Best 5th wheel (in your opinion) for full time living?

This topic contains 90 replies, has 31 voices, and was last updated by  Bruce 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Ray McDaniel

    Hi my wife and I have also been looking to upgrade to a fifth wheel, and I think we have narrowed it down to the Grand Design Reflection also (solitude is nice but pricey). I even had a salesman (from Camping world) tell me that Grand designs are better built than the Keystone and Jayco’s and he doesn’t even sell them. we then went to a dealer who sold grand design and he  told me to go to all 4 sides of the RV including the slide outs and to hit it with your fist, they use the Vacuum laminated construction for everything,  he then told me to go to the Montana and Jayco and do that ! Big Difference! soft sided on the back and on the slides outs.


    Hello. Thanks for a great thread and posts.

    I would just like to say that I had a 2010 Jayco travel trailer that was excellent quality and I had no complaints about it. I sold it a few days ago to buy a fifthwheel. My best friend bought a Keystone Carbon Toy Hauler 2 years ago and he has not had any warranty repairs or really any problems at all. My grand father lived full-time in a 1995 Winnebago motorhome for a couple of years in Colorado (yes, winter in the Rockies but on full-hookups). Its build quality and systems are equivalent or lesser to what I am seeing on the 2005 to 2010 rigs I have been looking at recently. My parents are still using it regularly now and its 22 years old without any serious problems- including drivetrain.

    So, in my experience it is possible to get fine quality RVs from the major brands. Are they intended for full time use, generally no, but most of the time all you need to do is keep up on maintenance and repairs and they will still probably be just fine if you got a solid unit to begin with. None of the units are designed to fall apart. The unfortunate lemon units are the exception and not the rule for the major manufacturers.

    My family and most of my close friends have all done well buying used main-stream RVs and checking them over thoroughly before buying. None of us live in them full time but they sit out in the weather full time and travel rough roads in Colorado for boondocking each year. In our experience, if a problem hasn’t surfaced in the first couple years of an RVs life, it probably never will except for things that simply wear out or degrade but most are easily repairable by the average Joe. I wish my house was as easy to fix as most things on a RV are.

    I am just saying the “cheaper” brands aren’t horrible and should not be ruled out, especially for those on a lower budget and willing to buy used. Would I buy a Jayco, Keystone, Forest River, etc new? No, but I wouldn’t buy any RV new and even if I did I would still expect problems. That’s just the nature of building houses- especially those that come on wheels and at a fraction of the cost of a sticks and bricks house.

    Good luck and happy camping! May you never possess a lemon of an RV!



    Nice looking rigs. That Arctic Fox 35-5Z looks nice.



    Looking to full time RV in a 5th wheel later in Jan/Feb 2018. Just started looking – did anyone buy used in this post? Wonder how the process was at various dealers. My background has been purchasing all my trucks via internet but the dealer’s in Dallas as seem to have horrible reviews. I plan to still work from home via my RV till I retire. Love this thread and just following up with anyone for advice and what they eventually purchased. The Grand and Artic Fox is what I perceived had the best reviews from people here


    Don Kline

    When we were looking for our 5th wheel we were looking at used units. At one lot my wife saw a NEW cougar and she really liked the floor plan but it was out of our budget.  I got online and entered the model number (318sab) found it in Marion, mich. for 12 thousand less then where I live..

    Just a thought 🙂



    Jim Streeter

    Check out the ratings of RV’s on consumer sites that rate RV’s by customers.  We had a Nash by Northwood Manufacturing, which makes Arctic Fox, for 10 years with no problems.  Got a 2014 Nash and had nothing but problems with the slideout and other issues.  Broke a spring after one year and the others were bent.  The original owner had medical issues and others took over the company and the quality of the product has decreased.  Only a one year warranty.  Just our thoughts.


