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Old 08-03-2021, 07:18 AM   #1
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New Soon-to-Be Full-Timers

Hi, the wifey & I are about to become Full-Timers. We are in the process of picking our rig now and would like some advice. So we've decided that a Fiver is the way to go for us and something in the 35-37' range is the right size. My question is brand/make...what do other FT'ers recommend? Wifey really likes Jayco...thoughts..good/bad/ugly? Also vehicle to pull..we would like to stick with an F250 SD. Is it enough for this size rig?
Thx for any inputs!
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:48 AM   #2
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Location: Home is Where WE PARK IT...
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Hopefully You have checked out your State tax, Mail forwarding & Domicile requirements... Some states are far more tax friendly to Full Timers than others.
We now domicile in SD [was Oregon] & use the Escapees outfit for mail & domicile address.
As We are using a DP Motor coach for our abode, Have no experience or opinions on a 5er/Tow rig..
Good luck and happy trails
Retired truckdriver, Full Timing in a Foretravel.
Escapees of Box Elder, South Dakota
....Whether our shack is moving or parked.. We are still home.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:20 AM   #3
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Location: Full Timing. When I park I'm home
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Been full timing for 11 1/2 years now and I have some advice for you. Don't know your experience at camping but I always say BUY USED. First timing you have no idea what you NEED. They see shiny and pretty and nothing else. Can't help with the 5er except to say be sure of the 5er before buying the truck. Not the other way around. 3/4 ton truck and 35' 5er don't mix well (This is where the disagreement will start). I'm no expert but you can see from my picture I have enough truck.

I will recommend 4 things (in no particular order) that you will need eventually:

1) A good road service. I use Coachnet and am pleased with them.
2) An EMS (electrical management system). I have a hard wired Progressive.
3) A TPMS (Tire pressure management system. Mine is a TST 507.
4) Pack your sense of humor. Some days you will need it.

Not associated with any of these but they work for me.

As for domicile we chose Texas and use the Escapees mail service. Works well for us. Plus we spend 5 months in Texas during the winter.

Have fun and keep asking questions
2004 Volvo, 2009 smart car
2008 Hitch Hiker Champagne
Full timing January 2010
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:22 AM   #4
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We have a GM 250 (Gas) and spent months checking out all manufacturers lightweight 5th wheels. Once you know the floorplan you want (we selected 'Rear Living'). Sharon wanted 'East West' bed so we would have the huge closet plus a dresser. That reduced our options to only a few. The Jayco Eagle 321RSTS was the one for us.
1. Find the floorplan you like best
2. Check the weight limits to confirm it's safe:
3. Place your order
4. wait... and wait...

We placed our order end of May and hope to get it before September.
2022 Eagle 321RSTS w/Overlander II solar
2021 GMC Denali 2500HD Gas w/Timbrens
Pullrite SuperRails, Pullrite SuperLite hitch
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:28 AM   #5
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250/2500.......NEW Model
Keep 5th wheel GVWR under 14,000

250/2500......Older Model
Keep 5th wheel GVWR under 12,000

Pin weight of 5vr is carried by trucks rear axle
rear axle weight PLUS 5vr pin wet not to exceed trucks RAWR (and/or tire load ratings)
Is it time for YOUR Medication or Mine?
Dodge 3500 w/Tractor Motor & NUWA 5vr
US NAVY---USS Decatur DDG-31
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
250/2500.......NEW Model
Keep 5th wheel GVWR under 14,000

250/2500......Older Model
Keep 5th wheel GVWR under 12,000

Pin weight of 5vr is carried by trucks rear axle
rear axle weight PLUS 5vr pin wet not to exceed trucks RAWR (and/or tire load ratings)
Keep in mind that the new “250/2500” the Old Biscuit have ratings equal to the older 350/3500, if worried about registration fees you may still be stuck!

Find your 5er first, then base the truck needed on the possible pin weight based on the 5ers GVWR. A 16,000# GVWR 5er could have a pin weight as high as 4,000#, more likely 3,600#. The TV you chose should have 800# to 1,000# more payload than that to cover stuff carried in the truck.
Best option is think at least 350/3500 as a minimum and be mentally prepared to get a DRW.
Russ & Paula, Portland, OR. The Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW Aisin 4X4 14,000# GVWR.
2005 Keystone Copper Canyon 293FWSLS Rear Kitchen 12,360 GVWR
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:03 PM   #7
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We're in a 35' Montana 3121rl towed with a 2018 F350 DRW. Been at it going on four years but only a little over one in the 5th wheel. I honestly think any rig is about as good as any other. We went with ours because it's what the "boss" liked. Just be sure to look out for issues if you are looking at used ones. Peruse this guys video's and you'll see what to look out for.

