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NROA Newbie - Introduction and 235-RLS Question

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  • NROA Newbie - Introduction and 235-RLS Question


    I just joined this association and my wife and I are considering buying a 5th wheel. I'm hoping I can get valuable information from this association to help with this purchase.

    My wife and I live in Colorado. I'm retired and she's still working part-time. We currently spend part of the year in Colorado and part of the year (summer) on our 37' sailboat in Puget Sound . We would be using this RV to live in part of the time each year (approximately 3-6 months in the fall/winter/spring) and split the rest of our time between our CO condo and sailboat. We plan to use the RV in RV parks, boondocking as well as overnights at Walmart/Rest Stops. Because of our sailboat experience we're used to living in a confined space that moves (at 5 mph) and planning extended trips to new locations. We're also used to being alone in some locations as well as socializing with friends (old/new) at others and appreciate both situations. I assume RV folks are as friendly and welcoming as the folks we meet while on our sailboat because of the shared interest.

    I've narrowed my search to the Norwood 5th wheels because based on my preliminary research I believe they build a quality, 4 season product. I've visited the local dealer in Longmont and looked at the 235-RLS and 29-5T models they have in stock.

    I have not purchased a tow vehicle. I'll do that after I purchase the RV.

    I'm leaning toward the 235-RLS (with the dinette) because of the smaller size. I will be using the RV solo at times and figure the smaller, the better for ease of use. The space/layout of the 235-RLS will work well for us.

    I have a question which will help me decide is the 235-RLS will really work for us. Is the RV usable with the slide in which we'll need to do for the occasional overnights at Walmart/Rest Stops? I'll need to have access to the front of RV (kitchen, bathroom and bed) for these overnights. It looks like you may have to climb over the dinette, possible with the table lowered, with the slide in to get access to the front of the RV and that's OK with me. If I can't get access to the front of the 235-RLS I will focus on the 29-5T which I believe will provide that access.

    Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide and I look forward to hearing from you.


  • #2
    Welcome to the forum Stevan. No matter which unit you choose, you've found a quality product in a Northwood trailer.

    I can't speak to the 235-RLS access when the slides are retracted, but you are correct about full access with the 29-5T.

    The only area that you will not have access to with the 29-5T, will be the television, one chair and the fireplace (if equipped).

    We have 50,000+ miles on our 2016 29-5T, and regularly spend nights in rest areas, truck stops and if large enough, shopping center lots while traveling to a destination.

    Like you, access to the bathroom, refrigerator and other essential areas while the slides are retracted (restricted parking space & lunch stops), was an important purchase consideration.
    Travel Blog:

    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

    2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T: Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Dual-Pane Glass, Slide-Toppers, 50amp Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.


    • #3
      Welcome to the forum Stevan.
      I can't provide feedback on the 235 or the 29-5T, but have you considered the 27-5L? Size wise it fits between the two models you listed and it's very usable with the slides in. The pantry and some drawers are blocked with the slides in so you need to plan ahead on items you store in them in your not going to put the slide out. Probably the biggest downside with the slides in is access to the bed on the wardrobe sided is blocked so getting in and out of the bed is limited to the curb side.
      2016 Ram 3500 Longhorn: 4X4, Crew Cab, LB, DRW, 6.7 Cummins/Aisin, 3.73, Auto Level Rear Air Suspension, Reese 20k Elite Hitch, Amp Bedstep 2, Aero 70 Gal Underbed Fuel Tank
      2016 AF 27-5L: 10 Cu Ft Fridge, Thomas Payne Sofa w/air Mattress,15K AC, 2" Receiver, Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C Surge Protector


      • #4
        Thanks for such quick responses.

        RocklinDave: thanks for confirming the 29-5T has access with the slides in.

        RCKIN: We looked at the 27-5L but while the size is good my wife really preferred the rear living room layout with the large rear window. And I've learned with the purchase of our boat that when my wife is happy then I'm happy.



        • #5

          Two items I highly recommend to a new RV purchase, is a quality surge protector and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

          There are numerous prior posts on these essential add-ons.
          Travel Blog:

          2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

          2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T: Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Dual-Pane Glass, Slide-Toppers, 50amp Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.


