We are not in a fifth wheel, but rather in a motorhome, but the amount of CCC needed would be pretty much the same for either as it is the same things that either user will want to take along. You might need just slightly less in the fifth wheel since you may carry tools in the truck, but generally most of the folks we have known in our six+ years fulltime believe that somewhere between 1000 and 2000# per person is about right. Too much is never any problem as you can always leave space empty and the extra space could make things much more accessable. I would never consider any RV for fulltime living that did not have at least 2000# capacity adn 3000# would be much better. This assumes that it is a couple. Generally, a single will want at least 1500# as some items are needed whether single or couple, or even when you have kids, that only require one per rig. But each person will usually add close to 1000# of "stuff."
Been full-timing for 11 years and have never weighed what we drag around. You definately do not need as much as you think you do. Put all suspect items in storage. If after you have spent 6 mos on the road and discover you can't live without a certain item, you can retrieve it from storage. Make sure you have plenty of clothes closet and bedroom drawer space and you will be ok. The only other cupboards you need to worry about is in the kitchen. Plenty of usable kitchen storage space is a must. Usable is the kind you don't need a ladder to get your everyday dishes out of. Storage space under the RV is good for hoses/tools/air compressors/portable generators/extra clothes/ vacuums etc. Most large 5'ers and motorhomes have adequate storage space. If you plan to full-time in a 5'er make sure you purchase an upscale, insulated all year version.
We normally only use our Class A for wintering in warmer zone. Regarding what we use/need/take, etc. Each year we take an inventory of what we took, what we used, what we did not use, what we needed but did not have, etc. We use that inventory to decide what to take for the next year. It doesn't always work out right, but it does help regarding weight of what we take. The biggest problem/issue is that we always decide to add stuff that we "might need". I keep trying to cut back/down on weight, because of various reasons, but also what is unnecessary or can be bought after we get to our winter location. We have lots of storage areas in the unit, but, it means wifey wants to fill them all with something (don't let her read this, ha ha) Too many clothes seems to be the biggest problem.....took but never worn.
Hey fisheroo, by the way welcome to the forum. the HitchHiker has worked out well. In fact we still haven't found a floor plan we like better than the one we have. It has a side bath with tub which is hard to find now. We had a few minor problems when it was new. The big plus is like I said previously, we have 80,000 actual road miles and the chassis is going strong. We have replaced 1 hot water heater, 1 A/C, 1 vent fantastic, 1 antenna, 2 awnings, 1 toilet, most of the 12volt light fixtures, bathroom taps (sink/shower). Last fall we replaced the rubber roof at the factory because it was looking pretty bad (not leaking).
I took out the stairs in a poor bit of driving last spring in a gas station and had a problem replacing them because the new ones are wider. So the RV has lasted to the point some of the items are getting hard to replace when they expire. I'm a little worried about my thermostat control board that controls the A/C and furnace. They don't make anything that resembles the one on my wall. So far the original fridge, furnace, stove and on board Onan genrator are still with us as well as all three holding tanks and fresh water tank. Suspect we will have to replace the fridge one day soon; however, it should be cheaper than buying a new RV.
We have been back to the factory twice for work and have come across a few disgruntled people, but for the most part everyone seems to like the Hitchhiker.
The new Hitchhiker LS and Discovery model are now aluminum framed. The more expensive models are still wood framed. Our Hitchhiker II is wood framed and has lasted well. The Factory folks claimed they had to go to Aluminum to keep the overall price and weight down in the mid-entry level models. They are still vacuum bonded but, the aluminum conducts heat/cold through the walls in the places where the aluminum is located.
The insulation has been good and we have used our RV in temps down to about 0 degrees. We like the slat windows in the older model Hitchhiker and they had many, many windows. They are great for letting cool breezes through while keeping out the rain when open. However; they are not too great for keeping the heat out in the hot summer. We have had to use reflective insulation on the sunny side windows of the RV and foam pads in the vents to keep cool when the A/C is running. The newer RV's use dual pane sliding windows in some models and probably work better when hot.
Bottom line: We like our HitchHiker and are sold on vacuum bonding construction. The Alpenlite is another good vacuum bonded RV to consider. We have toured their factory in Yakima, WA and were impressed. You should tour as many factories as you can before making any decision on which RV is best. Good Luck.
For 2 of us and 7 cats for 6 weeks, we weighed with about 2800 pounds. Some things we didn't need (the cats don't eat nearly as much on the road as they do at home) and some things we left out. So I would say 3000 would be the absolute minimum for full timing, and 4000 woiuld be better. Not that you need to use that much, but you don't want to have to worry about the weight of every little thing