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Why buy a HitchHiker?

What makes HitchHiker a better 5th wheel?

"Justify the Extra Investment"


Here's the short answer version for those who don't want to read the full explanation:

  • Superior materials, fit and finish. 
  • Superior floorplans and livability.
  • Superior construction and insulation.
  • Exceptional customer service and warranty support.
  • More 5th wheel experience than any manufacturer.
  • A passion for 5th wheels; that's all we build.
  • Thousands of satisfied repeat customers.

There are a lot of 5th wheel choices out there today.  Prices vary so much many customers are confused about how much they should  spend to buy a realistically troublefree Residential Vehicle for enjoyment of their lifestyle dreams.  Most trailers look pretty good today, but beware of "superficial appearance over substance"; it will disappoint anyone over time.

We at NuWa are often asked, "what makes a HitchHiker a better 5th wheel?"   This might also mean, "justify the extra investment" over the lower priced "mass produced" brands. It is actually hundreds of "little differences" in the product, in the experience when using the product, and in the company's style of after purchase service.  These differences are not always seen during the product presentation.  A great place to learn about Hitchhikers and ask those tough questions that can help your purchase decision is the NuWa owner's forum, www.nuwaowners.org that is open to prospective owners.  These hundreds of HitchHiker owners help visitors understand the tangible as well as intangible differences of a NuWa product that justify the investment and create so many repeat buyers.  And these owners gladly offer from their experiences a wealth of information about trucks, hitches, suspensions, and accessories, which help them enjoy their trailer and lifestyle.    Some things are not easily identified until a person owns and has experienced the NuWa product and the company's style of after purchase service.

There are many tangible differences as well as intangible ones mentioned above which are unique to the NuWa and worthy of the potential buyers’ awareness.  This list won't describe the "taken for granted" features of the product, but will only describe the unique or exceptional features that you need to realize are included in the oldest 5th wheel brand in the industry.  Let's describe the major differences that make a NuWa exceptional.

1.  Innovative floor plan designs.   There are innovative leaders in the RV industry, and there are followers.  NuWa is famous for being an innovative leader of 5th wheel design for over 35 years.  Our floorplan designs are unique and they are copied by other manufacturers.  Few people realize how many popular floorplans of major 5th wheel manufacturers were born at NuWa.  Why is this important to you?   One, it shows that NuWa is committed to creating an interior space that is functional, usable and will delight long after the trailer is purchased.  The ample interior storage, the functional bathrooms, and the superb counter space found in most HitchHikers is the result of listening, learning and creating what people want.  The proof is that the floorplans are so well received that other manufacturers copy them. Two, if you as a customer are the first to have a new concept that will become popular, you have a better investment.   If three years later the rest of the industry is popularizing your floorplan, you will be one of the few to have a sought after used unit.  And you will have the pride of having the latest popular creation.   How much is this innovation worth to you during use and at time of resale?

2.  Design by detail.   This is NuWa's phrase to describe its "agonizing" attention to detail, so every Hitchhiker has the highest degree of livability.  By using 35 plus years of experience and having a passion for creating what you need, the livability issues that you can't see during the emotional purchase process will not disappoint you later.  To us livability means a unit that is comfortable and a better "home" you want to come back to that is combined with superior "fit and finish" and construction.  NuWa has addressed these issues by listening to customers and working diligently to optimize enjoyment of our product.  This issue will clearly be recognized in the comments of present NuWa owners.  Livability is a difficult issue to value because you can't really do so until the trailer is purchased.  How much room is there in the toilet room?    It's more in a NuWa, because we know it's never enough.   How much room should there be between the closet and mattress for getting around the bed?   We often see 6"-8" less in other brands.  How much space should there be for the mattress in the bed glide for ease of making the bed?  Some brands literally "force" the mattress into the glide opening.  Are there at least two outlets in the kitchen?  Are the backs of the drawers easy to reach when you want to find where you put your batteries?  This list could become extensive if NuWa attempted to show the hundreds of detail design issues which are truly unique.   Adding length is an easy way to "fix" many livability issues, but at NuWa we recognize that a balance between acceptable length and optimum livability is important to your long term enjoyment.   Our customers know and appreciate this passion for detail and they realize its value is very important.  How much will it be worth to you for superior livability and comfort during your years of ownership?

