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Post Info TOPIC: Looking for recommendations on well built 5th wheelers a Ram 3500 can tow


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Looking for recommendations on well built 5th wheelers a Ram 3500 can tow


I am new to this forum. I am looking for good advice on purchasing a nice 5th wheel for full time RV.  We do have 2 old dogs we want to take with us.

Big store RV dealers tell you they are all well built. Each dealership has their favorite seller, but we are looking for non dealer input. Folks that have lived in their RV’s and have recommendations. Price point around $75,000 - $100,000.

Next even bigger question, I work remotely. Does anyone have internet advice. I will need to work from the RV. Advice on carriers, or equipment...

Thank You.



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It really depends on how much bandwidth you need. If it's mostly email then using campground wifi works pretty well…but you'll need a backup method of connectivity…we have a Verizon MiFi device as well. We have one with a 30GB/month allocation and it's sufficient for us during the 6 month travel season…although I turn it off during the 6 month parked in North Fort Myers season.

My wife worked for the first 5 years we were on the road remotely for a college in VA…she needed email and connection via VPN to their network so she could see the file server…this worked fine via both campground wifi and the MiFi device.

A lot of it is dependent on where you are actually located and how much bandwidth you need for work…she was able to work from just her phone or iPad if need be. If you need higher bandwidth then you may need to bite the bullet and have a higher capacity (and higher $$) MiFi plan.

 



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Dawn,

With the idea of full-timing in mind, if you want a good four seasons fifth wheel, there are a number of options.  I would recommend looking at the RV's construction, especially with regards to the very foundation of the RV, which is the frame, axles, suspension, wheels and tires.  As things seem to be going, some manufacturers are now cutting corners on construction, so some newer RV's can have more issues.

With that in mind, I would suggest looking at used models of RV's like the New Horizon (custom built units) and DRV Suites (Mobile Suites and Elite Suites - very nice but not custom built.)  We live in a 2010 Mobile Suites and have been comfortable inside in temperatures ranging from 115 degrees down to -6 degrees.

If you are interested in used and would also be interested in the DRV Suites models, check out Rolling Retreats in Elk City, Oklahoma.  They are a dealership that has a good reputation within the DRV Suites community of owners.

Terry



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Not going to make specific recommendations 'cuz we are still looking (though close to our final pick - our budget is similar to yours). I will say that before you settle on a brand, take a look at floor plans and see yourself in them. each layout has its pros and cons, and certain designs fall in and out of favor over the years so don't confine your search to current offerings. There is truth in the notion that older well maintained units can be a bargain, but remember that RVs are not built like houses, and they are subject to frequent "earthquakes". Things break so having solid "bones" will go along way to make your experience more enjoyable... or so it seems from all the wonderful advice we have received over the few years we have been on this forum.

Good luck.

Brian



-- Edited by BiggarView on Tuesday 1st of May 2018 07:42:09 PM

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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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For connectivity on the road you might want to check out this site - http://www.technomadia.com/category/technology/mobile-technology/.  These guys test and evaluate all kinds of communications equipment and are very knowledgeable.

 

Best of luck!



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RV-Dreams Community Member

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 I definitely do more than emails. Work in databases and conduct training webinars . Will check with Verizon see what they have.

Thank you for the information.



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RV-Dreams Community Member

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Alan , thank you for the technomedia link. Lots of good information.



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I also will be working my full time job from the RV.  We will be spending the summer working at a campground near Rocky Mountain National Park.  They have good Verizon service so I have purchased a separate single device connected home plan from Verizon and a Verizon Jetpack MiFi 7730L.  They have multiple plans....1GB for $15/mo, 5GB for $50/mo, 10GB for $60/mo, 20GB for $90/mo, 30GB for $120/mo, 40GB for $150/mo.  They were able to attach it to our current Verizon bill so even though it is two separate plans we just get one (bigger smile) bill.  I will let you know how it goes after a few months.  We head up there in two weeks....we are not full timers but will be up there for 4+ months.



