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Old 07-19-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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My First RV Purchase Odyssey (Targeting Nov/Dec '15)

I thought I would finally start my own thread instead of interjecting comments or questions into other threads. I do appreciate all the advice and opinions I have received so far.

We will be purchasing a 5th Wheel TH later this year. We began our journey last summer with a tent camping trip to a state park. The goal was simply to make sure we as a family enjoyed camping. Well the trip was a huge success, in that my addicted to electronics children loved camping. It was also a success in making me realize that age plus 10 years in the Army mean that sleeping on an air mattress in a damp tent equals painful mornings.

So, after much discussion we started down the path of looking at a travel trailer. It seems that every friend and relative into camping strongly advised against travel trailers and recommended saving the one or two trade-in and ups and just start with a 5er. After going to a couple shows and looking for a BH TT, my wife found one she was ready to buy right then. Fortunately the sales guy put us off for 15 minutes while he was helping someone else. During that 15 minutes I found a nice 5er BH for not much more, and convinced my wife we needed to keep looking. She was still set on the BH idea, and I'll admit I was too. However, as we continued our tire kicking journey I realized while the BH was nice and roomy, the MB was tight and wouldn't provide an equal experience for us that the BH provided the boys.

We happened to visit a local dealer and stumbled into a TH quite by accident. Well the "garage" makes a perfect room for the boys, with a lot of space for bikes, kayaks, Big Green Egg, etc, etc. The layout in the rest of the TH just really seems to fit us better, not to mention the whole ramp/patio (plus side patio).

So long story short, we've gone from tent camping, to travel trailers, to 5ers, and now looking for a TH to call our second home all within a year.

So all things said and done, what advice do you have for a first time RV owner looking to buy a TH? What options are a must have for a Toy Hauler? Since we haven't decided on a make or model yet, let's please keep this thread brand agnostic and focus on must have options, and upgrades.

Thank You!


Mike
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:20 AM   #2
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What options on the TH do you think are a must have? What are your "I'm turning around now because I can't go without...." camping related items?
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:22 AM   #3
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Cane, our family just purchased our first TH. It took me over 4 months of studying, reviewing and looking at the different floor plans. I joined 3 RV Blogs including this one to get real feedback from people who actually own a RV or TH.

Then I started researching the manufactures and the quality of their product. Good Reviews versus Bad Reviews. For our family the budget we set keep us from purchasing the upper level manufactures like DVR, and New Horizon. We did not want to spend over $75K for the unit. That lead me to manufactures like Keystone, Heartland, Forest River and models like XLR, Fuzion, Cyclone. It came down to XLR and Fuzion as the two models with good reviews and very low manufacture issues reported. XLR could not deliver the model we wanted on time and Fuzion could. So we ended up picking a Fuzion 420 which we are very happy with this camper.

We will be living in the camper for two years so I must withstand day to day use. So far so good.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:33 AM   #4
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We are getting ready to order a Road Warrior 420. It may not be the highest quality unit. But none of the higher priced units have a floor plan that fit our needs.

1. King bed
2. W/D NOT in the garage
3. seating for 5 people in the main area
4. 2 heads

There were other considerations and I could list them all but those were the big ones for us. We will be full timing for the foreseeable future so it had to work for us. If we were just camping we would have stuck with our 34' Monaco.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark42h View Post
Cane, our family just purchased our first TH. It took me over 4 months of studying, reviewing and looking at the different floor plans. I joined 3 RV Blogs including this one to get real feedback from people who actually own a RV or TH.

Then I started researching the manufactures and the quality of their product. Good Reviews versus Bad Reviews. For our family the budget we set keep us from purchasing the upper level manufactures like DVR, and New Horizon. We did not want to spend over $75K for the unit. That lead me to manufactures like Keystone, Heartland, Forest River and models like XLR, Fuzion, Cyclone. It came down to XLR and Fuzion as the two models with good reviews and very low manufacture issues reported. XLR could not deliver the model we wanted on time and Fuzion could. So we ended up picking a Fuzion 420 which we are very happy with this camper.

