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Old 03-12-2010, 01:06 AM   #15
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High End Fifth Wheel

Dear Wondering:

- If you can, try to get a fifth wheel that can be towed by a 3500 or 4500 series truck in order to keep your Tow Vehicle maintenance costs as low as possible.
- Also watch out for net vs. gross weights. There are several so-called high end fifth wheels that sport two axles that only have a net cargo capacity of less than 1800 lbs. This is not enough for a fifth wheel. You will need 2500 lbs easily, so watch out for long fifth wheels with two axles.
- Lastly, your rig will last longer and tow better if you have an air-ride hitch. They are well worth the extra money.
- We think Teton makes the best high-end fifth wheel hands-down.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:34 AM   #16
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keep in mind also that diesel engines are better if you run them alot.the old saying is use them or lose them.with my diesel truck,i use it as my daily driver so it does not sit idle like a motorhome would for long periods of time.maintenance on my truck runs about 700 per year,and on my airstream it has been virtually nothing.of course i am still working fulltime so i only use the airstream when i can which equates to aprrox 4-5000 towing miles annually.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secguru View Post
Dear Wondering:

- If you can, try to get a fifth wheel that can be towed by a 3500 or 4500 series truck in order to keep your Tow Vehicle maintenance costs as low as possible.
- Also watch out for net vs. gross weights. There are several so-called high end fifth wheels that sport two axles that only have a net cargo capacity of less than 1800 lbs. This is not enough for a fifth wheel. You will need 2500 lbs easily, so watch out for long fifth wheels with two axles.
- Lastly, your rig will last longer and tow better if you have an air-ride hitch. They are well worth the extra money.
- We think Teton makes the best high-end fifth wheel hands-down.
Secguru,

Our new tow vehicle is going to be a F-450, they're rated to tow over 24000 pounds. I agree that Teton's are great but have heard that they are out of business, I don't want an orphan...We're thinking Excel, or Hitchhiker. The Hitchhiker 37 and 38 footers are tripple axle..Their carrying capacity is in excess of 4000 pounds. They also are available with disc brakes and an air ride hitch which I want. I don't want a big heavy dual axle trailer.. Triple or nothing..That's the one thing I liked about the 34 Airstream, it towed almost effortlessly.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:07 PM   #18
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keep in mind also that diesel engines are better if you run them alot.the old saying is use them or lose them.with my diesel truck,i use it as my daily driver so it does not sit idle like a motorhome would for long periods of time.maintenance on my truck runs about 700 per year,and on my airstream it has been virtually nothing.of course i am still working fulltime so i only use the airstream when i can which equates to aprrox 4-5000 towing miles annually.
I hear ya.. My F-250 7.3 liter is driven daily, maintenance is very low, oil changes and fuel filters. 296,000 miles and still running strong.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:06 AM   #19
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Good Choices All

Dear Wondering:

Sorry to hear that Teton is out of business. That's a sad loss for Full-Time RVers. Excel and Hitchiker tripple axles are both good choices. 4000 lbs cargo capacity is excellent. Your choice of a Ford F-450 is very good. I suggest you stay away from Mountain Master fifth-wheel beds though, I had one and hated it. The access is deep and only from the top, the access door locks failed days after they were fixed (several times) and so nothing was ever locked. It was hell to reach down into the storage cells and they filled up with water on every rain.

I agree with the post about diesel maintenance. The more they are used, the better they like it. Also, (and forgive me if you already know this) I suggest you gauge up your truck with Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) Pyrometer, Transmission Temperature and Turbo Boost. Maintain EGT below 1250 degrees Fahrenheit and transmission temperature below 800 degrees in order to keep the engine and transmission lasting many, many years. Turbo Boost gauge will allow you to drive with the highest MPG and engine efficiency. (The more vacuum the better). If you will be driving long hauls (cross-country), I suggest air-ride seats. They are expensive, but you will not believe the difference in diver/passenger comfort. Air-bag rear suspension is also highly recommended to improve ride comfort for yourself and to extend the life of your trailer.

I'm glad to hear you are choosing disk brakes. They are a must in my opinion with a heavy trailer. Consider using the BrakeSmart controller or another controller that varies the trailer braking directly in proportion to the amount of pressure applied to the brake pedal (proportional or inertial controllers do not do this, they lag the pedal, and do not act with the pedal). Believe me, you do not want the trailer brakes on an 18,000 pound trailer acting after you slam on the truck brakes! It redefines the word excitement (personal experience there after which I got rid of the Tekonsha controller and replaced it with a BrakeSmart).

Sounds like you are making all the right decisions. I'm sure you will enjoy full-timing as much as we do. It is simply the best lifestyle in the world.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:04 AM   #20
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Teton not out of business

Teton does not seem to be out of business. Go to: Teton Homes Excel and Hitchiker tripple axles are both good choices, but they are a shadow of the Teton on build quality.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:28 AM   #21
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Also Newmar

Wondering: Newmar also makes a good fifth wheel and their reputation for standing behind their products is legendary.

Newmar Corporation – Torrey Pine Fifth Wheel > Floorplans | Newmar RV
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:51 AM   #22
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I will be in WI this summer, returning this fall to FL
maybe towing your airstream
941-7200138
BB
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Secguru View Post
Wondering: Newmar also makes a good fifth wheel and their reputation for standing behind their products is legendary.

Newmar Corporation – Torrey Pine Fifth Wheel > Floorplans | Newmar RV
Secguru,

I'm aware of Newmar, have been looking them over as well...That's good news about Teton, I had heard that they were shut down... Looks like I''m narrowed down to four choices, Teton, Newmar, Excel and Hitchhiker...The wife is a big fan of the Hitchhiker Champagne edition, so she may win out.. We'll see... I agree on the guages, my current truck has a pyro and a boost gauge, no tranny temp as it's a manual trans... New truck will get gauges for sure.....
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #24
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I will be in WI this summer, returning this fall to FL
maybe towing your airstream
941-7200138
BB
Sounds good, not sure when it will be available for sure yet, will let you know..
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #25
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I have been an RV owner for many years, having gone from a 1972 Airstream, to a 1982 Foretravel MH, to a new 1994 Airstream 34, then a new 1997 Travel Supreme 36' 5th wheel with 3 slides. We have kept this fiver for over 13 years and it has served us well. Loaded it weighs about 17000 lbs. but our Dodge dually handles it nicely. We bought a new Dodge (Cummins) with a 6 speed manual transmission in 2005 and I am amazed at the power this thing has. I may go back to an Airstream so I can load my motorcycle in the pickup, but for full-timing I would definitely stay with a 5th wheel. It's like a condo on wheels and we have really enjoyed it. We full-timed for 2 wonderful years.
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