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Best fifth wheel for fulltiming


jenalan

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Greetings Escapees!

 

My wife and I are planning our escape a few years out. We have looked at TONs of fifth wheels. From what I can find, most are not designed for fulltime living, and some warranties will not even cover full-timing.

 

Our favorites are the Open Range (warranty does not cover fulltiming) and the Grand Design (IS designed for "extended living").

 

We'll be looking at Fifth Wheels of approximately 35' to 30' in length, <$50k in price, and weight of less than 15,000 so we can pull it with a F150 or F250.

 

Does anyone have recommendations on a manufacturer that seems better suited for full time living?

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Need to do some research and run the numbers, Jenalan. Opinions are like certain parts of the human anatomy - everybody has one. However, in my opinion, a 150/1500 is out of the question for anything suited to full-timing. Our 2500HD diesel is marginal on payload for our GD Reflection 337RLS when it's loaded. Payload on the truck's rear axle becomes your limiting factor - not the GCVWR. Our fiver has a gross rating of 13,995 and the pin weight pushes 3,000# with the basement, front closet, and under-bed storage loaded. I really wish we had a 350/3500 (or larger) DRW. Most of Grand Design's Solitude line is clearly in one-ton territory (or better).

 

That said, we are new full-timers in our GD reflection and really like it. Still working on mods and tweaks to "make it ours." Good luck on your search.

 

Rob

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A 150 will not pull a 30' 5er. A 250 will limit you due to pin weight, GVWR and reae axle GAWR. I'd suggest you plan on at least a a 350 SRW to get a higher load rating.

 

AS for brand and build, look at 3 to 5 year old higher end units. But when you go higher end and full time 5ers, they are heavier than the typical weekend trailer. Heavier means more truck.

 

For a reasonable build quality trailer for full time, look at used HitchHikers, Cameos and Excels.

 

 

Ken

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A 150 will not pull a 30' 5er. A 250 will limit you due to pin weight, GVWR and reae axle GAWR. I'd suggest you plan on at least a a 350 SRW to get a higher load rating.

 

AS for brand and build, look at 3 to 5 year old higher end units. But when you go higher end and full time 5ers, they are heavier than the typical weekend trailer. Heavier means more truck.

 

For a reasonable build quality trailer for full time, look at used HitchHikers, Cameos and Excels.

 

 

Ken

 

 

X2 definitely look for used high end fivers, much more bang for your buck, and you will definitely need more than a 150/250 for a true full time quality unit.

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RV Consumer Group is a pay site that rates RV brands and specific units within a brand. It categorizes by usage and goes back several years so you can look at new and used models. https://www.rv.org/index.html It will also give you specifics on sizing for trucks. We ended up with a F 350 dually and when we started researching, I was hoping F150. We have a 40 foot fifth wheel so you probably won't need a dually in your size range but a F250 will keep you in the 30 foot range and even then not for all brands and units. In addition to the brands cited by TXIceman I would look at Arctic Fox (the 27-5L matches your specs quite well) or a used DRV mobile suites. You will find that Excel as suggested by Ken just went out of business but that was not due to quality issues and you may find a good deal. Beautiful trailers. Dave

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You're probably already getting the hint that you are looking for two different things, and 'you can't have your cake, and eat it too'.

 

Most of the 5th wheels that are built for full timing are heavier- because they are built for full timing and hold up to more use.

The lighter weight ones are not designed for fulltiming, but can be towed with a lighter truck.

 

DRW really helps when towing heavy trailers down the road. Not much fun as a daily driver, but you get used to it.

 

If you decide to get a bigger truck, I agree, I would look at HitchHiker, Excel, DRV, Carriage and Lifestyle.

If you don't want a bigger truck, I would knock all of the above off your list.

 

 

Sue

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When we were looking at 5ers before buying our current rig (2011 Cougar 322QBS) we looked at one of the new lighter models that a couple had been living in for a year. It looked worn out. On that basis I would say go for heavier. You have been getting a lot of comments re 1/2 or 3/4 ton. A friend of mine who used to work for a GM dealer told me that almost all the components of their 1500-3500 series are essentially the same. The critical differences are heavier springs/rear axle and possibly a heavier duty transmission. I dont think you will find yourself upset if you have too much pulling power especially on the odd day when you have to go up a really steep hill or pull yourself out of a muddy field. We ended up buying a one ton diesel (GMC sierra 3500HD 4x4) and I have never regretted it. The fuel mileage will be about the same as a 3/4 ton since the engine is the same but the extra strength gives us a safety/error margin that I really like. If you plan on boondocking I would also go for the 4x4 model. We have had to use that on a number of occasions.

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We are not real 24/7/365 full timers but long timers in that we maintain a S&B. We spend 6 months steady on the road in the winterand at least 3 months during the summer.

 

We observed people full timing /long timing in all kinds of RV's all brands all price ranges. One really needs to determine what kind of living/travel they will do.

 

Example in our case our objectives were to stay out of cold weather and to see the USA. Since we do stay in real cold or real hot weather we did not need a RV designed for full time use in very hot or very cold weather.

 

We have traveled over 80K miles in two Montana 5th wheels over 10 years and they have served us well.

 

Your financial ability can determine the price range of the RV. In our case we purchased what we could reasonably afford and stay within our budget requirements. IMO that is very important.

 

Have enough truck for the RV. The folks here have been there done that and give good advise. Take your time and plan.

 

Another example. I did not like diesel. I worked at a airport and The fumes (kerosene ) made me sick. Our first truck was 2005 F-350 V-10,Dually gasser to pull a 40 foot Montana GVW 15K.We began our long time journey in the winter of 06/07.We went west. I realized that I had made a decision based on personal likes/dislikes and not what we needed. We had same truck but a diesel for the 07/08 winter season.

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Let me just say, we have 2010 Forest River Flagstaff Super Lite. It's 32 feet and empty it weighs 7,500 lbs and fully loaded it is 10,000 lbs. We have a 2004 Ford F350 V10 to haul it. We have been full timing in it for 6 years. We are currently having our axles replaced but other than that we have no complains at all.

 

As for size, many of our full timing friends who have larger 5th wheels or even motorhomes, have been blown away by how much room we have. We have a rear kitchen and a side wall bathroom.

 

We love it and have no plans to replace it.

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