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Old 01-04-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
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As the title says I am thinking about selling my MH and buying a 5th wheel and a truck. I hope to get 60K for my MH and then buy a NEW TRUCK and a Used 5th wheel. WE love our MH but it would be far more practical to have a truck and 5th wheel. We are about to move from California to Tennessee so we can retire (we are both 58) and I could use a New Truck. (But I don't want payments) I need AMMO on how to convince my wife that it would be best.. I have a 1998 Chev 1/2 ton truck that has 170,000 miles on it right now....

Please any advice you can give me will be much appreciated....

Thanking You in Advance Lee
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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As the title says I am thinking about selling my MH and buying a 5th wheel and a truck. I hope to get 60K for my MH and then buy a NEW TRUCK and a Used 5th wheel. WE love our MH but it would be far more practical to have a truck and 5th wheel. We are about to move from California to Tennessee so we can retire (we are both 58) and I could use a New Truck. (But I don't want payments) I need AMMO on how to convince my wife that it would be best.. I have a 1998 Chev 1/2 ton truck that has 170,000 miles on it right now....

Please any advice you can give me will be much appreciated....

Thanking You in Advance Lee
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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Hummm, Lets see, new truck= sticker shock
New MH= BIG sticker shock
Used fifth wheel = lots of junk out there
New fifth wheel= sticker shock
Depending on the size of fifth wheel you are considering your truck choice could climb all the way to a 1 ton dually. Do you really want to drive that much truck all the time?
Fifth wheel is easier to park for weeks at a time, because there is no motors, transmissions to have to maintain even when it is sitting. However, there is the down side, backing the fiver, no bathroom while driving down the road, no refer for a cold one while driving. There are trade offs in every RV out there. depending on your lifestyle a fiver can be a good or bad thing.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:43 PM   #4
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I have always had a TT, but have camped with freinds with MH. I prefer to travel to a place and then make a base camp from which to wander about. A TT is nice for that, however you could also buy a small car to tow behind the MH. However you are now looking at two drivetrains to maintain and insure. As for sticker shock, you are probably going to spend your entire 60K on a new truck at least 55k of it You will want at least a 1T DRW with a diesel. I think I would go for a new TT - as you can spread out the payments for as many as 10yrs and write off the interest on your taxes (used rigs usually have poorer finance terms - but you can still deduct the interest)

Truck+5th wheel: Pros - one drivetrain to maintain. Drivetrain is seperate from coach - easier to repair than MH. You can still stay in the 5th wheel if you need to repair the truck. If you need to repair the 5th then you have a truck to find a motel. There are also more places that work on trucks than motorhomes. Cons - you need to learn to back - you will need to learn to pull off the road to go to the bathroom and/or get a pop or make a sandwitch.

Motorhome Pros - opposite of the TT cons, Cons - opposite of the TT pros.
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:58 AM   #5
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Lee -

My wife and I recently sold our Airstream travel trailer, and are in the process of selling our Ford F250 Powerstroke diesel so we can get a new Newmar Kountry Aire 5h wheel.

Unfortunately, with the Kountry Aire's weight, we're going to need an F450 dually to tow it with -- I say "unfortunatley" because I really don't want to get a dually since I would like to use the truck for other purposes (where it won't be as practical as a single rear wheel) and the MPG on all 2008 diesel trucks is the pits, or so I've been told (due to new EPA req'mts.).

That being the case with the new trucks, and since it seems you are trying to stay within a budget, why don't you look at slightly used trucks, instead of a brand new one? (guess I'm not much help supplying you with ammo.)

My wife and I really like 5th wheels better than motorhomes for a number of reasons, I just wish you didn't need such a big truck to tow with.

Are you thinking of staying within the Newmar line for a 5th wheel?

John
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:16 AM   #6
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Another point to consider is that the truck needed to tow a large 5th wheel can cost up to $50,000 or more, leaving very little money left for a trailer.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I do understand that the cost of a new truck will be high. I am thinking along the lines of a 3/4 ton truck 4x4 and a used 5th wheel.A used truck would not be out of the question however I would want a Duramax with the Allison. Like I said earlier we are in our late 50's and wonder just how much traveling we will be doing in 10yrs. Good point about maintaining only one driveline and being able to park the 5er and go wondering. I can only hope the Little Women can see the long term benefits. I would love to stay with a Newmar 5er but as you said they are heavy. At this point I know nothing about 5th wheels (but I am willing to learn).
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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Unless you're planning to get a pretty small 5th wheel, I don't think most 3/4 ton trucks are rated to handle the load.

