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Old 01-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #1
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First time 5ver

So after 4 years in our BH TT we have decided that we want to upgrade. We have looked at about 100 units in the last week plus probably another 200 online. We have decided that we really like the Cardinal 3875FB. Some of the others that are in the running are FB like Big Country, Big Horn, Prime Time Sanibel and Cedar Creek in that order.
Montana, Jayco North Point and Pinnacle we didn't care for.

Are there any units I am missing?
I like the look of full body paint. Keeping it indoors is it a waste of money?
What do I need to know that I don't see walking in the unit?
How important is buying local? We have a local dealer with probably 600 5vers but they have a horrible reputation for service after the sale. What if I have to drive 200 miles to buy from Mom and Pop because they have the unit?

Little background should it come up: Tow vehicle is 2015 Chevy 2500HD Duramax short bed 4x4. Unit is stored inside my 43' metal building. Not full timers. 2-3 two week trips a year.

Thank you!!!
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:11 AM   #2
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First off welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of knowledgeable folks here to help you out.

Depending how you feel about buying local and dealer not servicing after purchase then I would suggest finding another reputable dealer.

Enjoy your search take your time pick the one also that will be in your towing cap of tv.

We liked our 5er when we had them but now a tt as we now have a harder time climbing stairs. Enjoy your search take your time

Later RJD
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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Good Morning Charles, and Welcome to the Forums from Huntsville, AL!!

I am going to try to answer your questions one at a time below


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles.maine View Post
So after 4 years in our BH TT we have decided that we want to upgrade. We have looked at about 100 units in the last week plus probably another 200 online. We have decided that we really like the Cardinal 3875FB. Some of the others that are in the running are FB like Big Country, Big Horn, Prime Time Sanibel and Cedar Creek in that order.
Montana, Jayco North Point and Pinnacle we didn't care for.
Are there any units I am missing?
Being that this is a Forest River Owner's Forum, I can't really comment on the Heartland 5ers (other to say that they are nice units). If you are interested in them, you may want to check out the Heartland User's Forum: [https://www.heartlandowners.org/] to get their take on those units.

As for Forest River, the Cardinal you are looking at is a very nice unit. I would suggest you could compare it to the Riverstone (Forest River's Top of the line 5th wheel) The 38FB2 is what you would want to compare the Cardinal to: []Forest River, Inc. - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles.maine View Post
I like the look of full body paint. Keeping it indoors is it a waste of money?
You will get varying opinions here Charles. For us, Full Body Paint (FBP) makes sense if you are going to keep your unit for the long term (decals will peel). Also, FBP is easier to maintain in my opinion. And, besides, like you said it DOES look sharp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles.maine View Post
What do I need to know that I don't see walking in the unit?
I need to know more about your personal needs, who will be using the 5er, and other variables of your lifestyle that play into the purchase of a RV before I could offer any further advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles.maine View Post
How important is buying local? We have a local dealer with probably 600 5vers but they have a horrible reputation for service after the sale. What if I have to drive 200 miles to buy from Mom and Pop because they have the unit?
Forest River likes for folks to purchase local to support the local dealer. Having said that, most of us realize that it's the wild west our there as far as dealers are concerned!

Many of us have traveled not hundreds but thousands of miles to get the best deal on a RV. Your local dealer that has a horrible service reputation may, however, offer you the best sales deal. You can always find some other place to get your unit repaired - if it needs it.

You are looking at a Cardinal - which was, until last year, Forest River's top of the line 5th wheel (it was supplanted by the Riverstone). As such, the Cardinal is a very well built unit (I have been to the factory for both Cardinal and Riverstone and their attention to manufacturing detail is amazing!) I would hope that your new Forest River 5er would have no issues or problems (we can go into how to conduct a pre-delivery inspection later when you get ready to buy that will identify any issues that need to be fixed before you take delivery.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles.maine View Post
Little background should it come up: Tow vehicle is 2015 Chevy 2500HD Duramax short bed 4x4. Unit is stored inside my 43' metal building. Not full timers. 2-3 two week trips a year.
Ahhh...OK here you will get a LOT of differing advice. The Cardinal (and Riverstone) are big 5ers. While your 2500 may be able to tow either (we'd need to review the tow specs on your Chevy), you are going to be right at the max I would imagine.

