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Post Info TOPIC: High End, Mid Range, Low End FIFTH Wheels

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High End, Mid Range, Low End FIFTH Wheels

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



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use the upper search bar and search .....selecting the right 5ver......this is a weekly question for discussion and it will give you a head start.

or contact Jack Mayer or pm him....he oversees each of his coaches as they are built....lots of knowledge and has one for sale!!


 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A



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!!!!!!

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You're best bet is to go to a large RV show. Or several large dealers with many different brands. Then you can judge for yourself the quality.

We spent a year going to several RV Shows and dealers within a 100 mile radius of where we live. Only two of the TT/5th wheels stuck out as possibilities. I wanted to go with a 30 foot TT with a single slideout. She chose the largest 5th wheel with two Slideouts. She won of course.

Both were what is considered mid-level but they suited our needs and were $10,000 less than higher end models. The difference between the higher end and midlevel had to do with the way the cabinets were built, counter top material and leather vs fabric for the furniture. Our has solid wood doors on the cabinets, but the cabinets are constructed of luan plywood with a vinyl photo of wood. They look great and are lightweight compared to hte solid wood cabinets in some of the higher end models.

Here's the real test though....We've had two mid-level RVs a 23ft TT and the current 38Ft 5th wheel. The TT we had for 16 years and we are going on 19 years for the 5th wheel. We use them an average of once per month for weekend trips and 3 months for long trips each year. Neither trailer have required any repairs you could relate to the fact they were mid-level quality. Both have held up very well for their age and use.

So shop the RV Shows and dealers, look for floorplans you like and then research the models to see what the owners have to say about them. Spend a day in it before you buy it. Spend time trying it out, use all the appliances and features, walk around in, try the bathroom area & shower for comfort

Get it loaded with all the bells and whistles you want or need. Make sure you get automatic levelers and an automatic satellite dish.


"Small House, Big Yard "

"May the FOREST be with you"
Alfa See-Ya 5'er and 2007 Kodiak C4500 Monroe

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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.

DRV Suites

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 Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog

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And, as no one seems to have mentioned, the "average full timer" goes thru about 5 rigs before they fine the one that is right for them. You ARE looking at a depreciating asset here so keep that in mind. Go to all. The shows you can get to, talk to everyone you can, visit local RV parks and talk to different campers there about what they liked and didn't like.plan your budget. Ask again, the questions and seriously consider used for your first and second and maybe 3rd 😛 purchase!! You get hooked, what can i say?



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 -SOLD

2015 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 on the way.

Kids: Paris (AKA Kitty)  & Sadie

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We found that one good indicator is whether the unit has a warranty that still applies if you full-time in the trailer. Our Heartland Big Country does (even has a sticker stating such right at the entrance).


2002 Ford F-350 CC DRW 7.3

2013 Big Country 3690SL

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Marilyn and Gene,

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.


-- Edited by VanMar on Wednesday 20th of March 2013 06:59:24 AM


Vance and Marla

2010 Mobile Suites 36 TK3

2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually 4X4 

Full Timing launch date 8-25-2014

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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.


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

-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Thursday 21st of March 2013 07:22:08 AM


FT - July 2013


2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450


Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!







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You will get quite a few suggestions, but it won't take you very long to notice that certain brands keep appearing on the lists of high quality coaches. In addition to visiting dealers and RV shows, factory tours are helpful IF you have some idea of what you are looking for. When we were considering a 5'er, we toured both DRV and Heartland. The differences were pretty obvious.


David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale

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