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Old 05-11-2021, 09:13 AM   #1
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Looking for advice... (Full time 5er living)

I would like to humbly lean on the vast amount of knowledge here.

Here is my situation, I am in the Navy and recently received orders out of the area of my current duty station where I have been stationed since 2004. Since this is my last duty station before I retire, the most feasible thing I can do is to sell my house and buy a 5er to live in for the next 3-4 years until I retire. I will then be living in the 5er for an additional 1-2 years as I build my home on the property that own.

My next orders are taking me to southern Maryland, and I have my concerns (due to a previous experience where I lived in a 31' Travel Trailer for 2 years, several years ago) when it comes to insulation and heating/cooling efficiency. I have been reading tons of forums on iRV2 and else ware and feel like I have received a decent education on newer campers and what to look for when it comes to living full time in a 5er. From the research I have done, and my current 5er budget (I would like to stick to the $75k range), in your opinion what would be the best new 5er to purchase? I am not all about the bling either, I prefer functionality and durability over bling. So far my research has me leaning towards the 2021 Heartland Bighorn 3870FB. But with your knowledge and experience, I am open to suggestions on a better model! I considered a park model at first, however, I will be moving from CG to CG in the area due to time occupation restrictions that are in place at the CG's there, so a park model is not really feasible either.

Here is the list of equipment I will be working with:
Truck: 2022 F-350 6.7L Turbo Diesel Crewcab 4WD 8' Bed DRW
Hitch: B&W Companion OEM 25K 5th Wheel Hitch (for the puck system)

Thanks for any help in advance!

(I am currently out to sea at the moment in the middle east, so it may be a few days before I can respond)
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:34 AM   #2
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Why not rent?
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:52 AM   #3
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08Carriage: Thanks for the reply. I thought about renting as well while I was up there, but after looking at rental rates for apartments ($$$$$), and then even rental rates for rooms ($$$) in southern MD, I just can't see just throwing that money away when it could be used to purchase and pay off something that I will continue to use after I retire.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:32 AM   #4
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08Carriage: Thanks for the reply. I thought about renting as well while I was up there, but after looking at rental rates for apartments ($$$$$), and then even rental rates for rooms ($$$) in southern MD, I just can't see just throwing that money away when it could be used to purchase and pay off something that I will continue to use after I retire.
Is base housing an option? I was stationed at Pax for many years and they have some nice new base housing in Wildwood now.

I know there is a nice campground on base that I think they allow seasonal camping but not year round. The fam camp over on Solomon's Island is outstanding and tI do think they allow year round camping.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:47 AM   #5
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Is base housing an option? I was stationed at Pax for many years and they have some nice new base housing in Wildwood now.

I know there is a nice campground on base that I think they allow seasonal camping but not year round. The fam camp over on Solomon's Island is outstanding and tI do think they allow year round camping.
I am pretty low on the priority list when it comes to base housing since I am single with no dependents. The Fam Camp over at Solomons Island is actuall where I am looking to stay and will be looking at the availibility once I get hard copy orders and a solid transfer date. Given my situation, living in a camper is my best all around option for my near and more future plans.
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:50 PM   #6
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In our opinion, don't bother looking at anything new in that price range as they will most likely not suffice for full time living in a more northern state and may be plagued with a multitude of issues requiring warranty work.
We bought a used Lifestyle Luxury RV and live in it full time. We were comfy and had no issues during the Texas snowmageddon of '21 where temps before wind chill dipped to -8 . We have also lived in it during the hot summer months in West Texas and stayed cool. Interior and exterior fit and finish is far above the mainstream 5th wheel manufacturers.. but what we like most about our rig is what you don't see right off the bat, the superior frame and construction of the rig. And your F350 will be fine to tow it with.
A pre-2012 Carriage, used New Horizons or NuWa Hitchhiker would be a good choice as well.
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:59 PM   #7
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I think you will be much better served by looking at higher end used units for full time use. In addition, you will not get hit by the big depreciation on new units.

Thank you for your service sir.

Ken
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:59 PM   #8
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Newmar use to build very good FW.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:15 PM   #9
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We're full timing in a 3121rl Montana. It's a Four Season rig and has been fine down in the teens.

Another option is the Arctic Fox. They are supposed to be good rigs.

If I were looking used I think I'd be looking at something like the Mortons have.

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Old 05-11-2021, 05:00 PM   #10
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I lived in a 5th wheel 10 months a year from 2012 thru 2017. The key to me was comfortable reclining chairs and my cat.
The Big Horn you are looking at us as good as any of my recommendations.

But look at the Jayco Eagles and Jayco Pinnacle. They are warrantied for full time.
You know with a budget of 75k you can look at 110k MSRP 5th wheels right?
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:42 PM   #11
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WOW, same duty station since 2004. You must have a very specific career field. I don't know where you are PCSing from, but if it's west coast, I'd sure look at Arctic Fox. I don't think you'll be able to buy a new $110K MSRP for 75K in todays market, but I'm sure you can find an excellent newer one for that. My favs would be the 29-5T or the 32-5M. I'm not familiar with Southern Marylands winter temps, but I'm guessing it's what we would call a shoulder season here in Montana. We've spent many comfortable days in our Fox with lows in the teens and highs in the 30s. You have plenty of truck for any of the Foxes and they would last you many years. Stay tuned to this and other forums post purchase for tips and hints.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:48 PM   #12
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I don't think you'll be able to buy a new $110K MSRP for 75K in todays market,
I see comments about not getting discounts today but know it is not only possible you need to be making it happen. We negotiated on over 20 rigs in the earlier months of this year and had no problem getting to 30% of MSRP in many areas.

I negotiated for my neighbor last month without issue.

We have been at it again looking at other rigs and still have had no issues getting around 30% off of MSRP (some higher). We are in the northwest but retired and shop all over so it is not a regional thing either.

I will say - once you negotiate that price lock it in if you want it because they will sell to the next guy if you don't commit.

I seriously thought about starting a business to negotiate for people as the sales people are all somehow convincing people of that narrative with the craze we are all living in.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsr View Post
In our opinion, don't bother looking at anything new in that price range as they will most likely not suffice for full time living in a more northern state and may be plagued with a multitude of issues requiring warranty work.
We bought a used Lifestyle Luxury RV and live in it full time. We were comfy and had no issues during the Texas snowmageddon of '21 where temps before wind chill dipped to -8 . We have also lived in it during the hot summer months in West Texas and stayed cool. Interior and exterior fit and finish is far above the mainstream 5th wheel manufacturers.. but what we like most about our rig is what you don't see right off the bat, the superior frame and construction of the rig. And your F350 will be fine to tow it with.
A pre-2012 Carriage, used New Horizons or NuWa Hitchhiker would be a good choice as well.
Awesome, thanks for the feedback! I will look into your suggestions and see what's availible near my home area from your suggested manufactures!
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:11 AM   #14
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I think you will be much better served by looking at higher end used units for full time use. In addition, you will not get hit by the big depreciation on new units.

Thank you for your service sir.

Ken
Ken, thanks for the feedback, and thank you for your support! Do you have any other suggestions on brands that are considered high end units that haven't been mentioned yet?
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