Fifth-Wheel Longevity?

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ComanDanteRV

New member
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
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2
We're in the early stages of research for going full-time. Exciting!

My wife and I are early 40s and if all goes well we might be living this lifestyle for a few decades. So my question is on the longevity of fifth-wheels. I realize there are probably many variables in this equation. My goal is simply to have a very rough idea on how often we might be expected to need a total replacement. Are most people getting 5 years, 10 years, or more out of their fifth-wheels when full-time?

Anyone out there with real world example of decade plus full-time?

Thanks in advance!
 

donn

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Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
5,366
If you do the maintenance 10 years should be no problem.  Most people regardless of brand or type get bored in 5 years.
There are a couple of brands that might fare better than the run of the mill junk out of Indiana.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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West Palm Beach, FL
The fifth wheel trailer itself should easily last 20+ years, but you are probably going to be replacing parts during that time.  Interior stuff like upholstery & flooring wear out, sometimes quite quickly for the lower-priced models. Ditto for cabinetry - the vinyl veneer particle baord wears and tears a lot sooner than hardwood. The exterior needs some TLC to keep it nice and leak-free, but should last at least 20 years with reasonable care.  Similar for axles and brakes - they will wear over time but are easily replaced when needed. Not even all that expensive.
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
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Western Kentucky
It all depends on your definition of worn out.  The basic frame should last nearly forever.  As Gary mentioned, tires brakes, suspension and maybe axles will need regular maintenance.  Appliances should last 10 or 15 years if maintained.  Depending on initial quality (and cost), interior finishes may wear quickly or last a long time (flooring, cabinets, seat fabric, etc).  If you fix issues as they arise, 20 years is possible.  As Donn said, you will want something else before it is non functional.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,129
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Out of curiosity I searched RVT.Com for 5W aged 15 or more (year 2004 and earlier). There were 588 listings. While photos are notoriously poor for judging condition, few of them appeared to be in poor condition. Many still looked downright slick!
This 2002 Carriage, for example. 18 years old and still standing tall!

https://www.rvt.com/Carriage-34SK3-2002-Bedford-KY-ID8364968-UX289980
 
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