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Old 09-09-2006, 08:28 AM   #1
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We have started looking at 5th Wheels and so far have zeroed in on the Sandpiper 285 RG. We also looked at the Montana and decided that we didn't want to spend that kind of money. What are the pro's and con's on the Sandpiper and what tow vehicle would we look at for this 5th wheel. We started at the trailer then comes the toe vehicle. We are both retired and love the out doors. We are avis tent campers and wish to move up into something more feasible for 70 year olds and year round camping capablities. Any feed back would be appreciated
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:28 AM   #2
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We have started looking at 5th Wheels and so far have zeroed in on the Sandpiper 285 RG. We also looked at the Montana and decided that we didn't want to spend that kind of money. What are the pro's and con's on the Sandpiper and what tow vehicle would we look at for this 5th wheel. We started at the trailer then comes the toe vehicle. We are both retired and love the out doors. We are avis tent campers and wish to move up into something more feasible for 70 year olds and year round camping capablities. Any feed back would be appreciated
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:24 AM   #3
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First let me welcome you to iRV2.com. We hope you keep coming back to share your experiences with us.

You are certainly going about this the correct way. Find the trailer then the tow vehicle.

You'll have to use the numbers on the 5th wheel manufacturers spec sheet. Start with the pin weight and add 25%. That will give you a pretty good idea what the pin weight is when you load up the trailer.

When you look at the trucks, the total weight of the truck must be figured out. Use the curb weight, add about 500 # to allow for options and a 5th wheel hitch. Then add in the total weight of the occupants and the gear you will carry in the truck. That will be the weight of the truck running solo. Add in the pin weight you calculated above and that final number must be less than the GVWR of the truck you are looking at.

Next start with the truck weight you calculated earlier. Add that to the GVWR of the trailer. That must be less than the GCWR of the truck.

This is a general rule of thumb. Make sure the GVWR and GCWR you use is that for a truck pulling a 5th wheel trailer. You are going to find that you will probably be into a 1 ton truck. You might get away with a ton.

Good luck. We've had 3 different 5th wheel trailer and we love them.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2. You will find a lot of good advice here.

I would advise you to look at used trailers that are 3 to 5 years old. It will save you a bundle and allow you to buy a higher quality trailer. A new trailer has a very high depreciation the first year.

One word of caution when shopping...never believe the RV or truck salesperson. Most of them do not tow anything except for a bass boat. So you need to do all of the home work up front so that you can effectively filter out the bull that the dealer wil feed you.

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Old 09-09-2006, 04:39 PM   #5
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I also welcome you to this great source of information named irv2.com! Virtually every question about beginng RV'ing has been discussed at some point here. Using the search engine at the top of the page will reveal many hours of discussions on topics such as yours. Choosing your 5er first is better as you appear to already know. After obtaining your 5ers GVW advertised weight and pin weight from manufacturers websites you have a starting point for sizing your tow vehicle. Some guys will have you believe you must drive a class 8 semi-tractor to pull a pop-up camper. At the other end of this is the guy that try to tow way over the pickups abilities safely. I'm nearing 70(man time flies), and the prospect of having to climb up steps into the truck is not an option for either of us. That's why matching the 5er and truck before buying either one is best. Assuming they are properly set-up; A 3/4T pickup will handle nearly all 5ers up to 30'. A 1T pickup will handle most any towable to 36'.
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Old 09-10-2006, 07:40 AM   #6
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Hi
I am on my second Fifth Wheel. This time we got a great deal on a used Jayco Eagle. The ruggedness of this trailer is fantastic. We usualy travel in the 2 to 6 thousand mile range on our vacations. in five years we have been 25000 miles with it.
Heres my sugestions for you to look at.
1. Slide outs. We have one and realy need the berroom slide. Reason is head room and access to the bath room at night. I am 67 and wife is 61 so at night we are kinda stiff. The arrangement of the bath ib the double slide is a factor to think about.
2. New Vs Used. Save yourself a bundle and get a used. I was looking at a 2004 new with full 2 year factory War.by Excel double slide for 20000. Still thinking about it.they also had a 2005 next up in line for 39000. This is what I would do if I were you.
3 I would opt for one with sitting area in back with large windows. Sure would have been great when we were at the Rocky Mountain N.P.
4. Kitchen placement. I like the side rather than the rear.

rick6501@comcast.net

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Old 09-10-2006, 02:31 PM   #7
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Hi, and though you might be getting tired of hearing it, welcome.

I think you've really gotten some really good advice.

I think most folks starting out with a 5th wheel think their truck can tow a 5th wheel that weighs what the truck's brochure says it can tow, but you find out quickly in single rear wheel trucks that the 20% of the weight 5th wheels put on the hitch will overload the rear axle weight rating and/or overload the truck's gross vehicle weight rating.

Trucks list their trailer rating by taking the truck's combined weight rating, minus the curb weight of the truck and just a driver, so any weight (other people, camping stuff, tools) that you carry in the truck reduces the hitch weight and the weight of the trailer it can tow.

Anyway, with a 5er that small, you would probably be ok with a 3/4 ton, but I'd suggest that you look at a single rear wheel 1 ton. At least in Dodge, the extra cost is very small. Though the only physical difference is some overload springs in back, it does significantly bump up it's legal weight capacity. Who knows, in a few years you might decide you want a bit bigger 5th wheel...

Also, like someone else pointed out, unless you are blessed to not have to consider cost, I'd think about getting a good used one first, or at least search the interent for used Sandpiper 285's. RV's loose like 1/3 of their value in the first couple of years, whether they have been used much or not.

Most everyone I've talked to has changed their opinion of what they want after their first year or two of having an RV. Some go bigger, some switch from 5th wheel to motorhome, and some decide they just don't use an RV enough to make it worth owning. It would be nice to be in a position where changing your mind in a year or two wouldn't cost thousands...
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:57 AM   #8
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We Just purchased our first 5th wheel (up from a well used Jayco pop-up) The Jayco was just luck, but the 5th wheel required more research. The first reliable source that was most authoratative and unbiased were the folks at RV Consumer group. Without their guidance we would've been shorn like sheep. I also found excellent in sight at Phred Tinseth's web site among many others. But I relied most on verifying any current conventional wisdom with RV Consumer Group.

As far as pricing goes it does depend on how clean the unit is, but NADA pricing Guide and Kelly's Blue book averaged in w/Materials from RV Consumer Group.

I found that like any other resource, what you find on the web is air unless the web site has accountability.

BTW, we're new to this 5th wheel thing also, and I gotta go, thought I'd put in a comment at a new resource. We're leaving for the second week-end this month to shake-down the systems of our rig. Thanks for all the helpfull info from so many here while I lurked, researching to buy.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:06 AM   #9
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Again, welcome. If you decide that you like the Montana, then look at the Mountaineer. They're both made by Keystone, and structurally, are both the same. The Mountaineer isn't outfitted as luxuriously, so is considerably less expensive. Buying used will save you a bundle of money, but 2nd owners don't get much, if any, factory warranty. Don't forget to shop the classifieds on this site, and good luck with your search.
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:35 AM   #10
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RV and Tow Vehicle Weights

Read the web page at the above link. It should prove useful in your education.
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