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Old 07-21-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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Roof Truss Construction

We are researching 4 season Luxury 5th wheel RV's and have watched a lot of manufacturer videos. Recently, I viewed videos from DRV Luxury Suites and Jayco Pinnacle series. One aspect of their contruction techniques that has stuck in my head is the roof truss system. DRV uses aluminum while Jayco used wood. Is the type of roof truss system something I need to be concerned with?
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
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Not really. Both are quality brands. Biggest thing is finding a floor plan you can live in for extended periods and the insulation for the area you intend on staying in. Next is making certain everything works and there's no defects before you drive it off. Look at it this way: If you need to have your roof hold two feet of snow, then you might be concerned. If you think you need the unit to survive a roll over, you're dreaming no matter how it's built.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:38 PM   #3
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roof truss

i will try not to make anyone mad BUT i would pick the jayco . I was a service manager for a jayco dealer in montana for 5 years and we get snow from 1 to 6 plus feet all that time NEVER a roof problem with any unit. They make an outstanding rv (except their try at a class a). We would buy another in a heart beat BUT we now travel in a class dp.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:07 PM   #4
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Sledwest- My 1st RV is a 2000 Georgie Boy Pursuit 45ft class A which I live in 4 days a week. Over the years I have had to repair lots of water damage from leaks around the front and rear caps and windows. So as you can imagine I am worried about wood framed walls and roof. Last weekend I toured some of the jayco Eagle and Pinnacle models and I was impressed with the quality fit and finish. What is class dp?
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:24 PM   #5
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i will try not to make anyone mad BUT i would pick the jayco . I was a service manager for a jayco dealer in montana for 5 years and we get snow from 1 to 6 plus feet all that time NEVER a roof problem with any unit. They make an outstanding rv (except their try at a class a). We would buy another in a heart beat BUT we now travel in a class dp.
Have there been DRVs caved in by snow?

OP, I wouldn't worry about construction. Even with aluminum framing, the wood decking and wall panels can rot. The idea is to stay on top of regular maintenance and prevent leaks.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:26 AM   #6
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I really don't think that snow load is a problem for most full timers, as we head south to where there is no snow! I'm sure that there have been trailers that had their roofs fail due to snow but it doesn't happen often.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:49 AM   #7
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I would probably pick the one with the aluminum truss system for the trailer frame and roof trusses assuming everything else is about equal. This has nothing to do with rot or snow load protection but the actual quality of the wood and method(s) used to assemble those trusses. I've done enough stick house work to see some really poor techniques used - from twisted, bowed, split and splintered and cracked wood along with poor fasteners or truss plate installation - to want to avoid this method on a high 5 to low 6 figure 'house' moving along our less then perfect highways at 65 or so miles per hour.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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We were in Golden CO one winter and couldn't find truck for snow. Couldn't open doors on camper. had to crawl out escapee window. There was feet of snow on my DRV. No damage at all. DRV's are very nice units. They and Excel about best you can get without going custom build.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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X2 on what Walt Bennett said. I suggest you look at the owners' forums for those brands. www.suitesowners.com is an independent forum, not affiliated with Drv. You can sign up with little info and ask actual owners. I'm sure Jayco also has one. I know Excel has one. Do lots of research, ask lots of questions, look for a floorplan that looks liveable to you. You won't know until you spend time in it. That's why I always suggest new rv'rs buy a used quality unit and travel in it for a year. You can always buy a new one later.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:27 PM   #10
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Another thing that worried me about wood frame construction was how well the framing and roof trusses would hold up to the normal wear and tear of highway travel and rough roads. With my current class "A" I learned the hard way about the importance of proper maintenance. Even though my RV has aluminum framing and foam filled walls the interior wall paneling and ceiling suffered water damage. One of y'all suggested that I join the owners forums which I have done and reading posts from real owners is invaluable to my search for that perfect RV. There are just too many choices and I think I'm suffering from "Analysis Paralysis".
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:45 PM   #11
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I've had wood framed trailers torn down to studs more than once, and haven't seen studs and rafters coming about because they were wood framed. Only due to bad construction, which was rare.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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Another thing that worried me about wood frame construction was how well the framing and roof trusses would hold up to the normal wear and tear of highway travel and rough roads. With my current class "A" I learned the hard way about the importance of proper maintenance. Even though my RV has aluminum framing and foam filled walls the interior wall paneling and ceiling suffered water damage. One of y'all suggested that I join the owners forums which I have done and reading posts from real owners is invaluable to my search for that perfect RV. There are just too many choices and I think I'm suffering from "Analysis Paralysis".
As mentioned above, regardless of wood or aluminum trusses, if you have water intrusion, you're going to have a problem long before the wood trusses rot out. Lots of Jayco's still on the road - and the Class-C's certainly aren't smooth riders after 10 years of age and stock shocks.

The biggest factor is how well they were taken care of. I go over my roof more than once a year and keep the RV covered when not in use. I looked at lots of RVs that had *nothing* done to them in 5 years and owners that treated them like houses.

I prefer Holiday Rambler's fiberglass caps. And Airstream has a roof that you simply can't beat.. However, I've also had 2 RVs with straight rubber roofs and zero problems for more than 10 years as long as you keep up with them.


Jayco has a forum. New Jaycos have problems, just like.. well, most manufacturers produce RVs that have problems. However, they've been in business for a while and don't typically produce things with major defects.

Pick a construction that you like, find a good owners group, pick a manufacturer with some business history... And find a manufacturer that takes good care of their customers "after" the sale. Note - there is a difference between the dealer service and factory (manufacturer) service - so check out both if you're not near the factory.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #13
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Yes, KD4XR, this research can drive you batty. Your profile doesn't say where you are located but if you can, go on a factory tour of several brands in IN. Drv gives tours several times a week, you just have to call. You get to see them from start to finish. We went last year when the national rally was held in Goshen, IN. It was very interesting and informative. Uh, sorry, there is no "perfect rv", as much as you would like one, it doesn't exist. We've owned a 2000 38' Avion, a 2007 Drv 36' Select Suite and a 2012 Drv 36' Mobile Suite. We really like the floorplan we have now but would like to go back to a 38'.
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