Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
Question Need Advice

We are purchasing our first 5th wheel and need some advice. Even just your thoughts would be appreciated since we are starting from scratch and don't have a good perspective yet.

The truck will be a 3500 Diesel. What length is good to start with? Do you get used to whatever you have or should you start small and work up? Will be living in it 3/4 of the time.

What about water filters? Some of the nicer trailers don't have them. Is after market better? Do you want the whole system filtered or just the kitchen sink? Do they cut down on water pressure? I learned from you great folks that you should not filter water going into the tank, only coming out.

What about slide awnings? I've heard pros and cons and am confused about how important they should be in our want list.

And last but not least, the hitch. Do just take what comes with or do you upgrade? What is good to have with say a 12,000 pound trailer? Any advice here would be very helpful as we know NOTHING about hitches. Will have a regular size pickup truck bed.

Thank You!!!!
__________________

__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
AFChap's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: ...hopefully on the road!
Posts: 4,716
Do you mean length of trailer?? ...that really is dependent on the floor plan and what you are comfortable with.

As for water filters, you DO WANT A SEDIMENT FILTER on all water coming into the rig and/or fresh water tank. Then a charcoal filter would be good for drinking water/ice maker, etc. Filters do have a maximum flow rate, but we don't notice any impact on water pressure. We also use a whole house Watts pressure regulator at the shore hydrant.

Slide awnings may be included on the rig you buy, and may not be. We have them on our motor home and do appreciate not having to clean pine cones, pine needles, mud, and other debris off the top of our slides before retracting them for travel. I suspect they also help to keep the heat from direct sunlight down in the slides.

I'll let others who are experienced with fifth wheels talk about hitches, etc...

Enjoy the adventure!!
__________________

__________________
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
AFChap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
denochs's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 702
Hi Dido,

We started out with a 1990 32' fifth wheel and graduated to a 40'. The difference was minimal in towing. The aminities were significant. I advise you to go for all that you can comfortably afford. Especially since you will be living in it 3/4 time. The 3500 will pull anything they make if it is a dually. You will get adjusted to the different systems. And with all the help from this web site, it will be even easier.

As for water filters, some prefer the after market type. You will want to filter the entire system to keep as much debris out of the water heater and tanks as possible. Most all 5ers in the upper end have in line filters.

Slide awnings. Gotta have them. If you pull the slide in and have moisture on top, guess where it ends up? Inside your RV.

Hitches? How far will you be towing your RV? If for long distances, invest in something that will absorbe the push/pull jolts. That's really the only thing that makes towing a 5er uncomfortable. 12,000 lbs can make the ride rough if you don't have a good hitch.

Dave
__________________
David & Gail Salisbury, NC
2003 American Eagle 42'
denochs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
Great info, thank you!

Yes, AFChap length of trailer. Do most trailers come with a sediment filter?

denochs, you talked me into the big ones! Makes sense, but we will NOT get a dually. You also convinced me we should get slide awnings. Some talked about them blowing off.

Will be towing for long distances. What's a good hitch to get? Thx so much!
__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
Also, want to know about refrigerators. Some are gas/electric and some are household electric/battery. Which is better, easier, nicer, etc.? Many thx for the info!
__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
K-Star's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Mid Atlantic Campers
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Fulltime - Currently somewhere in the lower 48
Posts: 2,215
I'm on my third 5er. started with a 28 footer. then went to a 32 foot and now have a 37 foot. We've been fulltime for 2 years now and we're starting to look for a 40+ footer. As stated earlier depends on the floor-plan that you like an what you can afford. Then add it what you think you can comfortably pull.

