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School Me on 5th wheels

Sportin' Wood

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5th wheen gurus, can you point me in the right direction to start researching 5th wheels?

While Angie and I were hiking around Sedona today we role-played a hypothetical where we spend 6 months in Havasu and six months in Montana. We like staying at Islander, and the price of park models is stupid, so we figured we could buy a new or couple-year-old 5th wheel and leave it in Havasu in storage for the summer. Have it moved into our spot at Islander and be well below the Park model prices for something nicer.

I spent months researching DP and ended up with #ThisDamnRv. I thought this time maybe I would ask the inmates?

Yes, we get it storage is a bitch. I hate driving the D.P. so once we settle down I will likely dump that pig.
 

riverroyal

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Ive had 3 of them.
Whats the tow vehicle or are just letting islander move it?
I suggest the smooth fiberglass gel sides. Not the fiberous.
Automotive paint front and rear caps.
Avoid auto level systems, they are garbage. Im dealing with mine now, bleds off and makes popping noises all night
Heat pump ac is nice. Keeps the temp closer to one temp. Unlike the furnace.
Front bath is nice. 2 baths is even better.
 

Icky

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Painted graphics last longer than the vinyl ones. Do you want a Toyhauler? Store a golf cart, bike etc?
Does the power ever go out where you will be staying? If so a onboard generator is a nice backup.
 

yz450mm

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Get a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler, 13 foot garage model, bath and a half, 5500 generator, with every option you can afford. The garage will have its own entry door and a couple of queen beds, which will act as a guest bedroom with its own half bath if you want to have guests. Make sure you get the extra large double door fridge, a standard RV fridge will not cut it. Heat pumps are way more efficient than a gas furnace if you're going to be hooked up, and you will need three AC units for a Havasu summer. X2 on @riverroyal suggestions.

There are quite a few different floor plans available these days from each manufacturer, just figure out which area you want to be the focus of the trailer. Mine is 45 ft with 13 ft of garage, and the main living room area is huge. The bedroom is good for sleeping in the queen size bed, but there's not much extra room to move around. The living room is ginormous though, with seating for six in recliners and a walk around kitchen island.

Towing a fifth-wheel is a dream, with the right truck. Any current diesel makes it a breeze, just figure out which part of the trailer you want to have the most room and go from there.
 

Sportin' Wood

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I'm very early in consideration. We have a 43-foot diesel pusher now with a full wall slide on the drivers and two slides on the curb. American Revolution. The 5th wheel seems a better bet for just dragging it into the Islander It's likely it would never leave Havasu. I may not even ever buy a truck to pull it. If I want to move it I would buy something big enough, or bigger. :)

Thoughts that come to mind:
Household fridge.
King Bed
Laundry
Paint, no stickers
I still work, so an office space is required, the "Garage" interests me as I could build a pretty nice office. Guests are not a consideration. We learned that a good RV has room for 6 at happy hour, 4 for dinner, and 2 for staying the night.

Also, not a summer stay at Islander, we are on the Snowbird program. Back to Flathead lake for summer. @riverroyal is my neighbor in the winter. Space 227.

Which brands should I be looking at? The heat pump was good advice, I hate listening to those damn aquahots.

Edit, Two baths is a must, we have that now and use the CRAP out of them LOL
 
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yz450mm

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I'm very early in consideration. We have a 43-foot diesel pusher now with a full wall slide on the drivers and two slides on the curb. American Revolution. The 5th wheel seems a better bet for just dragging it into the Islander It's likely it would never leave Havasu. I may not even ever buy a truck to pull it. If I want to move it I would buy something big enough, or bigger. :)

Thoughts that come to mind:
Household fridge.
Paint, no stickers
I still work, so an office space is required, the "Garage" interests me as I could build a pretty nice office. Guests are not a consideration. We learned that a good RV has room for 6 at happy hour, 4 for dinner, and 2 for staying the night.

Also, not a summer stay at Islander, we are on the Snowbird program. Back to Flathead lake for summer. @riverroyal is my neighbor in the winter. Space 227.

Which brands should I be looking at? The heat pump was good advice, I hate listening to those damn aquahots.

Edit, Two baths is a must, we have that now and use the CRAP out of them LOL
The garage could absolutely be converted into a really nice office, so I would seriously look into that. I love my Voltage, it's my second one and I haven't had any major issues on either. Interior trim pieces coming loose have been the only issue, but some PIN nails and glue take care of that. I'm pretty sure @TPC Likes his Grand Designs, it's probably a step or two above the Voltage line.
 

