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Old 10-11-2014, 10:16 PM   #1
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Lightweight vs Heavy

Hello, I'm new to this so please bear with me.

I'm about to retire and my wife and I want to RV 4-5 months out of the year to escape the TX heat. I've been doing my homework for the past 6 months and we made up our minds that we want a 5th wheel over a TT. I've done my homework and we have decided since we are new to this way of life we plan to buy an higher end used trailer rather than committing to a huge investment. I've narrowed it down to Nuwa, Keystone or Forest River. I've been looking at the lightweight trailers thinking better mpg, and not having to purchase a 1ton truck since I will only be RVing 4-5 months out of the year. My question is are the lightweights built for this type of use? Will they hold up to 4-5 months use per year. I'd really like to know your thoughts since your out there every day.


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Old 10-12-2014, 05:12 AM   #2
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First off I would not consider a Keystone or Forest River a "high end" 5th wheel. For that you need to go with a Nuwa,Carriage,Newmar, Mobile Suites. The keystones and forest rivers are from entry level to medium level rigs depending on what you buy. Our Jayco is a nice rig with all the features of a high end rig without the high end price.

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Old 10-12-2014, 07:11 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forum!!!
If you are going to be on the road for that amount of time, I wouldn't be looking at the lightweights. They are more for weekends or maybe a week here and there. There are a few questions.....
1..Do you already have a tow vehicle, or will you need to purchase one?
2.. What length trailer are you considering?
Keith & Drena with Casey & P-nut (dogs) & Gabby (cat)
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:17 AM   #4
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Don't expect better mpgs with a lighter trailer, weight isn't the problem but wind resistance. On the other hand, lighter trailers will hold up just fine. But all units need routine maintenance. All of my fivers have been light weight, first 3 were 1/2 ton units, even the 4th one could have been towed with a 1/2 ton truck. Over the course of 25 years, that 1st fifth wheel was the lightest and saw the most miles while the 4th unit saw the most camping nights as we spend about 1/3 of each year camping.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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Lightweight vs Heavy

Thank you all for your responses.

mo5er: We plan to purchase a new truck after we purchase our RV to insure it is safe to tow whatever we buy. The truck will be my main source of transportation, since we will only be RVing 4 months out of the year I prefer not to drive a gas guzzler the 8 months I'm not on the road, but a quality trailer is my main concern. We are looking to purchase between a 30-35 footer.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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Look at the quality units mentioned above. We bought our 36' MS in late 11 at 4 years old and in good condition. Saved a ton of $ at about 1/2 the cost of new and can get near what we paid 3 years later. We live in ours full time and it has been great. Just keep up on maintenance.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #7
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I've had a Ford F250 7.3 diesel since 2003, and have just towed my 31' travel trailer (once) and my pontoon boats. After installing air bags and an auxiliary transmission cooler, I'm good for towing up to 13,000 lbs. I really don't care to deal with dual rear wheels.

We bought a 2015 Grand Design 323BHS bunk house model which is 10,700 lbs. dry and just under 2K pin weight dry. All of their Reflection models can be towed by 3/4 ton trucks. A couple of their newest models can be towed by a properly equipped 1/2 ton truck. With a SuperSofa option, our new fifth wheel is as nice of a trailer as I need.

There are trailers on the market that can be handled by 3/4 ton trucks--preferably diesel powered. Pin weight is their weakness--not horsepower. And such trucks are very easy to live with on a day to day basis. But if you think you'll ever go to a 14,000+ lb./3000 lb. pin weight fifth wheel, you need to go straight to a dual rear wheel 1 ton truck.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:20 PM   #8
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At that size range, depending on the specifics of what you find, a 1-ton SRW will likely be fine. They are priced about the same as a 3/4 ton. In the newer trucks (mine is 2012 DRW) the spring packs have been altered to provide a comfy ride at most any load level from empty on up. The Mrs says it is the most comfy vehicle she has traveled in. We do 6,000 to 12,000 miles a year towing and 4 to 5 months each year. Ours is more like 40', and much shorter might be an issue. Four months is getting to be a lot like forever, what with laundry and mail and all.

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