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Old 08-18-2016, 07:06 PM   #1
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My 5th wheel purchase (so far)

My wife and I had talked about traveling the country after retirement but did not give much thought as to how. About four years ago, I "discovered" 5th wheel toy haulers. I thought "yeah...that's the way to go". So I had about four years to figure it out.

I did lots of Internet research and we went to dealers lots and RV shows. The sales approach on dealers lots varied from pushy to ignored and the pricing scheme varied as much. The more people you talk to the more opinions you get and you learn to filter through and figure out what is consistent and what is not but you learn something most of the time.

When I was first looking around I noticed what first time potential purchasers like myself notice. Pop up TV's, back lighting, etc. At one large RV show I noticed one unit that caught my eye because of the same cool stuff but the sign in the garage boasted a heavier weight capacity than the rest at the show. I looked under this units garage and saw construction grade lumber had been used for the framing. I went home and thought about towing that 5th wheel in the rain and the structural lumber getting wet. The thought of towing something with a wooden structure down some of the highways and roadways we have all been down. That structural aspect got me thinking about other components of the rigs we were looking at, warranties, servicing, support, maintenance and my search took a turn about how I looked at the toy haulers we had been looking at. If I'm laying down that kind of $$$$, I want something that was built with what I believed to be quality materials that will last.

My own research led me to a few RV models. The two finalists on paper were DRV and Weekend Warrior. maybe it was the DRV marketing that got my hopes up but I was disappointed with the fit and finish, seats not deep enough, no loft...the side door to the garage was fit so poorly my wife thought it was locked. It wasn't. We pointed it out to the sales guy and he said DRV had been bought out by the RV industry behemoth and quality has suffered. Gotta appreciate his honesty but he couldn't deny what we were looking at.

We went to the Weekend Warrior factory in northern Indiana and met with one of the sales managers. We took an unstructured tour of the plant and products for 3 hours. The plant is all under one roof and production is limited and they only just introduced their fourth towable as an option. The appearance of the operation is quality over quantity. Everyone has some quality issues sometimes but that's what their operation appeared to be.

We saw where the 5th wheel frame comes in, water tanks being mounted, looked at welds, plumbing, wiring races, front bedroom build up construction, laminated roof section, etc. Informally met the shop foreman who seemed to be on top of things inside the shop and was also testing components and operation of a newly completed unit to make sure everything was functioning properly.

We ended up ordering a 5th wheel toy hauler from Weekend Warrior in northern Indiana. As so many people will point out. There are MANY RV's to choose from and virtually impossible to give each of them a fair shot. I just picked what I had to have construction wise because I want it to last a long time and my wife had her list of musts and so far I think we made the right choice for us.

We added a couple tie down points in the garage and had a dining table mount and table added to the garage and ordered an extension to the kitchen counter to take advantage of available space.

Out unit is supposed to be ready mid November 2016 which is 16 weeks from our order date. Will post updates regarding this purchase.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:49 PM   #2
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Welcome,


Congrats on your taking a big step. It will be exciting.
Interesting read, and we'll enjoy hearing more about your adventure as it progresses.


Be well.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:33 AM   #3
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Joe11, I am interested to hear how everything goes. Thanks for the info. I am trying to do my research now to purchase in a few months I am intrigued to see how your experience goes.


Regan & Raegan Nielsen
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:40 PM   #4
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Received a VM yesterday from Weekend Warrior. The frame and axles go online tomorrow to start the build.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:11 AM   #5
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That is great.


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Old 09-27-2016, 07:38 PM   #6
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A couple weeks ago, our sales rep called and let us know that he would be accepting another position and would not be able to keep his sales and that "S" would be calling us and taking over to follow through with the production and delivery. "S" called us to also let us know what was going on. My wife and I made a sizable purchase before where we lost our sales contact and that process did not go so well. We asked "S" if we could go over our order with her. She asked for 20 minutes to pull our file and then she would call us back. She called us back, we went over our order, looks like she has our full file and information. She went to the production floor and took some photos of our unit as it had gone to the production line.

