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Old 07-05-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
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5er to a Diesel pusher?

Has anyone made the switch from a 5er to diesel pusher and be willing to share some words of advice or caution? We currently have a 2011 Cedar Creek 36RE (39') fifth wheel and are considering going into a large (+/- 43') diesel pusher. Also, any thoughts on the transition to the dp, what you bought and what helped you determine that brand? Thank you!
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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We just switched a few months ago. We had a 99 26 ft 5er. I have been watching and researching class As for a long time. I am not in a position (well off) to be able to buy a brand new DP of the quality that I want. I noticed on a lot of posts that DP owner signatures had a on their posts were from 1998-2005 Monaco, Beaver, Newmar, Winnebago and a lot fewer Fortravel. It became kind of obvious that they were quality coaches. Once I started on these forums it also became obvious that buying new was IMO not the best although there will be some that bite my head off for being so bold. The first 2 year or so depreciation and factory bugs to work out added to the price of new quality built DPs convinced me to look for one of the above brands. We've had this one since Aptil and are very pleased with it. I am a complete newby at this so take what I say with a grain of salt. I will say I have been working my butt off to learn everything on this MH and am a long way from accomplishing it. Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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4 years back, I was in need of a new TV; high miles; and the DW wanted more space in the 5er.
I was not looking forward to towing a larger 5er; 30' 10,000 lb. was our old one.
We started looking at new TV and a un up-grade on the 5er.
After the sticker shock,$ 80>100k we went shopping for a DP.
Found what the DW was very happy with as far as floor plan, and what I considered manageable, condition , and driving comfort.
After selling our TV & 5er, and setting up our in town vehicle as a toad. Spent $60k total.
The DP, took about 2 hrs. of highway driving to become totally comfortable.
Local laws required air brake training; I'd say get the training , required or not , YOU need to know what's going on in a DP brake system before you drive one.
Parking in a site and leveling take a fraction of the time as does the load out. Storage space is fantastic.
We narrowed our search to used top end DP's : Newmar, Triple E, & Tiffin.
We've never regretted the change, and look forward to enjoying our RV, for years to come.
The more you use a DP, nights on board and days on the road, the more you'll enjoy it.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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2 years ago I went from a 35 foot 5er to a DP. I also went with a 2005 model tiffin allegro bus.

Here are my thoughts on this and they are strictly my thoughts. I am sure other people have had other experiences and have different opinions this is just mine for what it is worth

Positives.

Comfort - The DP is a lot more comfortable to ride in than my 2006 Silverado 3/4 ton truck. The air suspension is great. The wife has a recliner and she sits back with her feet up and loves the ride. The front window is literally a picture window and you can see a lot more of the scenery as you drive. Several times when we have gotten hungry we just pulled into a rest area and fixed lunch without leaving the MH. One time while I was getting diesel the wife fixed sandwiches and when I had the tanks topped off we pulled over in the parking lot and ate.

Set Up- I can get to everything with the slides closed unlike the 5er where if I wanted to open the refrigerator I had open the kitchen slide. I think anyone who has had hydraulic leveling jacks will tell you they would never own anything without them again. The bus has a power cord reel and a power water hose reel. Make it a lot easier to just pull out the power cord and plug it in. When you are done unhook the power cord and push a switch and it is stored. The same thing for the fresh water hose. I have a quad cab pickup there were several campsites where I could back the 5 er in but then did not have room because of obstructions on the far side of the campsite to get my pickup straight to back in. The DP has a huge turning radius I can go about three feet sideways or every foot I go forward so backing it into a campsite is 100 times easier to me. The DP h
as a jake brake, when I go down mountains I just turn it on and idle down them. Several times my brakes on the pickup started getting hot and it felt like the rotor was warped when I applied the brakes with the 5er. The MH has a 7500 watt generator and a 2500 watt AC inverter. If we had to park in a parking lot we just started the generator and had full power for air conditioners and everything. The MH has a residential refrigerator which works a lot better than the hybrid gas/ac one in the 5er

Negatives-

Cost- The Used MH cost almost twice as much as the New Heartland Big Horn that I had. Upkeep. All of the upkeep on the diesel engine, the Air compressor etc is several times the cost of upkeep on my Silverado Duramax. Tires for the MH run 650.00 to 900.00 depending on the brand versus the 200 or so for 5er tires.

Heating and Air- This was a huge surprise to me. The 5er was a lot easier to heat and cool from what I read on the forums I believe other posters with MH have trouble with this also. I had one 15,000 BTU air conditioner on my 5er in 100 degree weather it could cool the interior down to mid 70 with no problem. The MH has two 15000 BTU Heat pumps and in 90 degree weather they have trouble getting down to the Mid70s if you are in and out very much they can not get there. Same with heat. I used a small electric heater and the electric fireplace to heat the living room area with no problem in below freezing weather. I use a very large Electric heater to heat the living room area in below freezing weather and usually have to supplement that with the propane furnace. To be practical you have to have some type of tow vehicle with the MH. Depending on how you tow. IF you tow 4 down you have to find or have a car that will do that. Then you are going to spend about 3 to 4 thousand dollars to set the car up for towing. If you want to use a trailer that is probably cheaper but you have to have a way to do something with the trailer when you get to the campground and the time to secure the car to the trailer. Same for tow dolly. With the 5er you have your pickup to drive when you unhook. The 5er had a lot more kitchen counter space than my MH does. Of course insurance and taxes are more but this is related to the cost of the unit but does factor in as a negative.

