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Old 09-28-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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I HAVE A 5TH WHEEL WITH A 2500HD CHEV DIESEL, I HEAR THE COST FOR A MOTORHOME IS MORE TO KEEP UP. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WITCH COST MORE? LIKE INS,GAS, REPAIRS. WE ARE GOING FULL TIME RVING AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE COST OF EACH.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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I HAVE A 5TH WHEEL WITH A 2500HD CHEV DIESEL, I HEAR THE COST FOR A MOTORHOME IS MORE TO KEEP UP. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WITCH COST MORE? LIKE INS,GAS, REPAIRS. WE ARE GOING FULL TIME RVING AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE COST OF EACH.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:54 PM   #3
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Terry, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us. You have a good question and for some, they would make their choice of rig by this. Unfortunately we had to use a class A that could pull a service truck around so I could not give you a comparrison but I am sure there are members here that have done both. Good luck in your research and enjoy the hunt!
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:44 AM   #4
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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 terry horkman sr:
I HAVE A 5TH WHEEL WITH A 2500HD CHEV DIESEL, I HEAR THE COST FOR A MOTORHOME IS MORE TO KEEP UP. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS WITCH COST MORE? LIKE INS,GAS, REPAIRS. WE ARE GOING FULL TIME RVING AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE COST OF EACH. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have a Class A gas coach on a Ford chassis that is now 6 years old while our friends have a 36 foot trailer towed by a Hemi Dodge Quad Cab that is a bit newer.

In the past year I have done $100 in repairs on the house and nothing on the chassis except for oil changes, filters and a lube which I do myself. Combined I don't believe it came to $200 this past year. Fuel economy on the semi flats is between 8.5 and 10 MPG.

Setting up is to back into the site, set the parking brake, fiddle with the leveler buttons for a minute, plug in and then extend the slides.

Our friends have had to maintain the truck/trailer and their expences this past year have been near $1000 +/- mark. He has been complaining of the 4.5 to 6 MPG he gets as we travel together and has to stop for fuel much more often then we do. This is more irritating to him because with the motorhome we get both much better fuel economy and also have a much larger fuel tank. We are in a catch 22 at times because our waiting for him to refuel makes him self concious and if we refuel early to try and make him feel better that backfires too.

Setting up is to back into the site, jockey the trailer into position, set the parking brake/wheel chocks, turn a crank to unhitch the trailer, turn several cranks to level the coach, plug in and then extend the slides.

About half way through his setup we already have supper on the stove and the picnic table setup. By the time he is done supper has been ready for a while and his wife is reminding him that she wanted to get a motor home and not a trailer.

That said nothing is carved in stone. We could both have the same make, model and year motorhome or truck/trailer combination and one or the other could by random event be paying more for fuel/maintenance/repairs. Most, actually all our trailer friends who travel with us usually gaze at us all setup while their still working at it with glassy eyes from time to time and say that regardless of the cost difference win or loose they wish they had gone with a Class A instead.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:04 AM   #5
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Terry: Welcome to a great site. I have had everything BUT a 5th wheel including a HiLo. In my own sorry opinion I prefer to do as much as I can myself primarily because I know it was done....correctly. The only real expense we have had thus far are new tires all around only because of the amount of traveling and the fact that there were 2003 tires on the coach with an "F" load range. We currently own a 2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit 35 Anniversary Edition Class A, 35ft, F53, 2 slides. We have almost 30,000 miles. I am very deligent when it comes to the safety issues. I happen to think if we were to use the unit a couple times a year to stay at places for long periods I would have a fiver; however, since we do a fairly amount of moving (Home base NE Florida, this year Las Vegas, Conn, 2 trips to No. Carolina next month) you can't beat the convenience of a motor home and that includes bringing a toad with a brake buddy. And personally I enjoy handling our Class A more than the C. Wish you and yours the best and safe traveling.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:31 AM   #6
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First you must do you homework which will include but not limited to, how much you are willing to spend, then look at what is available in that price range.
Second is it going to be a Class A-5th wheel-Class C-travel trailer. Remember with all RV's you need a tow vehicle or some other type of transportation to get around.
If it is a Class A or C what can I tow. Can I tow it 4 down or does it have to be towed on a dolly-2 up or 4 up-How much will the vehicle tow. How much stuff can I put in the vehicle[big mistake that people do is overload-know what the cargo capacity is].
When we purchased our Class A, we went to 3/4 RV shows that had seminars. Joe & Vicky Kriva gave us a lot of help at the shows plus they write for some of the RV mags.
Biggest thing is do your homework the wrong vehicle could be a costly mistake.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:21 AM   #7
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Terry, We have a Motorhome. For us it works best. We mostly use our's for traveling, but we do stay in Florida in the winter months.
I can't answer your question as to what is the less costly to maintain. It may well be a wash.
The thing that I like about our motorhome, is how fast we can set it up when we get to a campground. We tow a Honda CRV with ours four down. That's another thing that we like. Once we are setup in the campground, the car is easier to get around in.
Also the DW doesn,t feel comfortable driving anything much bigger than the CRV.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:49 AM   #8
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I have been in a class A for all our 13 years of full timing. I have often wondered if I had made the right decision concerning our choice of RV. The comments by NeilV, bill carle, read&learn, and jjoe, have convinced me that our decision was the correct one.

I do believe that there is more living space in the 5th wheel of equal length.
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:28 AM   #9
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I've had fifth wheels pulled by gas and diesel trucks and also both gas and diesel motorhomes.

Maintenance costs on a diesel pusher motorhome will likely be higher than on a diesel truck. The large diesel engines in most pushers use sophisticated filtering systems on air, fuel and oil and even the coolant . Just changing all the filters can run $300-400 on some rigs. But if you had a DP that used the same engine as the truck (e.g. a Cummins ISB or GM Duramax 6.6L (and there are such motorhomes), then the maintenance costs would be similar. And house maintenance costs are similar for fifth wheels and motorhomes, assuming an equivalent level of equipment and amenities.

My 37,000 lb motorhome gets poorer fuel economy than did my 7000 lb F250 diesel truck pulling a 11,000 lb trailer, but that is to be exected, eh?

A gas powered motorhome is no more expensive than a truck (gas or diesel) as far as maintenance costs go, but the fuel economy will be less than a similar size diesel truck and fifth wheel.

It's hard to generalize without talking about a more restricted subset of truck/trailer RV vs motorhome. A 30-32 foot motorhome on a Chevy Kodiak diesel chassis doesn't cost a bunch more to operate than a Chevy truck and a 30 foot fifth wheel. Just being a motorhome does not cause costs to increase.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:54 AM   #10
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Here is a website of couple who have been full timing in a class A diesel pusher ... the website includes travelogs as well as a complete breakdown of their expenses.

Rich and Dianne's website

Expense Table

I think this will give you some of the information that you are seeking
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:23 AM   #11
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Agree with the others that there are so many variables in the different combinations that which is less costly to maintain is hard to determine. For sure, if you had to do major engine work on a truck vs. most any motorhome, labor charges will be higher on the MH due to access.

Assuming the 'house' portion of the RV is fairly equal in complexity/quality, maintenance costs should be about the same. A DP is a bit more expensive to maintain than a gas coach but that can be minimized if you are willing and able to do the normal maintenance yourself.

We've had TT's in the past and would never go back to a towed RV. The motorhome is more easy to set up and access to the rig while traveling (bathroom breaks for the DW) is a plus. If we were going to full time, a DP with a suitable toad is the way to go, IMO.
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