You mention a regular pickup bed. You mean a short bed or long bed? Long bed any 5er hitch you prefer will work. If you have a short bed you'll want to consider a slider hitch. I had a manual slider and it was a PIA. Look into the PullRite 5er hitch if slider is what you need. Don't be misled that a 3500 Dually will pull anything out there. You'll find the heavier 5ers will overload a 3500, or any 1 ton dually as far as that goes. Look at the tow ratings (you can link to them from Trailer Life Magazine: Follow the Road to Adventure). Read thru the towing guide so that you understand how to calculate the limits if the tow vehicle. You'll be interested in GVWR, GCWR and front/rear AWR. When looking at a trailer ALWAYS use the GVWR of the trailer in your calculations. Unloaded weight will be out the window as soon as you bring it home and start putting your "stuff" in it. Add 25% to the Pin Weight to accommodate for your belongings that you will load into your rig. Add that to the truck weight to determine if a given trailer will exceed that GVWR or f/r AWR of the truck. Add the GVWR to the weight of the truck to determine if you will be within the GCWR of the truck. And DON"T use the curb weight that the manufacturer gives you for a truck. If you already have a truck go to a truck stop and get it weighed. If you don't have one, ask around here to find out about what a 3500 weighs. If you don't have a truck and have your heart set on a heavier 5er than the 3500 is rated for, you might consider a 4500/450 or 5500/550. I have an F-450 and honestly, it rides much nicer than my F-350 did.

As far as awning, slide toppers are a definite. As far as window awning; I like them and have them. Some don't. I think it help reduce the heat transference thru the windows, even if you have double pane (as I do).

Some high ends 5ers have whole house filters. other don't. I believe in whole house filters whether they are the inline or cartridge filters. I have both. When I am going to be moving a lot, I use the inline filter. When I'll be stationary for a long(er) period of time, I'll use the cartridge filter.
__________________
John, Joyce & Zoie the Terrier. - Fulltime since `08

2017 Solitude by Grand Design
2012 Ford F-450 Lariat
K-Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
K-Star, we won't have a short bed so the slider shouldn't be necessary. I saw a trailer with a hydraulic piston-like thing and a rubber cushion-looking thing - is that what we need? What is the difference between in-line and cartidge filter? Sorry so dense.

What are some brand names to look for in a good hitch?

The truck will be 3500 Diesel, no duals. Could that pull a 39' 12,000 lb. trailer OK?
__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 08:25 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
TXiceman's Avatar


 
Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 17,150
Blog Entries: 21
Wow DiDo, you are sort of asking how big is big?

First make sure you understand tow rating and all of the weight issues with a 5er. Now go to a lot of dealers and shows and see what you like and don't like. When you settle on what you like, tell the sales person to get lost and you will find him when you have some questions. Spend a couple of hours and "play house" in the trailer. See how you would fix a meal sna wher you would put the dishes, pots, flatware and such. Is the pantry large enough?

Sit on the toilet and stand in the shower to see if everything fits. Check to see if their the toiletries are convenient as are the linens. See where you would store the lawn chairs, fishing tackle. Just pretend that you are living in for a few hours and do your usual things to make sure it fits you.

Too often, the pretty glitz over whelms and you do not see the necessities.

You might do better looking a nice used higher end unit. The depreciation is not as bad as on a new unit and there are lots of nice 2 to 5 year old units on the market.

Ken
__________________
Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
Thanks TXiceman. Good thoughts. Not into glitz, so no problem there.

When it comes to used, is there any issue with outdated TV antenna, cable, etc.?
__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 08:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
azloafer's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,170
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiDo View Post
Thanks TXiceman. Good thoughts. Not into glitz, so no problem there.

When it comes to used, is there any issue with outdated TV antenna, cable, etc.?
Maybe you could work it into the price when negotiating? Joe
__________________
2008 Itasca Latitude 39W. Cummins ISB 6.7 Turbo 340HP. Allison 6 Speed. Freightliner XCS. Michelin XRV 255/80R 22.5 LRG. SuperSteer MCU. Safe-T-Plus.
azloafer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
450Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas,OR
Posts: 2,553
IMHO for any fiver over about 32 feet you really need to consider a dually. The added stability is worth every cent of the price.
We have owned/used every thing out there and so far my 35 foot fiver is just about perfect for us. When we ordered it we got slide awnings and do not regret it one bit. I have also added an inverter, four batteries, and 250 watts of solar. We do a lot of boondocking, so it was worth it to us. Same for the refer. Why would I want a household 120VAC only refer if I have to recharge the batteries twice a day? Ours is a gas/electric and serves us just fine. If you are planning to live in full hookup sites for extended periods of time and never plan to boondock, then a household refer is probably a better choice. You really need to determine how and where you are going to stay the most and plan the RV accordingly.
__________________
Don and Lorri
2007 Dodge 3500 dually
Resident Dummy.
450Donn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 07:36 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sarasota, Fl USA
Posts: 337
YOu have not mentioned how much money you have to spend. If you are a bit limited, I highly advise buying a used "high end" fiver rather than a new low end. And 39' with a single wheel and 12,000 pounds? You are talking about a low end product to get it that long and only weigh 12K. The better the rig, the more it weighs. And, if you can afford it, you don't want a low end one. Living in it for 3/4 of the year and you better go for a good one.

