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Old 01-24-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
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Out of Class A and into a 5th wheel

Why did you move from your Class A and into a 5th wheel?
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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Why did you move from your Class A and into a 5th wheel?
We sold our Holiday Rambler dp 2 years ago in April and got what you see below. We spent 9 years with a motorhome, 2 with a gas model and 7 with the dp. I've written about this before but briefly the cost of maintenance and repair of something with a semi sized drive train and tires and many, many parts finally wore me down. Besides that, the cost of our Excel and truck together wouldn't buy a decent gasser and would only be a good down payment on mid level dp (new, of course). We had 4 fifth wheels before the motorhomes so it wasn't as if we did not know what to expect. The big difference is in the getting there. Once you get where you are going they are all a house on wheels.

We do feel we have more usable space and while we don't have a high end Excel we do feel it is as nice as any of the mid level motorhomes. We added auto level and that kind of equalizes the ease of setting up as compared to the motorhome. We've put about 12K miles on it in the past 2 seasons and so far nothing to do when we get home but wash it and put it in its garage.

Basically for us it was getting the most rv time for our money and we felt the switch back to a fiver was the right thing to do. We have never second guessed ourselves. Just my own 2 cents worth. Enjoy whatever you have.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:01 PM   #3
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Class A to 5th Wheel

In October we traded our National Tradewinds LTC for a new 2013 Eagle Premier. The motorhome on the road was much more convenient, but once parked (currently three months in Rio Grande Valley) we have much more livable space with far fewer headaches. It costs a lot to keep a big diesel pusher running (it was a 2003) as there always seems to be something to fix.

We are happy we made the switch.

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Old 01-31-2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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We traded a 40 foot Winnebago Vectra for a 39 foot Montana last year in March. I tow with a DRW Dodge 6 X 6. It is amazing how much easier it is to handle. I used much less propane and electric so far, and I think it is much colder here in the RGV. I think I have more usable living area, and more interior storage space. I have a front lounge, with 2 sofas. We have a total of 5 slides, 2 in lounge, 1 in galley, 2 in bedroom
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:57 PM   #5
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I read all of this, at the same time as we have decided that we want to go to a DP. The thought of moving around freely, making lunch, allowing the dogs to stretch out, all the while driving down the road is very appealing to us. A pickup with two 80lb dogs in the back seat gets pretty cramped by the end of the day.

Are there reasons other than cost that you would switch from a Class A to a 5th wheel. Will you miss the ability to move about freely, go to the bathroom, take a nap, or make a meal while travelling down the road. I have a legitimate excuse now, because my tow vehicle also doubles as my work truck and it litterally pays for itself.

Just trying to work all the angles.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
I read all of this, at the same time as we have decided that we want to go to a DP. The thought of moving around freely, making lunch, allowing the dogs to stretch out, all the while driving down the road is very appealing to us. A pickup with two 80lb dogs in the back seat gets pretty cramped by the end of the day.

Are there reasons other than cost that you would switch from a Class A to a 5th wheel. Will you miss the ability to move about freely, go to the bathroom, take a nap, or make a meal while travelling down the road. I have a legitimate excuse now, because my tow vehicle also doubles as my work truck and it litterally pays for itself.

Just trying to work all the angles.
While our switch was mainly due to cost, the freedom of a motorhome while driving is something my wife misses. I say wife because I never got to enjoy that freedom because I was driving. Sure, she could get me a drink or a sandwich but now we just make a lunch and pack it in a small ice chest, along with plenty of snacks and drinks. We travel with 2 Bostons and they have their beds in the back seat and they can sleep all day if need be. We have ready access to the bathroom in the Excel and, yes, if it is raining that can be a problem, but that has not happened in 2 years and 15K miles.

I had 2 motorhomes, one gas and one diesel pusher. The gas was a nightmare to drive and we only kept it 2 years. The dp was with us 7 years and was much better but still required constant small corrections, even after throwing a lot of stuff and money at it to make it drive straight. I found myself to be much more fatigued at the end of the day than I do now. Some drive better than others so be sure and take a long test drive. I understand a tag axle will drive the best.

Finally, when I really thought about it, the convenience of going down the road in a motorhome was a very small part of our rv experience. The vast majority of our time is spent parked. To me, livability is much more important than the road experience.

A lot of folks would have nothing but a motorhome while some wouldn't. That's why there is a pretty good selection of different types out there. The key is finding what best suits your needs.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
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While our switch was mainly due to cost, the freedom of a motorhome while driving is something my wife misses. I say wife because I never got to enjoy that freedom because I was driving. Sure, she could get me a drink or a sandwich but now we just make a lunch and pack it in a small ice chest, along with plenty of snacks and drinks. We travel with 2 Bostons and they have their beds in the back seat and they can sleep all day if need be. We have ready access to the bathroom in the Excel and, yes, if it is raining that can be a problem, but that has not happened in 2 years and 15K miles. I had 2 motorhomes, one gas and one diesel pusher. The gas was a nightmare to drive and we only kept it 2 years. The dp was with us 7 years and was much better but still required constant small corrections, even after throwing a lot of stuff and money at it to make it drive straight. I found myself to be much more fatigued at the end of the day than I do now. Some drive better than others so be sure and take a long test drive. I understand a tag axle will drive the best. Finally, when I really thought about it, the convenience of going down the road in a motorhome was a very small part of our rv experience. The vast majority of our time is spent parked. To me, livability is much more important than the road experience. A lot of folks would have nothing but a motorhome while some wouldn't. That's why there is a pretty good selection of different types out there. The key is finding what best suits your needs.
Thanks for your input. I have time to look and decide.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #8
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I have one of each and use them for different types of travel. I prefer the MH when I'm constantly on the move, wandering around exploring and making frequently but brief overnight stops (mostly summer time).
I prefer the big 5'er when I go south for the winter and stay in the same spot for a few months.
My MH maintenance doesn't cost me any more than my truck maint, but then it takes a big truck to tow a 39 ft Teton.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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When we first started RVing about 15 years ago we debated MH vs 5er. Settled on a 5er just because I wanted a truck. I know, that does not help you much. However, I've driven three Fords and had to much trany problems with them and I did not like the ride in a Dodge. We now have a 3500 Chevy Duramax dually crew cab that I love.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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Our history was going from a travel trailer to a Class A (Tiffin Allegro Bay FRED) and now to a Bighorn 5th wheel. I agree with most of the explanations that have already been given (cost, etc.). I'll add one more issue that was a big consideration for us, but might not matter so much to others - safety.

