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Old 09-21-2019, 05:57 AM   #1
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Class A vs Travel Trailer

We currently own a 2006 class A motorhome. We love it dearly. We tow a jeep wrangler as our toad. Our other car is a sedan. We are in our late sixties. In 3 or 4 years we would like to go down to one car. The jeep and sedan won't fill our needs so a truck would be more versatile. If we do that we would need to move to a travel trailer. Our motorhome would not pull a truck.
How do travel trailers do in winds that are normal out west? We live in Ohio.
What about storage? Trailers that we have been in don't seem to have a lot for clothes.
We would appreciate feedback from folks who have gone from class A to trailer to tell us about their experience.
Thanks
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:11 AM   #2
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oilman51-

Here's an option: Get a used Honda Element. We have one, a 2003 with 170K miles. It has been our "truck." It will fit a lot of stuff in the back with the seats up, and more with the seats removed. Our AWD (EX version) weighs under 4,000 pounds. It's built on the CR-V drive train, and has more ground clearance than a sedan.

Or, you could get a used CR-V. It seems to be the second-most popular toad (after the Jeep).

If you want a small hatchback with surprising capacity, you could go for a used Honda Fit. That's what we tow.

Here's a link to the Honda toads currently for sale on iRV2 classified. The price for the 2006 Element seems high to me.

I'd try to keep the coach you like so much, unless there are other reasons to sell it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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A lot has changed for the better since 2006. Big travel trailers now come with 3 slides and huge wardrobe closets. But you need a big truck to tow these big travel trailers.

Here is a two slide trailer that I like. Google Winnebago Mini Plus 27 RBDS. Rear bath double slide. This will give you an example of what trailers are available. This trailer probably needs a 250/2500 series truck to tow it comfortably. That is key, you will want a comfortable towing travel trailer. You can option a Winnebago Mini Plus to have auto leveling too.

I have a 2013 travel trailer. It has LED lighting but does not have USB charging ports nor Solid Steps, solar charging, double opposing slides, auto leveling, electric awning and a bunch of other nice features that come on the new trailers.

Trucks - you will be pleasantly surprised when you look at a new truck. The 150/1500 series trucks ride like cars and are very comfortable. All the harsh thick like things have been taken out of these trucks. These trucks ride smooth and are quiet. Can comfortably tow 7,000lbs.

250/2500 350/3500 trucks also have had a lot of the old truck DNA removed also. These truck still ride a bit rough and still seem like they still have some old truck DNA in them. Can comfortably tow 10,000 plus lbs.

In 3 or 4 years you will have great, more capable trucks to choose from.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #4
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If you are going to get a big truck to pull a big travel trailer I would go to a fifth wheel. There are more options with ample storage and you could easily make the motorhome to towable jump much easier. Lots of options for a 3/4 ton truck too. Moving to a bumper pull would be more challenging for sure. It will also involve 3 times as much work setting up and breaking down camp. This doesn't even account for the tiny tanks and miniscule propane. A 5'er can be found to be almost as easy as a class A.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:36 AM   #5
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I agree with the above post. If you decide on a 250/2500 series truck I would get a 5th wheel. They will have a bit more room than a motorhome. Look at Flagstaff or Rockwood 5th wheels to get an example.

Suggested you get auto leveling and I think solid steps are standard.

I started looking at travel trailer and am now liking a 5th wheel more. Oh, a 5th wheel will be better in any wind.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:54 AM   #6
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If you're coming from a Class A, you're going to end up with a big travel trailer. That's going to necessitate at 2500/250 level truck at least, F350/3500 preferably. There really isn't much difference between the two price wise, so just get the bigger one IMO. The bigger travel trailers should have enough storage for you. I'd recommend getting a truck that's bigger than you need. Travel trailers are notoriously difficult to tow, especially the bigger ones. A larger tow vehicle will handle the load much better.



That being said, if you're going to have an F350 level truck, consider a 5th wheel. They do have more storage, and are a bit more stable when towing, but are taller and more expensive. They also don't have level floor plans, so you'll have stairs to deal with somewhere in them. It's all a game of give and take. What do you need and what can you live without?
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:15 PM   #7
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Just some random thoughts, 5th wheel vs. bumper pull travel trailer. First, the 5th wheel will have a much higher ceiling in the middle part. TTs are level roofed front to back so you may sometimes feel like you're in a cave, while 5ers have that higher roof/ceiling in the front that tapers back.

As far as crosswinds, the taller 5ers present a very large cross section to crosswinds. But they also have a bit more stable hitch. TTs attach at the very front, with one tiny point of contact, so can be blown around easier. Either will be less stable than a Class A in a crosswind.

5ers are also very tall, so you have a much larger barn door to pull down the highway as far as wind resistance goes. I think a topper on the pickup pulling a TT gives probably the best aerodynamics.

5ers pretty well take up all the space in the box of your truck when hauling. A TT will leave all the space in the box available for cargo. I switched from a 5er to a TT specifically so I can put my motorcycle in the back of the pickup to take with us. Now, you'll need to calculate the weight of the motorcycle, and/or the other cargo you plan on carrying in the box as part of the gvw of the pickup.

A pickup pulling a 30' TT will have all 30+ feet of the trailer (+ tongue) behind it, where a 30' 5er will have at least 5 feet of it in front of the pickup's rear bumper. So the overall length of the 5er rig will be shorter than the equivalent TT rig.

In some states you can tow a trailer/boat behind a 5er. What you can tow is usually governed by overall length of the tow vehicle + 5er + trailer. You can't do that with a TT.

