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Old 05-15-2017, 10:22 PM   #1
Ash-n-Jim
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Hello from Arizona

We're Jim and Ashleen, and have decided we want a 5th wheel - but we're at the very beginning of the process. Our truck is still an F-150 (gas), and we're still pulling a 26-ft TT. We don't have a specific time-frame for getting a fiver; right now we're collecting info. What's got us most curious right now is hitches.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
Stripit
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Is the new to you purchase in a 5th wheel for vacations or full time living? That could change the length and weight of the trailer your going to end up buying. Larger trailer might require a hefty hitch and I had an air ride hitch and loved it. If I had a lighter trailer I might not have had the need for the air system. I think finding the 'right' trailer for your needs is going to be the first thing your going to have to figure out. Then a hitch to support those loads. Along with a truck! If your going to go full time have you considered buying a combo unit from someone getting off the road, some pretty sweet deals can be found on some really nice units with a truck.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:13 PM   #3
wingnut60
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Great idea on looking for a combo setup from someone finished with traveling--a little looking a RV forums in the classified sections, RV trader.com and such often have complete setups ready to go.
Otherwise, I would think FIRST is to figure out which fiver (size, model, etc) you would like. Once that is known, you will need the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of that unit, take 20% for the pin weight (PW) that is placed on the tow vehicle rear axle. With those two numbers, you can begin to thin down the options for a tow vehicle.
Please DO NOT use a mfg's listed 'Dry Weight' and 'Pin Weight' as actual weights--they are notorious for being optimistically light on these numbers.
It's a confusing world out there and easy to buy wrong tow vehicle, or end up with a trailer that is way heavier than you thought after loading it.
Good luck, have fun with the search.

And, welcome to the forum.

Joe
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:49 PM   #4
Ash-n-Jim
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Smile new to 5th wheels

We are not full-timing, but we do take some 10-14 day trips as well as some shorter ones, some of which are dry camps. We hope eventually to take 15-30 day trips, but that's not happening for a while.
We are now looking for a used F250 diesel (or the equivalent) and a used fiver. We can't afford a new one, but we've looked at a lot of floor plans so we know about what we want ....
What makes us hesitate to buy from a private owner rather than a dealer is that there's no way of knowing the condition, whereas we think, anyway, that dealers refurbish.
The search is just beginning.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:01 PM   #5
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OK. More useless advice...if looking at a Ford 250 diesel, 2 things: look ONLY for a '12-up 6.7L model, much fewer confirmed problems with them. Based on my experience, buying a used '08-'10 6.4L can be an expensive mistake. I exclude '11-up models as that was the first year for the 6.7L and took some recalls/fixes. The other thing, I would suggest you look for a 350 SRW model as it will have 1500lbs more rear axle weight capacity than a comparable 250--you might need that extra capacity at some point in the future. You would probably not notice any ride difference between a 250 and a 350 SRW pickup, so the extra weight rating is a plus with no negatives.

As to buying from a private owner--in the long run, you are just as much at risk with a dealer as with a private seller, the forums are full of complaints from dealer purchases. Most dealers put only the minimum amount of 'refurbishing' time/material needed to make a unit salable. My thoughts would be to decide on 1-3 brands/models that will fit your needs and look long and hard for that model thru all manner of sources. Using RVTrader.com and pplmotorhomes.com will be 2 excellent sources to look at used pricing to get a feel for when a good price shows up.
The search can be fun or exasperating--good luck to you.

What area are you located in?
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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I would only look for used through private sellers. Someone who has owned the unit for a few years, not a flipper of rigs. You get to meet and talk with the seller, get a feel for how the unit was used and treated. In Arizona you don't pay any sales tax when buying private, that could save you thousands of dollars right off the top. Going to the sellers house where the unit might be also gives you/me an indication of how the rig may or may not have been treated. If the house is neat and clean, you can assume the trailer has had the same treatment. Just my .02 cents, as I have bought all but 2 of my rv's this way.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:17 PM   #7
Ash-n-Jim
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Thanks to Wingnut60 and Stripit - good stuff to consider. Anybody have any favorite brands?
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