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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > I'm so new I don't even have an RV

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fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 03/06/18 07:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the first things you need to work out is where and how you want to travel and camp, as Lwiddis has stated. If you buy a 1-ton dualy then you'll look at big/long campers because "Hey, I can pull anything". But you may discover that you are somewhat limited by that big ol' 5th wheel, and may find that a smaller rig would have suited you better. Getting a 40', or bigger, 5th wheel into an older campground can be a challenge, and sometimes just flat out impossible. Smaller trailers can be put into smaller, sometimes more out-of-the-way campgrounds that you discover you like better than the full-hookup campgrounds.

F'rinstance going to Yellowstone with a 40'+ fifth wheel really limits where you can park. Pull in with a 35-footer and your choices really expand. Figure out what you want and how you want it before you buy anything.


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 03/06/18 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The above is a good point. We moved up to a 34' trailer and can no longer fit in some of the sites we like at our state CG's. This will even make it hard to find a site at all sometimes.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
2003 Dodge 3500 4x4, 6 speed Cummins.
2018 Silver Fox 32A.
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Manwithnorv

East Coast

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Posted: 03/06/18 09:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok. so do people who have campers greater then 34' have problems, do they regret their decision? Where does length really become a problem?

I not looking to visit my favorite local state park 15 miles away, I want to travel the country and be comfortable doing it...but not if it means I can't find a place to park it.

SDcampowneroperator

South Dakota

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Posted: 03/06/18 09:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

campers are outgrowing sites. That is a fact. Another fact is that existing campsites built when shorter non slide out units were the normal often cannot be lengthened widened, or upgraded with power .
Liken it to your home street built in the 60s. please tell us where you could invent land.

jerem0621

Tennessee

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Posted: 03/07/18 03:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Personally, I don’t worry about the manufactures.

They all make junk and they all make decent rigs. If buying used you really want to buy the previous owner. Just like buying a car. Which is better 225k miles with religious maintenance and the records to back them up or a 50k mile car that’s never had an oil change? If buying new buy the dealer not so much the brand. The dealers service after the sale is what you want.

Here is a bunch of facts that I had to settle on. All RV’s will require me to tinker with them. They all require cash and time to maintain them. They all will leak at some time in their lives, how bad is up to me and how I maintain the trailer. It’s just the way it is.

I would not be as concerned about the brand as I would the floor plan and the amenities. Look at all of them with a fine tooth comb...even the ones you are not going to buy. Look at welds, seams, cabinets and how they are all put together. After a while you will start to be able to pick up on the bad vs the good just because of your familiarity with how things should be.

No joke here, my DW and I looked at 100 plus used campers before we bought our last TT.

As far as brands go, it seems to me that the three most popular are Cougar, Montana, and Mobile Suites.

Also, buy the Dually diesel. It will treat you nice. Get a good interior you can be comfortable in as well.

Thanks and good luck,

Jeremiah

Veebyes

Bermuda & Maryland Eastern Shore

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Which manufacturer? You won't get a top one for cheap, just like any other product. Most have an economy & a deluxe line of models. Chances are the main differences are on the inside with upgrades in furniture, appliances, hardware, plenty blingy stuff all sitting on the same frame & having the same tanks.

JMO but better to pay $X for a year or so old used A line model than a new B line. Starting by only looking at the higher quality lines cuts the size of the starting herd significantly.

Once there cut further by length. We tried to stay at 32 max but bought a 34. Refused to even look at anything over 36'. In upper end units that will reduce herd size even more. As stated before tankage is important, especially if places like Alaska, music festival, Albuquerque Balloon Festival, Oskosh EAA, SPs & NPs are in your travel plans. Limit models to a tankage of 80gal FW or more, along with the other parameters & you will be down to less than a dozen choices in no time.

From there you go to floorplan, specifically the galley as a priority. Is it workable? Is there counter space on either side of the sinks so that dirty goes in one side & clean out the other side has somewhere to be put? Many do not.

Got all the parameters set? Should be down to less than 6 model choices in only a few builders. Now the hunt begins. If going to a dealers lot don't let any salesman sell you something THEY want to SELL to you. Don't let them entice you with "Such a deal" that you WILL regret later & be right back losing money on a trade for something else.


Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter

2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
2006 Chevy 3500 LT, CC,LB 6.6L Diesel

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Jim&Sharon

Arnold MD

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Posted: 03/07/18 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

norv, good for you, doing your research first. You are getting some good advice here so far.
I retired in 2005, bought a 5th wheel rv (30 foot tip to tip), a 3/4 T Duramax/Allison long bed crew cab, and started traveling to see the USA that we had been too busy raising a family to see before.

We never "full-timed" because we still have family on the east coast that we love to spend time with, so most of our travels have been a month or two in duration. We get home/family sick if we are away any longer.

So far we have camped in every state except Alaska, and Rhode Island, for at least one night.
I am saying this, not to brag, but to show you that you can do it with a 5th wheel camper that is 30 foot tip to tip, and a 3/4 T truck. If we full-timed, or wanted more luxuries we would need a bigger camper, and a heavier duty truck.

That said, there were only a couple campsites in the hundred or so we stayed at that were uncomfortably small, or hard to get into. But it happens.

In the same vein, we traveled thousands of miles with friends with campers up to 40 feet, and usually had campsites right next to them.

So in my opinion, any camper that suits your needs, between 30/40 feet, and a vehicle that can handle it, will work for you.

You won't really know what your needs are until you have camped/traveled a bit. So go ahead and get the rv that you think you want, and maybe you will get lucky, but don't be surprised if it is not....Jim


2006 Wildcat 27RL
2006 2500HD w/Allison/Duramax
KB3TXH

Manwithnorv

East Coast

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Posted: 03/07/18 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone have an opinion on the book "Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison Guide"? Is it worth the price and time to read?

Njmurvin

Simi Valley

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Posted: 03/07/18 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not familiar with the book. But you should read everything you can get your hands on to learn more. I have been RVing for more than 30 years in one form or another and I learn new things every day (especially on this forum). There is a wealth of information here (let the search function be your friend) - especially when it comes to quality manufacturers and truck sizing (which doesn't sound like it will be problem for you). I'm also a fan of buying gently used. In fifth wheels, I bought a 1994 model in 1999 and replaced it with a 2011 model in 2016. In both cases I saved significantly over buying new.


2004.5 Dodge 3500 4x4 Laramie SWB QuadCab CTD, 48RE (auto), Putco Boss Bars, Pullrite Superglide, LineX, Prodigy, PacBrake

2011 Arctic Fox 27-5L

1jeep

acushnet ma.

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Joined: 02/25/2005

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Posted: 03/07/18 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

go to shows and the local rv lot and do some window shopping. looking at pictures and online reviews is totally different then seeing the rv in person.


2016 Ford F350 crew cab dually 6.7 platinum with heavy tow and 4:30 gears
2015 Carbon 327

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