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Old 03-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I guess the real separator in 5ers are 10" frames, 12" frames then fully boxed frames as well as 6,000 7,000 and 8,000 lb. axles.
And wall thicknesses/insulation packages. And materials used in floors and ceilings (plywood versus OSB along with thickness and attachment methods). And solid wood versus veneer cabinetry. And disk versus electric drum brakes. And smart 3/4 stage converters versus single output converters. And......

There are a lot of differentiators - the value one puts on each is up to each individual. All too many times, however, I see RVers seduced by the glitter and foo-foo without paying enough attention to the stuff you don't routinely see without looking under the surface - the critical components that undergird the whole RV.

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Old 03-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #30
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Bang for your buck is what I've always used and you can see where I ended up. Good luck with your choice.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #31
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The top line 5er from any manufactuer will most likely give you the most bang for the money. There are probably a dozen units and growing that qualify. Landmark, Redwood, Cardinal, Columbus, Solitude, Pinacle, Montana, Presidential, Trilogy, Rushmore, Stoneridge, Brookstone, Sanibel, Flex (new one from Augusta RV). Tradition. I probably missed a few. All of these trailers can be had for under 70k some under 60k and maybe a few under 50k.

Boondocking needs - large holding tanks, something easy on electricity, easy to heat and easy to cool. The largerest holding tanks I have seen are now on the Montana 3900 FB. Redwood also has large holding tanks. Residential refers are out.

LED lites are just now hitting the newer units. They use a lot less electricity.

Your boondocking needs may push you in one direction or the other. There are a lot of good options and probably not a lot of difference between units.

Again - I would like to see your spreadsheet as there is a lot to siff through.

Whew...
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #32
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Rusty is right. It is reasonably easy to put lipstick on an RV pig. One thing I need to include in my sheet is construction materials and methods. The purpose of the spreadsheet is to help determine who is better and why. Also, to determine if there is justification for spending an extra $20K. A secondary purpose is to provide a tool that anyone can use to compare coaches at the price point they want to be at. No matter how great a Mercedes is, there are still people buying Chevys and putting just as many quality miles on them. I have yet to find an RV manufacturer that uses engineering, manufacturing methods, or materials that places one significantly in front of another. They all pretty much fail at -10 degrees and 110 degrees. Put my mother-in-law in any of them and the cabinet door hinges will fail. The size of the frame might sound good on sales propaganda but the design of the frame as a unit is actually more important. There are certainly trade-offs from one brand to the next. What we need is a tool to help us see past the RV lot staging and the salesmanship gold tooth.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #33
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The problem with any spreadsheet based approach (and that's what J.D. Gallant and the RV Consumer Group uses) comes when you start assigning values to each feature. For instance, if you're a boondocker, large fresh water and grey/black water holding tank capacities might be critical, but if you're a full-timer who never boondocks and always stays in campgrounds, then those considerations don't matter that much as you're always hooked up to utilities. Ditto the residential fridge - a non-starter for the boondocker, but the preferred approach for many campground campers.

Each individual has to weigh the RV against his/her anticipated usage, budget, etc. and make the decision that's right for them.

Rusty
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #34
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And you also have to remember that a stamped 12" I beam or C channel frame will not be a rigid as two stacked 2" x 6" box sections.

Ken
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #35
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I know this spreadsheet has to be a bear to build. But are you going to rate Nuwa, and Newmar? Newmar used to use dually tag axles. And what made Nuwa so good?

TXiceman - seems you rate the frame as your #1 item. Makes sense to me.

I wonder if any RV manufacturer uses marine grade plywood or is wood constuction better than aluminum?

My rating scale now would be Frame, Axles, Tires, then livability. I picked my current 5er on livability only...ugh.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #36
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No. This is a fifth wheel spreadsheet. If you class A [moderator edit]want a spreadsheet, build your own! Tag axle, harrumph. My truck has two live axles. In fact I could stand a fully loaded new horizons on end on the back of my truck with the smart car and still be under weight. I guess it woUld be hard to stay in the bed though!
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #37
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Actually, the Newmar 5th wheels he's referring to used tandem dually axles - 4 tires per axle, for 8 tires total. AFAIK, they were the only ones to do this, and it died when Newmar 5th wheels went out of production. NuWa may or may not be producing new 5th wheels at this point; the last I saw, production of new units was to be completed in December 2012, but they sorta left the door open to resume production if the order book justified the costs.

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Old 03-17-2013, 08:57 PM   #38
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The frame is very important as without good bones, the rest of the RV will not hold together.

Ken
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:04 PM   #39
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What in the world do you think duct tape is for?
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:54 PM   #40
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Looking at newer, larger, 4 season unit. Had considered a used 08 or newer Jayco Designer / Legacy. From what I have read from other posts perhaps need to look at Excel also. We looked at DRV's but most have the shower area in bedroom. Which if you can tell me this, my wife is concerned too much humidity would be in the bathroom area because of this. Our current Larado has a private shower area with power vent. We also like the rear entertainment and L shaped sofa in some of the Designers and newer Pinnacle's. Any recommendations are appreciated!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:48 PM   #41
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I found a 2009 Newmar Mountain Air 5th wheel at Mt Comfort RV in Indiana. You can kinda see the dually tires on the two axles. I think 2009 is the last year Newmar built 5th wheels. Asking price for this 2009 is 80k.

Last year in Florida there was one in the park where I stayed. They are really heavy 5ers. The guy had an F-550 with a fancy hauler bed. The truck was painted to match the 5er. It was the coolest rig in the park.

Not sure I would want dually tires. 8 tires on a 5er is a lot to worry about.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #42
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Kro1957 - IMHO, the Jayco Designer and Pinnacle are probably as good as the other 5ers in it's class. Jayco typically builds a better than average product and from what I hear their support is good.

Check the frame axles and tires. 12" I beam, 7,000 lb. axles, and 'G' rated tires will be things I look for on my next 5er.

The top dogs use 15" I beam or fully boxed frames, 8,000 lb axles and 'H' rated tires.

More common and less suited for full-time 5ers use 10" I beam, 6,000lb axles and 'E' rated tires.
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