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Old 12-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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We've had both - several times. Traveling with kids MH hands down. Eight hours with little ones in the back seat of a pickup truck is not my idea of fun, won't miss it. Also won't miss hitching & unhitching. Also won't miss backing up with a 5th wheel.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:58 PM   #16
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Durabil, you didn't say whether you are full-timing or vacationing, or whether you change locations fairly often or stay in one place for weeks at a time. We're researching the same question as you are, but we have the luxury of not needing to make a decision for a couple of years yet.

As others have said, there are advantages and disadvantages of each class of RV. Early in our research, we concluded that we would have something towing something else. One advantage of the MH towing a small car is that if the MH leaves you stranded on the side of the road, you can unhook the toad and go for what's needed. You can't do that with a FW.

We've been told repeatedly that a MH, particularly a diesel, wants to be driven. We didn't learn that until a little farther into our researches, though, so when we talked to campground hosts about FT rigs, we found that they all had 5'ers. Now we know why. We're still analyzing our possible FT mission profile, so we don't yet know which is better for us. I have a feeling that we're kind of on the line between MH and towable, but I don't know whether that is good or bad.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:17 PM   #17
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It all depends on your abilty to use a damn great truck as your daily driver. DW is not very tall and absolutely could not envison driving an F-350 4-w/d dually to the grocery store. She balked a bit when we bought a Mercury Colony Park Wagon back in the early 70's.

A fiver and big truck are non-starters for us. Of course, we found that she can't drive the Class A either for ergonomic, driving position problems. I'm considering a mod to put a double jointed, telescopic steering column from a Gillig transit coach in place of the Ford column.

For now, I do all the driving. Our emergancy "get home" if anything untoward happens to me is a one-way ticket from Seattle to wherever we are for one of our sons-in-law!
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:24 AM   #18
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Kbozke, We had also been told the Class A diesels need to be driven a lot but later were told it is not so much puttimg the miles on that is needed as it is to carry out the routine maintenance whether or not the miles are driven.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #19
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Bill, that's good to know. Our plan at this time (subject to change) is to decide by 2014 what we want for our FT coach, and then start serious looking. Once we get our new to us (used) coach home, we'll do whatever upgrades/repairs are needed to make it ready for FT use for us. Then we'll put the farm up for sale. That schedule allows for the remote possibility that someone buys the place the day after we put it up for sale and wants to close immediately. We'll then have our FT coach ready to live in for whatever is left of the last school year, since I "graduate" with the Class of 2015.

If we decide to go with a DP, it will sit with little use from when we bring it home until we hit the road in June of 2015 (assuming that the farm is sold by then). I was a bit concerned that we might be causing some future damage to our coach if we found the right one too early.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:12 PM   #20
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I found J R Consumer and Rv consumer.org to be helpful in evaluating different model years of various rigs both gas and diesel. They provide ratings on various components and features and give an overall score to each different manufacturer. It costs money but can be quite beneficial in myview.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:31 AM   #21
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We are wanting to go full timing next year and are looking at Diesel MH'S. For the most part the MH'S seem to be as large or larger than most of the fifth wheels we have owned. The 5er's may have more slide outs but they are much smaller ones. I have not seen a fifth wheel with a full wall slide like you can find in a MH. Our last 5er was a Keystone 3400RL which was 37' long but the 40' to 42' MH'S with 3 or 4 slideouts just seem bigger inside.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:53 PM   #22
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it seems the fiver makes sense to people who are just a couple, and who do not move as frequently. If it was just me and the wife, and we did 5 months up north in the summer and 5 months down south (stationary for those 10 months) the fiver could make sense.

As we tend to move a lot more than that, and travel with 2-4 children, the class a is the only way.

