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Old 07-02-2012, 05:01 PM   #1
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New TH for family full time

Hello and thanks for reading about what we are going to do.
I am a family of 4 with 2 little ones and like to hear back from others about living full time in a NEW fifth wheel TH. We have found ourselves to think this is the best way to go since we plan on moving out of state in 3 to 5 years and don't want to buy or rent again in Florida. We have 2 little girls (2 & 3) and think a 40 ft TH would work great and the way to go. We get to where we are going unload the garage and we have a big bedroom (14 ft ) for the girls. At this time we are home schooling the girls and it is paying off even at such a young age. The wife and I both did the full time RV ing before and love it. And I also know our kids will love it. But here is what I am asking.
I want the biggest 5er Toy hauler (3 slides) but see so many great one out there now and don't know which way to go. At first I wanted to build my own like the Tiny Houses but in a 5er. But now I find myself having to speed things up so I now have 2 to 3 months to get this going. I never cared for the TH when they came out but as my lifestyle change so did EVERYTHING else. I am not going to worry about what my truck can pull cause I will buy another truck after I get a 5er TH.
I think I gave all info on what one would need to see where we are coming from so now I ask for your wisdom.
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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Shawn KK
We have just returned from the good sam rally in Louisville and Redword Rv may have the best TH or utility RV on the market now. Not cheap but a really quality unit for the money. www.redwoodrv.com
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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They have a nice 5er but the only thing I see in a garage is the smallest so far. I was looking for 12 to 14 ft garage. The Red Wood web site could use a little work but as far as a TH goes, no.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
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You didn't mention what your budget is or for how long you plan on FTing. All that aside, I recommend Excel Wild Cargo. We have a 2012 41gke and love it. It measures 45 ft long with a 10.5 ft garage. It seems the garage may be a little on the small side for you though, but since we didn't order it with the loft and only with the 2 bunks on rails, it is very spacious. We are FTers....me, wife, 7 mo old daughter, and two JRTs. We looked for over a year at all TH and seriously considered a Cyclone and Voltage. We did our due diligence and after considering construction and quality we moved on. When we first started looking at the Wild Cargo, Excel's website wasn't up to date so we really didn't like the interiors. But after doing some digging and meeting some Excel owners, we realized how much we liked them. Long story short, after watching the construction videos and comparing to competitors, there was no question in our mind. Here is the link for the videos: http://www.excelrvs.com/resources/videos.

Big things to note, Excel makes their own box frame in which they adjust the camber for each specific unit for that specific floor plan. In addition, no other manufacturer we looked at would make any mods to existing floor plans. I take that back, New Horizons does, but they could not meet our budget. We essentially combined three floor plans to make ours. If you look at the 41gke on Excel's website, we made significant changes. For example, we got rid of the counter space on the front wall of kitchen and added a full floor to ceiling pantry and combined the coat closet to make the pantry even bigger. We eliminated the dinette and recliners and had a 12ft booth built in which there is storage under each section of booth. I already mentioned we didn't get a loft. We had the garage floor insulated. We also had a closet built and had plumbing run to the garage so we could install our own porcelain farm sink. We determined where we wanted the outlets too. We had the Whirlpool w/d moved into the bathroom. Those are just a few things. I will post a link to some pics of our unit. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Btw, we decided to go with a high end unit bc we plan of FT for 8 more years.

Good luck with your decision...it a grueling process to weed out all the fluff and crap from dealers and manufacturers bc everyone claims their unit is the best built! Once you get into the facts and numbers, which don't lie, you will see what manufacturer is right for your family.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
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Here is the link to some pics. We ordered the unit with no furniture bc we put in our own. And since the pics were taken, we added a closet to the garage, tile backsplash, replaced all faucets with new ones from Lowes, and a few other things.

New Wild Cargo 41GKE
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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I've lived a 32' for 9-months, just 2 of us. Probably wouldn't do it again.

