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Jun 27

The Best 5th Wheel RV For You

What is the best 5th wheel RV for you?  Pam and I get asked that question a lot as we travel about. People see ours and wonder why we chose the one we did, and what would work best for them?

There are so many 5th wheel makes models and price points!  It is a huge task to decide on one that will work best for you!  Perhaps we can share some information that will help.

the best 5th wheel rv

2005 Freightliner Sportchassis and 2006 Newmar Kountry Aire

First, What Is a 5th Wheel RV?

There are several classes of RV’s out there: Class A Motorhomes  (bus style) Class B’s  (converted vans) Class C’s  (Class C motorhomes are generally constructed on cutaway chassis depending on the model. The cab is similar to a truck, with a bunk above, plus a rear bedroom) Travel trailers (a trailer pulled behind an appropriate tow vehicle) And . . . 5th Wheels

What Makes a 5th Wheel RV a 5th Wheel?

Actually, there is no 5th wheel at all. It is a hitch that ties the RV, which normally has four tires, to the tow vehicle.  That is typically a pickup truck designed to handle the weight of the pin that will be placed on the tow vehicles hitch.  The hitch allows the 5th wheel RV to stay attached to the truck and follow along as both vehicles maneuver from point to point. So, the RV needs the truck as its 5th wheel to be moved.

 

What Makes a 5th Wheel a 5th Wheel

What Makes a 5th Wheel a 5th Wheel

 

Why Would You Want a 5th Wheel Over Another Type of RV?

The Fifth Wheel RV offers maximum living space for any given trailer length. Usually, the master bedroom is located over the truck bed.  These units are sometimes called Fivers.  Many full time RVers have chosen them over other types because of maximum bang for the buck.  They are like a one bedroom condo on wheels.


Fifth Wheels are constructed with a raised forward section for the master bedroom, allowing a bi-level floor plan.  This style provides more room in the lower level area of the RV.  Add in a couple of slide-outs in the living/dining area, and a slide-out for the bedroom area, and it’s easy to see why they are more spacious, and the choice of many.

 

5th Wheel Front Bedroom Floorplan

5th Wheel Front Bedroom Floor Plan

 

Because of the hitch design, all 5th Wheels will require a pickup truck for towing.  Larger models will require super-duty pickups, and the largest Fifth Wheels will require a medium-duty RV hauler. Unless you already have an adequate tow vehicle, this requirement is one drawback to purchasing a fiver.


Adding the cost of a one-ton pickup to the cost of the trailer, and the dollars start to increase.  A New one ton production truck (Ford, Chevy, Dodge) can set you back as much as $65,000.  A NEW medium-duty RV hauler for towing a large Fiver can run from $50,000 to $150,000.  Just make sure you match the weight of the trailer adequately to your tow vehicle.  A good RV dealer can help you to decide what works best for your 5th wheel of choice.

The good thing about the new 5th wheels coming from RV manufacturers is that they are building them lighter, yet stronger.  This allows even a 45′ toy hauler to be pulled by a one-ton production truck.

howmuchcanmytrucktow1

What About Driving With It?

Towing a Fifth Wheel is much easier and much more stable than towing another type of RV.  The hitch being placed in the pickup bed, and directly over the rear tires of your tow vehicle, contributes to improved traction and handling.  If you can afford it, be sure to have a truck with an eight-foot bed.

Try not to go with short box trucks and slider hitches!  Now this is just my opinion gained from my experience as well as that of others.  They are not adequate to handle the demands of hauling larger 5th wheels on the road, and especially when maneuvering in RV parks!

 

If you forget to activate the slider hitch, you can create issues with the cab of the truck hitting the nose of the fifth wheel.  Any tight maneuvers while traveling can create a problem.  Watch this Youtube video!


 

What Are they Like Inside?

Fifth Wheels are available with a wide range of features and appliances. Some of these are normally found only in higher-end motorhomes: a washer and dryer, an onboard generator, residential refrigerators, and inverters.  They have all of the standard amenities and some not so standard such as ceiling fans and fireplaces.  We are also starting to see pop up big screen TV’s.


Would you like a larger bedroom with more ceiling height?  Some manufacturers are now putting the living room up front.  This makes lots of sense as it makes that area cozier.  It also allows the back bedroom to offer more livability features.

5th Wheel Front Living Room Floorplan

5th Wheel Front Living Room Floor plan

So, now that you know what it is . . .

What is the Best 5th Wheel RV for You?

This question is easier to answer than what the 5th wheel is.  The one that is best for you is the one that fits your budget, whether new or used and will suit the way in which you plan to use it.

Do You Want it For Full Time RV Living?

If so then you need one that is not cheaply built.  You can tell when you walk into an RV if it is well built or not.  Fit and finish always give it away. Are the showers flimsy and the toilet all plastic? Is the woodwork fake?  Are the floors spongy under foot?  How about the outside: painted fiberglass panels or just white gel-coat with decals that will eventually peel away.


This is just my feeling, but most well-built rigs are heavy.  There is a reason for that!  They build them to handle the full time RV use by using residential features: sturdy floor construction, one piece fiberglass shower or shower/tub combos, china toilets, high-end appliances, Moen faucets, Whirlpool fridges, heavy duty axles, larger G-rated tires, etc.


Again, just my opinion, and realizing that you get what you pay for, for full time living buy one in the 16,000 lb GVWR.  You will be happier in the long run!  If it is going to be your full time home, it is better to go overboard than not.

Also, consider this:

It is Better to Buy Quality in a Used RV than it is in a New One at the Same Cost?

It may be another option to consider!  We did!  We got a great deal on a two-year-old 5th wheel that was like new, but it was half the cost of what it was when it rolled off the assembly line.

What should you be looking for?

Does paint quality matter to you?  What floorplan will work best?  What about features and technology?  Will you have enough storage space?  Can you carry everything you want with you?  What is cargo carrying capacity?  Should I buy a new or used RV?

I want to address some of these issues by telling our story and the process of how we were able to buy and keep our first 5th Wheel RV for almost seven years!

The best thing Pam and I did was to rent RV’s for many years before deciding to get into the full-time RV lifestyle! We were at the point that a vacation in an RV was far better than other options we had done previously! And once we were out RVing, we learned so much about what we wanted in an RV of our own and what we would not.

Once we finally decided to start looking for the class of RV we had decided on, I researched my choice vigorously!  I set a budget and decided a used RV that was two to three-years-old would suit us best.  My determination was mostly based on an RV manufacturer that I thought had great quality. We also based that choice on one that we had rented from this particular RV manufacturer and the feedback of other owners.

I found the one I wanted, and it was only a couple of hundred miles away.  So, with our budget in mind, we took a drive to look at the RV.  It was just what we were looking for but about twenty-five thousand dollars more than I wanted to spend for it.  So we decided to continue our search.

As chance would have it, a few weeks later the dealership was having a close-out sale, and the price dropped twenty-five thousand dollars.  The RV was now right where we wanted it: priced right, two years old, it had hardly been used, and it looked like new, but it had a bad odor inside.  

