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Post Info TOPIC: Full Time Living 5th Wheel-Which brand? I know the specs I will need


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Full Time Living 5th Wheel-Which brand? I know the specs I will need


Hello everyone,
Long time reader here and decided to register finally. 
I read too many posts and you guys really know what you are talking.

So I have couple of limitations when I think about a 5th wheel.
It is just me, my wife and our 9 months old English Bulldog right now but who knows what life will bring in the future. 

I have been doing my homework and researching for a long time. It is just the financials game after this.
I checked all my options and seems like 5th Wheel is the best way for us to go.

  • Our budget is up to $30-$35K.
  • We don't want a brand new unit. Something maybe up to 7 8 years old (newer is better of course). We can go older. The reason is we want to spend some time and modify and repair the interior( when I say we, it is actually my wife, she wants to change all old style RV stuff inside and maybe even paint the cabinets.)
  • We want something up to 32 feet. Nothing bigger. We want to be able to easily go in and out everywhere. So this also means I need something durable and strong.
  • We don't need washer and dryer.
  • Also when we feel like it, we want to be able to boondock up to a week. This is why we are looking for an older rig. I want to spend some money to modifications and add-ons like Solar and batteries. Something solar ready is always a plus but not a must.
  • For that we need big water tanks. Minimum 60 gallons fresh water.
  • Also we feel like we will always travel to warmer areas but I want the option to spend some time in cold weather. Insulation is a must and also heated plumbing system and tanks.
  • We need a living room with that fits at least 1 pull out sofa and 2(at least 1) recliners. So anything smaller than 29ft probably too small and also there are not many options out there smaller than 29ft.
  • We are thinking about moving every 2-3 weeks. Easy set up with auto leveling jacks makes everything easy but not necessary.


So far Grand Design REFLECTION 27RL and Arctic Fox 27-5L  (maybe Glacier Peak too, not sold on the water tank 60gl seems not enough0 looks like great fits but they are hard to find used. And for these models, do I need a 1 ton diesel truck or can I go lower than that. If you think about the future, maybe 1 ton is the better choice.

What else is out there? Which make and brand 5th wheels? Thank you

Thank you very much



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Welcome. You have two reasonable possibilities there. I'd suggest that you take a look at the DRV Mobile Suites coaches. They are heavier, but better insulated and I think they have larger tanks. Others know better.

As far as major renovations of the interior, I'd hold off a bit. Changing furniture, yes. Adding solar panels, yes. (But don't go cheap. Find someone who knows what he is doing to do the job.) Painting the cabinets, no. Upgrading a coach with a good foundation to make it more like a new one is generally a good idea. You won't get your money back, but it may be easier to sell when the time comes.

As for the truck, unless you get completely crazy (a semi to tow a Casita), you can't have too much truck. A dually will give you more stability. You may even want to step up to something like an F450.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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Most DRV Mobile Suites models would be larger than you want and more expensive that what you have budgeted.  The DRV's Mobile Suites and Elite Suites models are built specifically for people who want to full-time in as much luxury as possible without having to go to a custom made RV.  And, as kb0zke mentioned, they are heavy and need heavier trucks.  Now, if you could find a good used 32' or 34' model, it might be different both cost wise and weight wise.

As for tank size, I can't speak for all sizes of DRV's, but ours is a 38 1/2-foot fifth wheel with 100 gallons of fresh water, 75 gallons of grey tank capacity, and 60 gallons of black water capacity.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2017 Ford Expedition EL as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug



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Terry and Jo wrote:

Most DRV Mobile Suites models would be larger than you want and more expensive that what you have budgeted.  The DRV's Mobile Suites and Elite Suites models are built specifically for people who want to full-time in as much luxury as possible without having to go to a custom made RV.  And, as kb0zke mentioned, they are heavy and need heavier trucks.  Now, if you could find a good used 32' or 34' model, it might be different both cost wise and weight wise.

As for tank size, I can't speak for all sizes of DRV's, but ours is a 38 1/2-foot fifth wheel with 100 gallons of fresh water, 75 gallons of grey tank capacity, and 60 gallons of black water capacity.

Terry


 Honestly anything bigger than 34ft scares me. 

I checked out couple of DRVs, they are perfect but too big for our needs and pricey.



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1. I recommend not "skimping" on your choice of TV. Towing at max weights is not fun.
2. Do an energy survey after you have the 5er to determine your solar system needs...batteries, panels & controller.
3. Have a back up plan (small inverter generator) for cloudy days or shady campsites.
4. 34 feet may scare you now but it won't once you drive it...back it up etc.
5. However, the less length you have the more campsites you can use.
6. Even at 32 feet you won't be able to go "everywhere."
7. Water is the limiting factor when dry camping/boondocking but medium size fresh water tanks can be augmented with 5 gallon jerry cans. I'd be more concerned about holding tank sizes.


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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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Another item, don't be too gaga at a claim of "solar ready." Sometimes the wire from the roof to the proposed location of the controller and, if equipped, from the proposed controller location to the batteries is not large enough...think distance and amps. Within reason wire can't be "too large" if it fits into the controller slots. And sometimes the solar "plugins" added by the RV manufacturer are proprietary and attempt to lock you into one solar company.

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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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LarryW21 wrote:

1. I recommend not "skimping" on your choice of TV. Towing at max weights is not fun.
2. Do an energy survey after you have the 5er to determine your solar system needs...batteries, panels & controller.
3. Have a back up plan (small inverter generator) for cloudy days or shady campsites.
4. 34 feet may scare you now but it won't once you drive it...back it up etc.
5. However, the less length you have the more campsites you can use.
6. Even at 32 feet you won't be able to go "everywhere."
7. Water is the limiting factor when dry camping/boondocking but medium size fresh water tanks can be augmented with 5 gallon jerry cans. I'd be more concerned about holding tank sizes.


 All valid points. The more I read, the more I get convinced about a longer rig.

It all depends on the unit actually. Any brand-model recommendations? 

I guess the best option would be start with a generator and do the solar upgrades in time.



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"and do the solar upgrades in time."

If you install an adequate solar system the only question you'll be asking is "why didn't I install the solar sooner?" Solar almost removes the electrical issues when dry camping/boondocking unless you need AC. Noiseless, almost maintenance free (clean off panels once and a while if it hasn't rained), charging before you wake up most days, still charging when you are having a ****tail.

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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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LarryW21 wrote:

"and do the solar upgrades in time."

If you install an adequate solar system the only question you'll be asking is "why didn't I install the solar sooner?" Solar almost removes the electrical issues when dry camping/boondocking unless you need AC. Noiseless, almost maintenance free (clean off panels once and a while if it hasn't rained), charging before you wake up most days, still charging when you are having a ****tail.


 

If I can find a good Grand Design or Arctic fox within my price range, I think I will invest in solar right away.

If I go with anything else, I will wait for solar and see how dependable the unit is before investing.

Thank you



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