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Old 08-26-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
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Smile Looking for advice on purchase of 5th wheel

I am in hopes several of you will weigh in on which 5th wheels you feel are worth buying. Our goal is to travel a fair amount, be comfortable, and not have any major issues. We have looked at the Reflection and Solitude by Grand Design but they are a new company so we're not sure. We also read some negative reviews about their responsiveness to problems. We also like the Alpine and Big Horn. We'd like to stay in the $80,000 and under range. Your advice please!!! Oh, and we are planning to go to the RV show in Pomona in October.

We are looking for our first 5th wheel, and would like some advice based on your experience. We have RV'd before in an older motorhome. We live in California and probably won't take it where it is cold. We intend to use it over long weekends, weeks here and there, and get out of the Central Valley for 2 months during the summer.

We are looking for comfort, reliability, and good value for the money spent. We would appreciate hearing from those of you who like their rig, what it is, and the quality of workmanship. If you've made mistakes, let us know so we can learn from them!

Many thanks!
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmet01 View Post
I am in hopes several of you will weigh in on which 5th wheels you feel are worth buying. Our goal is to travel a fair amount, be comfortable, and not have any major issues. We have looked at the Reflection and Solitude by Grand Design but they are a new company so we're not sure. We also read some negative reviews about their responsiveness to problems. We also like the Alpine and Big Horn. We'd like to stay in the $80,000 and under range. Your advice please!!! Oh, and we are planning to go to the RV show in Pomona in October.

gourmet01; Welcome to iRV2.

If your looking for a 5er, and not one to set up for double towing, then your needs are different than, thewarpig69's .
Best thing would be to write down your intended use,( weekends , holidays , full time ?) , size of family, length, a list of must haves and another of would likes, tow vehicle , if you already have one.
Then list them in your own post.
More people will see your post than will read it if you tag on to another, because a lot of members, read the first post then skip the rest, before adding their ideas.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmet01 View Post
We are looking for our first 5th wheel, and would like some advice based on your experience. We have RV'd before in an older motorhome. We live in California and probably won't take it where it is cold. We intend to use it over long weekends, weeks here and there, and get out of the Central Valley for 2 months during the summer.

We are looking for comfort, reliability, and good value for the money spent. We would appreciate hearing from those of you who like their rig, what it is, and the quality of workmanship. If you've made mistakes, let us know so we can learn from them!

Many thanks!
HI, We too are looking for a 5th wheel. You may want to take a look at the annual readers choice edition for Trailer Life. Keystone, Forest River and Heartland were the top three for 2014.
We are planning to park it so our concerns may be different than yours. For example: view on a particular side, specific position of slideouts, bigger refrig, and things like that.
We found that there are sooooo types and floor plans that we are still using the internet a lot.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmet01 View Post
We are looking for our first 5th wheel, and would like some advice based on your experience. We have RV'd before in an older motorhome. We live in California and probably won't take it where it is cold. We intend to use it over long weekends, weeks here and there, and get out of the Central Valley for 2 months during the summer.

We are looking for comfort, reliability, and good value for the money spent. We would appreciate hearing from those of you who like their rig, what it is, and the quality of workmanship. If you've made mistakes, let us know so we can learn from them!

Many thanks!!
Forgot to mention how much we use the heat pump in Florida. That is pretty high on our preference list..... propane can be tough to find sometimes.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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We have own two different 5th wheels in the past each had their +/- about them. We started looking for a replacement 5er last year and ended up purchasing a 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL which fits our needs.

My requirements went above the glitz's that most people look for. My requirements was very good basement storage and ease of use, 6- point hydraulic leveling system, 7,000 LB Dexter axles, self adjusting brakes and wet bolt system.
Residential refrigerator with invertor, heated holding tanks and a 12 gallon DSI water heater. My wife want the day/night roller shades and dual zone A/C, 2 of them ducted together to provide cooling. Plus a dealer that will work with you to provide warranty and repair service.

I also have experience the F.R.O.G. international rally that was held in Goshen IN. this year and this convinced me that Forest River will stand behind their products even out of warranty.

Jim W.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
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What you want to look at is the frame and axles. Good 5th wheels will have at least a 12" heavy I-Beam frame and at least 7,000lb axles.

Also it should have good insulation and be rated for full time living.

The Grand Designs, I believe are built better than average are are nice units.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:06 PM   #7
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80K budget gets you a lot; especially if you buy 1 yr old 5ver privately. NOTE: OEM warranty is usually for 1st buyer and not transferable to later owners.

Fit and finish are better in higher end units and will provide more years of service, considering wear and tear, and retaining value of resale (if early sale was necessitated due to unforeseen circumstances).

After sales service by the manufacturer is important and I have previously owned a Heartland product (Landmark). OEM was very responsive and majority of Heartland Owners are happy with Heartland. They have been perfecting their sales and customer service over a few years (since 2005 or earlier?). The Bighorn is a good line, with some great floorplans.

Brian
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:49 PM   #8
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After sales service by the manufacturer is important and I have previously owned a Heartland product (Landmark). OEM was very responsive and majority of Heartland Owners are happy with Heartland. They have been perfecting their sales and customer service over a few years (since 2005 or earlier?). The Bighorn is a good line, with some great floorplans.

