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Old 04-10-2014, 11:48 PM   #1
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Question Serious Shopper Needs Feedback

We'll retire to Oregon in a couple of years. We love to hike, travel and sight-see. Not full time, but long trips, maybe up to a couple of months at a time. We'll have, maybe $100,000 for our initial RV setup.

I've decided that a smaller 5th wheel would be ideal for us. We could use the truck as our second vehicle and our run-about vehicle when RVing. We value quality and durability over luxury. We want the ability to fit in at least some National Park/Regional Park campgrounds. We're leaning heavily toward the:

Northwood/Fox Mountain 235RLS
Gross Dry Weight: 7,235 lb
Dry Pin Weight: 1,375 lb
Carrying Capacity: 4,265 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight: 11,500 lb
Total Length: 27' 10" including hitch

My instinct is to be over rather than under-trucked. I'm leaning toward:

Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab 4 X 4
short bed with an automatic sliding hitch,
single rear wheels,
Cummins diesel power plant.

This truck has a payload capacity of 4,110 lb with the usual caveats (150 lb driver, little fuel). I'm 245 lb, have a significant other and am thinking that I might want an auxiliary fuel tank mounted in the bed, behind the cab.

The same truck with SRW and the LONG bed increases the payload to 4,500 lb

I could use some feedback. We're going to spend a lot of money and I don't want to screw it up.

My worries with this setup:
1. Will going with the short bed preclude me from adding an extra fuel tank?
2. Am I going to regret not getting dual rear wheels? It's only a $1,200 option but it seems like it turns the rig into a "really big truck." It also lifts the payload way, way up. But, I'm already over-trucked I'm thinking.
3. If I decide on a bigger rig, now or later, e.g.: my second choice 5er is the Arctic Fox 27-5L with a dry pin wt. of 1,868, dry wt. of 9,650 and a GVWR of 13,400 I think this truck should still be fine with this truck. If we decide, in a few years to go bigger... Pin wt might become a problem?


I like the maneuverability of the short bed truck (44 ft turning radius vs 49.5 ft for the CC long bed).
I like the shorter total vehicle length for tighter campgrounds.
I like the smaller rig to drive around when it's being a run-about or our second vehicle at home.


Any helpful ideas? Am I overlooking something? Thanks for your time!
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORDavid View Post
We'll retire to Oregon in a couple of years. We love to hike, travel and sight-see. Not full time, but long trips, maybe up to a couple of months at a time. We'll have, maybe $100,000 for our initial RV setup.

I've decided that a smaller 5th wheel would be ideal for us. We could use the truck as our second vehicle and our run-about vehicle when RVing. We value quality and durability over luxury. We want the ability to fit in at least some National Park/Regional Park campgrounds. We're leaning heavily toward the:

Northwood/Fox Mountain 235RLS
Gross Dry Weight: 7,235 lb
Dry Pin Weight: 1,375 lb
Carrying Capacity: 4,265 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight: 11,500 lb
Total Length: 27' 10" including hitch

My instinct is to be over rather than under-trucked. I'm leaning toward:

Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab 4 X 4
short bed with an automatic sliding hitch,
single rear wheels,
Cummins diesel power plant.

This truck has a payload capacity of 4,110 lb with the usual caveats (150 lb driver, little fuel). I'm 245 lb, have a significant other and am thinking that I might want an auxiliary fuel tank mounted in the bed, behind the cab.

The same truck with SRW and the LONG bed increases the payload to 4,500 lb

I could use some feedback. We're going to spend a lot of money and I don't want to screw it up.

My worries with this setup:
1. Will going with the short bed preclude me from adding an extra fuel tank?
2. Am I going to regret not getting dual rear wheels? It's only a $1,200 option but it seems like it turns the rig into a "really big truck." It also lifts the payload way, way up. But, I'm already over-trucked I'm thinking.
3. If I decide on a bigger rig, now or later, e.g.: my second choice 5er is the Arctic Fox 27-5L with a dry pin wt. of 1,868, dry wt. of 9,650 and a GVWR of 13,400 I think this truck should still be fine with this truck. If we decide, in a few years to go bigger... Pin wt might become a problem?


I like the maneuverability of the short bed truck (44 ft turning radius vs 49.5 ft for the CC long bed).
I like the shorter total vehicle length for tighter campgrounds.
I like the smaller rig to drive around when it's being a run-about or our second vehicle at home.


Any helpful ideas? Am I overlooking something? Thanks for your time!
I don't currently have a fifth wheel but did. I had a short bed and liked it for the reasons you mention but yes and "in-bed" fuel tank can't be added. You'd need to simply ask the truck dealer if a factory second tank can be added. That would be the way to go to save bed space since its in the fender or under the truck. Additionally it would have a fuel door in the normal place.

I had a much smaller trailer so I can't really address the dualie question. I agree that I'd rather not have those. You might look to see if adding the dual wheels as after market would be possible....I suspect it might.

I've worked for and with Cummins and have a bias but the engine is a known good choice and the reputation of the truck and engine is that the are generally over built.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:51 AM   #3
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I also have migrated to a motor home from 5th wheel. Pulled 5th's for 15 years and if I was going to park in one spot and not travel around I would pick a 5er. Used short boxes all the time had a sliding hitch, never had to use it if I was careful. Never had dually's just seemed to big to use as a get around vehicle. Friends that had them loved them in the wind because they were more stable but hated them to go driving around in. But IMHO I would go for the larger trailer from the beginning {27 ft Arctic Fox] will just be that much more comfortable and less need to upgrade as soon[ and you will eventually go bigger ]. Extra fuel tank, well you can get numerous after market types to fit along the side walls of a short box or have one custom made. One of the reasons i went to a motor home 100 gallons of fuel way easier to drive an can pull a small pickup to get around in {chevy colorado]. We have a 36 ft MH get 12 mpg and can get into just about any campsite we want and leave in a flash if we have to.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:45 AM   #4
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I have a 37 foot 5er about 11500 lbs dry weight. I just upgraded my tow vehicle to a 2011 F350 SRW short box. I had a long box and didn't like it as much as the short box. I have a slider as well but have never had to use on my old short box. I would probably get a longer trailer.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
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Howdy and welcome to iRV2! Be sure to check out the 5th Wheel Owners section of the forum for lots of great info. 5th Wheel Discussion - iRV2 Forums
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