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Old 03-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #15
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I believe the OP is looking for a short list of top quality large 5vers. There is a distinct difference between a a true high end quality RV and a well built & luxuriously equipped RV. Some of our requirements to qualify as a true high end quality RV is solid hardwood cabinetry, residential light & plumbing fixtures, and extensive 4-season capabilities as standard equipment. The differences in the chassis, house and appliances between these brands and even mid-range brands is insignificant.

A critical factor in this question is whether the OP is looking for a new 5ver or a used 5ver. I wouldn't buy any brand new RV at this time unless I was able to get a large enough discount to cover any possible warranty expenses I might incur if the manufacturer bellied up. Since RV manufacturers are failing faster than I can keep track of them right now, there isn't any manufacturer that is a sure thing to be around for warranty work.

OTOH, if the OP is interested in a used 5ver, then my short list would include Carriage, New Horizons, King of the Road and NUWA.

Steve & C. J.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:04 PM   #16
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I would second Jayco as a quality RV. I had an Eagle Super-Lite 30.5 BHS. The Super-Lites are the bottom brand for their fivers. I fulltimed in it through the winter (upstate NY winter!) without so much as putting a skirt on it. I was always warm. My cabinets were beautiful.

Sadly, she was totaled. I was so impressed with the first camper, I am going back for a Jayco Eagle (next line up) 345 BHS. They also have the Jayco Designer line, which is their top of the line model fiver.

I can't claim that Jayco sits in the very top of the line in the rv world, but I was very satisfied with my Jayco product.

Annoyances included small toilet area, small shower, and lack of hanging-closet space. But again, it was a bottom of the line fiver. My new 345 BHS will have none of these issues.

2008 Dodge 2500 Diesel | 2010 Montana Mountaineer 36 DBQ
Two adults, two kids, two dogs, a cat, and four slides - full-timing in style!
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:09 AM   #17
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My Vote For Excel

dcfeathersto...First of all - I would like to welcome you to the forum!
I would also like to throw in a pitch for the Excels. Although I don't own one- I will say that I learned a lot about the product during my tenure as a Moderator on the Excel Forum ...

The President of PI (Excel) reads that forum frequently and not only does he pay attention- but he will step up and get problems handled if there is one..along with throw in his nickel's worth on other topics....and then there are the members...ahhhhh, yes... the members....You will find many very active members who are full-timers there. I actually don't think I have seen as many full-timers of any other 5er as I have on this forum - or members who are so thrilled with their RV as I have over on the Excel Forum.

I will also forewarn you about the Excel Members... they very rarely venture out of their forum... so you are lucky that you got any feedback about an Excel. Come on over and say "hello" and ask them about their experience...and then make a pot of coffee -sit back and relax while you read their answers!
Again..welcome to iRV2- we hope you visit & post often!
*MonacoMama with the 2 Pins & SacsTC Nearby*
*2007 Monaco Diplomat 40' SFT<>2006 Chevy VortecMax Toad<>2006 Buick Lucerne Leading the Way*
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:26 AM   #18
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I would suggest that you take a look at the ratings guides listed here:

Recreational vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We used the RV Consumer Group guide and end up with this custom built New Horizons fiver. We have been quite happy with it. The RV Consumer Group gives New Horizons 5 out of 5 stars for fulltiming.

Plus, New Horizons is still in business and they expect to weather the bad economy.
Tom Donaldson
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #19
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We just put our order in for a new Carriage Cameo 36" FWS. It will be 4 years before we retire but the timing was right. We chose the Cameo because we could pull it with our present truck and we found it to be a quality product. Excel, Travel Supreme and Mobile Suites were too heavy for our truck. We ordered new because that way we got the options that we wanted. We have had 3 rigs and we bought all off the lot and everyone had something I didn't like. We won't be full timing but we will be in it 4-5 months per year. We did our research and I believe we chose the right rig for us. I'll let you know 5 years down the road if we made a mistake.
Lynnvt & George (DH), Sam the traveling pooch
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:54 AM   #20
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We are on our second Heartland Bighorn. We have been very impressed with the fit and finish, the hardwood cabinets and trim-no veneer wood here!; and the factory support for the trailer has been tremendous. They also have a very active Heartland Owners club found here.

