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Old 08-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
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Going from a Class A to a 5vr questions.

Up until last week we have always planned on getting a DP when we full-time. I retire in a couple of years and my wife plans on being employed as a traveling nurse. We intend to move locations about every 3-4 months. I'm now liking the 39ft 5vrs for a few reasons, one due to it feeling more like a home and the other is today I drove a new Dodge 3500 series truck. It rode just as nice as my Dads 1500 and was quiet inside when travelling down the highway.

I'm also thinking that since we will be parked for months at a time, I can't see spending $$$ on a DP. Not knocking them though. We also checked out for new 5vrs today. I feel that the maintenance will be cheaper too.

Does this all make sense and have others done the same?

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Old 08-21-2010, 05:42 PM   #2
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This issue tends to be a nearly endless debate. We went 5th wheel due to lower entry costs for new. Had we decided on used, entry would still have been lower. The fewer times you move in a year, some of the benefits of a MH tend to be minimized, and the benefits of a 5th wheel tend to go up.
But in the end, it generally comes down to personal preference rather than a clear cut winner.
Were I buying today, I'd be looking at NuWa, Carriage or Mobile Suites, if its any help. I am also pretty sure there will be some 2010's around that are discount priced.

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Old 08-21-2010, 06:24 PM   #3
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if we did it again
i would have kept the fiver
DP is great, and i like being able to set up with out to much bending on my broken body.
but now the upper end fivers have hyd or electric leveling at the touch of a button
the newer pickups are light years ahead of where we were in 06 with capacities, safety and braking

fiver imo are better insulated
ton less upkeep and your only changing oil in ONE vehicle vice two.

but the dp is great at cruising and letting the grand kids watch a big movie tooling down the road
our pups like the dp more, they can lay anywhere
and its more convenient for making sandwiches

i do like the engine braking and TONS of power,
if were staying put 2-3 months in one place, hands down a fiver and dually truck crew cab

moving every few weeks, DP

if it was me
i would go see as many different floorplans and models and play like your living in em for a few hours, see what works for YOU and your wife.
run off the sales person and make yourself at home.
look at where dishes would go and inside storage
we lost a lot of kitchen space when we moved over to the dp.
but we gained a huge basement mother in law suite.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #4
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Tough decision for us - so we have BOTH!

BUT, the MH is strictly for towing a fishing boat to the CG's we like to visit - eliminates 2 tow vehicles - one for the 5er, another for the boat (NO legal 2 vehicles in tow in Oregon!)

Otherwise, where the boat isn't involved, the 5er wins hands down - less maintenance, FAR cheaper to get from point A to point B, and when we get to our destination, the tow vehicle becomes our tour vehicle...
John Day....|'88 Winnebago Super Chief 27ft. Class A
Eastern .....|'88 KIT model 240 24 ft. 5er
Oregon ......|'02 Dodge/Cummins 2500 Quad Cab
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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Each has advantages and dis advantages. We have had all types and lived long term in a 34' motorhome and a 36.5' 5er. For long term living, we prefer the 5er. The big advantage is if you have a chassis problem, you still have a house to live in while the truck is in the shop. Plus the truck is less expensive to maintain than the motorhome.

With large 5ers, just be sure you get enough truck. The size 5er you are looking at is a dodge 3500 DRW or possibly a 4500. Also consider that you may also have to have an endorsement on your license where you live.

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Old 08-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
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All good advice here and we appreciate it. I was surprised at how nice the new Dodge rode. I could hardly hear the engine or exhaust. It also comes with an exhaust brake so that is a nice feature.

We will continue to look around at different models. I've begun reading some of the posts here too on the higher end models.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:52 AM   #7
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For the most bang for the buck, the fiver is the way to go. I say this being a motor home owner. Set up used to be so much easier in M/H, that has become moot on the newer higher end models. My neighbor has a big Heartland that is to die for and he has less in it than I do my M/H. Much more useable room, storage, etc. For what you want to do, the fiver IMHO is the right answer.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Since you won't be moving often, I think a trailer is definitely the way to go. We've owned both and now have a motorhome, but the 5W will be a more economical solution for your intended use and give you excellent living space.

Why pay maintenance and liability insurance on a motorhome when most of the year it just sits?
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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Gary, I mentioned that yesterday to my DW. I'm not sure what if any insurance is needed on a trailer.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #10
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Liability is assumed by the tow vehicle but fire/theft/wind/etc insurance is necessary
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RVhauler View Post
Liability is assumed by the tow vehicle...
Wouldn't that be true only when it's hooked to the truck?
"Do one brave thing today...then run like ****!"
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:06 PM   #12
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We've had both and lived in both and in our humble opinion the DP better fits our needs. We tend to travel 5 to 6 months a year. In our experience the basement storage in a DP is greatly larger than in the 5th wheel we had. Also my spouse likes to be able to use the restroom or fix snacks without asking me to pull off the road - and not everyone would be comfortable doing light galley work while traveling but we did live on a sailboat & cruise for 12 years so are somewhat adapted to movements but I'm not suggesting anyone try that. All that said, it is really a toss up and only you know what'll work best for you.
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If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 2015 RAM Limited 4X4
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #13
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When we bought our houseboat, we sold our home to do so, and we bought a 36' Challenger 5er to live in. Had 3 slides, was plenty roomy to live in...

My main personal issue with the 5er was, I need to tow a boat, and sometimes it's a 32' boat, which is a little much behind a 36' 5th wheel. And a secondary personal issue was, as nice as the 5er was, I thought it was built cheesy. Such as, I had to re-install every drawer slide in the thing, the water pump wasn't screwed down, staples were used everywhere screws should have been (like the drawer slides)... Just little stuff mostly, but still...

BUT-- for extended periods, a 5er does shine...

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