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BulldogRoad

Full Time Living 5th Wheel-Which brand? I know the specs I will need

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Hello everyone,
Long time reader here and decided to register finally. 
I read too many posts and you guys really know what you are talking.

So I have couple of limitations when I think about a 5th wheel.
It is just me, my wife and our 9 months old English Bulldog right now but who knows what life will bring in the future. 

I have been doing my homework and researching for a long time. It is just the financials game after this.
I checked all my options and seems like 5th Wheel is the best way for us to go.

  • Our budget is up to $30-$35K.
  • We don't want a brand new unit. Something maybe up to 7 8 years old (newer is better of course). We can go older. The reason is we want to spend some time and modify and repair the interior( when I say we, it is actually my wife, she wants to change all old style RV stuff inside and maybe even paint the cabinets.)
  • We want something up to 32 feet. Nothing bigger. We want to be able to easily go in and out everywhere. So this also means I need something durable and strong.
  • We don't need washer and dryer.
  • Also when we feel like it, we want to be able to boondock up to a week. This is why we are looking for an older rig. I want to spend some money to modifications and add-ons like Solar and batteries. Something solar ready is always a plus but not a must.
  • For that we need big water tanks. Minimum 60 gallons fresh water.
  • Also we feel like we will always travel to warmer areas but I want the option to spend some time in cold weather. Insulation is a must and also heated plumbing system and tanks.
  • We need a living room with that fits at least 1 pull out sofa and 2(at least 1) recliners. So anything smaller than 29ft probably too small and also there are not many options out there smaller than 29ft.
  • We are thinking about moving every 2-3 weeks. Easy set up with auto leveling jacks makes everything easy but not necessary.


So far Grand Design REFLECTION 27RL and Arctic Fox 27-5L  (maybe Glacier Peak too, not sold on the water tank 60gl seems not enough0 looks like great fits but they are hard to find used. And for these models, do I need a 1 ton diesel truck or can I go lower than that. If you think about the future, maybe 1 ton is the better choice.

What else is out there? Which make and brand 5th wheels? Thank you

Thank you very much

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If you can, take the Bully with you to see how he does with going up and down the stairs.  You don't want to haul a 60+ lb cannonball in and out if you don't have to.  Yes, many pet products are out there in the form of ramps and pet-centric stairways that you can use, but they are not as convenient as you may think.  Don't ask me how I know.

If you can find a coach with 2 entrances, you could modify one, if needed, for dog entry and egress.

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1 hour ago, remoandiris said:

If you can, take the Bully with you to see how he does with going up and down the stairs.  You don't want to haul a 60+ lb cannonball in and out if you don't have to.  Yes, many pet products are out there in the form of ramps and pet-centric stairways that you can use, but they are not as convenient as you may think.  Don't ask me how I know.

If you can find a coach with 2 entrances, you could modify one, if needed, for dog entry and egress.

We used to own a class C and my brother in law's Bulldog was really comfortable with that one. It all depends on the animal too. 

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my molly a 90 pound rott. could just handle a short flght of stairs.( no more than 6 steps)  but never did like ramps.

a cockapoo just jumped up and down the same.

all pending how the critters brain is wired.

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Welcome, and congrats on your decision to hit the road!

If I understand your post correctly, you are able to spend up to $35,000 for both a used fiver and TV (tow vehicle)?  Even staying at 32' or smaller you could have a tough time keeping that budget.  

The only thing I would suggest is if you start out in a 27' to 28' fiver at least get a 3/4 ton or 1 ton PU.  That way if you decide in a year or two that you want something longer maybe you won't have to change TVs also.

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On 10/27/2018 at 8:52 AM, FL-JOE said:

Welcome, and congrats on your decision to hit the road!

If I understand your post correctly, you are able to spend up to $35,000 for both a used fiver and TV (tow vehicle)?  Even staying at 32' or smaller you could have a tough time keeping that budget.  

The only thing I would suggest is if you start out in a 27' to 28' fiver at least get a 3/4 ton or 1 ton PU.  That way if you decide in a year or two that you want something longer maybe you won't have to change TVs also.

No, 35k just for the 5th wheel.

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Okay, I misunderstood, sorry.  I would think there would be tons of really good late model units available in that range.

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14 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

Okay, I misunderstood, sorry.  I would think there would be tons of really good late model units available in that range.

Problem is most the late models are not structurally good and lack insulation.

I focused my research on Grand Design these days. They have a lot of good layout options. Only disadvantage I see so far is their fresh tanks are only 60 gallons.

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2 hours ago, BulldogRoad said:

Problem is most the late models are not structurally good and lack insulation.