Good luck in your choice.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:05 AM   #21
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We don't full time in it but our Keystone Everest 323P is certainly suitable for going on the road full time.
Don & Pat Allen - Texas Boomers - Honorary Oklahoma Boomers
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #22
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I think you would find Carriage quality and layouts to be excellent. And, the company is in good shape. Excellent customer service and novel ideas. Great unit. Be sure in your looking you consider whether the sides are aluminum framed or vacuum formed. Framed is much more sturdy and long lasting.
2003 Dodge HO 6 speed Laramie Dually, Jordan controller, RDS fuel tank, Air Ride 25K hitch
Carriage 36' fiver, Onan 6500, Prosine 2K inverter, 3 slides, MORyde IS and Kingpin
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:04 AM   #23
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Thanks "MonacoMama" for the plug for Excels -- "dcfeathersto", IMO biased opinion, you will not find an RV company that stands behind their products as does Peterson Industries, Smith Center, KS. The owner of the company is an avid RV'er and, if in town, will visit with Excel owners at the Service Center lounge. We will purchase another Excel in the future.
John & Marilyn Yoder, Sophie & Misha (Bichons)
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:06 AM   #24
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I'll put in a quick plug for New Horizons RV. They were on our short list. They're a custom builder and a little pricey, but build top-end stuff in my opinion. As you can see, we did go with the Excel. Great advice from the Excel Owners forum here so check that out. The NuWa Owners have their own forum at www.nuwaowners.org. When checking out the Hitchhikers look there. (It's obvious I have a sweet spot for Kansas 5th wheel builders!) Good luck, take your time and enjoy the hunt! David
David & Donna Driver SKP# 105170 | Fulltimer | 2009 F450 Lariat Plus w/Nav | 2011 MS 36RSSB3
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:26 AM   #25
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We have been FTing in our '05 Excel FLR 35ft. for 4 years now, seen 47 states and some of Canada. We researched FTing 5th wheels for 4 years solid before going with Excel. New Horizon does a nice unit, but the price was too much for us (pricey). And we condsidered some of the others mentioned but the price/value relation brought us back to Excel. Our unit has had some normal issues and Peterson (Excel) has always stepped up and taken care of them, even a few known product concerns that they took care of after the warranty. Like mentioned before they stand behind their unit with great customer service. We special ordered ours and had it built the way we wanted it. Some of the brands mentioned here may hold up under FTing but the manufacturers may not cover the warranty if they find out you're FTing....so find out about that up front from the manufacturer. Good luck and let us know which way you go! rockin'
2012 Excel L33ft. GKE named Charm as in 3 times is a Charm. Love Fulltiming. Bullet '14 Chevy D/A 3500 LB CC DRW Summit White - Ebony Interior. Check out our blog at: http://claphamstravels.blogspot.com
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:06 AM   #26
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Looks like most all models have be covered. SpaceCraft is another fulltime unit also the is nice but pricey. They custom build also.

Like all units, there are things that I like and there are things I don't like. Just do factory tours so that you can see how units are really built.

My self I'll stick with Excel. The good thing most of the companies I would look at are here in Kansas or in ajoining states.

One concern that was mention here is how heavy of a fifth wheel are they. Since a lot of full timers are in the 15,000 lb+ class when empty, you need to look at the truck you are going to be pulling with also. While my 30' Excel is not that heavy, my next unit will be. So look down the road where you might be when having fun seeing this great crountry of ours

Love this RVing thing.
Larry & Billie Eberle
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:44 AM   #27
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Add Americana 5er's for full-timers http://www.americanarv.com/ to the list of prospects.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #28
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For me, I always thought my next 5er would most likely be another Newmar. I stopped at DRV at the fall Hershey RV Show and now offer 6 hydraulic levers; one at each corner and two (one each side) at the axle. Added to that is the fact that DRV has a floorplan that I really like. This moved DRV slightly ahead of Newmar on my list.

But this is all a few more years away. We really like this rig and have no immediate plans to replace it. That is as long as everything stays intact.

John, Joyce & Zoie the Terrier. - Fulltime since 2008

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