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Old 12-19-2018, 05:25 PM   #1
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might purchase a 2016 Pinnacle 38FLSA, have questions

Hello, I am looking for some help with some final questions that I have about the 2016 Pinnacle 38FLSA. I was raised camping and am familiar with the life style which is probably what lead me to the full timer that i am. I have been living in my current fifth wheel ( 1996 Integrity ) for 4 years now and love the life style though I am ready for a serious upgrade. She has been a good rig and ill be sad to see her go as she taught me a lot. This experience ,with a lot of online reading, has lead me to the questions that I now have. I hope some of you will be able to help. I want to firstly apologize if this is in the wrong area for posting and also for the length I fear this is going to be.

I would assume That I started out as most people do in that my list of rigs was terribly long. I have since narrowed it down to just one, The 38FLSA. This decision was made mainly because , for me, i believe it is a livable floor plan. I will be living it full time but will not be traveling right away. I am currently in a mobile home park so she will be hooked to shore lines and on blocks. The plan is that when I retire I will then be able to go and travel but still have a "home base" as i will not be "living" on the road.

The first question that I have Is... Are the frames good, i mean in the research ive done they seem to be but i was hoping to get real world opinions. This is a BIG purchase for me and hopefully the last I will make.I would like to finally empty my storage bin and have everything with me. After downsizing my belongings and having only the necessities i should be fine in the weight area but how do the full-timers find that this rig does with storage and livability?

I like the 6 point hydraulic leveling, it will make life much easier on me. Can this be used to change tires? will it lift the camper off the ground? I also would like to use this system to set the rig on the block piers. If it will raise the tires off the ground then I just need to set a base (cinder blocks) under each jack to give the jacks more travel. If I can get it to raise the tires an inch or two then i can build the concrete block piers as close to the frame as possible and fill in the remaining space with shims and then let the pressure off the jacks. Sounds like an easy way to block and level at one time Has anyone tried this? Has anyone used the jacks enough to think this may work?

I know the 5'er Im in now is old but i now really hate drafts lol Living in a camper in the winter is a challenge no matter which it is,I believe, but new has to be better in my case. Ive learned a lot these past few winters and freezing pipes are my nemesis, i cant stand worrying about them. In the park I am hooked to power and have a 100 gallon "fat boy" propane tank hooked to my my rig that the propane company comes to fill once a month. (I will also have this tank for the Pinnacle.) I still had to pull the belly down to heat tape and insulate all the line I could reach and still had pipes freeze. I have read where some owners in the northern states such as North Dakota said that temps would be in the teens and single digits with wind chills in the negative and never had a freeze problem. Could this be true? They stated that there was no underpinning and also running mainly space heaters with minimal use of the furnace. This would be a dream come true but i cannot see how not running the furnace keeps them comfortable without freezing the pipes. I will be running the furnace and maybe a space heater to help with propane usage. I hope to be able to find a rig with thermal windows but I will also be putting ac covers on as well as "plugs" for the fantastic fans. I still think I will need underpinning as well. Do any of you have knowledge on how the water lines are ran? are they next to or near the heat ducts for warmth? how about the water pump is it near the furnace? Where are the tanks located and are they kept warm as well ie forced heat ducts or tank pads? Are the floors cold? I read a few places where owners are putting space heaters in the storage compartments to help with the cold and to keep the floors warm. I dont think this is particularly safe but if it is, its a cheap radiant floor. How about drafts? Here in north central Kentucky it gets windy....how well sealed are the slides,any leaks or drafts to worry about?

Im really just looking for confirmation on how this rig is in the winter and how people love or hate living in it. Just trying to make sure ive done all the research possible and this is the last step for me.. Thank you all so very much~

I think this is long enough for now and I think I have my main questions listed. If I think of any more Ill post here and ,please,if any of you have other concerns i may not have thought of let me know. I hope this is "the" rig for me and I look forward to talking with y'all here.