I can say with confidence that most people pull their 5th wheels with SRW trucks and they seem to be doing just fine. Just be honest with yourself regarding what you can/should pull with your truck as us full timers don't have the luxury of bringing just some of our "stuff".

Our residence state is Florida. Our mail service does a great job getting you through the process.
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:21 PM   #8
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A F250 with a diesel has a fairly low payload rating! Your really going to have to look really close at your rear axle rating and how much is really on it empty . I would suggest you go to a scale house and weigh the entire truck and thejust the rear axle. From there you can add for fuel and your wife and a hitch right over the rear axle. Whats in the front seat of the truck is about 65%on the front tires and 35 to the rear is how I would split that weight if your really splitting hairs. I think you will find that useing 22% of the trailer gross weight rating is where you need to be so 14,000 lb trailer is 3080 lbs of pinweight . right over the rear axle. I think you will find your rear axle empty is about 3200 with just you in the truck.

what ever you get for a 5th get one that has 2 roof ac units , many in that size range have the bare min from the factory and it doesn't work well for above 85* sunny days.

make sure you get one that is rated for full time , I am not sure Jayco is. Polar/ or 4 season use is important also. I would NOT get a RV frigerator unless you plan on boondocking.
2015 42' Redwood RL38 Morryde IS , disk brakes, BD5
2020 GMC DRW 3500HD denali crew duramax
2001 Holiday Rambler 31' cks sold
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:06 PM   #9
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I’ll start with the disclaimer….l’m not a full-timer so probably not really licensed to have much of an opinion, but sharing my thoughts anyway from over 12 years of owning and traveling in fifth wheels.

35-37’ is a nice sized unit, lots of choices in that range. However, I’d suggest that a fiver that size is not a good match for the desired F250 you mentioned, especially for a full timer.

A trailer that is 35’ or bigger, loaded for full time living, will almost certainly exceed the capacities (primarily RAWR) of any 250/2500 trucks, and most 350/3500 SRW trucks as well. Any trailer in that size range that is light enough to fall within the capacity limits of these trucks when loaded, is probably not going to stand up well to full time living and traveling. (Also, most trailers are like people…they gain weight with age; I expect this is especially true for a full timer’s trailer, so you definitely want enough truck for safety, liability and traveling comfort reasons.)

In years past, one could compare several trailers of similar size and floor plans and the heaviest trailer was generally the best quality in terms of construction, road-worthiness and longevity. IMHO its not quite so clear today since humans love gadgets, technology and bells/whistles and RV manufactures know these things sell trailers. As such, to make room weight-wise for the “sizzle and glitter” that’s visible, the structural weight (and structural quality) that isn’t so visible is often reduced as a trade-off.

Thus, in my view, If budget allows, it’s probably more important today to focus on units truly designed for full-timing or four season usage to get quality in certain important areas such as
Structure (frame, undercarriage, overall construction quality) and Full time living functionality (heating/cooling capacity, insulation, fixtures, holding tank capacities, interior/exterior storage.) The technology and bells/whistles would be lowest on my priority list since most manufacturers are now including more of that than we really need anyway.

I’d suggest looking at the top models of most any of the common names such as Jayco, Keystone, Grand Design, and some others which represent a “class” of trailers and then maybe taking a look at something like a DRV Mobile suites as an example of a different class (truly more of a full time design) to get a feel for the relative differences and associated weights in each class. This is not to say one should/shouldn’t consider a certain brand or class for full-timing but will help with understanding some of the trade-offs between classes including cost range and budget considerations. (Side note, my budget and my desires don’t fall within the same class. )

Happy Hunting and safe travels,
Nonnie & Poppy
Crandall, Texas
2016 Keystone Alpine - 2019 Ford F350 DRW
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:50 PM   #10
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Not a full timer but have owned many rigs and camp/travel a lot.

Agree with all the above posts. Regarding quality, some are “Full Time Rated”, while not a spec per se, the thinking is you get more in terms of furniture quality, construction, insulation, higher end appliances, storage, etc. While some rigs specify their warranty covers full timing, some rigs specifically say there warranty does not cover full timing.

