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Old 04-23-2018, 05:00 PM   #1
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I went fifth wheel shopping today

I grabbed my friend and went looking today for fifth wheels since my husband has been pretty busy. I saw some light weights that looked nice but I was under the impression that a light weight fifth wheel is not good for full timing. We plan on following the sun but...we might change our minds. Are light weights less durable and do they get colder in cold climates?

We are new to the RV life and of course, it's a bit scary to get the first fifth wheel when you haven't done any more than walk around in one at a dealer and read about them from possibly biased posts. We want a good quality build that will last a while We were thinking used but might end up with a 2018 if it fits the bill.

I liked parts of all of them but not sure I liked all of one of them. One of them, which I can't name because they all blur together now, I really liked until I got into the bedroom. One side of the bed was raised so that you had to bend down to get in a little closet. The other side was okay because the closet was on the lower area but it was also small. It had only two drawers and that seemed too little to me. I do not have a lot of clothes but....

We were trying to keep it in the 30- 32 foot range (which ends up to be 34 feet somehow).

My husband will go back with me but wants to wait until after we pick up our truck in SD on May 8th and drive it back. Hopefully we can find what we both want by July 2nd when we have our first reservation set up.

How long did it take all of you to find your first fifth wheel? Just curious. Thanks.

I'm sorry i've been hogging the forum with all my blatherings lately but...I've got a lot to learn here. Have a nice day...or evening :-)
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:21 PM   #2
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I own a Forest River Cherokee 265B which is a bunk house and we love it, has a ton of storage, however we do not full time in it, we are weekend warriors. LOL Ours is Lightweight when it comes to 5ers and we just purchased it in November 2017, first fiver just not our first RV. We like it but its not a Glamper its a Camper, which is what we wanted. We purchased it new during the Black Friday sale and it was priced right, it is 30' with one slide, not saying its what you are looking for but the quality on a light unit seemed pretty good for the price. Here are the specs on it. https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2017-...n-265b-tr34736
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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We bought our first , a 2017, after looking about a month. Originally looked at bumper pulls but decided on a 5er thankfully. We recently ordered our second after shopping 2&1/2-3 months. Had a much better idea but you are pretty much spot on. Unfortunately it is a matter of compromise. I was stuck on under 35' and under $100k MSRP so some options we would have liked just are not available. You want a bed slide. Gives you better access and a flat floor.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:51 PM   #4
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Full time really wears on cheaper made units. Not trying to discourage you but this is fact.-Real wood wears well. Also is heavy and more money. Depending on your traveling you should consider dual pane windows. We are full time and we got an older Teton. Very well built and heavy. See my tow truck. I would look at an older Excel. Older since they went out of business. Lots in your size you are seeking and great well made units.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:14 PM   #5
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The heavier the better. Our Alfa is at 16200lbs GVWR ...and its only a 30' model .

I wouldn't trust an ultralight.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:15 PM   #6
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I agree. They tend to be light in most cases because frames are not as thick and lighter cheaper materials are used throughout. I have an ultra-lite travel trailer and while it has held up fairly well over 30,000 miles, including a trip from Florida to Alaska and back, I broke a spring hanger up in Alaska—actually the spring hanger didn’t break, the section of the frame where it was welded was torn out. The thickness of the frame was an eight of an inch or less. We just got back from a month long trip out West and one of the springs broke in Alaska. They were mono springs. I had all four replaced with stronger multi-leaf springs and an axle replaced at the same time. There is no way I would ever buy another ultra-lite unless I was going to use it may over the occasional weekend and/or only pulling it short distances over really good roads.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:34 PM   #7
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Look at the top level of the manufacturer. Like Jayco is Pinnacle, Forest River is Cardinal, Keystone is Montana, Heartland is Landmark and there are 15 more. These will be the best that the manufacture makes. Usually the shortest 5th wheel will be 32' to 35'. Just about any 5th wheel with 3 slides will provide plenty of space for 2.

One 5th wheel that impressed me is the Vilano. Look at the 320 GK on-line. That is the 5th wheel I would pick.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:03 PM   #8
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I looked at all of those. Was not impressed. Looked and felt cheap. Now for occasional use fine. Full time, not in my humble opion. Know people buy them for full time and they wear badly.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:37 PM   #9
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Thank you!

Thank you for sharing! We will definitely look for a heavier duty model! Your comments were all helpful. I'll go look at some of your suggestions. Our local dealer doesn't seem to have much but lighter duty...hmmm. Also, I just talked to a friend that used to work there and he said they have bad business practices so, now I'm not sure I should go buy it from them. He said it was a good place to look but we can buy it cheaper elsewhere.....but where? aaaaggghhh! We want used so we can't really just buy from the factory (unless they sell older models?) Also, we need to buy one less than 10 years old to keep our reservation in July. It's a requirement. I heard that after you've been there and are in there system it doesn't matter that much but, we are new so....
I'm going to go look online some more. Good night!
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:37 AM   #10
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glennwest is in a Teton. That is a top of the tippy top of 5th wheels. So when he said he looked at all of those and thumbed his nose at them it is like someone in a Lamborghini saying a Mustang GT is not fast....ugh.

And Teton went out of business a long time ago now.

Others to look at DRV Mobile Suits, lots of them used. (Not the Tradition). Another one I like is the Trilogy by Dynamax. The company Prime Time builds an ok top unit.
Peterson Industries (out of business) built the Excel 5th wheel and NuWa (out of business) built a good 5h wheel.

Plan to spend some time looking for a good used 5th wheel as it is more difficult than buying new.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:00 AM   #11
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Have you looked into Northwood Arctic Fox or their Fox Mountain units. The Fox Mountains run 28-30'. The regular Arctic Fox have two or three floor plans under 32'. These are definitely full time units in a shorter length.

Or their sister company (outdoors RV) and their 5th wheel line Glacier Peak. How about this one 30'6" Glacier Peak F26rks

Both of these companies are on the upper end of the quality spectrum, But are heavier and more $$$.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:00 AM   #12
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Just looked at video on Artic Fox website. All hung fiberglass insulation will drop and leave areas uninsulated. Just the nature of this. I had a DRV and it did too
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:13 AM   #13
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Just looked at video on Artic Fox website. All hung fiberglass insulation will drop and leave areas uninsulated. Just the nature of this. I had a DRV and it did too
Arctic Fox does not use "hung fiberglass" on their 5th wheels. They use styrofoam that is cut to fit very snuggly in the wall space provided. The "hung fiberglass" is used in their "Nash" line of TTs.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:30 AM   #14
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Arctic Fox does not use "hung fiberglass" on their 5th wheels. They use styrofoam that is cut to fit very snuggly in the wall space provided. The "hung fiberglass" is used in their "Nash" line of TTs.
I looked at the 5th wheel unit and clicked on the video. showed built of walls and hung fiberglass. After your post I looked at specs and it shows Styrofoam. That's misleading. 35' unit only weighs 11k. That is rather light for a 35' unit.
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