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Old 09-09-2011, 05:46 AM   #1
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Ford Super Duty Owner
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Best RV vehicle for my scenario

I joined this site to learn more about 5th Wheels, but the more I read I am wondering with my possible plans over the next couple of years if this is my best choice. I am starting to think that maybe a Motor Home may be a better choice, but would like to ask some opinions.

As you can see by my Username - I am semi-retired - over the last few years I have been downsizing, working locally part time, and RVing or fishing with friends (both own TT's) as we had time.

My downsizing is almost finished and my local part time work is drying up so I have been networking to find a replacement, which I may have found. But it makes me wonder about my choice of RV to purchase due to its travel requirements.

While the job is not set in stone yet - I am the type of person that plans in advance - hence my post. I am not going to purchase either way until the first of next year (Feb / Mar) and I will know the final decision on my new part time venture before then. Now, I am in the research mode...

In my current home based scenario the 5th Wheel fits the best, but the MH may fit the new scenario better.

This is the new scenario:

I have someone that would like me to travel to their locations and teach my unique skills to their employees. I would have a week or two to travel in between each location, which means I could take my time and do a little sight seeing along the way. I would be at each location for two to four weeks. They would like me to do this for two years (one road trip a year - 5-6 mths a year) - after that it would probably also dry up, but then I would just retire or find something else if I needed too...

They would pay me the standard mileage rate, camping/hotel fees, and a flat food allowance rate while I am on the road and at each location - plus salary of course. The rest of the year I am on my own to enjoy retirement.

This would easily involve 6k+ of driving a year during a five- six month period, plus what I would travel during my personal time.

I am wondering if a MH or a 5ver is better suited for this effort??? My original decision of a 5ver was based on local use of the truck and only camping when we felt like a road trip..., but ease of travel in this scenario seems to be better with the MH.

My concerns are: Level of effort for this level of traveling, depreciation of my investments over this short time frame, upkeep/travel costs for the vehicle types, etc...

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Old 09-09-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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WOW!!...ya know,...(and it's only one person's opinion),...I sure don't see the employment scenario you described as having much to do with which kind of rig you elect to purchase. While it sounds like you may be parked for "two to four" weeks at some locale while training folks, the rest of the time on the road doesn't sound a heck of a lot different than any other RV'r. Besides, this employment thing doesn't sound like it's going to extend for too many years, if that, which, again, doesn't make your rig selection dependent on this job scenario.

Which type of rig you ultimately elect to use sort of depends on YOUR PREFERENCE!! How much storage might you need? Are you traveling alone or with others? Will you eventually be parked for long stretches at your home town of Kathleen, GA?? etc. etc.

Hopefully someone else will have a better answer for you, but, I think the discussion will just be another repeat of the ol...which is better...topic....Motorhome..or 5th Wheel..or Travel Trailer.


2014 Newmar 3103 BAYSTAR/Triton V10 w. Banks/05 Honda Element toad
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
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AS you have noted, a motorhome is more convenient for frequent traveling, especially overnight stays, but it's really a small advantage in the overall scenario of RVing. Yu will want to tow a car (dinghy or toad) with the motorhome, so figure that into your plans as well.

As Chickadee says, the work plans you have are probably not sufficient to bias your choice of rig very much.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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Somethings you have already considered I'm sure:

If you have a truck capable of towing what you want then that may be a big financial incentive for a 5ver. The capacity of the truck will limit the size of 5ver you can tow as well so if you desire something bigger (floorplan, amenities) to tow then $$$.

IF you do not have a towable vehicle for behind the MH then you would need one and to prepare it with baseplate tow bar and brakes---or get a dolly for a vehicle you own which cannot go 4 down. The weight of this vehicle will have something to do with the capacity if the MH you get---towing more than 5K requires a big, big rig.

You did not mention an amount of money but suffice it to say depending on how much you want to spend you can get in both a MH and a 5ver pretty much what you want in a floor plan. If you are limited---lets say---very limited in what you want to spend, it may be possible to get more floorplan benefits in a 5ver for the money---especially if you have a truck that can tow what it weighs. Look and see.

If you have a MH then you will probably have a more domesticated vehicle in tow and you will not be driving the truck around every where you go when you are traveling back and forth to work or site seeing or out to dinner etc;

Some folks consider the set up and backing etc of a 5ver to be a pain----others seem to relish the skills they have gained and enjoy snugging their 5ver into places as astonished onlookers marvel at their skill.

I have witnessed the opposite where all hands turned out to gently help a person get straighten out and calm the spouse while the task is completed. Where do you see yourself in this scenario--it might help in your decision.

MH are generally IMHO easier to back up and place----but if you have a tow vehicle on you cannot back up so you must be careful when you pull into a place to determine how you will get out first---then pull in.

As with a lot of thing sometimes your first instincts are the best----you wanted a 5ver originally---so maybe that is where your inclinations are---if you go with it it would be difficult for anyone to judge good or bad about the decision.

I have a MH, we live a life similar to what you describe. We are happy with our choice and feel it is more practical for us not to own a big truck, we use our everyday car to tow, I did modify our MH by making and installing a combo desk and table replacing a free standing table---this accomodates my wifes consulting job requirements.

