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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > 1st time buyer - 31 vs 35 ft trailer?

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laknox

Arizona

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Posted: 02/28/19 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

frenchmr wrote:

We are planning to get a 5th wheel trailer soon and are debating between a trailer that is 31 ft and one that is 35 ft length.

It's our first time pulling a 5th wheel trailer so we are leaning towards the 31 ft trailer so it's easier to pull and find camping spots, but we have 5 kids and the 35 ft one has a dedicated bunk room, plus an extra bathroom and an outdoor kitchen. The 31 ft trailer does have double bunks.

What advice would you have? Should we go with shorter to keep it simpler or is the extra 4 ft not as big of an impact and we should go with one that fits our family better? Our plan is do a fairly even mix of dry camping and campground camping, I'm in Utah.

Here are the models we are considering. Would love any feedback on these two as well.

2018 JAYCO EAGLE HT 26.5BHS
https://www.jayco.com/tools/archive/2018-eagle-ht-fifth-wheel/265bhs/

HIDEOUT 308BHDS
https://www.keystonerv.com/fifth-wheels/hideout/floorplans/308bhds-fifth-wheel/

Thanks for the help!


Since you want to boondock, don't even consider the Jayco Eagle HTs. Their tanks are too small. I was looking, heavily, at the 277RLTS and, because we like to boondock too, the 32.5gal black tank was a real knock against it, in my book. I was giving up 13gal of black capacity over my old, smaller FW. I would not have bought one without seeing one "naked" underneath so I could see if a larger tank(s) could be installed. If not, then I wouldn't have bought one. I was looking at a very similar KZ Durango 1500 model and, while I didn't buy that exact model, I did buy a KZ. 61gal fresh and 53gal black and grey tanks. The Hideout only carries 43gal of fresh, has 39 grey and 78gal "waste" capacity. Don't know if that's black for both bathrooms. So far, I'm enjoying the KZ and we've had minimal issues with it. One model, the D286BHD, in their Durango "Half-ton" series, looks like a good option for you. It falls between the 2 you're looking at, coming in at 33' and change. Also, the KZ was made since at least 2016, so there might be used ones on the market or old-stock sitting at a dealer somewhere. Don't let the "Half-ton" name fool you on the KZ. It's NOT half-ton towable. Minimum would be a late-model 3/4t; a 1t SRW would be better.

On edit:
RVTrader has over 20 KZ D286BHDs listed, including one from a private seller that looks awesome and price is even better. Just depends on how far you want to travel.

Lyle

* This post was edited 02/28/19 01:39pm by laknox *


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frenchmr

Utah

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TXiceman wrote:

5 kids means a family of 7. How are you hauling the kids in a crewcab truck which only had seating for 5 or 6?

Ken


Laps? :-) Actually, my oldest is just about done with her junior year in high school so we only have 1 summer of camping with her. My sister is single and likes to come camping with us so she can drive one of the kids. The following summer it will just be 6 of us so we'll be good in the crew cab.

Lyle wrote:

Since you want to boondock, don't even consider the Jayco Eagle HTs. Their tanks are too small. I was looking, heavily, at the 277RLTS and, because we like to boondock too, the 32.5gal black tank was a real knock against it, in my book. I was giving up 13gal of black capacity over my old, smaller FW. I would not have bought one without seeing one "naked" underneath so I could see if a larger tank(s) could be installed. If not, then I wouldn't have bought one. I was looking at a very similar KZ Durango 1500 model and, while I didn't buy that exact model, I did buy a KZ. 61gal fresh and 53gal black and grey tanks. The Hideout only carries 43gal of fresh, has 39 grey and 78gal "waste" capacity. Don't know if that's black for both bathrooms. So far, I'm enjoying the KZ and we've had minimal issues with it. One model, the D286BHD, in their Durango "Half-ton" series, looks like a good option for you. It falls between the 2 you're looking at, coming in at 33' and change. Also, the KZ was made since at least 2016, so there might be used ones on the market or old-stock sitting at a dealer somewhere. Don't let the "Half-ton" name fool you on the KZ. It's NOT half-ton towable. Minimum would be a late-model 3/4t; a 1t SRW would be better.

On edit:
RVTrader has over 20 KZ D286BHDs listed, including one from a private seller that looks awesome and price is even better. Just depends on how far you want to travel.