Check out as many floorplans as you can. Sit in them, walk around in them, lie on the bed to be sure the bed is long enough to accommodate you, pretend to shower - elbow room in showers is notoriously absent - pretend to prepare a meal so you'll know what drawer/cabinet space you've got, check out the wardrobe space - TTs may only have skinny closets on each side of the bed, and not much else. A 5er with the bed in a slide, on the other hand, could have a full-width wardrobe across the entire front of the trailer. Look also at the basement storage. Remember that junk expands to fill the space available.

One last thought. With a Class A you can make a sandwich and grab a beverage out of the fridge while the other person drives, or even lie down for a nap. Not so with trailers...
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:24 PM   #8
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Not sure where all the negativity concerning towing a tagalong trailer is coming from.

We have hauled our trailer about 12K miles and have never had a wiggle. We tow primarily out west and have subjected it to all the cross winds have to offer. Conditions permitting, we usually run at about 75MPH. Granted, we have the tow vehicle to haul it and are not undertrucked (just made up that word) I think it is more dependent on loading, a good hitch, and quality of TT manufacture. We made the move from a class A to our TT and are pleased with our choice. Set up and tear down are a little more involved, but we recognized that going in. We do miss some of the basement storage, but have adjusted. It is just the two of us and the dog, but we pack the trailer for extended of trips 6-9 weeks and my wife likes to prepare for any contingency.

When driving the class A I always felt I had to be "up on the wheel" concerning side gusts and 18 wheelers. It is much more relaxing to drive the PU and TT even though we drive it at higher speeds.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:45 PM   #9
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We have both a 5th wheeler and a MH. The tow truck is a RAM 3500 diesel. The 5th has more floor space per foot than a MH and many more floor plans to select from. Bumper pulls frequently lack the storage of a 5th. TT (bumper pulls) also are limited in storage, but you can use the tow's capacity. There are people who full time in TTs, it can be done.

We live in the west. I'd far prefer to towing the 5th over driving the MH in windy conditions. As stated above in the MH I have to be more alert to winds and larger vehicles passing than in the 5th. With the truck/5th I frequently am unaware of winds up to about 40mph. It's that stable.

You can make any RV work if you really want to. RVing is all about trade offs, purchase cost, upkeep costs, how much junk you have to carry with you, comfort, your "show off desires", ease of travel, places you want to go with it and how you want to use it, plus more. There is simply no one best answer.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:52 PM   #10
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By the time you buy a new trailer and new truck($$$) you could have spent the same amount on a new, more capable class A and used Truck toad.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:05 PM   #11
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Over the years, Iíve owned 2 class A rigs, a class B, 8 assorted TTs, and a fifth wheel along with a couple boats and utility trailers. For me, it has varied as to what fit my needs at that time, and there are always compromises.

When you mention wind, the two boxy class A gassers we owned danced around in the wind worse than any of the tts we owned, and far worse than the fiver. On the other hand we rented a diesel pusher for 3 weeks and I thought it was pretty smooth and stable, but we didnít have any real high winds when we used it. That said, a tt if not set up properly can have sway issues in the right circumstances, with wind being something that can help induce it so proper weight distribution and hitch setup are important.

Floor plans can be great or lousy with any rig, what fits you best is personal. Canít be of any help here.

Finally, will a full size truck fit your daily driver needs? They can have both advantages, and disadvantages depending on your preferences. Weíre currently ďmotel campingĒ in the LA area, having driven from SLC Ut. in a 4 Door one ton Ram. Took the truck as it fits 5 adults and our luggage well, and is a nice freeway cruiser. Parking it though is often problematic at some of the parking lots, and we have had to search a bit sometimes, and got stuck in the oversized lot one of two days in Disneyland, as well as the day we were in Universal Studios. Issue varies between height, width, and length. While it gets good gas mileage cruising on the freeway, itís lousy in the heavy stop and go stuff.

Good luck in finding what suits you best
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:46 AM   #12
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We went from a Class A DP to a 23í TT 2 years ago. We live in the NW and besides going slower we have no issues on windy days. We are at 50% of our trucks rated towing capacity, and itís a very comfortable setup to drive.
No, we donít have the storage in our smaller trailer that we had in the Class A, but itís adequate. Always have room to bring more if we needed to.

Things we like is very little or no maintenance compared to the Class A. Ability to get into the back country easier.

Even though our Lance has one of the best fit and finish construction thereís nothing special about owning a TT, and I think thatís what I like the most. Itís a tool that we use to get us into the outdoors. I was always doing something to the Class A, but the trailer, well itís a trailer.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilman51 View Post
We currently own a 2006 class A motorhome. We love it dearly. We tow a jeep wrangler as our toad. Our other car is a sedan. We are in our late sixties. In 3 or 4 years we would like to go down to one car. The jeep and sedan won't fill our needs so a truck would be more versatile. If we do that we would need to move to a travel trailer.
The real bonus of a trailer is not having to drag a toad along, so this sounds t]like a good solution for you !

Quote:
Originally Posted by oilman51 View Post
How do travel trailers do in winds that are normal out west?
With a properly adjusted hitch and sway control it can not be any worse than what to experience on a Class A. With trailer brakes, a quick stab of the trailer brake controlled manual button will straighten any trailer in a second !

As for storage, it is just something you need to assess on a case by case basis. Some trailer are good, some not so good.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #14
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Traveling alone, the biggest reason I stay with the Ram and trailer vs MH towing my Jeep is the ability to back up.
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