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RVing message boards => Fulltiming => Topic started by: 7.3diesel on September 01, 2014, 01:41:04 PM

Title: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 01, 2014, 01:41:04 PM
Hey everyone, so I've decided that I'm going to live full time in a fifth wheel! I'm excited!!!

What advice would you give to the novice RV shopper when buying a used fifth wheel to live in full time?

What features should I be looking for?

Looking to spend about $30k max.

So far, according to my research, I like these brands: EverGreen: green + build quality; Carriage, (Carri-lite/Cameo): build quality, Cedar Creek: economical build quality, NuWa (Hitchhiker): build quality & great forum community support, Teton: quality & great in cold weather, Peterson (Excel): build quality, New Horizons: pricey, best quality. Does agree / disagree with this list? Why?

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 01, 2014, 08:53:57 PM
Those are all good brands, and there are probably more besides. The key thing is to find one that is comfortable for you to live in, i.e. has the layout and conveniences YOU want & need.
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 02, 2014, 11:58:27 AM
I can live modestly. And although I know everyone's definition of "modest" is different, I'd just like to get an idea of what kind of features full-timers specifically should be looking out for as opposed to shoppers who just need a weekend camping 5th wheel. For example, I know I'll need a washing machine while a weekender, in most cases, will not; I'm just sure I'm not thinking of some other stuff I'll need...
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: COMer on September 02, 2014, 12:10:57 PM
There are some fine brands on your list and many that should satisfy your needs.  But some are also pretty heavy units since they are not going to be very new.  Can't imagine \what a used Teton would weight but plenty.  Make sure you know what truck you can handle and what it's capabilities are before you commit to a trailer, that is too much for it.  Sounds like you are going to be using a diesel.
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 02, 2014, 02:47:52 PM
There are some fine brands on your list and many that should satisfy your needs.  But some are also pretty heavy units since they are not going to be very new.  Can't imagine \what a used Teton would weight but plenty.  Make sure you know what truck you can handle and what it's capabilities are before you commit to a trailer, that is too much for it.  Sounds like you are going to be using a diesel.
The rig. (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,77771.new.html#new)
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 02, 2014, 04:18:39 PM
Stove, fridge, 10 gallon water heater, toilet, bed, a/c, a comfy chair and probably a tv. A table to eat at, and probably a convenient place for your computer (unless you figure your lap is sufficient). Good-sized fresh and waste water tanks and 50A electric. The washer/dryer, unless laundromats are ok with you - either method works fine and personal preference governs.

If you plan to spend much time off-grid, solar panel(s), a large battery bank, inverter and a generator. If not, you probably don't need any of those and just a modest battery or two.

Fulltimers usually require more storage space than weekenders because they bring all their worldly goods with them. You need to carry important papers, momentos, your hobby stuff, tools, etc. Whatever is important to you.
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 03, 2014, 02:53:53 PM
Stove, fridge, 10 gallon water heater, toilet, bed, a/c, a comfy chair and probably a tv. A table to eat at, and probably a convenient place for your computer (unless you figure your lap is sufficient). Good-sized fresh and waste water tanks and 50A electric. The washer/dryer, unless laundromats are ok with you - either method works fine and personal preference governs.

If you plan to spend much time off-grid, solar panel(s), a large battery bank, inverter and a generator. If not, you probably don't need any of those and just a modest battery or two.

Fulltimers usually require more storage space than weekenders because they bring all their worldly goods with them. You need to carry important papers, momentos, your hobby stuff, tools, etc. Whatever is important to you.
Thanks for the informative post.
I'd love to be able to do some off-grid boondockin'. Any recommendations on solar & diesel generator brands?
I'm diggin' these FlexPanels. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNAHAtaoHpE&list=PLG5YKEqC5FqvHg2pXcMEC7ZBu_Vn6Xu_a)
Thanks again. :)
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: vmyoung61 on September 04, 2014, 10:38:24 PM
Add Montana by Keystone to your list. They have the Mountaineer, High Country, Montana, and Big Sky.  All fall under the Montana label.  We absolutely love ours and we are full-timers.  Make sure whatever you choose is built for full-timing.  They will be a little better insulated.  Usually called "four season" units. 