Lyle


Great point about the tanks, I hadn't fully considered that. I'll also take a look at the KZ. Thanks!

Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To your new/used question, people have very different takes on that. If 'used' means 2-3 years old, your not likely to get a huge break on the cost (especially if buying from a dealer). If used is 5-8 years old, you can save a chunk, but you are living in a until used by another family for 5-8 years.

One of the arguments for buying a 'gently used' trailer is that the previous owner may have already dealt with all of the defects from the manufacturer. This may or may not be the case for a particular rig, but for some it can make a difference.

For us, I don't mind doing most of the repairs myself (we've had our trailer for 6.5 years and I have had it in the shop twice - once for new tires and the other to replace and axle), and we planned to keep it for a long time, so we bought new.

If you want someone else to have worked out the kinks, or think you only may have it for 3-5 years, a used unit is probably your better bet. If you don't mind doing the basic stuff yourself and saving the warranty repairs for the off-season, and plan to keep it for a longer period, I'd suggest that new is a better option.

camp-n-family

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need the payload to carry that pin weight AND all the passengers. Go with the 350 (1 ton), especially if it’s a diesel. Most 3/4 ton trucks with diesels are close to max payload with pin weight alone.


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rexlion

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another good reason to buy used is, the offgassing from the interior will be done (new units can make your eyes sting, so who knows what health concerns are involved). +1 for the F350, you will want the payload.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
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camper1013

Twin Cities

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just picked up a used 5th wheel. The previous owners bought a cabin and only used it once the last 2 years. I don't like inheriting someone else problems or stuff they broke and have always gone new until this one.

We got a great price and we never could have gotten into a Grand Design rig like this new. There are some things that need to be cleaned up and fixed, but once that is done it should be happy camping!

frenchmr

Utah

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Posted: 02/28/19 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mickeyfan0805 wrote:

To your new/used question, people have very different takes on that. If 'used' means 2-3 years old, your not likely to get a huge break on the cost (especially if buying from a dealer). If used is 5-8 years old, you can save a chunk, but you are living in a until used by another family for 5-8 years.

One of the arguments for buying a 'gently used' trailer is that the previous owner may have already dealt with all of the defects from the manufacturer. This may or may not be the case for a particular rig, but for some it can make a difference.

For us, I don't mind doing most of the repairs myself (we've had our trailer for 6.5 years and I have had it in the shop twice - once for new tires and the other to replace and axle), and we planned to keep it for a long time, so we bought new.

If you want someone else to have worked out the kinks, or think you only may have it for 3-5 years, a used unit is probably your better bet. If you don't mind doing the basic stuff yourself and saving the warranty repairs for the off-season, and plan to keep it for a longer period, I'd suggest that new is a better option.


Good point about someone else sorting out all of the warranty repairs with the dealer, I'd rather not deal with the hassle. Plus, I don't really have any trailer or auto repair experience so this might be a little frustrating. I know I'll need to build some of that expertise, but would rather do that slowly over time.

camp-n-family wrote:

You need the payload to carry that pin weight AND all the passengers. Go with the 350 (1 ton), especially if it’s a diesel. Most 3/4 ton trucks with diesels are close to max payload with pin weight alone.


Makes perfect sense about the 1 ton, I'll make sure to limit my search to the F-350. I'm getting it as a 3rd vehicle so the rough ride of the 350 around town won't be as much of an issue.

Thanks everyone for the input, this has been super helpful!
Anything else I should be thinking about with buying a trailer?

guidry

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Posted: 02/28/19 04:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you stop for a potty break can you get to the bathroom and refrigerator without putting a slide out? That’s important too.

Veebyes

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Posted: 02/28/19 05:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The longer you go the more restrictive site availability gets however provided you stay below the 35-36'LOA there should be few problems.

We started the hunt trying to stay below 32' but finished up with a 34 model number which means just below 36'LOA.

With dry camping in mind one of the most important things to have is water capacity. So many only have 60gal freshwater which is next to useless. Figure on 8-10 gal per person per day without being crazy frugal with it. Next is battery bank capacity. 2 group 27 12V batterys just don't cut it. Cram as many amp hrs as can be fitted in the battery area.


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SNOMORE

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Posted: 02/28/19 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With 6 people in the truck where are your dogs? Hopefully not in the 5th wheel or in the bed of the truck!


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