In March we purchased a 36 ft Mobile Suites. We love it. The quality is superior and it appears that someone put a lot of thought into the interior design. We have a ton of storage space. The Trailair pin box gives us a smooth and comfortable pull. I can't say enough about this fifth wheel. We looked at a lot of them and when this one came along we knew it was the one for us. There will be a Mobile Suites Rally memorial weekend at Goshen Indiana. It will be the first. Check it out. http://www.mobilesuitesrvclub.com. That is our experience we highly recommend Doubletree.
But are you within the legal weight limits for your truck. If over the GVWR, GCVWR then one is just fooling themselves and are putting themselves and others around them at risk. If over loaded one may not get caught but if in any accident then the potential liability consequences could be severe.
It is a lot. And, according to the Doubletree website, the top end models come in at a 20,000lb GVWR, and about 15,000 tare. Like all fivers of that caliber, you are in the F-450,550 and medium duty truck country.
You are talking about the Elite Suites GVWR that is 20,000 dry weight 15,100. But we do not have an Elite Suite. Ours is Mobile Suite TK3. GVWR is 17,500 Dry Weight is 13,200. We are attending the Rally and have an opportunity to weigh the truck and the trailer separately and together. There will be no guess work there. If we find that we are wrong, then we will get another truck. By all means we want to be safe. When buying a truck give it a test drive and have it weighed somewhere. Then you know you are okay. Right now we think we are. If I were David I would do what you suggest buy the 450 if he is looking at the 38ft suites or the Elite 36ft.