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Old 10-17-2004, 06:30 AM   #1
Seasoned Camper
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Carrying Place
Posts: 85
M.O.C. #2194
don't own a fifth wheel yet; I need advice

'morning MOC people. I am just retired, and looking for a fifth wheel and a truck to cart my wife and four cats around N.A. We are looking at a 32 foot Montana located about 400 Km. away. It's a 2000, but has hardly been used. Any recommendations. Also, for a vehicle, I was thinking a dually, but see a lot of people with 2500 SRW deisels etc. What should I avoid, and is a dually a good thing or not?
Jack in Trenton ON
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:42 AM   #2
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M.O.C. #1104
Welcome, Jack. You'll find lots of opinions on dually or not dually. Some folks prefer the dually and think it provides more stability. Others can't see a difference in stability nor the need for a dually. So this probably comes down to personal preferences.

Ford has had a one-ton single rear wheel truck for many years. I think GM and Dodge now have them also. So if you don't want a dually you now have more choices in one ton trucks. Others use 3/4 ton trucks successfully. If the rear end sags under the pinweight you can add air bags. Just be careful about not exceeding weight ratings.

Some of the early Montanas, including 2000, had some frame problems. Keystone has fixed many of those and is still fixing them even though out of warranty and not the original owners. You may want to make sure that has been done or have it done. Those who had this done report it is very strong now.

Good luck. Let us know your decisions.
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Old 10-17-2004, 07:25 AM   #3
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M.O.C. #1109
Agree with HOTR. Take the VIN number of the model and call keystone to see if Service Advisory 00-8 has been performed. They track it by VIN number. This is a frame upgrade that re-enforces the spring hangers in the wheel well area. If it has not been done check with Keystone on how to get the upgrade done. Normally it is free of charge but check it out to be sure. It can be done at local welding shops.

I suggest you look at postings in this forum and you will learn what problems to look for. Most the the postings apply to all trailers so you can build a good checklist here regardless of which one you buy.

Good luck on your selection.
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:12 AM   #4
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Some of the early models also suffered a crack in the corner of the sidewalls, radiating out from the opening for the bedroom slide. Keystone's been fixing those by installing an expansion joint like the newer ones have. From posts in MOC it's been rare that those cracks are from anything other than normal stresses but they usually check the frame just in case. If you see that crack, also ask Keystone if they'd take care of that crack and what it would cost, if anything. Don't mean to scare you. The crack is not a major deal, just something to get taken care of. Keystone has been truly excellent in standing behind their rigs.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:04 PM   #5
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Location: Livingston
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M.O.C. #2056
Dear Jhadley,

My last two trucks have been duallys and I have loved them. One plus is that if one of your rear tires goes flat, usually you can drive to a safe place for repairs. A couple a negatives: 1) you have to buy more tires and tire rotation is expensive and 2) if you travel in Mexico you pay more for tolls because of the extra axle and in some cities you are banned from driving downtown. My next truck will have a single axle.

We have one cat and made a "bathroom" for the cat by cutting a hole from the kitchen area to the storage under the bathroom. Put in an electric access door to finsh the hole and lock the cat out. Made a short tunnel from the door to a 20 storage box which contains the litter box. Can get to the box from the outside to clean. No smells.

Take care,

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Old 10-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #6
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M.O.C. #20
Welcome aboard, Mobilrvn! There's a section somewhere on MOC where improvements and changes to Montanas can be listed. That might be a good place to report on your cat housing so others will be more likely to see it. I don't believe I've seen quite the setup you have so it would be very welcome there.

Thanks again for joining us.
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Old 10-17-2004, 07:54 PM   #7
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For your size coach. A 3/4 truck with a diesel, SRW, will work fine. Keep us posted. Happyrving....
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:34 AM   #8
Bill and Ann
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Agree with Northstar. Ours has plenty of power to pull. We upgraded the GM tires from 245's to 265's.
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:13 AM   #9
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Location: union
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M.O.C. #2189
my wife and i were looking to up grade are trailer from a 24' aljo to somthing much nicer. while looking over many new and used 5ers we came across a 2004 2955, it was on a used lot and only 10 months old. heres where the fun started, and i hope to warn any folks in the buying mood. watch out for warrenties, they do not transfer like automobile warrenties do.although are 2955 montana is only 10 months old (from date of manufacture)the orriginal warrenty is no good. please be warned.

an after thought: i contacted the manufacturer of the equipment that we were having trouble with and they were more than happy to help us even if montana wouldn't. (the problem was with the chassis)

over and above, this we love are new 5er, and hope to have many happy memories with it.
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:30 PM   #10
stiles watson
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M.O.C. #2059
If you can get this rig for a really good price -- a price that would allow you to resell if it didn't suit your fancy without losing money, go for it. You will learn what you like and don't like with minimum risk. NADA has resale ratings listed so that you can determine whether it is a good value.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:18 PM   #11
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As the other posters have said make sure that if it does have a Keystone about it.This is coming from first hand experience believe me.been their done that.

As far as the truck issue is concerned.I have a single rear wheel truck.It does beautifully in towing.The duallys are added insurance incase you do blow a rear tire.But they are long and wide and can be hard to park in tight places.Its all in how you decided to use it I guess.My truck is my daily ride and the long bed dually just wasn`t right for me.
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Old 10-30-2004, 03:14 PM   #12
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As for the truck, I think it really is personal preference. When I was buying my truck I forgot that in Illinois you don't pay sales tax on the 1 ton and over trucks. But the 2500HD Diesel Silverado does great with towing and we like the fuel economy. We had a Tahoe before this and are getting better mileage with the big truck than we did with the SUV. Another thing to watch is short bed vs. long bed. If getting a short bed, you will find a lot of posts about slider hitches. Good luck with you decision.
Ron and Terrie Ames - MOC #1920/KF0NTA
2021Montana 3230CK Super Solar Legacy Package
2021 Ram 3500 Laramie Longhorn, BIM Charging
4x4, SRW, LB, Crew Cab, Pullrite 3900 Hitch
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:45 PM   #13
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Pretty much agree with the previous posts... the type of truck will ultimately come down to personal preference. Only exception is that diesel is king. You will get much better pulling power and economy.
You're gonna' love this trip!
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