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Post Info TOPIC: Ambition RV's


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Ambition RV's


Hello. I am very new to forums so please pardon me if I am not doing this correctly biggrin. My husband and I are in the process of going full-time (about a year and a half out). We have already purchased our truck (Ford F-350 Dually) and are currently researching 5th wheels (boy is it hard). We have made multiple trips to dealers and spent countless hours online researching. We are more concerned with construction and reliability than we are floor plan. We will have lots of questions for the group going forward but right now, I have one.

Does anyone have any experience with either the Luxe or Ambition RV's? I know they are fairly new to the market and they seem to be well-built (albeit expensive) but I'm looking for people who have actually owned in and full-timed in them. Thanks!



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Lori Hempfling


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Welcome, Lori. Most of us have been through this so we can tell you our stories. At 18 months out, you aren't any too early in researching.

Since you have your truck you will be able to figure out what sort of 5'er you can safely pull. IGNORE the weights the sales people toss out. They may be technically accurate, but they will be mostly useless. Load up the truck with all of the stuff, people, and pets that will be in it when towing. Then go fill the fuel tank(s) all the way full. Next stop is a CAT scale or other scale where you can weigh each axle separately.

If you haven't already purchased the hitch add 200 pounds to the weight shown for the rear axle. Subtract the weight you have from the Rear Axle Weight Rating (sticker on the truck) and you know the maximum pin weight you can have. Since the pin weight on a 5'er is 20-25% of the weight of the trailer, simply multiply your calculated maximum pin weight by 4 to get the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for your trailer. Example: when you weigh your truck you find that you have 6800 pounds on the rear axle and you haven't added your hitch yet, so your actual rear axle weight is 7000 pounds. The axle is rated at 10,000 pounds, you that means you can have a pin weight of 3000 pounds. Four times that is 12,000 pounds, so that's the maximum you trailer can weigh.

Remember that there are all sorts of numbers attached to both trucks and trailers. For example, your truck may say that it can tow 20,000 pounds, but that requires that the weight be distributed in a certain way. Once you hit ANY weight limit you are done, even if you are well under all of the rest.

Many people advise you to buy the trailer first, so that you can get the right truck. Since you already have the truck you will have to either live with what you have or else trade the truck in for a larger one. Good luck with your research and be sure to ask lots of questions.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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David’s theories regarding weights and how to calculate them are good ... his guesstimate of a fully loaded F350 dually’s rear axle weight is way off. My F350 dually, loaded to travel with full fuel has a rear axle weight of 4,200 lbs. Using the assumed 10,000 lbs rear axle rating (mine is actually 9,680) ... then the maximum pin weight would be 5,800 lbs multiplied times 4 (assumes a pin weight of 25% of GVW) that would make the trailer’s max GVWR to be 23,200 lbs. This maxes everything out, so not recommending these weights ... just pointing out that a F350 dually can pull a pretty full profile 5th wheel. I’d say stay to 21,00 lbs or less and you should be fine.

The Ambition and Luxe are pretty good brands, I have heard that they don’t have very much CCC (cargo carrying capacity).  Full timers should look for rigs that have at least 3,000 lbs CCC.

Good Luck in your search.



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 18th of December 2017 08:37:49 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 25th of December 2017 09:02:14 PM

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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



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Your initial question asked about construction and reliability. The wife and I are retired full-timers and travelers, changing locations every 3-ish days from mid-April through October. Along the way, we talk to a LOT of RVers and compare notes about a lot of [mostly] fifth-wheels. Here's my take. All (or at least a big chunk) of RVs are poorly designed with weak engineering and sloppy construction. We've seen brand-new units delivered without gate valve handles, cross-wired 120 volt lines, insulation that doesn't exist, oven doors that fall off (us), and non-essential trim pieces that aren't properly fastened to the wall (us, again). The left side of our Dutchmen 5er consists of two, very large, electrically driven, slide-outs. They are too big. The motors are too small. We had an adjustment issue with the front mega-slide which cost about $2K to fix and a total failure of the kitchen/entertainment mega-slide which cost over $3K to repair (well covered by our Route 66 Network, extended warranty). My opinion is that, no matter what you buy, you're gonna' have issues. Most experienced RVers that we've met have become maintenance and repair experts. I'm a self-taught RV electrician, plumber, carpenter, and machinist. I have tools to fix a house (the trailer) and a vehicle (the underpinnings - tires, suspension, shocks). The wife and I have repaired cabinets, insulated the frame, installed a power protection system, fixed gate valves, repaired a gray tank puncture, and patched a tear in the rubber roof. I'm not saying "Don't full-time." I'm saying "Go into this lifestyle with a very open mind." Have more questions? Just ask.

