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Old 05-11-2010, 03:19 PM   #15
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As you apparently are restricted by the company truck you will be using, you need to be careful that you buy a fifth wheel that the 3500 can not only tow, but more importantly one that the 3500 can handle in an emergency stop and/or emergency handling situation. As a motorhome guy, I'm not an expert on fifth wheel tow vehicles, but I do see some very large fiver and small tow vehicle combinations that make me very nervous to be in the path of...

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Old 05-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #16
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I doubt if the 37' Montana will be with in towing range of the SRW 3500. You really need to get down to about 32 to 34' actual length with a SRW.

As for the TV and cabling in an older trailer, any antenna can pick digital signals. Ther is no such thing as a digital antenna. All you need is a converter box of replace the TV with a digital.


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Old 05-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #17
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That kingpin box (the part on the trailer) sounds like a Mor-Ryde kingpin. The rubber pieces absorb the forward/backward an side to side shock when driving down the road. I have an Air kingpin box by Trailair. I like it. My next setup may be an air hitch in the truck. A friend of mine has that and it seems to ride very nice. All said and done, all of the shock absorber/ air hitch setups goal is the same; improve the ride when towing.

Personally, I would not buy from a floorplan on paper. I have seen many floorplans that looked great but when you get into the coach it just doesn't work. And I swear, some of these coach designer never spent a day in an RV in a campground. Some of their ideas just don't work. I won't go into specifics at the risk of ruffling anyone's feathers.

The suggestions to visit many dealers and go to RV shows is a good one. You can really see the difference in workmanship, quality and see a working floorplan.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #18
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What would be the max length and weight for a 3500 diesel SW?

A Mor-Ryde hitch comes with the Montana. We did see all these in person. We are in the Kansas City area and there are quite a few RV dealers around here. We really liked that one floor plan the best but now I'm not sure we'll have enough truck for it.

Most of the ones we liked were all around 12,000 lbs. Length was 35-39'.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #19
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We full-time and dont have awnings on our three slides. I admit they would be nice. But, if it has recently rained or pine needles or other debris could have fallen on the slide tops, I climb up and using a wash brush with an extendable handle to sweep debris and/or water from the slide. The rubber seal does help to squeege off any remaining water as it comes in. I feel the biggest advantage of slide awnings is to shade the slide tops in hot weather, but in the end not quite worth the cost.

Buying bigger with the floor plan you want is the right track. Size wont hurt you unless you are in cramped site locations, and living in it 3/4 of the time, you will appreciate the extra space.

I would put Montana in the mid-range and might look to find a used Carriage, DRV, Elite, or NuWa before my final decision.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #20
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I started this thread ( 5th Wheel Involved in Fatal Crash on I5) on 05/31/05. I still believe that the lack of rubber (duals) on the road (at least partially) contributed to the accident. According to some witnesses the PU was going backwards when it crossed the median which would mean that it had jack knifed at some point. I think that happened when the driver changed lanes to avoid stopping traffic.

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Old 05-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #21
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I failed to get it linked 5th Wheel Involved in Fatal Crash on I5.
I hope this works better.

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:33 PM   #22
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So sad.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #23
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Trying to answer your question about weight really simple. In fivers, you can "expect" (meaning not always true, but usually) the better rig will weigh more than a lighter rig and it is all in the construction methods and the materials used. If you are living in it full time, you want the best you can afford. If it is just two of you in the rig, anything from 34' up with three slides or more should be fine. You want quality construction, highly recommending aluminum framed sidewalls and roof trusses, not vacuum bonded or pressure bond walls. You want fully enclosed and double insulated undercarriage. If you can handle the weight, I would be looking at Carriage first, then Excel second.

As for my comments on the slide awnings, I lost one in a windstorm. They are a pain when stuff gets under them. Noisy in the wind. More money. One of the neat things of the Carriage is it has a flat roof on the slides and most anything on the slide will push off when retracting. Also, if you do not have such, you can still clean debris off from the ground real quick. I keep a soft cotton rope, 50' long with an old bath towel tied in the middle of it in the storage. If I get more pine needles etc than I feel comfortable with, I throw the towel up on the slide roof, slip one end of rope off one end of slide, the other on the opposite, then pull the rope and towel from end to end moving from the wall out to the end. Everything comes off the roof without getting on the rig to do it. Just take a few seconds on each slide especially when the blonde helps me.

2003 Dodge HO 6 speed Laramie Dually, Jordan controller, RDS fuel tank, Air Ride 25K hitch
Carriage 36' fiver, Onan 6500, Prosine 2K inverter, 3 slides, MORyde IS and Kingpin
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:21 PM   #24
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Subscribe to "RV Consumers Group" for a rating on the quality of fifth wheel trailers. Many pretty faces are not what they seem.

I have a Trail Air pin box on the trailer and love it.

I have a trailer gross weight of about 15,000 lbs. and a 21,000 lb. hitch. I do not believe in cutting it too close. More is better within reason.

If you are just going to go to RV parks a large unit will work. If you want to use government CG's, older CG's or boondock then the shorter units will work. I would say for two people no less than 27 to 30 feet. I full time in mine. This size will be able to fit into most places. Go spend some time in several different size units to really see if it is of a size that you can live with and live in and seriously think about how you want to use it and where you want to park it.

Just do not forget where you parked it !!!!!
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:42 AM   #25
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Thanks for all the great info everyone. We liked the 39' the best but can't tell that much difference from a 36'. Maybe after a month of living in it we'd really appreciate the extra few feet.

We will probably mostly be in RV parks if older campgrounds mean we have to have a small trailer.

The Montana has the aluminum framed walls but no slide awnings. I think we will go w/o the awnings and see what it's like cleaning them off. Thanks for the tip with the rope and towel FiverBob. I wouldn't have thought of that.

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