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Old 09-06-2016, 03:48 PM   #1
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Full time 5th Wheel living in Phoenix in the summer - what rig to buy?

It seems as though all of the so-called "Four-Seasons" 5th Wheel manufacturers focus on the cold weather. I would like to know how any of them would fare in an extremely hot environment, like Phoenix, AZ during the summer (120 degrees)
If you've got some experience with living full time in your Fifth Wheel in the Phoenix or Mesa, AZ area, I would sure like to hear from you about what rig you have and how your unit coped with the extreme heat.
I've pretty much exhausted my search about tips and tricks to reduce the heat. What I'd really like to know is what brand 5th Wheel you have that's made your living in the valley a reasonable venture.
We want to buy a 5th Wheel and make Mesa, AZ our full time home until we retire and can snowbird.
Thanks very much!

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Old 09-06-2016, 03:54 PM   #2
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Well, anything with good insulation and dual pane windows. A better quality 5th wheel like a Drv, Excel, Travel Supreme (getting older now). Drv has 3 1/4" walls, even in the slides. No brand is completely airtight but with good insulation and dual pane windows it's do-able. We were in Phoenix a couple of years ago in June when it was 112, we kept the shades down, it was fine.

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Old 09-06-2016, 04:41 PM   #3
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We spent a couple of months in Mesa a few years back. July and August I believe. We were in a Georgetown motorhome with 2 A/Cs...and roasted.

I would look for something like a Mobile Suites new or used. Do they make a 5er with 4 or 5 A/Cs...lol?

You didn't say if you were looking to buy new and spec stuff like dual pane windows or something used and less money.

Good luck...I know the heat too, we live by the Mexican border on south Texas!
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:59 PM   #4
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I've noticed that the Cardinal (among others) we have been looking at for a while as our step up from a travel trailer now has 3 air conditioners as an option. I don't know if that means the insulation is not very good or that 45,000 btus is what it takes to keep a fiver cool in extreme climates.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:40 AM   #5
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We have a 2011 HitchHiker LS. In New Mexico this past June, temps went to 102-106. We only have one A/C, and do not have dual pane windows. Couldn't keep it below 80 inside and the A/C ran non-stop until the sun went down. Bought a portable floor standing A/C unit, set it at the top of the stairs to the bedroom and ducted it out the bedroom window. What a difference! Main rooftop unit would actually cycle on and off, and kept the inside temp at 76. Spent a lot less ($300) than a second rooftop A/C unit, and don't have another hole in my roof. In short, I wouldn't do it without at least two A/C units.



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Old 09-09-2016, 01:04 AM   #6
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I live about 10 degrees north latitude in the Philippines with no AC. My Filipina wife complains about the heat more than I do. A lot of other expats here lock themselves up in their bedrooms and run the AC nonstop and rarely go out in the day unless they're in their cars with the AC full blast and never acclimate because of it. I got used to it and I don't let it bother me. I hate going to some of the businesses here that refrigerate their offices. Get used to the heat and you can tolerate it more and soon you won't even notice it.

That said I would look at the 4 seasons 5ers as I'd assume if they're insulated well for cold, they'd work well for heat too. Additionally I'd look for more window tinting and you probably won't get much use out of a fireplace though the desert does get cold at night. Also, you'll want to pay attention to the direction you park it. My guess would be east-west with the awning on the north side.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:21 AM   #7
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One thing I would consider, no matter what unit you buy, is shade! If you have to build a shade carport, whatever you can do to keep the direct sun off your 5th wheel! Then I would look for dual pane windows, and the most insulation package you can get, window awnings, ETC! And see how it does, you can buy a portable A/C and if you need to also! Good Luck!
I lived in Phoenix, for 5 years back in the 70's, and the hottest I ever saw was 112*, And when I was trucking out of Vegas for the last 20 years, the hottest I ever saw was Needles, Ca. at 127*! I also rented a house in Los Algodones, Baja, Mx. and saw the temp 121*! one summer! We had a A/C unit ontop of that house that was as big as a VW Bug! Rail!
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:19 AM   #8
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I live in Mesa but not in my RV. I have a 13 Cardinal and run both AC's when I'm either working on it or preparing to head out of the hell hole. When it's 110 plus during the day and still in the 100s at midnight they will not cool off the rv enough for me to be comfortable to spend much time inside. I would advise staying somewhere up northern Az for summer and migrate down to Mesa when it cools off in late September, October. I do see a few fivers scattered around the many parks here in the summer and wonder how they do it!
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:48 PM   #9
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I think you re going to need 3 A/Cs in order to handle the heat (or 2 in a very small 5er). Grand Design Momentum Toy haulers have a 3rd A/C as an option. They also have a pretty good insulation package.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:10 PM   #10
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Take a look at the Lux Agusta 3" walls well made .
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:32 AM   #11
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I don't think any model will keep you stay cool enough without being parked in a completely shaded spot. If you have a choice, go elsewhere. It is miserable in Phoenix during the summer.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:53 AM   #12
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We have stayed twice at Lost Dutchman park outside of Phoenix in June--running both ACs kept it bearable, but just barely. One thing we learned is to try to set up with the fridge side to the east to keep afternoon sun off the vents. Also, having the 2 fans in the fridge compartment to vent air better really helped. Shade, shade, shade--if at all possible.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:11 PM   #13
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I live in Tucson and we're slightly cooler than Phoenix and there ain't no way I'm camping in the summer heat in Phoenix. We used to keep our boat at a nearby lake and camped in the triple digits of summer. All three air conditions took the interior temps down to the mid 80's. Not a comfortable way to camp. Do yourself a favor and store your trailer and rent an apartment.
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:22 AM   #14
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My Cardinal came with one AC unit but was wired for a second one. Once that was installed it handled triple digits fine. Took a while to cool down after baking on the road all day. We use to keep the slides in once set up to cool less volume and then open them up after an hour or so. 4 season rig and duel pane windows is the key with at least two AC units. Shade tree really helps!

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