Thanks again for all the help~
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
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I donít have a pinnacle but I have the less expensive north point which shares many of the features as the Pinnacle. First, i do not believe they come with hydraulic 6 point leveling. Mine came with the LCI ground control which is the electric leveling system. Maybe the hydraulic was an option but Iím not sure.
My trailer has never been lifted off the ground by the ground control system but it has supported one side of the trailer while I was working on it with the tires removed.
As far as the insulation, last year we camped in a snow storm with temps in the teens. We even had a broken window that was covered up with a piece of cardboard and we were fine inside with the furnace set to about 60 and a couple of space heaters. Our water hose froze, but that was due to inexperience camping in freezing weather.

Iím sure someone with the Pinnacle will come along and add their experience with their trailer.

Good luck
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:57 PM   #3
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Hi and thank you. i looked at the online brochure and you are right it is electric leveling. Sorry, ive looked at so many i just got it confused with another brand. From what i have read about hydraulics and cold weather i like that these are electric and i dont have to worry about leaks thanks again for responding and giving me some info. i really like this fifth wheel and i hope to get it soon.

stay safe and happy traveling~
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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We've got the '16 FLSA. We don't full time, but do camp usually into Dec and have never had a pipe issue. We are in the southern part of the country though, Ken and Tn. We use our furnace exclusively, our basement is plenty warm to protect tanks and pipes I would think. Never had a flat, so I've never tried to raise it high enough to pull off a tire. As far as the storage, hopefully some of the other folks here with this model will chime in, we stay in ours usually 3 days a week, and probably 5 or 6 full weeks every year. Kitchen and fridge storage is plenty. We keep our bedroom closet full of summer clothes and it is adequate. The only thing I wish we a bit larger is the dresser in the bedroom. There is enough storage in other places like the front living to make up the difference for us. The bath cabinet is huge and we use it for a lot of things other than towels and bath items. I absolutely love the layout, and knock on wood, excluding some fuse problems with the slide controllers, have never really had any problems at all.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:36 PM   #5
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No on using the leveling jacks to change a tire. Lifting the tires off the ground creates a lot of torque on the frame and can cause problems with the slides. Even when leveling at a site it is best to use blocks under the tires so it is level side to side and prevent lifting the tires off the ground.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:24 AM   #6
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We've got the '16 FLSA. We don't full time, but do camp usually into Dec and have never had a pipe issue. We are in the southern part of the country though, Ken and Tn. We use our furnace exclusively, our basement is plenty warm to protect tanks and pipes I would think. Never had a flat, so I've never tried to raise it high enough to pull off a tire. As far as the storage, hopefully some of the other folks here with this model will chime in, we stay in ours usually 3 days a week, and probably 5 or 6 full weeks every year. Kitchen and fridge storage is plenty. We keep our bedroom closet full of summer clothes and it is adequate. The only thing I wish we a bit larger is the dresser in the bedroom. There is enough storage in other places like the front living to make up the difference for us. The bath cabinet is huge and we use it for a lot of things other than towels and bath items. I absolutely love the layout, and knock on wood, excluding some fuse problems with the slide controllers, have never really had any problems at all.
good morning, thank you for the info... its nice to hear from another happy pinnacle owner. i guess as long as i down size enough itll work out as far as storage. i dont really have a choice though, so just go with whats important and then if the rest fits,good. if not ill down size some more... i love living simple. did you ever find out why the slide fuses were giving you problems? i live in northern Kentucky and it gets a bit cold here but the main problem is the wind... these straight line winds are crazy sometimes and the wind chills cause problems with the 5er im in now. i plan on doing mods and upgrades ( mainly water lines, ducting and insulation) so ill just wing it till they are completed. ill probably spend alot of my time in the mods section of the forum once i bring her home Thank you for the info on the jacks as well. i wont use them that way alot as the rig will just be sitting but ill definitely let others know how it works.