Sportin' Wood

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Let me add these two cents to help people understand what I am thinking:
Islander Waterfront Park Model is upwards of $500K plus right now. Space rent? Who knows? $1200 a month?
My spot is not waterfront, but we are on the ten years waiting list It's $750 a month from Oct 1 - April 1. Waterfront RV might set me back $1100 if we ever get it, but I only have to pay 6 months.
We could swap #ThisDamnRv out for a new (close to new) trailer with fewer Insurance costs, ($200 a month) less engine maintenance costs (arm, and a leg) and I don't have to drive the damn thing.
The key is getting our hands on a suitable storage unit so that I can keep the trailer and misc crap in for the summer.

Some might say, go buy a house, but we like being at Islander.
 

yz450mm

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I used these guys a year-and-a-half ago to buy my voltage, it was super easy and I got a smoking deal. They delivered it to Arizona, and I drove out there to pick it up. It's worth a look...
 

DILLIGAF

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You can def make the garage into an office. I use mine as the dog house for Roxy....lol Also park the Harley in there as well. My son came and visited recently so I dropped the bed down and set him up out there. I can't lower the bed while the harley is in there though. I also use the back bed to put additional storage items with a blanket on the bottom and a blanket on top so as not to scratch the ceiling or bed. I pull it all the way up so the storage items dont slide around and potentially fall on the bike while under way. I also have flags draped down from the top bunk back there so it provides some privacy as well. I pinned the top bunk to keep it all the way up. I put light weight items up there for storage while the heavy items go on the bottom bunk and then recessed all the way to the bottom of the top bunk. Hope that makes sense.

I like the flexibility of the 5th wheel vs the Class A I had. When I get to where I am going I always detach and then go fill up my diesel. This way I don't have to pull the trailer thru a gas station which I hate doing.

The rear bathroom is great if someone is visiting like my son. It doesn't have a shower but can use it for everything else.

I only have an 11' garage which is all I needed for the harley. It is plumbed for a washer dryer but the harley would not fit. So.....no washer dryer for me. Going to laundromats does suck but is what it is.

You will have a lot more room in the 5th vs the RV. I have the bedroom up front and suits me very well. I have three slides....two in the middle LR area and one in the main bedroom.

I use the Anderson hitch and have been fine with it. People always try to tell me "I don't know.....if you are ever in a crash it might fold up and......." I have been all over the country and only had a minor problem and Anderson fixed me up quickly so I am happy with it. It is lightweight and easy to remove and add in the bed. If and when I buy a new truck I am probably going with the Mopar 35K hitch though.

My tow veh is a 2014 RAM Dually with the 6.7 turbo Deisel. I see many people out there towing without the DRW but for me I like the extra feeling of safety. I believe it tows better as well. Puling the 351M Grand Design fully loaded is pretty smooth. One thing I strongly suggest is an auxiliary tank for fuel. I have an external 100g and it comes in handy. Not only to not have to stop frequently but to also be able to grab cheap fuel when available and pass expensive fuel areas. I will be going to CA soon without the trailer and will fill up in AZ beforehand and can make it to S CA, drive around there for a week and get back to AZ to fillup. Thats a tremendous savings.

I am happy with my setup now vs the class A. One thing that was nice about the class A was having my passenger roam around while underway. I can drive a long ways before stopping and it was nice getting a sandwich or something made while underway.

If you have any questions you can text me and I will try to answer them for ya Jeff.
 

DILLIGAF

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By the way.....I only have two ACs. Instead of adding a third ceiling AC I just use a portable one for the garage. I bought a good insulated vent tubing from a "Home Depot type" grow house parts provider in CA. Drop that vent out the window and crank it back there.....leave the door open into the LR and it def cools that area as well. If it gets really warm I run the front bedroom AC and it keeps things pretty cool. I don't want to be in the desert during the middle of summer though.
 

Sportin' Wood

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Thanks for the feedback @DILLIGAF

My Dad lives full-time in a 46-foot Voltage, it works pretty well for him and his wife. They don't move it and have a property in Texas they live on.
We are likely a year out before we make the switch, but when Angie and I go hiking it's a good opportunity to talk through ideas.

By rough estimate, we have spent between $35K-$40K this year on repairs and maintenance costs on #ThisDamnRv. The deal we got was not a deal whatsoever at this point and we have zero confidence in its ability to get from one place to the next. I have had one day in the last 12 months when it did not have a breakdown or major issue. when driving from one location to the next. I simply dread driving it at this point.

We have reservation plans set up until April 2023. Angie is working on reservations for spring and summer 2023 currently. We estimated a two-year gap between selling the house and buying another, I think we will stick with this plan unless we find a forever home, or the housing market crumbles quicker than anticipated. The romance of travel in an RV was never going to be like retirement because I am still a full-time remote worker. I can't jump around locations without giving up a weekend day off or PTO to move. That being said, this experiment has taught us we might not enjoy that lifestyle in retirement. This opportunity to test drive the idea of driving around the country in a bus has shown it might not suit us.

