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Old 08-13-2016, 05:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
new purchase advice

Hello All - I am a brand new member who is in the beginning phases of purchasing a 5th wheel for my upcoming retirement. I am leaning towards Forest River/Cedar Creek, but I would like to get some insight from current and past owners.

My wife and I will be initially going out for at least a few months shakedown cruise, to parks and sights out west. We will then decide if the RV lifestyle will be something we would like to do full-time. Obviously, I would like a trailer that will be solidly built, from the ground up, including frame and roofing system. We are not as much concerned with the creature comforts and luxury aspects. I AM NOT A HANDY GUY. Except for my service firearm, I have little use or time for tools, so I really want a trailer that will hold up structurally and mechanically.

I know this is a Forest River Forum, so I assume most people will have favorable reviews and that is great...but I would also appreciate any warnings, models to avoid, common issues I will run into, etc. Also, if there is any consensus on other manufacturers to look at, or to stay away from, that would be great as well. Any info is greatfully accepted. Thanks...Andy

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Old 08-14-2016, 07:35 AM   #2
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Location: Titusville, FL
Posts: 92
First off, congrats on your new life and thanks for your service. From your message, it was unclear if you were buying and taking it out on your shakedown. You may want to try a few weekend trips closer to the dealer first. It's also a good idea to start with full hookup sites first so you get the full meal deal. Graduate to partial and finally to boondocking. You will need different stuff along the way at each level. Rule of thumb, everything you carry has to serve at least 2 purposes. Unfortunately you will need to develop some handyman capabilities. Most everybody I know who has an RV or a boat, etc. develops tinkering skills. Basic understanding of hydraulics and DC electrical systems will serve you well. Best thing I carry is a book, "RV Repair & Maintenance Manual" by Bob Livingston. As for manufacturers, your call. Be sure you have what you want and need in the base package. It will be quite the adventure. Good luck.

2017 PrimeTime Crusader 315RST 5th Wheel
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
2002 Thor Chateau Sport Class C

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Old 08-14-2016, 08:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Yuma, Colorado
Posts: 8
Andy, congrats on your retirement and thank you for your service. I agree with Jlreeves about being a little bit of a handyman or at least carry some kind of repair manual.

All RV manufactures have shortcomings. I have had one used TT and on the third 5th Wheel. I have bought new from a dealer on the 5th wheels. I would say that 90% of your experience depends on them. By that I mean when you have problems in that first year most everything in under warranty, if you buy new. But the dealer is not as accommodating as they might want to be. Example: The trailer we have now had a problem with the toilet. Called the dealer about getting it fix/repaired and all I got was an email with instructions about how to repair it myself. Ended up buying a new toilet from PPL Motorhomes and installing that.

As you read more on this forum, and others, you will get a sense of the problems that occur. Believe me there will be some. The RV industry has no guide lines for quality only quantity. Sure there are rules for safety and structural requirements. But workmanship is lacking. Bottom line is money. How much can you afford for buying a premium coach. Your higher end products have a reputation to maintain and there are some out there. So, I guess it is a "buyer beware thing". Be comfortable with the salesman and there service abilities.

I don't think there is a 5th Wheel out there that will last more than a few years if it is pulled over the road a lot. Our highway systems can not meet the demand of the amount of traffic that happens. Over time, 3-5 years, your coach will develop problems.

This is getting to long and better leave it alone. Hope you research carefully and a lot.
RVing since spring 2000
2008 F250 4X4 Crew cab short bed
2014 5ver CC SilverBack 29RE
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 829
Congrats on retirement. If you are not a handyman, may I suggest hotel instead? Recreational vehicles of all types require a fair amount of maintenance and new vehicles and trailers aren't excluded. Bottom can line is how much cam you afford to pay someone else to fix your RV for the little stuff? To give you an example, our first camping trip, our washroom sink's faucet began to leak. It cost us $350 in labor to have it replaced. I've never relied on another party to fix my RV after that. I don't want to pay a small fortune in labor for things I could do myself.

My neighbor's new motorhome required about 4 hours of maintenance. He's elderly and not quite handy but was able to help me help him.

Here is what we ended up doing on this rig:

Factory didn't do a good job sealing the roof, there were half dozen staples that were coming up, and lots of places dicor didn't hit its mark. We spent a good portion of our time eternabonding the entire roof.