Thanks again for the help,
Safe and Happy Travels~
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:47 AM   #7
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No on using the leveling jacks to change a tire. Lifting the tires off the ground creates a lot of torque on the frame and can cause problems with the slides. Even when leveling at a site it is best to use blocks under the tires so it is level side to side and prevent lifting the tires off the ground.
ok thank you, i didnt think about frame stress or more accurately, frame torque. I wouldnt think that Lifting the rig as a single unit would torque the frame like it would just lifting one side. There is stress but the frame&jacks should have been designed to handle that.I agree there would be stress but youre not twisting the frame if going up as a unit. Isnt that what the jacks were designed to do? granted maybe they werent designed to lift the rig off the ground but i would think it would be more a question about the integrity of the jacks themselves with suspending the rig in the air. i agree with you that lifting one side would definitely torque her enough for me to rethink ever doing it and i thank you for bringing this up. If i need to change a tire i would lift the whole rig then to prevent that kind of torque and stress. Most people use wooden blocks (ramp) to change tires but that causes torque as well and using a jack in the wrong spot on the axle means youre just asking for axle damage. neither of these seem any wiser or safe. Im not trying to question or discredit you. im just genuinely trying to understand.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:05 AM   #8
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My 2017 381 DLQS has the electric 6 point level system and the manual states not to use the jacks to lift the tires off the ground. I believe it is more a safety (stability) issue.


Additionally, the manual states a zero to 120 degree range of living in the RV. Techs have told me the critical area is the flushing station (possible freeze area). A trouble light/drop light placed in this area helps. You should do a complete inspection of the underbelly to ensure no gaps. Mt underbelly is open but is heated. Ducting is loosely laying about.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:56 AM   #9
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My 2017 381 DLQS has the electric 6 point level system and the manual states not to use the jacks to lift the tires off the ground. I believe it is more a safety (stability) issue.


Additionally, the manual states a zero to 120 degree range of living in the RV. Techs have told me the critical area is the flushing station (possible freeze area). A trouble light/drop light placed in this area helps. You should do a complete inspection of the underbelly to ensure no gaps. Mt underbelly is open but is heated. Ducting is loosely laying about.
Hi, thank you for this. i to think it is more of a liability statement than a capability statement on the jacks. Wow, this is the first time ive heard about the dump station being susceptible to freezing. thanks for the idea about a trouble light in that area. I plan on putting remote thermometers in the belly&basement to monitor the temps and now ill add one in the dump station as well. I will definitely check the underbelly. I dont like the way they leave the flex ducts just laying around. ive seen where others have cleaned them up a bit or just put in actual heat ducts for better efficiency and also ran the water lines with these metal ducts to help the pipes in the winter. thank you very much~
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:13 PM   #10
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I have the North Point version of that camper, I will tell you that the Jack's are capable of raising the unit. The owners manual does say not to, but it will. Cant say I recommend it just because the manual says no. But my thoughts were lifting the side using 3 points rather than just using a bottle jack on 1 point was a better idea (to change a china maypop flat tire)
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:17 PM   #11
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I have the North Point version of that camper, I will tell you that the Jack's are capable of raising the unit. The owners manual does say not to, but it will. Cant say I recommend it just because the manual says no. But my thoughts were lifting the side using 3 points rather than just using a bottle jack on 1 point was a better idea (to change a china maypop flat tire)
thank you, i agree. how do you like your north point, is it warm in cold weather?
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:27 PM   #12
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30's is about as low as I've been able to camp in it. But I will say if you keep feeding it propane it will stay warm
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:43 AM   #13
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I have the 2016 Pinnacle 38FLSA. We are not full timers yet, but hope to be someday. We also want this to be our last RV purchase. This our first FW after towing a 35' TT for 13 years. I couldn't be happier with the towing. Besides the obvious of learning how to backup a FW and how the FW tracks the truck differently than the TT, the biggest thing to remember is the height of the Pinnacle. It is 13'6" for clearance. This changes where I get fuel and I pay more attention to tree branches than I used to.

