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Old 06-19-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
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Length verses inside room, which one?

Need Advice:
We are ready to purchase a new 5th wheel for the first time. We are stuck between a 32' and a 36' Cameo due to the length. I have
never pulled a 5th wheel or a trailer except for a 16' utility once in a while. We have a Ford 350 Super Duty, Diesel. We checked, and we have the necessary equipment to handle the 32" or the 36".

I have heard that more room is always the way to go but we are nervous about the extra length. Since the price is about 65 to 70K we do not want to make a decision that we will regret for each payment.

Experience: Novice - First Timer.

Application: One big cross country trip planned, then smaller two three week trips, and hopefully many small weekend trips (Or so we think).

Use: My wife, myself, and two teenage daughters. Short and intermediate trips, hate hotels, and early checkouts, etc.

Question: Am I getting too much length for the first time?
Should we be concerned about the size of the rig.
Will I be excluded from locations due to the length?
Is room a big advantage over length concerns?

Thank you in advance for all of the help and advice.
Richard
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Richard. Go for the 36'. We had similar concerns about length but went with a 36ft Outback and glad we did. The extra few feet, like boats, makes a huge difference in comfort. More like a home, with the opposing slides, than a camper. Yes, some state parks limit us; some winding switch backs can be a problem. But, most private parks all have plenty of room. Most now with pull-throughs.

All RV's have trade offs. Neg's outweighed by the positives in our opinion for the larger unit.
Our friends bought a 30 Cougar and now wish they had gotten a longer one. We pull with a GMC diesel. No problem and 12-13mpg. Friends with the Cougar & 2,000 lbs lighter get the same milage with identical truck.

Ray
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Bigger is better!
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:11 PM   #4
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As long as the tow vehicle is rated for the larger trailer with a family of four, go with the 36'. Cameos are not light weight trailers.

Next issue is that the older parks in some areas may be a problem with a 36' 5er and a 32' will fit. When we lived in Oklahoma, we had a 36.5' 5er and there were lots of places we could not fit. Some State and Corp parks had only 2 or 3 sites that we could use.

Ken
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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Bigger can be better, but make sure you like the floor plan. Bigger may not give you that much extra room, all depends on the floor plans, so get a floor plan that will work for you and your family. I sometimes wish we had gone bigger, but the floor plan is what we went for, all areas of our unit are accessible with the slides in, many units have areas you can't get to without putting the slides out. Who wants to put the slides out just to use the bathroom or get a cold drink from the fridge. Floor plan all the way.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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I'd echo the floor plan comments. I'll add one more though, which is look at where the storage is in the trailer as well. If it is all in the front, then you will have trouble balancing the load. With 4 people in the truck, you are going to need to shift weight aft in the trailer since you are chewing up a chunk of your payload on people. This will effect what you can put on the hitch of the truck/pin of the trailer without putting the nose in the sky.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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Okay, bigger seems to be the vote. Does anyone have feedback on NuWA? Good 5th wheel or not. Campared to a Cameo what do you think?
By the way, thank you all for your help. It means alot when you are new, and need help.
Richard
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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Cool

formatting messed up
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #9
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Cool

Let me play Devil's Advocate here.

Have you shopped the used market yet?

With the current economy, there are some fantastic deals to be made on used trailers that have been repossessed, or sold because the payments became too big of a load.


Keep in mind, that 3 years from now, whatever is purchased new, will only be worth Half what you sign a contract on today. That means it will depreciate much faster than you can pay the note off. Looking at very clean, well cared for units can pay you dividends.


1) Lower entry costs into the RV game.


2) A chance for your family to get used to outings in an RV.


3) IF you discover an "uh oh", an older unit will not have depreciated anywhere near as much as a factory new unit.


4) An "uh oh" trade in will only have lost 25% or less (of an equivalent new RV's value) in 3 years.


5) I doubt it takes you anywhere near 3 years to decide if you made a mistake.


Cheap Insurance policy for you to have in your pocket.


If you like it, momma and crew rave on about a 'new one', well, you have the experience to determine if that is justifiable...



JMO, but I have a lot of trouble justifying a 'factory new' unit for the above reasons. Regardless of my bank account.


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Old 06-20-2011, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racemosa View Post
Okay, bigger seems to be the vote. Does anyone have feedback on NuWA? Good 5th wheel or not. Campared to a Cameo what do you think?
By the way, thank you all for your help. It means alot when you are new, and need help.
Richard
Both at the top of the 5th wheel pecking order. However, both are heavy, over the capacity of a 3/4 ton.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:19 PM   #11
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Some additional thoughts:

On floor plans. My wife loves her "island kitchen" w dbl sinks in the Outback 36. The preparer is protected from folks walking by and a lot of extra storage/counterspace to boot. Also, preparer is facing the party rather than having back to it. The rear entertainment center always draws complements and lots of extra storage above and below.

The two factory provided rockers were not good and crowded the smaller slide area. We replaced them for a single leather swivel with ottoman & small table. Looks nice; spacious for the area and comfortable. The existing couch is comfortable. Only two of us. A hanging clothes locker is a big plus. We sacrificed 1/3 for a washer/dryer which gets lots of use.

Tankage is something to consider. We have and appreciate 80 gallons of gray water. Is divided between galley and bath. The galley fills quickly it seems. Always nice to have plenty of rinse water following the black dump. Our black 40 gal seems more than adequate for 6 days without a dump connection. I assume tankage may vary from different units.
Power cord storage is a plus that we miss. No fun manhandling a 50' 50amp cord. I opted for a adapter to a 30amp pwr cord. Lot easier to handle and store. Never had need for 50 amps. If running two AC's at once, then maybe.

On the high end units: If you plan to full time it in all weather conditions, then go for one of the top units with double pane windows and added insulation. NuWa is one of the better but heavy. Probably need at least a one ton. Been told a dulley gives good stability. If plans are for shorter vacations and avoidence of extreme weather, then a lighter, less costly trailer is a consideration.

One thing with the longer units I learned yesterday. Nearly lost the rear tire coming into a steep entrance at a Chevron. Bent the bracket and damaged the cover. A shorter rig would not have had the problem. I will be more observent on driveways.

Cheers,
Ray
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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We started with a 39 ft. fifth wheel. when hooked up to the truck we are 56 foot long --which sounds long. As far as length goes it has never been a problem for as long as you use common sence while towing. Everyone kept advising me to go big right from the start and that is what we did. I never regreted taking this advise because after buying a 39 ft. 5er to start with there is no need to trade up to a larger one.
Get what you need and want and you will have no regrets'

Enjoy the RV life,
Thane and Sharon
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:40 PM   #13
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My favorite 5th wheel floor plan is a Montana 3750 forward living room.
Keystone Montana 3750FL Fifth Wheel | AmericanRV.com

The bedroom is in the rear. The front top section ceiling is raised to accomodate the living area.

Nice....

I think too often, there is too much emphasis and space used for the bedroom in 5'vers.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman_777 View Post
My favorite 5th wheel floor plan is a Montana 3750 forward living room.
Keystone Montana 3750FL Fifth Wheel | AmericanRV.com

The bedroom is in the rear. The front top section ceiling is raised to accomodate the living area.

Nice....

I think too often, there is too much emphasis and space used for the bedroom in 5'vers.
I agree. I thought that floorplan was awesome back in 2004, then Keystone discontinued that floorplan for a while. I think due to pin weight. But now that they've brought it back, if I were in the market, I'd like to have one again the LR in the upper section.

Lori-
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