Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

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jimcrawford01
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Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by jimcrawford01 »

First time buyer with no experience with RV travel.
They seem to come in all sizes but around 29-30 ft looks about right for me.
Used or New? One Manufacturer stand out?
Which truck to buy? Same questions.
Experience counts. Any help would be appreciated.
Jim
rcsracing
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by rcsracing »

I think a good first step is to do some rentals. I'm not sure if there as many rental options for a 5th wheel setup, but that's what you need to do first. Just like a car, you'll take a massive depreciation hit on day 1. But expect some issues if it's a few years old.

Lots of questions to answer first before you dive in head-first.

-Rick
JeffAL
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by JeffAL »

http://www.rv.net/forums/

You're going to need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck at least. A dually is usually preferred. Used is fine but price out the truck first.
mrc
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by mrc »

Oh boy, TRUCK WAR!!!

Just remember, the F250/350 size trucks are large, and it will have the fifth wheel coupling installed in its bed making it less useful for general hauling. It's hard to slide a sheet of plywood into a bed with a coupling. You should be sure you need a trailer that big before going forward. Maybe you do! But you must know for sure. I would try very hard to not need a 5th wheel. YMMV. Rentals are a great idea to get an idea what size trailer you need. Our motto is get the nicest and smallest one can.
By the time you know enough to choose a good financial adviser, you don't need one. | bogleheads.org is my advisor: The ER is 0.0% and the advice always solid.
tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by tibbitts »

jimcrawford01 wrote:First time buyer with no experience with RV travel.
They seem to come in all sizes but around 29-30 ft looks about right for me.
Used or New? One Manufacturer stand out?
Which truck to buy? Same questions.
Experience counts. Any help would be appreciated.
Jim
You need to be over on rv.net, not here. To save you time, you'll be told you need a very serious truck. Not necessarily a dually, but a one-ton. Since you may not know, three-quarter and one-tons are essentially the same, and completely different from half-tons. The "larger" trucks are in fact no larger than half-ton trucks, they just have more capability. Having bought a half-ton truck myself years ago, I wouldn't do that again, even if my heaviest-ever load wouldn't nearly require anything larger. As for brands, everyone has an opinion, but for what you want it doesn't matter much, so things like how you feel driving the truck, how you fit in the seats, etc. is more important.

Seriously, your question really reflects that you are nowhere where you need to be to make any kind of decision about an RV. I'm not sure at all about the wisdom of starting with such a large RV. You shouldn't even have concluded that you want a 5th wheel yet if you're asking the questions you are. So, you'll probably do what most people do: buy an RV every year or two for a while, probably taking a 50% financial hit every time, until you stumble on something that works for you. Or just give up entirely. An RV, that size particularly, will change everything about how you travel, in some good ways and some not-so-good. Be careful that you don't create more stress than benefit. RVs aren't for everyone, but if you have plenty of money to throw at a hobby, well, there are worse things you could try.
glock19
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by glock19 »

Tibbitts has given great advice. I'll add a little.

After many years of pulling travel trailers I've been pulling a 31' fifth wheel for 6 years. Personally, I'm not a fan of large trailers, and a 5th wheel in this size would be a challenge for a new RV'er. But, it can be done.

Remember that pulling a trailer and "hauling" a 5th wheel is two different things. A 5th wheel puts a lot of load in the bed of the truck, and that's why the medium duty trucks (3/4 or 1 ton) are needed. At rv.net there are formulas to help you calculate the needed truck capacity. When in doubt go larger, but remember some will tell you you need a 3 ton dual rear wheel to pull a pop-up, so just do the math. But please DO NOT let some salesman sell you a "1/2 ton pullable 5th wheel".

New or used just depends on your finances and commitment to RVing. It's like any other purchase. I wish I could tell you one brand of 5th wheel is better than another but honestly they are all mostly junk now days. You just enjoy them and make repairs as needed.

I would advise you to do more research and I feel you will know the answers to most of your questions when you reach the right knowledge level. I really, really enjoy traveling and enjoying my 5th wheel so I'm biased when talking about them.
vested1
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by vested1 »

Be aware that some dealers may intentionally underestimate the towing requirements of their product, which we experienced in spades when looking for a suitable trailer. This is done to get the sale completed and get on to the next customer. Do your research extensively before buying and consider renting a trailer before buying if possible.