It was not a mold issue, but a black tank odor.  It turned out they had never dumped the tanks after receiving it as a trade-in.  Once the tanks were emptied and the unit cleaned, the odor was no more!

We closed the deal and purchased our “new to us” 2006 Newmar Kountry Aire 5th wheel!  We now had our full-time RV living home, and we were delighted!  It was in our budget, it had all the space we required in the kitchen, it had plenty of storage below, it could carry the weight of the items we planned to put in it, the full body paint was stunning, and it appeared it had been well cared for.  As it turns out, we should have had a certified RV inspection done on the RV as I missed a few things that cost me money later on!

The point here is that because we spent a lot of time researching the RV lifestyle.  We traveled thirty-five thousand miles in all classes of rented RV’s before buying one, we spent the time deciding what would work best for us, we talked to other RVers about their experiences, and we did not rush into purchasing an RV!  Thus, we were able to enjoy our 5th wheel RV for almost seven years.  It worked out perfectly for us!

How About One For Traveling Two – Eight Weeks Out of the Year, with the Family?

This can be a much different story!  Most of the units in the forty to sixty thousand dollar realm will work because they are not being put through the demands of 24/7 and year-round living.  Therefore, a lighter weight rig will make getting out on the road in your own RV much more affordable.  Plus, a lot of these kinds of 5th wheel RV’s have toy hauler features that make traveling with the family very comfortable!

So, the best 5th wheel for you is the one that fits the way you plan to use it, your budget and the floor plan that will accommodate you and your family!

Best wishes on your search for the right RV for your needs.  Before you go, please leave a comment if we can be of assistance in your search.  We would like to hear what you are discovering as you search for the best 5th wheel RV for you!

And by all means, if you buy used, get it inspected just like you would for a home.  Do so and you will have worry-free journeys!

 

Blessings,
Howard and Pam

 

Again, please feel free to leave comments if I can answer any questions you may have!

5th Wheel Guide

Amazon.com_ Tow Your Fifth Wheel Like a Pro_ Mark Polk, Lorrin Walsh_ Movies & TV - Google Chrome 2016-02-09 13.22.27

103 comments

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  1. Wendy

    There really is a lot of room in this RV. I had no idea. Thanks for the information on the 5th Wheel RV.

  2. David Snodgrass

    sure does a lot of my legwork

  3. Riaz Shah

    Wow I’ve neven seen an RV in my entire life. They should totally sell this in Malaysia 😀

  4. Ben

    Good information! I always dream of wondering what a life of travel would be like in one of these. I like to check them out when they have ‘shows’ at our local mall. I imagine a lot has changed in these rigs since Lucy and Ricky (“Micky”) depicted their raucous adventures after buying one … in the “Long Long Trailer”.

  5. Gaylin Hall

    I’ve looked at so many 5th wheels, thank heavens for on- line looking. I’ve decided on the style I like & lay out. My husband and I are 61 & 63. Sad to say there hasn’t been great planning for our future. Our house payment is to high, our 3 acres are more than we can keep up with.. to much…. I came up with the idea of living in a 5th wheel at one of our nice RV camp sites we have in our town Carthage, Mo. I think down sizing to that point would be less stress. Problem I have is which one, or should I say what brand?? Everyone seems to have their pick. I’ve found it hard to find a sales person who’s interested in what would be best for us/which one…? They just want to sell what ever they have. ANY chance you could point me in a direction? Our price limit is under 40,000.00.
    Thanks, Gaylin
    (I’m female, most people think when they see my name I’m male)

    1. Howard

      With so many RV’s on the market it is hard to choose Gaylin! Under $40k is tough to find something new and sturdy enough for full time RV living! You might be better to go after a used model from a manufacturer like Mobile Suites, Teton, Newmar, or New Horizon. We did look at a new Evergreen Bay Hill at a recent RV show. La Mesa RV has the best prices on these fivers! You might have to step up closer to $50k, but they appeared to be an adequate 5th wheel RV with unique floor plans. If you are not going to be traveling in the RV then weight and tow vehicle issues will make the choice easier. I would suggest visiting a large RV show this fall so you can see a good sampling of what is out there. Once you see something you like, ask if they have any used models. Perhaps you can come across a good buy that way. That’s how we found ours! Hope that helps!

  6. Denise

    Great info! We’re 5 years out and getting serious in our planning. After much research, we have decided a fiver will work best for us. I had thought a short bed crew cab would be the most sensible, as it would allow for more comfortable use when not pulling the trailer and having other folks riding with us, but after reading this I can see how this would not be a good idea! 8 foot of bed along with a crew cab sounds like way too long a vehicle, so we may have to rethink. This sets us back a few steps in our planning! After reading so many stories on folks having trouble with their slides, I had also decided on finding something without any, which my husband said will be nearly impossible! Would be interested in your feedback on this and also on the truck length issue. Thanks! Five years seems so far away… arrrgggghhhhh!

    1. Howard

      Hi Denise!

      Thanks for stopping by our full time RV living website! Yes, a short bed truck pulling a fifth wheel for full time living would be a stretch when it comes to safety. It can be done, but not recommended. I was at an RV dealer yesterday and some folks I spoke with were upgrading their 5th wheel to something bigger. He had a crew cab with a short box and a slider hitch. It turns out the dealer did not want to sell the 5th wheel to them as it was not a safe situation for towing. I would recommend going to a truck dealer and driving the truck you are thinking about. Take it to parking lots and see how it feels parking it. Even with our Freightliner, we never have a problem. Pam drives it too with no issues. Keep researching the truck situation and you will figure out that it will work just fine.

      As far as an RV without slides, that would be a rare RV to find. I am not sure anybody manufactures one as slides are what people want – the more the better. That being said, you could order one from a 5th wheel manufacturer and have them build one without slides. New Horizons would do that for you. Not sure what your budget is. They can be pricey, but they are very nice. We have four slides on our rig and have never had an issue. Buy a well-built RV and you won’t have an issue. Some of the RV manufacturers are using the Schwintek slide mechanism, which are great, but they put too much weight on the slide unit creating movement issues. Choose a floorplan that has been out a few years and that gets a thumbs up from the RVing public. If you can afford it, look at the Redwood 5th wheel. They are definitely designed for full timers!

      Always consider a used RV, just be sure to get it inspected by an NRVIA certified RV inspector!

      1. David

        Great information, why is it risky for a short bed truck to pull a full time RV? Is it due to backing up the to the site? The reason why I’m asking I currently have a 33′ fiver with a short-bed with a slide hitch. I have never used the slide to date. Is it a flaw that could possibly happen with larger RV? I’m currently looking into a larger RV and want to make sure that I plan on a possible upgrade. Vehicle info is 2008 F350 Super Crew Cab 6.4 Diesel.

        1. Howard

          Hi David!

          Yes, a larger fiver can be troublesome when pulled by a short box truck. Sure you can pull a 5th wheel with anything. But, chances are it will be overloaded and traveling in an unsafe manner. Having an RV weighed at each axle and for pin weight can be a very telling thing. That is when the adequacy of the tow vehicle can be revealed. It’s not getting the RV moving, it’s getting in stopped when an emergency strikes. If not properly outfitted the trailer could cause the under rated truck into a dangerous situation. Visit the RV Safety and Education Foundation website (rvsafety.com) for more on these issues.

