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Old 03-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #1
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Hi everyone: My wife and I are nearing retirement. We have tent,pop-up, and fifth wheel experience. We are considering snow bird camping and are settling on 38 foot class A or fifth wheel. Both will require substantial funding so we are taking our time before deciding on the life style or purchasing an rv. We plan on towing a Honda fit if we go the class a route. We would travel from new York to the Gulf states and do some mountain driving. The traveling crew will consist of me, my wife, and our boxer. We want a washer and dryer. Are there 2014 or 2015 manufacturers or models to be wary of? Any you recommend based on our plans?
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:03 PM   #2
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Fifth wheels have great floor plans and a lot cheaper! My sister has a 37 ft. 5er. We have a diesel class A. It's a very hard decision to make. You really need to think about whether you would be happier in either one, whether towing a 5er would be hard on you. I have leg problems so the class A is great for resting during the travels, plus the bathroom.

If you are going to be in one place for months itd probably be better to park a fiver for long periods rather than a full on motor vehicle or diesel. There are good and bads either way. We do love our Tiffin layout, though we have no plans for full timing. We wanted one short enough for national park dry camping so got the 33aa which is 35 ft. Love it. The new 37 is really nice.

Go drive a few to narrow down the confusion. You will get so many different opinions!
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #3
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There are good and bad in all brands. I would decide on the "must haves" and start looking at floor plans that you like that are within your price range. Decide whether you want gas or diesel if diesel fits your price range. After you find a couple you like, then come and search the forum and you will begin to get an idea of what to expect from the models that you like.

We like our class A for traveling and for ease of set-up, but there are times a 5th wheel would suit us better.
Gas suits me because I don't think I will put enough miles on it it wear it out and it has enough power for me.

There are lots of variables and even more opinions... find what you like.

Do not let the salesman rush you into a purchase you have not researched.
Good luck and have fun with your search.
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:34 PM   #4
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IMHO, I would first consider quality over floor plan. Living full time in either is different than a coach or trailer intended to be used a few weeks out of the year. I don't think some are built well enough to be lived in for extended periods of time. What good is floor plan if it's falling down around your ears after a couple of years.

Look at your cabinets, are they cheap particle board with plastic coating made to look like wood? Is everything stapled together instead of glued & screwed? Is the RV set up to deal with cold weather? Is the water heater big enough to take a decent shower? Counter space will be at a premium. I could go on and on but you get the picture. You may have to go for an older coach or trailer just to get the quality you want for the price.
Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:25 AM   #5
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Hi pdogii,
Welcome to iRV2. There are three main points to consider:
1. floor plan
2. Will the coach carry you, all your stuff and people? GVWR minus UVW = CCC or NCC depending on Brand.
3. Will the coach tow what you want to tow? GCWR minus GVWR = towing capacity. One must also check the coach receiver weight rating.

The above is valid for a 5ver or a motorized unit. With a towable coach one must answer the same questions about the entire package (tow vehicle and coach). After the above mentioned items are okay, one can make the decision as complicated as one wants to make it.

I've only had Class A coaches (the first in 1978). The class A coach allows everyone to travel in the luxury (available amenities) of the coach. For me, this is of prime importance.

Good luck with your search and post whenever there are questions.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:57 PM   #6
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How would you compare the costs of ownership between a motor home and a fifth wheel/pick up combo? I'm interested in maintenance. Barring the driveline differences are equally equipped coach and trailer costs the same?*

Considering driveline maintenance, my perception (based on doing my own suspension lube, filter and fluid changes) is that a diesel pick up would cost less than a class A*
To maintain. Is this accurate?*
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdogii View Post
How would you compare the costs of ownership between a motor home and a fifth wheel/pick up combo? I'm interested in maintenance. Barring the driveline differences are equally equipped coach and trailer costs the same?*

Considering driveline maintenance, my perception (based on doing my own suspension lube, filter and fluid changes) is that a diesel pick up would cost less than a class A*
To maintain. Is this accurate?*

Take away both drive trains and each coach may be similar in repair costs; slides, electronics, plumbing, etc. Having high quality RVs from the git-go make a difference!
5-er v MH can be argued til.....infinity and beyond.
Happy trails
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