I know there are some people who do this, and even add air bags to assist, but you may want to decide on your 5th wheel before settling on what size truck.

Also, while a 3/4 ton will easily pull many 5th wheels, you'll also want to STOP from time to time , and the bigger trucks will probably have bigger and stronger brakes.

John
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:16 PM   #9
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There are a lot of used light 5th wheels out there. From what you said I take it that you are not going to live full time in it. If you are only going to use for extended vacations you don't need as big of 5th. If you are looking for a new truck you can get a single real wheel 1 ton. You have lots of options.

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Old 01-05-2008, 05:31 PM   #10
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Why pay new vehicle markup when you can get a good used truck 1-2 years old for much less. If you are not sure how much traveling you will be doing. A good used diesel truck will have a lot of it's life still left in it. For any medium sized 5th wheel you will probably be looking at 1 ton trucks. There are a lot of trailers out there though that can be towed with a 3/4 ton. Just be contious of weight ratings when matching trailer and truck.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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We are not going to full-time. How ever we are moving to Tennessee from California in the very near future. I have several friends that have 5th wheels and some use 1 ton and some use 3/4. With as much as we will be using the 5er I am leaning towards a 3/4 for economic reasons. Used is a definite possibility. I don't want to take a huge hit buying new. Our MH is paid for and I don't want any more bills...

I see so many advantages to using a 5th wheel and a truck especially in the times we are in. I just wish I could convince my wife. I have talked to her in the (past couple days) and she is NOT receptive to the idea...
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:05 PM   #12
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Lee, the choice of 3/4 ton vs 1 ton dually is decided by the pin weight of the trailer, not what you would rather drive.

Typically a 5er will have pretty close to 20% of the trailers GVWR on the pin when loaded. You need to read the footnotes on the manufacturers tow ratings to get the full details on the 5er towing.

Practically, you will pretty well have a 3/4 ton at it's max rating with a 32' (actual length) 5er. You do need to fully understand the tow ratings as the dealers do not. There job is to sell trailers, not to help you into a smaller trailer.

We have had motorhomes (A and C), TT, and 5ers. The motorhomes were great for convince when traveling on short trips. But you still have to tow a car for sight seeing. The truck and trailer is better for us as we have only one drive train to maintain, have a touring vehicle when we arrive, and if the truck has mechanical problems, we still have a trailer to stay in.

The truck is less expensive to maintain than a motorhome especially when you add on the dinghy.

The truck can be used to haul home project materials.

But it is you decision in the end.

Ken
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #13
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One engine to maintain, but it can be comfortably used to shop or sightsee while the home remains parked.

You can take the hitch out and use it to move the grandkids.

A recent vintage (say 1997 and later) diesel truck has a reasonable life expectancy of 300,000 miles or more. Some may cite some well-known problems with specific engines or manufacturers, let the flame wars begin.

A 5th wheel has a heavy pin weight, usually 20% of the GVW or more. This will limit you to a 13,000 GVW trailer if you use a one-ton Single Rear Wheel truck and put anything else in the truck. Plus those large and appealing storage compartments are always way forward, adding more weight to the truck. Maybe 23% of the trailers GVW is the right pin weight, plus add the weight of the hitch and the fuel and and the dog and wife and so on and so forth. A public truck scale would help. The Good News is this will be a shorter and more maneuverable trailer you can likely get in anywhere, unless height is an issue as they are usually over 12 feet tall.

With Diesel, you should get between 10 and 13 MPG towing and as much as 20+ empty. Have heard varying stories on this but my Dodge hits 13 to 15 towing and 21 to 22 empty.

Just saw a fellow on Escapees.com sell a '98 Volvo and a recent (03?) 36' trailer for under $60,00.

There is a major disconnect in the used truck market. Pickups and BIG trucks suffer big depreciation, while the MDTs (class 5 and 6) hover way above.

Don't know how long you plan to park it, but any rotating equipment suffers from long storage. Seals and bearings dry out. Fuel deteriorates. Batteries lose charge. Tires are especially prone to deterioration from sitting.

Don't know how large the motor home was, but one thought on closing. Short truck/short trailer = easy access to fuel, remote sites, boondocking. Increasing length means only developed large-rig sites.

Have fun.
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:32 AM   #14
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Wow thanks for all the inputs. I am convinced that we should go this way. Like I said don't want to do anything unless I can sell my MH for 60K. It is in great shape and would make someone very happy. I am going to have to list it somewhere and see what happens....
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