Another Newbie from The Island
OK, so I thought that I should probably post a note to introduce myself to this forum. I joined a few months ago, so it is probably time for me to chime in. I have read lots of interesting messages and learned a few technical tidbits of information.
We live on Vancouver Island, and have been boaters for over 25 years. We decided to switch over to an RV and thought that a fifth wheel would best suit our needs and desires. I tend to research major purchases quite a lot, and three years ago went looking for something that could be towed by my truck (more on that later). We had planned a driving trip to the US and looked for a nearly new RV, but ended up buying a new Denali RLX626 in Arizona.
Let me interject that, until we bought this fifth wheel, I had never driven a vehicle that towed anything. Not a boat, utility trailer, tent trailer. Nothing. So we towed this thing all the way from AZ to Vancouver Island, staying at RV sites with pull thruís, and managed to get home safely. After a few lessons from my trucker neighbour, and some road experience, I now feel cautiously confident. And I can back it into the driveway beside my house.
We are enjoying the RV lifestyle. We joined a local RV club, and have stayed at lots of resorts on this beautiful island. The transition from Boating to RVíing was fairly easy. There are a lot of similarities, so it was not as if it was something completely new to us. We even tried our hands as apprentice snowbirds and spent a couple of months with the RV in CA and AZ, and hope to try that again.
I have read lots of stories about some of the issues with Dutchmen products, but I also read other forums, and this seems to be something that is industry wide. I had a few minor issues with my unit, however I fixed them myself. Most of it was after warranty period. I enjoyed working and fixing things on my boat, so that carries over to this unit. I have made some ďimprovementsĒ and modifications to some of the stuff on this fifth wheel. The stuff that you can see looks very nice; it is stuff behind walls and drawers, etc. where I notice the areas where the manufacturers donít seem to care. Thank goodness they donít build boats.
My truck is a F-350 with a gas engine and 410 rear end. The fiver, loaded, is about 1000 lb. under maximum towing capacity for my truck (I have taken it to a scale). I have towed it over the Siskiyou Mountains and all over this island, and the truck seems to handle it fine. Yes, I do have to stop frequently for gas, and yes it wonít be the first rig up the hill. And yes, when it comes time to replace the truck, if we still have a fifth wheel, I will probably change to a diesel. But it is nice and quiet and suits me fine (towing or not) and itís paid for.
So maybe I will meet up with some of the posters at an RV site or a rest stop along the way. Meanwhile I will keep looking at this forum and keep learning. Who knows, I might even post a question occasionally or even post a comment or two. Happy trails.
2011 Denali 262RLX Fifth Wheel
GMC Sierra 3500HD Gas