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Old 07-05-2020, 10:25 AM   #1
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Cardinal vs Cedar Creek vs Montana vs Grand Design

We are looking to move up to a 5th wheel and looking for opinions on which brand has the best reputation for quality construction. Been fairly happy with our last 2 FR products but really like the 3 year struture warranty on some of the other brands.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:17 AM   #2
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Cardinal vs Cedar Creek vs Montana vs Grand Design

Trying to be non biased here. We have owned three Forest River RVís. The first a 2004 Sandpiper fiver, was found to be close to being overweight for the 6K axles. We now own a 2018 Cardinal 3350 Lux, after 12,000 miles last year and 111 nights, along with this years only 3,200 miles but on a monthly site while new home being built. Not the first problem.
We have found only those with problems will post negative reviews/rants.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:37 AM   #3
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The answer is highly personnel.

Much like in bikes. The brand on the bike reflects a purchased name. Nothing else.

They are made of parts from others.

The more you pay, generally the better.

We like our Cedar Creek Hathaway. Meaningless.

We studied the rv fifth wheel options for two years. Ours was structurally better than most. I care about that. Most do not. I cared about the construction shown on generally big brochures.

Lots to learn. Drove the DW crazy, however made a good choice.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #4
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We had a Cedar Creek then moved up to a River Stone Legacy, you might want to add them to your list. In all honesty your best bet is to personally look at all you listed to compare for yourself, also what floor plans suit you best. You might also want to join other owners forums to read ALL what folks have to say about each brand. Good luck on your search and with Cedar Creek or River Stone I might be able to help with info there.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:44 AM   #5
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We have been debating getting a new fifth wheel for awhile now. After crawling around the brands/models, we narrowed it down to either Vanleigh (Beacon) or Grand Design (Solitude). Maybe. Cedar Creek(Champagne) a distant third.
Of course we also have to upgrade our truck.
With the Covid19 complications, looks like any purchase is likely 2 years out. So more time to decide......
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:43 PM   #6
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We've got a 2014 Flagstaff Classic Ultralite and we have just under 37,000 miles with no problems. Tires were trash, but we replaced them with Maxxis load range E before we had any problems. We just replaced the propane regulator, but I view things like that as a normal replacement commodity item. The thing to remember is there is no problem that can't be fixed with a saws-all!
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:45 PM   #7
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We had a Flagstaff and now a Grand Design Reflection.
GRAND DESIGN has suspension problems. The torsion suspension seems to hold up better. GD uses lots of staples. Several cabinets needed to be repaired. Flagstaff was screwed and glued. They both have good customer service and overall construction was good. Coachman uses Azdel which seems better.
Rockwood was the best factory of all I have seen. I am six Sigma educated so I think I have a good feeling for well run factories.
Like others have said it's an individual decision.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:07 PM   #8
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Cardinal vs Cedar Creek vs Montana vs Grand Design

This is a very difficult question. I almost bought a Cardinal and a Montana but ended up with a Cedar Creek. Didnít consider a Grand Design.

Iím glad I ended up with a Cedar Creek. Iíve had very few problems but I have spent $$$ on making it better. Improvements to the slides, frame reinforcements and lots more probably +$3000.

I do like the construction of the Creek where the skin of the Coach is not structural. It makes it easier to repair for accidents and de lamination. A lot of the improvements probably were not necessary. But I plan on keeping this one for a while. All the wood is real not laminated, the outside finish is high gloss gel coat, slides are high quality mechanisms, hydraulic levelers, very nice on the inside but the Cardinal was nicer.

I recommend FBPaint if your gonna keep this one.

Friend of mine just bought a very nice Keystone Avalanche, seemed like similar quality. Iíve heard good things about Grand Design. But lately they seem to have similar issues as the others.

With any of them, you will find problems in the first 5000 miles. Mine were mostly little and replaced under warranty. Biggest problem was a defective grey tank.

I wouldnít but anything with cable slides. The electric jacks are probably ok but I recommend hydraulic.

The pin box and hitch are important not matter which one you get and donít forget the truck capability.

I think you just need to realize these things arenít perfect. I fix most of the stuff on mine. Itís fun. And be prepared to spend more money. Like we put on the RVlock, struts on the front compartment door, generator, extra diesel tank, air bags on the truck, slide shim improvements, frame reinforcement recommended to me, slide mechanism track something or others (canít remember what they are called but they make sure the mechanism always stay on track) and others.

If you think you are done when you buy it, you arenít. Lol. My DW lets me know that about every three days.

