Upgrading our fifth wheel...need advice please!

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Birdlady

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Jul 25, 2006
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;)

So after searching a bit, and you all seem like a real nice group of folks, I decided to go ahead and post my question. ::) ::)

We have been camping now for about 7 years.? Started with a Jayco Kiwi (pop out lite trailer) and in less than a year upgraded to a Jayco Eagle fifth wheel.? It is aluminum.? (I know.... :-\).? This summer, stuff seems to be falling apart on it.? Heater keeps tripping breakers, the black water tank is giving us trouble, I went to close an ac vent and it fell off in my hand, and some other minor stuff.? We were camping this past weekend, and after seeing all the newer rigs with multi slides, the hubby decided we need a new trailer to go with the one year old 3/4 ton deisel chevy he got last summer.

So, what are the recommendations as to where to begin the search.? I am not necessarily unhappy with the Eagle, but am disappointed that in only 6 years of limited camping (maybe 6 trips per year)? it seems to be at the point it currently is.

What might be a little sturdier?? We usually pack in a crowd ( 8 of us, two kids and 6 adults) and yes, we put up a tent, we cannot actually all fit!? So I am looking for storage room, and sleeping room.? I don't like tenting in November so much.? Would like something that could winter camp as well.

Where should I begin, y'all got a short list for me?? I am in SE PA so we don't have great big mountains!? LOL!? But winter can be cold.


Oh, and one other question, is there any truth to the rumor that rear kitchens are not a good idea?

Thanks for and help you can give me here!

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I guess I'm not real surprised that 8 people kind of wore out a vacation class trailer in 6 years - they are really aren't made for heavy use. But it doesn't sound as though there is anthing seriously wrong with te Eagle - just needs some maintenance, just like any other "house".  But I can readily understand your desire for a new one too - there have been dramatic improvements in the last few years.

I can't begin to make a short list for you - there are lots of quality trailers on the market, including many regional brands I'm not even aware of by name.    Forest River and  Keystone have several popular models each and nearly all their owners seem pleased with them.  Some other quality makes include Holiday Rambler, New Horizons and Hitchhiker.


As for a rear kitchen, the drawback is that when the trailer does a fore and aft "lurch" (as will happen on some road conditions), things in the cabinets can be bounced around quite a bit. If it's a closet, clothes hangers may fly off the rod. If dishes on a shelf, extra padding between them may be advised.  Adding shock absorbers (if the trailer doesnt have them - most do not) can help this quite a bit.  We have had a rear kicthen 5W and really liked the resulting floor plan. We took a bit of extra care with things in the cabinets and on the countertops, but it was not a huge deal to cope with.
 

Birdlady

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Jul 25, 2006
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Thanks for that, I am looking at the Keystone Montanna currently and am grateful for the added brands.  I will be doing homework thoroughly as there has been phenomenal changes since we bought ours.  We were new to camping when we got this one, and now I really have a handle on what I need for our group.

Like I said, I am not unhappy with the Jayco Eagle, the kitchen which really gets used heavily still works flawlessly!  Stove, fridge, microwave and lots of room for food.  It has been good to us.  Now that I have my Girl Scout camp training under my belt, I have been brave this summer...cooking on the open fire and so forth and have been pleasantly surprised with my success!  LOL!  It is much easier to cook for 8 on a fire rather than the camper kitchen!

I just laughed when the AC vent fell off in my hand, I mean I think I have touched that about twice!  (but its cheap to fix, no worries!)  It has been a great camper for us..it's a bunkhouse, and the kids are getting larger....It is a bit tight in there for an adult too.  The next camper, I would like to have for many years so we are looking for  a bit more beef I guess.  Still a bunkhouse type, but with a little more room.  Ours is a 29 foot.  I would recommend the Eagle to anyone who is looking...it has really taken a beating and the carpets have held up wonderfully through Jersey Sand and PA clay/,mud, dropped raw eggs, etc.  They clean up easily and still look great!

Any other ideas are greatly appreciated!
 

joelmyer

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Mar 5, 2005
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Georgia
I would add Sunnybrook to Gary's list.  We've been happy with ours.  Going three years now and essentially no problems.
 

GypsySooners

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Jul 17, 2006
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Location
Ocklawaha, FL
We just recently purchased a Hitchhiker and are really pleased with it.

Now ours is probably much larger than you need but they do make smaller ones too.
 

Carl L

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So, what are the recommendations as to where to begin the search.  I am not necessarily unhappy with the Eagle, but am disappointed that in only 6 years of limited camping (maybe 6 trips per year)  it seems to be at the point it currently is.

The place to start is to figure what trailer weight your truck can pull.  All other decisions flow from that one.
 

Birdlady

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Jul 25, 2006
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Carl Lundquist said:
The place to start is to figure what trailer weight your truck can pull.? ?All other decisions flow from that one.

Which is an interesting point....we have a short list now, and all brands you guys listed here.  Appreciate that. 

