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Need Information about several makes of 5th wheels.


gj.jb.blake

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We spend winters at Rainbow's End at Livingston, TX. We have been thinking about getting a new RV. I have a Chevy 2500 gas pickup that

is rated to tow 12500 lbs. We are looking at three brands locally, a Jayco Eagle 321 5th wheel, a Chaparral 336 TSIK, and an Open Range

[i don't have the model #]. We are also looking at an Artic Fox 27-5L, although no local dealer handles it. If anyone has knowldge,and an

opinion either good or bad about any of the above RVs I would like to hear it. Thank you.

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Ours was an Open Range, and I was VERY pleased with it. Compared to others in the price range, I thought it was much better built and more "solid-feeling", if that makes any sense. HOWEVER... I understand that Open Range, which used to be an independent manufacturer, recently sold out to one of the major RV manufacturers, and I'm not sure how that has affected the quality and workmanship of their units since then.

Stephen & Karen and our six boys, ages 21, 21, 19, 17, 14, & 11
Stephen - Military retiree (as of summer 2012) & current DOI employee (Big Bend National Park)
Karen - Homeschooling stay-at-home mom & veteran
San Antonio, Texas

Fulltimed May 2013 - July 2014 (yes, all eight of us!)
Open Range "Rolling Thunder" (H396RGR - fifth wheel toy hauler bunkhouse) - SOLD
Ford F-350 diesel dually - for the camper
Ford E-350 fifteen passenger van - for the crew

Our unfinished travel blog: http://coach-and-six.blogspot.com/

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You need to be looking at the Arctic Fox 32.5 to be in the same league as the others. I have nothing to say about the other brands as I've not owned one. I do know I was very happy with our AF. Just look at the frame that they build (not Lippert) and you will know that are built like a tank. You won't be disappointed.

2007 Arctic Fox 32.5 rls for full-timing, now sold.

2014 Sunnybrook Sunset Creek 267rl for the local campgrounds now that we are off the road
2007 Silverado 2500 diesel

Loving Green Valley, AZ (just South of Tucson)

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We spend winters at Rainbow's End at Livingston, TX. We have been thinking about getting a new RV. I have a Chevy 2500 gas pickup that
is rated to tow 12500 lbs. We are looking at three brands locally, a Jayco Eagle 321 5th wheel, a Chaparral 336 TSIK, and an Open Range
[i don't have the model #]. We are also looking at an Artic Fox 27-5L, although no local dealer handles it. If anyone has knowldge,and an
opinion either good or bad about any of the above RVs I would like to hear it. Thank you.

 

My question is what year is your truck, how many miles does it have? It is a gas model which does make a difference when compared with a diesel model. Of the RVs you listed they are right at the tow rating of your truck, it is always a good rule of thumb to try and keep your truck capacity at least 10% above the loaded rating of your RV, most RV'ers think their tow vehicle can tow what ever they hook it to, which it probably can but it's the stopping ability of your tow vehicle you are concerned about.

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My question is what year is your truck, how many miles does it have? It is a gas model which does make a difference when compared with a diesel model. Of the RVs you listed they are right at the tow rating of your truck, it is always a good rule of thumb to try and keep your truck capacity at least 10% above the loaded rating of your RV, most RV'ers think their tow vehicle can tow what ever they hook it to, which it probably can but it's the stopping ability of your tow vehicle you are concerned about.

 

This is very good advise. Watch closely the weights of the units you are considering, what the weight will be after putting your things in it, and the abilities of your truck. Don't forget to include passengers, fuel, and any other items carried in the truck.

Fulltiming since September 1, 2010

 

2012 Ford F-350 PSD SRW Lariat Crew Cab

 

2012 Montana 3585SA

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From my research and reading the experiences of others, I think you will find the Arctic Fox to be a higher-quality unit and more "four season" capable than the other brands you mentioned. (And, as an owner of a Lippert-framed RV, I'm NOT a Lippert fan!)

 

The issue with any 3/4 ton is not the "max towing capacity" but rather the leftover payload capacity on the rear axle to carry the fifth wheel pin weight. There is an easy way to determine what your payload capacity is - especially if you winter at Rainbow's End... schedule yourself for a SmartWeigh session there at the park. Follow the instructions in the SmartWeigh materials before going to weigh and you will come away knowing your wheel-by-wheel weights for your truck and current RV as well as your true payload capacity on the rear axle of the truck. Armed with that information, you will be able to make informed choices on a new fifth wheel.

 

Good luck!

 

Rob

2012 F350 CC LB DRW 6.7
2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows
Full-time since 8/2015

 

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Ours was an Open Range, and I was VERY pleased with it. Compared to others in the price range, I thought it was much better built and more "solid-feeling", if that makes any sense. HOWEVER... I understand that Open Range, which used to be an independent manufacturer, recently sold out to one of the major RV manufacturers, and I'm not sure how that has affected the quality and workmanship of their units since then.

They were bought by Jayco and are still independent manufactures. Randy the old CEO is still in charge of the plants. At an Open Range rally Randy said he needed money to continue to expand and he had two choices, become public and sell stock or sell the company.

 

They have expanded their plants. Most of the people that worked there are still there. I have not seen much change other than the name is now Open Range by Highland Ridge. The only rig that carries the Highland Ridge name are some new toy haulers.

Dave Watkins

Highland Village, TX

2014 F-350 Dually

Open Range 349RLR

 

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