Fresh water tank drain line was tangling close to the motorhomes rear tires where it could hit the tires and be exposed to rocks/pebbbles and other road debreis. We put the water line in conduit and secured it to the metal frame so it stayed clear of the tires.

1/2 of the sheet metal screws on the exterior bottom wall trim heads sheared off. We used non-chinese sheet metal screws and made things right.
Sewer and water drain lines not secured properly. One strap was screwd into the wood floor instead of metal frame and already pulled out. It was a matter of time before he lost his sewage drain lines.

Lots of areas where the wooden floor was not properly exposed from the elements and visible. We fixed it.

Onan generator not adjusted for high altitude. Owner didn't know of this option. Easy fix.

This was a brand new Thor product and needed some work and as he puts miles on it, I'm sure he'll have more.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:29 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 90
Thank you so very much for your service

I would suggest speaking with "Full time Rvers", Someone who has done it for a few years and what they found were the biggest issues and drawbacks they encountered.
Tom and Julie
2015 Rockwood 2703WS Emerald
2012 GMC Sierra Crew 4x4 1500 SLT Z71
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:51 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 165
First, buy a copy of the latest RV Buyers Guide and study the manufacturers, brands, and models in that issue. Then go to as many RV shows and dealers as you can find within a reasonable driving distance and compare and contrast the models you have picked out of the Guide for yourself. At the RV shows, however, you are limited to viewing those manufacturers, brands, and models that the dealers want to push. In Colorado, we have some dealers who refuse to attend the shows due to the costs for the limited space they are allowed. Several even have their own independent shows at a different time of year. BTW, Thor Industries is the nation's largest RV manufacturer and Forest River is the second largest.

If you can afford a new Cedar Creek 5th wheel, another approach is to take a look at the Kansas RV Center Website. They specialize in high-end 5th wheels, including Forest River's RiverStone, Thor Industries DRV Mobile Suites, Thor's Heartland Oakmont, Redwood's Sequoia, and Vanleigh's Vilano. This is different than most other RV dealers, who specialize in one manufacturer or even just one brand from that one manufacturer. You can give KRVC a list of your "needs" and a list of your "nice-to-have" options and they can discuss those features for each of their brands. This allows you to compare and contrast the features offered by different manufacturers. Because KRVC has a large selection of used full-timer 5th wheels, as well as new ones, you may end up picking up a good used Hitchhiker or another brand once you understand the features offered on new RVs vs. a several year-old model.

We spent over a year shopping for RVs--at dealers, RV shows, and on-line--before we bought our first trailer. So, good luck and have fun shopping!

"Retirement is the best job I ever had!"
2016 Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8244WS 5th Wheel; 2015 Ram 2500 4x4 CC-SB 6.7L CTD
Sold: 2012 Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:00 PM   #7
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Location: Otego,NY
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Welcome, I researched 5th wheels for two years, ended up with a CC silverback 29RE. Check out the factory production videos, the manner of construction makes sense. I'm a retired master carpenter, I'm happy with the build quality of the Silverback. You say you are not handy, so find a RV serviceman (not necessarily a dealer) to do the routine maintenance. Pay close attention to the roofing. Enjoy the retirement, see you on the road.
Ken and Wendy
'15 silverback 29RE
'13 GMC 2500HD
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:50 PM   #8
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Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks...
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Everything above is correct. Next thing to do is decide what kind of floor plan you want. Many variables. Rear kitchen or do you want to look out the back window? Entertainment center- do you mind looking across the kitchen at the TV or not? Is the shower big enough for you? Do you need a king sized bed, or will a queen do? Free standing dinette, or booth? Outside kitchen? One thing I think most of us will agree on- if you find your dream RV, and they offer a 50AMP service and 2 ACs, definitely go for it. You'll never be sorry. Do you like to drink beer? Just a question; nothing to do with your purchase. Good luck, and when you finally make that purchase, make sure your PDI (pre-delivery inspection) covers EVERYTHING. Have your written-down questions with you. Again, make sure they show you EVERYTHING!

2015 Forest River Rockwood Signature Series Ultra Lite 8289WS w/Diamond pkg.
2014 RAM CTD 6.7 Tradesman 4WD Auto Crew Cab Long Bed
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