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Old 01-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #29
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I love my Columbus. Seems to be doing fine in the winter weather in PA, at least so far.

I think you have to balance several issues - cost, durability and weight. I didn't want to have to drive a dually truck, so that limited me on pin weight. I really can't imagine keeping any trailer more than 5 years, so I didn't buy looking for it to last a lifetime. There are lots of reasonably priced units out there that will serve 90% of folks out there just fine.

When I was looking, I couldn't really see the difference in components (appliances, etc) in any of these units. Some finishes would vary, like countertops, etc. All the wood seemed the same to me in the mid-grade units. Do I really need solid hardwood cabinets, or would laminate sides and backing be OK? I thought it would be OK.

I would recommend getting all the options that you think you might need up front. I got the washer/dryer, dual pane windows, generator, air glide pin box, etc. and got them discounted with the rest of the sale.

Almost every fiver I've seen on the used market has suffered massive depreciation. That is the case if you go high end or low end, doesn't matter much. So I think saying a high end would hold it's value better is a rather specious arguement. You can buy very nice, brand new, heavily optioned fivers all day long in the $60's. Or you can go high end, spend $120-175k and need an F450 to pull it. Is buying one expensive RV and keeping it 15 years a better deal than buying a mid-priced new one every 5 years?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #30
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The 'Bling" is always tantalizing; who doesn't want the best; but Wincrasher makes good points here, do you really get the most when you spend the most? Some of the pricey ones are heaviest and are lacking the most storage . And so does FastEagle; Weight is a factor, and some things like washers/dryers are a must have; but why pay interest on some of those things ; when you can put them in after-market yourself??
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:49 PM   #31
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Weight is a factor, and some things like washers/dryers are a must have; but why pay interest on some of those things ; when you can put them in after-market yourself??
"Paying interest on some of these things" makes the assumption that one is going to finance the purchase versus paying cash. My point is that everyone's situation is different; therefore, what works for me may not work for you.

As I stated earlier, over 8 years of ownership confirms that we made the right decision for us. Our Mobile Suites is still solid, comfortable, reliable and ready for more years of service. If someone else wants to buy one every 4 or 5 years and then replace it because that approach works better for them, that's fine as well. Ya pays yore money and ya takes yore choice.

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:18 PM   #32
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Agreed.

Don't forget there are plenty of 20+ year old, entry level type RV's still running around out there. Most anything will last forever if you take care of it and not abuse it.

Personally, I know a multi-millionaire that has a beat up old RV that I wouldn't be caught dead in. But he loves it and it works fine for him. STETO!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:44 PM   #33
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Ha Ha! Yep. There are different kind of folks!
Most Rvers started out in sleeping bags under the stars and moved up from there.
Like, take time FOR YOURSELF to kick the salesman out, shut the front door and go around inside the rig; get a feel for it, and how you'd live in it. Check for cheap stuff the salesperson steered you away from checking... and relax for a while in it. You'll get a better idea if it's the one for you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #34
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We have been fulltiming in our Jayco Pinnacle for a little over a year now and it has held up well with only a few minor problems.

I would class the Pinnacle as a mid range 5er but I think we got a lot of bang for the buck.
We looked at what we could purchase new under 50K "Out the Door" and the Pinnacle appeared to have solid construction, a floorplan that worked for us and so far it has meet our expectations.
All systems and appliances have held up well, fit and finish is good, solid cabinet construction.
We did get rid of original recliners and replaced them with a nice Lane Theater Seating unit.

I agree with others on some of the must haves that we got on our Pinnacle is Dual Pane Windows, Stackable W/D, MorRyde Pin Box, 2 A/C units, Convection MW.

We currently do not have a leveling system as Jayco did not offer it on our year model but we are looking at adding one this year since we usually move around every 2 to 4 weeks.

Also would have been nice to have a Heat Pump, again Jayco did not offer one on our year model so the Fireplace and a couple small electric heaters to supplement the propane heater has worked out fine.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #35
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Agreed.