Your expected use is also a factor. Are you going to use it for travel with a family or only as a couple or single? We ended up buying a Casita travel trailer recently, which is very high quality, reasonably priced, and maintains resell value well. We tow our trailer with a GMC 1500 1/2 ton truck, which is more than sufficient. My wife and I are retired and it's perfect for our minimalist needs. We could take a grandchild with us as well, but more than that would be impractical. http://casitatraveltrailers.com/

The cost with all the options possible is around 20k and it can be towed with a small SUV. The cost of replacing our truck, the expense of the inevitable maintenance for hauling a heavier load, and the limited life of a stick built metal trailer went into our decision. At 17' from hitch to bumper it can be parked at the house. Many of the best campgrounds limit the length of the trailer to 20'. We have all the amenities, such as an awning, electric trailer brakes, a bathroom, air conditioner, fridge with freezer, heater with thermostat, gas cooktop, microwave, and T.V. with a built in CD player.

Consider going with a molded fiberglass trailer, of which there are several brands, due to the greater resell value and less susceptibility for water leaks and metal deterioration.
quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by quantAndHold »

Have you gone RVing at all yet? You should start with that. Rent, go camping, see how you like it first.

I have one friend who bought a truck and trailer, went on one trip, and on the way home, her husband announced that he didn't "want to do this." What he didn't want to do was all the malarkey around hooking and unhooking, and pulling the trailer. They sold the truck and trailer, bought a class C motorhome, and happily drove the motorhome for 20 years. It would have been nice if they'd figured that out before they bought, though.

My uncle was a lifelong RVer. He wore out several different vehicles over the years. Most of his purchases were trailers that people had bought, gone camping in once, then sold back to the dealer as used. Don't be the one that my uncle buys from.

Wife and I have been renting different kinds of RVs for the past year. Renting really helped us decide a) if we really wanted to do this (yes), and b) which kind of rig we wanted (smaller, but not too small, motorhome).
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by quantAndHold »

Also, do you have a place to park a big truck and trailer when you're at home?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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David Jay
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by David Jay »

I am actively searching for my first 5th wheel (moving from a motor home), picking up my 2011 Chevy 2500 on Friday. Year old 5th wheel stock (i.e. "2016") are usually about $10,000 less than 2017.

I am not afraid of used but I've owned trailers and motorhomes for 25 years and know all the systems. 5 years old should be under half of list price (which no trailer ever sells for...). Many trailers are used 3 or 4 times a year and are in like-new condition. My only structural concern is roof damage (falling tree limb, etc.).
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littlebird
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by littlebird »

When we were in your position, newly retired, with no experience (coming from a big eastern city, we didn't even know anyone who had a trailer), we bought a very small, very old 17-foot, single axle trailer and practiced with it. Spouse re-plumbed and re-wired it. I made curtains, wall quilts and re-upholstered it. At that point we knew a lot about how it was put together.

We hauled it all around the west for a year or so, learning how to handle a rig (we pulled it with a Nissan Pathfinder) where to buy parts, making small repairs and talking to folks in campgrounds. At that point we knew that we wanted to continue to RV, to continue with a trailer and what we wanted to trailer with, all without have made much of a financial commitment at first.
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Lemonaid56
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by Lemonaid56 »

My BIL has done a lot of RVing and has made it sound interesting to us. One thing he mentioned that hit home was that if you are going to a lot of state or national parks that there are limits tot the size RV some will allow.

When they bought their most recent one I had been asking him the attraction to staying at those RV parks we see everywhere. All lined up neat with just a small space between you and your neighbor. What if you don't like the crowd that is there?They stay almost exclusively at parks. Usually just state parks. More space less people and its more like you are in nature. I can see the appeal to that.

