Why I Chose My Rig: 3 Used Fifth Wheels With a ~$30,000 Price Tag

Aug 16, 2021 | Rigs

Why I Chose My Rig: 3 Used Fifth Wheels With a ~$30,000 Price Tag

A family of five and two full-timing couples tell us all about what makes their rig the perfect fit for them.

By Togo RV

Photo: Kelsey St. Germain

To help RVers better understand the RV market and rig ownership, we’re interviewing real RVers about their experiences buying their rigs. If you’re interested in sharing your story, send us an email at editorial@togorv.com.


A $25,000 Fifth Wheel for a Full-Timing Family of Five

Name: Christy C.

Tell us about your rig: 

We own a used 2017 Dutchmen Denali that we purchased for $25,000 with cash. Previously we owned a pop-up camper.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We researched for months looking for the following: A fifth wheel that was less than 5 years old, under 34 feet, and within our budget; a bunkhouse model that had beds for everyone without having to break down and set up daily; and an automatic leveling system.

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

We’re a full-time traveling family of five and we have been living and traveling in our camper since March 2018. We have traveled the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest region and our home base is in North Florida. We enjoy chasing pleasant weather, so you can normally find us up north in the summer and in Florida for the winter. We have three boys and love to be outdoors together, especially near the water. We also love mountains and national parks.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

We have a 32-foot fifth wheel with the primary bedroom over the front. There’s a small bunkroom in the back with two beds for our younger two boys. Above the bunkroom is a large loft for our oldest son. There’s one bathroom near the main bedroom, and the dining area and couch are nestled on the main living slide. This camper has two slides: one small wardrobe slide in the bedroom and one large main slide across from the kitchen.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

We chose this particular RV because at the time it was only a year old and had only had one owner. It was in immaculate condition and included a lot of newer upgrades, like an automated leveling system, slides, touch screen options, and more. The layout, bed count, and length were the main factors, followed by the like-new condition, price, and all the extras.

We fell in love with this RV immediately because, after looking at hundreds of models, it was the only one that we found that was under 34 feet and still had a bunkhouse option. We wanted to have a camper that was large enough for us all to have space and our own bed, but small enough that we could still fit at campgrounds at some of our favorite national parks. It has so many windows to let light in and even has a ceiling fan. This model was made just for us, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the floor plan.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at the Keystone Montana, an Open Range, and a couple of Keystone Hideout travel trailers.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

We love that our rig has three separate sleeping areas and it was the only bunkhouse model we found in an RV of this size. The extensive cabinet space in the kitchen provides plenty of storage and we love the large bathroom with a full-size shower. It’s also a moderate length for access to more places. 

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

We wish it had one additional slide in the living space, a larger refrigerator, and a bit more storage space.


A Used Fifth Wheel Under $30,000 for a Stationary Couple

Travel trailer parked at camp site with scenic fall foliage in the background. A person is looking in the exterior storage bay.
Photo: Kelsey St. Germain

Name: Kelsey S.

Tell us about your rig: 

We own a previously-owned 2009 Heartland Landmark Cape Cod that we purchased for $29,500 that we financed ourselves. This is our first RV.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We watched a lot of YouTube videos and read online forums.

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

My fiance and I are RV living in Washington with our dogs and cats. Currently we’re stationary here and love visiting state and national parks.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

Open, rear living so that we still have a living space to enjoy inside.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

We were really excited about finding a fifth wheel.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at Forest River and Keystone models as well. 

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

The bedroom size, amount of storage space, the fridge size, and that it has a ceiling fan. 

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

Our rig is long, the flooring is a bit thin, and the kitchen area is small. 


A $33,000 Fifth Wheel for a Full-Timing Couple 

Couple inspecting a large trailer from the outside on an RV lot
Photo: Julie Ryan

Name: Julie R. and Brandon M.

Tell us about your rig: 

Our rig is a Heartland Bighorn 3875FB fifth wheel that we bought used for $33,000, paid for in cash. This is our first RV.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We spent over a year walking through RV lots and looking at RVs online to try to narrow down what type of RV we wanted. Once we decided we wanted a fifth wheel, we continued to tour different models until we found a layout that we really loved. The front bath was it. We knew we didn’t want to buy new, so we searched online for a used model that fit our floor plan. We had a couple of different brands to choose from and found a great deal on our Heartland. We haven’t regretted that choice. 

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

We’re a full-time RV couple. We spent our first 9 months full-time mostly stationary in our local area. We moved every few months to different parks, but we didn’t go far. As of June 2020, we sold our house and are now 100 percent full-time travel, and we travel with our cat. We prefer to stay for 3 to 4 weeks at a time, but that rarely happens. Our favorite places so far have been the Badlands and the Black Hills in South Dakota and Colorado.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

The huge front bath sold us on this rig. It’s a big rig at 42 feet, but we love it. We downsized from a 2,000-square-foot house and wanted something as close to home as we could get. The tiny bathrooms in most rigs were a huge turn-off for full-time living. When we saw the huge bathroom in this layout, we knew this was the rig we wanted. 

Interior of a large RV bathroom with lots of cabinet storage, sink, toilet, mirror, and shelving
Photo: Julie Ryan

Why did you pick this particular rig?

We looked at front bath models in a few different rigs. Our final choice really came down to getting the best deal. We searched all over the U.S. and ended up driving 900 miles to buy this rig. 

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We also looked at both Keystone Montana and Grand Design rigs with similar floor plans.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

Our rig has a huge bathroom, lots of space, plenty of storage, and has tons of upgrades.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

The only con we’ve found is that at 42 feet our rig is too large to fit in national parks and most state parks. After living in it full-time for over a year, we’ve seriously considered downsizing rigs strictly to make it easier to find sites. But, we love it so much that we aren’t willing to downsize just for the sake of downsizing—it will take a pretty amazing rig to get us to trade.


Disclaimer: Togo RV is part of a joint venture, partially owned by Thor Industries, Inc., of which Dutchmen, Heartland, and Keystone RV Company are subsidiaries.

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