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Old 03-14-2014, 03:17 AM   #1
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5th Wheel Ride Versus Motorhome

Not sure if this should be posted in the general 5th wheel forum or this one. Wife and I are a year from full timing, thus I am doing a lot of research and reading on these forums. I like the convenience of motorhomes but she doesn't like the 'tube' feeling of motorhomes and prefers the 'living room' feel of a fiver. As one can test drive a motorhome but not a truck and fiver combination, I am concerned with the comfort of the ride down the road. Is it possible to eliminate completely the 'chucking'? How comfortable is the ride? I have rented a trailer in the past and you definitely could feel it 'back there'. If I am full timing I want to be sure of a comfortable ride. Any advise or opinions would be greatly appreciated. I'm OK with a dually also.

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Old 03-14-2014, 03:45 AM   #2
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The pinbox, hitch quality, and of course the truck selection itself will dictate the ride quality. Really my 08f350 dually with a hyjacker 16k hitch and Myride (spelling question on this) pinbox rode like an absolute dream. Probably not as nice as a 1/2 million dollar diesel motorhome, but I don't know...it was a damn nice ride though. This combo was NEVER unstable...passing trucks at speed, or being passed...high winds....nothing...just rock solid stable. Cheaper setups can result in things like porpoising on the highway which can be intimidating...or as stated chucking can occur as well. Like everything in life..more you spend...better things get.

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Old 03-14-2014, 04:57 AM   #3
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You didn't specify what type of mh. Ours rides as good as your recliner.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 336muffin View Post
You didn't specify what type of mh. Ours rides as good as your recliner.
Newmar Ventan 39ft 2007 or so. Budget about $130k
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:03 AM   #5
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A lot depends how you anticipate your "full timing" routine to be. If you intend to be going down the road most of the time, a motorhome definitely "rides" nicer. If you anticipate moving to different locations and staying a while, a fiver is the best way. I had motorhomes from 1973 until 2002. Always had one from Class B up thru the diesel pusher. They are expensive to maintain, getting lousy mileage and I was not full timing, therefore I had to go for a 30 or so mile ride every few weeks, take care to monitor and treat fuel condition when sitting for a period of time, and pay thru the nose to get an oil change. Don't let anything break - -- OUCH. As for driving, they ride nice, but do not hold the road as steady as a properly setup fiver. The usable floor space in the fiver is much better with all the large slides, etc. The setup of the fiver I important as mentioned. I have the Air Safe hitch which moves in all directions to drastically reduce any impact and chucking along with the MorRyde pinbox. I would never go back to a motorhome after having this setup. Try a tight corner across a street and misjudge making it - - you are now blocking all the traffic from the other direction, you cannot back up because the toad is hooked up, the wife has to go unhook the toad, move it out of the way to let up back up, move to a parking lot somewhere to rehook it back up - - NO THANKS. (You are right, been there, done that)...........

2003 Dodge HO 6 speed Laramie Dually, Jordan controller, RDS fuel tank, Air Ride 25K hitch
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:05 AM   #6
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Air ride is hands down the best ride you can have. The longer the wheel base and larger tires, these three factors equals a good ride. Here is something else to consider, if you stop mid day to have lunch the mh should be comfortable inside even on a hot day. You never have to open your door to reach your bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. 5th wheels have their good points as well. It takes me about 5 minutes to level and hookup at a cg. Another 5 minutes to connect or disconnect from our car. Car is easier to sightsee in or go to dinner. We have friends with 5ers and they love them. Lots more to consider motr than ride alone.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:12 AM   #7
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We went from a 5er to MH and yes the MH does ride really smother. Not sure about the tube feeling you speak of, ours has slides on both sides that make LR very big and open. The 5er we had had a good ride being pulled only with a 3/4 ton Duramax but you knew it was there. Took some time getting use to the bulk that seemed to set just above your shoulders and behind you, I worried that if it ever came loose in a quick stop it would take out the cab.

We were happy with the 5er but switched for the added storage, larger living area but mainly for the convenience during travel. We moved from TT to 5er for ease of connection and handling improvement and both were great for staying in one place for a while but we wanted to be more spontaneous in our travel, able to pick up and go without a lot of break camp/hook up time and the MH offers that. Not to mention while stopped in traffic the bathroom is a lot easier to get to. lol
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:41 AM   #8
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Moved from a 41 foot MH to 39 foot 5er. Got more room and truck does pull along just fine. No issues with passing, being passed or winds. I think it was the right move at the time for us.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:50 AM   #9
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Loved our fifth wheel when we had it, but did not like driving the monster truck it took to pull it. Even solo our one ton only got 10 - 12 mpg, and finding a place to park a one ton dually can be a challenge in some places (I remember our visit to St. Augustine). I had no complaints about how the dually rode when loaded with the trailer, but solo it was a bit stiff. Our Jeep toad is much more nimble solo and has the added benefit of being able to take us down forest and back country trails that would have been difficult in the big pickup.