They also pointed out things they were looking for in the new RV ; slide outs are a must to give space for two people to pass and lounge around. But what if you want to just pull over quick at Walmart or a weigh station for a break? Can you access the features you want without the hassle of sliding out just to use the kitchen or get to the bathroom? Do the windows in the bedroom open? They found a lot of the newer RV's had non-operational windows or just one working window so fresh air could only be brought in by fan.
I can see some of the appeal but its an awful lot of money sitting in the yard when not in use and you still have to maintain it when not in use. Cleaning in and outside. Leaks. Charging batteries. Refrigerators get moldy if not in use. Mice and hornets and wasps.
They recently came to stay for a few days. Great for us because they had their own bathroom and bedroom . Until the blackwater and gray water tanks got full. Leveling the RV in our driveway was a project because we have a slope to take away water and just a bit off level made water drain less easily and walking was off balance. Also cost 8mpg to drive 250 miles round trip to be here. Thank god for the cheap gas prices at the moment but can you imagine what it was like at $4 per gallon?
Makes out hotel and time share stays look reasonable most of the time.
curmudgeon
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by curmudgeon »

Definitely think hard about the use model you expect. Long road trips? State parks? Snowbirding? Each will push in different directions for the choices. I haven't seen many fifth-wheel rentals in the US, but I did see some a few years ago in Canada (Rockies area). It might be worth investigating. Do take a look at various threads at rv.net, though like everything on the internet take them with a grain of salt.

I would definitely try to spend a week or two in a rented RV before actually buying one. Even if you can only rent a motorhome and you are planning on a fifth wheel, you will learn a lot in the process. A few years ago we got a very low-cost rental from CruiseAmerica where they had a stock of motorhomes that had been taken out of rental service, refurbished at their Phoenix facility, and needed delivery to a variety of sales locations around the country. Cost was probably 1/4 of a normal rental, but of course the endpoints of the route were pre-determined.

I think fifth wheels have the best driveability characteristics for an RV of a given space, but there are definitely some drawbacks. You lose much of the truck bed storage while on the road (and have some awkwardness even with the hitch removed). You need to be aware of the truck payload capacity, not just "tow rating", because there will be a lot more weight over the rear axle (and look at the trailer "gross weight", not "dry weight").
quantAndHold
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by quantAndHold »

curmudgeon wrote: I haven't seen many fifth-wheel rentals in the US, but I did see some a few years ago in Canada (Rockies area). It might be worth investigating.
We found 5th wheel trailers for rent, but the bigger problem was renting a truck that can pull a 5th wheel. We ended up borrowing both from a good friend (and getting a free driving lesson in the bargain). We paid the rental on a motorhome that they wanted to try out, and borrowed their 5th wheel and truck, and we went to the desert together. We learned a lot from that trip.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Random Poster
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by Random Poster »

Deleted because I can't distinguish between "edit" and "quote." My (corrected) post is immediately below.
Last edited by Random Poster on Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Random Poster
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by Random Poster »

vested1 wrote:Consider going with a molded fiberglass trailer, of which there are several brands, due to the greater resell value and less susceptibility for water leaks and metal deterioration.
In this regard, Escape Trailers (out of British Columbia) offer, among other trailers, a fiberglass 5th wheel trailer. I toured a previous model and thought that it was much roomier than it looked from the outside.

More info here: http://escapetrailer.com/trailers/the-5-0-escape/

(At current exchange rates, note that Escape's 5th wheel is only around $26,500 USD and, unlike most stick-built trailers--but perhaps like the Casita--is essentially built to order).
blenhardt
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by blenhardt »

A lot of good information here and some not so good. We have pulled a fifth wheel for about 12 years now. We started with a 26 footer and now have a 39 footer. Four different fivers. Probably over 100k miles. We like the life style but you need to try it out first. The suggestion of renting a class C is a good first step. It will give you an idea of what RV'ing is all about. Fivers, class A's, bumper pulls, and Class C's all have their advantages and pluses. You just have to figure out what you want.

Rv's are rolling homes that see road caused earthquakes so there will be some fix it to do no matter what kind you get. They are also not investment items and all lose value. That is just the cost of traveling in this manner.

Rv.net is a good site to visit.