We really have enjoyed staying at Islander this last winter. The connections and friendships we made have been a breath of fresh air for a couple who has been in work mode for 10 years. I think we can be pretty content with winter in LHC, Summer on the Flathead, and sprinkle in a few vacations with room service. Most likely we will keep dealing with this "Tragic Bus" for the next year, hopefully, dump it when we find a suitable Montana property and order a new 5th wheel. The outstanding question will be; do we buy a truck to pull it, or leave it in LHC? I am leaning toward leaving it in LHC, as the current math favors paying the storage bill and we just pull a boat back and forth between LHC and Flathead.

I plan to work another ten years so this strategy would get us to retirement and we make a new plan for post-retirement based on the experience. If WFH is disrupted, all this goes out the window. I keep that in mind when planning.
 

riverroyal

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Our current rig is a montana front bath. Has a king. 2 bathrooms.
The heat pump was for heating, not the water. Our rear ac is a heat pump, i never use the propane furnace.
Painted sides are great. But...wax wax wax.
We wash and wax every 4 month and its vinyl.

Bought it at rv world in yuma and they delivered. Average experience. But i would go there again.

Ive never towed ours. It was delivered and islander set it perfectly. Dont even have the truck to tow.

We have the household samsung fridge

Montana is keystone.
Dutchmen is better. They built the last 5th wheel and i think the quality was better.

A small garage is not a bad idea for a office. Some will have a bathroom in the there
 

riverroyal

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35 to 40!!!!!!!!! Geezus. I spent 0. I added a 3rd ac at 1700 bucks
 

NeedlesRat

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Our current rig is a montana front bath. Has a king. 2 bathrooms.
The heat pump was for heating, not the water. Our rear ac is a heat pump, i never use the propane furnace.
Painted sides are great. But...wax wax wax.
We wash and wax every 4 month and its vinyl.

Bought it at rv world in yuma and they delivered. Average experience. But i would go there again.

Ive never towed ours. It was delivered and islander set it perfectly. Dont even have the truck to tow.

We have the household samsung fridge

Montana is keystone.
Dutchmen is better. They built the last 5th wheel and i think the quality was better.

A small garage is not a bad idea for a office. Some will have a bathroom in the there
How well does your rig stay cool during the summer heat at the river? Thinking of doing the same set up. Buy, have delivered, then use the park to put it on the spot. What is your monthly to park at the islander and then storage when it’s not on the site?
 

riverroyal

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The 2 ac set up it vame with did not keep up. 2 unit a 15k btu and mid summer 85 was as good as would get. Not bad, not great
Added the 3rd in the middle in the vent location. Its pre wired but....you cant yse all 3 at once. The rv is wired to cycle 3 but not run all 3 at once
So the power wires at the rig breaker box got moved to the washer dryer breaker thats not being use.
All 3 are contriolled by the led 'in command' screen. We run all 3 at one tme this way.
4 season rv..nope. disappointing actually. Our last 5th wheel did fine with 2
Any sales pitch is bull shit.

We have a yearly spot. Rv never leaves. Only a few of these available.
Its 800ish
Storage is 65 i think. Its not open to public. Only people with the 6 month or year spots
Islander will set your rig and put it in storage. They are super accommodating with this
 

charred1

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58CF423F-3031-4577-BDB1-E5FC3075587E.jpeg

Check out Luxe. This is a custom ordered 50’ with 6 slides. Towed like a dream from Elkhart Indiana to San Diego.
 

Ct5

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The Grand Designs have very nice colors and the interior designer does a great job, but I’m not convinced they are built any better than any of the other ‘normal’ manufacturers. If I was looking to spend $150k+ I’d look into something that’s meant to be lived in. Mobile suites, luxe, redwood possibly, something along those lines. If you don’t need to haul toys, a bigger living room and kitchen would make everyday living more comfortable than a garage space, IMO. I really like the front bathroom layout for full timing. A big bath and laundry area would help keep the ole lady happy.
 

yz450mm

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The 2 ac set up it vame with did not keep up. 2 unit a 15k btu and mid summer 85 was as good as would get. Not bad, not great
Added the 3rd in the middle in the vent location. Its pre wired but....you cant yse all 3 at once. The rv is wired to cycle 3 but not run all 3 at once
So the power wires at the rig breaker box got moved to the washer dryer breaker thats not being use.
All 3 are contriolled by the led 'in command' screen. We run all 3 at one tme this way.
4 season rv..nope. disappointing actually. Our last 5th wheel did fine with 2
Any sales pitch is bull shit.

