Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Fifth Wheel Decision


Max and I started this process several years ago to go and live full time in an RV. Back then there was no housing crises or recession. We were going to sell the house and buy a motor home and pull a trailer behind with the goldwings in it. We even had the model picked out and took a factory tour and was just waiting for the time to be right.

Who would have thought that a few years later we would see housing values fall. General Motors getting bailed out and filing for bankruptcy. With all of these things happening we were seeing our fulltime RVing plans quickly fading away. We are determined to live this lifestyle so we had to make some compromises on what we were going to live in.

We finally decided that a Truck and Fifth Wheel would be more economical and easier to replace down the road than a motorhome. We would have to change our travel methods a little. Like only having one Goldwing and having to ride it instead of towing it. We do not think this will be a problem because we do not plan to travel over 200 miles every two weeks on average. And if its raining when we have to move it will be Maxine’s turn on the Goldwing! :>) Okay maybe not but we can always adjust our departure do to weather concerns.

Since we made the decision to go the fifth wheel route I have been researching them like crazy. For fulltime use we need to make sure we find a manufacturer that will not void the warranty for fulltime use. This narrowed our choices down to about 4 or 5 manufacturer’s. The next decision was looking at quality, floor plans, weight ratings, and price.

Without going into all of the detail on all of the choices we had and what drove our choices, we basically narrowed it down between a Carriage Cameo and a DRV Mobile Suites. Both of these rigs are solid units with very good reputations. Deciding was not easy. What we are looking for is livability and durability. Both of these rigs had both to fit our needs. We chose the Mobile Suites because it has a bigger frame, painted graphic’s (not decals), larger holding tanks and has better insulation with a 3 1/4 inch sidewalls. The downside is it is heavier but we bought enough truck to handle it.

Here is a picture showing the insulation


What really sold us on the Mobile Suites is that we took a factory tour up in Howe Indiana and was very impressed with how they are made. It was a private  tour and we were not rushed. We were able to compare the different floor plans and what custom additions we could make. After the tour I think Max and I were both convinced that the Mobile Suites was going to be our choice.

We left the factory and drove to Elkhart Indiana to a dealership. There we were able to look at a different model than what the factory had in its process. After talking to the salesman we wanted him to quote us a price on another model with the upgrades we wanted. I had him load it up. I figured we could take away options if need be. We added a dish washer, washer and dryer, select comfort bed, auto satellite, and trail air suspension and pin box. The price he quoted was much less than what I thought it was going to be. Maxine suggested we go have lunch so we could talk things over. After lunch we went back and made a deal. So now we have a new 2010 Mobile Suites 38rssb3 on order. It should be done in about 6 to 10 weeks.

Here are some pictures from their website that shows pretty close to what we have ordered.

Floor plan (only difference is there are two recliners instead of a sofa on the dining room slide.

I will get better picture of our actual rig when it gets delivered. But this will give you an idea of what it will look like.













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