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Old 08-08-2012, 09:06 AM   #43
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I actually had a completely different train of thought when I started looking at going full time in a camper. (Those that know me will not be surprised by that statement... ) I had originally looked at slide-in truck units, to go with the dually and enclosed trailer I already had. I could live in or around the camper, and stow the bike and other junk in the trailer.

Due to unforseen issues, the slide-in plan didn't work, so I started looking at fifth wheel toy haulers. I'm not leaving home without the bike.

Again, I already had an F-350, so the 5'er choice was easy. Other contributing factors were the fact that I am a solo'er so any sandwich making while rolling down the highway in a DP would be doubly hazardous. As far as set up goes, the only real difference is that the MH guys can push the self levelling button and, in theory, be done. I have seen a few posts complaining about those systems as well, and have seen other folks setting up having to fiddle with them a fair bit. Also, I could get off my wallet and have a self levellor installed on the 5'er, but haven't.

As far as the other services go, to the best of my knowledge, you will still have to haul yerself out into the heat/cold/rain/bugs to hook up sewage, water, electric and cable. The only difference is I will be outside to put down my motorized landing gear, and whack a couple of X-braces between the trailer wheels. As said before, unhooking the dually isn't much more complicated than uhooking the toad.

One other benefit I have found, when stuffing a 45' 5'er into a site that is a bit small, is that once the truck is unhooked, I can be a bit more creative parking it, And can have the back of the rig hanging over the grass a pretty fair ways.

It has struck me that the 5'er floor plans feel more "homey" than the MH's I have seen. Although I realize that it is a very personal choice, as a full timer, I really don't want to feel like I'm in a camper... the layout in mine feels more like a small cabin, to me at least.

Apologies for the wall-o-text...

You dont really have to be outside for the landing gear, there is key fob"s for that type of thing. You will have unhook from your truck first though
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #44
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You dont really have to be outside for the landing gear, there is key fob"s for that type of thing. You will have unhook from your truck first though
Very valid point, but I don't happen to have the fob, and I keep a little magnetic level in the same area as the forward landing gear switches, so can get myself pretty close to set up from right there.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:57 PM   #45
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When we decided to sell everything and head out on a fulltime adventure 16 years ago. We looked at everything out there. For us, we eliminated the MH's because of lack of living space [at that time they were just offering multiple slides in 5th wheels]. We felt we needed room for that "Home" feeling.
I think the reason some MH folks think setting up a 5th wheel is harder is because some didn't take advantage of the features that were out there at the time or that have come along since. We have auto steps, auto leveling, generator and a host of other goodies to make fulltiming easy for us. We also have a dishwasher, washer dryer, central vac, fireplace and other goodies again for convenience. When we are parked, we want to spend our time exploring or golfing not washing dishes. I know that I have more cabinet and closet space that I can use and we carry a lot of "stuff".
We also like the fact that we are in the same vehicle all the time. We don't have to adjust our driving from when we are unhooked or hooked up except for making wider turns of course. We love our Dodge and like sitting up high and having a vehicle with substance if something bad should happen.
I agree that with others on cost. Even with every available upgrade offered at the time and every imaginable toy we've added since, we are no where near what a MH would cost.
We don't stay put in any one spot more that 2 weeks at a time so we are always traveling and that makes fuel mileage important to us. We don't carry extra tanks as we don't want the extra weight, the expense or that much fuel as we go down the road.
Even when we 1st looked at a MH and I made the comment to the salesman that I could make a sandwich etc, going down the road his comment was "what's your hurry? I thought you were retired? Why not pull off the road, unwind, take a walk, have a bite then get back on the road?" That sure made sense to me. I have to say that in 16 years that when I walk in the door, I know I am home because of the space, the layout and having it separate from our vehicle.
I truly believe it is a personal choice. I cannot ever see myself in a Motorhome but for others, it is the perfect choice.
Find out what you want, how you want to travel, choose what suits your needs and go have fun. Isn't that what it's all about? Hugs, Di
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:23 PM   #46
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I truly believe it is a personal choice. I cannot ever see myself in a Motorhome but for others, it is the perfect choice.
Find out what you want, how you want to travel, choose what suits your needs and go have fun. Isn't that what it's all about? Hugs, Di
Excellent post Di....

