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Old 03-31-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
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My wife and I have just purchased a pristine 1999 Arctic Fox 25S conventional TT and we've been on four weekend trips. We are about 1-1/2 years to retirement and are planning on about a year of Full Time Rving or very close to it, at retirement. We will make our future plans after that first year. We might do a little workamping along the way also. So far the AF has been great, but we feel that if we were fulltiming we would probably want a little larger unit.

My question to the group is, what are the respective pros and cons of a Fifth Wheel vs. a TT. I'm aware of most of the obvious ones, but it seems like most of the trailers I see on the road are 5ers. I know that most fulltimers use motor homes, but we don't want that for several reasons. We want to stick to a travel trailer. I would appreciate your thoughts...maybe there's something obvious that I'm missing.
Thanks much!
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:58 PM   #2
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My wife and I have just purchased a pristine 1999 Arctic Fox 25S conventional TT and we've been on four weekend trips. We are about 1-1/2 years to retirement and are planning on about a year of Full Time Rving or very close to it, at retirement. We will make our future plans after that first year. We might do a little workamping along the way also. So far the AF has been great, but we feel that if we were fulltiming we would probably want a little larger unit.

My question to the group is, what are the respective pros and cons of a Fifth Wheel vs. a TT. I'm aware of most of the obvious ones, but it seems like most of the trailers I see on the road are 5ers. I know that most fulltimers use motor homes, but we don't want that for several reasons. We want to stick to a travel trailer. I would appreciate your thoughts...maybe there's something obvious that I'm missing.
Thanks much!
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Old 04-01-2006, 04:47 AM   #3
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Having owned both, for us it was the storage in the 5'er that helped the most. There are five of us (three boys) and we tend to haul a lot of stuff with us. Our unit has a good size basement to store a lot of the "dirty's". A lot more "living" room as we have higher ceilings.

Now, many will argue, but we also prefer the way the fifth wheel pulls (though we are talking apples and oranges as we went from a SRW 1 ton pulling a 26' TT to a DRW 1 ton pulling a 36' FW).

We are not full timers - just weekend warriors, so I couldn't give you any pros/cons that way.

As for the motor home/trailer, we had the truck so we didn't have to buy that (as part of the cost/benefit analysis), and we pay way less in insurance than a powered vehicle would have cost us. Now, as I said, we're weekend warriors, so that tempered our decision somewhat, too. Plus, I have my truck for hauling my hobbies around in when we are not travelling.

Just one man's opinion...

Juan

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Old 04-01-2006, 05:07 AM   #4
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I would disagree that most full timers use MHs. There are a lot of 5th wheels in the RV parks here in the winter.
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:38 AM   #5
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I have had a pop up, TT, and on our second 5ver. I am much more happy with the 5th wheel. It has more storage, is eaier to hook and unhook from the truck. As far as towing stability, I am still on the fence. My TT towed great with a proper hitch setup and tow vehicle, although I do see how in a lot of situations that a 5th wheel would be better towing than a TT. The only disatvantage to a larger 5th wheel for fulltiming is that you may need a larger truck to handle the increase hitch weight. My guess is minimum a 1 ton diesel truck.
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for your comments. It looks like one of the things I hadn't thought about was increased storage space. And also hook/unhooking is something I wasn't familiar with since I've only had experience with the TT. When it comes to storage, I was thinking that having the PU bed with a camper shell would give me a considerable amount.

Yes Ken, you might be right that most fulltimers don't necessarily have MH's. It just seems that way.

I have two years to decide what I want to do...I would hope by then that I'll have a pretty good idea. We'll have a lot more camping experience by then. Thanks for all the comments.

John
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:53 PM   #7
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Where we are staying, most of the true full timers are using 5ers as opposed to MoHo's.

Having had TT's, class A's, class C's and the current 5er, I would say a full timer is better served with a 5er due to the storage and livability. If you plan to move around a lot, a MoHo might make a better home.

Ken
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Old 04-02-2006, 02:27 PM   #8
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I must agree that both have their merits....For me,if I were to full-time in a fiver I would want a pretty hefty fiver which requires a pretty hefty truck,most likely an MDT.
MDT's don't make good grocery haulers....

