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Old 07-03-2012, 12:52 AM   #1
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Class C vs 5W

This may get long winded. You've been warned

Thanks to this, and a number of other sites, I'm starting to narrow down the options for an RV that will best suite our needs & wants. Intentions are to become semi-fulltimers with the majority of the time spent boondocking off the beaten path. We are grandparents but also have an eight year old son which weighs heavily on our choice of RV. I'm not mechanically gifted & have some physical limitations. My wife though 5 yrs younger & in good health is also started to slow down.

We believe that it has come down to a two horse race between a class C with a toad or a 5er, with the 5er pulling ahead. 29-33ft range with at least 2 slides seams to be the compromise between livability & maneuverability for us. Quality built & cared for pre-owned in the 5-12yr old range is a comfortable price range & aesthetics for us.

Class C has a lot going for it. That overcab bunk is perfect and the total length with toad detached is about as maneuverable as I can hope for. I believe it also has a lower profile, maybe 1-2ft lower. This is attractive for where we want to go. Unfortunately the negatives make me hesitant. Biggest being weight limitations especially with slides & solar set-up. Limited storage, small holding tanks, low ground clearance, complicated mechanics (I know so is a tow vehicle but I'm comfortable with trucks & I own one capable of being a TV).

5er with a bunk option solves the issues with the class C but until you've detached at camp your considerably longer and taller. I forgot to mention the TV I now have is a F250HDcc short bed beefed up to tow as a 1ton & if I went to a diff TV I would still need at least an ext cab so .. long truck plus the 5er.

Am I too concerned about the 5ers length & height for getting back in the woods? Also how concerned should I be about durability of slide-outs? Seams like there's a lot of discussions about slide-out malfunctions, maintenance & repairs.

Let the 5er vs C's flame war begin
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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Well, you opened several cans of worms! Trailer vs motorhome, slides or no, Class C vs A, to name a few. I suspect you have asked questions that only you can answer for your own needs, but you will probably get plenty of replies anyway.

Slides: cannot argue that no slide has less vulnerability to slide mechanism problems, but nearly everybody feels that the payback is so great that the question is moot. There are numerous lifestyle enhancing gadgets we could do without and avoid repairs, but do you want to? Washing machine? Cars? Cellphones? Etc.

A 5W is tall - often 13 feet - so yes you have to watch overhead. But you do on any RV under trees and power wires, so how low an area will you be going into?

The Class C is very limited in all those things you mentioned. A smaller Class A woud be a much better choice if you want to go that route. You get more storage, more capacity all around, and a more sturdy chassis and drive train. There are even A's with bunks over the driver area, similar to a C, or rear bunks. In between there is the Super-C, which is a medium truck with a C-like body, e.g. the Jayco Seneca or the Conquest
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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Rent one of each and give them I try for a while
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Well, you opened several cans of worms!
Yeah I know, kicks at ground while looking sheepish.

Quote:
Slides: cannot argue that no slide has less vulnerability to slide mechanism problems, but nearly everybody feels that the payback is so great that the question is moot.
Good to hear. From my perspective slides are invaluable in getting enough living space into a package short enough for our needs. Just a little worried about getting stuck in the boonies with a slide that wont close since I'm not mechanically gifted.

Quote:
A smaller Class A woud be a much better choice
We had scratched A's off due to floor plans & perceived value to cost. While very nice & definitely convenient, A's appear to be more geared towards a couple. Bunk options although rare are available but seem to take up too much valuable space on an A. Have never seen the above driver sleep option which sounds most interesting. Super C's got a serious look but also fell due the perceived value to cost compared to a 5er. It doesn't matter how much money we may or may not have, we will not finance & we have a $limit in mind. We can stretch that limit, even considerably, but value to cost would need to be strong.

Quote:
Rent one of each and give them I try for a while
We plan on doing this in the future but the nearest place to do so is 100 miles in the wrong direction (one way) to where we live & further from anywhere we would want to take the unit to test. This means pick-up & return would be a minimum of 400 miles. So this will come after further research & filtering through thoughts/opinions such as this discussion.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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rent option

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Originally Posted by Swing View Post
Yeah I know, kicks at ground while looking sheepish.

Good to hear. From my perspective slides are invaluable in getting enough living space into a package short enough for our needs. Just a little worried about getting stuck in the boonies with a slide that wont close since I'm not mechanically gifted.

We had scratched A's off due to floor plans & perceived value to cost. While very nice & definitely convenient, A's appear to be more geared towards a couple. Bunk options although rare are available but seem to take up too much valuable space on an A. Have never seen the above driver sleep option which sounds most interesting. Super C's got a serious look but also fell due the perceived value to cost compared to a 5er. It doesn't matter how much money we may or may not have, we will not finance & we have a $limit in mind. We can stretch that limit, even considerably, but value to cost would need to be strong.

We plan on doing this in the future but the nearest place to do so is 100 miles in the wrong direction (one way) to where we live & further from anywhere we would want to take the unit to test. This means pick-up & return would be a minimum of 400 miles. So this will come after further research & filtering through thoughts/opinions such as this discussion.
We took our 2nd trial trip from NJ to Montanna and picked up a C out there. Spent 2 weeks in it before we drove our vehicle home. Might be a fun test trip
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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Having had all types class a, c, mini's (winn. LeSharo), trailer, and 5W...
and liked every one...
only you can make the determination of what will work for you...
the 5w "can" be taller, but shorter for the same living area as a tt.
(if you go with full hieght 5w, not the low profiles, etc..)
re slides - resale is negligible if you DON'T have slides nowdays -
seems everyone wants them
If you are worried about getting a slide, buy the emergency roadside assistance and allow them to fix it - we have four slides and it is amazing the space you get out of that...
and there is just 2 of us... with an 8 year old - GULP
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