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98whitelightnin

Thinking about a 5th wheel or travel trailer

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Im tired of renting houses for too much money a month and am thinking about getting a 5th wheel or travel trailer and trying it out for a year. I really dont know the first thing about them and could use some opinions. I dont want to buy a new one because I dont want to be a ton of money into it. I have been eyeballing this one because it has washer and dryer hookups and I believe a king bed. https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/rvs/d/lewisville-2007-silverback-by-cedar/7062380123.html

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I have some a buddy that did that. He and his wife and two kids did just fine that way and saved up enough to pay cash for a house. He did side mechanical work for folks on Saturdays in the rv park where they where staying. 

Edited by JAG1

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It looks like a bear of a trailer.  If you have kids where would they sleep?   It's an 07 so, if the roof is original it's at the end of it's life and will need to be replaced soon.  See if there has been any leaks by running your hand over the walls an feel for soft spots in the 5mm under layment behind the vinyl wall covering.  Check water system for leaks; not only in the piping but the valves and the one way valve to the fresh water holding tank. 

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Me and the wife pretty lived in one for 15 years while on the road. Nothing wrong with it. We were very comfortable in ours.

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1 hour ago, IBMobile said:

It looks like a bear of a trailer.  If you have kids where would they sleep?   It's an 07 so, if the roof is original it's at the end of it's life and will need to be replaced soon.  See if there has been any leaks by running your hand over the walls an feel for soft spots in the 5mm under layment behind the vinyl wall covering.  Check water system for leaks; not only in the piping but the valves and the one way valve to the fresh water holding tank. 

IBMobile is correct.... you have to be very careful what you buy. Look for cream puff, been under cover by old guy that bought it new kind of thing. That will most likely get you a deal right there. Be patient, but have cash ready cause won't last long. Buy in winter if you can. Yak Yak Yak I must stop I sound like a duck.

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Don't buy new. Like another member bought a new 2019 Chevy motorhome. He's spent more time back to the dealer with repairs.

 

Roof water leaks

Cab water leaks

Sewage leak under the toilet into the floor.

Dump valve installed wrong

Dust leaks in rear storage areas

And the list continues...

 

Like my Dad bought the 1976 Dodge motorhome.

Roof water leaks

Propane leak caused facial burns

Stereo speakers failed twice

Water pump failed

Sewage tank bands broke

List goes on...

 

Bought my 2000 Jayco in 2010 and only had a few minor repairs

Small water leak silicone fixed

Slide rack sheared a pin

Small water leak near hose connector.

 

Beyond that I've upgraded more...

1200 watt inverter

45 watt solar system

Small flat screen TV

LED lights throughout the RV

 

 

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Thanks for all the feedback, its exactly the reason I came here! It is a big trailer and the old 12v probably wont like it but should carry it as far as I will need it to go. I do have an 11 year old and he will be with me come summer. I will be sure to look all over any of them I look at for the problems yall have seen. I was thinking that trailer being fiberglass wouldnt have the leaking problems that the other trailers with metal siding would have. Maybe its not fiberglass? It looks like it has a shell around it, instead of the siding?

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The leaks come from the rubber EPDM roof failing and the water running down between the outside siding and interior wall.  Also check the fiberglass gelcoat for delamination and microcracking.   Check the suspension for wear at the shackles; I've hade to replace mine twice now.

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I bought my fiberglass clamshell camper new. It had the fix or repair every weekend syndrom for a number of years before there where no problems. I don't think they are as healthy inside with all that dusty carpet headliner starts breaking down over time. Then in winter them things build up condensation like you wouldn't believe. With any full timer you will need a dehumidifier to lower the moisture inside. Its better with thicker insulation and those fiberglass units only got 1 inch of foam most of 'em. Yes one inch mostly. I think your better off with a fully framed unit and 4 inch walls if you can. Some have that and you can tell buy how thick the windows are at the bottom.

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https://ccrvoc.com/

 

Here is a Forum for them.  Might help you see if parts are still available or common problems.  Don't be scared away if you see lots of problems.  Manufacturer is Forest River and there's just a ton of them out there so you going to find lots of problems written... simply because there's lots of them out there.

