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Old 06-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #15
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For me it was the money. I could pay cash for the 5er and truck or mortgage a coach and have no spending money to use camping. Maintenance licence and insurance are much cheaper.
All that being said---If I win the lottery today I'll have a coach tomorrow.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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Just curious Ken, why do you feel that fivers have advantages over DPs in these two areas?

Rick

Better for full time use since you don't have the issue of exercising the engine, transmission every 30 days or so or prepare it for long term storage if you park some place for several months. Also less heat loose/gain through the windshield and uninsulated front cap.

I have more storage in my 36' 5er than most equal length motorhomes I have seen.

I also forgot the issue of tire cost for the 5er and truck vs. the tires on a coach plus a dinghy.

Ken
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:53 PM   #17
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Many times I read the same thing from MH folks about the convenience of being able to walk around and do things in their rig while it travels down the highway at 60-70 mph.

Convenient? Sure. Safe? Not so sure.

We personally know one person injured when hitting furniture during a sudden evasive maneuver. I recognize the temptation to wander when what you want may be just steps away. If we had a MH we would be tempted too. But so far, after 15 years with a variety of fifth wheels and trucks, we have managed to never go hungry or wet our pants because we couldn't find a place to stop.

Now let's hear about how when it rains, the MH folks stay dry 'cause they don't have to walk from truck to fiver. I'll give 'em that one.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #18
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It's nice to be able to have an objective exchange of viewpoints on this topic without it turning into a "this is 'better' than that" spitting contest.

Now if we could just get those "gas vs diesel" guys to chill out too.

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Old 06-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #19
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To each his own....what ever flips your fritter.

That is why they have red cars, blue cars, white cars an a whole host of other colors....I don't like black cars.

We have had them all and we chose what works well for us and all of the reason I discussed above are what we looked at.

In the future, I may want to get a small motorhome if our life style changes to that direction.

Ken
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #20
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Better for full time use since you don't have the issue of exercising the engine, transmission every 30 days or so or prepare it for long term storage if you park some place for several months. Also less heat loose/gain through the windshield and uninsulated front cap.

There is no reason to "exercise" a diesel when it is not being used; in fact it is recommended that they not be started at all unless they can be brought to full operating temperature.

When we stop for more than a few days and have a sunny front exposure, we use an exterior sunshield. At night we have insulated curtains to reduce the heat loss.

I have more storage in my 36' 5er than most equal length motorhomes I have seen.

Could be, but the basement storage in our 40' MH is more space than we need.

I also forgot the issue of tire cost for the 5er and truck vs. the tires on a coach plus a dinghy.

I agree tires aren't cheap, but for a once-every-seven-year expense I can't see making it a key factor for making the choice.
To each his own; there are pros and cons for both. I see no reason to create reasons to justify one's personal selection. Hopefully, everyone is comfortable with his/her own choice. I have no interest in trying to convince you my choice is better.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:28 PM   #21
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To each his own;.......I have no interest in trying to convince you my choice is better.
Neither do I. I am an engineer and part of my job is to analyze multiple items and decide what is best for this application for the dollars.

When we present a "bid tab" to the client, it will list all of the pros and cons for each piece of equipment and what is best for the application based on the design criteria.

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #22
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One other factor I am thinking about. Nearly all motorhomes have a fully-integrated generator. I almost never see that in a 5th wheel. Of course, generators can be installed in 5th wheels, but spaces may be hard to find, and integration more difficult. (interior control panels, exhaust location, maintenance access, etc.)

We currently have a Carri Lite 5th wheel that we intend to make some long trips with after retirement before deciding on whether to go to motorhome or another 5th wheel.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #23
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One other factor I am thinking about. Nearly all motorhomes have a fully-integrated generator. I almost never see that in a 5th wheel. Of course, generators can be installed in 5th wheels, but spaces may be hard to find, and integration more difficult. (interior control panels, exhaust location, maintenance access, etc.)

