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-   -   Prospective first time 5er owner (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f44/prospective-first-time-5er-owner-462488.html)

lackskill 09-22-2019 11:29 AM

Prospective first time 5er owner
 
Hello all. My wife and I are exploring purchasing our first RV. I've been shopping 5ers in the 35ft range. That size range seems to keep GVW mostly below or around 14k, which should keep me below the payload capacity of my 14 Ram 3500 srw.

We have 2 young children and will mostly use it for visiting family 1500 miles from us. I've been lurking here and looking at many different units online for several months. We're looking for a bunkhouse model so as not to have to set up and break down beds in the living area every day.

I found a 13 Denali 324LBS that I want to look at about 4 hours away. Given how far away this unit is, I want to make sure I educate myself as much as possible before I drive up there. I know that Dutchman is a Thor company, which has a mixed reputation (is there an RV company that doesn't?). Is there anything specific to that vintage Denali I should be aware of beyond typical leaks, function of all appliances and equipment, including test of secondary energy sources, and frame issues?

Thanks in advance!

Ryan

momdoc 09-22-2019 11:09 PM

Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of folks with lots of info to share. Sorry that i cannot comment on that rig but I am sure someone here will be along to give you some ideas.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

Petro 09-23-2019 08:35 AM

Ryan;

:welcome:

We are glad you joined us. I also can't answer your question but I wanted to welcome you to iRV2. Thee is a wealth of RV info available to you here. Browse the forums that interest you and don't be afraid to ask questions as our members like to help when they can.

Good luck with your search for the right rig for your family. Let us know what you purchase and share your new RV adventures with us. Enjoy the forums.

Don

Nudge 09-23-2019 09:02 AM

Hiya lackskills :flowers::(I love the Nic Name)
Im still about two years out before I hit the road Rving. Theres so much info here to learn. With children Safety would be top on my list. Couple of suggestions ... if it were me Id pay the extra bucks to have a non biased professional to inspect the rig. First thing Id look at would be the undercarriage. I have a little mirror on a telescoping wand. Rust would be a deal breaker for me. I hope you find the best Rig for your needs and wants. How exciting!

MSHappyCampers 09-23-2019 10:41 AM

Hi Ryan! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang! :dance:

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

lackskill 09-23-2019 07:16 PM

Thanks all! Happy to be here. It seems like there's a plethora of knowledge to be found. :)

PulNSerenity 09-24-2019 06:19 AM

As you have probably already read on here, just about every RV can have issues. Quality Control doesn't sound like it is taken very serious with any of the brands. Speaking of brands, I think there is actually only 3 or 4 out there. Those 3 or 4 own all of the other break off company's. When I was looking for mine the biggest difference I could tell between each one I looked at, was how well it was taken care of, by the previous owner. And yes, it is VERY difficult to inspect an RV when you are hours away from it. We went to look at a 5er that was 2 hours away. Thing looked great in the pictures, the price was great, the description was great! Drove the 2 hours to see it & within 2 minutes I knew I didn't want it. The great pictures & description didn't show or say anything about a damaged slide that leaked. It stunk & had major water damage! We finally found one that was much bigger than we wanted, but it obviously had been well taken care of & the price was more than fair. Just find a floor plan that works well with your family & look over any you are interested in, with a fine tooth comb. Look over the underbelly for damage, look the roof over really well, ask the previous owner things like, when was the last time the wheel bearings & brakes been inspected? Keep doing as you have been... soaking up as much knowledge on here as possible. A lot of seasoned RV'rs on here that have been there & done that. Since there is not much more of a season left, this is a great time to be looking for one too. I have noticed prices dropping drastically over the last few weeks.

tuffr2 09-24-2019 07:47 AM

I would need to look at a lot of 5th wheels in person so I would know what features I like. From what I looked at I know I want the Solid Steps. I do not think a 2013 Denali would have that feature.

Are there any RV dealers close so you can at least touch and feel the material? You need to sit in the chairs and on the couch as a lot of RV furniture is not comfortable.

If not, and you are focused on the Denali it is the best 5th that Dutchman makes so it should be compared to the top 5th wheel from the other manufacturers like Jayco Pinnacle, Heartland Landmark, Forest River Cardinal etc.