Take your time, do some research and go slow at first. Good luck
tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by tibbitts »

I bought my most recent rv with gas at about $1.20. I still remember the shock of seeing $2 for the first time. Since this is the bogleheads forum, make sure you know how you'll feel about 6-9mpg at $4-$5/gal or even more. If somebody had said to me gas would jump 4x in just a few years after I'd bought that RV I would have said they were crazy but it happened. To simulate, try driving down the road in your car, throw a dollar bill out the window every two miles, and see how that makes you feel. You can get a little better mpg with diesel but often pay more for the fuel and other maintenance. There is still no cheap way to move a heavy box down the road. You can save little by driving slower, but that might or might not fit your travel plans and schedule. I had a much smaller travel trailer and generally would run 55-60 on the flats and often 40-ish on hills. Yes, I could have gone faster, but it's not like with a car - you can feel the truck working hard, at least with gas. There are RVs that offer slightly better mpg, such as a smaller truck with the egg trailers mentioned earlier, but everything is a compromise.
mrc
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by mrc »

tibbitts wrote:I bought my most recent rv with gas at about $1.20. I still remember the shock of seeing $2 for the first time. Since this is the bogleheads forum, make sure you know how you'll feel about 6-9mpg at $4-$5/gal or even more. If somebody had said to me gas would jump 4x in just a few years after I'd bought that RV I would have said they were crazy but it happened. To simulate, try driving down the road in your car, throw a dollar bill out the window every two miles, and see how that makes you feel. ...
That there is why I love this forum so much. :D
By the time you know enough to choose a good financial adviser, you don't need one. | bogleheads.org is my advisor: The ER is 0.0% and the advice always solid.
rimfire
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by rimfire »

Not a good analogy, "throwing dollars out the window every two miles" That is stupid, driving an RV is not, if that is what you want to do and can afford the expense of owning, storing and driving whatever RV you have.
We do both stay in hotels/motels when we travel by car and also own an RV for the times where rather than tenting you want a little comfort while you visit the outdoors.
As far as the best RV to own? That is a question with lots of answers and only some of them will be wrong. RVer's are a different crowd and within that crowd there are many different types of people.
If you like camping and don't mind roughing it a little you will open yourself to a world only a few people will enjoy in their lifetime.

I don't think you will find a really well built RV unless it is custom built to your specs. The mass produced ones that are for sale almost everywhere are all a compromise of price over value. They work but really don't expect things to be like a well built house that doesn't move down the road. It helps if you own an RV to be a little handy with tools and fixing things without a lot of help from the dealer. If you have the dealer look after every problem after the warranty is over you are looking at significant costs and inconvenience with traveling to a dealer and waiting for repairs.

IMHO smaller is better when it comes to RV's. If you can store it at your house you will use it more. If you have to store it at a storage lot it becomes a pain to go get it, stock it with food and water and load your toys so you most likely use it less. If you are retired so every day is Saturday them when the weekend crowd is working you can enjoy the outdoors in relative peace. July and August can difficult months to get away from the crowds if that is what you are trying to do. The west still has lots of places that you can boondocks on public land and still not see many souls for weeks.

The 5th wheel hitch comments about having a largely unusable box are largely untrue many hitches can be removed completely so your truck box is just as empty as it mostly is at anytime anyway.

My suggestion is to go camping with someone who has a 5th wheel camper.( you drive you own vehicle and stay in their camper) See if you like what you see. Go to the RV dump station and get you hands wets emptying the tanks and dealing with the sewer smell. Ask you friend if you can drive the truck and Fiver so you can feel how it feels to haul something. Once you get over the initial size trepidation ( there are many larger vehicles on the road) you will be wheeling with the best of them. Enjoying parts of the country only a few will see and meeting people many of whom follow the BH lifestyle and don't really know that is what it is called.

Remember life is about living not living the BH way, that is just away to get to do thing you really want to do a little faster than the crowd who doesn't know.

Thanks jb
Gene2001
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by Gene2001 »

We loved our 5th wheel. We bought one of the lighter models - outback with garage for the race track. Had a dodge 2500 v10 to pull it. Because of the lighter weight of the outback it pulled really easy. But sucked down the gas. I think depending on how fast we went - 50's we got 8-9 mpg. 60's - 70's we got like 6-7mpg

The 5th wheel pulled much better than a trailer. Hardly any sway - it felt like it was part of the pickup.

