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Old 01-09-2005, 07:09 PM   #1
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Hello,
I am new to this board, and RV'ing. My wife and I are looking to buy our first RV. We have two small children, one is 3 yrs and the other is 10 months. We are having difficulty deciding whether to purchase a Class C, or a travel trailer. We are looking for some insight from some seasoned RV'ers.
Can anyone give us some ideas on why we would favor one type of RV over another?

-I've noticed that the Class C's all seem to have an onboard generator, while trailers do not? Why is this?
-Other than being able to "drop" a trailer, and drive locally with your vehicle, are there any other advantages to having a trailer versus a Class C?
I guess we are looking for someone with experience to explain the advantages and disadvantages of having each. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:09 PM   #2
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Hello,
I am new to this board, and RV'ing. My wife and I are looking to buy our first RV. We have two small children, one is 3 yrs and the other is 10 months. We are having difficulty deciding whether to purchase a Class C, or a travel trailer. We are looking for some insight from some seasoned RV'ers.
Can anyone give us some ideas on why we would favor one type of RV over another?

-I've noticed that the Class C's all seem to have an onboard generator, while trailers do not? Why is this?
-Other than being able to "drop" a trailer, and drive locally with your vehicle, are there any other advantages to having a trailer versus a Class C?
I guess we are looking for someone with experience to explain the advantages and disadvantages of having each. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!
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Old 01-09-2005, 08:27 PM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2, wallacemf. Your questions will generate a lot of answers and opinions.

Have you ever owned an RV of any kind? We previously had 2 tent trailers before we decided to buy a more permanent RV. We had the same questions you do, except we had towed small trailers before.

We rented a Class C for 5 days, traveling about 1000 miles, some in inclimate weather. Since our tent trailers only had the "basics" we were impressed by all the nice features, including generator, microwave, complete bathroom, etc. What did not work for us was the overhead bunk, and the RV we rented did not have a separate bedroom as the longer ones do.

We decided we were still "trailer trash" and opted for a 28' travel trailer that the two of us call home when we travel. We like the advantage of being able to park the trailer and sightsee in our truck. Many people prefer to tow a car/SUV behind a motorhome, and that is a matter of personal choice. We like the trailer, because if the tow vehicle ever has to be replaced (after 100,000-200,000 miles) you can do it more cost effectively than buying a new motorhome, or keeping an old motorhome and go the expense of buying a new engine or drive train. Again, a matter of personal preference.

Travel trailers can be equipped with generators, usually offered as an option. 5th wheel trailers also offer generators, if that is important to you.

Most RV dealers will rent motorhomes and trailers (altho' you probably need the truck to tow a trailer as they don't usually offer them in the rental). My suggestion, try them on for size before you make the decision to buy. You won't be sorry, and it's a small fee to make sure you don't make a "large" mistake.

Good shopping.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:52 AM   #4
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Hello 'wallacemf',

Welcome to iRV2, we're really glad to have you here as a new member and are looking forward to reading your posts about your RVing experiences and adventures. You'll find a great bunch of folks on this site who are very knowledgeable of RVing, the rigs we use, and the places we go in them.

As you'll see, they're eager to help and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

The choice between a Class 'C' versus a Travel Trailer is a tough call, both have advantages and disadvantages. Paul has given a good reply and pointed out several of the pluses and minuses of each.

Keep in mind there is no 'just right' rig for all applications, whatever one has will require some trade offs on the pluses and minuses. I've always thought a motorhome would have the advantage when someone does a lot of traveling, spending shorter times at destinations. The trailers seem to lend themselves to staying put for a while.

These aren't hard fast rules, just my opinion and I'm sure there are a lot of differing opinions on how a rig can be used.

Again, welcome to iRV2, we're glad you joined.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:23 AM   #5
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My personal opinion is:

Motor homes are for people who like to travel.