With the motor home I can hook or unhook the Chevy Trailblazer in a matter of minutes...
Two through pins for the towbar legs,two chains and an electrical plug...My Trailblazer has the Silent Partner from SMI for braking,so it's a toggle switch and I'm ready.

I had two fivers and wouldn't rule out another fiver except that the fiver the DW wanted would have meant MDT and she ain't going that route....(at least not yet....)

It's not a "black and white" decision as both are suitable for the job. It's more personal preference I think. My Vectra has plenty of storage for the wife and I if we were fulltiming,but that's us.

Make some trips to some RV shows and some dealer lots....Tell the salesman you're looking and you just want to sit in it for a while...Then pretend you're camping!!
Stand at the stove,walk to the bathroom or to the bedroom,sit on the couch, look at the basement storage....just don't use the toilet!!
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:08 PM   #9
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One real benefit to any trailer versus a MH is that, if you need to have the engine portion serviced, you still have some place to sleep. If the MH is in the shop, you're in a hotel.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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This past weekend we were out at our 'local' Corps of Engineers park. While there I was walking my dog and noticed a Pop-Up that had Michigan tags. I stopped for a second, and they were full-timing in a pop-up. They liked the way it towed. It was 'perfect' for them.

Also, this past weekend, I met a guy that had a small slide-in camper for his 1/2 ton Chevy. He pulled a utility trailer that he kept jacks, luggage and believe it or not, an outhouse with a 'porta-potty' in it.


that's the rig to the far right (I'm the Cruiser in the picture). If picture doesn't work look at this link: http://www.mbcomps.com/gallery/album30/Crossroads_Cruse..._to_Holiday_park_007



The trip before that, I met a couple (at the same COE park) that was full-timing in a 35' Airstream. It was perfect for them.


Of course I've met the full-timers in motorhomes and 5ers but the purpose of this post is to say that whatever makes you happy, whatever you're comfortable with, then THAT'S the set-up for YOU!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
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Tisk, tisk, tisk...with all these Mods around here, you'd think ONE of them would welcome you to iRV2 ...well...one will: WELCOME TO iRV2 John & Ginny! Hope you enjoy your travels and get the info you need to make your RV'ing life a lot of fun!

Now for my $0.02...I'll first say that it really depends on what you really like- to lump everyone into one type of rig would be suicide , but having owned a PopUp, a TT, and two TH's (OK...the routy side of the 5vr group- but enough of that ), the 5vr is definitely our favorite- the room in plenty, storage is fantastic (as Rick said), and it's fun to pull. I'm not quite sure that I'd say what JRMora said about pulling them: I haven't ever heard of anyone preferring to pull a TT vs. a 5vr that ever pulled both (especially if the weights are close). Extra tow accessories can be the same: larger/heavier TT's require equalizing hitches/swaybars, which 5vr's dont, but the 5vr hitch can cost the same, UNLESS YOU'VE GOT A SHORTBED TRUCK, then you're talking substantially more. AND....with most trucks, you have greater allowable capacities with a 5vr than a TT because you're not sticking all that weight out on a 6" fulcrum (receiver hitch) off the truck.

Downsides on the 5vr? More money (but more sq footage, so I'm not quite sure that's an issue), and you can't haul your favorite toy in the truck bed, but then again- if you get a Toyhauler- that's not an issue either. So see- it really depends on what you want to take with you...if you have toys AND a 5vr, then you better have a Class A license so you can tow doubles- but that's a whole different subject in itself!

Good luck with your decision!

Sean
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:14 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWFan:
I'm not quite sure that I'd say what JRMora said about pulling them: I haven't ever heard of anyone preferring to pull a TT vs. a 5vr that ever pulled both (especially if the weights are close).
Sean </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uh, I think I said I preferred pulling the fifth wheel. Isn't that what you are saying?

Anyway, hitch up goes real quick with the fifth wheel (at least for me). And I can do it by myself without having to get out and spot myself.

Anyway, you'll get opinions, but as was said previously, see for yourself (and talk to lots of FT'ers) before you plunk down your money.

Juan
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:14 PM   #13
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If you are over six feet tall you may find a 5th wheel is a little more comfortable. You will not find yourself having to duck as often and the difference in the shower can be substantial.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:10 AM   #14
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I thought I posted this here but I must have made a mistake. Mark Nemeth full timed in an older 5th wheel with no slides. His story is here http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/
He has lots of hints and information.
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