It may sound like the way to go. IF you're considering it as an economic alternative, factor in the depreciation of that 5th wheel (probably 50% or more, living in it full time, with kids) and the cost of an RV site. I think that you're looking at rent as the more plausible and perhaps more economical alternative... Just another point of view.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply, I didn't get into what I am willing to spend cause I am still looking at what is out there. Sat we went to CW and saw the Voltage V3905 and the V3900. The V3905 had a list of 134,000.00 LOL but it was my lucky day, it was on sale. Down to 73,000.00. I came home and looked up the same model and found it for 63 grand on the net. So I am sure 50 grand would be a about right. Both has the 14 ft garage and I love that. Over all, so far we really did like it but I know there is about 6 other brands I have to ck out. I wouldn't want to go with a 10 ft garage myself but maybe a 12 ft if I really liked the rest of the rig.
I really like your rig. Wished I could get that in a 14 ft garage. Let me ask, do you think you got a better deal by ordering it or could you get a better deal from a lot model? I would think a lot model but I have little to no clue.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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I done the full time 5er before about 5 years and loved every min of it. 2 kids and myself in a 30 ft 5er.
The reason I want to do it again is because I rather spend the money on lot rent and a new 5er than waste it on rent. At least I will have something in time vers rent money down the drain. But the biggest thing I loved about full timing was the care free living. Funny but I felt so good about everything when I was living in my RV. It was like a new drug. Hate having to pack and un pack and in a RV you just hook and unhook. I did the math and for what I pay for rent now I can spend the same on a nice rig and lot rent. The only thing I would have to do later is get a bigger truck in time. We plan on moving to Tenn in 3 to 5 years so we can take our rig with us and live while I build our home. So all together I think we will be in it 8 years min. Who knows, maybe I will just keep the rig and build a small cabin in the woods.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ShawnKK
TEAMTJ
Thanks for the reply, I didn't get into what I am willing to spend cause I am still looking at what is out there. Sat we went to CW and saw the Voltage V3905 and the V3900. The V3905 had a list of 134,000.00 LOL but it was my lucky day, it was on sale. Down to 73,000.00. I came home and looked up the same model and found it for 63 grand on the net. So I am sure 50 grand would be a about right. Both has the 14 ft garage and I love that. Over all, so far we really did like it but I know there is about 6 other brands I have to ck out. I wouldn't want to go with a 10 ft garage myself but maybe a 12 ft if I really liked the rest of the rig.
I really like your rig. Wished I could get that in a 14 ft garage. Let me ask, do you think you got a better deal by ordering it or could you get a better deal from a lot model? I would think a lot model but I have little to no clue.
It's hard to make a blanket statement that one way over the other would be a better buy. For us, that was not an option since we wanted so much customization. But when we were originally looking at Cyclone and Voltage, I went straight to the dealers that sold large quantities such as Holman RV (http://www.holmanrv.com/) and RV Wholesalers (http://www.rvwholesalers.com/). After getting their price of ordering or if they had a unit in stock, I compared with my local dealer. I actually had the local dealer match Holman's price.

Btw, 134k for a Voltage is ridiculous...comical even! 73k is still high. But now that you mention $, we found we could get a '12 Cyclone 3800 hd for somewhere around 60k and the Voltage for a little more. Our reasoning was why not spend just a tad more and get a significantly better built unit. Best decision we made! I'm not trying to talk you into an Excel per say, but just really consider construction as a primary criteria bc this will determine longevity of the unit. Everything else will fall in place.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TEAMTJ View Post
It's hard to make a blanket statement that one way over the other would be a better buy. For us, that was not an option since we wanted so much customization. But when we were originally looking at Cyclone and Voltage, I went straight to the dealers that sold large quantities such as Holman RV (HolmanRV.com | Fifth Wheel : Used Toy Haulers : Toy Hauler Campers : Ultralight Travel Trailers : Lightweight Travel Trailers) and RV Wholesalers (The Original RV Wholesalers - RV Sales, RV Parts, RV Dealer, RV Super Store Dealer, 5th Wheel, Forest River). After getting their price of ordering or if they had a unit in stock, I compared with my local dealer. I actually had the local dealer match Holman's price.

