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Old 01-30-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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Camp 10-15 a year at mostly state parks. Average drive 200 miles round trip. Budget is $35,000. Want bang for the buck and rich looking interior. Other than easier towing, is the consensus fifth-wheels are the ultimate non- motorized upgrade?
Hi - we started out with a TT, and this year went to a MH for a lot of reasons, so I can't speak to towing or using a 5er. The thought that came to mind, though, is your consideration of tow vehicle. Do you already have a truck? Do you know its towing capacity? I made a very newbie mistake and bought more trailer than I could reasonably tow, even though by the numbers loaded and weighed, we were within rated limits. More truck than you need is rarely a bad thing.

Happy camping!
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:48 PM   #16
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Hi - we started out with a TT, and this year went to a MH for a lot of reasons, so I can't speak to towing or using a 5er. The thought that came to mind, though, is your consideration of tow vehicle. Do you already have a truck? Do you know its towing capacity? I made a very newbie mistake and bought more trailer than I could reasonably tow, even though by the numbers loaded and weighed, we were within rated limits. More truck than you need is rarely a bad thing. Happy camping!
Thx! I'm buying a truck to fit whatever trailer I decide on. Something like a Ford F250.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:19 PM   #17
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It's a matter of persona preferences and circumstances. The first factor is to consider what tow vehicle you have or plan to purchase. Than, based upon the tow vehicle, determine the maximum weight you want to tow for either a 5th wheel or trailer. Then, you find which units meet your needs including floorplan, quality, etc. and make your choice.

Our first larger RV was a 29 Sunline TT that we bought because the price was right, the quality was above average and we really liked the kitchen design. We considered a few fifth wheel trailers in the same price category, but didn't care for the cramped bedrooms. And, we kept that trailer for over 10 years. We just downsized to a Winnebago Minnie 2201DS trailer....smaller, lighter, great storage and appears to be pretty well built. And, it was more cost effective than going with a fifth wheel. We use our unit for a lot of shorter trips, and a few longer trips...hope to take a 3 week trip later this year.

But, if I were using a camper for a winter residence, than I would want a nice 5th wheel along with a 3/4 or 1 ton truck!

Bottom line...look carefully, and buy what YOU WANT! If you find out that it doesn't meet your needs, you can always trade it in and learn from your mistakes.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:43 PM   #18
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Thx! I'm buying a truck to fit whatever trailer I decide on. Something like a Ford F250.
I'd select the trailer 1st, then buy the truck to suit . You could fall in love with a 5er that the 250 can't tow due to weight or pin height.

I'm partial to travel trailers because I like having a camper shell and there's no hitch in the bed when I'm hauling wood or other stuff in the summer. You can also get away with a smaller /cheaper truck. The short bed is an advantage when street parking in a big city.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #19
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I like the 5th wheel better than a truck with a shell for the simple reason that I don't like having to crawl inside to get stuff out in the truck. After returning from a trip you have to empty out the truck if you want to use the bed, plus take off the shell. With a 5'er all you have to do is remove the 5th hitch. 99% of the stuff we take camping goes in the 5'er as most 5'er basements are way bigger than the small TT front storage.
When we used to have our TT and truck with shell, I always had to unload all the stuff we thru inside. Now when we come home It's pretty much just drop the 5'er and I may have a couple items in the truck, like golf clubs or such.
There's a reason that you see more people full timing in MH's and 5th wheels. Lots more room and more convenience.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #20
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I'd select the trailer 1st, then buy the truck to suit . You could fall in love with a 5er that the 250 can't tow due to weight or pin height.

I'm partial to travel trailers because I like having a camper shell and there's no hitch in the bed when I'm hauling wood or other stuff in the summer. You can also get away with a smaller /cheaper truck. The short bed is an advantage when street parking in a big city.
I agree - pick trailer first to know you have the right size truck. If you find a truck that you have to have, say an F250, know that it will probably pull a bigger TT than 5th wheel.

I got a super deal on a 26' toy hauler that I couldn't pass on. It was too much for the truck I had at the time (a 1500). I towed it home empty, and towed it camping about 8 times and never could take everything I would have liked and had to limit my trips to stay in Florida (no hills) and certain roads. I was never really relaxed towing with the original truck. I traded to a 2500 and diesel - which is rated to tow beyond the trailers max GVWR and I am nowhere near that. Towing with the new truck is so much more relaxed.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:02 AM   #21
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TYVM everyone for your kind and generous input. It really helped!
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #22
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I'd select the trailer 1st, then buy the truck to suit . You could fall in love with a 5er that the 250 can't tow due to weight or pin height.

I'm partial to travel trailers because I like having a camper shell and there's no hitch in the bed when I'm hauling wood or other stuff in the summer. You can also get away with a smaller /cheaper truck. The short bed is an advantage when street parking in a big city.
The rails in the bed thing is no longer an issue. There are a couple options where the entire apparatus above the bed can be removed in a couple minutes. My choice was the B&W OEM Companion. It fits Ford's factory 5th wheel prep and I can honestly remove or install it in a couple minutes. Remove two pins, pull the head. Remove two snap pins, rotate the pucks 90 degrees and it's done. Clean bed, no obstructions. The added bonus is, it also functions as a gooseneck hitch receiver.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:12 PM   #23
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Thx! I'm buying a truck to fit whatever trailer I decide on. Something like a Ford F250.

I'd not even consider a 250 now days ...
at any rate, order the max gvwr you can on whatever you get as they've made them pretty 'cushy' !!!

While my 350 platinum is VERY cushy it's gvwr can go up almost 2 tons more for basically the same truck !
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #24
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I went through this same dilemma because we also have enough tow vehicle for a 5th wheel or TT, and our budget was right around the OP's ($35K). We ultimately decided to go with a TT, which we just put a deposit on a few days ago (new 2014 Open Range TT316RLS). We pick it up next week.

The 5ers have a lot of advantages, but we ultimately decided on a TT because we've never owned an RV before, so we wanted to minimize our spend in case we decided RV'ing isn't for us. We also want to bring along some toys that will go on the roof of our truck, like kayaks, and a 5er makes that more challenging.

Plus, I regularly tow an enclosed car trailer (conventional, not a goose neck), so hooking up / backing and towing a conventional trailer/TT is what I'm used to.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:31 PM   #25
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Went with Starcraft Travel Star 294RESA Black Pearl Edition travel trailer. Amazing interior and loaded with extras. Decided I didn't want to deal with squeezing a big 5th wheel into tight spots with low branches to contend with since we mostly camp in state parks in heavily wooded areas. Thanks for all the great tips and encouragement.
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