We had a 'near miss' with the motor home (brake failure) that got me thinking about the safety angle. Combining my 40 years in the emergency services profession and seeing the results of lots of crashes, I have come to realize that when I am driving a pickup pulling a 5th wheel, I'm enjoying all of the advances in automotive safety that have been developed in recent years. Advanced seat belts, air bags all over the cab, engineered crumple zones, antilock braking systems, significant crash testing/ratings, etc, etc, etc. My Class A had very few of those things....not to mention a TV hanging right over my head . Sure the chassis is a commercial truck chassis, but what is built on top of it has very few of the safety features we take for granted in our cars and pickups. We never got up and moved around in the Class A while going down the road for safety reasons, so there is no difference there.

Just another angle on the question.....if safety is an issue for you.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:55 PM   #11
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It's been a year since I switched from a 2011 GMC Denali dually with a 2008 Jayco Designer (40') to a 40' DP. There are things I miss about the truck/5'ver rig and things I don't miss.
The fifth wheel was more of a chore to drag around and a lot more trouble to set up, but I found it much more spacious and comfortable than the motorhome when parked for a long period of time.
On the other hand, I find travel time to be much more enjoyable in the motorhome. A giant windshield that you can see the whole world out of; almost silent ride with the engine in the back where you can carry on a conversation at normal voice level; and as mentioned above, access to the whole house. Also, the TV above with an in-motion satellite, makes the time fly by.
I'll also admit that the coach is a little more trouble to keep in the lane but not much.
IMO, if your kind of camping is going somewhere and staying for a couple of weeks or more at a time, a fifth wheel is the better choice. OTOH, if you're going to travel from place to place with short stays, I believe the motorhome is the best choice.
I think either is great, but your lifestyle should dictate which one you choose.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:09 PM   #12
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Our history was going from a travel trailer to a Class A (Tiffin Allegro Bay FRED) and now to a Bighorn 5th wheel. I agree with most of the explanations that have already been given (cost, etc.). I'll add one more issue that was a big consideration for us, but might not matter so much to others - safety.

We had a 'near miss' with the motor home (brake failure) that got me thinking about the safety angle. Combining my 40 years in the emergency services profession and seeing the results of lots of crashes, I have come to realize that when I am driving a pickup pulling a 5th wheel, I'm enjoying all of the advances in automotive safety that have been developed in recent years. Advanced seat belts, air bags all over the cab, engineered crumple zones, antilock braking systems, significant crash testing/ratings, etc, etc, etc. My Class A had very few of those things....not to mention a TV hanging right over my head . Sure the chassis is a commercial truck chassis, but what is built on top of it has very few of the safety features we take for granted in our cars and pickups. We never got up and moved around in the Class A while going down the road for safety reasons, so there is no difference there.

Just another angle on the question.....if safety is an issue for you.
Well said. I started to bring that issue up but my responses were already long enough. Safety is very important to me and there sure wasn't much between the driver and passenger seats and the front of the motorhome that I felt would do much good in a frontal crash.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireFlyer View Post
Our history was going from a travel trailer to a Class A (Tiffin Allegro Bay FRED) and now to a Bighorn 5th wheel. I agree with most of the explanations that have already been given (cost, etc.). I'll add one more issue that was a big consideration for us, but might not matter so much to others - safety. We had a 'near miss' with the motor home (brake failure) that got me thinking about the safety angle. Combining my 40 years in the emergency services profession and seeing the results of lots of crashes, I have come to realize that when I am driving a pickup pulling a 5th wheel, I'm enjoying all of the advances in automotive safety that have been developed in recent years. Advanced seat belts, air bags all over the cab, engineered crumple zones, antilock braking systems, significant crash testing/ratings, etc, etc, etc. My Class A had very few of those things....not to mention a TV hanging right over my head . Sure the chassis is a commercial truck chassis, but what is built on top of it has very few of the safety features we take for granted in our cars and pickups. We never got up and moved around in the Class A while going down the road for safety reasons, so there is no difference there. Just another angle on the question.....if safety is an issue for you.
Thanks for that angle and actually I have given it some thought.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:29 AM   #14
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The cost of operating a DP is real, safety considerations are also to be reckoned with. How many DP have disc brakes so they don't fade like the 1948,58,68,78---2008 DP with the huge drum brakes can. Ever see a DP rolled over- it is not a pretty sight. All that light weight sticks they use as wall studs do not a roll bar make.
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