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Old 07-12-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Smile Driving difference

I have never driven a motorhome. I'm looking at purchasing a 38 footer.
I currently pull a 34 foot fifth wheel with a 3/4 ton truck. My question is, Is the driving attitude; turning, cornering, towing dinghy etc., similar to driving a truck and fifth wheel?
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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Bruce... A well setup MH drives most like a big floating 1974 Dodge Monaco station wagon than like a big 3/4T PU. A 38ft will be a pleasure to take down the road and a nightmare to back up when your dinghy is in tow.

Turning.... the MH leans over like it is kneeling....and glides wide around the turn.

Cornering.... I have new swaybar bushings....some steering helpers and new airbags....my rig corners nicely. But I can see if you are not driving a well maintained rig ...you can get that understeer feeling.....and sweat a hard corner.
I think if you are into the best ride possible.... you will look at the suspension and read the threads ... then slowly make your rig into a fine driver. I did the $16 sway bar bushings myself. It was a minor challenge on my older rig. Then I had Koni shocks .... installed those myself. Airbags..... installed those myself..... Safe T Steer.....had it installed.....that was my upfront additions. My rig used to get pushed around by semis as they passed....but not anylonger.
I have airbags on the rear....former owner put those on. I have no clue what the rear end was like without them.
So I conclude that the MH is not like driving a 5th wheel.....but more like a big sedan. It has the wide turn thing going on....pulling into a busy mall parking lot will place a smile on your face.....getting out will make you chuckle.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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One of the biggest issues to get used to is how far the rear (stern, if you're a boater) swings in the opposite direction of the turn. Especially, if there is a lot of distance between the rear wheels and the back end. Like anything, with a little practice you'll get comfortable with it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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Bruce... A well setup MH drives most like a big floating 1974 Dodge Monaco station wagon than like a big 3/4T PU. A 38ft will be a pleasure to take down the road and a nightmare to back up when your dinghy is in tow.

Turning.... the MH leans over like it is kneeling....and glides wide around the turn.

Cornering.... I have new swaybar bushings....some steering helpers and new airbags....my rig corners nicely. But I can see if you are not driving a well maintained rig ...you can get that understeer feeling.....and sweat a hard corner.
I think if you are into the best ride possible.... you will look at the suspension and read the threads ... then slowly make your rig into a fine driver. I did the $16 sway bar bushings myself. It was a minor challenge on my older rig. Then I had Koni shocks .... installed those myself. Airbags..... installed those myself..... Safe T Steer.....had it installed.....that was my upfront additions. My rig used to get pushed around by semis as they passed....but not anylonger.
I have airbags on the rear....former owner put those on. I have no clue what the rear end was like without them.
So I conclude that the MH is not like driving a 5th wheel.....but more like a big sedan. It has the wide turn thing going on....pulling into a busy mall parking lot will place a smile on your face.....getting out will make you chuckle.
Thank you, Craig. I'm looking at a 2008 Winnebago on a workhorse chassis. Bilstein shocks sounded good. I'm told this is one of the best riding chassis around. We'll see.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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Thank you, Craig. I'm looking at a 2008 Winnebago on a workhorse chassis. Bilstein shocks sounded good. I'm told this is one of the best riding chassis around. We'll see.
YUP!

We have a 2007 Workhorse W24 (8.1L / Allison 6spd) under our Outlaw (37.3' Class A Toyhauler).

It is a dream to drive and more enjoyable than our last rig (Dodge 3500 Diesel DWR 4X4 towing a heavy Dutchmen Denali TT using an Equalizer WDH).

We tow a small SUV and unless the back-up camera is on, it's hard to tell we have the Dingy.

The difference in height is now the only real concern for us. At 13' the Outlaw is pretty tall, but maybe not much different than your 5er.

I still have my Dodge, but the Class A is just so easy to operate

Best of luck!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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YUP!