Trailers are for people who like to camp.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wallacemf:
Hello,
I am new to this board, and RV'ing. My wife and I are looking to buy our first RV. We have two small children, one is 3 yrs and the other is 10 months. We are having difficulty deciding whether to purchase a Class C, or a travel trailer. We are looking for some insight from some seasoned RV'ers.
Can anyone give us some ideas on why we would favor one type of RV over another? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Hello and welcome to iRV2.com. Since 1999, we travelled had a pop up trailer, travel trailer, and a motor home with toad. Now due to job loss, we are temporarily back to tent camping.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>-I've noticed that the Class C's all seem to have an onboard generator, while trailers do not? Why is this? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Honda makes a generator which is both quiet and portable. Two of these EU2000s, connected with a special cable, will supply 30A to your TT. I know of at least one iRV2 member who has this set up. I asked this question to several TT dealers in the past. The reason that most gave back to me was that the sales demand for generators on TTs are so low, that it isn't worth the engineering required it.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>-Other than being able to "drop" a trailer, and drive locally with your vehicle, are there any other advantages to having a trailer versus a Class C? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>A passenger van is going to provide your family the most and best protection while travelling. Our TT set up was a 25' Trail Lite and a Ford E-350 Chateau. Have you ever seen the remains of a motorhome or travel trailer after it has rolled over on the highway? Even passengers restrained by seatbelts are likely to be killed in the motorhome. Personally, I believe that there are only a few MHs with a rollover crash rating for occupants--including Marathon Coach by Prevost and 1973-1978 GMC motorhomes. But anyone with a bus conversion has the same rollover crash rating.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I guess we are looking for someone with experience to explain the advantages and disadvantages of having each. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Well you have alot to learn as did I. With a family of 4, you need maximum UCC in a MH to load all of your food, clothes, and camping stuff. You'll find that some MH manufacturers actually market motorhomes that are easily overloaded without the average person knowing it. None the less, overloading any vehicle is an unsafe situation and you need to learn the weight lingo such as GVWR, GCWR, Curb Weight, and UCC.

I'll second Ken's comment about camping vs. travelling. MHs have all of the conveniences to prepare meals while in motion, and to level up quickly. While TTs lack the above-mentioned conveniences of a MH, they are alot less expensive too.

Good Luck in your quest!

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Old 01-10-2005, 07:11 PM   #7
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There are other issues like:
How many times or how much time do you have to use the RV?
A motorhome requires insurance and maintenance just like a car or a truck....all year round.
A TT does not. A TT will allow you to have a nice tow vehicle that can be used all year roud while the TT is parked. You will also find that will a TT you have much more room for the kids to grow.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:18 PM   #8
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Wallacemf:
Welcome.. If you expect to stay mostly in a campground for any length of time and are not moving every two or three days usually the TT may suit you best ...but.... you have two young kids.. (are we there yet....daddy I got to go....why does every body have to get up so early .. I want to say in bed....etc etc..) The class C would be better
I had both, a TT is good for teens but young ones change the way you probably will travel. One thing to consider.. I used my MH (had a 20' class A) to go to the shopping centers and day trips that I would have never attemped with your young ones. Mom can shop shop shop and dad lets the kids play and watch TV in the MH while he reads his paper and has a cup of HOT coffee. The snow is blowing and everyone is snug as a bug while your gen and furance is cranking away.... Get the picture...?? used mine for 10yrs and 100,000 miles.. BUT they do cost more we just elimited one car(hers).
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:28 PM   #9
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We started off with a pop-up, after two years in that, we decided to get a class C (27 ft).

At the time we purchased the Class C our kids were young, and with most kids when on the road you will always her I gotta GO... so the Class C was great, the kids could go and I did not have to stop. Also we could start up the generator and my wife could fix something to eat, it was great.

The downside was that when at your destination, if you wanted to go somewhere you would have to take down the camper and drive, sometimes we rented a car..

Insurance was ~$275/year, gas millage was ~ 8 MPG Ford 460 ci/ 7.5 L. This was also another vehicle to maintain.

After a few years in the RV I traded it in on a Travel Trailer, kids were older and they traveled in the truck better.

The advantage to this setup, My pull vehicle Ford F-250, 444 ci/7.3L Diesel, is also my daily driver, only one vehicle to maintain. I get between 11-12 MPG towing. Also when traveling we just unhook the trailer and drive out truck. Insurance is ~$500/year for truck and ~$80/year for the trailer.

So it is a toss up there is advantages and disadvantages to both, so only you can decide what is right for your family.

Good luck
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:04 AM   #10
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We have been plaqued by the same question for a few years now. We have 4 kids and do a lot of camping and about twice a year we do long road trips. We like the idea of a Class C mototrhome for the long road trips so we are not couped up in the truck for hours, but for camping, we enjoy the space of our 5th wheel. Sleeping accomodations is the second most important factor for us. We have to have bunks for the kids, at least 2 if not 4. Easy bill to fill with a 5th wheel. There are class C's with bunks, but then you loose the bedroom to the kids, and very diificult to find used to stay in our price range. All the used ones we did find, have been retired rental units and pretty well mitreated and in less than desirable condition. Then you have to deal with the issue of TV vs Toad when you arrive at your destination. In all my research, I have not found a class C that would fill our needs that had the Cargo Capacity and GCVWR to give me that comfort zone to tow a vehicle behind it. So for now we are sticking to the 5th wheel. Hoe this helps and enjoy your new adventures either way you go.
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:59 PM   #11
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We started with a 26 foot TT then moved up to a 31 foot fiver. For us, the three kids travel very well in our pickup and we really enjoy it. However, I like having a diesel truck to drive as my daily driver. It kind of depends on what you want in that sense as well. If you already have a good truck or want one, go with the trailer. If not, the decision is tougher.
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