  7. Jane

    We are ready to buy a 5th wheel for full time use but we need it be under $50,000. We have looked at new and used and are confused with paying the same price for a new as the several year older trailers. I have read on some of these newer ones they are being built with better quality just light weight materials. How does one ever pick one, i am afraid we will never decide ..Can you give any advice on choosing one we can afford but is reliable for fulltiming. Thank you

    1. Howard

      That is the million dollar question Jane! There are so many 5th wheels out there and so many dealers and manufacturers making claims about them. I still hold to the idea that it’s always best to buy used and not new. We just traded out our ten-year-old RV for a 2013 that we just happened to find by sheer luck. It had just come in and looked like new. The previous owners took such good care of it. Even the generator only had 37 hours on it (actually that’s abuse)! We have friends who just purchased a new 5th wheel and they are battling several issues. New units always come from the factory with problems. I have seen people battle issues for a year or two before they finally get the RV to operate the way it’s supposed to.

      The 5th Wheel RV manufacturers that rate their rigs for full time living like Redwood, New Horizons, Grand Design, Nuwa, Forks RV and Excel are probably going to be out of your price range. You can by anything and live in it full time but it may not last as long. However, it seems to me most fulltimers are trading their RV every few years anyway so if that is the case you can find something that appeals to you based on the livability of the RV. Most people find that their needs change as they progress with the RV lifestyle as it’s hard to know what life will be like when you are just starting out.

      Do a search on RVTrader for a 5th wheel from some of the manufacturers I listed above and see what you find. Sometimes you can find a great deal there! Be careful at dealerships. If you find one at a dealership do an internet search to verify pricing. Also, be sure to order an RV inspection!! That way you can know what you are buying is not a money pit. Visit usedrvinspection.com for more details on that.

      Best of luck on your search!!

  8. Joan

    We have been living full time in a 22 footer TT since September to see if we like the lifestyle, well we love and want to upgrade this coming fall, the problem is now too many to choose from, our range is from 50 to 60 thousand, like the Montanas, open range, some forest river, but have read just too many complaints about Montanas even though they are suppose to be the #1 seller, personally talking to owners and they love theirs, so ofcourse still confused…we already have a few in mind with either RL or FL styles, would like to hear your opinion on this, both of us under 40 with no kids, the rig would be parked in Nevada with cold weather in the winter, thanks

    1. Howard

      Greetings Joan!

      As I say in my post about 5th wheel RV’s. There are so many to choose from and the one that suits you best, whether new or used, front living room or rear, etc., depends on how you plan to use it. We all have different needs and what one likes, another does not. As far as a $50 – $60k rig, my stipulation would be is it rated for full time living? Given the demands it sounds like you are going to put on it, you will want something that is designed to handle the heat and the cold. Otherwise, you will be paying out in utilities just to be comfortable.

      Hope that helps you out!!

  9. Tammy Yuth

    Thank you, very informative and helpful

    1. Howard

      Thanks Tammy! I am glad the information was useful!

  10. Alex

    Thanks for making your site.

    I want to live full time in a fifth wheel with my wife and 6 year old daughter in the boat parking space on the side of my parents house. We aren’t going to travel with it and will be using facilities in the house a lot of the time – the rv is more for having personal space. Is there anything you recommend in the 25-30k range considering we are only going to live in it for 1 or 2 years tops before moving? I saw your comments about fifth wheels in this price range not being sturdy enough for full time living but can we get something that will last and we can resell if it is only for a year or two?

    Both of us work and we are busy running errands so we won’t be in it 24/7.

    1. Howard

      Hi Alex!

      Given you are not going to be traveling with a 5th wheel, and will not be using it like a full timer would, you are pretty open to find anything that is in your price range and meets your needs.

      Good Luck!!

  11. Brandon Butler

    Is the heartland sundance a good quality camper to live out of?

    1. Howard

      Hi Brandon!

      Sorry, I don’t have experience with, or have had folks share theirs with me about the Heartland brand. However, I would do an internet search on the manufacturer and I am sure you will find folks who have shared their experiences with that 5th wheel brand as a full time RV living option.

      Happy RV hunting!!

  12. Sharon

    Thanks for the great info, in our search we’re finding the same conclusions. One requirement we have is the need to be able to use our own tempurpedic bed, it’s split into 2 twins and the heads can be raised. This is for health reasons…. most we’ve found will not accommodate a bed this size. Any suggestions?
    Thanks again for your help and blessings right back.

    1. Howard

      Hi Sharon!

      Yes, front bedroom units are tight for a bed of that type, especially with the cabinets over the head of the bed. King size beds are an option in front bedroom units but would probably still be tight. Have you checked into a rear bedroom floorplan?? Perhaps that might allow your bed configuration to work. Happy Hunting!!

  13. Joyce

    Hi, we are wanting to full time with a fiver. We have a Silverado 2500 HD.
    Its rated at 14,100 it’s already already equipt with a trailering package, but we would need to install a 5th wheel hitch, the GCWR is 20,500, or should we go for a TT?
    Thanks, Joyce

    1. Howard

      Hi Joyce!

      Thanks for visiting our website! Congrats on the decision to join the full time RV lifestyle!

      If you can tow 14k with your truck, and handle the pin weight of a fiver, you should be able to find one in that weight range. A lot of the newer 5th wheels are being built with lighter and stronger materials to allow production trucks to be able to pull them. Be sure to review the street side front data plate for the RV’s you are looking at to be sure you stay below that 14k weight rating. I think you would enjoy towing a fiver over a travel trailer! Happy hunting!!

  14. Bruno

    Thank you Howard and Pam. Very educational. My wife and I are considering a 5th wheel for full time leaving. Would be ok for you to mention a couple of brand names for the 5th wheel? We are rookies and I’m trying to learn as much as possible prior to make the investment as our resources are limited. Thank you again for the article and the “blessings” wishes. We are all for it. If you may, check our website to see what we have in mind.
    Bruno’s

    1. Howard

      Americo,

      Thanks for stopping by our website! If you are new to pulling a trailer, especially a 5th wheel, it can be challenging at first, so be prepared for the learning curve. If funds are limited, of course consider a used unit that is not so large that you need a monster truck to pull it. The larger you go the more navigation issues you may have, as well as limiting the places you can go. I can tell you that one from experience!

      As I mentioned in my article, the higher the price the better the quality you will get. So, look for a 3-5 year old 5th wheel, get it professionally inspected by a certified RV inspector, and you will probably wind up with a nice unit. It looks like you are down in Florida so you should be able to find a good selection to choose from.

      Happy hunting!!

  15. Charlene McCullough

    We are looking for a fifth wheel with a toy hauler for extra living space, cause we plan on living in it all year around not for travel just to live in and after we are financially ok to buy and build a small cabin style home then we will use it for travelling and as much as we can in Canada if I had it my way I would travel all year round in Canada but we get snow all year round in the entire country some not so much as others.

