best 5th wheels for long term use

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gbono2

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May 29, 2006
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Hi

I'm new to this site & the world of RV.  I travel the US doing contract engineering work.  The contracts last from from 3-6 at a time.  I'm thinking about a 5th wheel & a Dodge 2500 w/a Cummins diesel.  What brands of 5th wheels are best for this type of living?


Thanks
 

Carl L

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You are talking about what is called full-timing.? ?There are number of folks here that do that, and will likely chime in.

Pending that, you are not talking brand as much as you are talking models within brands.? ?A full-timer's trailer is going to be the higher end of a manufacturer's line for any given length.? ?You will want to have durable furnishings and fittings.? The lightness and cheapness of a vacation trailer's stuff will go to pieces under continuous living.? ?You will need more storage than a vacation unit also.?

You seem to be in the market for a trailer and a tow vehicle simultaneously.? ?I would recommend settling on the trailer you want first and then on the tow vehicle to pull that weight of trailer.? ? Use the Trailer Life tow rating tables (see www.trailerlife.com and go to the Tech section).    If you plan to use the trailer east of the Mississippi, reduce the tow rating by 10% to give you a bit of safety factor.  If you plan to tow in the mountain west, including the Pacific Coast make that reduction 15-20%.  Do note that tow ratings are a matter of engine, transmission, and, especially brakes.  You are not just choosing a stiff suspension, you are choosing a balanced and safe package.
 

Steve CDN

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The best built and sturdiest fifth wheels in my opinion are Teton.  These can be customized for your particular needs, including heavier duty suspension for fulltiming.

Tetons are popular with prople working for the circus, for their spaciousness and durability.

Other brands that produce heavier duty fifth wheels are Travel Supreme,  Newmar and Peterson Industries.

Carls point about selecting the tow vehicle to match the trailer is very important, because if you decide on something like a 43 foot Teton, you would need a heavy duty tractor.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Generally you want to look at the mid and upper price range products, to get the durability you need for full time use. "Vacation" class rigs simply don't hold up.  Weight is another indicator - models designated as "light weight" often sacrifice quality of materials and strength/rigidity of the frame to reduce weight.

Tetons are about the top of the line in quality, though there are other brands that may equal or exceed them in amenities. They are also quite expensive and heavy.  Other brands I would consider are (in no special order):

Holiday Rambler Presidential
New Horizons (these are custom tailored to your wants/needs)
Carriage & Carri-lite
Alpinelite
Newmar Torrey Pines
Collins
Nu-Wa Hitchiker & Snowbird
Alfa

Some mid range brands that are popular and seem to hold up decently
Sunnybrook
Jayco Legacy
Cardinal
Montana
Cedar Creek
Holiday Rambler Alumuscape
Glendale Titanium
Golden Falcon

This list is by no means all inclusive, but it's a place to stat looking.



 

Alaskansnowbirds

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You've got some excellent advise from Carl, Steve and Gary.

Another thing to keep in mind is what climate will you be staying in. If your job takes you to the northern areas in the winter be sure the trailer you get is equipped to handle the cold. Teton is one manufacture that has a factory installed arctic package that's guaranteed down to well below zero degrees. I'm sure other manufactures do too. I also agree with the others advice to pick out the trailer first then get the tow vehicle to pull it.
 

gbono2

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May 29, 2006
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10
Hey there

Good points to remember.  That's why I posted here 'cause you folks have so much knowledge & practical experience on this subject.

Thanks all & keep the advice coming!!

George
 

Steve CDN

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Tetons are about the top of the line in quality, though there are other brands that may equal or exceed them in amenities.

Gary,

I was doing some research a couple of years ago to look at possible options for when we stop using the MH and want to park a fifth wheel at our Southern home base.

The surprise I got was to discover that Tetons are not necessarily more expensive and might even be less expensive than other top line fifth wheels.  The interior finish and quality of cabinetry I found was much better than the Royals and Newmar comparable models.

If one is looking for that type of fifth wheel, I would encourage anyone to compare and to see actual coaches and not rely on brochures.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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http://www.dieselnet.com/news/2001/04ddc.php

It would be hard for any rig to be more expensive than  a Royals International.  :D    Them Royals folks are really proud of their product!    Ditto for the Newmar LondonAire.  I'm not surprised that Teton offers equal or better quality for same or less money.
 
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