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Author Topic: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence  (Read 9661 times)

Larry D.

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Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« on: May 14, 2008, 11:39:41 AM »
Okay, so I never thought I'd be where I am now. But I'm looking at Jayco Eagle Superlights for the soon to be wife and I. She'll be completing another semester of college and we'll be evangelizing full time for the next year or so. Crazy stuff but it kind of fell into my lap. For those of you who didn't see my thread in the introductions forum I'll go ahead and say I'm 23 and have my degree in theology which will turn into a bachelors as soon as I finish my thesis. Yay.

And so I'll be honest here, all of this is very overwhelming. I'd like something with good insulation and some place that's comfortable for the wife and I. I don't want to go over 35' because of having to drag it all around. We'd like a single bedroom with a nice living area since we aren't planning on having kids anytime soon and kitchen space is important to her (cooking is her hobby).

I really like this floor plan but don't know how the jayco's stack up. Or if they're suitable for full timing it. Are their any others with such a floor plan? I'd like to buy one that's a year old or at most two years old to save a few bucks. My budget is in the 25,000 to 30,000 range or less and I'll still need to find a truck. I'm looking at 2004ish F250s with the Triton v10.

http://www.jayco.com/php/products/floorplans.php?id=155&mod_id=781
Any input and advice is certainly appreciated. Like I said, all this RV stuff is overwhelming my brain at the moment. To many brands and so much to take into consideration.

- Larry


[edit]To make link live.[/edit]
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 06:09:34 PM by Carl L »

edjunior

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 01:02:24 PM »
Hmm, well, that Jayco looks pretty nice, but I can't help you much on the quality side.  I know the Jayco Designers are pretty nice though.  As for the truck, if you're looking at the V10 (good choice I think), I'd get a 05 or newer.  They went to the 3V on 05 with more HP and more torque, plus the integrated brake controller.  I'd try to find one with all that.  With gas prices what they are today, you should be able to get a pretty good deal on one...if you can find it.  But with that Jayco (for example), that would be a great match. 
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Carl L

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 06:13:33 PM »
That Jayco is a "ulta lightweight" unit and may not be sturdy enough for full time living.   To cut weight, mfrs cut corners on sturdiness of furnishings, cabinets and counters.   Look around some dealership and/or RV shows, to see what the differences are in units.

Wait on the Tow Vehicle until you nail down a good full-timing unit.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 07:33:02 PM »
Larry,

Another thing to think about.

How often will you be moving? If you will be moving often, you may want to consider a motor home with a toad (car pulled behind). With fuel prices, if you have a 5th wheel you'll be driving your tow vehicle all the time. With a motor home you could pull a gas efficient car to drive all the time.

The 5th wheel will give you more living space though.

Just what you needed, something else to think about.  ;D  ;D
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 12:05:24 AM »
Well, we won't be moving a whole lot over the next half year. It's next spring that we'll probably start bounding around the countryside.

We've pretty much decided on our unit after stumbling across an 05 Fleetwood Prowler AX6 5th wheel. The one we saw today wasn't the best example but the floor plan was perfect and Steph fell in love with the kitchen... and I don't have to duck anywhere in the trailer (I'm 6'2"). We're basically researching them now and looking at pricing on them.

Pricing seems to be from a reasonablish 24k to 29k for the worst example we'll probably look at (on a lot no less). So yeah, I'm trying to pin down what they're actually worth but she's made up her mind there. Nice storage available underneath too.

I basically know what I want for a tow vehicle from growing up on a farm. The v10 vs. the diesel is an economic decision and a maintenance decision since my dad has a Powerstroke (I do not want to be changing overpriced fuel filters all the time) and I'd rather spend the 6 or so grand I save on a low psi supercharger if I actually need that kind of power (I actually have a low mileage  Powerdyne blower sitting here that used to be on my car so bracketry and tuning would be all I would need but even a measly PD blower is probably going to be overkill).