Our air bag suspended DP rides great. It's no Cadillac, but rides as well as most any RV combination. We're 13' across inside when the opposing slides are open so I'm not sure about the "tube" feeling comment.

Eliminate the cockpit area of the motorhome and you do have more floorplan options with a fifth wheel.
Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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Your question about ride depends on the rig. For motorhomes, as a general rule, the more you spend the better it rides. Our first mh was a 35' gas and it literally wore me out keeping it straight on the road, even on a calm day. Add some wind and it was terror time. After a couple of years of that nightmare we went to a 39' Holiday Rambler on the RR8R chassis, which has 8 air bags and 8 shocks. Much better but still some wondering. Changed the shocks to Koni's, added a steering stabilizer and front and rear stabilizer bars and all was good. Just took money. A lot depends on the chassis so you really want to take a nice, long test drive to see how it performs.

Adding and edit: You will find many motorhomes used the Norcold 1200 series fridges. Be sure the 2 recalls have been done as they can be a fire hazard. We had so much trouble with ours we finally convertered to a residential Samsung French door, RF197. We also have that fridge in the Excel and it is great.

For us, owning a diesel pusher motorhome was not worth it. We've owned 5 fifth wheels and 2 motorhomes in the past 40 years and we find the fifth wheels better suited to the 3 to 4 months per year that we use it. Cost of maintenance is, in our experience, quite a bit cheaper with a fifth wheel.

Just a suggestion, you might want to expand your search to include a Monaco Diplomat or HR Endeavor up to 09 which are on the RR8R Monaco chassis. The ride is somewhat firmer than a Freightliner but they generally handle well. I know the old Monaco went bankrupt in 09 but nothing in that range is going to have a warranty anyway and they might go for less money. Monaco built some really solid products, especially from about 05 to 08.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:43 AM   #11
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Some say MH for ride comfort and 5th wheels for park comfort.
I say 5th wheel for both and affordability. The trailer I can fix and still live in it. The truck can be fixed anywhere or traded.
Everyone I meet and know with MH have a story to tell about repair cost.

My SRW truck is much more comfortable to ride unloaded then our Toyota 4 cylinder. And towing has more stability then the car.
We do use both the car and truck when gone from home for 6 months snowbirding in the south because its cheaper to fix the car then the truck per mile of use. And our life style with the trailer we can afford the luxury of the car. And fuel cost is about par.
We travel 2 months and park for 10 so it's a no brainer what is best. And the truck also gets full use also while trailer parked. And while traveling we have all the comfort as we love to stop and stretch and would also do it in a MH to be safe.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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See the comment above about steering and lane control. I have never had a MH but have heard this issue frequently from MH owners. It seems to decline as the price of the MH increases. Highway rutting where the studded tires are used can also present their own challenges. As noted above, money can fix most things.

Almost any feature can be found on either style, with the possible exception of the electric cord reel.

We have a 2012 dually and a 40' 5th. The dually is my daily driver. I actually like driving it but avoid drive-thrus of any kind, and all parking garages. There is almost always a spot out at the end in the mall or grocery store, so parking has not been an issue. The spring progression has changed in recent years so the unloaded ride is quite acceptable, and the loaded ride is fine. We use a B&W Companion hitch and a Mor-Ryde pin box.

If you need to haul a Jeep or such for off-road, the motorhome is it. For travel where we only stay in the park overnight I don't unhitch and leveling takes maybe a minute with hydraulic jacks. Usually just hook up electric and use a 30 amp cord as the temps are usually below 60 so air conditioning is not an issue. (to and from Alaska annually) We park for 4 months and I use the truck for lumber and such larger items where a car would not work.

Your choice is all about what you want to do and how you would use it. Be wary of comparing features on units with larger price differences than the cost of a recent vintage truck.

Sort of an aside, 5ths and trucks usually have spare tires on rims and can be handled by you.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:14 PM   #13
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We've had both, motor homes and 5th wheels. Lived in both. Ride was never a consideration or issue - living area comfort and storage were a consideration. My current motorhome has slides on both sides in the front and as mentioned above is quite wide and probably not considered a tube. This 39 foot motorhome has more significantly storage than the 36 foot King of the Road 5th wheel hands down and it is relatively easy to access the storage. We prefer the motorhome but you need to get what is best for you. 5th wheels are best for a lot of people because there sure are plenty of them out there. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:41 PM   #14
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X2, on 1cinderdog's , post and I'll add, MH's flat internal floor is a big plus on these old knees. Parking and leveling, faster on MH.
Your going to get as many opinions as there are members in the 5th wheel and MH sections of the forums.

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