Now , interestingly enough, the GM specs for the truck we have says a tongue weight of up to 3000 pounds (Chevy silverado 2500, crew cab, full bed, diesel, 3LT).....yet, the sticker inside the door states a tongue weigh of about 2200 pounds....

I guess we need to do some sleuthing to figure out why the discrepancy?  Is anyone familiar with this situation?  We are assuming the weight listed on the truck itself to be the correct weight.
 

Carl L

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Chevy silverado 2500, crew cab, full bed, diesel, 3LT

Let's start simple.  What year is your truck?  What sized engine?  Do you know the rear end ratio?  Automatic transmission?
 

Birdlady

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Jul 25, 2006
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Carl Lundquist said:
Let's start simple.? ?What year is your truck?? What sized engine?? Do you know the rear end ratio?? Automatic transmission?

2006


Duramax Diesel 6.6L V8 Turbo With the required Allison six-speed automatic transmission:
360 horsepower @ 3000 rpm
650 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm

3.73 rear end ratio

Yes, automatic

Crew cab, long box, 4x4

?and a link to the spec page
http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado/2006/specifications/

Diesels are at the very end of the page.

Thanks for your time!


 

Carl L

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OK, the Trailer Life tables for 2006 for that rascal give a tow rating of 12,000 lbs for a TT, or 13,200 lbs for a 5er.

We recommend discounting that tow rating 10% as a safety factor, giving a rating of 10,800 lbs or 11,800 lbs respectively.

If you plan on towing in the mountain or Pacific west, make that 20% and the ratings 9,600 lbs or 10,560 lbs.

Your new trailer's gross vehicle weight rating should be equal to or less than those ratings.
 

Birdlady

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Jul 25, 2006
Posts
7
Carl Lundquist said:
OK, the Trailer Life tables for 2006 for that rascal give a tow rating of 12,000 lbs for a TT, or 13,200 lbs for a 5er.

We recommend discounting that tow rating 10% as a safety factor, giving a rating of 10,800 lbs or 11,800 lbs respectively.

If you plan on towing in the mountain or Pacific west, make that 20% and the ratings 9,600 lbs or 10,560 lbs.

Your new trailer's gross vehicle weight rating should be equal to or less than those ratings.

OK, now so then, does one need to factor in the Kingpin weight if your GVWR is below the calculation?

  Kingpin is 15-20 percent of the GVWR?  Not to exceed the sticker on the vehicle of 2200 lbs LESS the weight of the passengers in the vehicle, correct?  Sheesh.

We are looking at trading in for a dually again.  We had one, but a used gas one.  We traded up for the diesel and did not realize there was a HUGE difference in the carrying capacity.  About 1000 lbs on the kingpin.  But it would definitely have the allison tranny, what a great improvement that has been!
 

Carl L

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Birdlady said:
OK, now so then, does one need to factor in the Kingpin weight if your GVWR is below the calculation?

? Kingpin is 15-20 percent of the GVWR?? Not to exceed the sticker on the vehicle of 2200 lbs LESS the weight of the passengers in the vehicle, correct?? Sheesh.

We are looking at trading in for a dually again.? We had one, but a used gas one.? We traded up for the diesel and did not realize there was a HUGE difference in the carrying capacity.? About 1000 lbs on the kingpin.? But it would definitely have the allison tranny, what a great improvement that has been!

Kingpin weight is what kingpin weight is.? ?It should be a weight in the 15-20% of actual trailer weight for the sake of stability.? ?Most trailer specifications give that weight, tho seemingly as a percentage of unladen weight.? ? It has nothing to do with GVWR.? ? It does have a lot to do with the rear axle weight rating of a tow vehicle.? ?It plus the truck's? rear axle weight should not exceed the RAWR.

Get a real pin weight for your trailer as loaded for travel, including water.  If you have a truck and are evaluating a trailer, use the pin weight spec.  Use the same percentage to calculate a pin weight with GVWR.  Use that calculated pin weight as an estimate of how much RAWR you will need in your truck.  Or just assume that the table rating + safety factor will account for the matter.  After all, the truck mfr will know that a given trailer weight will bear on the rear axle.

Same with TTs.  A weight distributing hitch distributes the weight forward equally (more or less) on all axles.  The tow rating will account for that.

My recommendation.  Keep it simple.  Use the table ratings for a given truck and let the axle loads be accounted for by the towing area safety factors that we give.
 

bdusa1

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Aug 20, 2006
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Any comments on the Crossroads Paradise Pointe. Seems attractive for price does it compare to Sunnybrook? In advance thank you
 

N Smock

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Mar 9, 2005
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Long Branch, NJ
bdusa1 said:
Any comments on the Crossroads Paradise Pointe. Seems attractive for price does it compare to Sunnybrook? In advance thank you

I have a Crossroads Silverado, very happy with it and the support from the factory. Crossroads is a good company in my book.

Nelson
 

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