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Old 09-30-2010, 12:18 PM
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5th Wheel Toyhauler... Buyer's Guide questions... :)

Guys,

Now that I actually have a decent truck to pull with, I'm contemplating scratching my pennies together for a good quality Fifth-Wheel Toyhauler. I figure I'll probably have to spend $30k to get what I'd like to find, but I just don't know anything about the industry.

First off, I know I have limits with the F250 as to size. I've seen new ones I like, like KZ-RV's 3410T and 3310T models, that are in my legal tow range.

But the deal is, I'll probably have to find a used one somewhere to get a decent one. I've grown up around big equipment, semis, and towing trailers, so I'm not afraid to tow one, but I don't know all the ins-and-outs of RV purchasing.

So my questions are basically:
* What do I need to know about buying a used RV? I grew up riding around in my folks' motor home, but never had to do any of the maintenance work on it, so I know nothing. Are there things to watch for, things to avoid in a used one?
* What brands do you guys seem to have the best luck with as far as towing, etc?
* What do I need to watch for to find a unit that tows and handles well?
Realistically, I wouldn't be buying anything much before next summer, but it can't hurt to keep my eyes open and start learning now!

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:57 PM
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As you mentioned, you need to mind your load weight, pin weight and GCVW. With the shape that the economy is in, most of the "fly by night" trailer companies have gone under. Most of the quality is the same from one trailer to the next (not great), although the features and creature comforts are another story entirely. Because of the economy, the amenities have gone up considerably.

Make a list of the things that you think are MUST HAVE deal breakers. 6 gallon hot water tank versus 10 gallon is probably not it. One of my deal breakers was a ducted AC unit since my first trailer wasn't and it was too loud to hear the TV before going to sleep. Oh and another deal breaker for the AC was a thermostat since I didn't want the fan to be running constantly once it reached the correct temperature. We went with a 5k generator and 50A feed, so that in the future we could upgrade to a second AC unit if we ever wanted. There's a TON that I am forgetting, but I'm sure once others chime in, I'll remember.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:12 PM
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i've owned 3 toyhaulers and all of them were made by keystone. as evil eye said they are all great brand new but the little things will really piss ya off. one thing i will never go without is 3 axles. the 3 axle trailers have less tongue weight and ride a ton better. another thing to look for is trailers with fiberglass siding and aluminum frames. they are lighter and have less problems with electrolisis

i've owned a 2 axle bumper pull(24ft), 3 axle bumper pull(26ft), and the 5th wheel 3 axle i have now(40ft). as i have progressed buying toyhaulers, each has been more expensive and all have been brand new. the reason for moving up in each trailer is that they did not posess everything my family needed aka: more space, 5k generator, ducted a/c, more sleeping capacity, you get it. the biggest piece of advice i can give is to not waste money like i did buying somethin that isn't what you want. do your research and get the one best for you. good luck man
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:31 PM
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My first trailer was aluminum siding and my trailer now has fiberglass. It is a WHOLE lot easier to clean AND it maintains the temperature better. We needed quite a bit of space for our toys, so that was a deciding factor. The other ones were enough sleeping capacity, overall layout and creature comforts. I wanted a separate "bathroom" area from the shower and bedroom. My wife LOVES to cook, so she wanted all her stuff in easy reach of the kitchen. We ended up with a 33ft Wolf Pack and we are both happy. Going to be installing a 3,000 Watt inverter this weekend so that I don't have to run the generator when my son plays the PlayStation3.


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Old 10-01-2010, 05:29 PM
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dude, you are so lucky to live in arizona where you can ride whenever. we don't ride in the dirt at all and it's a 4 hour drive to the nearest dunes for us. it's well worth it though
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:09 PM
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Well,you're looking for a 5'er,so you're off to the right start.
These pull way better than bumper pullers.
If you're looking for a used one -just use the basics:
Look down both sides-make sure you see no warping-meaning water leakage.
Get up on the roof and check for tears,dents,holes,etc.
See how much caulking/sealing is visible.
Check inside of all cabinets mounted to ceiling that there's no squish when you push on any wood/whatever-meaning rot.
Test the a/c-if equipped.
Before you go to look at one,ask if propane bottles have enough to test heat and water heater-make sure all appliances work.
If you have the hitch already installed,ask for test tow,that way you can also check brakes and lighting status.
Check tires for wear and dry-rot.
Hope this helps!
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7.34ever View Post
dude, you are so lucky to live in arizona where you can ride whenever. we don't ride in the dirt at all and it's a 4 hour drive to the nearest dunes for us. it's well worth it though
Yeah, that's about how far away the dunes are from us as well. As you said, it's SOOOO worth it.


Oh and I just remembered, make sure you check for propane leaks. Turn on the propane from both bottles and ensure that your change over valve works properly and that your hoses don't leak. Also it may not be possible, but try to confirm if your white, black and grey water holding tanks or associated piping have any leaks.

Oh and if you have a short bed pickup, a slider hitch and extended pinbox on the 5er is mandatory. I have a BUNCH of friends who have bumped their cab due to sharp turns. It will happen, it's just a matter of time. You can see in that first pic how much "extra" room between the cab and the trailer that extended pinbox gives me.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Eye View Post
Yeah, that's about how far away the dunes are from us as well. As you said, it's SOOOO worth it.


Oh and I just remembered, make sure you check for propane leaks. Turn on the propane from both bottles and ensure that your change over valve works properly and that your hoses don't leak. Also it may not be possible, but try to confirm if your white, black and grey water holding tanks or associated piping have any leaks.

Oh and if you have a short bed pickup, a slider hitch and extended pinbox on the 5er is mandatory. I have a BUNCH of friends who have bumped their cab due to sharp turns. It will happen, it's just a matter of time. You can see in that first pic how much "extra" room between the cab and the trailer that extended pinbox gives me.
I forgot those --glad you added those parts in!
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:09 AM
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Guys, this is all good information. I'm strongly considering either the KZ-RV 3310 Fifth-wheel model, or there's also one made by Gulfstream that looks nice. EnduraMax Sport 33MFW. Guess we'll see what happens! Seems like a great way to travel, but I just don't want to spend a lot of $$ on something like this unless I can find a way to be in a cash position to do so. Not sure if that will be possible, but I'm hoping by next summer...
Are there any brands you guys would recommend staying away from in general? Like you said, all the flaky brands seem to have gone away and only the better ones are left. Any help would be great!
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:16 AM
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Shawn: What model/length RV is Wolf Pack that you're pulling? Seems like it's larger than a lot of the ones I've been looking at. How are you staying under your legal hitch weight?
Sure would be nice to have something larger like that, but I don't see how I can keep it under the legal weight. I'm weighing in around 7600 pounds for the truck, which leaves me 2400 to my total legal weight of 10,000. That's BEFORE I put people in the truck plus cargo.
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