Was great when gas was $1 or so a gallon. Was a shock when it went up to $4. We took it to canada one time and it was $5+ a gallon up there (converted). Also skipped a trip to florida with it one time and airzona due to $4 gas (we are in NJ - was much cheaper to fly)


One thing to know - we bought new. ALL of the local dealers in the tri state area were all full price. They would hardly budge at all. Went on the RV forums and outback forums and they all helped me find a good dealer in michigan. was $8,000 cheaper then the locals. Gave them all a chance to at least come down some - they wouldnt even come down a little. So we took a 15 hour drive to go get it and 15 hours back. Back was better since we were able to use the rv to sleep.

Because of that $8k savings - when we went to sell it - we didnt lose any money. Sold it for almost what we bought it for and got to use it for 4-5 years for free basically. Minus gas costs and other stuff.

We kinda miss it at the hosue because we used it as a guest cabin/hotel when we had friends over. We installed a full hookup at the house and built a pad. We sold it just because we used it less and less and it just started sitting there. Things that sit slowly start to break so bye bye it went


Tip - get tire pressure monitors!
tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by tibbitts »

rimfire wrote:Not a good analogy, "throwing dollars out the window every two miles" That is stupid, driving an RV is not, if that is what you want to do and can afford the expense of owning, storing and driving whatever RV you have.
...
Remember life is about living not living the BH way, that is just away to get to do thing you really want to do a little faster than the crowd who doesn't know.

Thanks jb
I wouldn't have thought that a good analogy either, until, in the space of a couple of years, my income halved and gas prices doubled. I don't believe I had a reason to anticipate those things happening, but they did. If you don't feel like you're throwing dollar out the window, maybe you just haven't been in similar circumstances. I'm trying to make the OP aware of a potential pitfall that, having been an RV owner multiple times before, I'd failed to anticipate. It also depends on what you use the RV for. In my case it was for touring. Somebody who RVs at the local lake 20mi from home isn't going to impacted the way I was, with an average trip being thousands of miles.

I think you're misjudging many members here, for whom living is, indeed, about living the BH way. Around here I'm relatively free-spending, while everywhere else, I'm considered cheap. Seriously, we have people with millions of dollars in investments asking whether they should buy new vs. used tires. While there will always be exceptions, I see this crowd having issues when swapping their 1995 Corolla for a gas-sucking RV.
Topic Author
jimcrawford01
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by jimcrawford01 »

Thanks to all for the responses.
You have convinced me of the virtues of a "test drive" prior to purchase.
I have the TRUCK figured out. Next is the TRAILER decision.
I was not aware of the rental possibilities. It turns out that there are many. In fact, you can rent a Trailer on site at some camp grounds and sample the lifestyle for a period of time. I will do that.
I am now considering a TRAVEL Trailer vs a Fifth Wheel. I have researched the Fifth Wheel a bit but not so much on the TRAVEL TRAILER.
Any TRAVEL Trailer adherents out there?
Jim
miles monroe
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by miles monroe »

some comments from someone who does not own an RV.

interesting thread. i've been interested in RV's after seeing the VW campmobile at the auto show every year until they stopped making them. i even watch the GAC channel that has the RV buying show on every week. i'm a long distance hiker, so i'm used to carrying everything on my back that i'll need over a weeks time. an RV would limit the places i go when i travel, and the thot of single digit MPG ends the discussion. i'd consider a van conversion - similar to the VW i used to see - but i can't wrap my head around the approx 100K price tags. i'm single, so i can live just fine in my SUV while traveling.

an early post mentioned the forums at rv.net. interesting reading there; many complaints about the poor quality of RVs, poor customer service, bad experiences at campgrounds, etc etc etc.

the above forums linked to series of articles, only 2 written so far, about how the RV industry is in a death spiral. again, the comments are eye opening. the first 2 articles, more to come, are linked below.

again, i don't have a dog in this fight, but i found the comments from RV owners very eye opening. it would certainly give me pause if i was considering the RV lifestyle.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/opinio ... al-part-1/

