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Old 02-10-2016, 02:44 PM   #43
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We had a 5th wheel and dually and although most of the time the dually wasn't an issue, there are times when the width of the trucks caused issues not only with parking, but simply the width of the street.
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Old 02-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #44
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Go with the Motor Home.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:45 PM   #45
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We are on our second Motorhome (first DP) and are now in the process of moving to a fiver. For us, it came down to a shift in usage patterns. Originally, the MH was meant to tie a race car trailer first and then serve for a few vacations a year second. As our drag racing has slowed down due to kids sports and other things, we have tended to use it more for vacations. At that point we decided we wanted a more "home" feel and separate space for the kids.

The DP is sold (closing the deal) and we are planning to pick up our new Sandpiper Saturday.

I went for the auto leveling, and the CFO got the king bed, residential refer, 1.5 baths, and second bedroom for the kids. Win Win!

I will report back on our experiences with setup and usage soon.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:04 AM   #46
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Something that occurred to me last night as I was running back and forth from the motor home bedroom to my garage was I've never been in a fifth wheel that felt as solid underfoot as our motor home. All our towables have had some give in the floor and vibration when we walked. Glasses would clink and other things would make noise as we moved about the cabin. I will say that we've never owned one of the newer 5th wheels with hydraulic jacks and that may make all the difference in the world, but a motor home chassis just feels stronger than a fifth wheel frame.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:39 AM   #47
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Something that occurred to me last night as I was running back and forth from the motor home bedroom to my garage was I've never been in a fifth wheel that felt as solid underfoot as our motor home. All our towables have had some give in the floor and vibration when we walked. Glasses would clink and other things would make noise as we moved about the cabin. I will say that we've never owned one of the newer 5th wheels with hydraulic jacks and that may make all the difference in the world, but a motor home chassis just feels stronger than a fifth wheel frame.
This is a very good point. My fifth had a lot of wobble when parked. I tried tripods, bigger jacks, better chocks, but still had wobble.

My motorhome is rock solid even without my hydraulic jacks down. I recently was in a friends new Fifth and their unit came with the hydraulic jacks, they still had a lot of shake.

The other issue is minimal head room in the fifth upper bedroom, as well as having to go up and down in order to go back and forth in the fifth.

After a diesel pusher and the high maintenance, I am super happy with a higher end gas Class A. Don't believe all the hype about diesel. That extra $50K or $100K goes a long way toward retirement. Remember, they are the same when parked.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:50 AM   #48
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The problem with any opinion related requests is that they are based on each individual's purchase and reason for the switch.

You really have to have something comparable, "apples to apples" as it were.

Of course if someone had a 26' 1976 Prowler 5th wheel towed by a 1984 Chev 4x4 and decided to go to a 2000 or newer gas or diesel class A that was 36' or larger, it would be the best thing they ever did!

However, I'm not seeing a lot of 5 year old 36' 5th wheel and diesel truck owners making the move to Class A' coaches.

Conversely, if a person had a 1994 36' gas motorhome and went to a newer 40' 5th wheel and diesel truck that was 5 years old or newer, it would also be the greatest move they ever did.

Then you have the motivation factor the spurred the change.

In our case, we have had 6 Class A's (both gas and diesel) and wanted to change to Diesel truck and 5th Wheel.
Our last coach was a very well appointed 2001 40' Beaver 2 slide diesel coach. We towed a 2013 Ford F-150 Platinum 4x4.
Our 5th wheel is a 2010 40' Cardinal with 4 slides and our truck is a 2015 Ram Laramie 3500 4x4 Diesel.

Here are my observations making the switch thus far.

- Both complete setups were almost identical cost of $120,000.
- Weight of Class A setup was 41,000 lbs compared to 5er setup of 25,000 lbs
- Driving experience. I liked the big front window of the coach but like the Laramie as well as the truck sits high and is roomy. Laramie has every available option in a truck.
- Truck and 5er has more torque and speed (less weight to move)
- Both setups are just as stable as the other on the highway.
- Manouverability. The Class A hooked up could not be backed up. The 5er and truck can. Backing the Coach alone, easy using back up camera. The 5er will be getting a backup camera so that should be a wash. I'm proficient at backing up both.
- Hooking and unhooking. Pretty much a wash whether the towed or towing vehicle.
- Setup and takedown. I can honestly say, almost a wash. Within minutes.
- Livability. For us, the 5er wins hands down. Much move space to live in. We are a family of 3 so having the additional 2 slides, large living room with fireplace, big screen TV and surround sound. Huge kitchen with peninsula and dining room with Atrium windows. Large spacious bathroom and large bedroom with King bed, dresser and closet. Prepped for W/D.
The quality of our 2010 Cardinal is not quite that of the coach however you have to consider the weight of the chassis required to have solid wood cabinets, solid walls and floors that makes up a Class A. Not to take away from the 5er, it's beautiful inside and out. Well built and lots of storage. It's just built light-weight. This category was a great motivating factor.
- Costs to carry. It costs less to insure the 5er/truck setup than the Class A/Toad setup. Fuel consumption is less with the 5er/truck setup. Maintenance on the 5er is far less than the Class A. Maintenance of the Diesel truck is by far less in regularity and cost than the chassis of the Class A. This catetegory alone was the main motivating factor in changing to the truck and 5th wheel.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:15 PM   #49
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- Weight of Class A setup was 41,000 lbs compared to 5er setup of 25,000 lbs
- Truck and 5er has more torque and speed (less weight to move)
Just curious ... what engine (how much torque?) did your Beaver have? Seems like most of the diesel pusher engines that I read about these days are turning 1250..ish foot pounds of torque. According to the Ram web site - a diesel Laramie turn 900 foot pounds. For the sake of comparison - 1250 foot pounds into a 41,000 lb load is .036 worth of torque per pound of load - while 900 foot pounds into a 25,000 lb load is .0305 worth of torque per pound of load. That's roughly a 15% difference.