    J J


    Don’t discount the Jayco line so quickly. We have a 321 RSTS Eagle, no issues other than the minor things you will find with any new RV. We snowbird during the winter and have about 12,000 Miles on it at this point. Remember most of the time folks posting to the RV forums are experiencing problems and are not commenting from a neutral perspective.



    Stephen C Keller

    You can get a good one or bad one. No two are a like. I’ve had some that needed work all the time and others that gave me no issues what so ever. All one can do is hope you find one that was taken care of is used and hope for a quality build if new. Anymore there are only a few manufacturers who build most of the RVs available but some are made better as far as the woodwork and structure. I have a Keystone right now and am more than happy with it even though I did have to do some repairs I found. It was set up the way the wife and I wanted it. We looked at quite a few before finding this one we have and it was one of the first we looked at before searching and looking at many more. But I would not rule out any one model till you have a chance to really look at them.



    I have seen that RV previously, the question is where do you park it? I geuss if you converted a portion of it to a garage space? It is certainly ostentatious and pretentious (IMO) Have fun, travel safe !!



    Scott VanArtsdalen

    We’re probably going to stick with Grand Design due to the customer support.  I like what I see there.  We’ve settled on the 337RLS model.  It looks almost identical to the Jayco 321.  The only change we may make initially is to delete the rear sofa and put a desk in there instead.

    I don’t think any trailer is pretentious.  That’s why there are so many styles and sizes.  Everyone can get what they want.  Mi trailer es no su trailer!! 😀



    David G

    Thanks for the thread, very interesting reading. We are also looking at our first time RV purchase and have just decided to go 5th wheel instead of travel trailer.

    Haven’t decided on the unit yet but have narrowed it down to three.

    We do like the Grand Design Reflection, model 320MKS.

    We also like the Artic Fox 27-5 that was mentioned earlier.

    The other I haven’t seen any talk about, Outdoors RV Glacier Peak is our top choice at the moment.

    Although their biggest model is I believe 33 feet which may be smaller than you were looking at and I did not see a Washer Dryer option which is a deal breaker for you, from what I have seen these units seem to be built sturdier than most.

    Built for off the grid, off road and extreme conditions…this brand really caught our eye.

    Our problem is we live in Florida and both ORV and Northwood are not sold anywhere near us so a cross country trip will be in our future if we go that route. Otherwise the Grand Design Reflection will be in our future with a dealer very close.


    Stephen C Keller

    Now I can’t remember but I did go and look at the Outdoors RV 5th wheels online and think I seen a couple that were about 38 feet in length. But can see why you really like them. Even I looked to see where I could go and see one for real. But Colorado is the closest to me here in Iowa. But if i was to purchase a new one I do believe I would travel the distance.  Stay safe and RV hard. LOL




    I’m in the same boat as you, needing to purchase a 5th wheel that has space and connections for a washer/dryer. Its one of the negotiating conveniences that my wife prefers.

    Have you guys researched washer/dryer units? Sounds like the combo units don’t work too well. It looks as if some 5th wheels can hold the stackable units, whereas, some will only fit the combo units.

    Also, some 5th wheels have an easy access door or slider to the washer/dryer unit, while some have it located in a coroner of the closet with difficult access.

    I am interested in the Artic Fox units, though, they have space for a combo only unit with not easy access. Solitute has a separate door with easy access, plus, I believe space for a stackable.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Mike.

    Dan Huhn

    Mike I have a Splenda combo unit in my Montana it works fine. It does take maybe 2hours or so to do a load of laundry. But your doing both in same unit. It does a good job of washing. One other thing is your loads are a lot smaller than in a regular size washer. What we do is just put a load in before we head out for the day that way we come back and everything is done except folding and putting away.

    Another thing we could have put a side by side in our 5th wheel but then you lose the extra storage space .

    if you do buy a combo get the vented one not ventless. The ventless doesn’t dry very well.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  Dan Huhn.


    Dan, Thank you for your feedback regarding the combo Splendide unit. Maybe I heard about the non vented unit that doesn’t work well. Super helpful!

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