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Dmaxx,

We are shopping in the same price point as well. I hesitate to throw out a recommendation as to which brand is built better than the other.

I am of the opinion you get what you pay for in terms of construction. Now that you have set the price you are shopping in (I assume the range you provided is MSRP?), another method to eliminate a few floor plans, and in some cases brand, is to establish your bare minimum cargo capacity. Of course you can travel in anything, but my research and recommendation from others is no less than 3,000 pounds for full timing. I follow a lot of blogs and read others. Most have over 3,000 pound capacities.

Then you might look at tank sizes, especially the grey tank. That knocks a few more off the list.

For us, we also factored in total length of trailer and for us the shorter the better. We could not find any under 35' that interested us so started there. Floor plan will knock out a few.

Maybe now that you have a budget add a minimum cargo capacity, water tank sizes and find a general floor plan. Then look at the brands that meet those needs. If you look at the total gross weight capacity of a trailer in that price point, the construction will not vary that much.

And the heavier trailers need beefier construction more than the lighter ones, dare I say. For example a Redwood 340RL has a gross weight capacity of 17,900. Hence the H rated tires, heavier drum brakes and 8,000 pound axles. The typical Montana/Cedar Creek/Bighorn can be around 16,500 hence the G rated tires and 7,000 axles. But all of the above have 12" I beams for the most part. Beware of some of the shorter trailers that move to 6,000 axles for example. But that will be red flagged for less beefy construction because the cargo capacity and especially gross weight capacity will be noticably less.

Once you narrow your selection down to a few brands, hop on over to their owners group forums and start reading and asking questions. Or if you a really like a brand and a year, then research any issues for that year's model.

Darn, forgot to add if your Ram 3500 is not a dually then pin weight will knock out a few more trailers.  Others tell me to figure pin weight on average at 20% of gross weight capacity.

 



-- Edited by mds1 on Sunday 20th of May 2018 09:02:59 PM

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I'm confused. In the above post you said that the Redwood 340RL has a GVW of 17,900 lbs with 8,000 lb axles. The pictures I can find show 2 axles which equals 16,000 of gvw for the axles. If this is true, then if you load the trailer to 17,900 lbs you're 1,900 lbs overweight. Am I missing something. I ask because I'm looking for a trailer to pull behind a motorhome when the time comes and I like to be informed.

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arcaguy wrote:

I'm confused. In the above post you said that the Redwood 340RL has a GVW of 17,900 lbs with 8,000 lb axles. The pictures I can find show 2 axles which equals 16,000 of gvw for the axles. If this is true, then if you load the trailer to 17,900 lbs you're 1,900 lbs overweight. Am I missing something. I ask because I'm looking for a trailer to pull behind a motorhome when the time comes and I like to be informed.


 You're not taking into account pin weight. Ideally for a fifth wheel you want pin weight around 20%-25% of GVW.  For 17900GVWR with 8K axles that would be roughly 3500-4400lbs. The remainder would then be on the axles. Obviously higher pin weights comes into play with payload capacity of the towing vehicle.  Also, you can't max out the axles and reduce pin weight too much as that would create an unsafe towing condition (which is why the 20-25% number comes into play.) It's all a big balancing act. On a bumper pull, such as with a MH, you will have a max tongue weight plus the axle/tire ratings to contend with. That would be the simple explanation.



-- Edited by BiggarView on Monday 21st of May 2018 09:38:43 AM

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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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Need more information on your truck as to what you can tow. Is it SRW or a DRW? Is it regular cab, crew, mega? Long bed, short? Gas or diesel? What year as newer trucks have more capactity than older?

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I am now doing the MH thing, but previously had a Dodge 3500 diesel towing a 38 ft Keystone Montana. I towed in the hills of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming without problems. The dog issue had no bearing on either truck or RV. 

Internet connection is always a major hot topic among RVers. If you are in need of a reliable service that is absolutely needed for your on the road business, then get a cell carrier Mi-Fi service.  Pay the money that it costs and be happy that you can connect anytime you wish.

 

 



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