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The quality of our 2010 Cardinal is not quite that of the coach however you have to consider the weight of the chassis required to have solid wood cabinets, solid walls and floors that makes up a Class A. Not to take away from the 5er, it's beautiful inside and out. Well built and lots of storage. It's just built light-weight....
What (if any) impact do you see this having on the long term serviceability of the 5er? It's pretty common to see 15-20 year old Class A units still on the road. What sort of usual lifespan can one expect from a 5er? Do you have any concerns that "it's just built light-weight" will be an issue when the unit hits the 10 - 15 year mark?
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:33 PM   #50
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Just curious ... what engine (how much torque?) did your Beaver have? Seems like most of the diesel pusher engines that I read about these days are turning 1250..ish foot pounds of torque. According to the Ram web site - a diesel Laramie turn 900 foot pounds. For the sake of comparison - 1250 foot pounds into a 41,000 lb load is .036 worth of torque per pound of load - while 900 foot pounds into a 25,000 lb load is .0305 worth of torque per pound of load. That's roughly a 15% difference.
The Beaver had a 330 CAT 3126B. Torque was 860 foot pounds.
At 1250, You are probably speaking of the 400 or 500 cid engines. Yes more torque, however a lot more dollars ($15,000-$25,000+) and a lot more weight (10,000-15,000lbs). The 400 ci and up is usually put with a tag and length over 41'.
I'm not sure how you calculated your torque per pound but I believe it will be significantly different.
I still don't believe you will be getting close to the mpg I'm getting with my 6.7 Cummins in my truck. Especially when towing.

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What (if any) impact do you see this having on the long term serviceability of the 5er? It's pretty common to see 15-20 year old Class A units still on the road. What sort of usual lifespan can one expect from a 5er? Do you have any concerns that "it's just built light-weight" will be an issue when the unit hits the 10 - 15 year mark?
If cared for, I don't see the weight or being light-built as the deciding factor in longevity. If a 5th wheel is stored when not in use or not lived in, the lifespan would equal that of a Class A looked after the same.
Our 5th wheel has full body paint and rubber roof. Although I wish I had a full fibreglass roof, there are other roof treatments that can extend its life.
The systems in the 5er are more simplistic and therefore less cost to repair. Anything in a 15+ year old Class A gets expensive to fix and it's not a question of if it breaks down...its when.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:36 PM   #51
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This was our Beaver.

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Old 02-21-2016, 03:34 PM   #52
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Yeah, you'll be back where ya belong behind the big windshield soon Les!

I predict 2 years, and a 8year old Foretravel !!
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:12 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
Just curious ... what engine (how much torque?) did your Beaver have? Seems like most of the diesel pusher engines that I read about these days are turning 1250..ish foot pounds of torque. According to the Ram web site - a diesel Laramie turn 900 foot pounds. For the sake of comparison - 1250 foot pounds into a 41,000 lb load is .036 worth of torque per pound of load - while 900 foot pounds into a 25,000 lb load is .0305 worth of torque per pound of load. That's roughly a 15% difference.



What (if any) impact do you see this having on the long term serviceability of the 5er? It's pretty common to see 15-20 year old Class A units still on the road. What sort of usual lifespan can one expect from a 5er? Do you have any concerns that "it's just built light-weight" will be an issue when the unit hits the 10 - 15 year mark?
You're right there. Our 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 and 5th wheel weighed significantly less than our 2000 Monaco Dynasty and Jeep Cherokee does, but both combos pulled almost exactly the same weight per ft/lb of torque, 35.8 for the Dodge and 35.7 for the motor home. The 8.3L Cummins in the motor home put out significantly more torque than the 6.7 in the truck.
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:19 PM   #54
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We've had both and for now we prefer a FW. We always seem to have a use for a pickup truck, anyway, and prefer not to have to maintain another engine/chassis. If we were full timing and funds were no object, we might go with a high end DP with a toad. It really comes down to personal preference.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:43 PM   #55
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DP.

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Old 02-23-2016, 09:50 AM   #56
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We just made the switch from 5er to Class A. We had a 2010 36 foot 5er with 4 slides. It was a great floor plan and fit our needs just right. Our TV is a 1996 F350 with a 450 gas and 5 speed. I had a Banks exhaust system installed and it did well towing ... until we hit the hills and mountains. It was slow and the gas mileage dropped considerably. We were looking at new trucks. A new F350 4X4 diesel crew cab dually came to roughly $65K.

The 96 F350 only has 100K on it so it is still a good truck. We use it around the place for general hauling. We take it into town sometimes when we need to pick up big things or refuel our propane and diesel tank for the tractor. Trying to park is a hassle. My wife is handicapped and in need of a knee replacement. I have to drop her off at the entrance and then find a spot to park. We have used this truck for 5 years on trips with the 5er and parking has always been an issue, particularly in crowded tourist areas.

We found a 2007 Itasca Meridian 39K diesel pusher and felt this would be a better RV. The price was under 100K including all the fees, 6 brand new tires and a tow bar and brake unit for the toad.

The comfort of the ride is remarkably different from the jostling of the F350 with the 5er. Noise level is much less. Storage is more convenient. Seating is more comfortable. Visibility is great. Full coach access while driving is great.

The DP goes up hills at 55 mph that we could only go 35 mph with the F350. The DP has an exhaust brake which make going down the hills easy and under control without having to stub brake all the time.

All things told, we love this unit and are glad we made the switch.
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