Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Help with choosing our 5th wheel (and truck)
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 > Help with choosing our 5th wheel (and truck)

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AnneM

Israel

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Posted: 06/26/21 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to the wonderful members here, we're making progress and now know where we'll buy our 5th wheel and truck [emoticon] but I could really use some help with choosing the right ones.

Who we are (and our plan)

I'm Anne, aged 49. DH is 51. Our son is 17. All three of us will be RV'ing for the first time, going full-time right away in July.

We don't live in the US (coming over to work and manage our company), so we'll be starting from scratch in terms of buying a rig and a towing vehicle. We decided on a 5th wheel because we like the idea of towing stability, combined with the ability to have a truck that we can use to drive around when camping.

We've traveled extensively in the US in the past, so in no rush to get to any particular "sightseeing" spot. We plan on relatively long stays in nice places with good weather and lovely natural settings, where we can work and hike locally. We're thinking of staying for 2-4 weeks in each place and then move on, as the weather changes.

We have a decent budget, I think. Can go up to $120K for a really good rig, and up to $100K for a truck+hitch. I'm hoping that will be enough in today's market. We're ok with buying used or new.

We're flying to Florida next month and plan on going to Tampa to buy. I already checked and dealerships can register our truck and RV for us, not a problem. But we do prefer a dealership for that (rather than buying privately).

Our considerations -
1. Safety.
Since we're new to towing, we want to make sure we get the safest possible setup. From what I've read, that means a heavy-duty truck with towing packages. I'll need some advice as to the actual size and what hitch to choose etc.
2. Having enough space for full-time living, and especially working.
We can do with a small living/cooking area but would want a separate sleeping area for our son. A front living-room that we can convert into his room looks like a good option. Or possibly a toy hauler where we can convert the garage into his room.

Now, I have so many questions and dilemmas. I'm hoping the good people here may be able to offer tips and advice.

1. How much does the size of the 5th wheel really matter? Should we try and squeeze into something smaller than 39' or splurge on a larger 45'? or something in between? DH is concerned with finding sites for large rigs. I'm concerned with the ease of driving/towing. Not sure if the extra feet matter in that respect or not?

2. What about buying "off the catalog" so to speak? I'm thinking we could choose our RV in advance, get someone to do an inspection for us, and have it waiting for us in the dealership when we get there. If we buy from a large place like LazyDays or General RV Center, maybe they can even start working on adjusting the floorplan for our needs. For example, we'll probably want to remove a couch or two and replace them with desks.

3. What would be a good truck for towing? Will an F350 dually be enough? Should we go for an F450 dually? Anything else to keep in mind re the truck?

I've been going over the LazyDays and General RV Center sites for a few days now. So many options and I'm hoping to post a few of them here for feedback.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 06/26/21 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I an not a 5th wheel owner but what I have to say applies to all first timers.

Buy the SMALLEST RV that will meet your needs. I would stay under 40'

A slide out, even if it is just for the dining area, makes a huge difference !

You can save a huge amount of money by buying a 1-2 year old RV. Sales of new units have been crazy to the past couple of year. I have to believe that many people bought a new RV and after trying decided it was not for them.

An F350 dually will be more than adequate especially if you stay under 40'. Despite what many people will tell you, a diesel engine is NOT a "must have". The new 7.3L gas(petrol) with the 10 speed transmission and other towing upgrades is more than adequate and will save you thousands of $$$$ !

Last check the sleeping area for your son. Some "double" bunks might be wide enough for him but not long enough !

Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 06/26/21 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As for the 5th wheel, there are a couple newer models that have a rear queen in the bunk room. Some have lofts also, but the rear queen is the direction I would go. I think you can even find that with 2 baths, or 1/2 bath in the rear bedroom. One that comes to mind is the Forest River Sierra, but I think I have seen others with that setup, just can't remember the name. You could also consider a toy hauler for the larger back room, but might be really heavy on the hitch with no "toys". With a full grown "kid" having a real size bed will be nice for him. My 12 year old is starting to outgrow the bunks in our bunk house. There are also mid bunk models, but the he might outgrow the bunks.

