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Author Topic: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?  (Read 5248 times)

Mike68959

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How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:32:21 PM »
My wife and I are researching used 5th wheels to get familiar with the features so we'll be better prepared when we get serious about buying one in early 2011.  We'd like one that can take sub-freezing temps for several hours or even all-night.  (My wife doesn't do well in heat, so we'll be full-timing in cooler areas.)  I've seen a very few that are advertised as 3- or 4-season outfits, but are there brands/models that I should be looking for?

seilerbird

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 07:48:41 PM »
5ers aren't designed for the cold. It would add way too much weight. You would be better off in a Class A.

PancakeBill

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 07:54:06 PM »
Carriage fifth wheels are among the very few that are designed for four seasons.   They can be heavy.  One of the tasks for the engineers, the sales/marketing team has is to stay over night in a unit on an extremely cold night.  Being in Indiana there are plenty. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Mike68959

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 08:49:33 PM »
Thanks to both of you.  I see that we should modify our expectations.

PancakeBill

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 09:29:31 PM »
What are you planning on towing with? 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 09:49:10 PM »
Teton Homes built excellent cold weather rigs. Travel Supreme, Carriage, Alfa, Alpenlite, and Nuwa are pretty decent too.  Some manufacturers offer an "Arctic package" to help, but if the basic design is lacking the extras don't help all that much.

The fact is, though, that in any of them the walls are thin, there is lots of glass, and skylights and such are uninsulated. Further, every wall in an RV is an outside wall, gaining heat when it's hot and losing it when its cold. You are never very far from a heat sink, so the interior temps tend to be uneven, with hot and cold spots. Be prepared to have the a/c run a lot when its hot, and the heat run a lot when it is cold. And you will likely want auxiliary heater(s) as well to add comfort.

One cold night is not a big problem in any decent RV. Turn up the heat and put on a sweater.  Several cold days & nights, e.g. winter camping, is a different story.
Gary
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2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Mike68959

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 09:53:56 PM »
What are you planning on towing with?
A 2001 Ford F-250 V10 Crewcab, gas engine.

Mike68959

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 09:54:45 PM »
Teton Homes built excellent cold weather rigs. Travel Supreme, Carriage, Alfa, Alpenlite, and Nuwa are pretty decent too.  Some manufacturers offer an "Arctic package" to help, but if the basic design is lacking the extras don't help all that much.

The fact is, though, that in any of them the walls are thin, there is lots of glass, and skylights and such are uninsulated. Further, every wall in an RV is an outside wall, gaining heat when it's hot and losing it when its cold. You are never very far from a heat sink, so the interior temps tend to be uneven, with hot and cold spots. Be prepared to have the a/c run a lot when its hot, and the heat run a lot when it is cold. And you will likely want auxiliary heater(s) as well to add comfort.

One cold night is not a big problem in any decent RV. Turn up the heat and put on a sweater.  Several cold days & nights, e.g. winter camping, is a different story.

Great points; thanks for your input - it helps.

PancakeBill

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 10:30:45 PM »
You don't have a very high tow capacity with that truck.  Decent, but not high.  Without looking it up, I would say about 12,300.  With crew cab likely less.  30' 5ers would typically fit into this range.  Newer trucks upped cap to about 18,000 depending on configuration. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Rick and Cheryl

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 11:29:49 PM »
When you factor in the limited towing capacity of your truck, I would suggest you look for a Hitchhiker II series, 30-32 ft.  You might want to visit the NuWa website and check out the archives so that you can see the specs on various year's production.
 
The Hitchhiker II series isnt technically a 4 season rig, but will be adequate for temps below freezing during the night.  If you could find one with double pane windows that would be great.

I get the impression you wont actually be in true "winter" weather, just a climate that dips below freezing occasionally.  Regardless of what you buy, adding some wintering items will make your experience more comfortable,,ie electric blanket, electric heater, heat tape for water hoses and etc.