Btw, 134k for a Voltage is ridiculous...comical even! 73k is still high. But now that you mention $, we found we could get a '12 Cyclone 3800 hd for somewhere around 60k and the Voltage for a little more. Our reasoning was why not spend just a tad more and get a significantly better built unit. Best decision we made! I'm not trying to talk you into an Excel per say, but just really consider construction as a primary criteria bc this will determine longevity of the unit. Everything else will fall in place.
I said the same thing about the prices from CW. And to make matters worse the salesman didnt know anything about the model. I really dont think he knew anything about any RV's.
If you dont mind and it seems like we are on the same path, can I ask what were the brands and models you were researching with a 14 ft garage? I just looked up the Cyclone and really like that one too but falling short on the garage area. Maybe I should go with the 12 ft but first I have to cross off the ones with the 14 ft garage. Any other brand you would buy besides the Excel?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ShawnKK

I said the same thing about the prices from CW. And to make matters worse the salesman didnt know anything about the model. I really dont think he knew anything about any RV's.
If you dont mind and it seems like we are on the same path, can I ask what were the brands and models you were researching with a 14 ft garage? I just looked up the Cyclone and really like that one too but falling short on the garage area. Maybe I should go with the 12 ft but first I have to cross off the ones with the 14 ft garage. Any other brand you would buy besides the Excel?
I am a pretty thorough, and some would say, anal person. I research extensively before any major purchase. So I usually found I knew more about any given manufacturer or unit than the salesman I was dealing with. But of course, more often than not, the bar wasn't set too high. But to give credit where credit is due, often these sales folks are selling lots of diff brands and floor plans so I would guess it would be hard to know a lot about any one model.

I wasn't set on a 14 ft garage when I started my search. I was looking more along the lines of a 12 footer. I started looking at Cyclone and Voltage, then moved on to Newmar X-Aire, then briefly at DRV who just started making a TH, I even considered a couple of less heard of manufacturers that do mostly custom work. Eventually I narrowed it down to New Horizons and Excel. I called both companies and said what I was looking for and my budget. NH said they couldn't do it but Bryan, the President of Excel said he could. In the end I am extremely happy that NH said no and Excel said yes. I was a little concerned that a 10.5 ft garage would be too small, but I was pleasantly surprised at how big it really is, especially without the overhead loft.

Another thing to consider is service. This is where, in my opinion Excel stands above anyone else. They are known for their service after the sale and not just forgetting about you bc they got your money. I could give you a few examples but this post is already getting long enough.

If you want to PM with a phone number, I would be glad to give you a call and answer any questions you have.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:32 AM   #12
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Shawn,
Tim has covered most of the very good points of the Excel Toyhaulers. If you have an interest in one your best bet would be to give Peterson Industries a call. They are very accommodating and may even give you a larger garage if you ask. We didn't find what we were looking for and after many conversations with Bryan, he gave us exactly what we wanted and decided to introduce the W41GKE model after my DW and I requested the floor plan.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:43 AM   #13
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Funny thing is, I was checking out your FL last night. What a nice TRUCK and a half! I had to look up the price of those babies and ouch. You have a very nice setup. I use to full time about 6 years ago and just now researching getting back into it. Last time I went to my credit union and WAS planning to do the same again until I read on this site about Essex (Bank of the West). I called them yesterday and they are giving the better deal. So I am learning a lot from this site. I am finding myself being drawn towards the Voltage V3905 or the V3900. We just had a bad time with CW and the salesman. And it was 100 outside in the sun with no power to the units on the lot. All made for a bad day.Today I am looking at the Jayco SEISMIC. I wished I went to the Tampa RV Show this year but wasn't planning to go this route until last week. I have a couple more months of researching until I buy. Thanks for the info. I will give them a call this week and let them know what I am looking for in a RV and see what they say. Thanks again!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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I am first time buyer and like the Dutchmen Enduramax 3912 toy hauler. Anybody have one...if so are they dependable? I am also having trouble finding a dealer that has one. I see a lot of their "sport" models but not the 3912END models....when I do find them they ae always sold. Enduramax Overview | Gulf Stream RV
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