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Old 02-12-2015, 01:54 PM   #1
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How to determine what to buy

5th wheel RVs are major investments and people should do there due diligence when shopping...All manufactures are making them extremely attractive but your 1st and most important criteria should be its foundation design and construction...I am 65 years old and have owned 5 of them throughout the years...2 great ones and 2 that were okay and 1 that was cheap horrible and troublesome ...I am not going to name any manufactures in this thread but I will be giving my opinion on what to look for...Do your best not to get overwhelmed by how pretty it is with your 1st impression if you do ,you will live to regret it in most cases...5th wheel RV weights that manufactures claim are totally untrue most if not all are much heavier then advertised...The reason for this is because in Canada and a few states in the lower 48 you must have a class"A" drivers license if your total weight for a truck and RV exceed 25000 pounds...Manufactures are building 5th wheels as lite as possible and structural integrity in some cases are inferior because of it...Start your inspection with the tires the size the load rating...Then suspension components axel ratings and frames...Believe me people there are several 5th wheel RVs sold today that should not be certified by the DOT to be road worthy...

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Old 02-12-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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I would agree. Easy to get caught up with cosmetics. I try to pay more attention to strength and mechanics now.

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Old 02-12-2015, 06:21 PM   #3
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What they ^^ said
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:05 PM   #4
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Ok, so as a future buyer how would you evaluate the quality of the underlying trailer? Specific things you look for? What's easy to see, what's hard to see, how would you go about assessing a trailer you are considering?
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:13 PM   #5
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Relative to tires and load capacity-- I would take the GVWR less 20% as the average maximum pin weight; what is left is what will be on the axles/tires. Divide that by 4 and compare the result to what the max load rating of the tire is. If less than 80% of the tire load is on each tire, then perhaps the rest of the trailer is constructed with good value to the consumer in mind. Just a start...
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:30 AM   #6
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Yes. I look at the tire and axle ratings also. On out present trailer the tires and axles exceed the GVWR without taking the pin weight into consideration. I look to see how large the Ibeams are. What type of slide mechanisms do they utilize. Does the suspension come with nylon bushings, brass or wet bolts. What type of suspension do they use. How are the floors and roof constructed. Do they use plywood. How easy is it to winterize. I think it's also very important to find a good dealer. Price is important to me but I would pay a little more to get good service.
I'm not so much into new technology like remote control operated slides etc. I guess I'm a little old school. I'm more concerned about reliability than new technology.
I take more time now to decide before I purchase. There are many great resources online to gather information but you do have to filter it of course.

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