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Old 02-13-2017, 07:19 AM   #1
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Same Boat - New Truck (Fifth Wheel Purchase Suggestion)

I bought a RAM 3500 Dually Diesel/AISIN combo, 3.73 axle for a max tow rating of just over 25,000 pounds. Well, I ordered it. The dealer promised it will be here in 8 weeks. (April 2017)

I need a full-time fifth wheeler. Cold weather use is important as I have a field springer for hunting upland game birds and wish to be in the west and midwest in November and December.

I am looking at cold weather packages from Luxe, Heartland, DRV Elite, Riverstone and Montana. I have decided on a 40 footer, more or less with all the bells and whistles available. Because I will fulltime, I do not want anything smaller.

I retire after nearly 4 decades of difficult work. I almost ordered the Luxe and then looked at their weight statistics. I need 3000 pounds if I am going to live on this boat and the smaller Luxe units can be limited to 1500 depending on options selected. It was why I bought the RAM.

Any opinions appreciated as to what to buy would be appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:53 AM   #2
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We are in a very similar situation, except we are not traveling full time. (just a lot of time).

We purchased a 2016 Ford F-350 SRW. We also picked a 2017 Montana 3820FK which is a 40' trailer, and we are on the go 3 to 4 months per year. Our truck pulls the 5th wheel like it is not even there. We have had the entire set-up on the CAT scale several times and all is within limits, though I would like to have more wiggle room than I have.

As you know the truck you picked can pull any of the 5'vers that you have listed, and you have picked a pretty high end list of trailers.

We came down to the Grand Designs and Montana's. It was a difficult choice but we always found ourselves back with the Montana's.

Good luck in your search. Deciding upon the right rig for you is half of the fun, and also half of the battle.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:28 AM   #3
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You are on the right track and have a great tv on the way. Luxe is far and above a Montana imo. I would compare drv and luxe as similar. Redwood is another one to look at maybe.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:17 PM   #4
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I like the full fiberglass exterior on the DRV. They've been around awhile.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:17 PM   #5
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So I am negotiating for a DRV Elite 40KSSB4, and the first "real" price from the dealer is $128,900 over the internet. Hmm... I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger here, a very nice unit.

At 40'10" with the RAM 3500 long box, subtracting 4 feet (or so) for the fifth wheel connection, I should be just under 60 feet in length. That limits me from some 55-foot states (NJ, MD, DC and Mississippi??), but good for the rest of the US.

The trailer max weight is 21000 pounds, 2700 of which is cargo. The RAM 3500 is configured to tow up to 25000, leaving a little cushion. I understand the real issue will not be towing, but stopping going down steep grades.

Somebody, please stop me from spending all this money!!
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:09 PM   #6
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DRV's largest single dealer location for sales is RVsForLess.net in Knoxville, Tennessee. Check his website to see if he has what you're looking for in stock.

Butch is a great guy, and all he sells are fifth wheel trailers--DRV & Heartland's Landmarks. He doesn't have a huge facility or huge inventories and can afford to sell for less than mega-dealers.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:31 PM   #7
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We purchased a 2017 Ford F350, DRW, King Ranch Ultimate. We looked a Double Suites, but I just didn't want to spend that much on a 5th wheel. We weren't going to full time in it, but we were going to do some extended stay in most types of weather. We settled on a Grand Design Solitude 384GK-R (Residential Package), Weather-Tek Package, 16K, 40 1/2'. We've been looking at 5th wheels since 2004. A lot of manufactures aren't even in business anymore. When we decided on the GD Solitude and couldn't be happier with it. It's built solid and we didn't have one issue at our POI. We have good friends that purchased a Montana, last year. We have some other friends that have a GD Solitude and after the friends that purchased the Montana looked at theirs and ours, they now have buyers remorse and now wish that they hadn't purchased the Montana. I can't tell you what will fit your needs, or what manufacture is the best for you, but if you haven't looked at the Grand Design's, you may want too.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot65 View Post
So I am negotiating for a DRV Elite 40KSSB4, and the first "real" price from the dealer is $128,900 over the internet. Hmm... I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger here, a very nice unit.

At 40'10" with the RAM 3500 long box, subtracting 4 feet (or so) for the fifth wheel connection, I should be just under 60 feet in length. That limits me from some 55-foot states (NJ, MD, DC and Mississippi??), but good for the rest of the US.

The trailer max weight is 21000 pounds, 2700 of which is cargo. The RAM 3500 is configured to tow up to 25000, leaving a little cushion. I understand the real issue will not be towing, but stopping going down steep grades.

Somebody, please stop me from spending all this money!!
The exhaust brake on the Rams is awesome!
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:25 PM   #9
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There are no 55 ft States . 65 or 70 plus depending g on state. Trucking for 35 yrs and the 55 ended around 1980
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:27 AM   #10
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I think you'll be happy with the RAM and DRV - I know we are. If you can make the change, I would recommend that you go with 4.10:1 gears, though.

Happy trails,
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:31 AM   #11
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Patriot: We have the same truck, or will have when yours arrives. We have a 2017 DRV 38RSSA. Be sure and get the 2 inch risers so your bed clearance is sufficient. We are loving our and will also!
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:08 AM   #12
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The exhaust brake on the Rams is awesome!
So Please tell me about the RAM 3500 Turbo Diesel exhaust brake please. (And thank you for this comment.)

I know of engine brakes on bigger Class A's and such, I have this on my 3500? Is it a switch?

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Old 02-14-2017, 08:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by NW Explorers View Post
I think you'll be happy with the RAM and DRV - I know we are. If you can make the change, I would recommend that you go with 4.10:1 gears, though.

Happy trails,
From my reading, the 4.10 gear has higher wear and lower mileage compared to the 3.73. The highway version 3.42 has a lower tow rating and I will clearly avoid it, but my understanding is that the tow limits are in general, accurate. 25000 pounds towing capacity for me is adequate and I wish to moderate the maintenance and operating cost of the 4.10.

I can change the axle if I do it quickly, I just placed the order. Please elaborate on why I need the 4.10 axle on the back. I am not an expert, but I do know cost/benefit analyses.

I am more than open to explanations involving common sense.

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jacknife View Post
There are no 55 ft States . 65 or 70 plus depending g on state. Trucking for 35 yrs and the 55 ended around 1980
Thank you for this info, my paranoia will now focus only on the multitudes clearly out to get me.
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