Brian
This use to be true. Go on the Heartland forums and read all the nightmares persons with just 1 to 2 year old trailers are having. Getting no response from Heartland as to their problems even when they have the dealer involved for warranty work. I would definitely not recommend a Bighorn or Big Country from Heartland.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:38 PM   #9
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This use to be true. Go on the Heartland forums and read all the nightmares persons with just 1 to 2 year old trailers are having. Getting no response from Heartland as to their problems even when they have the dealer involved for warranty work. I would definitely not recommend a Bighorn or Big Country from Heartland.
Really? I would like to understand the foundation for your claims, other than anecdotal information gained from reading a few posts from Heartlands forum.

I am still a member over at the Heartland forums and for every 1 post about concerns, there are two posts commending Heartland response to owners enquiries. There are concerns over dealer response to warranty claims, but it is known fact there some (majority?) of dealers are on a cost basis model, not a customer satisfaction model.

Heartland owns their owner forum, and has a full time, paid director of owner interests who is primarily responsible for the forum. What other OEM forum has OEM directors of product lines respond to customer/owner queries?

Looking forward to your response.

Brian
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:57 PM   #10
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I agree...$80k can get you almost anything you want if you buy from the right dealer. Don't be limited to your local dealers. Contrary to what a few (and I mean very few) say about Grand Design...yes they're fairly new but over priced. They don't allow dealers as much on discounts, and right now they have many QC issues. Personally for value and pretty good quality, you can get a front living Bay Hill 379 for under $70k. That's with a residential fridge, dishwasher, and a few dealers will add the washer and dryer included. Forest River Cardinal, some Redwoods...just depends on what your needs and wants are. I mentioned the appliances in the Bay Hill 379, but you can get the same appliances in most high end models now...just ask.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:58 PM   #11
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With a $80K budget you have a lot of choices.

At the show look for the floorplan that fits your needs and wants.

Took us 6 months before the floorplan showed up after narrowing the list of manufacturers to 3.

You'll know.

Good luck and have fun with your research.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:16 AM   #12
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I would recommend the Northwood line, specifically Arctic Fox. Check out the owners site at www.afnash.com a privately run site. I would be cautious of the posts on an owners group that's administered by the manufacturer. To easy to manipulate in the builders favor.
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:02 AM   #13
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BrianGlenn--Here is my response you were waiting for. I personally have had two members private message me of their problems with new trailers and their frustrations over lack of response by Heartland. Both owners had Bighorns. Both advised me to avoid their frustrations and avoid all Heartland products.

I had a personal factory tour with Rob Schwindaman (Head of Customer Relations) in July of this year. I had read of the problems and asked him about some of the issues. He denied any knowledge of these. Like I stated this was a private tour, done on a shutdown Friday, with only my wife and I. We were not impressed with the quality at all. He was bragging that they turn out 2000 units a year now. I ask you how do you add quality when you are talking quantity.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:33 AM   #14
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Looking for advice on purchase of 5th wheel

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Originally Posted by suprdave1958 View Post
I agree...$80k can get you almost anything you want if you buy from the right dealer. Don't be limited to your local dealers. Contrary to what a few (and I mean very few) say about Grand Design...yes they're fairly new but over priced. They don't allow dealers as much on discounts, and right now they have many QC issues. Personally for value and pretty good quality, you can get a front living Bay Hill 379 for under $70k. That's with a residential fridge, dishwasher, and a few dealers will add the washer and dryer included. Forest River Cardinal, some Redwoods...just depends on what your needs and wants are. I mentioned the appliances in the Bay Hill 379, but you can get the same appliances in most high end models now...just ask.

The Grand Designs can be bought at a good price if shopped around enough. I found dealers who were ridiculous and some who wanted to negotiate and sell their 2015's. It only took me about four phone calls or emails to find the deal I wanted. My local dealer was over 11 thousand higher than what I'm paying. I will say I was about to move to my next choice on toy haulers after my local dealer wouldn't negotiate at all. Then my next closet dealer didn't have one optioned out as I wanted but was negotiable, and the third dealer wouldn't negotiate at all either. Fourth call was negotiated and agreed upon within a few minutes. If anyone's is interested in pricing PM me as I think the price I got was about as good as I could have gotten and as cheap as I've heard of.

It's amazing the difference in what people pay for these 5th wheels. There was someone recently who posted what they paid for a leftover 2015 385TH and it was over $15,000 more than what I'm paying. They were staring how they were happy with the price.


As far as quality, well I'm about to find out for sure. There are some common issues on the 385TH, not sure really how common because forums tend to bring out the complaints on all of them. I'm coming from a totally problem free Fuzion, never had one issue in over three years so it'll be hard to beat that toy hauler. I have contacted Grand Designs twice, once by meal, the other by phone. They replied both times and I spent around 20-30 minutes on the phone with them. I have yet to hear back from my other choices of manufacturers. I'm not saying they are the best and trouble free, just they replied.
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