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How does a Newbie find out which brands of Fifth Wheel RV's are High End, Mid Range and Entry Level ? It is becoming increasingly clear through my research that price is not always an indicator. I know a Lexus is a good quality auto and a KIA....well, not so much.... at least in comparison to the Lexus, but there are sooooooo many brands of RV's out there sometimes I just can't stand to look at the screen anymore.
There are "lites"..... Does this mean that they are light weight due to design or "lite" because they are not built as sturdy?
It's all very confusing. I don't want to spend my money only to find out I made a terrible mistake.
At this point all I know is that I will be purchasing a 1 ton truck to tow with and would like anywhere from 35 - 40 feet in length. I know what amenities I like...that's the easy part.
So....what do all you experienced RV owners out there have to say to help a Newbie out ????
Thanks again for all your help
Marilyn & Gene
1998 ...24'Safari Trek pathfinder class A (Pint size)
My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)
We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!
"Small House, Big Yard "Alfa See-Ya 5'er and 2007 Kodiak C4500 Monroe
Marilyn and Gene,
First of all, the high end will be topped with the fifth wheels that are custom made. Those are:
New Horizon RV
Forks RV (Continental Coach)
There may be some others, but keep in mind that custom built will be more expensive. The next in line, at least from my point of view, would be the DRV Suites models. With these, one can request custom features and a lot of the time, the factory will meet those needs. I know of folks that had the "peninsula" style kitchen counters replaced with "island" style. They are at least willing to consider what the customer wants and thing go on from there. There is a DRV dealer in Granbury, Texas by the name of Bennett's RV. They are a bit east of the main part of Granbury on the road from Ft. Worth.
I should mention that when looking at the prices on RV's, you can use the price to give a "general" sense of the quality, but it is not a way to determine the actual quality. Generally, the more expensive they are, the better built they are, both with regards to the actual construction and the interior "finish." In all cases, NEVER buy one at MSRP. If they are quoting close to that price, leave. There is quite a bit of lee-way in the pricing.
There are a lot of good brands between the above, higher grade, of coaches and the lower "camper" style units. Your reference to a "lite" model generally means they have trimmed things down to allow the trailer to be towed by smaller trucks. At one time, we had a 26-foot travel trailer that HAD to have a 3/4 ton truck to pull it. We traded it later for a "lite" 26-foot fifth wheel which could have been pulled by a 1/2 ton truck, although after pulling it with the 3/4 ton, I doubt I would have attempted the 1/2 ton truck for the job.
Use the "Search" function in the blue bar at the top of the forum pages to find certain topics related to certain "search phrases." You will find a number of threads related to a lot of the fifth wheels and comments by a number of the folks with personal experience with some of the brands.
Good luck with your researching and planning.
Terry and Jo2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB32008 Ford F450 2010 Ford F150 as Tag-along or Scout Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:Our photos on PhotobucketIgnoring the Barking Dogs - Terry's Blog
I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way. - Carl Segan
Our "Rolling Rest Home" 2013 Trilogy 3650RL dragged by a 2005 GMC Sierra 4x4 Diesel Dually, Kids: Paris (AKA Kitty) & Sadie
2002 Ford F-350 CC DRW 7.3
2013 Big Country 3690SL
Some mfgrs make it easy. Go to http://www.keystonerv.com/#. They list their FWs in order as 'Standard', 'Select', 'Premium', and 'Luxury'. Heartland (http://www.heartlandrvs.com/) does the same thing with 'Mid-profile', 'Full-profile', and 'Luxury'. These are both subsidiaries of Thor Industries. Some other Mfgrs do something similar. It's like a menu, order what you like that fits the budget.
Vance and Marla
2010 Mobile Suites 36 TK3
2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually 4X4
Target Fulltiming Date: 7-7-14
While you are searching, check out the thread that started last year. We found this very helpful to list a few brands to check out.http://rv-dreams.activeboard.com/t50970301/best-brand-of-5th-wheel-for-fulltimes/Hint, one thing we did after we narrowed down the choices of manufacturers was to view used units. Looking at a unit that is 3-5 years old gave us lots of hints on how the units held up and narrowed our list considerably to ones we were even willing to consider.
Edit by moderator: Activated link. Terry
FT - July 2013
2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites
2012 Ford F450
Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!
David, kb0zke1993 Foretravel U300 40'
Build number 4371