    1. Howard

      Charlene!

      Happy hunting for the right toy hauler 5th wheel! Since there are not as many options available for that floor plan it should be easier to narrow down your choice fairly easily.

  16. Jim Gravante

    Greetings!
    Thank you for the insight and knowledge presented to the unknowing neewbies of the RV life. I am 55, my wife is 51 and we have a 22 son with Cerebral Palsy. Our desire is to get our home on the market, purchase a 43′ toy hauler and relocate to property owned by my wife’s Uncle who lives in Florida. We desire to live in our fiver full time, do not plan on moving it for several years. The mobility features (in the rear of the Toy hauler) , we had found, to be a perfect space for our son! It will accommodate his hospital bed, the Homer lift, his wheel chair, storage for his supplies, and has a second bathroom for hygiene care. When we want to bring him outside, the back wall of the toy hauler easily drops to the ground, becomes a ramp and we can wheel him right outside to enjoy the great outdoors! I still have to work for the next ten years or so (I am in transportation, have a Class A CDL) but this plan will allow my wife to be a stay at home Mom for the first time in our Son’s life. My wife’s Uncle has a one ton long bed Deisel Ford pickup, offered to have a fifth wheel installed and move our unit to his property. We are looking at a Fuzion. Chrome fifth wheel in the $65,000.00 range (on sale, was $101,000). The craftsmanship looks impeccable, top quality features. We are so looking forward to leaving Western Pennsylvania (no more snow) and living the rest of our years as a family helping to give our son the best quality of life we all can enjoy. Your thoughts on our plan would be so appreciated, and because the fiver will be stationary on a long term basis, what tips I should know in helping to preserve and maintain the RV in the months and years ahead. Thank you!

    Jim, Ellen and Josh

    1. Howard

      Greetings Jim!

      I would say that if an RV is the only way to be able to live on your wife’s uncle’s property, than that may be the best way to go. Perhaps there is another idea you may not have thought of. If the RV is not going to be moving about then you really don’t need RV systems that allow for mobility of the vehicle. When things break they are more expensive then the appliances that are in a home.

      Have you considered a park model home or a park model trailer. These have more residential features, are easy to setup, and can be fitted with decks that could make getting your son in and out a little easier. The ramp systems on the 5th wheel toy haulers are not always easy to use, especially when weather may be bad and you want to go out.

      Just a thought if the zoning on the property allows for these sorts of homes. Price wise, they may be less than the unit you are looking at.

      Best of luck as you migrate south!!

  17. Mike

    My wife and I along with our two boys have been living in our 44′ Heartland toyhauler for a little over a year. We chose it so we can have a separate back bedroom and bathroom for the boys.

    I pulled it for a while with a 2011 long bed one ton Powerstroke for a while. It had plenty of power, but not adequate braking in emergencies. I now have a full size Freightliner Columbia with a custom bed so I can put the Jeep on it. The Freightliner was much cheaper and much nicer than a new F-550.

    The heartland 5vr has been great with zero issues and lots of space. Even in the -15°nights here by Durango CO it has been great. We did geat an arctic package with heavier insulation and higher btu heaters. We got it from Michigan RV at half of what the local dealer was asking ($106,000). They delivered to our front door for $62,000.

    Living in a fiver is great if you get the right one. If you are going for a big heavy toyhauler, and pull it very often or through the mountains like we do around Durango and Silverton, get an MDT or HDT. You will be much happier, and it will probably save you $20k-$30k.

    Just my .02. Great info here by the way.

    1. Howard

      Thanks for the input Mike! I especially like your comment about being able to pull it with the production truck, but possibly having issues stopping in an emergency!

      Happy trails!!

  18. Nancy Summers

    Can you tell me anything about solar panels in fifth wheels?

    1. Howard

      Greetings Nancy!

      Thanks for visiting our full time RV living website!!

      In our 7 years of RV full time life, we have spent most of our time hooked to shore power. When we have boondocked we have relied upon a generator. We have started to do a little more boondocking lately as we are racking up the miles this summer.

      There are many ways to bring a solar system into play on a fifth wheel. There are systems that are as simple as a small solar panel that you sit outside your RV when you are boondocking and attach the connections to the battery terminals of your house batteries.

      There are other systems you can mount on the roof of the fifth wheel and generate as much as 5500 watts of power. It just depends on what you feel your needs may be. Our friends Linda and Howard Payne have a website that talks about this subject. Perhaps this link will help you as you research the solar panel option: http://www.rv-dreams.com/our-rv-electrical.html

  19. Shawn Keith

    When talking about trucks pulling a 39′ 5th wheel toy hauler. Will a f350 diesel with a 6′ box work?

    1. Howard

      Hi Shawn!

      That will completely depend on the truck setup and the GVWR of that 5th wheel. I am sure if you talk to most Ford dealerships they will say, “no problem!” Find a good dealership with a salesman that really knows the Ford truck line and pulling 5th wheels and see what they say. I personally would not pull with a short box truck. People do it, it’s just not what I would do!

  20. Lisa Thomas

    Howard,

    Thanks so much for this site. My husband and I and are 2 dogs are going to be downsizing from our home into a 5th wheeler. We have been researching for over a year and your site is the most personally informative one we have come across.

    1. Howard

      Thanks for visiting our website Lisa! I am so glad you found the information here useful! Pam and I wish you the best as you and your husband, and the fur-kids, move forward with your RVing dream!

  21. Rebekah

    Hi there! Thanks for your great informational site. My husband and I are looking at full-time 5th wheel living in the very near future (a month or two). The kiddos are moved out, we have a online business and would love to to spend a couple of years roaming around and exploring. We’ve looked at some of the stuff out there and are just not sure what is built to handle full-time living in various climates.

    There are a couple of things we know that we want: front living, full size french door refrigerator, space for a washer and dryer, king size bed, lots of interior storage, island in kitchen, 40ft+ and atleast 5 or 6 slides.

    Is there a particular manufacturer you recommend? Does the model mean more than the manufacturer? We just looked at a Cedar Creek 6 slide FL and it was very cheaply made. My price range is between 50K-65K and I’m not opposed to looking at used so that price range could mean alot more based on used. Thank you!!

    1. Howard

      Hi Rebekah!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! I am glad you found the information useful!

      In answer to your question about manufacturers, I think you figured out that you get what you pay for! I am not an advocate for any one 5th wheel manufacturer, but there certainly are companies that design their product for full time use: Newmar, Redwood, Carriage, Teton, Nu-Wa, etc. They specified that their product was designed for full-time RV living. That is what yiu want tot look for. You can live in anything. It just may not last as long and you could have issues over time.

      In the price range you are talking, and the options that you want, you will be better off going with a used 5th wheel.

      Happy hunting!!

    2. Larry

      Be sure to look at the Hartland Landmark 365 fifth wheels. They are made to live in full time and the build quality is way above average. I am buying one myself as soon as my house sells. We got to see these at the Pomona, CA show last September and I went into every fifth wheel at the show (Which took me all day) and nothing compared to the Landmark 365’s.

