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Old 01-28-2018, 03:56 PM   #1
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Hathaway vs Champagne?

We are retiring from teaching this spring and have just starting to research fifth wheels. We have looked at the Keystone Montana and now are really interested in the Cedar Creeks(Hathaway vs Champagne) We would really would like some advice from owners of either model to help narrow down our search. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:46 PM   #2
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Features, amenities, and floor plans are the big difference. Dealer told me the Champaign is cheaper, has fewer of each. Find a floor plan you like, and then compare them side by side.
Montana, or rather Keystone is owned by Thor, and sadly they have not had the best of reputations. Forest River was bought by Warren Buffet several years ago. Some of the changes are not to my liking. Used to be I could call them and have my parts within a week. Now everything has to go thru dealers. Quality is not as good either. Have you looked at Arctic Fox fivers?
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:54 PM   #3
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Check out he Vanleigh Vilano and beacon.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:04 PM   #4
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Man didn't ask for advice about those, it doesn't seem to me. I'm sure those are nice units. I wonder if y'all own 'em or not?

The Champagne is TOL to me. I have a Hathaway. Friends have Champagne. The differences I see is that the Champagne is costlier and bigger and has more built in amenities (things like wine racks, etc). It's super nice! For 1/3 less I got the Hathaway and have added whatever amenities I wanted later. The factory support I've gotten is more than any other model I've ever heard of. Others have differing opinions.

I doubt you'd go wrong with either one.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:27 PM   #5
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Built at the same factory by the same workers so to me its a matter of floor plan and price.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:16 PM   #6
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We checked out the Hathaway and Champagne units side by side for comparison and finally choose the Champagne. We have been in it for four months now and love it. A few differences: the Champagne has a second AC standard (we have three), 17.5, H rated tires with 8000 lb Axles, powered cord reel (works great), bedroom wall heater (so helpful), 6 point leveling (oh yes!), convection microwave, outside TV and induction cooktop (deal maker for us. I see both have added a door side water port - good feature we don't have. Most of these items are available as options on the Hathaway which would make them more equal.

In the end though it is all about what features YOU want and which floorplan meets your needs best. We think the Champagne is tops but you might find the Hathaway is tops for your family.
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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Freebirds, that is correct. And it IS Nicer! NO doubt. Do you get Full Body Paint? I am not sure if that is standard. If so, that would be a biggie to me!

But I have added most of those things to my Hathaway, except for tires, and I will be doing that. Most differences can be added. Some are just a nicer touch, shinier stain, etc. They are not identical.........but they are not so very far apart either. The Champagne is a bit bigger.....so that might be a plus, or it might be a minus........depends.
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:58 PM   #8
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The Champagne is a higher trim.

The induction range is notable. It only works with AC electric, so you have to be plugged in for it to work.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:32 PM   #9
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The Champagne is a higher trim.

The induction range is notable. It only works with AC electric, so you have to be plugged in for it to work.
We got the 3 burner propane ipo the induction cooktop because of needing AC.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:57 PM   #10
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We would have liked to have gotten full body paint. But our previous fiver had been declared totalled by insurance and we had to quickly choose an RV from the lot as opposed to special ordering one. Our previous fifth wheel was a Dynamax Trilogy (Forest River product no longer made) so we could have gotten ANY fifth wheel out there. We decided on the Champagne.

For the induction, it decided the Champagne for us. We boondock exactly one day per year in April so we stay as far from propane as possible. Same reason we had the dealer change out the On Demand hot water heater to a regular electric/gas heater.

Isn't it great to have choices for different needs!!!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:37 PM   #11
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We choose the Hathaway 34RE. Added some of the options. Level, convection oven, 13 cubic foot gas/electric fridge, toppers, old style hot water heater, fancy King bed, 2 AC units, gas oven, and washer dryer.

We were after a sort of upgraded fifth wheel capable of boon docking. Also wanted the shortest one. 37'. Lighter RV, lower pin weight 1850 lbs.

Of all we saw it was the best for us! Liked the Silverback.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:56 PM   #12
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We have been in our 38EL fill time for18 months, two winters, just outside Cincinnati in KY. It has done great. Have double pain windows, standard, but not on Hathaway, Slide topers, standard, but not on Hathaway, just to mention a few things.

We compared the Hathaway and champagne side by side at same dealer. Walked back and forth, comparing everything for hours. Finally decided on champagne. Wife liked the room around the king bed, and large bathroom without going to the forward bathroom.

We added, 3rd ac, awning on slide, heat pump, dish washer, washer dryer, power management system, deleted wine cooler and carpet in living room. Would not change anything, love it.

What ever you do, do it for what you want and need. My set up may not work for you. Just enjoy what ever you do. Happy retirement.
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:00 AM   #13
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We purchased a Hathaway edition 34RL2 with several options. Didn't want to go over 38' total. Can't get Champaign in the smaller trailer.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:55 AM   #14
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We choose the Hathaway 34RE. Added some of the options. Level, convection oven, 13 cubic foot gas/electric fridge, toppers, old style hot water heater, fancy King bed, 2 AC units, gas oven, and washer dryer.

We were after a sort of upgraded fifth wheel capable of boon docking. Also wanted the shortest one. 37'. Lighter RV, lower pin weight 1850 lbs.

Of all we saw it was the best for us! Liked the Silverback.
tomkatb
Have you weighed your 34RE pin weight after loaded? My 34RE pin weight of 1855 lbs. is 3750 lbs. loaded and I am 1000 lbs. Under max trailer weight. Had too buy a dually.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:18 AM   #15
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The pin weight is almost two tons Cody1844?