3.  Better materials and furnishings.   This is an area where many competitors save dollars in order to make a unit look more worthy of your hard earned money than it truly is.  We are amazed that the cost of the raw materials to build a Hitchhiker or Hitchhiker II is sometimes as much as the wholesale selling price of certain lower priced competitive brands.  This is evidence alone that something is greatly different about the approach to quality.  When unfamiliar brand name tires and wheels fail, or an axle is undersized for the realistic load you will carry, this not only creates frustration but it may create a safety issue.  NuWa tires seldom fail and its suspension systems are sized with awareness that people load their trailers heavily.  You may not even know what a shackle is, but on a NuWa it is a heavy duty, greasable spring shackle, something you will learn to appreciate over time. When the mattress and chairs have to be replaced by the customer after only one year of use, it tells something about where material costs have been saved.  Yes, in a NuWa 5th wheel the mattress, swivel recliners, hidden leaf dining table and HAB sofa cost more. But it is very economical when a serious RVer averages that cost out over several years because the items were of good quality to begin with.

For a few dollars  more we can install a residential fiberglass shower with no seams to leak that will be beautiful for years to come. We can purchase soft top mattresses, and better furniture and better lights with the same labor cost as installing substandard components.  The point here is that a NuWa is filled with individually better materials and components that when combined do add some cost and some weight, but people who own the products will tell you they are so glad NuWa addressed these issues they were unaware of during the purchase process.  How much money is it worth to know you have better components and materials and furnishings in your trailer?

4.   Fit and finish of cabinetry.    NuWa is famous for rugged durability and its method of cabinetry installation is much of the reason.  A tour of the factory will show this.  Unlike most brands, NuWa's cabinetry is installed after the sidewalls and roof are installed.  Other brands install the cabinetry and then install the sidewalls and roof.   NuWa's method creates a much stronger "box" because these cabinets are screwed to roof and sidewall studs from the inside, not from the outside.  And the superior fit and finish of the finished product is so easily noticed.  We pride ourselves in building a residential interior appearance that is rugged enough to withstand brutal roads, Summer heat, and Winter cold, while giving you many years of enjoyment.  The number of 10-15 year old trailers still in use by the original owners is evidence of this superior method of creating exceptional fit and finish.  Very few manufacturers today give you over 40 cabinet door and drawer fronts in a unit under 35' the way NuWa does.   How much is it worth to have a trailer that is so obviously superior in cabinetry craftsmanship and will better withstand the effects of road bounce?

5.  Construction
  a.  The frame design.  NuWa uses two frame designs to provide the best balance between weight, strength and towability.  An 8" (29.5 models) and 10" "I" beam frame is used on HHLS and Discover America products.  This frame is a NuWa design, manufactured to NuWa's specifications.  We demand features not found in the lower priced brands.  From years of experience NuWa designs these frames to meet the needs of the customer's expected use of a particular model.  That is why NuWa has not had frame or suspension failure problems experienced by owners of some lower priced competitive brands.  The Big Foot automatic leveling option is becoming popular on 5th wheels for full timers, but few manufacturers will warranty this feature because they know there is risk of customer misuse that can cause frame twist.  NuWa is comfortable offering this option, which is evidence of the superiority of its frame design.  It's the same reason that NuWa can offer a hitch receiver on the back of the frame as a popular option.  The Champagne frame is built of 14" "C" channel material to create an extremely strong frame designed to handle the extra weight  and equipment typically found on this trailer.   How much is it worth to have the security of knowing that the best efforts for frame reliability were provided by the manufacturer?

