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Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Shopping for used 5th wheel

Hi all! I am fairly new here but have been reading everything I can. My husband and I are planning on selling the house in the fall and full timing in a 5th wheel. He wants something new but I am leaning towards used to save some money. We have never rv'ed before and don't know much about them except what I read here. Can you give advice on things to check on an rv when shopping used? What commonly breaks or how can flaws be hidden?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Magen View Post
Hi all! I am fairly new here but have been reading everything I can. My husband and I are planning on selling the house in the fall and full timing in a 5th wheel. He wants something new but I am leaning towards used to save some money. We have never rv'ed before and don't know much about them except what I read here. Can you give advice on things to check on an rv when shopping used? What commonly breaks or how can flaws be hidden?
Lots of questions! Suggest a thorough read using the search feature. What kind of (Rving) do you plan to do?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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We plan to travel a few weeks a month visiting state and national parks (or sites near there). I don't know if we will drive to a destination and stay a few weeks or be on the move every few days. When we are back home, we will stay near my parents house in the camper. We also have 2 young kids so safety is pretty top of mind for us. Does that help?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #4
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A family will need a 5er that is really made well. The best 4 builders are.

Peterson Excel Limited or Winslow - DRV Elite or Mobile Suits, Life Styles, NuWa.

Problem is these builders are not big into building bunk house models. Ugh. If you can not find a bunk house in these models you will have to move down in quality some.

In bunk house builders there are a slew.
Look at the Columbus 385BH to get an idea of what is available.

Full timing 5ers should be built big and heavy and will need a dually truck to tow it. To me a newer dually truck pulling a 5er really goes down the road real nice. The engines are powerful, the rig will track real nice, and the interior will be rattle free.

In 2011 all heavy duty trucks were injected with a good dose of steriods. Frames were improved and engines were more powerful. Now for 2014 the Ram truck will be beefed up again.

Towing gets tricky when getting diesel fuel or stopping in a parking lot to eat as the 5er will track inside the path of the truck. You have to make wide turns. Not as bad as a tractor trailer but kinda like that.

A nice new 5er trailer and nice new truck will cost 110 to 135k. Used will cost 75 to 100k.

Make sure you would not like a motorhome better. Typically a 5er is better to live in but a motorhome is better to travel in.

Get out and look look and look some more at all the units that you can. Once you see somethings you like you can post back and ask opinions.

Good luck
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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Wow! You guys are bold. I love it. We have been camping for about 10 years, have a dually and a 5th wheel, and love it. I wish we had the nerve to sell the house and just go! I suggest that you take it slowly and look and look and talk. Especially if you have young children. You'll want to find a camper with bunk beds, which will limit your choices, especially if looking at the nicer, more sturdy units. We have a Jayco Designer that is very big, but not good for kids. We still have college kids who sometimes come with us on trips and they sleep all over the floor and couch and there is no place for their things. Most campers are truly designed more for short term travel (vacations). The ones designed for full time living are typically best for 2 to sleep and 4 for entertainment. There are alot of options out there. All best to you as you enjoy the journey of looking!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Magen View Post
Hi all! I am fairly new here but have been reading everything I can. My husband and I are planning on selling the house in the fall and full timing in a 5th wheel. He wants something new but I am leaning towards used to save some money. We have never rv'ed before and don't know much about them except what I read here. Can you give advice on things to check on an rv when shopping used? What commonly breaks or how can flaws be hidden?
Are you willing to spend a little $ of front to learn about what camper is best for you?
If you are then I would recommend that you look into JR Consumer Reviews for a camper.

Unbiased RV Reviews & Expert RV Ratings

Now for a diesel truck I would down load this free PDF booklet from Turbo Diesel Registry. Com

The booklet is called Turbo Diesel Buyers Guide although the booklet is geared towards the Ram trucks the basics can be applied to any purchase of a diesel truck.

Turbo Diesel Buyers Guide

Jim W.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:18 AM   #7
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Are you willing to spend a little $ of front to learn about what camper is best for you?
If you are then I would recommend that you look into JR Consumer Reviews for a camper.

Unbiased RV Reviews & Expert RV Ratings

Now for a diesel truck I would down load this free PDF booklet from Turbo Diesel Registry. Com

The booklet is called Turbo Diesel Buyers Guide although the booklet is geared towards the Ram trucks the basics can be applied to any purchase of a diesel truck.