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:05 AM   #47
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Very valid point, but I don't happen to have the fob, and I keep a little magnetic level in the same area as the forward landing gear switches, so can get myself pretty close to set up from right there.
I was just pointing that even that little item can make a 5'ver ez'er to set up, just as ez as a MH if equipped.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:32 AM   #48
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We live in our 5th wheel full time. Its our 2nd one since retirement. Its a matter of convenience that we do have our unit.

We are asked often why not a MH, and I say, we just don't see a need after hearing the stories of MH owners.
1. 5th wheels are larger because the slides can be brought in and occupying all the living area, MH are meant to be lived in with smaller slides in.
2. Most MH are build on a Bus chassy, and age due to being parked to long, and my truck is used every day and well used as a diesel should.
3, I have seen so many people storing their kettle, toasters, other appliances in the basement due to lack of storage in a smaler kitchen areas.
4. MH are so dark, both inside and out that they are not capable to be comfortably cooled, and I am dead against dark 5th wheels also.
5. The cost of repair, and availability of service is limited to the transport type of garage. My truck can be repaired at any shop in 1 hr, as I have experienced, changing a starter and back on the road. Besides I do all my RV and TV maintenance myself before a trip.
6. We love to be able to stop and walk and visit, while getting a chance to talk to fellow RVer's, MH travellers mostly never get out at rest areas.
7. We bring our car to the south, as snowbirds we stay 6 months, wife has her car and I have my truck. She loves to drive behind me, and she will control the traffic by allowing me changing lanes, just that is worth the little gas she burns following me. I towed, and damaged our car for more then the gas, when a flat on the trailer and tire parts hit it.
8. Our MH friends cannot afford to go south every winter, as they have very high depreciation and limited service term as one friend found out with his older MH. I can change TV any time and keep the 5th wheel, as the last one was 15 years old. This safe friend has a 5th wheel now.
9. I try to keep my equipment simple and manual, after all what am I going to do while the wife prepares her house inside, she does not want me to setup inside. Also less things to go wrong. Everything that has a push button needs 12 volt power and needs to be maintained.
10. We are happy in our condo on wheels and everyone to their own requirements, the 5th wheels have served us well in the past 20 years and using used high mileage TVs at 50% cost of new. After all, trucks are build to be used hard.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:08 AM   #49
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Pretty simple decision for me, it's hard to find a MH toyhauler even close to my budget!
Amen to that! How else are we going to tote around 2 of our Harleys, or 2 of our quads, and include 2 bicycles when we have 2 of those others in there! Again, we couldn't beat the space in the 30ft range so that we could still get into Nat'l Parks and such.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #50
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The posts here have covered a lot of ground and many have written things that I have not even thought of. We are on our third 5er, our first RV was a TT. We kept going up in size and this last one we went down, an Arctic Fox 27-5L which feels just right. We started off our married life backpacking so this is a real treat. Hard to get the wife to stop anywhere there are not full hook ups.

For my two cents I would say that life style is a major consideration when considering an RV. We do not travel all that much, maybe 4 to 6 weeks a year. Given that, we do not want a lot of money tied up in something that spends a lot of time parked. We may travel more when we get tired of the snow and I stop skiing. Who knows?

Have always owned a pickup, the current one being diesel. Although I have seen many MH that looked really nice but we have the truck so it was either a TT or 5er. Before our most recent purchase we debated MH vs. TT vs. 5er and decided a 5er worked best for us and purchased a previously owned unit which saved even more money.

Regarding cost to own, all things considered, not much. We just returned from a thousand mile trip and if you can believe what the computer display says we averaged 14.7 mpg. I have to admit I don't drive all that fast, just the speed limit so that probably helps. A couple of hundred bucks a year to have my local RV maintenance guy check the brakes and bearings plus do whatever is needed to the roof and caulk the seams and that's it.

