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Old 08-05-2016, 08:45 PM   #15
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And therein lies another reason I far prefer the 5th wheels over the motorhomes. You don't lose ANY interior room to running gear like engines, transmissions and steering wheels! 100% of the space is living space and it can be configured in a lot of ways you simply can't do with the motorhomes. I looked at the Grand Design 376 today and wow does it have some pantry space! No overhead lift up cabinets in that one

That coupled with the realitively low initial cost and upkeep of a 5th wheel compared to the class As (how's that loan payment on the new tires and insurance going for ya there buddy) and I'll do without the ego thing of driving into the campground with my nose up in the air in the big breadbox bless your heart.

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Old 08-05-2016, 09:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mtlakejim View Post
Has anyone ever conducted a survey of RV owners? Specifically a breakdown of age groups and the type of RV they own?

I am really curious as to how many RV owners fall into the 40+ age group with no kids living at home and a lot of toys (like motorcycles and jet skis) that they would like to take with them camping. Very specifically how many would like to carry more than one toy at a time.

Likewise I would be interested in knowing what the market would be for 5th wheels built in two story concept (IE: garage UNDER rear bedroom). Yes I know about Grand Design 376 with it's tiny garage under the rear bed floorplan---step in the right direction but only carries one toy......
Before you can even consider what your propose, you will have to accept the fact you are going to need at least a MDT, and probably a HDT to pull/handle that size/weight 5er safely.
Are you willing to accept that fact?
Now back to your proposal; have you considered the weight transfer factor when you load down the rear of such a 5er, and it's effect on pin weight?

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:07 PM   #17
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I'll have to plead ignorance to the abbrivations you used (IE:mtd and htd). I'll assume you are referring to the size of the tow vehicle. We just switched from a 3/4 to a 1 ton dually diesel. I am reasonably certain that the 1 ton we are buying will in fact handle the Grand Design 376 if we end up buying it...

Anyway, I get your point. It may take some design work for certain but you have to consider that they are already building toy haulers that have full size garages and are supposedly rated to carry far more weight than what I am suggesting. My suggestion is for only two toys instead of one in the 376. Our motorcycle and jet ski combined are under 1200lbs I think. Surely the 376 could handle that easily enough while still maintaining sufficient balance and pin weight?

Being a pilot, I do understand your point about weight distribution though! Having driven trucks with heavy equipment I also understand that you not only need enough motor to get you moving but also enough truck to get you stopped and control the load while in motion!!!!!!
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:43 PM   #18
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With a GVWR of 20,000#, I doubt a 1T pickup will make for a carefree towing experience. In my opinion that trailer should require a medium-duty truck at a minimum.
Truck classifications for LDT, MDT, HDT.
After viewing the floorplan, I see your dilemma. I suspect the floor in the bedroom could be raised to the same height as the bed platform, but means having to crawl into bed. That would widen the garage underneath, but eliminate the closet. Two or three steps could be constructed from hall-way up to bedroom.
That might be an idea for a modification to be discussed with Grand Design if buying a new one.

There are several toy haulers with the capability to carry your motorcycle and jet ski without a modification, but you must unload them to lower the bed for sleeping, or put an air mattress in the kitchen at night.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:53 AM   #19
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I submit that Chrysler is reporting over 31,000lb GCWR on a properly equipped Ram3500...that should tug a 20K 5er very well.

While the spectacle of a Medium Duty (C4500/F450 and 6500/650) or Heavy Duty Truck (Class 7 or the REAL overkill, Class 8) might seem attractive, the cost is prohibitive.

And...who wants to use that kind of monster as a daily driver or destination vehicle?
Why do you think RV Hauler is hanging Smart cars (sideways) on so many haulers...BTW, at over 106" bumper to bumper is actually a wide load

Toy Haulers are misunderstood by those that do not have them. The over-hitch section sleeping spaces in a 5er and any lofts are always useable - Toys loaded or not. And in particular, the 376TH master suite is over the toy box, and never impeded.

To the OP, whatever you get, hope you share all about it.

Safe travels

P.S. We put our Smart inside the toybox...fits great!
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:40 PM   #20
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I verified that we would be within tow weights on the 1 ton and the 376 and we are well within limits. Particularly considering we always travel with empty tanks.

I drove 6 hours the other day to actually look at a 376 on a dealers lot. It has everything we want in a rig although there were some finish issues that gave me pause:
1. The plastic fender cover over the top of the wheels looked "tacked on" as an afterthought. The fit was very poor.
2. The LED light strips on the front cap had visible sealant around the holes where the strips come out of the cap. It looked very unprofessional and unfinished. Simple clam shell covers would have made a big difference (nothing like exposed sealant to make things look cheap).
3. There was loose boards on the inside of some of the storage compartments. Just looked like they didn't take the time to secure the interior boards at the factory...
4. The cheap and thin vinyl graphics were already starting to peal in some areas!! Remember this was a brand new unit fresh from the factory!!! Full body paint would cure that issue and I understand they are now offering it. None the less, I would NOT expect this on a high end unit from ANY manufacturer!

Those four things were just what I saw on a quick walk around but they raised immediate concern for the quality of build for the rest of the unit (hey if they miss these in plain site what is hidden that you can't see?).

As for the dilemma with being able to haul a jet ski in the unit, I have come up with a great solution for the 376. Simply extend the garage into the rear pass thru storage compartment! PROBLEM SOLVED! Note: Grand Design you can send the check directly to me for increasing your sales three fold on this model!!!

Once the garage is extended an additional 3' or so, you will be able to easily carry a jet ski. It also opens things up to carry kayaks and canoes or even some smaller boats! Since the unit already has another pass thru storage in the front and most people I know don't use the hard to reach center section of pass thru storage anyway, I doubt many people will miss the rear pass thru. Besides breaking the storage into three sections (left/right and center garage) gives you the chance to design storage on either side for things like tables and chairs..... Besides the main reason people would be buying this unit is the GARAGE!
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:41 PM   #21
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I'm 6'2" and work in the oilfield. No smart?? cars here LOL.....

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