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Old 09-27-2016, 10:28 PM   #15
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Whatever you buy, make sure the warranty covers full time use. Believe it or not, there are rigs out there with msrp of $100k+ that won't cover full time use. I am going with the new Weekend Warrior 4250w out of the gate. As mentioned by another, look at what materials are used in the construction. Bones and muscle first, makeup and hair second.

There are hundreds/thousands of opinions but I wanted minimal wood. I saw one 5ver that had the garage floor framed with wood so they could boast a heavier load capacity in the garage. No thanks. Steel frame on bottom and welded aluminum side and roof framing. I paid attention to the difference between GVW as delivered and GVWR. If one unit has a 1/3rd more payload capacity than an equal GVW unit, I equate that to a stronger unit. Maybe yes, maybe no. Polystyrene foam insulation over spun fiberglass (some settling may occur during shipping and handling) so I know the insulation stays put.

As to how I got there...cashiers check.
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:17 AM   #16
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I just picked up a 2017 Fuzion Chrome 414. A high end Toy Hauling 5th Wheel. We spent a lot of time looking at a variety of models available on todays market. We are still relatively new to the lifestyle but have bought, lived in, and sold many homes so our mindset on the 5th wheel was exactly the same when we purchase property. I'm huge on durability and quality of construction materials. I wanted something that was vacuum seal formed on the outside to reduce the amount of seals that might leak down the road. I wanted solid insulation, real wood accoutrements, a residential fridge and electronics by Samsung (Which we have in our home) as I know those appliances/TV's work well and am familiar with their operation. Stability was key so I scrubbed the framework intensely looking for better built and more solid frame materials and good tires since at 65 MPH...those are the only things on the RV touching the road. Flush mounted windows to reduce the potential for leakage....I could go on and on but honestly, the price up front was worth the peace of mind in the long run. My truck can pull anything...Ram 3500 dually so I am not limited in the 5th wheel market by pull weight. I also went for the toy hauler as I have a wild eyed young 8 year old who likes her toys and I did not want to hang a bunch of equipment on racks outside the trailer. The garage is built like a tank and a good place for gatherings, and central to our BBQ competition equipment. Layout was also important as Toy Haulers can often look as if all the furniture is under "arrest" and awkwardly against all the walls with weird angles for watching TV. Having an L shaped couch and an open kitchen really created a lot of space for us. Full size residential shower (Arguable) is better for me since I'm 6.3" and wide shouldered. In the end...it was a culmination of how well I felt the rig was built. Solid doors, durable steps, and materials I am familiar with at home are what I look for in a 5th wheel. I've considered the lower end models...they are gorgeous and the layouts can take your breath away but those units offer themselves at their price point because the manufacturers use less expensive input price materials. Good...but they are not designed for aggressive full time use. They are designed for the occasional weekend warrior or perhaps one tenant who applies a light touch to living in them. I can't....I'm a big guy, I have big friends, my little girl plays and lives hard on everything and my wife needs to have faith and trust in her mobile home when we are far away from our residence. Little things breaking here and there could start to erode her trust in the RV and potentially.....erode her interest in the lifestyle. I'm realistic...I don't care how much $ you drop on these...something is going to need work. I don't know anyone in the RV lifestyle that does not have a list of things they would like to work on but....by and large, the higher end models are built with higher end materials that simply last longer. The engineering behind them is more aggressive and without design limitation on material costs....those engineers focus more on functionality and performance.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:34 AM   #17
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There is a reason the majority of full timers have class A MHs. They stand up better to being lived in full time.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DixielandBBQ View Post
I just picked up a 2017 Fuzion Chrome 414. A high end Toy Hauling 5th Wheel. ...

The garage is built like a tank and a good place for gatherings, and central to our BBQ competition equipment.
Good to hear from a fellow pitmaster. Dad and I did one of those competitions about 4-5 years ago. That was fun. I just BBQ for fun though - brisket mainly, but pork shoulders occasionally and I am working on my fish techniques. I smoke on an 18" WSM. I used to run an off-set style, heavily modified, that I built with Dad quite a number of years ago but after a flash over with all the grease build up (and singed facial hair) I got pretty gun shy of that one. I can clean the WSM pretty easy...