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Ann and Steve
2012 Silverado HD3500 Crew Cab, Long Bed, Dually
2013 Dutchmen Infinity 3850RL



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"We are more concerned with construction and reliability..."

While we all have our favorite RV manufacturer, I'm not so sure there is that much difference between the "big boys/girls." Maintaining the RV is far more important...starting with the roof.


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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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We went to the factory to tour the Ambition. It's not currently on the RV Factory's web site, so I'm not sure if they replaced the Ambition with the Luxe Gold or not. The Ambition is a solid built trailer. Rather than going point by point with an explanation I'll just point you to my blog posts about it:

Here is the link.  Happy hunting...

 

The Ambition is out of our price range as a new trailer and I've never seen a used one advertised. I'd buy one in a heartbeat otherwise.

 

Mark

 

PS - If the Luxe Gold or Ambition price scares you away, take a look at Redwood or the Heartland Landmark.  We looked at the Vanleigh Vilano also. I'm interesting in seeing your final selection.





-- Edited by mds1 on Sunday 24th of December 2017 04:52:14 PM

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Mark from Missouri

 www.ourfutureinanrv.wordpress.com



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We recently bought a new Landmark 365 Oshkosh and have been very happy with it. It is designed and warranted for full time use and we look forward to a long ownership of it. Good luck with your choice.



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2018 Heartland Landmark

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My favorite website: the Heartland Owners Forum



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Ron, thanks for providing real-world numbers. I was just pulling convenient numbers out of thin air to show the calculations.

One other suggestion for Lori is to join the owners' forums for any brands you are considering and ask questions there. Those are the people who know the brand the best. Jay and Stella are good sources of Heartland information. Heartland had three lines that were considered full-time capable: Landmark, Big Horn, and Big Country. Landmark is the most expensive and heaviest, while the Big Country is the least expensive and lightest. Heartland had some troubles with broken welds on frames a few years ago, but that may have been taken care of. Jay would know.

You might be able to tow some of the DRV Mobile Suites models with your truck.

Go out and look at the quality. You won't be able to see it, but also check the frame size and construction. Remember that the frame is the foundation for your rolling earthquake. Also check tire sizes and capacities. Some manufacturers put on tires that are barely adequate to help the price. Upgrading the tires and axles (if buying new) is usually money well spent.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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We have had our Vanleigh Vilano 2017 325 RL since sept. 2016. Have been 18000 miles with it so far. Are very pleased with it. Its an RV and we have had a few issues but they are nothing to compare with our last Keystone P/S.
We went to Hershey, Pa RV show in 2016. Had put a down payment on a Ambition but as the paper work was being processed we stepped across to toilet. Had been told to go look at Vilano and we stepped in one right quick and after that turned around and went over to Salesman and cancelled the Ambition and saved $27000.
We have a FB page too of Vilano owners. Its (Vanleigh Owners Group), check us out.

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Rush and Lola Songer

2015 F-350 DRW (Alias Fat Baby)

2017 Vanleigh Vilano 325 RL  (Alias Sunshine)

Solar Equipped 

Full Timers July 2016 



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Those are some pretty (and nice) high end units you are looking at. When we first started we explored similar options. Oddly enough we settled on our Northwood Arctic Fox 32-5M that was priced thousands less than most of the high end units, with very similar quality (in our opinion). If you have not checked out the Arctic Foxes, it might be worth your time. I realize this is not the specific feedback you were looking for in regards to Ambition RVs.

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