I just retired and we are looking to buy a Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler, and we would like some advice as for what to buy. Here is what we know we want/need:
We want to buy used, as I would rather have someone else take the depreciation hit. We are searching nation-wide, and running off to some far off place to pick it up is not an issue since I am retired. Price range needs to stay under $60K, but I can go a little more if it is a really nice one. We want the biggest one we can pull, so we are looking into the "lightweight" brands, but is that really a good idea in a toy hauler? Most of the ones we are looking at are pretty close to 40', if not over.
Garage: I need a full width (102" body) 12' or larger garage so I can get 3 ATVs in there. 2 go in North-South, and one goes behind them sideways. 10' garages will not cut it, I have 2 Bombardier 800 Max bikes, and a DS 250 for the kid. I have measured them while packed into my current trailer. We also occasionally take the Harleys, so I need a dovetail design so they don't drag while loading. An extended ramp would be nice, although I can modify a stock ramp door with an extension if need be (have you ever backed a Harley down one of those steep ramps? No thanks!).
Weight: We are legally equipped to tow 16,800 lbs according to the owner's manual. The 3 bikes weigh in at 1,750 lbs. Tongue weight can be as high as 3,500 lbs. I plan to add air bags if I find them necessary.
Interior Features: We don't really care which way the bed is oriented, but we want a slide up there for more dressing room. I would prefer the bathroom and shower walled off from the bedroom, but that is not a deal braeker. I like the recessed showers because I am 6'2". I am also a little wide so a toilet tucked into a 30" cubby hole ain't gonna cut it. Moving back, we like a kitchen with a lot of prep space, and an island or L shaped counter with a few bar stools. We don't like the tiny dinette next to a short sofa, we would rather have one with the long sofa. We want one with the 2 double beds that drop down from the cieling in the back, with the bottom one convertable into a dinette. We also like the idea of the smaller, twin bed loft as we have a 9 year-old that will be traveling with us. Double fridge/freezer would be nice. We want at least 3 slides for maximum space. The best floorplan we have found so far is the 2012 Keystone Raptor 395LEV, but that one is a bit heavy I think.
Other Features: We want a fueling station, outside water hose or shower, pressure washer (will be installed after I buy it), full length awning, rear door awning, generator, air compressor, upgraded stereo system with outside speakers and TV, in-floor tool storage and helmet lockers in garage, cable free ramp door, tri-axles, air ride hitch, automatic 6-point leveling system, and a few others I am forgetting right now. Oh, yeah, heat and air in the garage.
Quality: No weekend warrior, I've seen how them things fall apart... We want one that will last longer than the 10 years we will be making payments. We will be part-time full timers. We will travel for months on end, then park it for a while, so it has to be durable.
Aesthetics: We really like the way teh Keystone Raptors and the Keystone Fusion toy haulers look, something about them just appeals to us. Maybe it's the style, I don't know. We also like the way the Forrest River XLRs look but most of them that we have found were too heavy.
Use: We sometimes take the ATVs to the Hatfield & McCoy Trails and play in the mud, sometimes we take them to the Dunes or Mountain Trails of Utah. Other times we take the Harleys to a big rally in a far-away place, sometimes we will leave the toys home and take a bunch fo friends to the beach. We sometimes dry camp, we sometimes hook up to all them wires and hoses and stuff.
So there you have it. We are looking for advice on what brand to buy, where to buy from, and any other tips you all have to offer. If you have any leads on a good one sitting somewhere or advertized near you, let me know. I would prefer not to deal with a salesman, I am a salesman and I hate dealing with salesmen. One idiot at Campeing World today couldn't answer any of my questions, and we sat and watched him search their public website for inventory. I can do that at home, LOL! However, if you know an awesome dealership we should deal with, even if it is long distance, let me know... We are in South Carolina. I have my financing set up at 5.25%, if you know anybody that can beat that, let me know.
PS: We haven't completely ruled out a new one, so sell me on why I should be a new one if that's your opinion... Has anybody ever bought one straight from the factory? Can you pick one up yourself and save the shipping costs?
We have been to Holman's website and they have several in stock... We are headed North for Memorial Day Weekend and might stop in there, but it would be about 150 miles outta the way...
We have been to several RV shows and about 10 to 12 dealerships looking at them over the past several years, we have just never pulled the trigger. Now that we are retired, we are locked and loded, just need to squeeze...
I would check out Holmans. I bought my Fuzion there, shipped it and it was still 10K cheaper than what I could buy the same trailer in Idaho for. Their numbers are good and my buying experience was a painless process.
As far as trailers, I also like the Fuzion line. Everything we do is boondocking down rough BLM and USFS roads. The trailer has not been flawless but honesty its holding up pretty well for what we do with it. I just reinforced the water tank as it was bending the supports. My Fuzion dealer is pretty awesome even though I did not buy it there. The build quality of these trailers could be be better but it is what it is. No OEM seems any better than any other in this regard. I would pick the foorplan, make/model and dealer and buy it. When I am ready to upgrade I will get the Fuzion 395.
Raptor used to be the sales and resale king of toyhaulers. They kinda lost their edge in the late 2000's. The Fuzion has become more popular in the Keystone line up. However it seems that the latest Raptors look to me like they are again looking more innovative like they were years ago.
2006 GMC 3500 CC 4X4 D/A
2013 Fuzion 342
2011 RZR Desert Tan
2012 Sea Doo GTX 155
2005 GMC 5500 CC 4X4 D/A
2012 Chevy 2500HD 4X4 6.0 3.73
I tried to write a long response TWICE and it didn't take.
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We have found one we think we like, but are unsure of the brand and durability/reliability... We have been looking at a lot of new and used Raptors, but yesterday we stumbled across a used 2012 Heartland Road Warrior 405.
It has all the standard features, plus these optional features:
Hydraulic front landing gear
Electric rear stabilizing jacks
5.5 Onan Generator
3 Power Vents with rain sensors
Multi-Zone Stereo (Living area, Garage, Outside)
Central Vacuum system
2 electric drop-down beds in garage, bottom one converts to picnic style dinette (not the U shaped one)
The only flaw we could find is a small tear in the rubber garage floor, and a scuff on the exterior of the garage ramp door. Oh, the generator only has 3 hours on it. I started it up, and everything inside worked as far as we could tell. However, the generator dodn't run smooth. It surged an sputtered, kind of in a rythmic pattern. Clueless sales dude said that was normal, I say it's not. it could be old gas in there, but who knows... Thoughts on that?