Most rv's need TLC and most are nothing more than a wobbley box on wheels.  

 

Edited by 015point9
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The biggest thing I was taught during the purchase of my Jayco I'm currently owning is to look at construction first. So Jayco was the only one at the with double square tube frame. Avoid "ULTRA LITES" frames are typically weaker. Then everything in side is heavy duty wood. No cheap thin lua panel for seating. Mine is all 3/8 plywood at least. This makes the RV heavy but durable. Then after that look at floor plans and bed sizes. I'm a tall guy at 6'2" so I wore a cowboy hat that day if my hat was knocked off easy the the items on the ceiling or roof was too low. Then beds double check some RV have some short beds. Like my jack-knife couch is ok to sit on but for me to lay in the bed I've got to lay diagonal. Master bed is a true queen bed. My holding tank are bigger than my water supply which is good rare to over fill a waste tank. 50 gallons of water can be just enough for 1 person for 8 days if done properly. 

I tend to prefer bumper pulls since there is only 12 to 15% tongue weight on the truck. Where as 5th wheel you have at least 25% trailer weight on the truck. Not to mention bumper pull I can load the ATV in the bed of the truck where the 5th wheel would force me to buy a toy hauler. These aren't so great either. If you have your machines tied to the deck typically your living area smell like fuel and oil. Rather keep the ATV in the bed of the truck not in my living quarters.

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I bought a new toyhauler 2 years ago and love it.  Second one I have had and probably would not have a regular TT again.  Much more room and headroom in mine is about 8' or more.  Have not hauled anything but my fishing gear so it likely smells like that.  LOL   :lmao::lmao::woot:  I like this configuration because there is so much open space.  It's big enough I can get my drift boat and trailer in since OR and WA do not allow double tow even though until recently I was licensed and did tow doubles.  Real ones.  BTW mine is all aluminum and no wood anywhere whatsoever.  

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 A couple years ago we found a nice deal on an older jayco, 1989 but very well cared for and has the metal roof not the membrain stuff they use now and the underbelly is insulated and covered in metal as well. Some kinda of "all season" package upgrade of the time. We are very happy with it and have had absolutely no issues with it so far. 

 The couple we bought it from were meticulous with it and made some upgrades of their own. A dormer fridge/freezer with a big inverter to run it while towing. Better Central stereo and speakers both inside and out. 

 Can't wait to pull it with the dodge now. The 1999 k1500 suburban I used prior had it's hands full pulling it. 

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The underbelly is important that it be durable won't tear or break down with time and that the holding tanks and plumbing is all inside insulated and covered. I spotted one fifth wheel that had its underbelly made using lock seam roof metal. You could feel heavy thick insulating above when you pushed on it. I was very impressed. It was a fifth wheel which I like cause the master suite is up high by itself.

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We’re in the process of transitioning from a TT to a 5th wheel. 
 

For full timing I would prefer a 5th wheel as the living area and bedroom are more separate giving it a better feel. 
 

While 5th wheels do put more weight on the truck they also tow shorter and easier.  Based on how we used the TT and ATV rack I’ll be lighter on the truck RAW with a 5er. 
 

We can double tow here so when we want to take the ATV’s we’ll do that. 
 

As others have stated the roof is important. Look for a 4 season unit. It will be much more comfortable in extreme temps, hot or cold.

 

If I were looking for an older 5th wheel to full time in it would be an Arctic Fox. Built well, w/d hookups in many models, and plenty of room. 

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I don’t think I’ve ever showered or used the toilet in a TT, how do they work? Do you have to fill tanks when your at a park with hookups or do they auto fill when you hook up to water? Do you pour water down the toilet after use? 

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When you are hooked up to a water source the TT has a bypass valve in order to just pressurize yor water system without filling the tank. 

 As far as the toilet, they have a foot valve to flush them. Simple step on it and the trap door opens and water starts to flow to flush the contents down in the tank which is normally directly below the toilet.

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