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Post Info TOPIC: Reccomended Brands?


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Reccomended Brands?


I know this may be a touchy subject and may not be allowed to be answered, but I feel it is important. 

I am looking for a good used (2008 and newer) fifth wheel 28' - 31'. There are a number of brands and models out there and I know there are some brands or models that are better than others. I don't want to cross the line on proper etiquette, but I could use some advice on some of the better brands/models and maybe even some opinions on what to steer clear of. From what I have read, Arctic Fox is a good name, but I am having difficulty finding one in the size I am looking for. It seems that the Montana is a pretty good unit. One of the other criteria I am looking for is large capacity water/grey and black.

If it is appropriate, I would appreciate any comments, good or bad on some the brands any of you have had experience with. I am considering the Keystone Cougar as well as some of the others. I have some time to make a decision so I thought I would try to get some advice from more experienced Fivers. I have had motorhomes and one pull trailer but never a fifth wheel.

 

Thanks,

Craig



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Craig Sanders


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Craig,

First of all, I used to know a Craig Sanders.  Did you happen to grow up in the Oklahoma Panhandle?

Secondly, but more to deal with your questions, I have a few of my own, which if answered, will help others to help you.

Is the fifth wheel intended to be for full-time living, or is it for camping and/or extended trips of a few months or more?

Is the RV intended to be used in cold weather areas?

Do you already have a pickup with which you plan to tow this fifth wheel?  If so, and you don't want to trade up to a heavier, more capable truck, what are the weight capacities (GWVR, GAWR, and GCVW) of your current truck?  I'm pretty sure no one wants to recommend an RV that is too heavy for your existing tow vehicle.

Beyond that, I have little experience with newer RV's, since we purchased our Mobile Suites back in 2010, and I've not done a lot of research on RV's since then.  I can say to look carefully at weight, storage capacity (if you plan to full time), and especially pay attention to the "foundation" of the RV.  That foundation consists of the frame, suspension, axles, wheels and tires.  If buying used, look carefully at everything to see that potential problems aren't right around the corner, especially with respect to the age of the tires on the used unit.

If you are going to consider specific brands, look into forums for owners of those brands.  If you wish, do as I did, and register at those forums and ask your own questions.  One I have long suggested is to ask current owners of a specific brand/model that if they were going to purchase another RV, would they purchase the same brand/model again.  Keep in mind that at owner's forums, a lot of posts are from people who are looking for a solution to a problem.  That does NOT necessarily mean that the brand/model is a bad one, because there could be far more people out there that own that brand/model that never get onto forums and have relatively few problems.

Good luck, and enjoy the lifestyle.

Terry



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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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We researched fifth wheels for quite a long time before we purchased our Heartland Landmark.  One of the things that helped in our research was an article written by Howard, “What 5th Wheel Would We Buy Today”.  It was published on April 23, 2016, and although it is two years old, the article still contains relevant information.  It can be found in his Daily Journal on this website.  He discusses various brands and breaks them down into sections - higher end rigs, mid-range rigs, etc.  The article included the names of brands I had never heard of so I was able to dig in and do some great research.  The end result was that we found our Landmark as a result of Howard’s article.  I am not endorsing the Landmark brand, but rather information I found in the article.  It’s a great read - hope you find it helpful.

Barb



-- Edited by Barb and Frank on Wednesday 18th of July 2018 07:54:26 AM

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Barb and Frank

2016 Landmark Key West

2016 Ram 3500/Cummins Diesel/4WD



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Good brands, depends mostly on your budget.  New Horizons is a good brand but well beyond the budget of most people. If you are talking used, after a point they all tend to merge, they all have parts supplied by outside mfrs, and at that point it is more important to have a good feel for how the previous owner maintained the unit. There are some real cream puffs out there and some that are literally falling apart or worse rotting behind the stuff you can see. IMHO, you can leverage the brand issue with how well the unit was maintained and use the previous owners knowledge in his selection process since he valued it enough to really take care of it for reasons that matter to him. People do not take care of stuff they already think is cheap or junk either before they buy it or afterward if they find out later they made a mistake... they just use it, abuse it, and dump it.

Find a well maintained unit, the brand issue will likely take care of itself.

JMHO, Brian



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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



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Terry, thanks for the prompt reply. No, I  grew up in Oregon. My wife and I plan to travel for shorter periods for the first year, after I retire, exploring our state. I have a 2017 F350 Super duty long bed, which will handle anything I want to tow for now. We are mostly planning to camp at both full hook up places as well as dry camp. That is why we want large capacity tanks. I will also be installing solar and a good inverter if it is not already set up.

Great suggestion on joining a forum for specific brands. 

 

Craig



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Craig Sanders


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Barb, thank you so much. I will look into that article. I appreciate the suggestion.

 

Craig



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Craig Sanders


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In reference to Howard's article:

What Fifth Wheel Would We Buy Today?

Terry



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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



RV-Dreams Family Member

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I’m not allowed to answer your question. lol (That’s what we discuss 50% of the time!)

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Welcome, Craig. I'd suggest that you focus on higher-end coaches, as they tend to be better built and better cared for. Buy a USED coach, as very few people get it right the first time out of the gate. At the time we owned our Heartland mpg, only the Landmark, Big Horn, and Big Country were rated for full-time use. That may have changed in the past five years.

The DRV line (Elite Suites, Mobile Suites, etc.) is a good choice, but they are heavier than many others. Same thing for New Horizons. Another custom brand is Spacecraft in Concordia, MO. Since they are custom, you can't just go to a website and look up the weights for one. A call to the factory may help you.

My suggestion would be to start looking at every 5'er you can get into and look for signs of quality. Look at the drawers and cabinets. What materials are used? If you aren't familiar with cabinetmaking, go to the most expensive cabinet store in you area and ask to see the top lines. Then go to Wal-Mart and look at their cabinets. You will now know what to look for.

FWIW, we are full-timing in a coach that cost $350,000 new. We paid $25,000 for it. How? It was 20 years old when we bought it. We could easily sell it for that now, should we want to (we don't). Don't be afraid of the prices of the new coaches - look at the 5-10 year old versions for half the price (or even less).

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale

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