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Old 06-14-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
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New to RVing TT or Class C Trying to Decide

Hi All,

My family and I want to start camping more so we've decided to get an RV. Due to or budget we are shopping for something used. I've noticed in many cases the prices for a Class C vehicle is not too far off from that of a travel trailer. We've gone through the pros and cons of owning a Class C vehicle vs. a travel trailer and we're having trouble deciding which one would be best for us. Was this an issue for you when you were shopping for an RV for the first time? Why did you choose a Travel Trailer and are you glad you did?

Thank You, Rob

I should add:

There are five in our family me my wife and the kids are 18, 15 and 12. I have a Suburban with towing package. I am pretty handy plumbing, electrical, woodworking, etc. and one of my son in laws is a mechanic. No pets. Couple of trips per month 200 miles or less and maybe on long trip per year.

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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A class C might be a bit tight for the older youth but it does have the amenities that make camping less "camping" and more cosmo like. As a now older person I found that having a bathroom right behind the driver seat was a world of difference to my travel experience. I like the fact that I do not have to unpack and repack anything....just drive and level my vehicle when I get to my destination. If I need a break while driving... I never need leave the vehicle ...I get up....get a cool drink....sit on the couch....stretch ...then drive again.

Now ... taking the other stance... the TT has that rustic camping feel. You all hop in the tow vehicle. Get to your location and unfold the TT. Kids can set up tents and gather fire wood. You get a more camp like experience.

I like the less camping feel...I went with the all in one vehicle.

Craig Gosselin
1994 Fleetwood 33H
1995 Fleetwood 30H (parts vehicle)
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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Having had both, TT and Class C I have opted for the TT as I find the extra work involved in the automotive mechanicals of the Class C too much to bear. Any older MH or TT is going to have issues. The issues with a TT are so much easier than the problems possible with the RV, especially an older one, as long as body rot is not an issue in the TT. That will be your biggest headache trying to find a good TT. I also feel that the seats in your tow vehicle will be more comfortable for your kids than riding in the back of the MH. Rent one for a trip and see.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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We have a a TT because we have a farm and need a PU so it made sense to have a TT. If you have the 1/2T version of Burb you won'tbe able to tow a very big TT. If you get a bigger C MH you may have enough room for 5 or you might supplement with a tent. Like some one mentioned it might be a good idea to rent a TT and/or a class C and see how they they fit before buying.
Good Luck and happy travels.

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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Most campgrounds that I go to are majority travel trailers and 5th wheels. I don't have need of a pickup truck. That's why I went with a class C. However, without a tow package I am stuck at the camp site unless my girl friend brings her vehicle. I plan to get a tow package eventually. But the decision is up to you.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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Apples and Oranges

We went through the same decision. We are older and our kids are on their own. When we are traveling, we like to have a home base and then explore. It made more sense to us to get a separate base and a vehicle. Thus the 1/2 ton and a smaller TT.

Your situation is different with kids and all. However, we did go big enough to have room for a couple of grandkids if the need arises (the one in the picture is now 2 1/2).
'09 Tundra pulling a '12 Arctic Fox 22H
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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You can buy a class C or a TT for about the same price but with you family size I would suggest a TT if you have a TV that will suffice. With a class you give up a lot of interior space and more mech. maint.
Your choice.
Dennis and Lorraine, old at camping only:
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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Class C if you're more focused on the road trip aspect of RV'ing.

Travel trailer if you a more focused on the camping aspect, or just using your TT as a hotel(home base) for your vacations.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Depends on the floorplan. My folks had a Class C for awhile. The bathroom design was so compact you had to sit on the pottie to take a shower. And the housekeeper in the family has to crawl around on the overhead bed to make the bed. Not fun. So they traded for a Class A after a year or so. I inherited that Class A, and sold it shortly afterwards because of the following:

In a motorhome, the passengers can illegally move around to use the pottie or fix lunch. But the law requires them to be seated with their seatbelt on when the motorhome is on the road. So legally, you still have to stop on the side of the road for anyone to move about in the motorhome. Just like you have to stop on the side of the road for anyone to use the pottie or fix lunch in a TT.

The Class C is not very good for running down to Wal-Mart for some quick shopping while you are camped, or for touristing the sights in the vicinity. For that you need a "toad", such as a small car towed behind the motor home. You'll see lots of toads behind motor homes because of the inconvenience of packing up and using the motor home for such shopping and touristing.

When not RVing, the power unit of a Class C must be stored with the camper part. Whereas with a TT, the power unit (pickup or SUV) can be used for something else when not towing the trailer.

For TT floorplan, look for a "bunkhouse" design. Two kids can sleep on bunks, and the other one can sleep on the converted dinette or maybe the hide-a-bed couch if it's long enough. Here's the Skyline Joey Model237:

One problem with TTs is folks want a roomy TT, but they don't want a powerful heavy duty truck to tow it with. So they compromise by having "not enuff truck" to tow the TT without being overloaded. Only the smallest light-weight TTs can be towed by an half-ton pickup (F-150 or GM/Dodge 1500) or most full-size SUVs without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle. For the smallest bunkhouse TTs with GVWR over 5,000 pounds, you need a 3/4-ton pickup (250 or 2500). (My 2012 F-150 is slightly overloaded with my TT that grosses 4,870 when on the road.)

There is no such thing as the perfect commuter car that is also the perfect tow vehicle, so if you can't afford both, you have to compromise. I hope you compromise by having "enuff truck" even though it will not be the best commuter car.

Of course, with the Class C and a Honda Civic toad, You have the perfect commuter car in the Civic. When you store the Class C, you can still use the Civic. Just like you can still use the pickup when you store the TT.

What do I do? I towed a fold-up tent camper for 20 years while the kids were growing up. Then I inherited that Class A and soon got rid of it (6 to 8 MPG). Then I had a very-small 21-foot low profile fifth-wheel towed by a Toyota T-100 V6 "half ton pickup". The T-100 was not quite enough truck for that trailer, so we traded for an F-250 diesel. The low-profile fifth-wheel had the same problem as a Class C in that Darling Wife had to crawl around on the bed to make the bed. She soon vetoed that rig, so we traded for a mid-profile fifth wheel. We enjoyed that rig for over 10 years and towed it about 100,000 miles over that time (197,000 total miles on the F-250). Then a daughter needed the camper to live in, so we gave it up and sold the diesel. But we missed having our pottie handy when traveling, so we bought a small TT and an F-150 to tow it with. We've had that for over a year now, and about 6,000 miles on it. Our F-150 is overloaded by 100 pounds over the GVWR of the F-150, but so far no adverse effects. Next time I'll know to get a pickup with more GVWR.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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