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Old 08-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #15
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We have just completed five years of full-timing and probably 15 years of heavy seasonal use while still working.

We just bought our second Excel--because we made the mistake of going through one at the factory that my DW loved the floor plan on.

I think Ralphie gave you a good list. As mentioned, some of those are orphans now or perhaps soon to be, that may or may not matter to you. We have owned the high end of a different brand of fiver before our first Excel. I can attest to the fact that there are very significant differences in build, and thus how they hold up.

If you are going to put thousands of miles a year on your rig as we do, frame can be a very important consideration. Your may not end up being happy with the 10 or even 12" I beams. (many have never had a problem with this, but we know many that have)

What is certain is that FTing, which means you are using your rig 365-24/7, is entirely different than weekending or even snowbirding as far as how the rig holds up and looks a few years down the road.

Solid wood cabinetry, residential flooring, dual pane windows, structural build, slide mechanism and build etc etc are the things that really seem to make a difference. And I know it gets said all the time, but its so true. Most of the glitzy stuff you can see is largely irrelevant. With all due respect, many of the Indiana manufacturers claim "four season use". Which is probably true, but says nothing about your comfort in cold climate, or how well it will stand up to 365-24/7.
Finally, make sure that the warranty covers FT use. Many of them don't, but the sales people won't always tell you that. But the written warranty will have an exclusion.

As I said, in our case, we bought a second Excel. This was due to primarly two things.
First, we used our first one for FTing until now, and I think would have done well for a long time to come. And we had drug it up and down nearly every area of the country, up to Alaska and back, up through the Canadian Maritimes and over to Newfoundland.
Second, and probably most important in our decision for another Excel, was the "after sale" service and support provided by the manufacturer, PI. We had nailed this latest "new buy" short list to three companys after researching again this time around, visiting dealers and factorys etc. Excel, Nuwa, and DRV. New Horizon was out of our price range, or it would have certainly been in there. And I think they probably all would be very good FT rigs. Nuwa and DRV didn't have quite the same floorplan we were looking at. But at the end of the day, we had first hand experience with the service and support provided by Peterson Industries, and decided to stay with a known that had served us very well.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
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It took us 6 months in 2004-2005 to decide on the investment in out 2005 36' Excel Limited 5er. Best decision we made for our full time home on wheels. One of the Best features of Excel Limited is the fiberglass roof. Excel was one of the few who offered fiberglass as we had read of the horrors of maintaining rubber roofs.
Our home is very well built with solid wood cabinets, excellent carpeting that still looks relatively new after 7 years of use, and great quality appliances and accessories. The padded ceiling is so easy to clean and helps maintain a good temperature regardless of our location and weather. When it comes to full timing keep in mind you get what you pay for. And don't forget about the quality and size of your tires (and whether they are made in China).
But most of all what we can really brag about Excel is their customer care and service at the Smith Center, Kansas, manufacturing locale. How often do you get to talk directly to the president of an RV manufacturer to discuss the design of another RV? Any question or issues we have had over the years (minor ones at that) have been handled promptly and with concern as if we were their only client.
Excel offers several floor plans but they are very willing to modify a plan to suit your needs. Just give them a call and do yourself a favor to visit them in Smith Center for a tour of the plant. You will be very impressed at the dedication by the employees there and the quality of there workmanship.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:24 AM   #17
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Howdy!

We have fulltimed for the last five years in a Carriage Carri-Lite 36XTRM5, and it has served us well. If we were to replace it "New Horizon" would be the first we would consider. They do custom work and well built. Even the used ones are top quality.