We have a yearly spot. Rv never leaves. Only a few of these available.
Its 800ish
Storage is 65 i think. Its not open to public. Only people with the 6 month or year spots
Islander will set your rig and put it in storage. They are super accommodating with this
The two 15000 BTU AC's that came with the voltage could not keep up in Parker either, so I added a third 15K with a heat pump for the garage. It was pre-wired, but my trailer didn't come with the in command system, so it's not any kind of smart system. I didn't think it would pull it off, but surprisingly enough it can run all three units without tripping Breakers.

With all three units running, it can maintain 78 to 80 when it's 115 out.
 

Icky

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The two 15000 BTU AC's that came with the voltage could not keep up in Parker either, so I added a third 15K with a heat pump for the garage. It was pre-wired, but my trailer didn't come with the in command system, so it's not any kind of smart system. I didn't think it would pull it off, but surprisingly enough it can run all three units without tripping Breakers.

With all three units running, it can maintain 78 to 80 when it's 115 out.
I have two blower fans that we set up to help push the air out of the master into the main living area. It makes a big difference with just having 2 AC units like I currently do.
 

yz450mm

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I have two blower fans that we set up to help push the air out of the master into the main living area. It makes a big difference with just having 2 AC units like I currently do.
I usually grab a couple of my Milwaukee 18 volt fans, and put one in the bedroom and one in the living room to circulate the air. That definitely helps as well
 

81Sprint

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This is the one we have for full time, Alliance Paradigm 390 MP, it has a multi purpose room that can be used as an office if you pull out the couch, 3 AC's, King Bed, Washer/Dryer, 5500 Genny, Solar, Double door fridge, Slide toppers and Disc Brakes. The underneath storage has plenty of room, i added a 50" tv for sitting outside. We have been very happy with it, and the customer service is amazing.
Alliance outside.JPG
Bedroom.jpg
Bath.jpg
Kitchen.jpg
Living room.jpg
Living room 2.jpg
 

bldrinker

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This is the one we have for full time, Alliance Paradigm 390 MP, it has a multi purpose room that can be used as an office if you pull out the couch, 3 AC's, King Bed, Washer/Dryer, 5500 Genny, Solar, Double door fridge, Slide toppers and Disc Brakes. The underneath storage has plenty of room, i added a 50" tv for sitting outside. We have been very happy with it, and the customer service is amazing.
View attachment 1107936 View attachment 1107937 View attachment 1107938 View attachment 1107939 View attachment 1107940 View attachment 1107941
That thing is nice. I heard they are actually built well unlike most.
 

TeamGreene

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This is the one we have for full time, Alliance Paradigm 390 MP, it has a multi purpose room that can be used as an office if you pull out the couch, 3 AC's, King Bed, Washer/Dryer, 5500 Genny, Solar, Double door fridge, Slide toppers and Disc Brakes. The underneath storage has plenty of room, i added a 50" tv for sitting outside. We have been very happy with it, and the customer service is amazing.
View attachment 1107936 View attachment 1107937 View attachment 1107938 View attachment 1107939 View attachment 1107940 View attachment 1107941
Wow that is nice! That shower looks like a res. size. That has always been an issue I've had with RV's, being 6'3" and not skinny, RV showers/bathrooms
have always been cramped for me.
 

81Sprint

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That thing is nice. I heard they are actually built well unlike most.
They are, lots of little features for storage that are nice to have. All of the drawers are soft close also. My biggest thing is the customer service, i had to have the black tank replaced because it had a crack at the neck, they paid a mobile company to come out and took care of it no questions asked. That bill was almost 3 grand with labor, and my service rep was johnny on the spot when I needed any assistance even after hours.
 

81Sprint

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Wow that is nice! That shower looks like a res. size. That has always been an issue I've had with RV's, being 6'3" and not skinny, RV showers/bathrooms
have always been cramped for me.
It's pretty close to residential, i have no issue with showering in it and i'm not a small guy
 

Sleek-Jet

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If you aren't actually going to pull the trailer maybe consider buying a big TT instead of a 5th wheel.

I had a monster 40 foot TT with stern and bow bedrooms and baths. It was really close to residential. I had plans to put it in an RV park at Roosevelt in AZ but couldn't get a seasonal space and ended up selling it.

The problem I've found is most RVs are built like crap. Shit just falls apart, especially if they sit unused for any length of time.

Newmar used to be a top of the line brand, but I don't know if that is the case anymore. I lived in an old Newmar/Kountry Air 5th wheel for a year or so, it was built like a brick shithouse, and had construction features like fully enclosed plumbing and residential bath fixtures.
 
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