b.  Superior lamination and insulation procedure.   So important to our customer is the unique lamination concept using Blue Dow Structural Foam, a material known for 25%-35% greater strength and insulation value; and it won't absorb moisture.  This material is more expensive but is far superior to other methods for strength and insulation. By creating enormous strength using this concept, NuWa is able to eliminate much of the weight of sidewall studs that are necessary in other brands without sacrificing anything essential in terms of strength or long term performance. The lamination of fiberglass to the entire wall surface creates exceptional strength not matched by the white foam lamination design or the "hand hung" fiberglass over spun fiberglass insulation used by various competitors.  The Blue Structure Foam NuWa uses is four times the compressive strength of white foam, meaning that we can Vacu-Bond at much higher pressure. This insures full glue coverage and complete lamination without the danger of breaking down the foam, which can happen with white bead foam at 500-600 lbs. per square foot. Notice also that this isn't an experimental technology with NuWa.  It is the method used in creating fiberglass laminated sidewalls and parts since 1988.  There is a difference in a unit built by someone still learning, and by someone who knows from experience what they are doing because they have done it for nearly 20 years.  Several years ago we placed a truck on top of one of our 5th wheels to show this strength in an advertisement.   This as well as our ad showing the truck wheel supported by a piece of our laminated sidewall has been copied by other companies who recognized the strength of the message we were sending.  The best testimony of the insulation benefits is from the many customers and dealers who state that on a hot day, when they walk into a NuWa on the lot, it is noticeably cooler inside than other brands.  The NuWa retains the cool night air longer.  View on NuWa's web site the video that shows this construction method and the truck test results that give evidence to the strength.  How much is it worth to have a trailer that can better handle the cold/heat and will not have issues of delamination over the years?

6.  Fulltimer and four season use.    NuWa products have passed the test of time and we promote fulltimer and four season use of our trailers.  Fulltimers who travel constantly have learned that NuWa is only an email or phone call away and responsive to  personal requests for parts and service assistance.  So when it's not handy to visit a dealer for parts or service, NuWa can provide parts and guidance for ongoing maintenance.  A guarantee of performance at any specific "subfreezing" temperature has too many variables, but existing customers will provide testimony that HitchHikers have been performing well in cold climates for years.  NuWa's positive Passive Heat method in the undercarriage, its R-25 undercarriage insulation, as well as the Vented Attic concept, have shown that the HitchHiker is Mother Nature's friend.  The ruggedness and reliability of a HitchHiker is an important intangible feature for a fulltimer or serious RV enthusiast.  NuWa does not "shy" from meeting expectations for performance reliability while customers put thousands of miles on a trailer each year.   How much more  is it worth to know you have a trailer with a reputation for meeting these expectations?

7.  Warranty.   There is a huge difference between what is written about warranty and what is done.  NuWa doesn't talk about how long suppliers warranty their roof material or floor material or components.  Those suppliers typically aren't going to fix your trailer.   NuWa and its suppliers provide a 12 month "bumper to bumper" warranty. The structure of the trailer is warranted for 24 months to further protect against possible defects.  The important thing is that NuWa responds to the warranty needs of customers.  Ask an owner who has visited the factory for service or requested parts be sent to him personally.  As important, we are available to provide parts and service advice for trailers that are as much as 10-15 years old.  NuWa probably has the most extensive parts inventory in the industry for it's older products.  It's a testament to how long NuWa trailers are in use by second and third owners, who want service and parts assistance.  The evidence of NuWa's superior warranty and service style is not going to be told to you by the retail sales person, who also sells other brands.   This intangible value is best learned by talking with existing HitchHiker owners.  Think about the value to you of NuWa's exceptional warranty and customer service versus the industries service record.

