1) We are buying our first RV and need to decide between two units. Both fit the bill for our wants and needs but not sure as to what one to purchase. They are a 2007 Keystone Mountaineer 342PHT or a 2013 Forest River Sandpiper Select 32QBBS. The keystone is $10000 less so that's a big plus. The big question, is one better than the other in terms of quality and reliability? My second question is what is everyones opinion on the best fifth wheel hitch for my truck, 2006 Ford F350 with 6 1/2 bed? I've read a lot about the Pullrite but not sure what to go with. As before your opinions are greatly appreciated and we look forward to eventually hitting the road in our new RV.
2006 Ford F350 PSD SRW King Ranch 4x4 (Henry)
2013 FR Sandpiper 366FL 40' Front Living Room 4 Slides. (Sandy the COW)
I had a Keystone Cougar fiver that was trouble free.I have recently looked at the Sandpipers and they are nice. I would think the quality is similar (both mid level IMHO).
Some fivers can now turn 88-90 degrees with a short bed truck, so a slider hitch is not necessary. I don't know about these models, so this might be something you want to check. I would prefer not to have a slider if possible, but certainly not a deal killer. New is nice. Whether or not it is worth the extra $10K only you can answer. Enjoy.
1) I'm not familiar with either unit and I don't have experience with either one. But, picking a floor plan, which is one of the most important things you will so in your selection process is a most personal choice... However, looking at the floor plans they are quite a bit different. I assume you are looking at "bunk house" models because you have kids. The first thing that struck me is that in the Sandpiper the bathroom is on the "kids end" of the trailer. Just a personal preference, but I would want it at the adult end.
On the Mountaineer, since you're looking at an older model, check it carefully for soft spots in the roof and floor that would indicate a leak and rotten wood. Also, consider the fact that you will probably get a warranty with the 2013 model.
2) With a short bed truck you will probably need a slider type fifth wheel hitch. Any major brand should be fine (Curt, Reese, Pullrite), although there are differences between them. Some of them automatically slide to the "back position" when in a turn. The good part of this is that you don't have to remember to slide it back manually (sometimes in the rain). However, I prefer a manual slider because it allows me to lower my tailgate if I am backing straight back with the slide in either position, something I would not be able to do without removing my tailgate or having a special tailgate. This depends on your truck/hitch/camper pin position - you may not have this situation. I would however, recommend a "4 way" tilt hitch that will tilt front to back AND side to side. That allows you to hitch better on uneven ground. I use a Curt slider with a 4 way head and it works fine. They are generally less expensive than Reese or Pullrite. Curt is a popular brand for commercial vehicles.
Amateur Radio WA4GIY
2009 Laredo 29RL 5er
2013 Ram 3500 crew cab long bed, 6.7 CTD, Aisin trans.
2001 25' Nomad Scout TT
2001 Ford F250, 7.3L TD
Curt E5 with a slider
Tekonsha P3 controller
The sand piper is brand new and has a warranty. The mountaineer is used and repairs will be on your dime. How handy are you?
RV "warranties" are such a joke that I'd be inclined to buy the used one, that probably has had all the kinks already worked out, and bank the $10k, just in case.
2002 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Duramax Crew Cab 4x4
Banks Bullet Tuner and Monster Exhaust
B&W Turnover Ball with 5th Wheel Companion
2004 Komfort 25FSG Fifth Wheel
1936 John Deere Model A
International Flying Farmers 55 Year Member
Don't have much of an opinion but that price difference caught my eye right away. If both will fill your needs then that $10,000 will buy all the repairs you could ever imagine on the used one and it will also depreciate a lot less. Remember, the new one becomes "used" very quickly.
I bet if you negotiated hard, you could make that $10k difference a 15K difference. A 2007 should have more depreciation in 5 years than $10k on a new one. I would not show interest in the new one, and just bluff your way into walking out to make it a $15k difference. See if they fall for it. If they do, it would be a no-brainer.
RV'ing is like ice cream. You just can't get enough of it.
However, I ended up eating too much ice cream so I had to go on the Scarsdale Diet because I had a big gut. LOL
99' Holiday Rambler DP, not too big, not too small.