While I don’t put much stock in mfgr warranties, in general a “full time rig will be more home-like in comfort. You will have issues like anyone else but I expect you will be starting from a better place then say a mid-priced unit.

Jayco has a series (perhaps Northpoint and above or Pinnacle) that boasts Full Time Rated. Other brands like Montana/DRV specifically cater to those full timers. Grand Design Solitude is also rated as is KZ’s Durango Goldrush series, etc. There are many out there.

Alternately, you may decide those feature sets/price points/weights are not for you. You can buy a lower cost unit that has a layout/weight that works for you and use it for several years and trade it in on a new model later and be ahead of the game. Just recognize there is a value on usability and comfort.

Good luck and hope to hear more from you on this journey.
2016 RAM 3500 6.7L DRW
2018 Chaparral 360IBL, Andersen Ultimate II hitch
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:33 AM   #11
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We don't full time but do spend 3 to 4 months in ours. We settled on a Jayco Pinnacle 32RLTS last year and have been extremely pleased with it. It's actual length is 36' 6". We boiled it down to a Grand Design Solitude and the Pinnacle but there were others we considered. All are pretty similar. We just thought the fit and finish of the Pinnacle was a bit better plus I liked the 2 year warranty. Most have a 1 year warranty but you do need to be sure whatever you buy is warranted for full time use. The Pinnacle also had US made Goodyear Endurance tires and a MorRyde LRE4000 suspension, which the others we considered did not. We have since changed the brakes to disc which in my books is a must have.

For the truck I'm not sure I would want a 250/2500 as I don't think the payload will be enough. My F350 long bed has 4054 pounds of payload. Fully loaded our Pinnacle had 3120 pounds of hitch weigh. Add in my passenger and a few other things and we are around 3400 to 3500 pounds sitting on the truck. You would probably want to find a truck with 3800 pounds of payload or better. You will not find a 3/4 ton with that much payload as far as I know. There is a yellow sticker on the inside of the driver's door pillar that gives you the specific payload for that truck.
2020 Ford F350 Platinum, 4X4, CCLB, SRW, diesel, 12,400 GVWR
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Old 08-07-2021, 09:11 AM   #12
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if you're going with over 35' then trailer weight is consideration
I have 37' newmar and loaded I'm at 16k
I have f250 - but bought f350 given size/weight
you can surely pull with f250 but pin weight/overall weight is issue

of course if you are ever in accident lawyers will have field day with 250
2016 F350 SRW CC SB Platinum
20" Tires with 35 width Lifted
2008 Newmar Cyprus - polar package
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:09 AM   #13
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All I can say you are just going full time choose your 5er carefully, you might likely if you are use to the size of a house, you may feel closed in and get something bigger. If you buy 350/3500 SRW, you may find it necessary to replace your TV also for that larger 5er. Save some grief and $$$$ and get the DRW to start with. You will get use to the size and hips.
Russ & Paula, Portland, OR. The Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW Aisin 4X4 14,000# GVWR.
2005 Keystone Copper Canyon 293FWSLS Rear Kitchen 12,360 GVWR
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Old 09-01-2021, 05:25 PM   #14
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I will add my opinion for what it's worth. Been fulltiming for two years now and investigated all of this for about a year before we sold our house. Your thread is about a month old now so you may have already bought but here goes. I am a firm believer in buying older. We bought a 2004 Holiday Rambler Presidential SKq 37.3 feet long, 4 slides, aluminum studding, roof structure, ect. It has Dexter 50 mm neverlube 7000 lb axles with the trail ride air suspension system. Gross vehicle weight of 17000 lbs. All walnut cabinets, residential fridge (we installed), 5500 watt Onan generator and a washer and dryer stacked (a real must). Has the standard rubber roof that we have totally resealed with Henrys 887 tropicool with eternabond tape over all caulked seams. Searched for 6 months to find this beauty and the quality of this 5er was unmatched in it's day. My wife updated all the fixtures, lights, ect and we wouldn't sell it for brand new one. Holiday Rambler before the buyouts and for a time after were the best in the industry. 86000 dollars brand new and I paid 17500 for her. Now with that quality comes the weight. We then bought a 2012 f350 dually with the 6.7 to handle that weight. Air bags, ect and the 5er is no problem for that truck. Again we paid 30000 for the truck with 84000 miles. Buy the 5er first then the truck to match. Hope this helps some one !!!
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