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KJones

Fifth Wheel for Wyoming Year-Round

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Hi All,

 

My wife and I have been full-timing in Wyoming for the past 3 years and may be travelling to NW Montana soon. Our current rig is not really outfitted for four season or full-time use but we've managed quite well. Anyway, we are thinking of upgrading to a larger unit and are looking at purchasing something like an Arctic Fox 35-5Z or a used Excel 34IKE (unless we can get a great deal on a new one).

 

We're not really sure of how an Arctic Fox would hold up for full-time year-round use in our climate and are more confident about the Excel based on what we've read. Would that be a fairly accurate assessment? We've obviously made do with much less luxurious accommodations than either unit offers for the past few years but we want to end up with something we're not constantly worrying about.

 

As for the Excel, I've read that their MSRP doesn't give much wiggle room for negotiations. Is that still the case? Any advice would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Edited by KJones

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If I were going to setup for full-time year round use in NW Montana, here's what I would do and in this order.

 

1. While living the existing RV, I would put down a concrete slab and build a roof for the largest RV that you figure you might possibly have - say 45' x 18' - give your self enough room to slide out slides and have snow shadow protection.

 

2. Once that is up, look for a gently used RV and move it to the site. Under a roof, any RV will last much longer.

 

3. Build skirting around the base of the RV - skirting will more than pay for itself in heating cost savings.

 

That's my 2-cents.

 

Bill

Edited by BZawlocki

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Thanks, Bill. I'm under a roof on a concrete slab with my current setup but it doesn't seem like it would accommodate a taller or wider fifth wheel. I was lucky to find this private rental site and wouldn't likely be able to find a larger one that would work for a fifth wheel but I'll definitely try to. I'd gladly stay put where I am but this tiny RV is getting a bit irritating. Skirting is always a must up here. I shudder to think what would happen without it :)

 

Really wish I could find a used Excel travel trailer as I think that would fit in my current site but it doesn't seem like many of those were manufactured :(

Edited by Viverrid

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Either would be good for winter use (as good as an RV can be, anyway, in extremely cold weather).

 

The Excel does have a -10 degree guarantee; however, there are a couple of "gotchas" for that guarantee: 1) The fifth wheel has to have double pane windows, and 2) You must use the forced-air furnace (which is what heats the enclosed tanks).

 

While the Arctic Fox doesn't have a temperature guarantee, they are advertised as a "true 4-season coach." Assuming the same double pane windows and using the forced-air furnace (to heat the enclosed holding tanks), it would most likely do as well as the Excel. Keep in mind that Arctic Fox is made by people who actually use them in the winter to go hunting. In fact, the plant used to close down for a week for hunting season (don't know if they still do this).

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Come to think of it, the lower profile of the Excel fifth wheels might just allow one to squeeze under the roof. I'll have to take some measurements. Not sure about the width, though. I'm under a sort of lean-to so one side is a solid wall and the other has support posts.

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Thanks, Linda. I like the Arctic Foxes and they seem to be widely used in this region. My only reservations with them are 1). they seem to use aluminum framing which my current rig has and the thermal bridging that happens on the bathroom wall (even with a dehumidifier) gets a bit tedious. Not sure if they would have that issue or not, though. 2). I'm not sure how one would hold up over time with full time living in this climate. Of course, I'm not really sure about an Excel either but there seems to be less issues with them (delamination in particular).

Edited by Viverrid

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How well the slide outs seal has more bearing than insulation or dual pane windows. We had a DRV, 3.5" walls. Advertised as best insulated there is. It was drafty around slides, especially at bottom. Our Teton has 2"ish walls. It is very tight, we cannot find or feel a draft. Our Teton is much easier to heat and we are very comfortable. I didn't compare these two to down any manufacturer. Only units we owned and our experience.

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Thanks Glenn. We had looked at a leftover 2014 DRV which was in our price range but it was a Tradition which I've read might not hold up too well for our situation. Very interesting about the Teton. Thanks for the info!

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FYI, Tetons are no longer made, they went out of business in 2008. After 2006 the quality actually went down hill significantly, our 2008 was nothing but problems until we got rid of it, Best Wishes, Jay

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First thing may be to measure the size of RV that will fit in the space. Then find one that is sealed good on the bottom to stop air flow. That will eliminate a lot of not so well made RVs.

I do Rv repair so I get to see what works and what looks good, but is less desirable for winter weather.

We are from Kalispell Montana but go south for the winter. One thing that sticks out that will help for winter weather is two furnaces. Not many RVs have two furnaces but if you are in bad weather and no heat, things can happen that is not good. The other thing is to find someone that will fix your RV in the winter when it is not friendly outside.

Maybe look for something that is a few years older but that is built for what you need. So you can be comfortable in unfriendly weather.

 

 

safe Travels, Vern

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We have a 2006 Teton for sale that would fit your needs I think. You can find the ad in the Rigs for Sale forum. Make sure of the clearances tho as it's tall.

Mike

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We have a 2006 Teton for sale that would fit your needs I think. You can find the ad in the Rigs for Sale forum. Make sure of the clearances tho as it's tall.

Mike

xxxx2. Mike's is a very nice Teton. I have read posts on Teton Forum where owners are living in theirs at -20 F with nothing extra done. I can believe this. Ours is very tight

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Teton quit making RVs sometime in late 2008. Quality started going down after about 2006. Mike Council's rig is one of the good ones that are still available. By 2008 when our rig was made Teton was cutting corners and Quality Control was abysmal. Our rig was shipped with no caulking at all around any of the slide outs. The big kitchen slide never worked right, it actually did not have adequate clearances with the sides of the trailer and kept ripping off the gaskets. The sky light leaked, also no caulking. To further complicate matters Teton used a lot of custom order components which are now hard to find. Particularly the gaskets for the slides. Fortunately Forks RV in Shipshewana IN "adopted" the orphan Teton club TCI, and is now providing service and repair and has the custom gaskets in stock. The pre 2006 Tetons are excellent rigs, the later ones you need to be very careful about and look very closely for water damage because they all have wood frames. Best wishes, Jay

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