Peace
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:27 PM   #9
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5 th Wheel

We are trying to make the same decision. We are looking at the same chooses. We are looking at ones that are 2 years old. It is all a personal opinion. I notice less defects on the Grand Design products, but they are at a higher price. I also feel their quality has gone down hill after they were bought out in 17" by Winnabago. I also like that many still have a RV frig. We did not find that in others. I have a good friend that has had one of the Grand Design trailers that had problems. They have gone way above any expectations on his repairs. His slide floor was not done properly, on his 2015 trailer. They replaced the slide and even replaced his recliners because they had done earlier warranty repair on them and the fabric color match was not great. I am impressed as I have heard this from many GD owners. I think do to their success, Keystone Montana, is not what it used to be-we looked at the sister model-Alpine due to better interior colors, but same trailer.
From information from GD the are putting factory repair facilities in 4 areas across US to handle repairs.
You might also add Van Leigh to your search, newer but owned by Tiffin Motor Homes and priced between FR and Grand Design products.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:41 PM   #10
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Lots of research

We did tons of research before buying our 5er. We ultimately settled with a Riverstone. It all depends on the inside set up you are looking for.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:47 PM   #11
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Went through the same process for a couple years. Pulled the trigger on a Grand Design Solitude then cancelled after learning a lot more about their quality going downhill in recent years. Got a Cedar Creek Hathaway last Fall and love it. Really solid build. Last 4 trailers were bumper pulls and loving the 5'er. Pulls better and get better mileage. Last 4 were Rockport, Jayco, Starcraft and Coleman over the last 35 years.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:53 PM   #12
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Always looking and always comparing. On out 3rd Montana. We change as lifestyle changes require floor plan changes. All have been nearly problem free with only a few minor problems. We tow about 11,000 miles annually and are in our unit about 7 months.
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:18 PM   #13
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From information from GD the are putting factory repair facilities in 4 areas across US to handle repairs.

I think this is a good idea. Mine has never been back to where I bought it. I take it to an RV service group near the factory. Itís the best service Iíve ever had on an RV.

I never get caught leaving it there for weeks for repairs related to the Coach. I have left it there for a repair due to an accident at a Key Largo Campground. That repair was done expeditiously and I was back on the road for my planned trips. Probably would have been out the summer at most other places.

Good luck on your selection. It is an adventure and sometimes a bit trying but I love it.
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:22 PM   #14
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Construction is important, but floor plan may be of equal importance. You're gonna be living in this thing, and after making a big investment you don't want to find out you don't have access to the bathroom with the slides retracted, for example. Or can't see the TV from the chairs. I would find units with the floor plans that work for you and then research construction. Also important, make sure the new truck and new fiver are compatible weight-wise. We found the trailer we wanted first, then shopped for the truck.
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:26 PM   #15
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RV Build Quality

We searched for several years before deciding to upgrade from a TT to a 5er. Looked at all brands and floor plans at several RV shows in SoCal. Finally settled on a Cardinal 3250 for several key reasons: (1) Fit and Finish on both outside and inside were top-notch. Glossy gel-coat on exterior insures long life and ease of maintenance, washing. waxing, etc. (2) Floor plan was precisely what we wanted. Kitchen has a peninsula with sink and counter tops vs. an island. Since I do most of the cooking, I really liked the idea that when I was in the kitchen, no one would be walking behind me while working there. (3) All slideouts drop flush with the floorboards when fully extended, eliminating that 2-22-1/2 inch toe breaker on most other brands. With my size !3-D feet that makes for fewer broken toes! (4) Lots and lots of storage space accessible from inside and out. 5) Tows like a dream with my Silverado Diesel Crew Cab.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:02 PM   #16
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Yeah they are beautiful. I was looking at the 3456 which has the double sink. It was gorgeous and I should have bought it at the Harrisburg show but I wasnít sure my truck would have handled it. Turns out it would have been ok.

Beautiful!
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:58 AM   #17
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Ditto on the Riverstone. Construction is tops in it's price range. Tons of options to add depending on your budget. Warranty after sale is very responsive. Love my unit.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:57 AM   #18
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For the folks that mentioned the Van Leigh Beacon when your pricing them out and adding extras double check your price against the River Stone then as most of the upgrades on the Beacon are standard on the River Stone. Just want you to make sure you compare them equally, the Beacon is a nice unit and good luck on your choice.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:24 AM   #19
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For the folks that mentioned the Van Leigh Beacon when your pricing them out and adding extras double check your price against the River Stone then as most of the upgrades on the Beacon are standard on the River Stone. Just want you to make sure you compare them equally, the Beacon is a nice unit and good luck on your choice.
Thanks for the advice. We will certainly do that.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:24 PM   #20
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Thanks for the advice. We will certainly do that.
Glad to help, right now we are near you, ( kind of ) up in Taos for the past 2 weeks but heading to Eagle Nest tomorrow for 4 nights.
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