We have a 2007 Workhorse W24 (8.1L / Allison 6spd) under our Outlaw (37.3' Class A Toyhauler).

It is a dream to drive and more enjoyable than our last rig (Dodge 3500 Diesel DWR 4X4 towing a heavy Dutchmen Denali TT using an Equalizer WDH).

We tow a small SUV and unless the back-up camera is on, it's hard to tell we have the Dingy.

The difference in height is now the only real concern for us. At 13' the Outlaw is pretty tall, but maybe not much different than your 5er.

I still have my Dodge, but the Class A is just so easy to operate

Best of luck!
Thank you, Steve and Kim. I'm feeling more positive about this all the time!
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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I'll give you my perspective from a "newbie" MH owner's point-of-view. We pulled a 36' 5er with a Ford F250 PSD for 10 years before getting the MH last year. The 5er was rock-solid on the highway, never any problems. We loved the floor plan and had added things to make it safer and more comfortable.

The a deal came up on the MH that I felt we could not turn down. Both of us were VERY reluctant about changing but decided to try it. We were about to leave on a 7000 mile trip out west and took the MH on her maiden voyage.

To sum it up, WE LOVE IT!

Yes, it is totally different to drive because of the size, but you just have to take it slow and easy and don't put yourself in any dangerous situations.

There is no comparison in driving comfort! Our MH uses the Roadmaster chassis with 8 airbags which are also used for auto leveling. The seats are incredibly comfortable. With the F250, I had to let my old bones take a break after about 2 hours. With the MH, I think I could drive all day if I wanted to!

When we were taking the trip out west it was really nice to be able to pull over on the side or into a parking lot, start the generator, and have all the comforts of a CG including both air conditioners! When we were covering a long stretch without wanting to stop and sight-see, we simply found a WalMart that would allow overnight parking and didn't have to search for a campground. Saved us a few bucks too, even though it costs about $2 an hour to run the generator.

Backing into a campsite is MUCH easier with a MH! It doesn't bend in the middle and block my view!! Only problem here is campgrounds with really narrow one-lane roads!

We pull a toad and the MH doesn't even know it's back there! It takes me five minutes to hook or unhook the toad.

You didn't mention it but just be sure you are aware and prepared for the additional cost of owning a MH. I don't just mean the purchase price, but the ongoing maintenance cost and possible repair costs, especially if it's a diesel pusher (I would not consider anything else). The tires for my MH are around $600 each, and they tell me that if that Cummins engine blows up you're looking at around $15,000 cost!

There are lots of folks on here who helped me tremendously before and after we bought ours. Take advantage of their experience and knowledge!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:35 PM   #8
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Moho does not bend in the middle.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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MotorHome Bends in the middle

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Moho does not bend in the middle.
They make Motorhomes out of buses all the time...Don't cha' think, it's only a matter of time...

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Old 07-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for your valued input.
The MH we are looking at is a 2008 38 foot Winnebago gas pusher. 8.1 engine, Allison transmission. My research so far indicates that this is an excellent coach. I'll have a look at it next week and take it for a drive. It will be an interesting meeting.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:00 PM   #11
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Thanks for your valued input.
The MH we are looking at is a 2008 38 foot Winnebago gas pusher. 8.1 engine, Allison transmission. My research so far indicates that this is an excellent coach. I'll have a look at it next week and take it for a drive. It will be an interesting meeting.
A gas pusher! I learn new things everyday....
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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It's built on a Workhorse UFO chassis (Universal fuel option). Available with a gas or diesel engine.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:38 PM   #13
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Yes, thanks. I was interested in the gas pushing perspective, thought only diesels could push.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:28 PM   #14
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It's built on a Workhorse UFO chassis (Universal fuel option). Available with a gas or diesel engine.
That is very cool. I have read about the UFO Workhorse. A bit ahead of it's time, was a common idea from reviews. It would be very comfortable and, I'm sure very quiet.

Best of luck!
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