As far as comfort goes, the FLSA has more of a home feeling with the living room in the upstairs and the bedroom in the back vs having the kitchen and living room all running together like the majority of FW floor plans. That was the #1 factor in the wife and I choosing the FLSA and we have had no regrets in that choice. There is plenty of storage inside the unit, but I have to say it is somewhat limited outside. There is only the front basement which is not as wide in the front living FW as you find with a rear living floor plan. In addition to the front basement, there a storage compartment under the overhang. If your unit comes with a generator, you will only have a shelf at the top of this compartment. If there is only the generator prep, you will be able to use the large section of the compartment for storage. The rest is used for the generator fuel tank and the batteries. There is one other potential outside storage compartment on the door side of the unit towards the front. This compartment is for a 3rd propane tank if you install a propane fueled generator. If you don't need to use this compartment for a generator, then with a minor mod you can convert this space for storage. There is no floor in this compartment since it was meant for propane tank. You can fabricate a panel to create a floor to make this usable storage.

The only item I recommend is considering getting a 3rd AC installed over the living area upstairs if the unit you are purchasing does not come with one. Hot air rises and cold air settles. With only the midship AC running, the bedroom will be freezing unless you keep the door closed. We have found the 2 AC units struggle to keep the FW at 70 degrees when the outside temp is 90+. I have a thread on the forum about this issue and most of the advice I have gotten is to install the 3rd AC if possible. That will be my next "to do" this Spring.

Overall, it is a great unit. I have no complaints about the quality of craftmanship or features. Given the choices out there, I would choose the same model again.

Welcome to the forum. Keep us posted on how things turn out!
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:13 PM   #14
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I have the 2016 Pinnacle 38FLSA. We are not full timers yet, but hope to be someday. We also want this to be our last RV purchase. This our first FW after towing a 35' TT for 13 years. I couldn't be happier with the towing. Besides the obvious of learning how to backup a FW and how the FW tracks the truck differently than the TT, the biggest thing to remember is the height of the Pinnacle. It is 13'6" for clearance. This changes where I get fuel and I pay more attention to tree branches than I used to.

As far as comfort goes, the FLSA has more of a home feeling with the living room in the upstairs and the bedroom in the back vs having the kitchen and living room all running together like the majority of FW floor plans. That was the #1 factor in the wife and I choosing the FLSA and we have had no regrets in that choice. There is plenty of storage inside the unit, but I have to say it is somewhat limited outside. There is only the front basement which is not as wide in the front living FW as you find with a rear living floor plan. In addition to the front basement, there a storage compartment under the overhang. If your unit comes with a generator, you will only have a shelf at the top of this compartment. If there is only the generator prep, you will be able to use the large section of the compartment for storage. The rest is used for the generator fuel tank and the batteries. There is one other potential outside storage compartment on the door side of the unit towards the front. This compartment is for a 3rd propane tank if you install a propane fueled generator. If you don't need to use this compartment for a generator, then with a minor mod you can convert this space for storage. There is no floor in this compartment since it was meant for propane tank. You can fabricate a panel to create a floor to make this usable storage.

The only item I recommend is considering getting a 3rd AC installed over the living area upstairs if the unit you are purchasing does not come with one. Hot air rises and cold air settles. With only the midship AC running, the bedroom will be freezing unless you keep the door closed. We have found the 2 AC units struggle to keep the FW at 70 degrees when the outside temp is 90+. I have a thread on the forum about this issue and most of the advice I have gotten is to install the 3rd AC if possible. That will be my next "to do" this Spring.

Overall, it is a great unit. I have no complaints about the quality of craftmanship or features. Given the choices out there, I would choose the same model again.

Welcome to the forum. Keep us posted on how things turn out!
Hi and thank you so much for responding. its nice to know that she tracks well and thanks for the reminder on the height...never thought about gas stations, maybe just truck stops
lol/smh feeling more like a home is my thought exactly and i like the way jayco laid things out. i wish they front living had the nice big basement but like you said all front livings have a much smaller compartment. the unit i am looking at comes with the generator which is why i was curious how others were making out with the interior storage full timing. The unit also comes with 3 ac units which i am happier about now after reading your post. though, the only whisper quiet ac is the one at midship the forward and aft units are ducted but also have the dump gates in the ceiling. didnt really make sense to me. i was hoping they were there to just help get the rig to temp and then the whisper quiet would then regulate on its own....maybe not....I am very happy to hear you are so happy with you flsa both for yourself and me i will definitely keep you posted and thanks again for the great post.

stay safe and happy travels~
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