Jim Godward

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 12:06:45 AM »
You might check on the Newmar 5ers as the MH I have is very good to well below zero.  I have heard the 5ers do as well or better but have no direct knowledge.
Jim
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Derby6

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2010, 02:15:06 AM »
You don't have a very high tow capacity with that truck.  Decent, but not high.  Without looking it up, I would say about 12,300.  With crew cab likely less.  30' 5ers would typically fit into this range.  Newer trucks upped cap to about 18,000 depending on configuration.
I very respectfully disagree PancakeBill,
  He is rated at 12500, but that is plenty....I post because I keep seeing under vehicle tower questions on here, which have caused some to question my set up.....See my profile and you may question it too (1997 1 ton diesel with a 2007 28' toy hauler).  But the bottom line is Ford, Dodge, Chevy, whatever brand, I think ALL trucks are being rated higher nowadays, but the truth is the older trucks are just as stable as the newer ones...Not all but most, especially the 3/4, 1 ton and above.
  I was recently compared to a 2010 1/2 ton Gasser and I just can't see the comparison. :-\
2006 Jeep Commander (Wifes Ride)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater commuter car)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
98 Yamaha VMAX

Derby6

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 02:23:49 AM »
My wife and I are researching used 5th wheels to get familiar with the features so we'll be better prepared when we get serious about buying one in early 2011.  We'd like one that can take sub-freezing temps for several hours or even all-night.  (My wife doesn't do well in heat, so we'll be full-timing in cooler areas.)  I've seen a very few that are advertised as 3- or 4-season outfits, but are there brands/models that I should be looking for?
Look for trailers and 5th wheels specifically designed and built in/for the northwest.  Heated tanks is often a key.  If your black and gray tanks freeze, but you are warm, what is the use.  Also get after market storm windows.  Mine has both and I love it.  My storm windows do not allow you to open the vented windows until they are removed.  Funny In AK, I leave the storm windows in year around...lol  My tanks don't have a separate switch, just are heated when I turn on/up the heat.
   I have not camped in subzero temps, but bet my rig would be OK....No use fishing sucks here when it 10 below.....lol
2006 Jeep Commander (Wifes Ride)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater commuter car)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
98 Yamaha VMAX

glen54737

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 05:45:42 AM »
It would be helpful to know how cold do you expect?
I've been in Kansas city for the last 3 winters and it was below zero for a few days the only issues I faced was keeping the water coming in from freezing and keeping the propane full.

Check out the brands Gary mentioned I've seem many of them in the parks in the winter.

I used a 2004 Rockwood it has heated tanks and a fully wrapped underbelly.
2011 F-250 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2012 Crusader 290RLT

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

Mike68959

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 06:38:52 AM »
Thanks everyone for the great input. Got lots of research to do now.
glen54737, We're thinking of being in areas through the first snow before heading toward warmer climes - such as our home state (NE).  That'd mean lows no colder than the mid-20's overnight.

glen54737

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2010, 05:30:15 PM »
I would think that any good 5th wheel would do for "mild" weather as that you will need the heat and take precautions for the water.

I'm looking forward to one just as "mild" here in Chattanooga Tn. they say sometime it's into the teens but not much snow. We'll see.
2011 F-250 CC short box 6.7l 3.55 axle
2012 Crusader 290RLT

Glen,Nene
Mickey & Jayco (yorkies)

Brother Bear

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2010, 07:07:26 AM »
I've been through some cold stuff in my 5er. It's a Cedar Creek Day Dreamer. It has heated tanks. Aside from burning propane like sixty to keep it warm, I didn't have issues until it got down to about 5 degrees for extended periods. I then had fresh water problems. It seems somehwere between the heated tank and the main utility bay, cold air could get to my supply line. I had a protable electirc heater running in the inside plumbing bay and a light bulb in the side compartment to help keep things thawed out.
Larry
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hoddinron

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2010, 09:43:01 AM »

In Montana in 2009, we visited a dealer who sold the Arctic Fox line.  I'm surprised no one has suggested checking them out.

They seemed to be well equipped for cold weather camping.  Extra thick side walls, heated tanks, enclosed underbody, etc.

Check them out.

