Switching to a 5th wheel...

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by Meyer Camping, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    We have been camping in travel trailers since 1999, starting out when our girls were little tykes. Flash forward to now and they are 18 and 22. They probably won't be camping with us much longer though we strongly encourage them to do so! :) We have always had a bunkhouse unit and will probably carry that over to our future 5th wheel but beyond that, we don't really know. We have just started looking at units and the increased room seems heavenly. However, there is a lot we don't know about new, cool gadgets and features. What only sounds great and what doesn't seem important now that will be invaluable later? We simply don't know. That is where (hopefully) you all come in!!! What features and functions do you swear by and would not think about getting another unit without having it?

    Let me give you an example. When I bought our latest truck it had a heated steering wheel. A totally unnecessary and frivolous item that became mandatory for any future vehicles about 1 month into our first Michigan winter with the new truck. Get what I mean?

    Let us know what you think we should absolutely get in our new unit (whatever that may be) and why you think it should be the new 'heated steering wheel'. We can't wait to read what you come up with.

    John & Lisa
     
  2. docj

    docj
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    Although I can't give you any advice on 5th wheels, I can tell you not to knock "heated steering wheels" until you've lived without a garage in a cold climate. My wife's Audi had one and it was very nice to have on cold mornings!
     
  3. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I don't know much about 5ers other than I've been in a few that were really great units. We are Class A owners but will mention one feature we have ours that we would not be without. I don't even know if you can get one in a 5er but that feature is a central vac system. At first we thought we'd never use it but boy were we wrong. When we camp in areas that have fine gravel and dirt, etc. we are constantly tracking it into the coach and even tho we try to wipe our feet off before entering, those bits and pieces still find their way inside. With a central vac on board it takes but a minute to grab it, hook the hose into the receptacle and have the coach floor and carpet clean as a whistle again. So convenient and quick and everything is stored in a small bag carrier we store under the bed. So with that said you may want to give that one a thought when you start adding options to your new 5er.......... :D

    Safe and happy travels, BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
  4. Tallboy

    Tallboy
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    Our trailer is a 2004. When we were looking at 5th wheel trailers we wanted something we could comfortably live in full-time. This would be our first and last trailer. No doubt there are lots of new exciting, cool gadgets and features that our trailer doesn't have. But for us the important things were and have;

    1. Washer/dryer.
    2. Being able to sit in our recliners and watch the TV straight across from us.
    3. A place for our lap top computer and printer.
    4. A closet for coats just inside the front door.
    5. A shoe rack, so we could take our shoes off when we came in the door and had a place to store them.
    6. Being able to get to the refrigerator/freezer with the slides in.
    7. Great customer service from the manufacturer.
    Even though the manufacturer is no longer making trailers, the service dept. is still open and is excellent when one calls for help or wants to get the trailer in for any big repairs.

    Good luck in your search.
     
  5. docj

    docj
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    As another example of something you don't know you "need" until you own one, we used to think our MH's central vac was great until we bought our first Dyson cordless "Animal". Nothing is faster than grabbing the Dyson out of its charging holster and using it. And it picks up an amazing amount of "stuff". No hoses to store or deploy! Last winter we purchased an updated model with a motorized rug nozzle and it is even better than the first!

    Yes, Dyson's aren't cheap, but both of ours were purchased when Costco and Sam's ran specials. I've completely uninstalled the central vac to regain some space in the basement; it's never going to be used again!
     
  6. Hutch333id

    Hutch333id
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    We bought a 40' 5er a couple of years ago after owning a couple of different TT's. The sense of increased space is enormous and with five slides the expansion is noticeable. The height helps make this feel so much bigger too. Because there is only the two of us we opted for the front living room floor plan which we like immensely. The bedroom is off at the back of the rig and totally out of the way. It has its own sliding (solid) door and a completely separate bathroom. With you having two girls who may not want to come travelling with you quite so often, this may be an option you would consider. Having two doors leading to the outside helps too. It means I can get outdoors without having to walk through the main body of the rig if we have guests. Ours has two couches that convert to air mattresses if unexpected company drops by and we can separate the living area from the remainder of the rig by hanging a couple of curtains across the interior. It does have a central vac but one thing I wouldn't ever be without is the 6 point auto levelling. I unhook from the truck, press a button and then leave it to do its own thing while I unravel the water hose or plug in the electric power.
    You'll have a great time searching for the floor plan that suits you. Good luck.
     
  7. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    Thanks, BankShot, that is exactly the kind of recommendation we are looking for.
     
  8. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    Thanks for the alternative. We have never had good luck with a cordless vac simply because of inadequate power as well as poor battery life. How is the Dyson for that?
     
  9. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    This is something we have looked at and I am not sure yet about electric versus hydraulic or the practical differences between a 4 point system or a 6 point system. It seems logical that a 6 point system would be more stable but logic has gotten me in trouble in the past (I'm still sorry for that, Honey) so I would rather go with the experience of others.
     
  10. Hutch333id

    Hutch333id
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    Ours is hydraulic and 6 point by virtue of the length of the rig. There is still a little wobble from time to time but this can be reduced by blocks under the hydraulic legs which in turn reduces the length of bore exposed. Our previous TT had electronic stabilizers and an electric front jack. I thought that was a huge upgrade from our first TT that was all 'me' to get it level. This hydraulic levelling is even easier. One press of the button and 'hey presto'. Don't get me wrong, there are still hiccups from time to time but not nothing I haven't learned how to deal with. It will really depend on your dealer showing you what to do and the manufacturer of the levelling system.

    From your signature I see you have an SUV. If you're going for a 5er I would personally go as big as you can - just in case you decide to move up to a larger 5er soon after sampling your first one. If I'm telling you what you already know, my apologies but much of what you need to consider is not what the vehicle dealer will tell you the vehicle can pull but the cargo capacity of the vehicle. This will limit your pin weight and anything you place inside the truck or bed. For a few $ more go with a 1 ton as opposed to a 3/4 and really think about a dually for additional stability and weight capacity. Also, make it a diesel. Life is so much easier towing with a diesel.
     
    Karen Fredrickson likes this.
  11. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    Hutch, thanks for the info, every little bit helps. We have already purchased a 3/4 ton GMC Sierra with the diesel. We have already pulled our travel trailer over the Rockies with it and there is a world of difference. I considered the 1 ton with dual rear wheels but rejected it as my wife simply thought the 3/4 ton was too big already and I don't think I would have ever gotten her behind the wheel of the bigger truck. Besides, I am seeing such a drop in rig weight that I don't think it is as necessary as it used to be.

    Now if I could just figure out how to change my signature on this new site design...
     
  12. Hutch333id

    Hutch333id
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    Meyer,
    At the very top of the page where your used name is displayed place the mouse on that and then click to open. This should bring up a whole bunch of stuff about your RVPR account settings. On the far left of the page are three tabs (Your Account, Conversations & Settings). Under settings, second one down “signature”. Click on that with your cursor and it will open the page where you can then adjust you signature to meet your new status.
    Good luck with your future purchases and selection for a 5er. Don't forget.......post pictures!
     
  13. Meyer Camping

    Meyer Camping
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    Hutch, Thanks for the info. My problem was that I was trying to update my signature from my iPad and it does not want to work correctly. First, it did not even want to let me see the menu you mentioned. Once it did, when I tried to change it I received an error saying I could only have 2 lines in my signature. So I logged in from my PC and changed it there. Voila! Signature changed.
     

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