          • #6
            I can speak for the 235 I have one. Everything is usable with the slide in, except for the tv section of course. We have two recliners in the rear and one is usable. However with the slide in and equipped with the dinette it's real tough to walk past the dinette table and the peninsula part of the kitchen counter as you already know. All you'd need to do is move the slide out about 6+" and you can squeeze by.
            We found the booth seating very uncomfortable for longer than 30 mins. We replaced the booth with a free standing table and two chairs. Easier to walk through to the front of the 235 now. In fact there's so much room that we don't even need the slide out to pack or unpack if needed. You'll want to slip a piece of wood under the leading edge of the slide if you plan on using the 235 with the slide in. The front edge of the slide floor sticks up about 1/2"-3/4" when in.
            2012 Ram 2500 CTD
            2013 Fox Mountain 235 RLS


            • #7
              RocklinDave: thanks for the equipment tips.

              GoDucks: that's the information I was looking for. I'll check with the dealer about swapping out the dinette for the table/chairs. This particular RV also has the two recliners in the rear. I like the option of a second bed which the dinette gave me so
              I may see about swapping the two recliners for the jack knife sofa. Not as comfortable but more practical.


              • #8
                We purchased the 2012 265 RLS and have traveled extensively for the past 5-years. Same layout as the 23.5, with a couch next to the dinette. Have the 2-recliners also. Stay at Walmarts and rest stops while traveling late hours. Never put slide out; kitchen dinette, bathroom, bed all accessible.

                Rich & Sherry
                Northern Colorado
                2012 26.5RLS Fox Mountain/Toyota Tundra/Pullright SuperGlide Hitch


                • #9
                  We recently bought the 29-5T. Trailer Life recently had a good review of the 235. We were surprised that they said they were blocked from access to galley and bathroom with slide in as it looked like the same floor plan in that area as our previous 25Y. Then I noticed the 8' width rather than the wide body AF. Check actual access for yourself with slide in before buying anything.
                  Bob P
                  2008 Ford F350 Super Cab 6.4 PSD 4x4
                  2018 AF 29-5T


                  • #10
                    I can't comment on accessibility of the trailers mentioned but can comment on opening slides when parking overnight @ WMs/rest stops.

                    When traveling we always overnight wherever parking is available. It might be a Wal-Mart, another brand retail store, interstate rest stop, truck stop, or whatever is available.

                    I normally park the truck and trailer so that the slide extends out over the grass along the outer edge of parking lots or rest stops when possible. If I have to park with the slide facing traffic I pull the trailer over as far to the right as possible so that the entry step extends over or to the curb if it's tall placing the slide as far as possible away from the driving lanes.

                    I've installed strips of bright red and silver reflective tape vertically along the outside edges of the front and back of the slide room to increase visibility when the slide is extended. It's always possible that an impaired driver might hit the slide but not very likely.
                    Harvey Barlow
                    USN Retired
                    Crosby County, TX
                    2008 Dodge Ram Quad Cab & Chassis, Cummins ISB6.7 Aisin CM Flatbed BrakeSmart Transfer Flow 200k+ miles
                    2011 Arctic Fox 26X LT245/75R16LRE tires Yamaha 2400


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all your responses. I've decided on the 235RLS pending my wife's final vote. She's in Norway now leading a tour group for the first time. She never had kids and I told her it would be like herding a gaggle of children and based on her messages it has been.

                      I called Northwood and talked with Colby and he verified you can put the slide partially out if parked on a level surface. They also said the dealers rarely order this model without the dinette but replacing it with table and chairs would be easy. So that solves that problem.

                      I also asked Colby whether or not a frame-mounted rear trailer hitch could be installed on this model (I have a dirt bike I would like to carry on the rear of the RV). It has a smaller frame than the Arctic Fox models and the dealers have been telling me Northwood would void the frame warranty if a frame mounted hitch were installed. Turns out Northwood sells a 2" frame mounted hitch for this model. So that solves that problem.

                      Thanks again for all your help.


                      • #12
                        Our AF 25Y is an almost identical floor plan to the 235RLS, except the 25Y is 6 inches wider. We love this floor plan with the rear living. We previously owned 5vers and switched to the TT to have a smaller rig and the ability to carry our ATV in the pickup bed.

                        We we can just squeeze between the kitchen counter and dinette table with the slide in.
                        Jim and Esther

                        2005 Chevy Silverado LS 2500 HD, Duramax/Allison, extended cab, 8-foot bed, 3.73 posi-traction, AirLift air springs, fog lamps, alloy rims, Kenwood stereo

                        2016 Arctic Fox 25Y, slide out topper, 15k air conditioner, powered scissor jacks, thermal pane windows, swivel rocker/recliners, 100w solar panel, 6v batteries, Blue Ox SwayPro 1500, EEZTire T15/SP TPMS, Progressive Industries EMS-HW30, Krieger 2000 watt inverter