That is true.  I was at an RV show two weeks ago.  I made the mistake of leaning up against an interior wall in a (high-end) 5th-wheel and the wall buckled.  It was, quite literally, made out of cardboard - and this one was at 3X the OP's budget.   I toured two more (from different manufacturers) that turned out to be constructed the same way, and promptly left.  Now I'm looking exclusively at pre-2008 units.

 

-Jim

 

Edited by OregonJim

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Looking at some of the RVs at dealerships and the horror stories of new RVs, I am sure glad that I have my 2013 HitchHiker Champagne.  The OP needs to look at the used inventory at Kansas RV in Chanute, KS.  This where the HitchHikers were built.  They love to get used HitchHikers and refurbish them.  Just check them out.  The service department is A number 1 first class.

Ken

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14 hours ago, TXiceman said:

Looking at some of the RVs at dealerships and the horror stories of new RVs, I am sure glad that I have my 2013 HitchHiker Champagne.  The OP needs to look at the used inventory at Kansas RV in Chanute, KS.  This where the HitchHikers were built.  They love to get used HitchHikers and refurbish them.  Just check them out.  The service department is A number 1 first class.

Ken

Thanks. I am checking out their inventory

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On 10/31/2018 at 4:33 PM, lockmup68 said:

look for Tetons, Mountain Aires, Country Aires, Hitchhikers, New Horizons--all good four season rigs. 

I think if I start considering up to 35 feet, Teton, hitchhiker and new horizons would be great candidates. They seem like holding their value.

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 9:20 AM, BulldogRoad said:

I think if I start considering up to 35 feet, Teton, hitchhiker and new horizons would be great candidates. They seem like holding their value.

If you are starting to think Teton or similar units, plus larger, what did you say your tow vehicle was?  Being a full timer you certainly do not want to start out being right up to your tow limits.

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5 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

If you are starting to think Teton or similar units, plus larger, what did you say your tow vehicle was?  Being a full timer you certainly do not want to start out being right up to your tow limits.

I am thinking about a 1 ton Diesel. maybe not a dually.

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Don't count out a dually.  Before I upgraded my TV, I did a lot of reading on each manufacture's web site on weights.  Some won tons are very little over 3/4s.  Then there are levels of DRW set-ups, tranny/gearing/eng. etc.  I did not go with the max weight set up as I don't plan on going that big.  I did choose a 3500 DRW over a SRW because there was quite a difference.  Although my current RV can be hauled with a SRW, I do plan on getting a bigger RV, maybe this winter, next at the latest.  I'm only looking to go 38ft max, but alot of those will push my limits (17.4k is max RV weight for my set-up).  Current RV is a 32ft, the size is good, IMHO, for the 2 of us but I want a small toy hauler.  I guess my point should read, go bigger than what you think you need as replacing it later if/when you upgrade your RV would just add an unnecessary expense later.  Another point:  DRW is alot more stable in windy conditions than a SRW with a big sail behind you.  Saying that, there have been times when I parked my DRW for the night because even those can get blown around with the right wind.

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3 hours ago, BulldogRoad said:

I am thinking about a 1 ton Diesel. maybe not a dually.

I tow my Teton with a semi. Did tow with a 3500. jfyi

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"I found a couple of good Excels, but year wise, they are old"

Excels/HitchHikers haven't been made for about 5 years, Tetons maybe 10, so if you are thinking about them, can't dodge the age. New Horizons also older, but newer ones being made.

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On 11/29/2018 at 1:31 PM, NDBirdman said:

Don't count out a dually.  Before I upgraded my TV, I did a lot of reading on each manufacture's web site on weights.  Some won tons are very little over 3/4s.  Then there are levels of DRW set-ups, tranny/gearing/eng. etc.  I did not go with the max weight set up as I don't plan on going that big.  I did choose a 3500 DRW over a SRW because there was quite a difference.  Although my current RV can be hauled with a SRW, I do plan on getting a bigger RV, maybe this winter, next at the latest.  I'm only looking to go 38ft max, but alot of those will push my limits (17.4k is max RV weight for my set-up).  Current RV is a 32ft, the size is good, IMHO, for the 2 of us but I want a small toy hauler.  I guess my point should read, go bigger than what you think you need as replacing it later if/when you upgrade your RV would just add an unnecessary expense later.  Another point:  DRW is alot more stable in windy conditions than a SRW with a big sail behind you.  Saying that, there have been times when I parked my DRW for the night because even those can get blown around with the right wind.

Our idea about living full time in a 5th wheel is about living small. We gradually want to follow other way around and go smaller with time. It is the other way around for most people and I understand that. 

It depends on the deal. I might still go with a dually. Thank you for the recommendation

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