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Author Topic: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?  (Read 1685 times)

white water

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Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:13:37 AM »
I have had salesmen tell me that there are certain Brands that are rated for full-time living and other brands that are not. Obviously, there are rigs that are nicer than others and that one might prefer to live in than others. They went on to say that certain brands would not stand by their warranty if you lived full-time in the unit. Is all this true?

mn blue skies II

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Re: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 08:40:00 AM »
Rule #1  salesmen lie.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 08:50:59 AM »
Sort of, but it is also sales-blather.

No RV can be officially designated for use as a fulltime residence because that violates the residential building codes in all 50 states. That's a legal technicality, but it leads to disclaimers about "use as a residence" in most RV makers literature. 

This is a typical disclaimer, taken from a Jayco owner manual:
This recreation vehicle is not intended for use as a full-time residence or for commercial use. 

However, the distinction between use as a "fulltime residence" and "fulltime recreation" use is a decidedly gray area. If you park it in an RV park it is considered an RV in most communities, even if you stay there indefinitely, but if you park the same RV on a residential lot and sleep in it one night, most communities consider that it has become a residence (and an illegal one).

OK, putting that legality aside and focusing on valid recreational use, yes some manufacturers may state that the vehicle is intended for seasonal or part time use only, meaning that fulltime use constitutes "abuse" for warranty purposes. I've seen that wording here and there, though I don't recall brands or models. Since those RVs are mostly warranted for only 12 months anyway, I'm not sure it is a practical distinction.

My personal opinion is that intended fulltime use dictates getting a rig that is built using better grade materials and a higher standard of workmanship. I'm talking about cabinet work, flooring & upholstery as well as a sturdy frame underneath and well-built roof & sidewalls, plumbing and electrical work that is protected from vibration, well labeled, and accessible for repair, and numerous other details. That generally means a more expensive unit.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 09:00:11 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 09:07:20 AM »
What Gary said^^^^^ plus this disclaimer.  I have owned various towables and motorized RV's and have taken them all over the country. Any towable will have one drawback that manufacturers must deal with and that is weight. There is only so much room for weight on the axles and frame, so they often need to use lighter materials when assembling the rigs.  That coupled with the need to control costs to keep the profit margin up can lead to a less durable rig.

Montana's have a good rep for durability, but are also on the heavier end of the spectrum. Heavier also equates to needing a tow vehicle that can safely (legally) pull the weight.  It's a fine line and a balancing act for the builders. Yeah, the salesman was not being completely forthright.
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Doc Roads

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Re: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 06:30:04 PM »
Sarge and Gary are spot on for key points on the towable.  I’d add another important aspect ... the tow vehicle.  The capability to pull is typically the primary focus.  There’s a less discussed point.  Remember ... what you pull, you must stop.  The heavier RV will put more demand on the braking system too.  The towable has brakes,but that is an assist.   Be sure to look at the braking capacity and engine braking too.  If you travel the West, down hill is as much a concern as uphill.  Have a great time! ;D


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Re: Fulltime "Rated" 5th wheels?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 09:32:58 PM »
The Solitude line from Grand Design is labeled as suited for full time use from the manufacture.
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