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 10:43:50 AM »
I think the Prowler is a better choice than the superlight Jayco. Nothing against Jayco, but the superlights are, well, very light duty.

The floor plan you linked to looks pretty standard for that size fifth wheel with a rear lounge. I would think you would find many similar ones. Obviously you already found one in the Prowler and there will be more. Don't be in a rush - keep looking around.

A diesel is a much better choice than a V10 for hauling big trailers - or even medium sized ones. And that V10 is going to really drink gas when you tow. Up front cost for a diesel is an issue, but a fuel filter once or twice a year should not be.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 02:27:05 PM »
I forgot to mention before but, you're right, we looked at a Jayco lightweight and were less than impressed.

I'm still kind of stuck on the v10 because the unladen trailer weight of the Prowler is right around 11,200 pounds and the fifth wheel towing capacity of a V10 F250 Supercab with automatic transmission and 4:30 gears is still above 15,000 pounds (15,200 IIRC). At the moment we don't intend to be in the mountains to much so power loss due to elevation isn't a primary concern. If we need to cross mountains I can supercharge it myself.

Nevertheless, many of you speak confident that diesel is the way to go. Is there something I'm missing here? Do you really think we'll manage to put 2 tons worth of stuff in our trailer and hit the maximum towing capacity of this truck? I know water and fluids are heavy but 4,000 lbs. seems like an awful lot of stuff.

Carl L

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 05:00:15 PM »
I forgot to mention before but, you're right, we looked at a Jayco lightweight and were less than impressed.

I'm still kind of stuck on the v10 because the unladen trailer weight of the Prowler is right around 11,200 pounds and the fifth wheel towing capacity of a V10 F250 Supercab with automatic transmission and 4:30 gears is still above 15,000 pounds (15,200 IIRC). At the moment we don't intend to be in the mountains to much so power loss due to elevation isn't a primary concern. If we need to cross mountains I can supercharge it myself.

Nevertheless, many of you speak confident that diesel is the way to go. Is there something I'm missing here? Do you really think we'll manage to put 2 tons worth of stuff in our trailer and hit the maximum towing capacity of this truck? I know water and fluids are heavy but 4,000 lbs. seems like an awful lot of stuff.

Odd, what is your source for the tow rating?   The 2004 Trailer Life tow rating tables give 13,800 lbs for the F-250 Supercab with auto, V10 and 4.30 rear end.   That rating is the highest that any F250/350 show for that year.   You would have to go to the F450s to do as much as 15,000 lbs

We regard unladen weight as a poor criteria for evaluating the tow-ability of a trailer.  The number is a calculated number that usually does not consider options.  A better number is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, GVWR, which is often showed in spec sheets as base weight + carrying capacity.   The GVWR can be found on the trailer's DOT plate at the front of the left side exterior. 

Where will you travel?   If you would travel in the mountain or Pacific West, you do not need to be in mountains, the plateaus and passes treat you to 6-7,000 foot altitudes with their 18 - 21% loss in rated HP, and miles and miles of 6%+ interstate grades.    If you would travel there you need to deduct 20% from the tow ratings to get the proper trailer GVWR, that is unless you get a turbo diesel or a blown gasser.   Just on the low country flats, I would consider a 10% GVWR safety factor as prudent just to allow for the state of tune and condition of a tow vehicle as it ages.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 05:24:21 PM »
Ah sorry, I quit looking at the 04's when I found that the integrated trailer brake controller started in 2005; as did the higher power rating on the v10. The numbers I listed are for 08's but I forgot to mention that 04's were out of the question. I'd also forgotten that I'd mentioned an 04 in this thread. Sorry about that. My mistake.

Trailer life seems to be listing 16,400 for a v10 equipped F250 from 2005 and unless I'm reading this thing wrong then that's higher than an 08 truck. This may be from the new chassis design Ford recently implemented adding weight to the truck. But those numbers don't make sense to me... seems high.

