I joined here when I was looking for a small Class C. After much discussion and research, we also decided to stick with a fifth wheel but upgrade from our Keystone Laredo to a better unit. We picked up our new Arctic Fox 27-5L last week. Love it! 29'5" long...just right! Extremely well made. We've had various RV's for almost all the 42 yrs we've been married. At 66 and 64 years old, this is probably the last RV we ever buy but we expect to travel the US and Canada over the next 10 years or so.
If you are going to take your 5er on the road, I highly recommend you check out the AF by Northwood. Of course, if you are just going to take it to a nearby lake once a month and two weeks in the summer, you can be perfectly happy in something that isn't quite as well built.
There are dozens of reasons this was the right decision for us. I won't bore everyone with too many because it really is a very personal decision. A few of the STANDARD features that we were attracted to were 1) short on the outside but long on the inside, 2) full size (80") and full time queen bed, 3) 3,750 lbs net carrying capacity, 4) 82 gal fresh water capacity, 5) two grey tanks (67 gal for bath and 35 gal for kitchen), 6) 65 gal black tank with flush, 7) two 40 gal LPG tanks (most use 30 gal tanks), 8) 16" Goodyear Marathons on aluminum wheels, 9) E-Z lube axles, 10) greaseable suspension (zerks at the spring hangers) 11) shock absorbers at all wheels, Mor/ryde pin box, 12) 10 gal water heater, 13) double pane windows. That's enough for you to get the picture. Well built. Well equipped. We weren't looking for cheap. Just good value. You can spend less and get less. You can even spend more and get less.
We had to drive 500 miles to Abilene, Tx (Baird, actually) to the nearest dealer. A couple from Alabama were picking up their Nash TT (also Northwood) at the same time we were picking up ours. They drove 850 miles.
My wife asked me a couple of days ago why I was still on the Forest River forum site. I told her there is a lot of experience and expertise here and half the topics are not FR specific. I expect to stay and learn. Thanks for sharing...even with us SOB's.