      1. Howard

        Thanks for the input Larry! I just attended the Tampa Supershow and there were many fifth wheels there as well. We had a chance to speak to the Vice President of Sales, The Regional Sales Manager, and the Director of Owner Interests. We spent some time looking at their product and was introduced to their current construction methods. These are manufactured by Heartland which also has its hand in other 5th wheel models. I would have to say that if you want to spend the bucks you will end up with a very nice 5th wheel RV!

        That being said, one of their biggest competitors Redwood, also makes a very nice full timing 5th wheel product. We have several good friends that travel and full time in one, and they enjoy the product.

        Like anything, what works for one may not work for another. Your needs may be different that mine. When you get ready to buy that 5th wheel RV, spend some time to do your research! Don’t get pulled in by the color of the curtains, the floorplan, and the little features that may draw you in. Be sure to verify the things that matter. How easy is it to access the systems you will use on a daily basis and does the design of those features work for you? If you love the floorplan but you can’t easily get to the gate valves to dump your tanks because you have bad knees, then the RV really won’t suit your needs. That’s just one example I have had shared with me.

        So, research, research, research! Imagine yourself living in the RV you are considering and using it every day! Take into account all the ways your lifestyle interacts with it. If you do, you will make the right decision regardless of the RV you buy!

  22. cali nilsson

    Greetings Howard,
    Many thanks for sharing your info. My husband and I are still in the research phase of our dream to full-time rv. We have been to multiple dealers and have both found an Alfa Gold unit we love. My concern now is what I’m reading about it being 40′. We have a large farmhouse and adjusting will be necessary of course. Is such a large unit going to be excessively limiting in parks and such? Looking forward to joining all of you on the road.
    Thanks, Cali Nilsson

    1. Howard

      Hi Cali!

      The fear of downsizing is one that strikes fear into some evn though the desire to hit the road is quite appealing! It is a decision that should be based on some experience. As I have said elsewhere on this website, the best way to know if you can do this is to try it out first. The best way to do that is to rent a 40′ class A diesel RV and go out for a few weeks or more and put some miles on it. Go to different RV parks and see how it is to handle and park. That is the best way to answer your question. Driving it at the dealership is not the same as living in it for a little while.

      Best wishes on your search! Pam and I hope you find the full-time RV lifestyle a rewarding one once you get through the research phase and are able to move forward.

  23. qv

    Hello Howard,
    Thanks for the info.”The best 5th wheel for you.” Question regarding dumping waste (black & gray water), – how long would it take for 2 “full-timer” to fill up 50 gallon tanks, with daily use, and having to dump them?

    1. Howard

      Thanks for checking in QV!

      We find most people with 50-gallon black tanks can last a week before needing to empty them when they reach being full. Gray tanks can be a different story depending on how much you shower, wash dishes, and do laundry if you have that capability. I would say you could plan on dumping them every couple of days with regular residential type use.

      I hope that information helps you out!

  24. Chuck Bradford

    We have a 5er which we love, but realize we will have to move up in size a little bit in order to spend much more than a couple of weeks in it. We hope to do a lot of traveling once retirement comes.

    I do think you are off base in saying that an 8’box is any safer than a 6.5′ box with a slider hitch. The 8′ length does not add to the trucks towing capacity, it actually lowers it due to the increased weight of the 8′ box over the 6.5′ one. It doesn’t add to stability either, for increased stability you need to go with double rear wheels vis single. All you have to do is remember that space is tight when turning sharply and if its going to be too sharp, pull the lever on the slider and let it do its job. Not any harder to remember that that your rig is x’ high and you can’t go under anything less tall than that.

    1. Howard

      Hi Chuck!

      Thanks for checking in! One thing is for sure! We all have our opinions, some are based on fact and some are just that, opinions.

      In any case, enjoy yourselves on the road and may God bless you as you travel, however you choose to do it!

  25. Adam

    I am switching to mostly contract work those days, moving once every 6-9 months, just the wife and I. We currently own a 30′ TT and would like to upgrade to a fiver, my budget is around to 50K +/- 10%.
    My tow is a 2015 Chevy silverado 2500 HD Duramax 6.6 Long Box, the tech specs say I can tow up to 17500. We were looking at the newer Cedar Creek 36 / 38, looks very “Feel at home”, I feel that it’s somewhat of an overkill.
    for the most part it will be parked, we try traveling 4-6 times a year a for up to one week . We estimate that this scenario will last for another 3-5 years,
    Let use know what you think, and thank you in advance!

    1. Howard

      Hi Adam! Thanks for stopping by our website! Certainly there are lots of considerations involved in the decision you are making. I do not have experience with the Cedar Creek, but do see folks out with them. I am allowing your post to show up here on my website so others who may be in a similar situation can share their experiences with that model fiver. Keep checking back! Perhaps someone can share some real life experience that will help you out! Good luck!!

  26. Adam

    Howard

    Thanks for the reply, I would like to hear of your and anyone else’s experience, it’s why I am here ;-).

  27. Irena

    We will be going to a very large RV show this weekend in Toronto. Our plan is to purchase now and use for probably 2 weeks to a month for the next 3 years and then have it for full time living – 6 months in the warmer US and 6 months in the summer in Canada. Two major moves but of course, we may move around within those time periods. Outside of colour, style, floor plans which are all personal – what more concrete issues should we be looking for. We have a 2016 Ford F150 Super Crew XLT and that’s what we will be using to pull. What questions to ask – just a summary if you can. There are so many different manufacturers and it becomes confusing. Are there any manufacturers that you are aware of that you might encounter more problems. Thanks for your help.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Irena! Thanks for visiting our website!

      Your truck will really be the determining factor in RV choices at this point. What size engine is in the F150? The towing capacity needs to be determined before being able to choose a 5th wheel RV that will work for you.

      Let me know and we’ll go from there!

  28. Doug

    Hi Howard, thank you for the great information. I am new to the RV world and looking to buy a 5th wheeler for full time living. My budget can go as high as $80,000. I’ve read the brands you recommend for full time living from earlier posts. Are there any brands better than others at the 80K level ? Thank you in advance.

    1. Howard

      Hi Doug!

      At $80,000 I would not buy anything new, but two to three years old and something that is in the 16K GVWR range would be suitable for full time RV living. The reason for the weight rating over anything else is because it should be built better.

      Happy hunting!!

  29. Ed

    Hi Howard,

    Great information, thanks for sharing. Could you elaborate on the items that you missed when you purchased your Newmar that an inspector would have found. Also, if possible could you tell us what kinds of things are covered during the inspection process.

    Also, do you know of a good resource for purchasing a solar charging/battery system as we hope to include boondocking in our travels.

    Thanks again for all you do, I am new to your site but plan to bookmark it and go through it thoroughly.

    Thank you, Ed.

    1. Howard

      Greetings Ed!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! We appreciate the feedback!!

