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Old 10-02-2020, 02:42 PM   #1
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Identifying top-tier 5th wheels from lower quality units

Is there a guide or website that lists 5th wheels by quality level?

There are so many brands and models, yet I realize so many are built with identical chassis parts, construction techniques and such it makes RV choice more a feature thing than anything else.

I know some brands like DRV Mobile Suites, New Horizons and others are premium,top-tier brands, others I'm not so sure.

I also know how to identify some features that distinguish a premium RV from a more basic one, but I've been fooled by some.
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Old 10-02-2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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Forest Rivers Riverstone is a top tier....
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:25 PM   #3
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Forest Rivers Riverstone is a top tier....
Thanks. Would you say Riverstone is a notch below the DRV and New Horizons or comparable? Any feedback on Vanleigh Vilano and Alliance RV as to how they compare?
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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No there is no web site for that. Ypu need to go look at anything in your price range and ferrett out for youeself what you like best.
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Old 10-02-2020, 04:59 PM   #5
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Thanks. Would you say Riverstone is a notch below the DRV and New Horizons or comparable? Any feedback on Vanleigh Vilano and Alliance RV as to how they compare?
Yes the riverstone is a notch below the new horizons. But it may be the same league as a DRV. But not the Elite suites. If your looking just new rigs of that quality your limited.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:47 PM   #6
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Any feedback on Vanleigh Vilano and Alliance RV as to how they compare?
I don't know about the Vanleigh but we just put an Alliance on order. The Crossroads Seville we currently have is the Gorilla Cage unit, the Alliance is a welded aluminum frame. The Alliance comes with heavy load range G tires (4400lbs) so that helps with the weight. The overall construction seems to be good on the ones we've looked at. Not a lot of options on those, just disk brakes, solar, generator, and dual pane windows. If you have a Alliance dealer close, it's worth having a look.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:32 PM   #7
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I don't know about the Vanleigh but we just put an Alliance on order. The Crossroads Seville we currently have is the Gorilla Cage unit, the Alliance is a welded aluminum frame. The Alliance comes with heavy load range G tires (4400lbs) so that helps with the weight. The overall construction seems to be good on the ones we've looked at. Not a lot of options on those, just disk brakes, solar, generator, and dual pane windows. If you have a Alliance dealer close, it's worth having a look.
I saw ONE Alliance parked at an RV place, that's it. Not sure it was for sale, repairs or what. I looked at some online and liked the layouts, details seemed promising.

When I bought our current rig I knew little about 5th wheels. I bought it online, sight unseen except for lots of pics and lots of questions talking with the owner. It turns out we got lucky and it's a quality rig. Frame is boxed aluminum inside boxed aluminum and welded throughout. Insulation seems decent, quality axles and hubs etc. All appliances save the microwave and TV still work, those 2 got upgraded/replaced.

We wouldn't want to buy an inferior rig. It isn't just the features, it's the quality,durability and peace of mind we want.

After looking at rigs at RV shows, reading comments on these forums and in magazines like RV Life many brands got crossed off my list. Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:25 AM   #8
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I looked at 3 Aliance 5th wheels at my local dealer. None had ducted A/C. I am thinking ducted A/C is a big feature that I would want.

But, all in all it seemed solid.

If I were to rate them I would have to do a lot more research. Like is an Aliance 5th wheel better than a Jayco Eagle for example. Or is the Jayco Pinnacle better than a Heartland Landmark?

When I bought a 5th wheel to spend 10 months a year in for 6 years I looked at floorplan and bought a 2011 Sunnybrook Bristol Bay. Mostly for the Sunnybrook name - that 5th wheel turned out to be ok but nothing great.

Back to your question I would knee jerk rate the Vanliegh slightly better than the Aliance.

I agree that River Stone is equal to DRV Mobile Suits but not the Elite Suits.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:29 AM   #9
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We were kind of niche shoppers this past spring. We wanted something not over 38 feet in overall length and capable of being pulled by a single rear wheel truck. We also wanted something that was considered to be near the top level of whatever manufacturer. Lot's of variance there. The weight and lengths pushed brands like DRV and Riverstone out of the picture. What was left was Vilano, Alliance (none around to see), Big Horn, Solitude, Redwood and Pinnacle on our final list.

