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Post Info TOPIC: Buying a Used Fifth Wheel from a Private Seller

RV-Dreams Community Member

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Buying a Used Fifth Wheel from a Private Seller

It's been awhile since I last posted.  Life has been busy.  We are back looking at the idea of full-timing, at least for a couple of years, and are currently looking at used fifth wheels rather than new. Having never purchased a fifth wheel, I am a little unsure how to proceed with evaluating a used fifth wheel, specifically from a private seller several states away.  Looking for advice and/or coordinating with another full-timer on this list to help with evaluation.  Obviously, I would like to avoid expensive surprises after the purchase.


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 941

Depending on your level of expertise, you could do it yourself by CAREFULLY inspecting the frame (and all that entails), operating every door, every cabinet, every slide, every water fixture, operate the dump valves, operate the heater, operate the air conditioner(s), ensure the refrigerator gets cold and makes ice if so equipped, operate the stove (all burners and oven), operate the microwave ... you get the idea ... make sure everything operates and nothing is leaking, broken, cracked, etc.

This would be exhaustive and may take a couple of days as an ideal inspection would involve a test run of camping in it for a few days.

Or ... you could hire a professional inspector to do all that for you. This last option seems like the best one for you, since you seem unsure of what to look for, just hire a pro and let them do it for you. I wouldn't listen to the salesman as his best interests aren't necessarily the same as yours.

All that said, expect to have "things happen" as they certainly will.

Best of Luck with your search.

-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 19th of May 2018 09:19:50 AM


Ron and Janice


2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 801

First of all, if you've been doing your homework, you should have a list of makes that suit your needs. Join those owners forums and ask questions. Find out what the known issues are and how to tell if they have been addressed properly. Also share your proposed use with those forums and ask straight out if the coach you are considering is one that you will be happy with. I like our Foretravel, but I've strongly suggested to someone that he NOT consider one, as what he wanted to do wasn't really what a Foretravel is made for.

As for buying from a private seller several States away, that is certainly something that can be done. As Ron suggested, you would be money ahead to hire an independent inspector to go over the coach first. If it passes that person's inspection to your satisfaction then you can go check it out yourself. Keep in mind that you will need to have a tow vehicle set up to tow it home. A dealer may be willing to store your purchase for a bit while you get the proper truck and hitch.

Your research should tell you how much your prospective coaches weigh (look at gross vehicle weight) and how much pin weight they have (20-25% of GVWR). That will help you pic the proper truck. If in doubt buy the larger truck. Ask the forums what the proper hitch height is for the coaches you are considering. I think that most hitches can be adjusted up or down a bit. It might be that there will be no difference between the coaches you are considering, or it might be that there will be a difference great enough to require an adjustment.


David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale

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