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-dea ... he-bottom/
Last edited by miles monroe on Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
curmudgeon
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by curmudgeon »

jimcrawford01 wrote:Thanks to all for the responses.
You have convinced me of the virtues of a "test drive" prior to purchase.
I have the TRUCK figured out. Next is the TRAILER decision.
I was not aware of the rental possibilities. It turns out that there are many. In fact, you can rent a Trailer on site at some camp grounds and sample the lifestyle for a period of time. I will do that.
I am now considering a TRAVEL Trailer vs a Fifth Wheel. I have researched the Fifth Wheel a bit but not so much on the TRAVEL TRAILER.
Any TRAVEL Trailer adherents out there?
Jim
5th vs TT is an interesting discussion. I have been debating this for myself. My perception is that a 5th has much better towing and maneuver behavior on the road (there's a reason why the big trucks use this form). TT can be towed by large SUV, or you can have a shell on pickup to keep bikes or other stuff in back.

If you are looking at extended road trips, and want a largish rig, I would really lean toward 5th.
tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by tibbitts »

jimcrawford01 wrote:Thanks to all for the responses.
You have convinced me of the virtues of a "test drive" prior to purchase.
I have the TRUCK figured out. Next is the TRAILER decision.
I was not aware of the rental possibilities. It turns out that there are many. In fact, you can rent a Trailer on site at some camp grounds and sample the lifestyle for a period of time. I will do that.
I am now considering a TRAVEL Trailer vs a Fifth Wheel. I have researched the Fifth Wheel a bit but not so much on the TRAVEL TRAILER.
Any TRAVEL Trailer adherents out there?
Jim
You don't have the truck figured out, because you can use a much smaller tow vehicle for a small TT vs. any 5th wheel, and that's one of the big advantages of a small TT. You really haven't said what you want to do with this RV, so people won't be able to make very useful comments about what aspects of various RV types might be beneficial for you. A TT combo will be much longer for the same amount of interior space, so if you really need 30ft of interior space, your decision is basically made. I'd almost draw the line at more like 20ft. I had a 23.5ft TT, so 20ft interior space. Any bigger and I'd be tempted to look at something other than a TT.

You absolutely don't want to go overboard on the tow vehicle if you do end up with a very small/light TT, because you'll gain a huge amount of maneuverability by going with a smaller TV.
vested1
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by vested1 »

curmudgeon wrote:
jimcrawford01 wrote:Thanks to all for the responses.
You have convinced me of the virtues of a "test drive" prior to purchase.
I have the TRUCK figured out. Next is the TRAILER decision.
I was not aware of the rental possibilities. It turns out that there are many. In fact, you can rent a Trailer on site at some camp grounds and sample the lifestyle for a period of time. I will do that.
I am now considering a TRAVEL Trailer vs a Fifth Wheel. I have researched the Fifth Wheel a bit but not so much on the TRAVEL TRAILER.
Any TRAVEL Trailer adherents out there?
Jim
5th vs TT is an interesting discussion. I have been debating this for myself. My perception is that a 5th has much better towing and maneuver behavior on the road (there's a reason why the big trucks use this form). TT can be towed by large SUV, or you can have a shell on pickup to keep bikes or other stuff in back.

If you are looking at extended road trips, and want a largish rig, I would really lean toward 5th.
A sway bar can be added very cheaply to allow better control if you need to swerve suddenly or if there is a heavy crosswind. A WDH (weight distributing hitch), also relatively inexpensive, can be added to a TT to distribute the weight evenly from the front bumper of the tow vehicle to the rear of the TT, which allows for a smoother ride.