Link is here: http://www.trailerlife.com/downloads/2005/TowingRatings_p12_15.pdf

I have a great affinity for the Rockies so we'll probably go out there at some point but not necessarily for work purposes. I'd like to not have to worry about swapping trucks with my dad when we go and if the specs I'm reading are correct then I should be good. If I end up having to buy an 05 diesel to get the tow rating I need then I'll probably buy an 08 v10 with the specs I listed in my previous post assuming those are good.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 05:52:24 PM by Larry D. »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 07:31:21 PM »
Go right to the Ford Towing Guide and get the factory ratings: 2005 Ford Towing Guide - F Series.  Chances of finding an 05 V10 with the 4:30 gears are likely slim, but even the 4.10 should have enough capacity at 14,600 lbs. Remember, though, that is with fuel & a 154 lb driver only, so the number goes down as you add a passenger, gear and even the trailer hitch.

Yes the V10 will pull it, but torque is what counts for towing and the diesel will out torque the V10 all day long and at far lower RPMs as well. And probably deliver better fuel mileage while doing it.

Get the weights on that Prowler so you have some real data to work with. As Carl,says, forget the unladen weight and uses the trailer GVWR as your measure. With two of you living in it full time, it WILL be full. And probably over-full.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ArdraF

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 10:31:09 PM »
Quote
Do you really think we'll manage to put 2 tons worth of stuff in our trailer and hit the maximum towing capacity of this truck? I know water and fluids are heavy but 4,000 lbs. seems like an awful lot of stuff.

Larry D.,

You're going to be shocked how much your "stuff" weighs!  Remember this is going to be your fulltime home.  You'll be needing clothes for various climates, food, linens, hobby stuff (if your lady likes to cook she's going to need the proper tools - crockpot, mixer, coffeemaker, breadmaker, blender, etc.) for each of you, books, professional/religious items, tools (these get really heavy), etc.  Look around your current living space(s) and determine what you're going to want to take with you.  Whille you're doing this make lists of "must take," "want to take," "leave behind," and "discard."

There have been previous threads related to what people carry in their RVs.  All fulltimers face this issue so it's been a popular topic.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

N Smock

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 07:47:09 AM »
I think you are fooling yourself with gas. You need a big diesel called Duramax. Look at the torque specs for the gasser its about 1/2 of the diesel, that means to get equivallent pulling power you need much deeper gears like 4:10 or 4:30. With the deeper gears that means that the stand alone mileage will not be very good. The Duramax uses 3:3 gears and it gets 21-23 MPG over the road stand alone, it gets about 18MPG around town. You will never get that from a gasser with 4:10 rears. I don't know where you have the idea of fuel filters being replaced often. The factory service interval on the diesel is twice that of the gasser - 10,000 miles, I do half that.

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 11:57:42 AM »
@RV Roamer: I did some more looking and research and while so many people advocate the diesel route the diesel trucks don't have a significantly higher tow rating than the V10 unless equipped with duals. Actually with most setups the numbers from Ford says the diesel is rated for less. The torque should only be a factor when starting a load and doesn't seem to reflect well on what the vehicle is rated for towing.

@N Smock: No offense but I've never been a Chevy man unless it was an old Muscle car. If I end up going the diesel route it'll be a Powerstroke or Cummins. I will admit that the Allison tranny and diff are tempting though. The need to replace fuel filters often stems from algae growing between the diesel and condensation that builds up in the gas tanks. This will inevitably cause the fuel filter to become clogged and can be circumvented by treating the diesel regularly. It may happen more frequently in diesels that sit some and aren't driven but that's one aspect of maintenance I can't say I like. 

N Smock

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 10:46:37 AM »
Larry

I guess you have not towed out west in the BIG hills. You are correct about torque helping to start you up but it really helps going up the long steep grades which can be several miles. Just another thing to think about here is the manf. cites the tow loads based on an empty truck I have a 3/4 ton which without the hitch in is 6820. The diesel or gas  tow ratings are not based on the capacity of the engine but the drive line and the fame and wheels as well as the engine. That is the reason you do not see much difference between the v-10 and the diesel.