Before we decided to look at Motorhomes, we were seriously considering the Cardinal or Riverstone (FYI, the Riverstone won ). The one thing we realized was that a RV of that size required a really beefy tow vehicle. We were looking at a 1 ton dually as a requirement for our needs (we ARE going full time in 2018, so that was a factor as well). Still, the question is not "Will my truck pull the 5er" but "Can my truck safely stop the 5er" Depending on where you will be driving (we were going out west with lots of serious mountains and variable cross winds; folks driving in those conditions strongly recommended a 1 ton dually to us.)

I realize that this reply may be fire hosing you Charles. That's OK though. There is a lot of variables to consider and this is an exciting time for you and your DW! Take your time, consider your options, ask more questions! We'll be happy to help!
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaBob View Post
Good Morning Charles, and Welcome to the Forums from Huntsville, AL!!

I am going to try to answer your questions one at a time below




Being that this is a Forest River Owner's Forum, I can't really comment on the Heartland 5ers (other to say that they are nice units). If you are interested in them, you may want to check out the Heartland User's Forum: [https://www.heartlandowners.org/] to get their take on those units.

As for Forest River, the Cardinal you are looking at is a very nice unit. I would suggest you could compare it to the Riverstone (Forest River's Top of the line 5th wheel) The 38FB2 is what you would want to compare the Cardinal to: []Forest River, Inc. - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes




You will get varying opinions here Charles. For us, Full Body Paint (FBP) makes sense if you are going to keep your unit for the long term (decals will peel). Also, FBP is easier to maintain in my opinion. And, besides, like you said it DOES look sharp!



I need to know more about your personal needs, who will be using the 5er, and other variables of your lifestyle that play into the purchase of a RV before I could offer any further advice.



Forest River likes for folks to purchase local to support the local dealer. Having said that, most of us realize that it's the wild west our there as far as dealers are concerned!

Many of us have traveled not hundreds but thousands of miles to get the best deal on a RV. Your local dealer that has a horrible service reputation may, however, offer you the best sales deal. You can always find some other place to get your unit repaired - if it needs it.

You are looking at a Cardinal - which was, until last year, Forest River's top of the line 5th wheel (it was supplanted by the Riverstone). As such, the Cardinal is a very well built unit (I have been to the factory for both Cardinal and Riverstone and their attention to manufacturing detail is amazing!) I would hope that your new Forest River 5er would have no issues or problems (we can go into how to conduct a pre-delivery inspection later when you get ready to buy that will identify any issues that need to be fixed before you take delivery.)



Ahhh...OK here you will get a LOT of differing advice. The Cardinal (and Riverstone) are big 5ers. While your 2500 may be able to tow either (we'd need to review the tow specs on your Chevy), you are going to be right at the max I would imagine.

Before we decided to look at Motorhomes, we were seriously considering the Cardinal or Riverstone (FYI, the Riverstone won ). The one thing we realized was that a RV of that size required a really beefy tow vehicle. We were looking at a 1 ton dually as a requirement for our needs (we ARE going full time in 2018, so that was a factor as well). Still, the question is not "Will my truck pull the 5er" but "Can my truck safely stop the 5er" Depending on where you will be driving (we were going out west with lots of serious mountains and variable cross winds; folks driving in those conditions strongly recommended a 1 ton dually to us.)

I realize that this reply may be fire hosing you Charles. That's OK though. There is a lot of variables to consider and this is an exciting time for you and your DW! Take your time, consider your options, ask more questions! We'll be happy to help!
Thank you for for all the great information!!
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #5
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Check out the Rockwood & Flagstaff 5ers.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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All I can say is do your research before you decide on a particular brand. I had a Heartland Big Country for 7 years and only had minor problems if any at all. I recently bought a 2013 Cardinal for our retirement rig. Biggest mistake I ever made! Roof leaked first trip out. Found the Water tank halfway hanging out. Luckily it didn't fall out while on the road. Now I have rotting wood and black mold around my slide outs because of poorly designed seals that allowed water to sit and rot the interior panels. Read the post below "Structure Issues" and you will see what I'm talking about. Go to the Cardinal Owners Club forum and read all the problems over there.