      In regards to your question about items missed in our personal evaluation of our first purchased RV, we missed two major items that later cost us a bit of a headache till we found the problems. The first was on the roof. The Britek aluminum one-piece roof was supposed to be attached to the sidewall caps via screws. Several had snapped off but were covered by lap sealant. I was not familiar with the roof structure so I did not notice the small elusive gap in the sealant where the screws had separated. So, when it rained, the water came in from the top of the sidewall window just below that separation. For a year we thought it was the window when actually it was that roof separation that was the issue. Now, I would have spotted that very quickly because I know what I am looking for!

      The second was an issue with the washer and dryer in the unit. They were supposed to be there but the dealer took them out and claimed that the unit did not come with them. At that time, I knew nothing about build sheets that come with RV’s. They list what equipment is installed at the factory. Once we found that, after the sale, we saw the models and serial numbers of the units that were removed. An inspector would have also found that issue! We could have negotiated the price a little bit more had we spotted that issue.

      You can visit this link on my website for the points of inspection that I cover: http://yourfulltimervliving.com/certified-rv-inspection-points-of-inspection

      We have not spent much time researching solar for RV’s. We have seen systems at RV shows and looked at portable units but have not gone much further than that – sorry! We do need to get better acquainted with the emerging technologies as it is a great way to go when boondocking, which we have been doing more of lately! Funny thing is, we run out of water before battery power! LOL For now, we use our generator to top off the batteries when needed.

      Thanks again for stopping by!!

  30. Ed

    WOW such a prompt response and a thorough answer. Thanks Howard you are the man! We will be investigating solar as our fiver is on the smaller side (30′) since I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with a large unit right out of the block (our first fiver after 2 A class). However the floor plan has everything we desire and we got the 2 year old unit (only camped in twice) with a 2002 Chevy Crew Cab 8 foot bed Silverado 2500HD with a duramax diesel both one owner, garage kept (both) in pristine condition for $30K. I only mention the price for others to see what might be possible if you take your time looking, we looked for a year. When I retire in the near future we will keep our house in FLA and travel in the fiver 6 months a year taking 3 to 5 trips a year. Our plans are to hit all the National Parks and some of the bigger festivals throughout the country like the Albuquerque balloon festival.

    Thanks Howard and I will definitely be using you as a resource in the future.

    HTTY (let me know if you figure that out), Ed

    1. Howard

      Thanks again Ed! Sounds like you did your homework and you have a good plan! Good deals can certainly be found if you are patient and do the research – yours is a good example! You will love the Balloon Festival. It is something to see! Happy trails!!

  31. David Nation

    What’s your take on pulling a 5th wheel with a gooseneck? We have a 2016 F350 Crew Cab long bed and we installed a BW turnover ball for the purpose of using it with an “Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection” from Andersen. (www.andersenhitchs.com). We haven’t bought the Andersen hitch yet, as we are still searching for the “right” 5th wheel. We’ll be full timing it, moving every so often (pipeline inspector – move from job to job). We liked the “feel” of the Sanibel but have heard some not so positive input as to the construction. Loved the DRV (mobile suites & elite suites) and the Redwood, read a lot of good things about them, but pretty pricey. Another one we saw and liked was the K-Z Durango Gold – good feel but also seemed well built – any input on these? We saw a lot of Mfgs in earlier posts (Newmar, Teton, Carriage, New Horizon, Nuwa, Forks, Excel) that we haven’t seen at various RV Shows (Atlanta, Tulsa, Houston, Atlanta again,) or at the RV dealerships that we’ve been to – planning to look for them now! Appreciate any input you might be able to offer. Thank you – God Bless. David

    1. Howard

      Hi David! Thanks for visiting our website!

      Sorry, I don’t have any personal experience with a gooseneck and ball arrangement. I have witnessed people with the gooseneck setup and their trials trying to get hooked up due to the exactness of the connection. It looks difficult to align if you can’t see the ball through the rear window of your truck. I used cameras to hitch up our fiver to a Trail Air hitch due to no visibility through the rear window of the Freightliner Sportchassis.

      It looks like you have been looking at new 5th wheels by some of the manufacturers you mentioned. We have friends who each own one of the 5th wheel manufacturers that you mentioned, and they seem happy with them. If you are looking at 5th wheels that are five to ten years old, but in good shape, then you will find some of the ones mentioned in earlier posts. If you buy a used RV, please be sure to get it inspected by an NRVIA certified RV inspector! usedrvinspection.com

      Best wishes as you start you full time RV living lifestyle!

  32. sandy

    confused
    were looking for a residential 5th wheel and not sure what brand to buy. so far we really like the heatland big country, and not sure about the jayco this is something we will be living in please give advice.
    sandy

    1. Howard

      Hi Sandy! Thanks for visiting our website!

      You may want to visit http://heartland-rvs.pissedconsumer.com/ before you settle on the Heartland.

  33. Kathy

    Howard,

    Could you please make some suggestions? We are searching for a newer used 5th wheel in the 32-36 foot range that is above average in quality.

    We currently have a 1999 Alfa See Ya 1DRL. We are 2 adults, & use the RV primarily for long work assignments (months at a time), where our RV is used instead of hotel (but usually work in an office).

    Must haves: Good quality, lots of light –prefer a large rear window, like our current 5th wheel.

    We really like current layout with kitchen/living in the rear, and bypass doors that separate a central bathroom in middle of coach with another bypass door that separates the back bedroom. This is great for 2 working people with different schedules.
    Really prefer lighter coastal colors – hard to find!! (Why are all the newer RVs so dark)?

    Thanks!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kathy!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      What kind of truck are you pulling your 5th wheel with? What is the GVWR of your current rig? Do you want to go heavier or lighter with your next RV?

      I understand your dislike for darker rigs and agree. It just makes them hotter inside and tougher to maintain outside.

      1. Kathy

        We are going to get a newer truck, but currently have a 96 Ford F250. Still need a newer RV desperately. Working 6 day weeks in DC area for over a year now, little time to look.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Kathy!

          Thanks for stopping by our website! I hope you are able to locate a newer RV! Hopefully, a newer RV built with lighter materials and technologies will match correctly with the towing capabilities of your ’96 Ford F250!

  34. Rose

    Hi Howard, I am looking for a 37′ -39′ 5th wheel for myself for full time living. I would like a front bathroom and rear entertainment if possible. I have looked at the Grand Designs but their bathrooms are all the same and very small although the rvs seem to be solidly built. I want to stay around 60,000 or under and used is an option. My son has agreed to move me to different vacation areas each summer for a change of scenery and his truck can handle under the 40′ mark. I would appreciate any and all advise and suggestions. Thanks in advance, Rose

    1. Howard

      Hi, Rose!

      Thanks for visiting our website and sharing your plans with us!

      The $60k budget is understandable and a used 5th wheel would be a better way to go with that budget to get better quality! Keeping that in mind, the question becomes can you find one that is three to five years old that will be in that range? At $60k new, you will not find anything that will last for full time RV living! The issues will start on the roof and go from there – just my opinion based on my knowledge as an RV inspector / full time RVer!

      So, I would start looking at rvtrader.com and rvt.com, enter your search parameters and see what comes up. You may get lucky and find a real solid RV that someone just needs to get rid of for a great price. That is how we found our first RV! It was two years old, like new, was $135k new but we got it for $65k, and it was full-time RV living rated!

