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Old 05-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #1
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What are the (not-so-obvious) differences...

...between a Class A Diesel Pusher and a 5th Wheel?

Some history:
Over the years we've rented 3 Class C's, owned a Class A gas (Tiffin 34'), and a Class A diesel pusher (Excursion 40X). It's been 2 years since we've been on the road, as we sold the Excursion after full-timing for 2 years.

Here we are again, itching to get back on the road, but we'd like to do something a little different this time. We're pretty convinced we'd like to go with a 5th wheel, even though it means we need to buy a truck. (We still have the 2014 Honda setup to tow flat, so this is a painful decision in that respect).

I'm here to get some perspective on what we should expect to find as far as differences going from the Class A diesel to a 5th wheel. Especially for those of you who have made the switch either way, what did you find you liked better about one or the other? Was it a big adjustment? Overall, which do you prefer? What are some things you can only notice by living in and driving each?

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated!

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Old 05-24-2018, 09:24 AM   #2
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What i tell people that ask me is if you want to see things as you travel buy a class A as you sit up higher and and have the huge windshield. Otherwise i dont think it matters.

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Old 05-24-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NevadaNick View Post
What i tell people that ask me is if you want to see things as you travel buy a class A as you sit up higher and and have the huge windshield. Otherwise i dont think it matters.
That's one thing we LOVED about the Class A. First time travelling across country, we were in awe at the view provided with the huge windshield. And one reason we don't like Class C's, because the view is very much blocked.
Definitely something to think about, thanks!
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:25 PM   #4
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When you need to back into a site with a MH (w/o the toad), the view in the mirrors is always the back of the MH. With any trailer, the rear of the unit quickly moves out of view.

When it is time to fill the propane tank, you need to drive the MH. I never take the fiver to a propane station.

In a MH, how far is the bathroom from the entrance door? Is there ever a real coat closet next to the door?

There are many more differences, but it really depends on your RV life style.
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #5
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It gets hot in the 5er while travelling in warmer climates so there is a while after setup that you are pretty uncomfortable. If you need to pull over and use the bathroom or make a sandwich you just have to sweat it out.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:00 PM   #6
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We have had both, first fifth wheels, then a Class A and now back to a fifth wheel. We just like not having a tow vehicle, the hooking up and unhooking tow vehicle. We like the mobility, turning, ease of backing a fifth wheel. We have all the creature comforts of a class A. The only disadvantage has been mentioned, in warm climates they can take awhile to cool down. Itís just easier for us to hook and unhook and set up the fifth wheel. So far we have averaged 12.1 mpg towing the current 5th wheel vs 7 mpg on our Class A.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:52 PM   #7
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Most A's I have been in have a rear bedroom / bath. The rear living of a 5er feels roomier for entertaining. May be just my perception.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:22 PM   #8
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We went from a fifth wheel to a gas Class A, to a diesel pusher and back to a fifth wheel. A fifth wheel is more in my comfort zone as I can repair most things on it. Not so much with the Class A, especially the diesel. If anything goes wrong with my Ford there are Ford dealers everywhere. A little more difficult with a motorhome. Most of all we have found a fifth wheel/truck combo is cheaper to own and operate than the diesel pusher we had for 7 years.

One thing we have on our Excel is auto level. I highly recommend it as it makes set up so much easier.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:47 PM   #9
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5th wheel interiors can be decorated to your liking,
I run my ac when itís hot out thatís what genset are for,,, mobile or stationary.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:11 AM   #10
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We have thought seriously about going class a but always decide against it.
First off, ease/cost of maintenance. If you have chassis/engine breakdown your entire "home" is in the shop. I've never found a class a to have the livable space of just about any fiver. As far as a the fiver getting hot during travel, just crank up the generator about 30 minutes from your destination to cool it down.
I think if one travels lots of miles with lots of stops that a class a might be a better option. Otherwise, a fiver gets my vote. Its a shame to see so many class a coaches driven between 2 points and then setting for months on end. That is not good for diesels especially.
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:01 PM   #11
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I have no need for a truck in my day to day life so that big DRW truck is basically detached motor for our RV. Now I have Class A and get to drive a Jeep Wrangler not only day to day but trail ride when on vacation. I have Cricket Golf Cart the fits in back the Wrangler, couple Kayaks on the roof of the Wrangler with my bike rack on the back of the Wrangler. I can bring my toys without losing living space to a toy hauler.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:45 AM   #12
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There is a reason they are called CLASS "A". I can back up my 41' DP much easier the a 5er. I have both. Usually in first try. I set up in 5-10 min, and move often. The interiors are usually nicer on A. I pull a car which is cheaper, rides better, handles better, easier to park, uses less fuel, easier to hook up to the A.
5ers have more interior space. And potentially have fewer problems, but I can fix most anything, so a A is not a problem for me.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:09 AM   #13
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In a class A your going to hear every creek and cracking going down the road. If its a gasser A, then your going to need a loud speaker to tell your partner that your going to the bathroom while driving down the road. Speaking of going to bathroom while going down the road, guys cant hit a stationary target, let alone hit one as your bouncing down the road. Might end up with pee on the walls! That not so obvious!
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:51 PM   #14
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My Dad, after falling down the steps of his 5er, decided he wanted something with everything on one level.

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