What Are We Looking For??
I’m not sure if it is my audit background, years of working for a large corporation or if it’s just the way i’m wired, but I think almost any problem or any analysis can be solved with an Excel spreadsheet. So, as Betsy and I were throwing around all of the features/attributes that CAN be in afifth wheel trailer, and all of the features/attributes that we WANTED in our fifth wheel trailer, the outline of an Excel spreadsheet starting forming in my head. Nothing complicated, just a nice tidy way to organize our thoughts and the countless conversations we’ve had on this topic.
I started by listing on paper the features/attributes present in most full-time fifth wheels. Everything from age of the unit and price range, to automatic leveling and a dishwasher. My list quickly totaled 37 items. It was now time to find out how important these things were to Betsy and I. Separately we sat down and ranked these items to identify our “Top 15” items, with 1 being the most important thing and everything not making the top 15 cut receiving a score of 15. Then to make the list “ours”, the rankings were combined to identify the items that were important to “us”. As “our Top 15” features/attributes appeared, it became obvious that my wife had been listening during all of our conversations about mechanical stuff on the trailer, and showed another reason that I love the way that girl thinks.
1. One-touch Leveling
2. Residential Fridge
3. 17.5” Wheels
Yes, two mechanical things and a refrigerator to make our home feel like a real home!
Once this part of the process was complete, the rest was easy. Any fifth wheel we would look at online, or consider purchasing, could be put on the spreadsheet and easily calculate how it stacked up against the others. A quick tally of the x’s and percent calculation, and voila, you have a favorite. An extra line on the spreadsheet and you could even factor in the price, by calculating how much you were paying for each feature/attribute. It’s not a perfect system, but it certainly did help keep the hundreds (yes, that many!) of trailers we considered during our search. You ultimately still have to make the decision, but having all of this data to back you up sure is comforting.
If this is something that sounds interesting to any of you, let me know and I will gladly send you a spreadsheet with all of the features/attributes. Sorry, you and whoever is making this decision with you will have to fill out your own rankings!!