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Old 09-25-2010, 06:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ralper View Post
According to RV Consumer's Group who rates RV's, the top 5th wheel in the country is "New Horizons".
Beware of the unfair damage this RV Consumer Group can do for lack of proper understanding of the products they try to rate. They don't test anything, they only translate the data and specs and then give a rating based on their own parameters.

Units with large water tanks are penalized, as the assumption is that everyone travels with a full tank. And because some quality OEM's are concerned about customer safety and may use a somewhat conservative GVWR set at a weight lower than the maximum that the trailer could be used, RV Consumer Group will then say that with all that water weight and the expectation of the full complement of cargo, that the unit becomes potentially overloaded and unstable. Keep in mind here that RV Consumer Group doesn't actually tow anything to determine its stability rating. It's all based on numbers.

Thus, those manufacturers who make an effort to protect and take care of the customer are "portrayed" as being inferior while the manufacturer who is building mediocrity and walking on thin ice is portrayed as being a "good" unit. In some quality 5th wheels, the larger water tank and the concern about not "overstating" GVWR causes RV Consumer Group to "view" them as unsafe, while at the same time they give a high rating to someone who in fact has less load capacity, but simply uses a smaller water tank and uses creative math to provide their GVWR.

With these inaccurate conclusions, RV Consumer Group "condemn" some quality 5th wheels to their readers as being "inferior". That's pathetic reporting, and they have done it for many years. They are not interested in efforts to correct their error, thus the damage continues. With people like RV Consumer Group influencing customers, it is no wonder some 5th wheels have such difficulty attracting people who have not already experienced such trailers. The only solution would be to raise the stated GVWR's for those trailers, which apparently would then cause these folks to find them "acceptable". Then, when potential buyers note the elevated GVWR, they will erroneously decide they need a heavier tow vehicle because many experienced RV'rs say to use that GVWR figure when sizing the tow vehicle rather than the true loaded "ready to roll" weight.

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Old 09-25-2010, 07:22 AM   #30
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You're a brave man to wade into the RV Consumer Group breach, but I'll get in there with you.

I see far too many individuals make 5 and 6 figure purchase decisions based solely upon the opinions espoused by this group. On one of the truck forums I frequent, novice consumers solicit opinions regarding potential RV purchases from the resident RV guru whose primary qualification is having in his possession the most recent copy of the RV Consumer Group CD from which he will cut and paste the pronouncements of J.D. Gallant regarding a particular manufacturer and model.

As Richard has correctly pointed out, most of these pronouncements are based on arbitrary opinions and computations that may or may not be meaningful. They are NOT based on actual testing or experience with a particular RV.

As a mechanical engineer, my purchase decision involved getting beyond the cosmetics of the RVs we evaluated and looking at design, construction materials and their application and the quality of the outside purchase accessories used by the RV manufacturers. It's easy for a given manufacturer to make claims regarding such things as frame stiffness while totally ignoring the differences in bending and torsional stiffness between I-beams, C-channels and rectangular steel tubing of differing wall thicknesses used in different frame designs.

To boil it down - my advice is to learn what's important in the design and construction of an RV and then use the manufacturer's brochures AND your own eyeballs to investigate candidate RVs for yourself. If you spend a few hours crawling around the basement, underneath the RV, looking in cabinets and service bays, etc., you will be able to determine for yourself what's quality and what isn't.


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Old 09-25-2010, 07:28 AM   #31
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You have to educate yourself and put up a major BS filter to see where the meat of the design is.

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Old 10-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #32
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for my money Holday Rambler is a prefect choice for size, price and quality - yea you can spend 80k on 38 foot coach - unless you are full timer - 32 -35 is perfect for most, can be taken into most parks and spaces and provides all the comforts you need for a few weeks on the road.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:09 AM   #33
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #34
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how about Bighorn or Montana, they are both nice 5ers.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:10 AM   #35
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Has anyone had any experience, ie warranty, on the Brookstone by Coachman. We are looking at the 367 which is beautiful. Just wondering where it compares to some of the other brands spoken of on this forum.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #36
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Don't over look NUWA HitchHiker, if you are going to be using your fifth wheel a lot or full time. NUWA does stand behind what they sale. If you buy a used one, just make sure it has a Young's Frame under it.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #37
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:35 AM   #38
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I've found Sunnybrook to still be measurably better than most other brands - still.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #39
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Bighorn is another top rated full time 5er
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #40
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The Continental Coach built by Forks RV rises to the top. They will custom build and the fit and finish is difficult to beat.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ralper View Post
The top 5'er in the country is New Horizons. It is the only 5 star rated unit by RV Consumer's Group who rates RV's. They are custom built to your specs. and are no more expensive than the other highly regarded units.
I agree -- the New Horizons is the top of the line...

I have a Carriage now and it is really a great 5er but compared to the NH it's not #1. Carriage is lacking in flexibility in making changes... You can custom order your New Horizons...

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