We currently have a Carri Lite 5th wheel that we intend to make some long trips with after retirement before deciding on whether to go to motorhome or another 5th wheel.
Our last two fifth wheels had/have built-in generators. Fits in the front compartment. Takes up space, of course, but not enough to bother us and no more space than what's taken up in a MH. Control panel is inside the rig, exhaust located on driver side. Ours is propane powered and is a fuel hog in that respect. But for the way we use it (an hour or two at a time and two 40 lb tanks), it's not an issue.

I've seen other fivers with built in gen-sets having their own on-board dedicated gasoline tank, usually on toy haulers but on standard fivers as well. It's an expensive option when you look at it as a separate line item, but the gen-sets aren't free on MHs, either.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #24
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For us it was price. A 5er came in under budget. I have the set-up down to about 20 minutes. Mind you, DW and I looked for about a year before settling on our current model. I also like the fact that I can use the F 350 for hauling stuff to the dump, helping out with bottle drives, etc.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:28 PM   #25
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We have had an rv of some type for the past 35 years. Owned several fifth wheels before changing to a gas motorhome 9 years ago. We had sold an Excel to get the gas and felt like we took a step backward as it was very ill-mannered on the road, and somewhat smaller. Two years later we got a dp which was a notch or two above the entry level and served us well till we sold it in April, after much thought and soul searching. Went back to Excel and a new GMC 3500.

The reasons we went back are many but mostly involve cost and service. No one around here would work on the motorhome so I did everything myself. Crawling under a motorhome and dealing with vast quantities of fluids was getting old, as am I. A friend of mine just had the oil, filter and fuel filters changed on his dp for $400 which is cheap compared to other things. Blow a turbo or worse, a tranny or engine and see what that costs. I know those things are not too likely to happen and can happen on a tow vehicle but I would doubt the cost would be comparable.

The big truck part is no big deal to me as I have always had a pickup for my driver. The 3500 is pretty darn comfortable and solo I am getting over 20 mpg on the road. Hooking and unhooking the fiver is pretty much a wash with unhooking from a car but leveling is quicker as we got the auto level on the fifth wheel.

I admit the going down the road part is much more pleasant in motorhome with the freedom it offers but for us that is a small part of the experience. Most of our time is spent parked.

Some of our motorhome friends think we are nuts and took a step backwards and we may have, even though the new Excel is nicer than our old motorhome in many ways. But, I am back in my comfort zone both money wise and service wise. Please don't think I am trying to say a fifth wheel is better because I'm not. What works for us may not work for you, but that's okay and why they make all types of these things.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:31 PM   #26
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Well we just traded a nice 35ft DP for our 38 ft 5th wheel. I have mixed emotions. The DP has far more understorage better organized and far easier to park. I almost never messed with levelors and such with the DP and the build in generator and inverter were much easier to use than the 5th wheel.

If I was still traveling a lot and making long trips the DP would be heads up first choice. But, we got old and use ours more as a mobile condo and so we went to the 5th wheel for more living space. To be truthful you really need one of each.
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Old 06-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #27
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Steve 258, I can not believe anyone would take a nap while driving down the highway. Is this not dangerous? Hope you never have to swerve or hit your brakes in a panic stop.

I bought a 5th wheel because of 1. cost 2. having a truck I could use for everyday driving and taking side trips while camping 3. cheaper maintance

I traveled 25,000 miles last year and it doesn't take long to hook up or unhook. Really pretty easy!!

After all this I do like the MH and may get one. Just need a little more money)

Tom
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #28
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.........I've heard fiver owners claim that the lower cost of purchase and the fact that there is only one motor vehicle to maintain is a big factor in their decisions. Makes sense, it's just preference and priorities..........

Rick
I have to agree that having to maintain another chassis/motor and lower entry prices for FWs are the primary reason we have one. We had a big Class A and it was okay, but we're really starting to like the FW thing.
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