NuWa's philosophy can best be summarized by this statement:     You can pay less and you can pay more, but you can't buy better.   Learn more about HitchHikers at www.nuwa.com or at your NuWa dealer

 (revised 10/13/2009)
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    Why buy a HitchHiker?

    What makes HitchHiker a better 5th wheel?

    "Justify the Extra Investment"


    Here's the short answer version for those who don't want to read the full explanation:

    There are a lot of 5th wheel choices out there today.  Prices vary so much many customers are confused about how much they should  spend to buy a realistically troublefree Residential Vehicle for enjoyment of their lifestyle dreams.  Most trailers look pretty good today, but beware of "superficial appearance over substance"; it will disappoint anyone over time.

    We at NuWa are often asked, "what makes a HitchHiker a better 5th wheel?"   This might also mean, "justify the extra investment" over the lower priced "mass produced" brands. It is actually hundreds of "little differences" in the product, in the experience when using the product, and in the company's style of after purchase service.  These differences are not always seen during the product presentation.  A great place to learn about Hitchhikers and ask those tough questions that can help your purchase decision is the NuWa owner's forum, www.nuwaowners.org that is open to prospective owners.  These hundreds of HitchHiker owners help visitors understand the tangible as well as intangible differences of a NuWa product that justify the investment and create so many repeat buyers.  And these owners gladly offer from their experiences a wealth of information about trucks, hitches, suspensions, and accessories, which help them enjoy their trailer and lifestyle.    Some things are not easily identified until a person owns and has experienced the NuWa product and the company's style of after purchase service.

    There are many tangible differences as well as intangible ones mentioned above which are unique to the NuWa and worthy of the potential buyers’ awareness.  This list won't describe the "taken for granted" features of the product, but will only describe the unique or exceptional features that you need to realize are included in the oldest 5th wheel brand in the industry.  Let's describe the major differences that make a NuWa exceptional.

    1.  Innovative floor plan designs.   There are innovative leaders in the RV industry, and there are followers.  NuWa is famous for being an innovative leader of 5th wheel design for over 35 years.  Our floorplan designs are unique and they are copied by other manufacturers.  Few people realize how many popular floorplans of major 5th wheel manufacturers were born at NuWa.  Why is this important to you?   One, it shows that NuWa is committed to creating an interior space that is functional, usable and will delight long after the trailer is purchased.  The ample interior storage, the functional bathrooms, and the superb counter space found in most HitchHikers is the result of listening, learning and creating what people want.  The proof is that the floorplans are so well received that other manufacturers copy them. Two, if you as a customer are the first to have a new concept that will become popular, you have a better investment.   If three years later the rest of the industry is popularizing your floorplan, you will be one of the few to have a sought after used unit.  And you will have the pride of having the latest popular creation.   How much is this innovation worth to you during use and at time of resale?

    2.  Design by detail.   This is NuWa's phrase to describe its "agonizing" attention to detail, so every Hitchhiker has the highest degree of livability.  By using 35 plus years of experience and having a passion for creating what you need, the livability issues that you can't see during the emotional purchase process will not disappoint you later.  To us livability means a unit that is comfortable and a better "home" you want to come back to that is combined with superior "fit and finish" and construction.  NuWa has addressed these issues by listening to customers and working diligently to optimize enjoyment of our product.  This issue will clearly be recognized in the comments of present NuWa owners.  Livability is a difficult issue to value because you can't really do so until the trailer is purchased.  How much room is there in the toilet room?    It's more in a NuWa, because we know it's never enough.   How much room should there be between the closet and mattress for getting around the bed?   We often see 6"-8" less in other brands.  How much space should there be for the mattress in the bed glide for ease of making the bed?  Some brands literally "force" the mattress into the glide opening.  Are there at least two outlets in the kitchen?  Are the backs of the drawers easy to reach when you want to find where you put your batteries?  This list could become extensive if NuWa attempted to show the hundreds of detail design issues which are truly unique.   Adding length is an easy way to "fix" many livability issues, but at NuWa we recognize that a balance between acceptable length and optimum livability is important to your long term enjoyment.   Our customers know and appreciate this passion for detail and they realize its value is very important.  How much will it be worth to you for superior livability and comfort during your years of ownership?