Depending on size/slides etc; many MH and 5vers already have that arrangement or a seperate desk.

The MH/5ver/TT debate will endure---I think all we can do is point out things of advantage one way or the other and then you just need to decide---frankly I do not believe you can make a mistake---6 of one half dozen---and so on.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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I add:

Depreciation, upkeep,travel cost probably a wash all things considered if you are apples to apples on the size of rig.

Just thinking a good used rig would probably depreciate less over time considering, maintaining a truck and a 5ver as opposed to a MH, it would seem kind of the same (no hard facts to back that up and way too many variables)---travel cost---about the same with the same qualifier, lots of variables.

But facts are facts---if your traveling partner wants to get up and potty or grab and cold soda in motion during your trip---then it's a MH.
I do all my own stunts
03 Dolphin LX 6355, Workhorse W22, 8.1 vortec, 04 CR-V, Blue Ox, Brake Pro----Norm, Barb and
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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Add and thanks for the replies

First, I am not trying to start a which type RV is better thread. I have already read several and that is what made me ask my questions in the way I did - I did not quite see the answer I was looking for in the way I am considering my situation.

As far as the job goes - it will last at a minimum of two years (in the contract) and can go up to five years. If they agree with all of my stipulations - it will allow me to upgrade the RV of my choice from our current choice. Currently we are looking at mid range (Denali, Cougar, etc.) type 5vers. If I take this position I will upgrade to a higher range 5ver or MH.

My knowledge of RVing cross country is limited. The longest RV trip I have been on has been a 1,200 mile (round trip) for about 6 weeks with my friends using their TT visiting 3 sites during that time frame (total 12 RV trips in my life). I helped drive and I taught my friend how to back up his trailer easier (I used to drive semi's in the military so I have no problem either way with that).

To me I do not have enough experience to know the impact of the type of RV with what this job will require. Never done this type of roadtrip and just want to make sure I get it right...

Cold Drinks and sandwiches are not a concern to us. We already have a setup in our truck to handle that. I guess my main concern is the ease of travel. While I am not severely - I am mildly handicapped (walk with a cane) and ease of setup is a concern for me...

Again, thanks for the replies. Maybe I will just have to take a MH for a test drive and see how it feels...
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Ease of Setup:

Air leveling DP with generator, large tanks, and large house battery bank.

Park and use it without dismounting.
1995 CC Magna #5280
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by deandec
Ease of Setup:

Air leveling DP with generator, large tanks, and large house battery bank.

Park and use it without dismounting.
Any class a with any jack system would setup just that easy.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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I would look into a tax advatage if any because of the job situation also.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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I'm partial to Class A's as I like the ease of setup, don't currently tow a car, only use it for weekends or short trips. I suspect though that if I already had a truck capable, didn't mind backing, and was planning on parking for 2-4 weeks at a shot, I think I'd go for the fiver. Good luck on your decision.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Semiretired View Post
....... I guess my main concern is the ease of travel. While I am not severely - I am mildly handicapped (walk with a cane) and ease of setup is a concern for me......
Went back over your postings several times and the above, and not needing to be in a rush to make a decision, seems to be the real concern. Ease of set up on a motorized RV with automatic levelers will normally always win out over a TT, 5th wheel or tag along, especially if your doing a lot of moving around between job assignments. Like a lot of folks on this forum, I have my handicap wherin I tire out easily and don't like spending excessive time doing a set up.

I have seen numerous occations when a TT pulled up next to my unit, occupants went from the truck to the TT and did not see them until early morning when they got back in the truck and pulled out. No hook up, no set up or leveling, no take down. It was obvious that the unit wasn't level, but for an over nighter that can normally be tolerated. If I do rest stops or parking lot, I never put jacks down or slides out.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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The rule is and then I will duck...

Tent -> Truck Camper -> Travel Trailer -> 5th wheel -> Motorhome

Motorhomes are most residential.
Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel 6.0L 2006
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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I have owned and driven them all! Can't say one will have all the advantages. Each will have some over the other. I believe setting up my 5th wheel was just as easy as the MH, and as quick. Don't want to put out the slides! Same results with both type. Biggest difference is the vehicle you drive while at the camp ground may differ. Ya can't pull a camper with a toad! I do believe my MH cost me more to maintain. However I never had to jack the cab off my Ford's while I owned them! I know many people make the lunch and go to the head without stopping, we do not! I don't want my other half bouncing around the floor while I attempt to dodge that deer that jumped out in front of me. Temptation is not there when pulling the trailer! There is no tax advantages from either as far as I know. You can deduct interest from both as long as they meet the kitchen and bath requirements. I suppose it is possible for a deduction on the travel between work locations as long as you can convince the IRS. Don't see any dif there either. Seems to me it is still a matter of preference. I can almost always make a good argument in favor of the one I prefer.
Larry B, Luckiest Dreamer
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:18 PM   #14
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Use cane... If you go 5er you might want try a toter as any issues with a 5er you may have to crawl into the bed, maybe difficult over the years.
Example: http://www.800toolbox.com/rvtow-1/rv_toter_20.jpg

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