Don't forget there are plenty of 20+ year old, entry level type RV's still running around out there. Most anything will last forever if you take care of it and not abuse it.
Yes and No.
Entry and mid level RV's designed for vacation use, are designed and built to be used maybe 1 month a year for the family vacation, driven to a spot and parked for the duration of the vacation, usually in the summer. Or some years, driven further afield. Over 20 years, that amounts to 2 years of actual use. So Yes, there are 20+ year old RV's out there, but over their life span, have not been used all that much.
Designing and building an RV for full time use is a totally different proposition. On the go for about 6 months of the year and in use 12 months of the year, the wear and tear on the rig is much heavier. Travel over the disintegrating infrastructure of our highways takes a terrible toll on a rig's frame, walls and suspension, not to mention the tow vehicle. Unless heavily designed and constructed, a rig will not last for the long term. All that vibration takes its toll on appliances so quality appliances are a must.
Also, you don't know where some years, you may end up in the winter. You could very well find yourself in some real winter weather as part of your travel plans. A well insulated rig with insulated or even heated basement storage and tanks is a must. The same reverse logic applies for summer. You could find yourself spending the summer with daily 100+ temperatures.
So No, IMHO, a rig to be used for full timing needs to be designed and built (and also warrantied) for it or you are just throwing your money down on drain. You get what you pay for! You are living in this rig 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
But you are right on about maintenance. A full timer spends a lot of time on maintenance, especially when you are parked for the 'winter'. The maintenance time spent is an investment in the longevity of your home.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #36
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We have been full timing since 2005 and 4 years in the new BC that is far cheaper then $50000. And own a $20000 truck and have no plans to replace our units. The last unit lasted 15 years while having much weaker structure so this unit for the next 11 years is it. It takes to much to build truck and RV to our taste to trade them in after 5 years. And less fancy it is the more use we get out of our units. And we ride on the roughest road in America.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #37
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Well I to am just getting into the rvs----everyone I have spoken to told me your better off with a dually to pull one with --I choice a 2003 gmc 6.6 diesel it was between it or the dodge I like gmcs better ---havent made my mind up on the 5th wheel yet but going to very soon---looking for land to call home is another tuffy LOL
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #38
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Whether you have to be pampered or if your a-"heck,let's just hit the road!" kind of individual.... we all have Rving in common with each other.

And maintenance is a definate reality to it, and that is for sure!.

We decided since we'd be on the road, going to our next jobs and no motels or apartment living (thank God)... we'd buy a mid-range 38ft. from a private owner, for an excellent price, consider doing a few upgrades to it ourselves, wish we had a nice pricey one,but don't; but save our money up to buy some land to settle down on one of these days. Having a house and payments isn't feasible for what we are doing, for now.
And it's been fun to have the ability to change things up, because we really won't "ruin it"! Get creative.
Our Rv has been very sturdy,living in it full-time. We aren't held back due to restrictions that warranties bring- we dont have one!
If it breaks, we replace it ourselves. We have upgraded the suspension and axels, replaced the tires; but thats because the manufacturers didnt want folks going too far (i guess)....Have wheels will travel= we did get a new truck to pull it =no worries from that end.
Are you gyspies ( I mean that in a good way) or the golf crowd? (I mean that in a good way too) The Story begins when you get yours Cameraguy
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:30 PM   #39
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I've met individuals full-timing in everything from Prevost conversions to truck campers. One man's full-time rig isn't necessarily the next man's, I suppose.

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Old 01-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #40
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I have always felt that the most important thing on a trailer is its running gear. Tires, brakes, axles, and shackles. Everything else except floorplan is easy to deal with So, get a trailer with solid running gear and a floor plan you can live with. I had a Titanium for a while. A well made trailer but it had a choke point in the trailer that a family couldn't deal with by the bathroom. I ended up selling it. I also had a presidential series HR trailer. Heavy, well built, quality, trailer. It was set aflame by vandals while I was at the movies. I think in retrospect, I got the most bang for the buck though in a 38 ft Jayco Designer series 5er. I paid 32,000 for it new in 98 put 75,000 miles on it and never had a problem except for a Todd converter. We used and abused that trailer and it took all we could give it. I finally sold it 6 years ago now for more then 1/2 of what I paid for it and I never even replaced the tires in over 10 years of use. We had five people and two 100 lb dogs in it every year for 9 summers full time. All I did to it was to add insulation under the overhang and in the enclosed underbelly.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:29 AM   #41
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Mark, I started working on a reply and, for some reason, lost it. My wife and I have been living and working full-time in a 5th wheel for nearly three years and I'd be happy to visit with you about any questions you have. You an either phone me at (816) 536-1333 or send me an email at harrisokie@gmail.com.

Jerry
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:12 PM   #42
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A ford f350 or 450 with a 6.0 or 7.3 stay away from the 6.4l they eat radiators. Dodge has rear end, tranny and injector problems. Chevy.are ok but have weak trannys. As far as the camper goes I'm not much help. But the bigger your truck the safer you are. The reason is bigger and better brakes and stronger parts. Hope this helps.
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