Much depends on what you are looking for when "camping". You need to prioritize what is important to you as far as comfort is concerned. The more space and amenities, the more difficulty in towing, driving, and expense. The biggest complaint I hear from other R.V. owners is that they regret not going smaller in the beginning.
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Toons
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Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by Toons »

Class B owner here. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
miles monroe
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by miles monroe »

death spiral part 3 was posted yesterday.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-dea ... ough-spot/
curmudgeon
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by curmudgeon »

miles monroe wrote:death spiral part 3 was posted yesterday.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-dea ... ough-spot/
I don't think he's written anything worth reading. Reminds me of one of those people you meet at a party who thinks he knows everything that's wrong with the world, and has a solution if only people would listen to him.
miles monroe
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by miles monroe »

curmudgeon wrote:
miles monroe wrote:death spiral part 3 was posted yesterday.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-dea ... ough-spot/
I don't think he's written anything worth reading. Reminds me of one of those people you meet at a party who thinks he knows everything that's wrong with the world, and has a solution if only people would listen to him.
as i mentioned earlier, i've always been interested in these things although an RV would be overkill for my lifestyle. my dad has a small one which i helped him drive cross country years ago. now if VW still made their campmobile i just might be in the market for one.

i have no idea who the author is, or if he is credible or not, but i'm finding this series -- and particularly the reader comments -- fascinating reading. where's there's smoke there's (sometimes) fire -- and the reader comments are smokin out the joint!
vested1
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by vested1 »

miles monroe wrote:death spiral part 3 was posted yesterday.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-dea ... ough-spot/
I fail to see your point or your interest in apparently trying to dissuade someone who is interested in purchasing an RV from doing so since you admittedly don't own one. Contrary to the linked author's contention, the industry is not in a "death spiral". Should we all sell our RV's and find something else to occupy ourselves based on the articles you linked in multiple comments?

Competition dictates that quality improves or sales are lost. This factor eventually drives consumerism in all industries. Not all RV's are made with imported or substandard materials and labor, not all RV's are constructed with fiberboard and metal exteriors. Some RV manufacturers put out a good product, and some stand by their warranties. Not all tow vehicles experience single digit MPG numbers while towing. My GMC Sierra 1500 averaged 13 MPG while towing our trailer over 2000 miles back from Texas in June, 2016.

Customer ratings and satisfaction need to be researched before making a decision. The documented resale value of a particular brand and model will speak volumes.
tibbitts
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by tibbitts »

My GMC Sierra 1500 averaged 13 MPG while towing our trailer over 2000 miles back from Texas in June, 2016.
With my 1500 Chevrolet, the best I could average with my 7.5ftx23.5ft TT was 11.5 to 12mpg, but that was the end of the 4-speed era, and with the rear end it had it just couldn't hold 4th without just a little tailwind. But 3rd was too aggressive. Not sure how much the newer transmissions have changed that. The TT was 4500lbs wet, plus an extra 800lbs in the truck when towing. Adding a bed cover got it ever so slightly closer to 4th - it needed slightly less tailwind. It was so close and maybe that would have mattered. Hard to say. Of course my lack of still in parking cost some in the mpg department, too, but those numbers were over-the-road.

That brings up the point that it's both very hard to know these things before you buy a vehicle, and very expensive to change them after you do. So there's some luck involved in matching the vehicle and trailer.
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jimcrawford01
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by jimcrawford01 »

OP here.

I have learned a lot from the responses here and research via the internet and visits to RV and truck shops, as well as conversations with current users.
The Truck will be one of the following, in no particular order:

Ford F-250 HD
Chevy Silverado 2500 SD
Dodge Ram 2500 SD

I know I MIGHT be able to go smaller BUT, after 40 years of following Mr Bogle's advice (for which I am most grateful), it is long past time for me to GO BIG and own a big honkin' truck!

Yet to be determined:

Used or New?
Gas or Diesel?
Short Bed or Long Bed?
Trim Line?

I am leaning towards Gas, Short Bed and medium or less Trim Line.
Used can be a great deal if you luck out a bit (CraigsList).

Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer?

Size 30 ft or less.
Used or New?

I am leaning towards a Used TT so the truck will be fully available for transport. That seems to be important to me. For that reason, I took Motor Homes off the selection table.

I plan to spend a week renting an on site TT at a nearby commercial campground to sample the lifestyle.

The search continues.
miles monroe
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Re: Buying a Fifth Wheel-Help

Post by miles monroe »

RV Industry Death Spiral – Part 4: Dealers drop the ball on service

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-ind ... /#comments
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