Ron
Ron & Joyce - Retired
2012 Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel 2.73 axle
2007 Flagstaff 26' 5th Wheel

Mike68959

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2010, 12:15:36 PM »
Thanks, BrotherBear and hoddinron.

Derby6

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2010, 01:24:44 PM »
In Montana in 2009, we visited a dealer who sold the Arctic Fox line.  I'm surprised no one has suggested checking them out.

They seemed to be well equipped for cold weather camping.  Extra thick side walls, heated tanks, enclosed underbody, etc.

Check them out.

Ron

Good Call, I forgot about them.  I find it amusing I have a Desert Fox in Alaska, so don't always rely on the name....lol
2006 Jeep Commander (Wifes Ride)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater commuter car)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
98 Yamaha VMAX

PancakeBill

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2010, 04:57:46 PM »
Derby6,  with a 12,500 tow cap what would you suggest he use for a weight limit?  I agree that they can do more than rated, but you also have to consider thatliability may be be in case of accident.  HAte thinking about accidents, but consoder car pulls in front, he doesn't stop in time, he is over cap because 'we all know we can pull more than cap'.  What do you think the insurance is going to do, plus the guy he hits lawyers? 

As an RV salesman I know the myth out there is that we all tell folks 'sure, you can pull it', but not so.  At the dealership I work at (occasionally), we have a safety statement, and if there is not sufficient excess capacity, we won't let you drive it away, and only sell it if we deliver because it will stay, or you are replacing your truck.  Customer signs a statement allowing that we explained it was not safe.  In case of accident, we at least have this form to cover us.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to explain that he should not pull that trailer with that truck. 

I hear ALL the stories, oh, my buddy does it all the time, or the truck salesman told me I could haul a house,  (he meant dog house I am sure, he just 'forgot ' to say dog....

Another item to consider, just cuz you can pull it doesn't mean you can stop it safely, or that the cooling system, the transmission system, the tire ratings are all up to the task. 

All boils down to, careful what you tell someone thy can do with what they have. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Derby6

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2010, 10:23:42 PM »
Funny PancakeBill, you and me are so much on the same sheet its not even funny.  I mean what you just posted, I say ALL THE TIME.  I guess I disagreed with your original post because, like you said he is rated at 12500lbs.  I just compared and his Maximum Trailer Weight is actually 600lbs heavier than a 2011 F350 Crew Cab diesel.  How can that possibly be? 

Another example is that was pointed out to me that my 97 Maximum Trailer Weight is actually only 7,101 lbs.  Fact is my Toy Hauler GVWR is 13500lbs.  No doubt a newer truck would be better, but I would still exceed the Maximum, what are you supposed to pull it with.... I mean there is F150's with lil 5.4 motors rated MUCH higher than my Diesel F350 ...Yea mine is 13 years old and they have some newer safety features, but it makes no sense, there vehicles pale in comparison in pretty much every aspect....Lets Face it the newer trucks aren't made with more steel and sheet metal, there is less....lol

I guess I just see 1/2 tons puling HUGE trailers and it drives me nuts and I feel a guy in a 3/4 ton would be fine...UNLESS it was one of those HUGE 5th wheels, but I don't really know the weight on them either.  Pulling experience is another factor.

I don't know, I have pulled all my life and know my limits and those of my vehicles, many don't and I 110% applaud you as a salesman for being honest with folks.  You probably have saved a few lives.

Sorry we kinda hijacked the thread.
2006 Jeep Commander (Wifes Ride)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater commuter car)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
98 Yamaha VMAX

PancakeBill

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2010, 10:46:44 PM »
I had a 95 F250 and a 2002 F350 diesel.  neither was rated to pull what I wanted, sold the 02 and got the motorhome, pull a 96 Honda Accord Wagon. 

Don't forget, a lot of systems go into calculating the rating, brakes, suspension etc.  Not just pulling power. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

broncobilly

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Re: How to find used 5th wheel's that can take cold weather?
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2010, 04:12:44 PM »
Heartland tests there Bighorns at zero deg, check out the Heartland forum for more info.
http://www.heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/15344-Big-Horn-3185-RL-Woodland-Interior-Is-Finished...?p=119200#post119200