We will be living in the camper for two years so I must withstand day to day use. So far so good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imurphy907 View Post
We are getting ready to order a Road Warrior 420. It may not be the highest quality unit. But none of the higher priced units have a floor plan that fit our needs.

1. King bed
2. W/D NOT in the garage
3. seating for 5 people in the main area
4. 2 heads

There were other considerations and I could list them all but those were the big ones for us. We will be full timing for the foreseeable future so it had to work for us. If we were just camping we would have stuck with our 34' Monaco.
Thank you both for the replies!


It sounds like we are at the same place as y'all. Really want to keep the budget around $65k since I'm planning on upgrading myRam 1500 to 3500 DRW also. I really like the Cyclones and Road Warriors, but reading posts in the Heartland Forum really concerns me. Although I'm trying to balance the fact that unhappy people post, happy people are enjoying their RV.

I do like the Fuzion 420 too, and right now it's probably my #1. One factor for me is the TV placement. The Fuzion seems to get it right, the TV is easy to view from the couch. My thought process may be a little convoluted here, but my thinking is if the TV is in the right place for comfortable viewing, than the manufacturer took time to understand their customer and planned the layout. It shows attention to detail that I think carries through to the rest of the RV.

Grand Design are still our favorite, but they don't have a side patio model. With younger boys 7 and 10, I think the side patio would allow us to keep an eye on them as we start to give them more freedom.


Mike
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Price

Ok, here's the $64,000 question. How realistic is it to think we can find a side patio TH out the door for $65k?

Fuzion 420
Road Warrior 420
Cyclone 420
Voltage 4150
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:01 PM   #7
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it will be close any if u hold out abit long they will need to get the 2015 off the books so a deal could be made....we got our raptor 395 for ard75 out the door ..but its load per wifes spec..lol the only thing i didnt get was the third ac..for the back when the furkids go with us .... in tx it gets very hot....another one u might look up is tesla by everygreen//very nice ....
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cane View Post
Thank you both for the replies!



I do like the Fuzion 420 too, and right now it's probably my #1. One factor for me is the TV placement. The Fuzion seems to get it right, the TV is easy to view from the couch. My thought process may be a little convoluted here, but my thinking is if the TV is in the right place for comfortable viewing, than the manufacturer took time to understand their customer and planned the layout. It shows attention to detail that I think carries through to the rest of the RV.


Mike
The TV location and kitchen island are some of the things the stand out on the Road warrior. the fact the tv is up high. While seated back in the recliners it will be just right. And having it not at belly button height means any time someone walks thru they dont block the tv. And having the stove on the island, instead of crammed in the corner against a wall is awesome. you can get a real pot on the stove without catching the wall on fire. And while tending the stove you can see the TV and be apart of the group while in the kitchen.

We got really hooked on the Tesla 385 i think it was. Took us a few days to look past the bling and see the layout really did not work for us.

for a complete look at what the family and I think about the RW420 here is a link.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:09 AM   #9
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Cane,

It depends on any extras you may need?

For me I found that there was too many negative customer complaints on the Road Warrior and Cyclone products. The Voltage is a nice product but Dutchman just started manufacturing Toy Haulers so they do have a few issues that I found. We could not find many negative complaints on the Fuzion and XLR products.

Yes you can purchase the Fuzion 420 or Cyclone 4200 for the $65K price.

There are three places where you can get that type of price: RV Warehouse, Jeff Couchs RV Nation and RV Outlet. After researching the three dealerships we ruled out RV Warehouse very fast, way too many negative Customer Services issues Stay away, the offer zero customer service after the sale. Couchs worked with me very well, Charles the sales rep was great but he could not deliver the model that I needed in time. Couchs also did not work with me when I countered them in price. RV Outlet in Ringgold, VA are great!! The sales team are awesome, the after sales have been very good. They gave us a very good price to start out with but then I was able to work out a better deal off the price : )

We walked out with a new Fuzion 420, washer and dryer, 20K 5th wheel towing package installed in my truck, Breaking system & 7 year additional warranty for $71K. Yes the Fuzion 420 was $61K without taxes. My wife and I are very happy : )
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:46 PM   #10
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We bought our first toy hauler about 2 1/2 years ago. It was a Fuzion 322 Touring Edition III. We loved it but I got to thinking about getting something a little bigger a few months ago. I wanted auto leveling, rear 1/2 bath in garage, fireplace, and a larger garage. The Fuzion 322TE was 35 feet long with a 10 foot garage.

