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Old 09-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
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What ever you decide to buy, get something gently used. What comes off production lines have a history of problems the first (and sometimes the second) owner has to debug and put up with. There is a cost of getting one livable if you have to run it back to the dealer & sometimes to the manufacturer to get things right.

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Old 09-02-2013, 10:43 PM   #16
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Once you get past the glitz, look at the frame and suspension and tires and wheels. People full-time in a lot of things, some quite small. A full-time 5th is going to be heavy as in 16,000# and up to maybe 25,000#. Weight carrying for your stuff should be substantial, as in 3,500# or more.

The wheels and tires should only be loaded to 60% to perhaps 80% when hooked up to the tow vehicle. Flats and blowouts are the pits. Consider 17.5" wheels and tires.

Axles with springs? Consider a trailing arm rubber suspension such as the Mor-Ryde IS.

Look for thermopane or double-glass windows.

Leveling should be full hydraulic, as should slides.

Consider a hard-wired power management system to protect all your electrical and electronics against power surges, high voltage and low voltage.

Boondocking? Room for solar and 6 or more batteries? Current technology satellite dish and all the associated cabling to get to all the TV sets? Room for the receiver box?

Also look at New Horizons and Space Craft, which are custom builders to your design.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:33 PM   #17
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Where does Americana fall? Interesting features. But I filled in the contact form 5 days ago and no contact. Guess they have too much business. Yes, I know Forest River builds the guts on a motor home assembly line.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:03 AM   #18
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The best walls are high density foam insulation laminated. This makes a very strong wall, basically draft free. Some will argue that batten insulation is best. That what used in homes. Fact is it will drop down from the vibration it gets towing. They also compress it due to rv walls being thinner than houses. This hurts their r value. The Blue Dow is good stuff.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #19
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Americana is now out of business.

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Where does Americana fall? Interesting features. But I filled in the contact form 5 days ago and no contact. Guess they have too much business. Yes, I know Forest River builds the guts on a motor home assembly line.

We also looked at the Americana 5th has a top 5 choice. Called and emailed over several weeks with no answers. Did some more research and found out they had gone out of business. Moving on...
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The best walls are high density foam insulation laminated. This makes a very strong wall, basically draft free. Some will argue that batten insulation is best. That what used in homes. Fact is it will drop down from the vibration it gets towing. They also compress it due to rv walls being thinner than houses. This hurts their r value. The Blue Dow is good stuff.
As long as the proper glues are used and the wall is pinch roller compressed or vacuum bagged properly the wall will be stronger, but if not done properly, you will have delamination and then the structural advantage is GONE.

Ken
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #21
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We also looked at the Americana 5th has a top 5 choice. Called and emailed over several weeks with no answers. Did some more research and found out they had gone out of business. Moving on...
You think they would take the site down...
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #22
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You want aluminum framing. All of the better coaches suggested are framed, most of them aluminum - - built like a frame home.
Bob
I respectfully disagree with this statement. While aluminum is a little lighter than wood, the weight difference is only around 350#. That's not enough to outweigh (pun not intended) these facts:
1) Aluminum is a better conductor than wood; so aluminum studs conduct cold and heat better than wood between the outside wall and inside wall - which is not what you want.
2) Wood holds screws better than aluminum. That's why a quality build manufacturer will use wood inside an aluminum frame wherever they mount cabinets or something they want to stay anchored to the frame. Hmmm - why not start with wood to begin with?
3) Wood will rot and aluminum doesn't - very true. However, an aluminum framed rig has wood paneled ceilings, floors and walls, so they will also sustain water damage. A properly manufactured and maintained rig will help prevent this from happening.

Our next rig, which will be for full-timing, will have a wood frame if at all possible.

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Old 11-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #23
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No mention of newmar in that line of full time rigs. Carriage is great and so is nuwa. My newmar kountry aire is better then my last carri-lite. Better insulated and just structurally stronger in my opinion. Again newmar and the word heavy go together.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:44 AM   #24
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Check out Continental Coach for a full custom rig. We love our CC Elegance--build quality and support are second to none--units are very heavy.

http://www.forksrv.com/continental/index.php
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:42 AM   #25
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Check out Continental Coach for a full custom rig. We love our CC Elegance--build quality and support are second to none--units are very heavy.

Home of Continental Coach by ForksRV
WOW!! I have to say if I had $188,000 to spend on a 5th wheel...that would be the one. It is AMAZING!
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:30 PM   #26
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Another area not mentioned yet is the wall construction for humidity control. Full timing produces much more humidity than occasional use. The walls should have a vapour barrier to prevent humidity building in the walls. This is more critical in colder climates as the humidity is then condensed to moisture and the moisture and organic building material are fodder for black mold. Along with this is good bathroom/shower vent fans as well as in the kitchen/cook areas.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #27
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We've been very happy with our Redwood. Well built and easy to live in
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:38 AM   #28
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We, along with many others, are very happy with our Landmark. Heartland also manufactures the Bighorn and Big Country lines that are rated and warranted for full time use.
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