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OHMikeandKay 04-19-2018 09:32 PM

Validate my Must Have's Pleeeeze
I'm doing my research for the first RV, a 5er. We're retired, will not be full timers but may be out for 2-3 weeks at a time. 1. I want to limit the length to 35' (or a couple more inches) in order to take advantage of National Park campgrounds. Is this logical or is 35' too long for most anyway? I only looked at Yellowstone and Teton. You folks have the experience.
2. Must be able to access bathroom and fridge when slides are in - not ever gonna use a Rest Area bathroom again! But fridge access is limiting my selection, especially with islands. Is it reasonable to open a slide a few inches when stopped for lunch or is that not recommended? (Those buttons make it look REAL easy.)
3. King bed. Just because...
4. Good sized shower.
5. This is likely to be the one and only RV so quality is a concern. What are your opinions of Northwood Arctic Fox, GD Solitude or Heartland BH? Others I should explore? The length has limited many models but maybe that's a good thing. We're looking at msrp ~$90k but dealers seem to discount like crazy. I've never seen such amazing sales!

Thanks for the help!
Kay and Mike
Spending the kids' inheritance

V3600 04-19-2018 09:44 PM

I don't stay in national parks - way too crowded for my tastes. So for me, the longer the better. Currently we have a 41 footer and it could stand to be longer, lol.

We require access to a bathroom. The slide goes out about a foot to get to the fridge. No problems there.

We have a Queen but would love a King.

Bigger the shower the better.

Quality is almost non-existent in trailer manufacturing. They kick 'em out the door as quick as they can with nobody looking them over for defects (that's our job as buyers). Buyer beware. We hated our trailer for the first 6 months we had until I fixed what was wrong (which wouldn't have been wrong if there was some QC at the factory).

Figure 25-30% off MSRP as a starting point.

mobilemike 04-19-2018 09:46 PM

One thing about MSRP. Dealers will make up their own MSRP. Check the manufactures web site for the real MSRP. You can even do the "build and price" on many sites.
I have seen table top fliers in rigs with MSRP 10k over actual and then 25% off. Seems like a deal until you find out the dealer inflated the price.

cfowler55 04-19-2018 10:04 PM

So wife and I spent a few months looking at 35' 5ers. Alpine, Montana , Vanliegh , Bighorn , Cardinal , Cedar Creek and I'm sure others I can't remember. Finally settled on our second GD product. We have a Solitude 310GK-R on order. 34'11" listed length. 15k GVWR. And you can access fridge , bathroom , and bedroom with all slides in. The opposing living area slides are hydraulic so if you wanted to bump them out partially I think it would be fine. Also available in a lighter interior , which was on my wife's must have list.

cfowler55 04-19-2018 10:09 PM

One word of caution. I look at these as upper mid level rv's. They are typically heavy enough to be over 3/4 ton truck capacity. Reflections , MontanaHigh Country etc.. will be lighter.

BuzzWolfAR 04-19-2018 11:50 PM

I'd take a look at the Cedar Creek Silverback 29. Total length of 34 11.

saddlesore 04-19-2018 11:59 PM

Keep in mind..
Your 1st coach is a learning tool..
BUY USED! & buy one with everything you "think" you want and will need..
As You will make mistakes and have booboo's We all have.....(sometimes more than twice..)
Within a year or two you will discover..about the RV

What you love about the RV...
What you can kinda-sorta tolerate with the RV..
And what you absolutely hate about that !@#$%^%$#@! RV.
Then you can go get what you should have gotten in the first place..
Happy Hunting

Remember..Every day you put off just one less Day of being retired

uncledon 04-20-2018 06:08 AM

Saddlesore is right on. You may get lucky and find the right one first time, but probably not. We're on our fourth fiver and have one we think we mostly like. It's nothing like our earlier ones.

Smaller does have some perks like maneuverability, cost, and tow vehicle costs, but you forfeit other things. Only you will be able to assess what's most important over time. Storage, both inside and out is important for us and I bet will be for you too.

We are on our second Bighorn (3875FB) and the length has caused us no issues at just under 42 foot, however it does require diligent route planning and thorough campground investigation. Fridge is accessible and 1/2 bath also even with the island, although opening slides isn't typically an issue either.

We looked a hundreds of floor plans over a year and a half before settling on this one. It wasn't anything like we had originally thought we'd like. We spent 5 months in it this winter and loved it.

Good luck and happy trails!

cfowler55 04-20-2018 06:32 AM

Yup. I thought we did our homework pretty well and bought something for 5+ years. WRONG. Traded in a less than year old unit. Fortunately I feel like we bought it right and are losing less of than15% of our purchase price. Amounts to about what it would have cost us to rent one. And still getting a bit over 30 off from manufacturers build sheet. Happy hunting.

Funding Fun 04-20-2018 07:41 AM

Grand Design or Open Range. Both are high end, quality oriented with excellent customer service. Hardly any TT's will allow full access without pushing out a slide. Slides should never be partially extended then retracted. push them all the way out without stopping and all the way in, same way. If you have access to your bed and bathroom without moving slides, you are good. Pack a small cooler for day travels and keep it near the door. Personal opinion, but I never buy used.

OHMikeandKay 04-20-2018 07:50 AM

Understand the need for power to pull these. We'll order the truck when we know the definite hitch weight - and may come back with specifics here for help. Thinking towards F350 diesel, DRW, LB.

bfisher003 04-20-2018 07:53 AM


Originally Posted by Funding Fun (Post 4147446)
Slides should never be partially extended then retracted. push them all the way out without stopping and all the way in, same way..

Why is this? I ask because we routinely open a slide part way on a lunch or bathroom stop and close it without any problems (so far). Are we causing a potential problem?

grindstone01 04-20-2018 07:57 AM

One benefit of buying a used first time FW, (just a point not a suggetion) you are more likely to change thinks to suit your taste and needs in the unit. We have made numerous alterations to our FW that we would have been hesitant to change in a new model due to being under warranty or too new to replace like our jack knife couch replacement after 6 months of being useless.

uncledon 04-20-2018 07:57 AM


Originally Posted by OHMikeandKay (Post 4147464)
Understand the need for power to pull these. We'll order the truck when we know the definite hitch weight - and may come back with specifics here for help. Thinking towards F350 diesel, DRW, LB.

That's a good truck. I have a 3500 Duramax DRW CC 4x4 and love it. Depending on the weight you might want that much truck.

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