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Old 07-26-2015, 10:35 PM   #1
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From Class A to 5th Wheel? Any Regrets?

Just considering selling our 40' Class A DP and exploring the idea of truck and fifth wheel.

Have any of you changed over to a 5th and what do you see as pros and cons?

Any regrets?

The truck is a non-issue as I already have to have a truck for work. I'd likely trade up to an F350. I get a truck allowance with my job thankfully.

This is what I see as advantages so far:

- The biggest advantage I see is it costs a lot less to mechanically maintain a Diesel 4x4 than a Diesel coach.
- A 5th is more spacious for less money than a big coach.
- Insurance on a 5th is a lot less than a Class A.

Your comments would be appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:16 PM   #2
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From Class A to 5th Wheel? Any Regrets?

You can get some very nice 5th wheels with great floor plans. If you already have the truck figured out, then it can also be cost effective. Many will even accommodate a King size bed, residential appliances, larger living areas, etc.

Some differences to consider may be convenience of the house while traveling down the road. The DW would lose the ability to use the facilities while you are driving, or maybe make a snack or get a cold drink from the fridge...

Have fun, regardless...

Are you going to be doing your usual purchase with the intent to sell method? That may be a good way to determine if this is going to be right for you, after having had several MH's... So be sure to buy low to give you the resale option at tome point in the future...


Ted
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedgard01 View Post
You can get some very nice 5th wheels with great floor plans. If you already have the truck figured out, then it can also be cost effective. Many will even accommodate a King size bed, residential appliances, larger living areas, etc.

Some differences to consider may be convenience of the house while traveling down the road. The DW would lose the ability to use the facilities while you are driving, or maybe make a snack or get a cold drink from the fridge...

Have fun, regardless...

Are you going to be doing your usual purchase with the intent to sell method? That may be a good way to determine if this is going to be right for you, after having had several MH's... So be sure to buy low to give you the resale option at tome point in the future...


Ted
With the truck requirement out of the picture, the cost savings in maintenance are huge. Not to mention purchase savings between the 5er and another coach.
I'd likely be buying to use the 5er till I retire. Then re- think.
The DP currently only gets used about 5 weeks a year right now. A lot of money tied up sitting.

Course with me, you never know what I'm going to do next!
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:25 AM   #4
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My opinion is based on how we use our rv. We are tourists. We are touring away from the sticks and bricks about 4 months of the year. Each stay is usually for only two to five days.

Over the years, we have owned three fifthwheels before moving to our motorhome and towed pickup. I have found that I am much more relaxed driving this rig (increased sight distance and engine braking) than towing any of the fifthwheels. The annual motorhome maintenance is much more expensive compared to the fifthwheel combination. However, we have not had any tire or bearing problems with the motorhome combo. I also got really tired of pre-ignition knock with the gas motored pickups but our last fifthwheel hauler was an excellent 2004 GMC Duramax/Allison dually.

Larger fifthwheels do have plenty of storage and livable floor plans. However, I don't think you will find a fifthwheel with the same level of sound and weather insulation as your Beaver Patriot.

Have fun. Drive safely.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:28 AM   #5
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We did 3 years ago, going from a 39' Monaco dp to our Excel. We bought the motorhome for our retirement but found the expense and headaches to just be too much for our comfort level. Any regrets? Absolutely none. I had had enough of the cost of maintenance and repairs, tires, etc. that went with 9 years of owning a motorhome. That has been non existent with our fifth wheel so far. I know there will be some issues down the road but there just aren't as many moving parts to break.

Some feel if you move a lot you should get a motorhome. We don't feel that way at all. We did a 5K trip last fall and went to 12 different rv parks. I can hook up our Excel to our Trailer Saver BD3 hitch much faster than I could hook up our toad. Plus, we just pack a lunch and some drinks if we are traveling all day. Also, I feel a bit better knowing my wife can't be up moving around. We have a friend who has a dp. He launched his wife head first into their dining table when he had to make a panic stop while she was up making a sandwich. It took 6 stiches to sew up her forehead.

We spend 3 to 4 months a year in ours but generally no more than 4 or 5 weeks at a time. We really enjoy the space and storage we have now. Also, if you want to make life easy be sure whatever you get has auto level. Using our truck as a driver is not all that bad. We usually find a parking spot a bit further out which gives us a little exercise.

Just my experience and opinion, others may vary.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:10 PM   #6
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We did 3 years ago, going from a 39' Monaco dp to our Excel. We bought the motorhome for our retirement but found the expense and headaches to just be too much for our comfort level. Any regrets? Absolutely none. I had had enough of the cost of maintenance and repairs, tires, etc. that went with 9 years of owning a motorhome. That has been non existent with our fifth wheel so far. I know there will be some issues down the road but there just aren't as many moving parts to break.

Some feel if you move a lot you should get a motorhome. We don't feel that way at all. We did a 5K trip last fall and went to 12 different rv parks. I can hook up our Excel to our Trailer Saver BD3 hitch much faster than I could hook up our toad. Plus, we just pack a lunch and some drinks if we are traveling all day. Also, I feel a bit better knowing my wife can't be up moving around. We have a friend who has a dp. He launched his wife head first into their dining table when he had to make a panic stop while she was up making a sandwich. It took 6 stiches to sew up her forehead.