Slide awnings - - aaahhhh, let me tell you about slide awnings, about how much I hate the things. Ever live in your rig for three days with the slides in because you are sitting on Fundy bay with high winds whipping in. Leave the slides out in high winds and you will pay the price with awning wrapped around your coach. And, the squirrels and birds love getting under them and leaving stuff like nests and cones. Now, how to you get them out before retracting. Nope, no slide awnings for us - - been there, done it, no more. Just my opinion after having it both ways.

Good advice on going to a good show with many different brands on site. First thing is look at the construction. Then look at the practicality of the layout. Forget glitz - - what is the quality under the pretties. Are the cabinets solid wood? Are the slides electric or hydraulic (you don't want hydraulic)? Aluminum framed construction? Plywood on the roof strong enough to walk on. Plywood floors or chipboard. Frame - - box or "I"? Oh boy, I could go on and on. I will quit.

Bob
__________________
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
FiverBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 08:33 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mission TX
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiDo View Post
We are purchasing our first 5th wheel and need some advice. Even just your thoughts would be appreciated since we are starting from scratch and don't have a good perspective yet.

The truck will be a 3500 Diesel. What length is good to start with? Do you get used to whatever you have or should you start small and work up? Will be living in it 3/4 of the time.

What about water filters? Some of the nicer trailers don't have them. Is after market better? Do you want the whole system filtered or just the kitchen sink? Do they cut down on water pressure? I learned from you great folks that you should not filter water going into the tank, only coming out.

What about slide awnings? I've heard pros and cons and am confused about how important they should be in our want list.

And last but not least, the hitch. Do just take what comes with or do you upgrade? What is good to have with say a 12,000 pound trailer? Any advice here would be very helpful as we know NOTHING about hitches. Will have a regular size pickup truck bed.

Thank You!!!!
We are full-timers so I'll relate our experiences.

We started full-timing in 2006 with a 31', 2 slide 5er which we had purchased 2 years earlier. The TV was a F350 SW, long box.

After the first year we decided that we need something bigger so we purchased a 38' 5er with 3 slides.

In 2007 we upgraded our TV to a Dodge 3500 dually, long box.. We felt this would allow us to be within weight considerations, for now & potentially the future.

I would suggest that on new 5ers it is a poor financial approach in buying small & working up. 5ers depreciate faster than vehicles so don't hesitate to get a 'right sized' unit from the get-go.

Eh!

BTW: we have slide toppers on our unit & I wouldn't do without them... yes once in a while they vibrate in the wind but so what.
__________________
geeksrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
Really helpful info you guys, thanks!

The truck is a company truck with gas card, so we don't get to choose dually.

We are looking at a Montana 3750FL, which is where the 39' 12,000 lb. came from. We like the floor plan the best but really, we could live in any of these. This one is longer than most it seems, which makes us wonder if it would be a mistake to start out with one that long. From the posts here it sounds like you get used to towing whatever you get and the more living space you can have, the better. We are looking at spending in the mid 50's.

Really torn now about the slide awnings. Those are all good things to know and I can see the advantage either way. If you go w/o the slide awnings, what are some good tips for cleaning off the tops of the slides? The Montana has 5 slides, so 5 awnings would likely be pricey. What do those cost anyway?

So FiverBob, the length and weight of the Montana sounds like low end? Please help me understand.

Thanks again, you guys are awesome!
__________________

__________________
DiDo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Advice - Rear end noise - warranty BobRay Workhorse and Chevrolet Chassis Motorhome Forum 34 05-12-2011 09:57 PM
Need advice looking to purchase my first diesel tazmaniac Class A Motorhome Discussions 11 09-14-2009 04:48 PM
Need Advice for Getting Wty Work Completed RickO Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 8 12-01-2007 06:26 PM
Buying a new Southwind 32-- Any advice? Hendo Fleetwood Products Owner's Forum 6 03-18-2007 12:31 PM
We're About to Leave!! Last Minute Advice Wanted BigTrace Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 28 02-22-2006 01:52 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.