So, I put the Fuzion up for sale and it sold within a couple of weeks and I had quite a bit of interest in it. Surprisingly, there's not much on the market as far as used units around here right now and if it's in great shape and priced reasonably they sell pretty quick.

So, now I'm in the market for another toy hauler. I prefer to buy used, about a year old, but it has to be in outstanding condition and stored inside. Right now there's nothing around here but I'm willing to wait until winter also. I'd buy new if at the right price on a 2015 leftover model. I'm looking at Fuzion, Raptor, Grand Designs Momentum, XLR, and Tesla. We want the hardwood floor look so Fuzion is towards the bottom of the list. Tesla is also at the bottom only due to the hideous (to us) lightening bolts and Tesla emblems everywhere. Right now Momentum is at the top but there are very few used units anywhere in the USA.

My suggestion is to really take your time and do not rush in to a decision. The rear half bath is really nice and a must have for our new toy hauler. Rear patio deck is another must have along with the 3 season rear door. These are low cost items and really add to the comfort and living/entertaining area of the toy hauler to us. We loved our rear patio deck but we didn't have the 3 season door so it limited our use a lot in the summer.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:34 PM   #11
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Thank you all again for the info and great advice. We aren't in a rush, since we started this around Nov/Dec last year. Although we wasted a lot of time looking at TT before moving up to 5ers, and finally THs. It looks like the first RV show in Atlanta is the end of Sep. I think we'll start looking to actually make the purchase starting at the end of Sep. Ofcourse, I need to pull the trigger on a truck first.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:43 PM   #12
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There are a lot to look at and you mentioned you're going to a show in Atlanta...that's a good idea. These forums aren't always the best though. Some on here will do their research, but most on here don't. Like someone else said, it's about what you want in a TH. You'll hear from the owners of the most popular over the last couple years Voltage (made by Dutchmen and owned by Keystone) and Cyclone (made by Heartland), but with being the most popular...they are also the most problematic. I looked for over a year and my opinion is Heartland (called Heartless by many of their owners) builds poor quality units (I'm being polite). Voltage has had many MEP issues...really just due to quality control...and there are many RV companies having the same QC issues because their units are popular and are selling. So they just keep cranking them out. I say this because my niece is married to a service manager for one of the country's largest dealers and he worked for the country's largest dealers before this company. The #1 RV (5th wheel, TH, Motorcoach, trailer) for spending the most time in the shop...Voltage! (my favorite TH) the 2nd most repaired RV...everything built by Heartland. I had my mind made up after 3 months and almost bought a Voltage 3970...love the floor plan...until I visited my relative's service department and saw the problems with the 2 Voltages they had at the time. A lot of glitz and glamour...but the quality was terrible. Plumbing, electrical, and cabinets falling apart. Voltage did correct their slide out problems by going away from Schwintek. So go to the RV show with an open mind and look past the outside looks. Look at the cabinets and doors...real wood or not? Look a the slide-outs (problem on any 5ver). Plumbing connections, conveniences (do you have plugs on the counters for say your coffee maker, etc. because some do not) Washer/Dryer connections? All will have them, but some like XLR and Elevation put them in the most useless areas of the garage...you will see. If you don't need a washer/dryer, then it's not an issue. But we stay out for 2-3 months at a time...so very important for us because I liked the XLR and Elevation, both decent toyhaulers but we didn't buy either. You can go "high-end" to the DRV Fullhouse, but then they are limited on floor plans. There are many to choose from, but you may want to go to the RV Factory and look at the Weekend Warrior. They will build what you want from $78k to $90k depending on what you want, and from what I've seen...a quality toyhauler.

Good luck in your search and do your homework!
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