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Old 08-25-2012, 03:04 PM   #18
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I don't think I can add anything new to bigmichael's summary of important considerations. We have been FTers now for a year. I spent a year and a half combing through web sites, RV blogs like this one and a couple of RV shows before coming down to a short list of three: Excel, Nuwa and New Horizons ; before taking factor tours. We manage factory tours of 2 before tornadoes prevented us from continuing on to Excel. All 3 have excellent design and construction that will stand up to 24x7 wear and tear. We finally settled on a New Horizons Majestic, yes it is heavy, yes it is expensive (but when business is slow, there are deals to be made) but it feels like home, not just a weekend camper. If cost is an issue, there are many used units out there to fill the bill.
If you are interested in seeing many New Horizons units and owners in one place, there is going to be an owner's rally next April in TX where any and all will be more than happy to show you their rigs and answer questions.

2013 New Horizon's Rally
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #19
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All the manufactures listed make good full time units. I will add that NuWa offers wonderful after purchase service. We are very happy with our Discover America and would not hesitate to buy another if this one ever wears out.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #20
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We own a Drv Mobile Suites and it is a very well built coach and have given us little problem. We are full time. It is heavy though. Personally if I was in market for a new one, New Horzion and DRV is all I would consider. DRV will do a lot of customization and New Horzion is mostly customization.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #21
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We bought a Drv Mobile Suites after owning a Drv Select Suites, and fulltiming, for 5 years. No other manufacturer has the 3 1/4 insulation that Drv puts into their units. So many nice features are standard. Good factory support a plus. Ask the Suites owners on their website, Suites Owners International Travel Club, Inc., you can ask any question as a prospective owner
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #22
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We are looking at a King of the Road, made in 1998...
On a budget & stay put for 6 mths to a year...
When we move to Rockport, TX from Austin we just may hire a moving truck instead of buying a big truck...
Have an older 34' Winnie Chieftain that I will be selling. (to tight)..

Anybody heard anything about the older King of the Roads 5th wheels??
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #23
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make sure you have the correct truck to pull it as well....check your tow capacitys. We made the mistake when we bought our first 5er of having an underpowered truck. Good excuse to get a new truck...lol

Fred is spot on. Power is where it's at. DON"T fudge on the tow and pin weight ratings, you could be very sorry. We are not full time, just 1/2 time (get away from AZ summers) and we've been through three 5ers in 5 years for various reasons (how often does a tree fall on you). Here are some of the things I have found that will make a full time life on the road more enjoyable:

You'll want the highest insulation rating you can find (floor and ceiling).
Auto leveling hydralic jacks
Dual pane windows
2 A/C units
Upgrade the heater, if possible
Avoid a rubber roof, if possible. Go to fiberglass, it lasts much longer, requires less maintenance and is far less prone to damage.
An exhaust brake on the truck is a must. I installed a Pac Brake and can go down 7% grades without touching the brakes.
A gel coat finish will look better, longer, and is less maintenance.
Upgrade to disc brakes on the 5er.
Solid wood cabinets - heaver, but worth it (personal experience).
Water filter(s) - don't trust the water. . . . . anywhere.
Upgrade the mattress to something that will last.
A separate washer and dryer. Dual functions are ok, but have limited capacity and loooooooooong cycles.

That's all I can think of. The rest, make, size, floorplan, storage, etc., is personal preference.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #24
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All the manufactures listed make good full time units. I will add that NuWa offers wonderful after purchase service. We are very happy with our Discover America and would not hesitate to buy another if this one ever wears out.
NuWa announced they would not accept orders for new rigs after Sep. 15 and will cease production at Christmas. They will shut down for 3 months and then decide if they will open again. NuWa Industries, Inc.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:45 PM   #25
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NuWa announced they would not accept orders for new rigs after Sep. 15 and will cease production at Christmas. They will shut down for 3 months and then decide if they will open again. NuWa Industries, Inc.
That date has been extended to October 1st due to increased demand. Production may continue until after the first of the year. This was announced by the NuWa CEO on the owners website.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #26
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That date has been extended to October 1st due to increased demand. Production may continue until after the first of the year. This was announced by the NuWa CEO on the owners website.
Good to hear. Sounds like they are fighting to stay above water, wish them the best.
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