      Best wishes and visit again to let us know how you are doing on your search!

      1. Rose

        Thank you so much for your quick reply. Where can I find a list of 5th wheels that are rated for full-timers? Do you have any favorites? Thanks in advance for your time. Rose

        1. Howard

          Hi Rose!

          Thanks for checking back in Rose!

          There is not a list that is published, that I am aware of, that references 5th wheels that are full time rated. There is a list however that shows the hundreds of manufacturers that are in the marketplace today: https://www.rv.org/brands_rated_2016.html

          I don’t really express my preferences too much about RV manufacturers. What may work for me may not work for you. We all have different needs and use our RV’s in different ways. That being said if you want to know whether an RV is full time living rated, or not, refer to the manufacturers brochure. They will usually state that information there.

          So, you are going to have to look at RV’s that fit your criteria and then see if they are full time living rated. Is is easier to do when buying new, but at your $60k budget you will not find the quality you are probably looking for at that price range.

          Again, best wishes on your search!!

  35. Bob

    So my wife and I are currently looking to upgrade from a Travel Trailer to an 5th wheel for full time living. My tow vehicle is a 2016 Ford F-250 crewcab, 6.7L diesel, with 6.75ft bed 4×4. Would I have any problems with towing a 5th wheel?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bob!

      Yes, you can consider pulling a 5th wheel. However, you must not exceed 16,100 lbs total loaded weight of the 5th wheel. So, if the trailers total GVWR is 16,000 lbs, and you don’t exceed that, you will be running at maximum load for your truck. For safety, and depending on your planned usage, consider a 5th wheel of lesser weight.

      Happy RV hunting!!

  36. Jeffrey Lea

    Howard, great article. I’m a school teacher and homeowner and am looking to retire in the next few years. I’ve been thinking of selling my house and buying a 5th wheel when I retire. My thought is that I would use it to move up into the North Georgia mountains. I don’t really want to use it for travelling, but as a way to have my “mountain home” affordably. I’m also single, but have two sons. I was thinking of getting one of those “bunkhouse” 5th wheels so that when my sons come for a visit they have a private room to stay in. Since I don’t plan on doing much travelling, but really just using it as an inexpensive home for my retirement, can you give me your advice on the suitability of the idea and what brand of 5th wheel would make sense? Thanks!

    1. Howard

      Hi Jeffrey!

      Thanks for stopping by our website and sharing your plans!

      Given the location you are considering and that you will not be moving the trailer, have you considered a small mobile home or what some are calling tiny homes? An RV has complicated systems that are not necessary for someone who just wants a smaller home and does not plan on moving it. There is no need for house batteries and a 12-volt DC electrical system. In the long run you may end up with more maintenance costs going the 5th wheel route.

      Other issues to think about: heating and cooling costs, dealing with black and gray tanks as compared to normal sewer service, and keeping up with roof maintenance, especially when in the woods.

      Just some thoughts based on what we have heard from others who have gone a similar route.

      Best wishes!!

  37. Nancy

    Hello
    We just bought our first 5th wheel.
    What do you think of 3731fl it’s a Montana.
    We are planning on living unit full time in a few years.
    Super excited!!!
    Thanks for all the great information.

    1. Howard

      First off, thanks for visiting our website Nancy! Pam and I wish you the best as you begin to think about your full time RV lifestyle.

      As far as our thoughts on your RV purchase, we always respond to people that ask us about RV’s that what works for them will always be different from what works for someone else. Just like a home that people choose to live in, we all live in different types because we all have different needs and available choices based on what we can afford.

      That being said, if you have financed your RV and want some tax relief, I may be able to make a suggestion. Listing your RV with an RV rental agency may have some tax advantages. Visit rent-your-rv.com for more info.

  38. Mike Frazier

    Hi,Well I’ve finally convinced my girlfriend into at least considering full time RV living.But one hurdle is that she would really like a jacuzzi tub, so my question is do think it is possible to install one aftermarket with a hot water on demand water heater? Thanks for your time! Mike

    1. Howard

      Hi, Mike!

      I would have to say that is the first time we have heard that idea in nine years of full timing and fifteen years of RVing. LOL

      I would suggest staying in RV parks that have jacuzzi hot tubs and spend the money on other needed items in your full time RV home, like a washer and dryer. If that does not work, I don’t think the lifestyle is for her. Never convince anyone to join the lifestyle. It will end up in much heartache.

      Good luck!!

  39. Wallace McGaughey

    What is your opinion of the Vilano 5th wheel?

    1. Howard

      Hi Wallace!

      Thank you for stopping by our website.

      Sorry, I have not had much experience with the Vilano. I know of an acquaintance that was enamored with one, but other than that no opinion. Thye have not even stood out to me at RV shows.

      Happy hunting!!

  40. Melanie and Mike L

    Hi Howard,

    Thank you so much for this website. My husband and I are looking at 5th wheels and decided we want to buy now ( by end of November ) We’ve chosen to live in it for 2 to 3 years keeping it 90% of the time stationary while we save to purchase land and/or lake home we will be using the fiver to travel to various lakes in the US. I work in an ER and he’s a pilot so our careers/schedule make it easy. We are in a budget of 60 to 80k. I highly value your experience, opinion and guidance in this venture of ours so my question is based on what I have read here while at the same time what I haven’t read here. I’ve seen for the same budget you have recommended buying used and a few manufacturers names. What is confusing to me is a couple sights I’ve visited have stated Montana is number one in 5th wheel and Grand Design follows not far behind. I haven’t seen that in any of your post and was surprised to see Montana only mentioned once. Is there something we should know ?? A brand new 2017 Grand Design Solitude 375RE we’re looking at is priced at 75k. It has the floor plan we love and the storage is amazing which we need to store our outside furniture, pet fencing etc.. when we’re traveling. Please give me your PERSONAL opinion if this is advisable for us to do or do we spend the same amount of money and find a used one. The option to buy new vs used was important to us for warranty and financing options as well.. Thank you !

    1. Howard

      Hi, Melanie!

      Thanks for visiting our website and checking in!

      This is personal opinion, and again, just my opinion based on looking at manufacturing practices, but I am not a fan of the Keystone product.

      If you really want to see how well a 5th wheel is built, poke around underneath looking in every nook and cranny. Look at the more expensive ones and see if you notice the difference. Remember, you are going to be rolling it down the road, and not always on smooth roads. It’s not the floorplans and curtains that always matter, but how it is built and how well it will stand up over time.

      Keep researching till you alone are comfortable with the decision, and don’t believe everything you read.

  41. Shawn

    We have been looking at Keystone Montana Fifth wheels and Heartland Big Country Fifth wheels. We like them both. Which one would be better for full timers?

    1. Howard

      Greetings Shawn!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Certainly, lots of people are buying them based on price. I know the latest brochure on the Montana says they are for full time RV living and warrantied as such. That is a good thing. I don’t know about the Heartland’s full time warranty usage.