Sure people will say all the manufactures have their issues. Very true! I said the same thing! But until you're hit with a $3300 or more repair bill that the manufacturer refuses to pay just because you're the second owner, it puts a real bad taste in your mouth towards that particular manufacturer.

Do your homework, research, research, research before you purchase!

Wishing I had my Big Country without the full body paint, auto leveling, more room, etc, etc.!

Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 918jeeper View Post
All I can say is do your research before you decide on a particular brand. I had a Heartland Big Country for 7 years and only had minor problems if any at all. I recently bought a 2013 Cardinal for our retirement rig. Biggest mistake I ever made! Roof leaked first trip out. Found the Water tank halfway hanging out. Luckily it didn't fall out while on the road. Now I have rotting wood and black mold around my slide outs because of poorly designed seals that allowed water to sit and rot the interior panels. Read the post below "Structure Issues" and you will see what I'm talking about. Go to the Cardinal Owners Club forum and read all the problems over there.

Sure people will say all the manufactures have their issues. Very true! I said the same thing! But until you're hit with a $3300 or more repair bill that the manufacturer refuses to pay just because you're the second owner, it puts a real bad taste in your mouth towards that particular manufacturer.

Do your homework, research, research, research before you purchase!

Wishing I had my Big Country without the full body paint, auto leveling, more room, etc, etc.!

Good luck!
Did you REALLY expect a manufacturer to convey a warranty to a second owner? Why would they? It looks like you got stung by the original purchaser not paying attention to important things like water intrusion. You shouldn't be bashing the manufacturer for your problems -- you should be bashing the person or dealer you bought it from.

Do you REALLY think you deserve special consideration? There sure are a lot of people these days who think they deserve whatever they want.

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Old 01-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #8
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Did you REALLY expect a manufacturer to convey a warranty to a second owner? Why would they? It looks like you got stung by the original purchaser not paying attention to important things like water intrusion. You shouldn't be bashing the manufacturer for your problems -- you should be bashing the person or dealer you bought it from.

Do you REALLY think you deserve special consideration? There sure are a lot of people these days who think they deserve whatever they want.

Bruce
If you research this problem you will see that it is an obvious manufacturers defect. Research "pimples forming on wallpaper" and you will see that it is a wide spread problem and has nothing to do with paying attention to water intrusion. The only reason I found the problem is I just happened to come across a thread addressing the issue. It's only two years old! Forest River knows it is a problem and are fixing "Out of warranty" rigs free of charge! Why shouldn't they do the same for second owner rigs? I can understand if it was an older rig but come on! It's two years old ! I'm not one who thinks I should deserve whatever I want but if there's a known problem from a manufacturer then they should step up to the plate! Before you mouth off to me do some research! Like I said read Structure Issues below and do a search on "pimples on wallpaper". After reading those threads you tell me if this is an owner or manufacturer responsibility!
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:11 PM   #9
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If you liked the Cardinal, look at the Blue Ridge. It is made by Cardinal, on the same line, same floor plans, basically the same options, just about the same everything. There are some differences but mostly cosmetic.

Important stuff (like the structure and construction) are the same. One key difference... it does not have the higher Cardinal price.

We looked at both Cardinal and Blue Ridge and for us, we just were not willing to pay the extra for the Cardinal when the Blue Ridge gave us everything we were happy with. We have not regretted the decision either.

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Old 01-09-2016, 06:44 PM   #10
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Your tow vehicle will be fine. Is a dually better? Heck yes! Will it STOP faster, probably not! Particularly if you have EXHAUST BRAKE. I actually HAVE TO ACCELERATE going DOWN HILL!
I'm talking a 5 to 6% grade. Anything more, I exhaust brake and slow down at the crest and gear down and follow the semis. Been x US pulling a 37ft loaded fiver for a 3 month stay!
Only scary time was 75 miles west of Amarillo hit blinding ice and wind and trudged to the only RV park where we called ahead and had pre paid our spot via phone. Stayed 3 days 😩🍷.
Better safe than sorry.
You really should consider max weights since you have that option. Make your rig and tow combo choice based on your plans. If you do not, you very likely will be shopping soon.
My fiver has lighter BR weight; ie, no washer/dryer.
Soooo many choices! Choose wisely! 👍
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