feet long, fiberglass exterior, steel frame on the trailer above and I beams below. It has fairly decent appliances as I think the original owner did an upgrade on the appliances.
Here are some very important things to consider:
Check our local Craigslist for your area for 5th wheels. Put in a price range let's say $4000 to $8000 and make sure you are searching under category RV's and then in the search box type in 5th Wheel. A bunch of listings should pop up if you live near any large cities. Bear in mind you can expand your search area if you are willing to go farther from your home to obtain one.
I found the sweetest of deals on mine. I found a family desperate to sell due to financial issues. Being a 2000, it is fairly modern and it lists retail resale from anywhere from $11,000 to $14,000. I only paid $6500. So good deals are out there if you put some time and effort into it.
When you are looking at used models check to make sure there are no water leaks on the ceilings inside and make sure the floor is sound with no soft or rotted area's as this could indicate prior water leaks or damage. Make sure all appliances and slides work and the air conditioning and heating work well. Anything not working gives you the edge to bargain on a final price, but then you will have to contend with the repairs. If you get it cheap enough, you can afford to repair it yourself if you are handy. Make sure the gray and black and fresh water tanks are in good shape and that the drain valves for your gray and black tanks work well. This forum has been extremely helpful to me with all my posts. You can search all my posts by my name so that you can see the helpful information that I have gotten from everyone. I hope this reply will help in your quest. Good Luck and I hope you find a really nice quality unit at a good price. Craigslist is the way to go in my opinion, as you can make appointments with all the private owners so that you can go over the trailer with a fine tooth comb to see if it is sound or not. As far has higher end models, I am still a green horn in this area so the forum will be of better help to you there. I am very satisfied with my Fleetwood Wilderness. The company that made mine use to be at the top of their game the year mine was built. They went bankrupt in 2009 so I can't vouch for the quality of the later models near the end of the company’s life. Anything late 90's forward will be lighter easier to tow and have aluminum or steal frames. 5th wheels are definitely safer to tow than pull trailers as pull trailers have a tendency to sway and roll over in high winds, although any high profile vehicle is vulnerable in high winds. Everyone says just pull over until it is safe to travel again. I wish you all the best in your search.