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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > New to RVs.....A Few Newbie Questions

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etcsthorne

East Coast

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Posted: 08/30/21 06:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello! I'm retired Navy (23 years) and getting ready to retire from my second career (Civil Service). My name is Mark.

I'm going to purchase a fifth wheel and towing truck in the next six months for the wife and I to live in, travel and enjoy retirement.

I live in Eastern Virginia and will be purchasing here and traveling to eastern Oregon at least initially, since our relatives live out there.

My cash budget to purchase the fifth wheel and truck will be $150K. I've spent about a week reading about the various RV makes, quality and reliabilty "opinions" and such. Any recommendations on the best quality RV fifth wheel for around $75K? I can figure the truck out myself and have targeted RAM 3500 and Ford 3500 deisels for further analysis before I buy those. Don't need all the bells and whistles that would drive truck prices up to 90K or so.....I think I'll be in a truck for around 60K with the specifications I want.


Thank you!

Mark

wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island lake

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Posted: 08/30/21 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congrats on retirement, From an Old Coastie also retired in Va.
First suggestion is to look at some lines in person. You can get ideas on floorplans as to what configuration you want, rear living, maximum interior space etc, but once you get an idea on that you need to go look at the lines. Appliances and equipment are pretty standard across all lines, build of the structure and finish varies greatly.
Filon or other exterior will be pretty standard in the price range your looking at but whats under it will vary.
Just like in a home cabinets and furnishings will tell you some. Particle board covered in a shelf paper type material is the cheapest, and will show wear the quickest. Plywood is better, and hardwood is better still. Staples are the cheapest joinery, nails and screws are better with screwed and glued being better still.
Stand alone furniture tends to be better than built in in quality.
How do you plan to use the unit? Always in a campground with hookups? or mostly Boondocking?
Tank sizes become important when having to self sustain, they lose importance if going from established campground to established campground.
Length can be an issue in some older campgrounds, especially the older National Park campgrounds, but can often be overcome by moving outside the park.
As to brands, in your price range the upscale Keystones, Avalanche, Alpine, Montana's and Cougars are popular, others would be Grand Design, K-Z, and Jayco. These lines also give longer warranties than most of the others. And if you intend to buy and immediately hit the road, consider that most dealers are so backed up on service that they tend to work with their own sales customers first, finding a service location while on the road is usually best done by independents and some manufacturers are better about working with them than others, again the brands mentioned above seem to have better reviews than some others.
Dealers, Look for the NON chains. Most of the big chains bring with them all of the scurrilous practices from the used car business, from doc fees to prep charges to PDI cost. Look at the websites for the dealers and if they don't state up front pricing, get a list of the horsecrap fees up front so you can directly compare pricing. Some independents price their units out the door.
Raleigh NC host a couple of RV shows a year, most lines will have dealers there. Va Beach has a smaller show as well.
Happy Hunting

Dick_B

Palos Heights, IL USA

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Posted: 08/30/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can spend some valuable time searching this Forum for various topics one of which might be the make/model of the RV you are considering. Someone has probably already purchased it and spent some time in it so you can get experience and not even have to leave your house.


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Campinghoss@51

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Posted: 08/30/21 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have Chesapeake RV solutions and TAC RV center both in the Chesapeake area. Tac is just across state line in Moyock NC. Both of these dealers carry nice units.
As a suggestion, I would look at what floor plans appealed to me and not let length get in the way. The only appliance I would think carefully about is whether you plan to boon dock or primarily stay in full hook up cgs. We went with a residential fridge as we do not boon dock.

We have owned several including a dp motor home and this last time we narrowed it down to the rig in our sig and Grand Design. Floor plans and the extra insulation made our decision. It is almost a guarantee that whatever you purchase will have something that needs tweaking.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 08/30/21 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In that price range, you have lots of options.

Truck and trailer should be considered together as much as possible.

Do get a good idea of the GVWR of the trailers you are looking at and make sure the truck is suitable (you list 1 ton trucks but don't clarify if you are looking at dually). Figure 25% of the GVWR sits on the hitch as a good starting point.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 08/30/21 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree with what wanderingaimlessly stated. When we decided on a FW, we went to every local dealer and "tried" them out. Opening the cupboards, paying attention to how they felt. Were they flimsy, etc. We asked the salesman to bring in the slides so we could see what the living space would be when we stopped at a truck stop for the night en route or when we just stop for lunch. Could we access the fridge, sink, stove, bathroom, bedroom, shower? All that was important to us because after 4 previous TT's, especially our last one, we couldn't access the fridge with the slide in and had to pack a cooler for traveling. To some that may not be a big deal, but to us it was. Since we work full time, we often leave after work and drive as far as we can staying with truckers overnight if we have to, so putting the slides out is not an option. Most new FW's in that price range come with residential fridges. For us that would not work, at all, an RV fridge is a must since most of our camping is boondocking or FS. We don't care for RV parks, only staying in them as needed to wash clothes or to dump our tanks and fill up again for the next dry camping stint. We purchased our FW brand new in 2010 and love it. Very solid. In comparing it to a Montana, it had all the same fit and finish, but with a few more options. Our tanks are big enough that we can dry camp for a week and still have water left over. Glad we spent the money.


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SUMRX4

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Posted: 08/30/21 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife and I are currently in the same boat. We have been looking at floor plans off and on for months but are finally in a position to get serious about it. Have visited a few dealers to actually walk inside units and look at fit and finish. Not sure if you are aware but there is a big RV show coming up in Hershey, PA Sept 16-19. Our hope is we can see enough models to decide whish one we want. Then we will start shopping dealers for pricing. For what its worth, RV outlet in Danville seems to have a pretty good inventory and pricing as well.
Made the mistake of stopping at General a couple weekends ago simply because they typically have a large inventory. Was disappointed that they didn't(at least in the floor plans we are looking at). They seemed to think the world would stop turning if we didn't make a decision and buy their unit today so be forewarned if you go there.

etcsthorne

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Posted: 08/30/21 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you very kindly for all the detailed (and quick!) replies. I will take what I've read here and apply it. I've bought vehicles in Danville, Va in the past because this area is just rediculous in pricing for everything. I will be hooked up for the most part once we get to Oregon. I don't see us boon docking much. Thank you again!

MFL

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Posted: 08/30/21 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know you said "can figure truck out myself", but a couple of thoughts. Long beds work best for full timing. In a standard bed 6.5 bed, Ford has more clearance rear axle center to truck rear window.

In any new truck, used for FW towing, the fifth wheel prep option, is a great choice, and I would get the B&W hitch that fits it.

Welcome to the forum,

Jerry





wanderingaimlessly

Buggs Island lake

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Posted: 08/30/21 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

x-2 on RV outlet USA good people and service, They carry the Keystone lines, but have almost no inventory right now, but may be worth ordering through since you have time. RV outlet USA
K-Z you have a dealer near West Point Va. Scenic view rv
General RV carries quite a few Grand Design, but I would recommend just perusing the units, I would look elsewhere to buy.

Also if you are looking Ram, while out in Danville area check out Kernersville Ram/Dodge
One of the bigger Ram dealers in the area and usually have plenty in stock.

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