    3.  Better materials and furnishings.   This is an area where many competitors save dollars in order to make a unit look more worthy of your hard earned money than it truly is.  We are amazed that the cost of the raw materials to build a Hitchhiker or Hitchhiker II is sometimes as much as the wholesale selling price of certain lower priced competitive brands.  This is evidence alone that something is greatly different about the approach to quality.  When unfamiliar brand name tires and wheels fail, or an axle is undersized for the realistic load you will carry, this not only creates frustration but it may create a safety issue.  NuWa tires seldom fail and its suspension systems are sized with awareness that people load their trailers heavily.  You may not even know what a shackle is, but on a NuWa it is a heavy duty, greasable spring shackle, something you will learn to appreciate over time. When the mattress and chairs have to be replaced by the customer after only one year of use, it tells something about where material costs have been saved.  Yes, in a NuWa 5th wheel the mattress, swivel recliners, hidden leaf dining table and HAB sofa cost more. But it is very economical when a serious RVer averages that cost out over several years because the items were of good quality to begin with.

    For a few dollars  more we can install a residential fiberglass shower with no seams to leak that will be beautiful for years to come. We can purchase soft top mattresses, and better furniture and better lights with the same labor cost as installing substandard components.  The point here is that a NuWa is filled with individually better materials and components that when combined do add some cost and some weight, but people who own the products will tell you they are so glad NuWa addressed these issues they were unaware of during the purchase process.  How much money is it worth to know you have better components and materials and furnishings in your trailer?

    4.   Fit and finish of cabinetry.    NuWa is famous for rugged durability and its method of cabinetry installation is much of the reason.  A tour of the factory will show this.  Unlike most brands, NuWa's cabinetry is installed after the sidewalls and roof are installed.  Other brands install the cabinetry and then install the sidewalls and roof.   NuWa's method creates a much stronger "box" because these cabinets are screwed to roof and sidewall studs from the inside, not from the outside.  And the superior fit and finish of the finished product is so easily noticed.  We pride ourselves in building a residential interior appearance that is rugged enough to withstand brutal roads, Summer heat, and Winter cold, while giving you many years of enjoyment.  The number of 10-15 year old trailers still in use by the original owners is evidence of this superior method of creating exceptional fit and finish.  Very few manufacturers today give you over 40 cabinet door and drawer fronts in a unit under 35' the way NuWa does.   How much is it worth to have a trailer that is so obviously superior in cabinetry craftsmanship and will better withstand the effects of road bounce?

    5.  Construction
      a.  The frame design.  NuWa uses two frame designs to provide the best balance between weight, strength and towability.  An 8" (29.5 models) and 10" "I" beam frame is used on HHLS and Discover America products.  This frame is a NuWa design, manufactured to NuWa's specifications.  We demand features not found in the lower priced brands.  From years of experience NuWa designs these frames to meet the needs of the customer's expected use of a particular model.  That is why NuWa has not had frame or suspension failure problems experienced by owners of some lower priced competitive brands.  The Big Foot automatic leveling option is becoming popular on 5th wheels for full timers, but few manufacturers will warranty this feature because they know there is risk of customer misuse that can cause frame twist.  NuWa is comfortable offering this option, which is evidence of the superiority of its frame design.  It's the same reason that NuWa can offer a hitch receiver on the back of the frame as a popular option.  The Champagne frame is built of 14" "C" channel material to create an extremely strong frame designed to handle the extra weight  and equipment typically found on this trailer.   How much is it worth to have the security of knowing that the best efforts for frame reliability were provided by the manufacturer?

