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Post Info TOPIC: Soon to be Travel L&D RN(hubby in tow) and 5th wheel owners(with y'alls advice... PLEASE)


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Soon to be Travel L&D RN(hubby in tow) and 5th wheel owners(with y'alls advice... PLEASE)


We have a 2013 Dodge Ram 2500 Crew 4x4 diesel. Want to spend $$$ <40K....  It'll just be me and my husband traveling. We will be changing locations about every 3months unless I extend a contract.... Not sure if we want new or used.?. Please before you comment... YES I know... everyone, every RV, every opinion is different... tell me the things I don't know... not generalized comments.... What's been your experience with different(specific) RVs? What's worked? what hasn't? anything you can't live without and why? If you have a similar vehicle to ours, what 5er do you tow? What do you recommend is a safe 5er weight range for us to tow? Let the recommendations fly... 



-- Edited by BLTWISTED1 on Friday 21st of July 2017 10:00:57 AM

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5th wheel is a good choice for the type of travel/living you plan to do. Your truck should be able to handle a 30 to 35ft 5th wheel with one to two slideouts...you'll need to determine the towing and weight capacity of your truck and then find a trailer that is 15 to 25% below the capability of your truck for a safe towing experience and lessen the strain on your truck.

Used is a good choice to begin with and then once you are certain this lifestyle is right for you consider a new trailer. Look for a 5th wheel that has documentation of the maintenance performed over the life of the trailer. Get an inspection done to make sure there are no hidden issues.

Over the years you will experience cycles of problems with the RV and Truck. You can expect the cost of repairs to average between $500 to $2000. For us it seems every two to three years issues pop up that I would not consider normal wear and tear items. For example $1200 to replace the cooling unit on our refrigerator, Broken spring (I replaced all four springs myself) $250 plus two weekends work, generator died ($1800 to replace)....these occurred after the trailer was 10 years old. The trailer is now 22 years old and still going strong.

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Wow... 22years! What brand/model do you have!? Are you able to purchase warranty on used?



-- Edited by BLTWISTED1 on Friday 21st of July 2017 10:59:53 AM

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We're full-timing in our 40' 1993 Foretravel U300 MH. Yes, there WILL be those times when you will have some large, unplanned expenses, but those happen back at the ranch, too, and you aren't seeing much of the country there.

Your Dodge dealer can run the VIN for you and get you the EXACT weight ratings for both axles, gross weight rating and gross combined weight rating. Then load the truck with people, dogs, tools, fishing gear, etc. just as if you were going to take your trailer out. Fill the fuel tank and go to a CAT scale. Weigh each axle. NOW you can figure out how much trailer you truck can really handle.

These are just sample numbers to show you how this works. Imagine that your truck has a 10,000 pound gross vehicle weight rating, with 4000 pound front axle and 6000 pound rear axle. Gross combined weight rating is 20,000 pounds. Your scale ticket shows that you have 3200 pounds on your front axle and 4000 pounds on your rear axle. That means your truck weighs 7200 pounds. You have 800 pounds available on your front axle and 2000 pounds on your rear axle. The hitch assembly for a fifth wheel can weigh 200 pounds or so, and it sits directly over the rear axle, so you actually only have 1800 pounds available for the pin weight.

The pin weight of a 5'er is 20-25% of the weight of the trailer. Always use the gross weight rating for the trailer when calculating. If you come out lighter, that's great. You don't want to be heavier. Back to your rear axle's 1800 pounds capacity. That is no more than 25% of the gross weight of the trailer, or 7200 pounds. That means that your mythical trailer can have a gross weight of no more than 7200 pounds. That isn't much. What about that combined weight rating? Doesn't mean anything here, since your rear axle is the limiting factor.

Get the real numbers for your truck and figure out what your truck can REALLY handle. Don't let the sales person quote you dry weights. Get the gross weight rating and figure things for yourself.

BTW, look at the pin box on the trailer for that weight rating. Earlier this year I saw a trailer with a pin box that specifically said the trailer's gross weight was not to exceed 10,000 pounds. The only problem was that it was on a trailer with a 12,000 pound gross weight rating. That meant that the REAL gross weight rating of that trailer was 10,000 pounds.

As for getting an after-market warranty on a used coach, it doesn't hurt to ask. Generally, though, the older the coach the less likely it is that you can get one. I asked recently about one for our Foretravel and was told that they wouldn't even consider it.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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BLTWISTED1 wrote:

We will be changing locations about every 3months unless I extend a contract....



-- Edited by BLTWISTED1 on Friday 21st of July 2017 10:00:57 AM


 I don't have any advice to give you on 5th wheels or pick up trucks but I have worked at different seasonal jobs and I can tell you most of them go longer than three months and the concessionaires will choose the applicant who can stay the full season. When you do get hired make sure you fulfill your contract unless you absolutely have to leave. I know Xanterra, the biggest concessionaire in Yellowstone, will not hire an employee back for at least a year if they leave before their contract ends.



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The OP is planning to work as a travel nurse - 3 month stints are typical.



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