Good points on the toy hauler. The only thing I don't like about that is the garages eat up living space. You can argue that once the "toys" are out it can be put in to living-space-use, but I'd rather have that space as part of the "house". For my idea to work I would need an outbuilding for everything anyway - large garage space and storage space.

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There is a reason the majority of full timers have class A MHs. They stand up better to being lived in full time.
I was back home last weekend and checked out my buddy's new Airstream trailer. He owned a class A for years and only had bad things to say about it - maintenance nightmare. He went with the airstream for quality and simplicity - no power awnings, steps, etc to break. They aren't living in it, though, just a few week trips a year.

A powered rig (class A, C, buss/truck conversion) isn't a good "stay put for a while" rig, either. Engines and drivetrains like to be run. That isn't to say wheels, tires, bearings, and suspension components on a trailer don't, but less things to "like to run" than something that drives itself.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:31 AM   #19
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Good to hear from a fellow pitmaster. Dad and I did one of those competitions about 4-5 years ago. That was fun. I just BBQ for fun though - brisket mainly, but pork shoulders occasionally and I am working on my fish techniques. I smoke on an 18" WSM. I used to run an off-set style, heavily modified, that I built with Dad quite a number of years ago but after a flash over with all the grease build up (and singed facial hair) I got pretty gun shy of that one. I can clean the WSM pretty easy...

Good points on the toy hauler. The only thing I don't like about that is the garages eat up living space. You can argue that once the "toys" are out it can be put in to living-space-use, but I'd rather have that space as part of the "house". For my idea to work I would need an outbuilding for everything anyway - large garage space and storage space.



I was back home last weekend and checked out my buddy's new Airstream trailer. He owned a class A for years and only had bad things to say about it - maintenance nightmare. He went with the airstream for quality and simplicity - no power awnings, steps, etc to break. They aren't living in it, though, just a few week trips a year.

A powered rig (class A, C, buss/truck conversion) isn't a good "stay put for a while" rig, either. Engines and drivetrains like to be run. That isn't to say wheels, tires, bearings, and suspension components on a trailer don't, but less things to "like to run" than something that drives itself.
We have a variety of smokers we use depending on how we want to cook. We started with BGE large but moved into H2O Smokers (Myron Mixon) which is our primary meat smoker and then we also have a Gateway Drum we use for chicken. (Took first place on that last weekend). Eventually next spring we are going to pick up some gravity feed smokers and some pellet smokers so we can get a better nights rest not having to toss sticks into the firebox every half hour.

I'm with you on the garage...I was not an immediate fan of handing over 12 ft of living space to a garage but functionally...its where I am at in life for the moment and eventually...down the road...I see us trading out for a different unit once I no longer need the garage space. That would be many many years down the road.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:23 AM   #20
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I don't think you can go wrong with any Grand Design unit. I've had my Solitude for over 3 1/2 years. #107 off the line. I bought when the company was in its infancy. If I ever buy another 5th wheel I won't even look at another brand. They must be pretty good, Winnebago just bought them two weeks ago for 500 million dollars...
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:39 AM   #21
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I don't think you can go wrong with any Grand Design unit. I've had my Solitude for over 3 1/2 years. #107 off the line. I bought when the company was in its infancy. If I ever buy another 5th wheel I won't even look at another brand. They must be pretty good, Winnebago just bought them two weeks ago for 500 million dollars...
Several reasons in this post to NOT buy this brand. 1. Company in it's infancy often produce good products, then steadily go downhill. I've read lots of complaints about GD for this reason. 2. Won't even look at another brand?? That's how the rv companies screw you. 3. Bought by the big W? No thanks - quality is sure to go downhill. If you want a true sub zero brand for fulltime, your options are limited. Don't get deceived by floorplans or how pretty it looks. Go for serious 4 season quality. You need heated storage, heated tanks, double pane windows, residential heating, properly gauged wiring... few brands make solidly built and all season reliability.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:08 PM   #22
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times 2 on what the guy above said. I had a Cardinal which they called full time. Not hardly. Almost all 5th wheels are designed to take to the lake on weekends. Only a couple brands are built for the long haul. Mobile Suites, Petersen, Hitchhiker are three I'm familiar with. And even then you have to be careful as they all build down scaled models to compete with the cardinals and montanas.