    b.  Superior lamination and insulation procedure.   So important to our customer is the unique lamination concept using Blue Dow Structural Foam, a material known for 25%-35% greater strength and insulation value; and it won't absorb moisture.  This material is more expensive but is far superior to other methods for strength and insulation. By creating enormous strength using this concept, NuWa is able to eliminate much of the weight of sidewall studs that are necessary in other brands without sacrificing anything essential in terms of strength or long term performance. The lamination of fiberglass to the entire wall surface creates exceptional strength not matched by the white foam lamination design or the "hand hung" fiberglass over spun fiberglass insulation used by various competitors.  The Blue Structure Foam NuWa uses is four times the compressive strength of white foam, meaning that we can Vacu-Bond at much higher pressure. This insures full glue coverage and complete lamination without the danger of breaking down the foam, which can happen with white bead foam at 500-600 lbs. per square foot. Notice also that this isn't an experimental technology with NuWa.  It is the method used in creating fiberglass laminated sidewalls and parts since 1988.  There is a difference in a unit built by someone still learning, and by someone who knows from experience what they are doing because they have done it for nearly 20 years.  Several years ago we placed a truck on top of one of our 5th wheels to show this strength in an advertisement.   This as well as our ad showing the truck wheel supported by a piece of our laminated sidewall has been copied by other companies who recognized the strength of the message we were sending.  The best testimony of the insulation benefits is from the many customers and dealers who state that on a hot day, when they walk into a NuWa on the lot, it is noticeably cooler inside than other brands.  The NuWa retains the cool night air longer.  View on NuWa's web site the video that shows this construction method and the truck test results that give evidence to the strength.  How much is it worth to have a trailer that can better handle the cold/heat and will not have issues of delamination over the years?

    6.  Fulltimer and four season use.    NuWa products have passed the test of time and we promote fulltimer and four season use of our trailers.  Fulltimers who travel constantly have learned that NuWa is only an email or phone call away and responsive to  personal requests for parts and service assistance.  So when it's not handy to visit a dealer for parts or service, NuWa can provide parts and guidance for ongoing maintenance.  A guarantee of performance at any specific "subfreezing" temperature has too many variables, but existing customers will provide testimony that HitchHikers have been performing well in cold climates for years.  NuWa's positive Passive Heat method in the undercarriage, its R-25 undercarriage insulation, as well as the Vented Attic concept, have shown that the HitchHiker is Mother Nature's friend.  The ruggedness and reliability of a HitchHiker is an important intangible feature for a fulltimer or serious RV enthusiast.  NuWa does not "shy" from meeting expectations for performance reliability while customers put thousands of miles on a trailer each year.   How much more  is it worth to know you have a trailer with a reputation for meeting these expectations?

    7.  Warranty.   There is a huge difference between what is written about warranty and what is done.  NuWa doesn't talk about how long suppliers warranty their roof material or floor material or components.  Those suppliers typically aren't going to fix your trailer.   NuWa and its suppliers provide a 12 month "bumper to bumper" warranty. The structure of the trailer is warranted for 24 months to further protect against possible defects.  The important thing is that NuWa responds to the warranty needs of customers.  Ask an owner who has visited the factory for service or requested parts be sent to him personally.  As important, we are available to provide parts and service advice for trailers that are as much as 10-15 years old.  NuWa probably has the most extensive parts inventory in the industry for it's older products.  It's a testament to how long NuWa trailers are in use by second and third owners, who want service and parts assistance.  The evidence of NuWa's superior warranty and service style is not going to be told to you by the retail sales person, who also sells other brands.   This intangible value is best learned by talking with existing HitchHiker owners.  Think about the value to you of NuWa's exceptional warranty and customer service versus the industries service record.

    NuWa's philosophy can best be summarized by this statement:     You can pay less and you can pay more, but you can't buy better.   Learn more about HitchHikers at www.nuwa.com or at your NuWa dealer

     (revised 10/13/2009)


    This article is also available for viewing online at http://www.nuwa.com/news/questions/48/