If you have a choice, go with a stackable or side-by-side washer/dryer.  The combo is fine, but the loads will have to be smaller and results are longer wash/dry cycles and clothes more wrinkled.  If you do get the combo - make sure to get the vented unit.  The unvented ones are awful!  Takes FOREVER to dry and makes the inside of your camper feel like a sauna.  (My experience, anyway.)  We started with an unvented unit and made them take it out and replace it with a vented one.  Much better.  Our new fiver has the stackable washer and dryer.
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: Wclement1248 on September 05, 2014, 08:39:51 AM
We just purchased a 2013 KZ Stoneridge with rear kitchen.  It is designed for "extended living" and carries a 2 year warranty.  Kz covers anything that doesn't have a 2 year warranty.  We are very pleased with quality.  We looked at over 200 used and new 5ers.  We were initially looking at a more traditional front BR, middle kitchen/dining and rear living.  The more we looked, the more we realized that we using the wrong criteria to select our trailer.  We were looking at features that worked for camping and part time. 
When we reconsidered and made a list of our needs full time, we started looking at totally different layouts.  The large rear kitchen and extra storage proved to be the deciding factors.  We settled on new because it was a leftover 2013 and we were able to get 47% off list with the 2 year warranty from one of the top dealers in Houston.   

Spend lots of time looking and you will gradually develop a feel for the features that are important to you.  Be sure to picture yourself living in it with ALL your world goods.

Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 05, 2014, 10:40:58 AM
Add Montana by Keystone to your list. They have the Mountaineer, High Country, Montana, and Big Sky.  All fall under the Montana label.  We absolutely love ours and we are full-timers.  Make sure whatever you choose is built for full-timing.  They will be a little better insulated.  Usually called "four season" units. 
If you have a choice, go with a stackable or side-by-side washer/dryer.  The combo is fine, but the loads will have to be smaller and results are longer wash/dry cycles and clothes more wrinkled.  If you do get the combo - make sure to get the vented unit.  The unvented ones are awful!  Takes FOREVER to dry and makes the inside of your camper feel like a sauna.  (My experience, anyway.)  We started with an unvented unit and made them take it out and replace it with a vented one.  Much better.  Our new fiver has the stackable washer and dryer.
Wow, great point on the vented drier. Hadn't thought about that either. I'll ask when shopping. Thanks :)
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: Wclement1248 on September 05, 2014, 12:45:42 PM
We got a vented combo.  No problem with wrinkles unless I do the wash.  I tend to stuff too much in the machine.  We had the dealer install the vent and then purchased the combo on sale.  Saved about $700 by doing it that way.  This only works if you have a big strong son in law to help lift the unit
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 06, 2014, 09:18:34 AM
So I went 5th wheel shopping yesterday & looking at the sticker on the 5th wheel I noticed that the trailers had their own GVWR ranging from 7,000 to 16,000 lbs.
What does this rating mean?
Is this the 5th wheel's so called "dry weight"? If not, where do I find the dry weight?
According to a lot of salespeople I talked to yesterday, "a 3/4 ton truck can pull anything but a fully loaded toy hauler". I don't trust them.
What numbers on the trailer to I need to be looking at?
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 06, 2014, 10:39:55 AM
The trailer GVWR is the maximum allowable loaded weight of the trailer and its the number you want to use until you have loaded your own trailer and can weigh it. The other number you care about is the CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity).   The Pin (hitch) Weight is also important, but it too depends on the actual loaded weight. Use 20% of the GVWR as an estimated pin weight until you have an actual scaled weight to use.

Forget about the dry weight - it is not a useful number.  Likewise, the pin weight in the sales brochure is useless because it is based on the dry weight. If you like, think of those as the absolute minimum values for trailer and pin weight, but you will never actually see them quite that low in real life.
Title: Re: Fifth wheel shoppin' advice for a full-timer.
Post by: 7.3diesel on September 06, 2014, 11:13:13 AM
see this thread (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,77771.new.html#new)