I am pretty new to this web site and find it interesting as well as informative.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:08 AM   #51
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I am fairly new to 5th wheel trailers but must say it has everything we need or want. We wanted seperate bedrooms for us and the kids. I also wanted an outside kitchen since I do all the cooking. I do not think we could of found all we wanted in a MH. When we decide to get a bigger camper, all our friends said to look into 5th wheels. Our last camper was a 1967 13' scotty and before that a popup we pulled with the Harley. My brother had a MH and we took lots of trips in it. It was OK but I felt kind of confined in it. Our fifth wheel feels more like a second home. We are into the old car thing and when we travel we look for cruises and shows. Our tow vehicle is a 1957 so it fits in really well when we find a cruise. If we had a motorhome, chances are we would not be dragging a classic with us. We would have to buy another car because we do not own anything that would fit on a dolly. Its a personal choice and the 5th wheel woorks out good for us.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:30 AM   #52
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According to my local dealer more demand is now for 5th wheel RVs rather than motorized units. What am I missing with my MTH? We travel in comfort. My DW can whip up a snack. Pour a cold soda with ice from thefridge. Use the potty. Watch a DVD movie, take a nap on the queen bed, allwhile I listen to tunes on the radio and drive. When we get to the campground I plug in the electric shore power, Open the slides, level with
automatic jacks, pull the pins on my roadmaster towbar for my Jeep "toad" and I'm done. I don't have a truck to unhook, scissor jacks to screw down,landing gear to mess with, or a tripod for the front 5th wheel hitch. Also I get better MPG with my Jeep than a truck set up for pulling a 5th wheel when I take side trips from the campground.
Comments?
I am one of those returning to the 5th wheel fold. Far more imaginative floor plans. The vast majority of the motor homes with slides only use the extra room for square dancing.
You say you are so much quicker to push the auto levelling button unhook your toad and away you go. You are right-you are also so much quicker writing all the checks for maintaining yet another motorized vehicle, another vehicle to insure-and speaking of maintenace-how do you feel aout $4k for 6 tires for the MH, or $200 oil changes, or $500 to $700 for that synthetic trans fluid change, or the limited service shops for the bus. I think that is all part of the motivation, plus I don't think the manufacturers have given us the quality in coach work that is commensurate with the coin we pay. If you compare MH to boats-I think it would be found there are far more old boats still floating around than brand name old MH. Not to say boats don't have their share of problems. There are no wiring standards for RV nor inspections to standards. There are standards for gas piping for instance-but once the CSA or UL accept the first cookie cutters off the line-they only want their cut of the $ and don't come back to inspect again. How many have had problems with their HVAC-there are no standards of installation. They do not have to be installed for reasonable service access-hence people want to go back or stay with disposable roof top AC. The attraction off a fifth wheel for me, I can buy something as big in sq.ft.as I want in the configuration I want. We can have a group of friends in to entertain without feeling like we are sitting on different sides of a bowling alley. Yeh I got an ungodly big tow vehicle to run over to the golf course with-but you know- N.Americans have voted with their $-they don't want tiny cars-cause they know who comes out second best in a crash & we are generally larger of stature & the extra room is treasured. Lastly I can take a trailer off the beaten path to places MH fear to tread.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:11 AM   #53
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The vast majority of the motor homes with slides only use the extra room for square dancing. ...


We can have a group of friends in to entertain without feeling like we are sitting on different sides of a bowling alley. .
Actually I don't disagree with any of the points you've made about the benefits of fivers but when talking about issues with MHs, it sounds as though you don't want to feel as though you're in a hallway but that slides provide useless floor space?

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #54
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Looking at 5'ers floor plans in some the slides are showing some imagination with islands etc in kitchen for food prep. entertainment centres that are a treat to watch that must see hockey or football game. Trailers in general & 5th wheels in particular have caught up and surpassed MH in many areas & features. About maintaining the tow vehicle-that is easily done at most local Big 3 service centers-not a specialty shop. I will admit, going down the road in a MH can't be beat for comfort & convenience-but setup for trailers now is just a matter of pushing the same convenience buttons MH have. On maintenance issues of MH-I have had no end of problem finding a shop that will agree to lift the bed to work on the top end of the DP engine. All the shops here are so busy they can pick & choose.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #55
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After reading all the posts, I am surprised that no one mentioned the inability to back up with a MH and toad/dolly. Personally, I enjoy the MH for the comfort and appreciate the Camry for side trips.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:00 AM   #56
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We have a 5th and DW loves to drive the sporty Matrix behind me. The comfort of her pulling over to allow me space to move over to change lanes is well worth the fuel burned. Plus the availability of 2 vehicles is a great asset for our hobbies. We can put one vehicle up river and kayak down stream to the other. Mileage on the more expensive truck but less then MH is covered by cheaper to maintain small car.
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