There are a lot of advancements since 2013. The new Flagstaff and Rockwood 5th wheeks have solid steps, LED lighting, USB charging ports, and are constructed pretty well. Not perfect but not bad either.

lackskill 09-24-2019 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PulNSerenity (Post 4969636)
As you have probably already read on here, just about every RV can have issues. Quality Control doesn't sound like it is taken very serious with any of the brands. Speaking of brands, I think there is actually only 3 or 4 out there. Those 3 or 4 own all of the other break off company's. When I was looking for mine the biggest difference I could tell between each one I looked at, was how well it was taken care of, by the previous owner. And yes, it is VERY difficult to inspect an RV when you are hours away from it. We went to look at a 5er that was 2 hours away. Thing looked great in the pictures, the price was great, the description was great! Drove the 2 hours to see it & within 2 minutes I knew I didn't want it. The great pictures & description didn't show or say anything about a damaged slide that leaked. It stunk & had major water damage! We finally found one that was much bigger than we wanted, but it obviously had been well taken care of & the price was more than fair. Just find a floor plan that works well with your family & look over any you are interested in, with a fine tooth comb. Look over the underbelly for damage, look the roof over really well, ask the previous owner things like, when was the last time the wheel bearings & brakes been inspected? Keep doing as you have been... soaking up as much knowledge on here as possible. A lot of seasoned RV'rs on here that have been there & done that. Since there is not much more of a season left, this is a great time to be looking for one too. I have noticed prices dropping drastically over the last few weeks.

I can relate already. This weekend we went to look at a keystone cougar that seemed nice, but when we got there I noticed that it had been converted to a gooseneck and then he started talking about how a rodent had chewed up the fold out bed. When I looked underneath, I found 2 obvious rodent intrusion locations where there was zero attempt to fix. One of the locations was right next to a soft spot in the body that I may not have otherwise found.

lackskill 09-24-2019 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tuffr2 (Post 4969715)
I would need to look at a lot of 5th wheels in person so I would know what features I like. From what I looked at I know I want the Solid Steps. I do not think a 2013 Denali would have that feature.

Are there any RV dealers close so you can at least touch and feel the material? You need to sit in the chairs and on the couch as a lot of RV furniture is not comfortable.

If not, and you are focused on the Denali it is the best 5th that Dutchman makes so it should be compared to the top 5th wheel from the other manufacturers like Jayco Pinnacle, Heartland Landmark, Forest River Cardinal etc.

There are a lot of advancements since 2013. The new Flagstaff and Rockwood 5th wheeks have solid steps, LED lighting, USB charging ports, and are constructed pretty well. Not perfect but not bad either.

I'm not stuck on the Denali and actually the seller of the particular unit I want to look at isn't being responsive. I've been looking at Montanas, Cougars, Open Ranges, Reflections (none in my price range so far), and other approximately 10 year old flagships.

My buddy has a unit with solid steps. They're nice, but not likely to be an available option on what we're looking for.

I mostly want a solidly built unit with a floor plan that doesn't endlessly irritate me (i.e. putting the entertainment center where it can't be seen from primary seating surfaces, which is frustratingly common). The particular Denali I'm interested in has the most ideal floor plan for us that I've seen so far. Beyond the floor plan, I'm pretty handy and can upgrade the things I don't like over time.

grindstone01 09-24-2019 09:35 AM

I'm just curious as to why you didn't investigate bumper pulls? There are lots of TT floor plans with bunks. As former weekend campers, we liked the lower profile of a TT. As full timers, the fifth wheel is a more home like option for us now.

lackskill 09-24-2019 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grindstone01 (Post 4969863)
I'm just curious as to why you didn't investigate bumper pulls? There are lots of TT floor plans with bunks. As former weekend campers, we liked the lower profile of a TT. As full timers, the fifth wheel is a more home like option for us now.

I prefer pulling a 5th wheel for cross country driving.

I have a fair amount of experience towing various types of trailers and I was by far the most comfortable with the 35' enclosed gooseneck I used to pull for our business.

mobilemike 09-24-2019 11:00 AM

Whatever you plan on buying you should plan on looking at in person a minimum of two times. You will be shocked at what you missed the first time.

Go there with the idea that you are not buying and that you are a paid consultant for the potential buyer. That might help you remove the emotional aspect of buying. Also you are the consultant. The buyer is your wife and kids and it is your job to make sure they are not ripped off.
Take pictures and notes. There will be long discussions on the drive home and it will be helpful to have those.
Look at it at length with your family and especially alone This will help you concentrate on your line of thought and not be distracted by others. Have the seller give you the basics and then ask to be left alone. Ask the seller to return and then ask them more questions. Dont just listen for the answers listen for how they answer.

Pyropete 09-24-2019 11:19 AM

I would LOVE to go used first, but I was most likely going to end up going new on my first purchase because you all have scared the hell out of me when it comes to buying used lol.. I would have probably ended up buying new because I am a stickler when it comes to taking care of things, so I am sure I would travel to look at a bunch of 5th wheels and then buy none because none of them would meet my standards of upkeep lol.. :dance:


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