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 12:01:27 PM »
The diesel or gas  tow ratings are not based on the capacity of the engine but the drive line and the fame and wheels as well as the engine. That is the reason you do not see much difference between the v-10 and the diesel.

Ahhh... I see. So, the manufacturer is basically saying, "this truck can safely travel down the road with xx,xxx lbs. behind it. Now it's up to you to get it moving."

And no, I haven't pulled out west but that's part of why I was posting this here. Thanks for the response.

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 03:10:36 AM »
Well, I took the plunge and bit since the market seems to be so soft at the moment.

I'll be taking delivery of an '09 Big Horn 3670rl in about a week and half. So... yeah... I'll be needing something with a larger tow capacity now. A monster F350 is about the only reasonable option now considering this puppy's weight.

Thanks for the advice guys. I'll see you around the forum... even if I'm mostly lurking and soaking up info.

edjunior

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 07:37:54 AM »
Well, I took the plunge and bit since the market seems to be so soft at the moment.

I'll be taking delivery of an '09 Big Horn 3670rl in about a week and half. So... yeah... I'll be needing something with a larger tow capacity now. A monster F350 is about the only reasonable option now considering this puppy's weight.

Thanks for the advice guys. I'll see you around the forum... even if I'm mostly lurking and soaking up info.

Yeah Larry, I spect you will need something larger now.  You really went adrift from your original posting!  That's a real nice 5er.  My Dad has the 3400RL and just loves it.  But you're right, it is a monser.  I would even consider the F-450 if I were you.  I don't know how partial you are to the color of the truck, but I saw (twice now) a kinda "sea green" colored F-450 (actually, one 450, and one 350).  That is the most beautiful truck I've seen.

Good luck.
Ed.....KF5INW
2011 F-250 XLT, 6.7L PSD
2010 Forest River Wildcat 28RKBS
"I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong!"

Larry D.

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2008, 12:34:36 PM »
Yeah, I've been perusing f-350's with the tow boss package, f-450's, and GMC Topkicks.  :o

For the time being we'll be borrowing my dad's f-350 to get it where it needs to be since it'll be parked. 

forever free

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2008, 02:37:23 PM »
We live in our '05 Prowler Regal AX6 BSQS.  Have been in it for one year now and are extremely happy with the livability factor. We live in middle TN and went through the winter months quite comfortably. I don't think you will be disapointed if you choose the Prowler.

John From Detroit

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2008, 03:44:02 PM »
Just a thought.... But if you are looking to buy a 5'er to live in then you have two choices

1: Have the dealer deliver it to a fixed site, never to be moved (By you)

or

2: Buy a big honking tow vehicle

The reason is you need a good size 5'er

now if you go with 2: you have to pay for fuel for that truck every time you run to the store for a loaf of bread or a half gallon of MOO juice.

If you were to get a Class A.. And tow, oh, say a small car

You get about the same millage camp to camp.. You get like 2x the MPG (or more) camp to supermarket.

You do way more driving camp to supermarket, church, post office, show, eatery, wherever, than camp to camp
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

saddletramp1200

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Re: Looking to buy a 5th wheel for a residence
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2008, 12:11:03 AM »
Alas, I tryed SO hard to stay out of this, These people that are kind enough to try to help you with this really know what there talking about. So you have a nice place, a heavy place, that is wonderful. Cummins makes a wonderful engine. BUT they are very picky what you feed them. Alge is a big concern as Cummins hates it. It will clog and stop on you. Mostly in wet climants next to the ocean. If you deside on a Ford go get a Webber Fuel seperator INLINE and run it between the tank and the motor. Drive it till the little black filters in the tank clog, or I hope before and throw them away. With the Webber you will NOT need them anyway. It cost me $1928.97 to find this out. What ever you buy I wish you the best of luck.
If I had just a little more duct tape and a longer screwdriver!
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