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Old 12-01-2006, 10:35 AM   #1
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We bought a used '88 Kountry Star 29' 5'er last year to try out RV camping and love it. Now we'd like to upgrade to something new or near new. I don't know a lot about RV's, but have a few wants. I'd prefer hardsides, bunks for my 2 small kids, and a slide for a larger living/dining area for the kids to play when the weather doesn't cooperate. We primarily camp on the Oregon coast, so the RV would have to be foul weather friendly. We camp mostly at some family property, so most of the time we'd have power and water hookups but no sewer dump. Large black water tank would be great because our rig tends to be the community toilet for the women at camp. I'd also prefer no carpet, but we could tear it out if need be and replace it with vinyl.
One thing I really like about our 5'er is lots of outside storage, and I tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink and lots of toys for the kids. I would really like a rig that would be easy to add a generator to, but not a must have. Also, I'd prefer a TT to free up some bedspace but a 5'er with the right floor plan would be ok. Also, quality and build construction is very important to me, as many of the roads we drive on in the NW are very rough and hard on RV's.

Thanks for any guidance.

-Jeremy

ps- tow rig is a 05 Chev Duramax
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:35 AM   #2
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We bought a used '88 Kountry Star 29' 5'er last year to try out RV camping and love it. Now we'd like to upgrade to something new or near new. I don't know a lot about RV's, but have a few wants. I'd prefer hardsides, bunks for my 2 small kids, and a slide for a larger living/dining area for the kids to play when the weather doesn't cooperate. We primarily camp on the Oregon coast, so the RV would have to be foul weather friendly. We camp mostly at some family property, so most of the time we'd have power and water hookups but no sewer dump. Large black water tank would be great because our rig tends to be the community toilet for the women at camp. I'd also prefer no carpet, but we could tear it out if need be and replace it with vinyl.
One thing I really like about our 5'er is lots of outside storage, and I tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink and lots of toys for the kids. I would really like a rig that would be easy to add a generator to, but not a must have. Also, I'd prefer a TT to free up some bedspace but a 5'er with the right floor plan would be ok. Also, quality and build construction is very important to me, as many of the roads we drive on in the NW are very rough and hard on RV's.

Thanks for any guidance.

-Jeremy

ps- tow rig is a 05 Chev Duramax
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
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maybe i'm prejudiced, but I really like the TT I bought earlier this year.

2007 Keystone cougar 304BHS. 30-31' living space, 35' overall length. It has a bunk bed slide with collapsable privacy door in the rear, and a second slide for the dining/living area in the middle of the trailer. The master bedroom is up front.

I also liked the forest river 31Z+. I actually ordered this one in special, but someone dropped the ball on my options so I bought my Keystone elsewhere. The two trailers have nearly identical floor plans.

I opted for this TT because I wanted a large trailer with bunks, but didn't want a 5er because I like taking ATV's with me and didn't want a toyhauler.

If I had gone 5er I would have gone with the Montana 34PHD model, once they get to the 30' range what's a few more feet?


Just my $0.02 worth
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:35 PM   #4
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Jeremy, glad to have you here. We have has pop ups, TT, class A, Class C and a 5er. For liveability and easy towing, the 5er is the way to go. No one can tell you what is best for you. You just need to get opinions, do a lot of shopping and comparisons.

Is your tow vehicle a 2500 or a 3500? If you have a 2500, you need to watch the pin weight as a 5er over about 32' will put your truck over on GVWR. I know you will see a lot of people pulling big 5ers with a 3/4 ton truck, but most have never weighed the rig or have an idea of the weights they are dealing with.

Weigh your truck with full fuel, cargo and passengers. If you are looking at a 5er add another 150# for the hitch. This is you LVW (laden vehicel weight). Get the GVWR from the door jamb sticker and the GCWR from the owners manual. Since you do not know the weight or pin weight of your new trailer, estimate the pin weight at 20% of the trailers GVWR.

GVWR - LVW = max loaded trailer pin weight.

GCWR - LVW = Max loaded trailer weight.

A TT will place about 12 to 15% of the trailer GVWR on the truck as opposed to 20 % for a 5er. So you can pull a larger TT than a 5er before you hits the trucks limits.

have fun shopping.

Ken
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:48 AM   #5
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My tow vehicle is a chevy 2500 hd.