I think I attached two photos of the frame assembly with H2O tanks installed, rough electrical, and hydraulic jacks installed. In the background of one you can see the roof of another unit. it will still be sometime near Thanksgiving before the RV will be done. Additional photos should be sent by end of this week to show the progress being made.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:03 PM   #7
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A couple weeks ago, our sales rep called and let us know that he would be accepting another position and would not be able to keep his sales and that "S" would be calling us and taking over to follow through with the production and delivery. "S" called us to also let us know what was going on. My wife and I made a sizable purchase before where we lost our sales contact and that process did not go so well. We asked "S" if we could go over our order with her. She asked for 20 minutes to pull our file and then she would call us back. She called us back, we went over our order, looks like she has our full file and information. She went to the production floor and took some photos of our unit as it had gone to the production line.

I think I attached two photos of the frame assembly with H2O tanks installed, rough electrical, and hydraulic jacks installed. In the background of one you can see the roof of another unit. it will still be sometime near Thanksgiving before the RV will be done. Additional photos should be sent by end of this week to show the progress being made.
Good stuff, good luck and remember that it is a house on wheels. We just got back from a 3500 mile trip and some hard miles and some really bad Interstates. Was a little nervous every time I opened the doors LOL. All held together great and was a really good trip. I am so glad I took care of the tires before we did anything else. Putting LT tires on was the best thing I did.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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Hi Root...I drove up interstate 5 in California a couple weeks ago in a moving truck helping somebody move. Highway was so bad in a few places my feet actually came up off the floor board. 99 is better but you go through plenty of towns and stoplights. For what California collects in gas tax and vehicle registration fees the highways should be paved with gold.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:35 PM   #9
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okay, its been about 3 weeks since the frame and wheels hit the production line and a new batch of photos came in today.

The photo from the rear shows the steel deck on top of the steel frame and shows the tool box lid in the beaver tail section. The tool box runs the width of the trailer frame. That same photo shows the aluminum framing with polystyrene foam insulation sandwiched in between and a couple wiring races in the ceiling opening.

The interior wall framing of the bathroom is wood sitting on steel framing in the elevated portion of the 5th wheel. Under the bathroom wall in the steel framing portion is where the electric fireplace will be mounted under the 50" TV.

The 7000 Onan generator has been mounted at the front of the unit and the front hydraulic jacks are at a slight tilt. I understand the manufacturer of the jacks want a five degree tilt to the outside in the front.

It looks like the slide on the entry side of the unit just behind the main door is ready to be cut out so the box can be built onsite.

So far so good.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:38 PM   #10
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More photos.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:39 PM   #11
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This last week, the factory made the three slide cutouts to build the boxes onsite, installed the front cap, installed windows, installed exterior door covers for lip, generator, casement, etc, additional wiring and plumbing inside.

Will be taking the California non commercial class A license test this Tuesday.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:49 PM   #12
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This last week, the factory made the three slide cutouts to build the boxes onsite, installed the front cap, installed windows, installed exterior door covers for lip, generator, casement, etc, additional wiring and plumbing inside.

Will be taking the California non commercial class A license test this Tuesday.
Looking better everyday,.... just curious what the Non commercial class A test is?
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #13
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I just found this stuff out myself. My son is a commercial driver and he told me AFTER I ordered our rig.

In California, the state requires that anyone towing a travel trailer with a GVWR of 10,000 lb. or more or a fifth wheel between 10,000 and 15,000 lbs. to get an endorsement on their class C (regular drivers license). That is obtained by taking a written test.

For fifth wheels in excess if 15,000 lbs. GVWR, you need a non commercial class A drivers license. You take the written test then have to schedule a skills and driving test with the DMV. Part of the cool stuff you learn by simply participating in life.

Arizona requires the driver towing the fifth wheel in excess of 15,000 lbs to get a commercial license if you are licensed through them.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:56 AM   #14
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I grew up in southern California as a kid and do miss it at all. I guess I wouldn't have to worry about it as my High Country gross's just under 15,000. Good luck on the test.
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