We spend 3 to 4 months a year in ours but generally no more than 4 or 5 weeks at a time. We really enjoy the space and storage we have now. Also, if you want to make life easy be sure whatever you get has auto level. Using our truck as a driver is not all that bad. We usually find a parking spot a bit further out which gives us a little exercise.

Just my experience and opinion, others may vary.
Hi Jim,

Thanks for you thoughts. They are spot on with what I've assumed would be the pro's for a 5er.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:04 PM   #7
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Can anyone else comment?
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:40 PM   #8
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We went from a 36' class A to a 35.8' 5th wheel in April of this year and we are thrilled with the change. We much prefer towing, even with the horde of 4 attack chihuahuas we take with us. If we need a pit stop, we can always find a place to pull over.The extra room in our fiver is well worth any trade-off. We now have over 350 sq ft of living area.
Life is good!
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:38 PM   #9
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Well, we seem to have a different opinion. When driving the towing is so rough it isn't much fun, we can't stand to drive the truck so we have to take a separate vehicle plus we need a 4 wheel drive for the off road stuff. The dogs need air when we stop so that is a problem and we hate going back to the trailer to eat lunch or take a bathroom break due to the heat/cold so we are looking at moving to a class A for those issues and a few more.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:44 PM   #10
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Can anyone else comment?
Just an add-on to what I said earlier. Todays fifth wheels have adopted many features that used to be found mostly on motorhomes, like auto leveling, washer/dryer, residential fridge with inverters, satellite, convection/microwave, heat pumps, etc. We have all the above. Also, some are four season. Ours is guaranteed to not freeze up down to minus 10, or at least it was until Peterson Industries (Excel) closed down a few months ago. It has kept us comfortable in low teens temperatures. In hot weather with our 2 a/c's it does not take it long to cool down.

One thing we don't have that motorhomes do is a generator. We had the option but I passed thinking I could get one later. I thought I would miss it but have not at all. We never dry camp and usually have full hook ups so the need just hasn't been there for us.

Kind of strays from your question but one of the issues for the wife when we did this was giving up some of the features on the motorhome. Turns out she got them all plus some for a whole lot less money than a new motorhome would have cost.

It really all boils down to what best suits your needs and the way and reasons you travel.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:26 AM   #11
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Kind of strays from your question but one of the issues for the wife when we did this was giving up some of the features on the motorhome. Turns out she got them all plus some for a whole lot less money than a new motorhome would have cost.

It really all boils down to what best suits your needs and the way and reasons you travel.
Thanks again Jim.

Like you, we don't dry camp. We like the all the amenities when camping. We don't like moving every day and usually stay for 2-3 days at minimum unless we are traveling to get to a destination. The generator would be a boon but not a necessity. I have access to a portable generator at work if I needed to bring one.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #12
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I would want to stay with a truck like an Ford F350 Diesel 4x4. I say Ford only because I get great fleet purchase pricing and can trade in my F150 4x4 on it.
Can anyone tell me with their experience, what my max (comfortable) towing weight/length would be for a 5er with this truck?
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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SRW or DRW f350?
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:55 PM   #14
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I would want to stay with a truck like an Ford F350 Diesel 4x4. I say Ford only because I get great fleet purchase pricing and can trade in my F150 4x4 on it.
Can anyone tell me with their experience, what my max (comfortable) towing weight/length would be for a 5er with this truck?
This may not help much since we have GMC's but when we sold the motorhome in 2012 and ordered the Excel I ordered a new GMC 3500, standard (short) bed, single rear wheel, 2 wheel drive, Duramax crewcab to pull it. Our Winslow weighs 15,500 loaded with 3100 pounds of hitch weight and actual length is 35' 5". This put us right at the limits of this truck's capacity. We went thru 2 seasons with it before I threw in the towel and got the dually. The ride was not pleasant as we got a lot of bucking, chucking, jerking, enough to the point that sometimes I felt like I was not in control. It was fine on the smooth highways but the rough stuff was not fun. I added a set of Air Lift 5k bags on the rear axle which helped but not enough to make us happy.

I sold the 2012 and ordered the new dually which I got May 1 of last year. The difference in the ride is night and day. To make it even sweeter I got a Trailer Saver BD3 air hitch to replace the B&W I had in the 2012. Now it really floats and unless the road is really bad we don't feel much. I can drive all day without being worn out.

My only advice is look at the weights of the fifth wheel and add about 20% to the hitch weight. Ours was 500 pounds more than the stated weight.
Compare that to the trucks actual capacity and you're good to go. I will say a dually really opens up the field to a lot more choices of larger fifth wheels. If I would have gotten a dually first I probably would have went with a 38 footer.

I seem to be chiming in a bit more than you may need so I'll quit. My only excuse is it is so hot outside there isn't much else to do. Good luck with whatever you do.
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