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Old 01-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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Looking for input on the best 5th wheeler to address my requirements

Hi, as you know the myriad of options in trailers is dizzzying....

We decided we would like to get a 5th wheel to support the following lifestyle requirements....

-Second home, summering in Montana (We live in Texas)
-Act as a hotel when I take long term away from home work assignments
-Feels like home (not a travel trailer) as much as possible (AA quality)

-What to do about having an extra vehicle after getting there....
We started by looking at Toy Haulers thinking we would put a Mini Cooper, or Smart Car to take along in the back section. However the Toy Haulers are not as "livable" in the living areas as we would like... Unless someone knows of one that addresses this effectively....

What are the weight limitations of a Toy Hauler with regards to the "garage" area?

We have a new F350 Dually, so we have the tow rig, now we just need help in thinking through the trailer....

Also, what are length adn overall weight considerations we should know about?

Any input, thoughts, guidance would be appreciated! Thank you in advance ...
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:23 PM   #2
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It really depends on what you want. What I would consider perfect for me might not be for you.
Some of the best new brands now are Mobile Suites, Carraige. IF you are not interested in that much money, look at brands like Cedar Creek, Cardinal, Carriage. Used I would look for an Alpenlite. While now an orphan it is still probably one of the finest fifth wheels ever produced.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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You might also consider a used, well maintained top line 5th wheel. If you find the right rig, the first owner has already taken the depreciation hit and worked through the new unit "bugs". Probably the most bang for the buck, IMHO. (I should listen to myself - we bought our Mobile Suites new in 2004, and it's better today than it was back then. )

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Old 01-23-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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"Weight considerations" is perhaps the most single important topic you can address. You have a tow vehicle, so now you must stay within its limits if you want to have a relaxing, comfortable time towing a trailer. this website: Tow Vehicle/Trailer Calculations Demonstrator
will accurately guide you through the trailer selection process, and safely matching it to your trucks weight and load limits. I have read of one toy hauler that has the ratings to haul the small version of a Smart car. As to living space, when the Smart car is unloaded that space becomes whatever you wish. You may even buy a screen-room that fits onto the ramp when leveled, creating even more space.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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You have a TV that will haul most any decent size and brand 5er available and probably up to close to 40 feet. Just keep it within the limits listed on the door post. As far as a good 5th wheel - I, as noted by others, would look at good used trailers. All of the appliances and major components are standard off the shelf, regardless of whether it's still in current production or an "orphan". Then you have to choose what's comfortable for your needs.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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Many Peterson Excel 5ers come with class 3 receiver hitches as standard equipment. There may be other manufacturers as well whose coaches are strong enough for hitches. If you don't mind double towing, your F-350 (with the right year-model, axle and engine) could pull a small car behind the coach. Then you could have a more 'livable' coach than a toy hauler.

Overall weight will be your limiting factor. You will likely need a shorter trailer, both for weight considerations and to stay under the 70-foot-total-length limit of many states.

Beware lightweight coaches. Most achieve their weight reductions by taking material out of the frame, making them unsuitable for double towing. Excels are heavy for their length, but their frames are stout. Tour the factory to see what I mean.

If you decide to double tow, consider a rear camera to keep an eye on the toad.

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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One thing to consider on double towing is that Lippert will not honor the warranty for double towing. From what I understand a lot of the 5er manufacturers use Lippert frames. You might check out Heartland RV, they have a lot of coaches that might fit your needs. Heartland RVs
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tickranch View Post
One thing to consider on double towing is that Lippert will not honor the warranty for double towing. From what I understand a lot of the 5er manufacturers use Lippert frames. You might check out Heartland RV, they have a lot of coaches that might fit your needs. Heartland RVs
Peterson Excel makes their own frames from scratch.
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