Turbo Diesel Buyers Guide

Jim W.
Thanks Jim. I will check that out. I am not opposed to spending a little money to get the best deal that we can afford but I wonder of there is a lot of info in this book that isn't available online. Is the benefit of buying this book to have everything organized in one place or because it has exclusive information?
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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Wow! You guys are bold. I love it. We have been camping for about 10 years, have a dually and a 5th wheel, and love it. I wish we had the nerve to sell the house and just go! I suggest that you take it slowly and look and look and talk. Especially if you have young children. You'll want to find a camper with bunk beds, which will limit your choices, especially if looking at the nicer, more sturdy units. We have a Jayco Designer that is very big, but not good for kids. We still have college kids who sometimes come with us on trips and they sleep all over the floor and couch and there is no place for their things. Most campers are truly designed more for short term travel (vacations). The ones designed for full time living are typically best for 2 to sleep and 4 for entertainment. There are alot of options out there. All best to you as you enjoy the journey of looking!
Bold, crazy, who knows! Haha. We can always buy another house if this doesn't work.

Thanks for your advice. We looked at a bunch of campers and know the layout that we like. Some things are a must like bunk house (without access to the breaker box), washer/dryer, etc. we have a list of must have and nice to have that we are working off of.

Our budget allows spending 80k total (I think I can do 40 truck and 40 5th wheel with that budget). I am looking at uses 5th wheels and seeing some for 20k. Problem is that if there is a hidden flaw, we don't know what to look for. My husband is a handy, mechanical guy but he doesn't have rv experience. We found a few checklist for shopping used online that can help us too.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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A nice used high end 5er is a much better deal than a mid level new RV. The depreciation on a new RV is horrible. We bought our 4 year old Cameo at about 40% of the cost of new and it was hardly used.

There are a lot of good used 3 to 5 year old high end trailers out there. All you need to do is look. Buying new does not get you a "trouble free" RV. If you are concerned about repairs, get an Xtra Ride extended coverage policy to cover a few years.

But, I'd rather have a nice used DRV, Nuwa, etc. than a new Montana or Redwood.

Ken
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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Thanks Jim. I will check that out. I am not opposed to spending a little money to get the best deal that we can afford but I wonder of there is a lot of info in this book that isn't available online. Is the benefit of buying this book to have everything organized in one place or because it has exclusive information?
This is their mission statement.

"JR Consumer Resources Inc. is a group of dedicated RV enthusiasts that have no ties or connections to manufacturers or dealers. We do not receive kickbacks or commissions to promote one company or model over another. We can assure you that our RV reviews are unbiased with fair and balanced ratings that you won't find anywhere else!
Before you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a recreational vehicle our RV guides are a cheap education and will help you avoid the pitfalls of purchasing an RV, new or used. "

Jim W.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
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The most common issues are bad tires, using staples and not screws, cheaper cabinets, 10" I beam frames is something to stay away from. Insulation and 'R' factors is something to look at. The higher the better.

Better 5th wheels will have pin box buffer systems as well as torsion suspension. 17.5" tires or tires rated F, G or H. I would stay away from E rated ST tires.

Great used units are Excel, DRV, NuWa, and Carriage. New Horizons is the best if you have a $$$ tree in your back yard.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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The most common issues are bad tires, using staples and not screws, cheaper cabinets, 10" I beam frames is something to stay away from. Insulation and 'R' factors is something to look at. The higher the better.

Better 5th wheels will have pin box buffer systems as well as torsion suspension. 17.5" tires or tires rated F, G or H. I would stay away from E rated ST tires.

Great used units are Excel, DRV, NuWa, and Carriage. New Horizons is the best if you have a $$$ tree in your back yard.
Thank you! That is very helpful. The previous owners must have chopped down the money tree because I haven't found one :(. Buying new isn't an option in my mind. We don't even know if we will like this lifestyle and I don't want to lose a ton of money. I just want to be a smart used buyer with this decision.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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A nice used high end 5er is a much better deal than a mid level new RV. The depreciation on a new RV is horrible. We bought our 4 year old Cameo at about 40% of the cost of new and it was hardly used.

There are a lot of good used 3 to 5 year old high end trailers out there. All you need to do is look. Buying new does not get you a "trouble free" RV. If you are concerned about repairs, get an Xtra Ride extended coverage policy to cover a few years.

But, I'd rather have a nice used DRV, Nuwa, etc. than a new Montana or Redwood.

Ken

We could not agree more! We researched 5th wheels for several months before finally deciding a used Carriage was greatly preferable to a lower end manufacturer. While concerned about repairs, we decided that the money we saved buying used (think about all those dollars lost due to the steep depreciation) was acceptable. After spending nearly nine months searching nationwide, we finally found a Cameo in barely used, excellent condition from a private seller in our state. At times it was a frustrating search but in the end, we love our Cameo and are thrilled with the purchase and glad we held out for the unit we wanted at a price about 45% less than new.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:55 PM   #14
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Magen, I would add that if you decide to go to a used unit, look at Newmar for a used 5er. The up side is they are well built top of the line units. Thee downside is they no longer build 5er's, but they will still service and supply parts should you need them. Best of luck with your search and you are correct in the saving money department of buying used.
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