Just a thought.

If using for hauling a larger trailer, just stick with the 1 ton dually (I would go diesel if it were me...)

Good luck finding what you need with inventory being so low this past year and not looking like it's getting any better. But, with some effort, you should be able to find what your looking for, just might pay a lot more than you would have a couple years ago or in another year when people are dumping their RV's because they can't find a spot to camp with it since many parks are booked solid through the summer and into the fall. Maybe start making plans to boondock a lot initially.

Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 06/26/21 10:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“Should we try and squeeze into something smaller than 39' or splurge on a larger 45'? or something in between?”

The longer you go the fewer the campgrounds you can use. Most private RV parks will accommodate you. Many USFS CGs and National and state parks will not even at 39 feet. If you scout ahead when boondocking you will be OK.

Buy or select the 5er first. Then match a TV to it. I would not consider any RV without at least one slide.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


AnneM

Israel

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Posted: 06/26/21 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thermoguy wrote:


Good luck finding what you need with inventory being so low this past year and not looking like it's getting any better. But, with some effort, you should be able to find what your looking for, just might pay a lot more than you would have a couple years ago or in another year when people are dumping their RV's because they can't find a spot to camp with it since many parks are booked solid through the summer and into the fall. Maybe start making plans to boondock a lot initially.


Yes, we're actually hoping to go off-grid and boondock, not just because of the campgrounds issues (which we've read about). We would need to figure out a way to get a stable internet connection though since we'll be working from the RV.

jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 06/26/21 11:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice 450's and 4500's are going for around $70K.

Thermoguy

Graham, WA

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Posted: 06/26/21 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AnneM wrote:

Thermoguy wrote:


Good luck finding what you need with inventory being so low this past year and not looking like it's getting any better. But, with some effort, you should be able to find what your looking for, just might pay a lot more than you would have a couple years ago or in another year when people are dumping their RV's because they can't find a spot to camp with it since many parks are booked solid through the summer and into the fall. Maybe start making plans to boondock a lot initially.


Yes, we're actually hoping to go off-grid and boondock, not just because of the campgrounds issues (which we've read about). We would need to figure out a way to get a stable internet connection though since we'll be working from the RV.


The only stable internet is going to be cellular or satellite. Cellular limits you to places with good cellular signals, not impossible but will limit how far off the beaten path or main interstate you can venture. In the mountains on the west coast, most have no cellular service. You will want to research that well as you can not count on WiFi in parks, etc. We went camping near home earlier this year, my son's friend had T-Mobile, he had good cellular. My wife and son have AT&T, they had spotty cellular. I have Verizon, I had nothing all weekend. But a good service with unlimited data should serve you well. Enjoy the adventure - do I see you are from Isreal? That's great.

Cummins12V98

on the road

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Posted: 06/26/21 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look for a lightly used version of this.

[image]


2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 06/26/21 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is that under 40'? [emoticon]


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

4x4ord

Alberta

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Posted: 06/26/21 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whether you buy Ram Ford or GM is strictly a matter of personal choice. You will want a dually. Mobile Suite, as suggested by Cummins, is probably the 5th wheel manufacturer I’d recommend as well. If you buy a Ford I would choose 2020 or newer and an F350 with 3.55 gears over a F450. The 450 has a tighter turning radius which would be nice but I would find the 4.30 rear end much less desirable than 3.55 gears which can be selected on an f350. The 450 is geared for much heavier work than towing an RV. 100k is more than what is needed to purchase a new F350 Platinum with the Diesel engine. Everyone has their own idea as to what hitch to get. B&W makes a hitch that most are 100% satisfied with …. It’s a little heavy to put in and out.


2021 F350 SRW Platinum short box 4x4.
B&W Companion
2008 Citation Platinum XL 34.5

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