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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Newbie here. I need help, before my wife drives me nuts. We want to get a 5Th wheel, this will our first. Some people say go used, others say go new, while others say ask people that are doing it, so I am. Any brands to stay away from, best deals in the East, any thing that will help decide. We don't know anyone to ask. The dealers we talk to seem to be like car salesmen, and just want to make a sale.....Thank you all, she finely got one
 

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:10220:the dealers are car sales men (for the most part anyway). find some you like then ask around, most are like GM, they have a range from cheap to expensive, mostly the quality follows that. a few makers have better quality but you'll pay a little more.

narrow it down a little and you'll get lots of opinions here.
 

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If you go for a new one you'll deal with dealers or directly with some manufacturers. In the used market you'll save some money but need to find the model you like and check it carefully to avoid expenses in fixings.

I would recommend you to define your needs first and research. Personally I like NUWA and Carriage, even if own just a small camper.

(Check the mentioned models links in a blog post I wrote around two months ago). Can't help too much besides the basics.
 

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While we have only had bumper pulls the RV market is the same for both. If you want to be entertained salesmen will certainly fill that want but if you want to learn I would check out the various RV forums.The first thing I would suggest is if you already have a tow vehicle find its towing capacity and max rear axle loading which should be inside the driver's door and go from there. If you don't have a TV now find a fifth wheel that meets your wants and then look for a tow vehicle that has more capacity than you need. And never never never put any credance in empty weights cause nobody tows empty and almost always the figure supplied by the maker is bogus, instead find the gross or max weight of the unit listed usually inside a cabinet or door and use that as your rule. With fifth wheelers I believe it's usually figured that 20% of the weight will be on the pin or hitch so you need to know the max rear axle weight of your TV and subtract the unloaded axle weight of your tow rig to find the max pin weight that's safe. I know it sounds intimidating but it's not and you must be safe when you tow for obvious reasons. Good luck and let us know how you come out. Buying used, while taking a chance, saves a lot of money over buying new and nearly always new RVs have issues to be fixed also.
 

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The key to a fifth wheel is knowing the weight ratings. Everything else - options, size, length, features, are secondary. Salesmen are the worst at describing or knowing these things and because this will stop most sales, they will continue to remain "ignorant". When they make the sale and you drive your behemoth off the lot, the problem is now ALL YOURS and they will be glad to try and help you solve it with YOUR money when you finally figure it out.

There is a lot to know about weights and if you need the details of this, send me a private message with your email address and I will be glad to describe it to you. THIS IS CRITICAL to know and learn before buying any trailer in anyone's future.

It has been estimated that 40% to 45% of all rigs on the road are overweight. Since this is NOT illegal except for commercial vehicles, then private owners of trailers don't seem to bother to learn what dangers they present themselves and stupidly just make repairs when things go wrong - THEN they learn!

Then you can start deciding on new or used, what you want in it, what size vehicle you need, etc.
 

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Forest River Cardinal 3450 2010 Fifth Wheel - 40 ft.

HI - Not trying to sell you on a specific 5th wheel, but we love our Cardinal that we tow with GMC 3500 - upscale RV, trouble-free setup with truck and oversize hitch. Have listed both for $73K. Jot an email if you want info. Thanks.
trish
[email protected]
 

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What year is your truck? Is it a dually? Is it a diesel? Do you have the latest numbers from the scales of the whole rig (all axles and wheels)? This is just excellent information to know before buying, but so far, the price is very nice depending on the year of the truck and the weights are well within ratings.

Cardinals are very nice rigs. It will be very scary for a new 5er owner but with all things, keep a positive mental attitude, be patient with your learning and you will overcome it. I've known plenty of people that scared themselves buying their first SUV and then they got used to it. Same thing with a 5th wheel. Intimidation goes away with experience, then the fear will also subside, but you've got to be willing to get on that "horse" every time.

It's all about education and experience that comes with knowledge, training and time.
 

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Oh boy... What did you get? With all this help and stuff, don't leave us hanging, man! We promise we won't make fun. It's just that RVers love comparing stuff and sharing, too.

I see in another post you are looking for a Nav, too. Hot dang, you are gonna enjoy all these new toys! Where's our first trip? The maiden voyage! That first bottle of wine in the new rig (used or new, it's still new to you). If I'm close by I may even bring you a housewarming gift (nothing with a fire, I promise).

Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
2008 Durango lx 3255 px3, 2011 Ford F350 Lariat. Don't really know when we will take off, or where we will go. I'm trying to figure what GPS to get. We decide instead of going to Ireland when we retired we would like to see our country first. Bought a Honda 3000is generator. To get to my house with the house warming gift, face to the East go about 3500 miles and about 20 miles off Lake Ontario. I live in Western N.Y. Really thanks the people of this sight and you have been a really big help. Now all I have to do is learn to drive a semi.:smack-head:
 

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I provided some suggestions in your other post about Nav systems. You might be a little far for a house warming gift so don't wait for it. Good idea on the driving a semi. In California, with the size and weight of my rig all I needed was an RV endorsement, nothing more than that and I try and stay in practice with our outings. Check your state's DMV for their requirements. Each state can be different. Remember that the length of your rig is NOT adding the length of the truck plus the length of the trailer, it's the length of the whole rig when it's hitched up. For a fifth wheel this is good because the overlap of the trailer on the truck bed makes for a shorter overall length.

The Honda genny is a good idea because it will run the A/C, but with that unit you might be able to run everything at the same time because it provides about 22 to 25 amps of running power. Just so you know, the 3000 is the maximum peak wattage and not the average running wattage.

Try and get things hitched up and practice driving and backing up at an empty parking lot somewhere. Ignore the people who might crowd around and make you feel nervous. You are just trying to learn and become more comfortable and experienced so you and they can rest easier.

Retiring to Ireland? How cool is that? It's a beautiful country, but maybe a little too cold and damp for me, just like western New York. But a visit is certainly worthwhile. The wife and I have been both places.
 

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Oh boy... What did you get? With all this help and stuff, don't leave us hanging, man! We promise we won't make fun. It's just that RVers love comparing stuff and sharing, too.

I see in another post you are looking for a Nav, too. Hot dang, you are gonna enjoy all these new toys! Where's our first trip? The maiden voyage! That first bottle of wine in the new rig (used or new, it's still new to you). If I'm close by I may even bring you a housewarming gift (nothing with a fire, I promise).

Congrats!
Ah I so can remember that... When I got my first Nav (almost one year ago... I am celebrating one year on November 15th). It was magical for me because I really saved a long time to buy myself this Nav. And then the first night with my friends - so much talking, so much fun and so many bottle of wonderful wine to celebrate the moment and my luck. :)
You should definitely be getting a lot of housewarming gifts and a lot of wine delivery gift from your friends to never run out of wine :D
 
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