We have been looking at different 5th wheel options for about 4 months. We have changed our mind on which one we like the best about a dozen times. You can only have so many set ups in 400 square feet, but some how the 5th wheel engineers manage to give enough choices in layout to make it difficult and frusterating. We knew that we wanted a big shower. I am 6’3″ and some of the camper showers would’nt fit one of my legs in it. The other option we wanted was the ability to have a stackable washer dryer, after all, we will be living in it full-time. My wife wants closet space, and that is limited in most, but some better than others. We wanted a decent amount of counter space in the kitchen, and a living room with the couch on the end of the camper instead of on the side, this makes it more manageable to use it as a sleeper if necessary. Interestingly enough, I have literally never spent one night in a 5th wheel camper, but yet I have made the decision to go full time in one. I am just tired of having to take care of a house, and the inevitable urge to fill it with stuff I dont need. I think that not being nailed down to a house is going to be great, at least I hope so.
The great thing is that the first camper we liked is what we ended up coming back to as our favorite. We will be ordering a Palamino Columbus 320RS. We can get one off of a local lot, or special order it. It is a bit more to order one, but since we are living full-time in it I think that is what we will do. I have the order form and now for the decisions of what I want in it. We for sure want 2 AC units, Tami is hot natured and I dont want to deal with that if one AC isnt enough. Tami is picking the colors. I am going with the double paned windows for an extra 1500 dollars as I have read it really helps on climate control. I am getting all of the auto leveling and the upgraded Traile Aire Pin Box. Still deciding on the refrigerator. I have read that most camper fridges are crap. This one comes with a Dometic unit and since they can run off of propane, battery, or electricity they do not have compressors. I read another blog that said there is almost a 100% failure rate in the 1st year and getting them serviced is a mess. I will likely get the residential fridge with the compressor. It is bigger and heavier, but is more reliable. My last decision will be if I am getting a on-board generator or if I will buy an external one in case I need it. I am leaning towards the external one.
Reading too much on the internet can get confusing. Now I am reading that this unit comes with two 6000 pound axles and some say that most manufacturers put the minimum necessary to cut costs. Good grief. Then all of the weight ratings for the type of truck I will need is another story, and another blog post.
When I complete my 5th wheel order I will post what we decided on. Our house closing is in 4 weeks and apparently it takes 6-8 weeks to have a 5th wheel custom built, sounds like another problem I will be dealing with. Guess we will be homeless for a few weeks. For those looking at a Columbus 320RS, I hope this post is helpful.