I Bought my MS used. It is a very well built trailer probably as good as any made. Mine is now 12 years old, I've had it 8 and I would hook up and head for the west coast tomorrow without fear of problems. It is well insolated and comfortable in either cold or hot weather. There are people all over the country trying to sell them used. I bought mine from a widow over the internet. I would never pay what they want for a new trailer, MS or any other. The depreciation curve is very very steep.

But know this, whatever you buy you must maintain it or it will go down hill fast. I'm a life time shade tree mechanic and do most all my own repairs. I don't know how folks who have to pay somebody to change a light bulb can afford an RV. Still, I just spent 1200 dollars on having the springs rebuilt and the axles re-bent and realigned, stuff you can't see but must do.

Someone above suggested a motor home because they are better built. That is true, they are. And there are a lot of Diesel Pushers (no gas ever) on the market at reasonable prices. However, be prepared to spend a lot more money to maintain a MH than a 5th wheel. As for new motor homes, that is an excellent way to turn 300,000 dollars in to 100,000 dollars in fewer than 10 years.

Hope these thoughts help with your decision.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:41 PM   #23
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FWIW I just saw a posted MS 2011 38 on the ATL Craigs List for about half of the price of a new one. The ask is 59K.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #24
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DRV Mobile Suites here. We researched for a long time, like six years, and chose this unit. The 36' length is perfect for our needs and we planned to go mostly 9-10 months per year.

The rear living with two recliners across from the entertainment center is perfect for evenings. Washer and dryer in the hall and plenty of space.

I believe you will find the DRV MS a good value. We haven't had any issues other than a few lights that burned out. Solid, well built, good in hot or cold temps.. We pull with a diesel dually and have pulled Raton Pass with no problem using the exhaust gas braking.

Good luck in in your search and decision.
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:47 PM   #25
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I looked at what the full / long timers were using. I also looked at the percentage of those owners who bought the same brand again...and the numbers of used units on the lots..

Went and looked at an Arctic Fox and bought it on the spot. Heads above what we have seen.

14K miles in the last 2 years..going over some really rough roads.. very pleased.

This will be a high mileage unit..

Oh, tossed the STs as soon as I got it and put on LTs.. big difference.

Buying quality pays ..
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:53 AM   #26
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Forget a pickup truck as well... go with a medium duty....
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:52 PM   #27
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Well I can tell you they don't make them like they use to. My 2003 Teton inside REAL wood looks as good as the day I bought it. It cost more then the 2014 Dutchman Voltage I bought. Last Tetons built were in 2009. We looked at all them back in 2003 & Teton was the best. I've looked at some $100k+ 5th wheels and my Interior still is nicer at 13 years old then most new ones.
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:41 PM   #28
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recently took delivery of a new Augusta Luxe and spent the past 2 months touring Canada and the US. We are long time RVers and traded in a Forest River tow behind for the Luxe. Spent a lot of time considering what we would purchase as we are planning to go full time soon.

Went with a 5th wheel for financial reasons. The depreciation on RVs is pretty bad so with a 5th wheel the RV will depreciate but I'll still have a lot of value in the tow vehicle. Since we plan to do a lot of boondocking and not a lot of driving and sightseeing having a big tow vehicle as our daily driver isn't as big an issue for us.

Augusta makes a beautiful RV. They use quality materials and components throughout which makes a major difference. The number and level of features for their price point is very good. Temps where we were got down to freezing and the unit did very well. The insulation is R21 throughout and it performed well. The double paned insulated windows worked well and even the floor was comfortably warm.

Overall we are very happy with the Luxe but we have had a lot of problems with it, many more than we should have in a high end coach. Haven't had the best experience with their tech support. They have taken care of everything so far but they don't communicate well and rarely return calls or emails. We got a huge discount off of list on the unit which is the primary reason we are happy with it. It feels like a house with "good bones". Not all of the issues we have had can be blamed on Augusta as some of the higher end components have had issues. You don't expect to have problems with top of the line stuff like we've been having. Just our luck I guess. Luckily the price we paid eases the pain an awful lot. If we paid asking price for the unit we wouldn't be very happy right now.

I can sum up Augusta as making RVs with premium quality materials and components but with a lot of what I call fit and finish issues. Their cost is quite a bit cheaper than other premium brands but it's where it should be given the issues we've had.

Our Luxe is really beautiful and extremely comfortable to live in full time but it's still an RV so you can expect issues.
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