Although a fifth wheel does tow a lot nicer I've found, I'm more leaning towards a TT because of the places I take my trailer. I've had many close calls with the trailer almost coming in contact with the bed of my truck because of the inclines I go up and down to get into a camp spot. Is there some FW's that have more clearance in the front to keep off the bed on inclines and side hills?

I realize everybody has an opinion about which brands are best, so maybe the shorter list would be which brands are consistanly lower quality and more problematic? From what I've seen, I really like arctic fox units. But, I don't really care for the couple of bunk floorplans they offer. I'm thinking I'd like to stay under 30' for storage in the winter and the places I take my trailer.

I guess I'm thinking bunks because it would be easier with my kids, but does anybody have any thoughts? Now we have to setup and breakdown the dinette everytime my son goes to sleep or takes a nap. Is there another way?

BTW my kids are 2-1/2 and 10 months, so they'll be little for a while.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:42 PM   #6
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I agree on the bunkhouse. I do not like having to sleep kids in the living area, cause putting the kids down for the night ends the inside day for everyone - it is not always nice weather for staying outside. I also bought TT to not give up the truck bed for dry storage/toys/tools.
Jayco makes several bunkhouse models from about 27 to 31 feet that were attractive to me. Normally there are only the two of us, but the grandkids are always welcome.
I would have liked a larger blackwater tank also, but only found approx 30 gallon tanks on most brands in this length units. Our 31'BHS model has linoleum floor, except carpet on the slide section.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:56 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by superduty:
maybe i'm prejudiced, but I really like the TT I bought earlier this year.

2007 Keystone cougar 304BHS. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe this is the exact model my BIL bought a week ago. He has 3 kids, and found this to be ideal.

With the installation of a W/D hitch, and brake controller, he paid about $21K, which I thought was an excellent deal!

Only seen the flyer so far. But we're planning a group trip.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:29 AM   #8
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Check out the Crossroads Cruiser CF32BL 5er ( http://crossroadsrv.com ). This floorplan has a separate bunkhouse slide, a large living area, and a bathroom separate from the upper bedroom. We love ours!
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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Both Cardinal and Cedar Creek have bunk house fivers. Be aware though they are really long and you would need to upgrade your truck.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:07 PM   #10
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:16 PM   #11
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Jeremy, Hope this isn't to late. New guy on the block. Suggest you take a year and visit every TT show you can. After awhile you will get a feel for the quality level of the TT when you walk into it. Do be afraid to talk to other owners when you're out camping either. Foremost, try and find out as much about the dealer you will be dealing with. I've got one here that I had to deal with twice and even if they offered to give me a TT for free I would refuse it. If you don't mind spending the money check out the RV Consumer Group @ http://www.rv.org/. It's the Consumer Reports for RVs. It provides you with various ratings on 1000s of RVs. Then once you've narrowed your choices, a factory tour can prove interesting. Last, but not least, it appears in the mid-west anyway that the 2 best times to look for a new TT is the early spring shows or even better at the end of the year. With end of year buying you loose the pick & choose option, but the discounts are unbelievable. After a little over a year of looking, my wife and I are the owners on 06 33' Excel 5er. Love the trailer, love the dealer.
Hope this helps.

Larry B
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:05 AM   #12
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We have a 2003 Layton 248-XL by Skyline. It is a BH model and I too have two kids 8 and 5. We love not having to break down dinnte spce or couches. We upgraded to this unit from an 18ft mallard and are thrilled with the it. I love being able to put the kids to bed and still having access to the inside without waking them up. Most of our time is under the awning during the season, but we do some early season camping in New England ie March-April and the temps drop to freezing and below at night, so it's nice to put the kids in and still be able to play cards or board games indoors. The storage under the front bed is also a welcomed addition for us.
Very happy with Skyline product
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:29 PM   #13
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Not sounding bias'd myself, but have a look at the fleetwood products.

Fairly entry level, and they have both TT and 5ers in Bunk house floor plans.

They have a 25 foot BH 5er that is 3/4 ton wieght, good storage. I think its 255BH. A buddy of mine is looking for one also. Ours is a little bigger.

We had the bunk models before where the kids were sleeping in the living area, seperated by a curtain. The new Bunk house allows us to close a door, they can watch movies, or have time outs away from the rest of us. It has a 40 gallon black and 2 40 gallon grey tanks. Room for a second battery in the compartment, Genny would be tricky to add, but storage in the trailer itself is great.

Good luck.
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