I will be very annoyed. We made a bunch of compromises to get a fifth wheel with a sort of minimum weight. #2300 I expect. #4000 is unreasonable at best.

You have me looking at heavier trucks today! Not crazy about a dually!
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:36 AM   #16
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tomkatb
Have you weighed your 34RE pin weight after loaded? My 34RE pin weight of 1855 lbs. is 3750 lbs. loaded and I am 1000 lbs. Under max trailer weight. Had too buy a dually.

I too have a 34RE, a 2016 model which is being pulled by a 2008, 2500 Ram Mega Cab, 6.7L Cummins and the 68RFE auto, 4X4. The one thing that I changed on my truck was the tires and rims. The tires are Nitto Dura Grappler LT285/70R/17 (126S) with a weight rating of 3750 LBS @ 80 PSI. These are mounted on Mickey Thompson Side Bitter II rims.

I run the air pressure in the rear tires at 70 PSI which will support a load 3415 LBS and the front at 50 PSI which supports a load of 2755 Lbs.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:52 AM   #17
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The more I read the more confused I am?

My sticker on the door says the max weight for my rear axle is #6500 and the front is#6000. What does that mean?

The gross weigh is #10,000. I plan on adding Timbern overloads.

One person sold his truck like mine for a 1 ton dully. Same fifth wheel.

The other has a 2500 mega cab with a max payload #400 less than mine. He has used with the fifth wheel I ordered.

I expect fully loaded my truck would weigh #10,500 with both axles and tires well under their rating. If I remove the tailgate, spare tire and fill the fresh water tank I might get below the #10,000 with me watching the DW driving without me.

Going to look at trucks Saturday. They have a leftover 2017 3500 with perfect options except for a standard transmission. The wife and I drive a stick with no issues. We drive classic cars all the time. Both learned to drive on sticks. They would almost trade even. + $5,000 or less.

Perplexed as to what to do.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #18
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The more I read the more confused I am?

My sticker on the door says the max weight for my rear axle is #6500 and the front is#6000. What does that mean?

The gross weigh is #10,000. I plan on adding Timbern overloads.

One person sold his truck like mine for a 1 ton dully. Same fifth wheel.

The other has a 2500 mega cab with a max payload #400 less than mine. He has used with the fifth wheel I ordered.

I expect fully loaded my truck would weigh #10,500 with both axles and tires well under their rating. If I remove the tailgate, spare tire and fill the fresh water tank I might get below the #10,000 with me watching the DW driving without me.

Going to look at trucks Saturday. They have a leftover 2017 3500 with perfect options except for a standard transmission. The wife and I drive a stick with no issues. We drive classic cars all the time. Both learned to drive on sticks. They would almost trade even. + $5,000 or less.

Perplexed as to what to do.
O.K. what year and truck do you have? Do you have a diesel pick-up truck?

The Front axle load of 6,000 LBS is your max weight that this axle with factory tires on it is rated for (support). As an example my truck front axle has the same weight restriction on it, 6,000LBS. With my trailer attached my front axle load is 4,900 LBS. Per a Cat Scale.

Your Rear axle load of 6,500 LBS is also the maximum weight that this will support. My rear axle has a load of 6,000 LBS but the one ton truck SRW has a maximum of 6,100 LBS for my year. MY load is right at 6,100 LBS on the rear axle. That is why I changed out my tires to a heavier load rating tire.My tires can support a load of 3,750 LBS at 80 psi.

For Dodge (Ram) pick-up trucks in the 2500/3500SRW configuration all of the components are the same for my model year of 2008. This is true for all Dodge (Ram) pick-up trucks from 2004.5 to 2013.5 model years. The only difference is the compliance sticker (Yellow Sticker on door) to allow a different class of sales market for the 3/4 ton truck VS the 1 tom truck.

In IL the 3/4 ton truck has a class B truck licenses plate under 8,000 LBS GVW. The one (1) ton truck has a Class D licenses plate over 8,000 LBS were you specify the GVW class and pay the appropriate fees. You can license a 3/4 ton truck with a class D plate (which my son has done) to allow a heavier tow rating for business. He is still under the 26,001 LBS so he does not need a CDL.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:22 AM   #19
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Doubt any new dually is going to weigh quite 10,500. Mine has it all, and without me in it, weighs 8,940.

And you will find a LOT of guys, friends, neighbors, who pull huge fifth wheels with 3/4 tons. Many of them say "no problem". I wouldn't do it.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:26 AM   #20
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Get a bigger truck for sure. But for any of the large fivers (over about 37 feet) you really should get a dually.
BTW RAWR is the sum of the components to the weakest part. IE the tires and wheels. Overloading is never a good idea no matyer what some will try to tell you. Mfgs spend a lot of time and money certifying to the federal government weight limits. On one of the other forums there used to be a guy who retired from GM as a compliance engineer. He spelled it out pretty simply a number of times. Of course he was shot down as not knowing what he was talking about hy all the arm chair engineers. Basically the number the mfg places on the sticker and certifies to the feds includes, tires,wheels, frames, suspension, brakes, handling, seat belts, basically everything. They are certifying that the vehicle will accelerate, handle, brake, and passanger safety in an accident. Not saying that you cannot add stuff, like tires and wheels to handle more, but you still will not alter the mfg weight sticker.
BT,DT. For three years I towed my fiver 1800 pounds over the trucks weight limits before I could aford to get the right tool. Its no fun at all believe me.
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