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Old 08-17-2011, 06:37 AM   #15
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Well your class 3 hitch is rated for a maximum of 5,000 lbs. You might find an ultralight trailer that you can tow with your vehicle.

The trailer along with your tow vehicle will in all likelyhood cost less for you to maintain.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:43 AM   #16
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Depending on your requirements maybe a hybrid. Have seen but I do not have any experience with them.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:27 PM   #17
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I drive a 2006 Fleetwood Expedition with a 300 hp Cat engine 20,000 miles a year. My cost per mile is $1.17 not including depreciation and interest.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #18
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What is the annual operating costs of a diesel (Winnebago Via) compared to Travel trailer. Maintenace, insurance, fuel,etc.
I don't think they even make a 25' TT that you can compare to the Via.
Do you have one in mind?

You will have to include all the cost for a tow vehicle for the TT

Myself for the same money. I would get a used DP MH at least 10' longer with a much bigger refrigerator, bigger cook stove, bigger kitchen sink, air ride, bigger bathroom and etc.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by randco View Post
Well your class 3 hitch is rated for a maximum of 5,000 lbs. You might find an ultralight trailer that you can tow with your vehicle.

The trailer along with your tow vehicle will in all likelyhood cost less for you to maintain.
With class III and V8 it is 7,040 lbs. The V6 class II is 5,000.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:14 PM   #20
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Perhaps a little more input from you would help.

1. How do you plan to use it? Lots, little, in between are the options. There are some basic fixed costs for MH, especially DPs that get spread out with more use.
2. Professional or DIY for maintenance? Our costs to maintain a DP with me doing almost everything are a lot different that if you have to pay someone else. It is an example:
- a professional engine oil change will be $250 plus (could be a lot more). I just did one myself for about $65.
I didn't start out being comfortable doing my own work so I paid a shop to do some. I was shocked at the prices and how poorly the work was performed. I've been doing my own ever since.
3. Driving makes a difference. I can lead foot mine to up to 1.5mpg less. If I drive mine around 62, I can get about 10.5.mpg.

Assuming the CG costs are about the same and taking food and other RV costs out of the formula, the operating cost differences net out to mpg and maintenance. A pickup will get better mileage pulling a TT, probably. A diesel pickup (to handle the size of a TT) will likely be about the same maintenance costs as a small DP and will depend on the DIY versus professional the same way.

Last year's total cost for us as about $4K. 2009 was $3,200. That was everything included.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #21
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With class III and V8 it is 7,040 lbs. The V6 class II is 5,000.
A class III is rated for up to 5000 lbs and a 500lb tongue weight. It doesn't matter what it is attached to - the hitch itself has a 5000lb limit (that doesn't mean you can't exceed it, only that the design specs are for a 5000lb/500lb tongue limit).

The Vias are pretty fuel efficient aren't they, and since it is new, your operating costs should just be gas and oil changes for a few years anyway. I'd imagine actual operation costs would be fairly close, although a diesel costs more to get basic maintenance done. The MH will cost more to insure, and possible more to store.

However, with the MH, you may want a towed vehicle along. That adds to the operating costs.

I'm not sure how you can ignore purchase price, though. There is a HUGE difference between a new Via and a TT that your mountaineer can tow. That has to factor in, especially when you consider that a TT may depreciate faster, but it's overall depreciation will be much less than a 100K motorhome (or whatever the Via costs), and the Via will have higher payments (assuming you finance). Depreciation and monthly payments have to be factored into 'operating costs'.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #22
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With class III and V8 it is 7,040 lbs. The V6 class II is 5,000.
As lemosley01 said in his post, "A class III is rated for up to 5000 lbs and a 500lb tongue weight. It doesn't matter what it is attached to - the hitch itself has a 5000lb limit (that doesn't mean you can't exceed it, only that the design specs are for a 5000lb/500lb tongue limit)."
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:31 PM   #23
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Dont forget to figure annual depreciation or did someone already mention it?
it can be quite stiff.

I think trailers are much cheaper relatively speaking,and any toad decisions are taken care of.
Done em both,
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:25 PM   #24
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As lemosley01 said in his post, "A class III is rated for up to 5000 lbs and a 500lb tongue weight. It doesn't matter what it is attached to - the hitch itself has a 5000lb limit (that doesn't mean you can't exceed it, only that the design specs are for a 5000lb/500lb tongue limit)."

Rechecked the owners manual, they are stating it as a class III/IV.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:46 AM   #25
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Rechecked the owners manual, they are stating it as a class III/IV.
A class IV is good for 5,001 - 12,000 lbs and a 1,200 lb tongue weight. I really doubt that you would want to tow a trailer that was double the weight of your vehicle.

Here is a snip from the 2010 Ford Towing Guide.



I think you need to check with the manufacturer to see what you have and what you can tow SAFELY.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:45 AM   #26
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If you have to ask then I'd go with a TT. I'd give you a few reasons but someone on this board (not saying who) would flame me for many posts.... I'm going from a class A to a 5th wheel because of the costs.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:04 AM   #27
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Thanks to the OP for starting this thread, and to all of you who answered. This is one of the questions that we have, too.

Like the OP, I have a Mercury Mountaineer V8 with a III/IV hitch. The owner's manual says that I can tow up to 7000 pounds with a combined weight of 11,000. Our mpg, with a gross weight of 3800 pounds, easily fits. The Mercury will not be our tow vehicle when we retire, though. If we go with a TT we'll get a truck since we'll probably be looking at something with a gross weight of closer to 10-12,000 pounds.

Having some idea of the annual costs of operating a DP before deciding that that's what we want is quite helpful. I've never owned any diesel engine, and I've learned that sales people will tell you almost anything (and sometimes what they say is even true). For example, on one forum that I frequent, the general thought is that you will spend about $10,000 in new tires and other repairs within the first year of buying a DP. A salesman said that about $500/year is a good figure to use. I'm guessing that the truth lies somewhere between the two numbers. Those of you with real experience do us searchers a big favor when you share what you have learned. Thank you again.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:23 AM   #28
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I've never owned any diesel engine, and I've learned that sales people will tell you almost anything (and sometimes what they say is even true). For example, on one forum that I frequent, the general thought is that you will spend about $10,000 in new tires and other repairs within the first year of buying a DP. A salesman said that about $500/year is a good figure to use. I'm guessing that the truth lies somewhere between the two numbers. .
I think you're wise to realize this. The $10K in the first year reference is for purchasing an older DP used and still sounds a bit high to me. Even at $3500 for a set of new shoes $6500 in additional repairs seems about 2X what I would guess the actual to be. On the other hand, the $500/year in ongoing DP maintenance the salesman quoted is way too low. That would probably cover ONLY the tires.

Good luck...

Rick
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