      We have an RV inspection for a client on a 2017 Keystone Montana 3950BR this week. This will give me a real good chance to poke around and form some opinions about their latest product.

  42. Clev

    This has been a great read! Thank you for all the valuable information.

    We are planning on full-time in May 2018, once my youngest graduates HS and well sell the McMansion.

    I’ve already purchased my hauling rig. I went with a RAM 3500 DRW with Aisin transmission. My tow weight is right at 25,000. I think that will give me enough options to make my wife and I comfortable in the 5th wheel options that will be available to us.

    We are having a hard time deciding between a convention-vs-tow hauler. We’d like to have a Smart car on board, but not sure if we are willing to give up other storage and options.

    I’m going to keep a keen eye on this excellent forum and update when appropriate.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Clev!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! It sounds like you have a good plan!

      Your truck will be fine as your transportation to get around when not towing. It is not that large where you will require a Smart Car. Just my opinion anyway. You’ll know better if that is the case as you drive it around until the point that you purchase your new home on wheels.

      If you will be near the Hershey RV Show in September, come see us at the NRVIA and Workamper News Booths in the Giant Center. We can talk about the full time RV lifestyle!

      Best wishes as you move forward!

  43. Cindy

    We are committed to downsizing for full time RV living and are keenly looking around. Can you please tell me what RV model and make the first floor plan is from that you posted in your article? The one with 3 large slide outs … Would very much like to know.

    Thank you

    1. Howard

      Greetings Cindy!

      Thank you for stopping by our website!

      The first fifth wheel floor plan image I have shown here, if I am recalling correctly, is a Carriage Cameo. If you are looking for a new 5th wheel that has a similar floor plan, the closest to it that I know of, that is rated for full time, is the Luxe Fifth wheel line, the Ambition models.

      Happy hunting!!

      PS – If you are near Hershey PA next week, stop by and say hello. We’ll be at the NRVIA and Workamper News booths.

  44. Victoria Vann

    What do you know about Artic Wolf 5th wheels.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Victoria!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Sorry to say I have no personal experience with this manufacturer nor have we had full timer friends who have owned one.

  45. Kevin

    Thanks for all the info my wife and I already have a travel trailer from Keystone and we wont buy another product from them but anyways we have been looking at Jayco fifth wheels we like the the North Point but have not made a choice yet because I get rid of a Ram 1500 Im leasing next year and buy a heavy duty truck to pull it but what do hear about Jayco fifth wheels and also what truck do you see most people towing with myself I like the Ford Super Duty.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Kevin!
      Thanks for checking in with us! Now that you have experienced one RV manufacturer you probably have a better idea of what you now want. THe best way to know if it is really for you is to visit the factory and take a tour. If you see how they are built, as well as others, you will know which manufacturer will work for your needs.

      As far as trucks, my opinion is buy as much as you can afford. Remember that about twenty-five percent of RV’s GVWR will be in the pin weight. That is what you are placing in the bed of that truck and on the rear axle. It does not matter whether it is Ford or Dodge, be sure to be safe! We see equal amounts of both on the road pulling 5th wheels.

      Happy travels!!

  46. Debi

    Hi Howard! I enjoy your website! My husband Jeff and I were researching tiny homes when we came across an episode of Tiny House Hunters where the couple chose a fifth wheel. So, Jeff started researching fifth wheels and he had me at Redwood! We like the Redwood 3901MB. I also like the Heartland Landmark 365 Newport. Our plans are a few years out; we want to research and get rid of stuff! We are not planning to travel with the fifth wheel, but hire a mover if we choose to move locations. Any advice to us newbies on other manufacturers and/or models that would be good for stationary full time living? Thank you in advance for your advice. Debi

    1. Howard

      Hi Debi!

      Thanks for stopping by our website and letting us know you enjoyed the material we share.

      I think you are in looking in the right direction for a full time stationary RV. Be sure to look for manufacturers that actually warranty their product for full time RV living.

      Best of luck on your search.

  47. Paul

    We are considering buying a RV to live in 4-5 months a year at a RV park in Michigan. We do not have a truck to haul the 5th wheel around. We are looking at a 39 ft unit. Are there transport services that will transport the unit to say Montana that can do this?

    1. Howard

      Hi Paul!

      Yes, you can hire a service to move your RV. Research RV transport in your area and hopefully you will find a service nearby.

  48. Manuel

    Thank you for all the previous posts. We are going from TT to 5th … scary.
    1) I know you recommend a “heavier” model = better materials/better built. Is there a lightweight model that has the same quality ? Or should I just not have weight as a deciding factor = gas costs.
    2) If you had your #1 choice of 5th, regardless of budget constraints (you won the powerball) the winner is … ? and why ?

    1. Howard

      Greetings Manuel!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      My discussion about weight versus quality still seems to hold true based on recent research. If you search Google for lightweight 5th wheels for full time RV living here’s what comes up on page one: Grand Design, KZ, Redwood, and Horizon. There are other paid advertisers, but just for an organic search, those are what show up now.

      Grand Design’s shortest 5th wheel at 35′ in length posts a GVWR of 15,000 lbs and other models reach 20,000 lbs. They state they are designed for full timing in. This is the best way to differentiate a quality 5th wheel trailer from other manufacturers, at least in my mind.

      Quite honestly Manuel, I have had a 5th wheel and traveled in it for seven years, and now have a motorized unit because it fits our current full time RV lifestyle. Deciding on a particular one is all based on needs. My needs will always be different from someone else’s. That being said, we have friends who have a DRV Fullhouse 5th wheel and they love that. It is big and heavy. So if money was not an object and I wanted to go back to a big fiver, I would get another Freightliner Sportchassis and pull either a DRV, Horizon, Continental Coach, or something along that line.

      At this point, our next RV will be from Renegade. It is a Class C on the Freightliner chassis. That decision is based on our needs and wants.

      Hope that helps! Happy hunting!!

  49. Nicole Amodeo

    Thank you so so much for all the time and effort you have put in to research and opening this site up for us. My husband and I live in Arizona and we are looking for a 5th wheel for full time living. Parking it on our property from October to May and traveling with it in the summer to get out of here. We have $1000,000 in our budget. Can be. Little more if the unit is worth it and is better value. We have been doing the research, my head is spinning! Of course the question is which one is the best? I have read some of the other posts and your responses so trying not to be redundant, yet you have so many! Good job! We like the back living room and lots of windows, kitchen island, high celings, large bathroom, king bed etc. any advice on what brands we should be looking at that are high quality well built? After we land a coach I may contact you to make sure we get the right truck too. Thank you again it is so comforting to talk with you. Nicole

    1. Howard

      Hi Nicole!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      You mentioned a price for your budget and I am assuming you meant $100,000. Are you looking buying new or used?

  50. Courtney

    Howard,

    I just wanted to thank you so much for all this information, it has been wonderful! I have just recently decided to full time RV with my pup in tow and this site is just what I needed. I have been doing research for about 6 months and I just keep getting lost in all the information out there but this keeps it simple. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! 💙

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Courtney!

      Pam and I are glad to hear that our words were helpful to you. Best wishes as you move into the lifestyle.

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