In March we purchased our 4wd. 2009 Dodge 3500 Quad Cab Laramie with the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel, automatic and the 4:10 differential. We made this purchase with the realization that we would be purchasing a Carriage Cameo fifth wheel. The sticker was $56K but we purchased it for $36K plus tax and at 0% for 48 months even though we were prepared to pay cash. The quad cab with the rear fold flat floor made it possible to build a flat deck for our Boxers, Maggie and Rico. They could now ride high enough to look out the windows and be comfortable. in addition, additional storage space was created under their deck! I purchased a spray in liner for the bed of the truck and a Curt 20K fifth wheel hitch. In addition I added an inexpensive bed cover for use when not towing.
I was fortunate to be able to store the truck in the large garage on the property as the months ticked away towards retirement.
In March we ordered our fifth wheel from Lazy Days Rv in Seffner, Florida. We custom ordered our rig a Carriage Cameo F35SB3 to include, a larger refrigerator, second a/c, dual pane windows, astrofoil, generator prep, Morryde Pin Box, convection oven and other amenities. We took delivery in May and after a two day PDI (pre-delivery inspection), we took delivery after minor issues were corrected. The entire experience with Lazy Days RV was cordial and professional. We paid $56K for the coach which listed for more than $75K.
After bringing it home we parked it in the big metal garage alongside the truck. The garage and another site on the property were equipped with 50amp service. The size of the garage allowed us to make minor adjustments to the rig and to become familiar with it hooked up to power. The RV site on the property made it possible for us to use the rig or practice "camping". In addition we traveled to our friends 150 acre ranch 100 miles away and "camped" in our rig on a few occasions to gain additional experience.
Those few experiences utilizing the rig coupled with the knowledge that the fifth wheel would be our home for the next few years, made me seriously consider adding Bigfoot Levelers. Bigfoot Levelers are a hydraulic self leveling system adaptable to fifth wheels. It replaces the typical electric front jacks on the front of fifth wheels and adds a set of jacks behind the rear wheels. With Bigfoot Levelers, the entire rig could be lifted off the ground if necessary! Not that I would try it! But it does provide a more stable rig. Subsequently, in July I traveled to Lakeland Florida and met an authorized Bigfoot Dealer, Roy Trevino and had the Bigfoot Levelers added. Roy was excellent to work with. Although it was a substantial investment, I believe the ease of operation and automatic leveling feature would prove invaluable in the years to come.
With the help of a neighbor, I also added a custom bike hitch to the king pin to hold two ATB (mountain) bicycles or our tandem bike.