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Old 05-16-2018, 04:58 AM   #1
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Considering a change

We have a 2004 Excel 30SKW. Thinking about a motor home. I am almost convinced we wonít find one with comparable build quality, that we can afford. Some changes at work have led to these thoughts. We like our excel just at times a MH would be handier. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:25 AM   #2
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Most folks will tell you how much they love their motorhome for a lot of reasons like being able to go to the bathroom without going outside, ease of hook up, having their lunch made on the fly, ability to use a smaller vehicle for running around (toad), etc. They will also tell you that a motorhome is much better for frequent moves and a fifth wheel better for staying put. All valid, to a degree.

We spent 9 years with a motorhome, two years with a gas which was not fun and 7 years with a diesel pusher which was much better. While we enjoyed the diesel there were issues that pushed me back to a fifth wheel. For one thing there are a whole lot more moving parts on a motorhome which means more things to possibly repair, not very many of which are cheap. Service was hard to get in our area making it even more of a pain. I did my own regular service on the dp which was becoming more painful as I aged.

It is a matter of choice about what fits best for you. We have found that while some of the arguments for and against are valid some are not. The one that comes to mind is using a motorhome for traveling with frequent moves and staying put with a fifth wheel. We have done several long trips, 5 to 6K miles each, with our Excel, moving every 2 or 3 days and I can be hooked up and ready to go just as easily as I could with the motorhome. If you pull a vehicle, hooking it up takes as much time as it does hooking up to the fifth wheel.

I don't know if you have it but one of things that really makes things easy for us is auto level on the Excel. We do use jack pads under the feet most of the time but after getting those in place just hit the button and let it do its thing.

There are a lot of other considerations which could go on and on but one thing you mentioned was quality. When we shopped in 2012 after selling our motorhome getting an equal quality new motorhome compared with our new Excel and new truck was going to cost at a minimum twice as much. So you do get more bang for your buck with a fifth wheel. Bottom line, we went the opposite direction for our own reasons which may not work for anyone else so good luck in deciding.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:19 PM   #3
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JDT, thanks for the well written reply. It confirms some of my suspicions already. I feel the pickup will hold itís value longer than a motor home will. We are just toying with the idea at the moment. Itís only the wife and I.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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Youíve already seen most of the common ideas. Above post is quite good. My sister and husband had a DP MH and had to sell it because of the high maintenance cost, brake job, tires, etc. I feel that with all of the interacting systems on a MH, 12volt, 130v, fuel etc you add more complexity along with all of the extras on a MH.

When we traveled with them it took less to be ready to roll than it did them with their toad, etc. I just Its a lots of trouble and expense for the copilot to be able to go to the bathroom while driving. I still couldenít do that.

We are on a 12,000 mile trip this summer, moving most days. We can be rolling in about 30 minutes after dressing and eating. We love the extra floor space of our 5th over a similar length MH.

I also like having the drive train unit and living space so you can upgrade one without the other.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:51 PM   #5
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I'm on our 3rd truck since getting our Excel in 2012. I know, too many but the trade in, resale value of the 2 previous GMC diesels amazed me. We took a bath when we sold the motorhome and probably will when we sell the Excel as rv's don't do near as well maintaining their value. At least with a truck/fifth wheel combo half my investment doesn't depreciate quite as fast.

Another issue that doesn't get a lot of play is safety. I was never comfortable with driving our dp. There was not much in the way of protection between the driver and passenger seats and the front end. Just some fiberglass and steel supports. As far as I know there are no safety standards for motorhomes. My truck, on the other hand, has the latest crash safety stuff. I also was never comfortable when the wife got up to move around. Some friends had a motorhome and the wife was up making a sandwich for her husband while he was driving. He had to make a panic stop which sent her flying head first into the dining table. Took six stiches to sew up her forehead.

The better half and I have had several tents, 3 pop-ups, 2 motorhomes and 5 fifth wheels in our 47 years together. We will stick with a fifth wheel until age or whatever causes us to give it up, which I hope is down the road a ways.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:11 PM   #6
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We are in the same situation with 6 years in our Cameo FW and we had always planned to graduate to a MH. Now we have determined that a FW really fits our life style best and have even ordered a 2018 Chevy dually. The thing that convinced me is being able to perform most maint work on a truck and FW myself. Whereas a MH will require shop time that can be expensive, like rotating tires, brakes, even oil changes.
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