You are right there's not a lot of difference in construction between the models until you go really high end. It seems some folks have nightmare experiences with whatever brand and post loudly about them on the forums and some, maybe even most, we never hear from because they have nothing to complain about. We could have chosen any of the above mentioned brands but I liked the fact Jayco uses Dexter axles and US made Goodyear Endurance tires and has a 2 year warranty. The wife liked the floorplan best so that sealed it.

In addition, the dealer makes a huge difference. We could have bought from dealer within 50 miles of us but instead went with one over a 100 because that one won my trust. No bs whatsoever. The one issue we had was dealt with promptly, a bad ac. So far, after 40 or so nights and 3K miles the ac has been the only issue. It may fall apart tomorrow but so far so good.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:15 AM   #10
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The Forest River Riverstone is the top tier model of their 5er's, but the Cedar Creek Champagne and or the Columbus River Ranch are no slouch either.

Here is a link to the River Ranch.

https://palominorv.com/fifth-wheels/river-ranch

I have a Cedar Creek Hathaway model and this has the ducted A/C system. After having this feature in our trailer, I would not purchase any other 5th wheel that did not have this feature, regardless of manufacture. We can have a normal conversation with the A/C is running or watch TV, where as the old style that dumps the air into the living area you might as will go outside to talk when it is operating!

Both of the A/C work together with the ducted system to cool the trailer and if you order the third A/C this is incorporated too into the duct work. At night we can shut one unit off and use the rear A/C to cool the bedroom so, it is very quiet and cool when sleeping. I could never do that with our older trailer always need to run a house fan in the bedroom for comfort on a hot summer night.

I have used this in the past when reviewing trailers. It might help you?

https://rvreviews.net/?msclkid=88227...c5256cc6f3893b
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I looked at 3 Aliance 5th wheels at my local dealer. None had ducted A/C. I am thinking ducted A/C is a big feature that I would want.

But, all in all it seemed solid.

If I were to rate them I would have to do a lot more research. Like is an Aliance 5th wheel better than a Jayco Eagle for example. Or is the Jayco Pinnacle better than a Heartland Landmark?

When I bought a 5th wheel to spend 10 months a year in for 6 years I looked at floorplan and bought a 2011 Sunnybrook Bristol Bay. Mostly for the Sunnybrook name - that 5th wheel turned out to be ok but nothing great.

Back to your question I would knee jerk rate the Vanliegh slightly better than the Aliance.

I agree that River Stone is equal to DRV Mobile Suits but not the Elite Suits.

Ducted AC isn't all it is made out to be. We were suffering at a site when it was 98 degrees. The AC was running non stop so I pulled the shroud off that was forcing the cool air into the ducts. After doing so the temperature inside the trailer dropped 5 degrees. We've never used the ducts since.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:33 AM   #12
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Ducted AC isn't all it is made out to be. We were suffering at a site when it was 98 degrees. The AC was running non stop so I pulled the shroud off that was forcing the cool air into the ducts. After doing so the temperature inside the trailer dropped 5 degrees. We've never used the ducts since.
Will that's not a true A/C ducted system then. With the Cedar Creek and other top of the line Forest River models there is no shroud to remove. The A/C and heat pump air is routed through 8" duct work in the celling with no access to the A/C unit from inside the trailer. The return air to the A/C units has the filters installed in the return registers in the 8" return ducts. I can cool my trailer on a very hot humid day after towing to the site, with no A/C running when towing. Just using the two A/C units to a comfortable 72Deg's inside in an hour.

I set the front A/C to 71Deg's and the A/C fan on low for the front unit than the rear unit is set on 72deg's and the fan on low too. When the inside temps are reached I switch the A/C fans to auto, with the unit staying cool at 72Deg's.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:35 AM   #13
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Luxe Elite

If you are looking for top end trailers ( Luxe calls theirs coaches) then look at the RV Factory lineup. They have 3 inch walls and ducted whisper quiet A/C. We just took delivery Aug 17th. We ordered last April. Last year they built a total of 70 units. In the same league as New Horizons and Spacecraft. Luxury all the way.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:03 AM   #14
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If you are looking for top end trailers ( Luxe calls theirs coaches) then look at the RV Factory lineup. They have 3 inch walls and ducted whisper quiet A/C. We just took delivery Aug 17th. We ordered last April. Last year they built a total of 70 units. In the same league as New Horizons and Spacecraft. Luxury all the way.
Luxe are nice but a new horizons they are not. A new horizons weighs probably double that of a luxe. That weight is empty. Equal to a DrV mobile suites maybe.
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