One of my buddies pulls a fiver. By the time he has it levelled and unhooked, I'm completely done setting up and drinking a margarita under my awning.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #23
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This a real good subject. The wife and I are vacillating on the same choice. We currently have a 38’ 5th wheel and 2011 DRW pickup. We are semi-retired and look forward to travelling. We developed a list of questions / comments / parameters that will help us make the right decision.
Questions:
How long will you be on the road?
How often will you be moving to a different campground?
Will you be sightseeing while at the campground?
Will you be dry camping?
Where will be your most visited area?

Comments:
Most seasonal units seen at campgrounds are 5th wheelers and trailers.
Most travelling retirees are in motorhomes, closely followed by 5th wheelers
Most weekenders are in trailers and 5th wheelers.
Most campgrounds seem to limit the length to 40’.
Most RV’ers will show you their RV and talk about the good and the bad.

Parameters:
Floor plan, floor plan, floor plan, must work for both.
Washer / Dryer combo
Storage inside
Storage outside
2 AC units with heat pumps
Capable furnace
Heated basement storage and tanks
Axle ratings
Easy to drive
Easy to setup and break camp

The list for each is much longer. And you can break each of the above Questions / Comments/ Parameters down to further. We just needed to write everything down.

Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Went from a 35' TH to a 32' gas MH last year and have no regrets other than I miss that rear garage. I had an aluminum patio set in the back and would just tote it out when we arrived, had to buy ALOT of folding stuff when we bought MH. Another thing to consider is if you will do any dry camping, all MH have a generator and few 5ers come with one. My next door neighbor purchased a new 38' 5er last year and even though it has a bay for a generator there is no option for a fuel tank other than the 7.5 gal propane tank already installed for the furnace so he is limited to lp generator which are expensive. You get more room for your money with a fifth wheel but more convenience with the MH. If you do long term stays the extra set up with the 5er wouldn't be bad but we do ALOT of 2 night weekend trips so the ease of set up with the MH is great. If you go with the 5th wheel , consider a 3/4 ton truck or a single rear wheel ton, lots better maneuverability My 3/4 has a higher towing capacity than a comparable ton, just a little less tongue weight limit.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:16 AM   #25
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Durabil,

The 5th wheel vs Motorhome debate is sort of like Ford vs Chevrolet; there's not one answer that satisfies everyone. JohnT provided a great scheme to assist you with your question. The only thing I can add is to second the suggestion that you rent a motorhome as a trial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
This a real good subject. The wife and I are vacillating on the same choice. We currently have a 38’ 5th wheel and 2011 DRW pickup. We are semi-retired and look forward to travelling. We developed a list of questions / comments / parameters that will help us make the right decision.
Questions:
How long will you be on the road?
How often will you be moving to a different campground?
Will you be sightseeing while at the campground?
Will you be dry camping?
Where will be your most visited area?

Comments:
Most seasonal units seen at campgrounds are 5th wheelers and trailers.
Most travelling retirees are in motorhomes, closely followed by 5th wheelers
Most weekenders are in trailers and 5th wheelers.
Most campgrounds seem to limit the length to 40’.
Most RV’ers will show you their RV and talk about the good and the bad.

Parameters:
Floor plan, floor plan, floor plan, must work for both.
Washer / Dryer combo
Storage inside
Storage outside
2 AC units with heat pumps
Capable furnace
Heated basement storage and tanks
Axle ratings
Easy to drive
Easy to setup and break camp

The list for each is much longer. And you can break each of the above Questions / Comments/ Parameters down to further. We just needed to write everything down.

Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #26
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I think everyone goes through this questioning somewhere along the line. Looking at the "mission profile" can help steer us in the right direction. For those of us who are buying older coaches, some flexibility sounds good.

My wife and I had the good fortune to spend about 30 minutes tonight visiting with a gentleman who has owned quite a few different RV's over the years, traveling all over the country. He has worked on many more, and he freely and graciously offered his advice to us. Some of it repeated and verified what we had heard elsewhere; some of it validated some of my thoughts and concerns; but all of it, taken together, helped us focus on what direction we ought to go.

Now if I could only tell what the economy is going to do over the next few years....
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