This was what I have observed with my experience. The biggest factor for me was I never got comfortable towing my 5er I just hated to look in the rear view mirror and see it back there. I have driven the MH in LA and some other big cities with no problems. Some of the newer 5ers have started adding some of the MH conveniences. Automatic levelling, Hose and power cord reels. Residential refrigerators. I am not sure if you are comfortable towing a 5er that a MH is a better choice. The new 5ers I have looked at are priced about what I paid for my used MH But have all of the conveniences of the MH.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
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We traded a 2006 Cedar Creek on a 2011 Monaco Cayman. Got almost what I paid for the 5er & a really good price on the Monaco. Have not regretted it one bit. The MH is much more comfortable on the road, quicker to hook up at campgrounds & we can access everything with the slides closed. Really nice to fix lunch while on the road. I have a CDL so that was a non issue for me & I drove trucks long haul for years so the MH is not much different from an 18 wheeler. I don't think you will be sorry moving up to a DP.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=gemini5362;2123993]2 I think anyone who has had hydraulic leveling jacks will tell you they would never own anything without them again. QUOTE]

Not quite!

'Most' of us with air leveling, would'nt want to go back to hydraulic leveling jacks !
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:50 PM   #7
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We pulled 5ers for 10 years before getting the DP in 2012. We loved our 2002 Cedar Creek 36RLTS Custom but after retiring decided that a MH would be much better for long-distance traveling. We love our Monaco Windsor!
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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We did the 5th wheel to DP switch 2 years ago. Best move we ever made. Almost unreal how much easier life is with the living space, storage, set up and travelling comfort
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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we switched from a 2006 36rlts cedar creek back in 09, pulled by a 2006 F350 crew cab dually
main reason was...ease of setup because my old body was having issues with the setup.
however...now fivers have hydraulic levelers and the set up at camp is easier

one big plus and some will scream is...dw is free to move about the cabin while i am driving.
she can lay on the couch or make a snack...i know its dangerous but try telling a dw she is unsafe... she has scooted across the floor once or twice.
I holler out if she is up and she sits or gets to a secure location.


cost wise.....if i replaced the coach with a 350 or 450 to pull the fiver i would like, and buy the new fiver...i could easily spend the cost of the coach.

and i think upkeep on the coach is higher than the f350 we had before. but i can carry more "stuff" with us and its imo easier to drive than the fiver and truck setup, as far as corners and long grades
insulation was much better in the fiver as well
but most importantly is get what makes you and dw HAPPPY HAPPPY HAPPPY
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:15 PM   #10
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I am in the same situation as the OP. The reason I went with a 5th wheel is because I need a heavy duty pickup for work and it basically pays for itself. Therefore, my TV is virtually free. However, after 13K mi in two years with two large dogs in the back seat, a DP is sounding better all the time. At the end of a long travel day, we are all pretty sick of being on top of each other. Moving about freely in a MH sounds so relaxing and would make for a much more enjoyable experience. Not to mention the time saving advantage of being able to fix a sandwich of use the bathroom while moving. I know that is taboo, but it's possible just like on a plane. You can easily spend $120K-150K on a new pickup and 5th wheel. That will buy a pretty nice gently used high end MH.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:27 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=96 Wideglide;2125388]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
2 I think anyone who has had hydraulic leveling jacks will tell you they would never own anything without them again. QUOTE]

Not quite!

'Most' of us with air leveling, would'nt want to go back to hydraulic leveling jacks !
My neighbor pulled in with a new American Tradition 45 footer and tried to level with his air. Wouldn't do it so had to use his jacks. They have limitations.
Rich
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:48 PM   #12
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I'm sure the type of 5th wheel you switch from and the MH you go too makes a big difference but we found the Newmar to be much better insulated than our 5th wheel.

We also travel with 2 dogs and they sure like the ability to move around as does the wife. Driving a few hundred miles at a leisurely pace is easy in the DP. With the 5th wheel it seemed the stops were much more frequent
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:34 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=96 Wideglide;2125388]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
2 I think anyone who has had hydraulic leveling jacks will tell you they would never own anything without them again. QUOTE]

Not quite!

'Most' of us with air leveling, would'nt want to go back to hydraulic leveling jacks !
LOL
I stand corrected. I believe anyone with auto leveling would tell you they would not want to go back to anything without auto leveling again.
Is that statement more correct
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:41 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=rvarner;2125673]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post

My neighbor pulled in with a new American Tradition 45 footer and tried to level with his air. Wouldn't do it so had to use his jacks. They have limitations.
Rich

It's a fact that air level doesn't have quite the range of hydraulic. That being said, in 7 years full time and doing a fair amount of traveling, I have never had a problem with achieving level.


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