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Old 06-06-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
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Fifth wheel vs Motorhome

We are a family with two young children who have been camping for three years now and totally love the camping lifestyle. Our question is what are the pros verses the cons of fifth wheel verse motorhome. I personally love my fifth wheel and would love to upgrade from a 37ft to a larger fifth wheel with more sleeping area for the children and their friends. My wife meanwhile has a bad back and would love to have a motorhome so she can move around while we travel and loves the fact that there is so much more storage and convenience with a motorhome. If we went the motorhome route we would probably go with a Tiffin product as we feel they offer the most value for the dollar, any feedback you could give us would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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Boy, you asked THE mother of all questions. Check out this thread from 07 or this one from 06 (where I even chimmed in) where the MH or 5-r topics were discussed.

With your young family, it's possible a MH w/bunk beds would be a great option. Since you like Tiffin, check out their Allegro 35QBA. Just might be the ticket to suit your DW with designated sleeping areas for your kiddies.

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Old 06-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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My wife meanwhile has a bad back and would love to have a motorhome so she can move around while we travel
While there are pluses and minuses to any choice, the fact that your wife wants to move around IN A MOVING VEHICLE has got be the poorest reason of all to move to a motorhome!!! WHY would you let anyone you love move around in a moving vehicle? It's got to be one of the most dangerous things you can do! (And, yes, I'm perfectly aware that people DO move around in a motorhome while it's moving down the road, but I stand by my statement that it's one of the most dangerous things you can do). Think about what would happen if you had to brake hard in an emergency, or, God forbid, someone hits you head on! EVERYONE should be properly seatbelted when a vehicle...any vehicle...is in motion.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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As what Linda stated, having a 5th wheel or TT would eliminate the temptation to get up and go.....
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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I agree with being belted at all times when in motion. That being said, I imagine that it might be helpful to move from passenger seat to sofa, to dinette for a meal, then to a belted chair, whatever. These can be done in 45 minute breaks at rest stops.

For a lot of people with bad backs, just changing position a little can be comforting.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Best policy is to just pull over for a few minutes to let people rearrange their seating location, strap in, and then continue.

Or if towing with a pick up, stop more often to let all stretch a bit
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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Best advice I ever got was more than 20 years ago from an RV salesman who told me, "You want a trailer. Let momma pick the floor plan." So if the spouse is happier in a MH, that Tiffin sounds real nice! David
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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bad back and quick stops

If your wife already has a bad back, consider what would happen if she were moving around in the MH and you had to stop quickly. She could be injured even more. Years ago there was an singer serously injured when her tour bus was involved in an accident. Also, keeping the kids in place might be more difficult in a MH. Just too tempting to slip out of the seatbelt and explore.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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Hi pitcrew18,
I take a slightly different view than the previous posts. How about a 5th wheel floor plan with a motor! Before you jump on the Tiffin band wagon, go to http://www.newmarcorp.com/models/mot.../All%20Star/86 If I was going to purchase another coach, this is the one I would purchase. AllStar Model 4484. This is 45 feet of motor coach with a 5th wheel floor plan. There are captain's chairs for all four of you. Large windows for the kids to see out. A game table between their captain's chairs. Two entrance doors. A huge living/kitchen area in the rear of the coach.

The AllStar also has several bunk bed floor plans. And an imagination room floor plan.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:50 AM   #10
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loves the fact that there is so much more storage and convenience with a motorhome.

I am also starting to think a class A is in my future! But I also know that when I go to a motorhome, that I will give up storage and living space. 5th are known to have the most storage and living space for given length of RV.

If your going from a 37' 5th to a 45-50' MH it may be a wash???

I want a HM to tow our jeep, when I arrive, just hit button to level rig, done. Now enjoy! I don't want a big truck to drive around once we are at destination, so taking a jeep or car would work better.

For me, do you want to drive a truck, or sit in a big plush air suspended chair in comfort??
Traveling with kids in a truck can be tight quarters, a MH they could watch movie or play video games, I think that is the bonus of a MH.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:01 AM   #11
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I am also starting to think a class A is in my future! But I also know that when I go to a motorhome, that I will give up storage and living space. 5th are known to have the most storage and living space for given length of RV.
Hmm... living space maybe, but are you sure about storage space? Or maybe you are considering the MDT as additional storage space (but then why not include the TOAD for a MH).

Both can be a great choice.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #12
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Another factor to consider is that with a MH and toad, one has two powertrains to maintain. With a 5th wheel and truck, only one.

If the MH powertrain requires shop repairs, the "house" goes into the shop and the owners go to the motel (or other alternate accommodations); if the truck powertrain requires repairs, the 5th wheel is still available to live in.

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Old 06-09-2009, 11:03 AM   #13
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Another factor to consider is that with a MH and toad, one has two powertrains to maintain. With a 5th wheel and truck, only one.

If the MH powertrain requires shop repairs, the "house" goes into the shop and the owners go to the motel (or other alternate accommodations); if the truck powertrain requires repairs, the 5th wheel is still available to live in.

Rusty
These are probably the two main reasons we chose a 5th wheel over a motorhome, but I would say that most motorhomes provide more storage space than the average fiver. Also, it would be nice to have a smaller vehicle to cruise around in once at a camp destination, but it isn't really that bad with the pickup, either
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:00 PM   #14
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Having been a certified Volvo mechanic for years I know the value of NOT having to maintain yet another drive train. I have also always owned a pickup truck. For me the decision was simple. I do not want all the problems with a motor home that only gets driven occasionally. I have enough to do with the Fiver. There is also the factor mentioned above with your home away from home going into the shop. I love my 5th wheel and foot for foot the 5er gives you more living space. The more I pull it the more of a minimalist I become. I never load food anymore because after my return I was again returning food to the house that I dragged out to the 5er before I kleft. I can buy food easily on the road if I need it. I once dragged a frozen turkey all over the US. After being gone for 6 weeks I forgot it was still in the freezer in the 5er. I turned everything off and forgot about it for 5 weeks until one day I had to go in there. OMG!!! It had liqufied in the freezer. No matter how many concoctions I used to get rid of the smell, it never would go away. I eventually learned to just buy food as we go. I only carry just enough clothes to wear for 3 days and a first aid kit. I also carry a small mechanics tool set so that if something does go wrong I can fix it and I carry a digital VOM and a soldering gun and solder. Apart from the stuff like sewer hose water hose, etc, I carry little else. I do not need a lot of storage.

My current 5er is equipped with a RVQ. Another name for a bar B Q that hooks up to the side of the trailer and hooks into the LPG system. I never use the oven. I have a Showtime rotissery I use outside and use the camp site power rather then my own propane. The trailer also has 2 fireplaces that keep me warm and not use propane too. Now I can go 2 years before i have to fill my LPG tanks. My moto now is, less is more.
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