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Old 04-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #1
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Fulltiming with 3 kids: 5er or DP?

I'm looking for some input from people who have had both a motorhome and fifth wheel at some point. My wife and I are struggling with this decision.

We have 3 kids - ages 10, 3 and 1. I am in the fortunate position of being able to telecommute so our plan is to take a a year, travel, experience and possibly find a new, warm (we're over Michigan!) place to establish ourselves after our adventure.

The dilemma stems from the method of doing this. We already own a well appointed 45' DP. We think we may have it sold, actually - but now we are both having second thoughts.

Setting up and tearing beds down every evening gets tiresome, so we were looking at bunkhouse fifth wheels like the Open Range 427BHS and the Heartland Gateway. We love the idea of the kids having their own space. I have a 2015 Silverado 3500HD LTZ Crew Cab - so a tow vehicle isn't an issue.

The issue is weighing out the pros and cons of fifth wheel vs motorhome. For us, the biggest pros are related to the more residential feeling and family friendly floorplans. Less maintenance also tops the pros list. The cons are, for me, everything else. The inflexibility while actually traveling (though we'd be staying in one place for 3-4 weeks each), 3 kids packed into a pickup (one thought was bringing my wife's van as well), the fact that they're not as full-time friendly until you get into rigs that require medium trucks to pull, etc. Personally, I would miss the luxuries like heated floors, no propane, all electric, etc.

Has anyone owned both and faced a similar situation? Which would you prefer - fifth wheel or class A DP and why?

Thank you in advance for helping us with our dilemma!
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:46 PM   #2
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If I had to make the choice I would go for the DP with bunk beds. Tiffin has a Phaeton floor plan with bunk beds. (40 QKH)

Phaeton Luxury Motorhome | Tiffin Motorhomes

My reasoning would be that being able to access all the facilities while going down the road with 3 kids would be a big bonus.

Jon
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Jon, we already have a DP -- the Mountain Aire 4528 bath and a half floorplan. One thought is to remodel and retrofit bunks into it if we end up keeping it.

I like the look of that QKH though
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyT View Post
Thanks Jon, we already have a DP -- the Mountain Aire 4528 bath and a half floorplan. One thought is to remodel and retrofit bunks into it if we end up keeping it.

I like the look of that QKH though

Then I would do that. Could be done for nominal cost. Few K at most.You already know this rig.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindyT View Post
Thanks Jon, we already have a DP -- the Mountain Aire 4528 bath and a half floorplan. One thought is to remodel and retrofit bunks into it if we end up keeping it.

I like the look of that QKH though
Keep the coach, send the kids to military school and you can visit them on holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.

Just kidding.

Jon
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jfran304 View Post
Keep the coach, send the kids to military school and you can visit them on holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.

Just kidding.

Jon
Now that's the kind of forward thinking I was hoping for!
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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My first thought was...OMG...Jeff Daniels and his full timing family in the movie RV.

Any thing would be an improvement over what we had in 1962 during a 6 week trip around the western US. We has a 20' TT towed by a Buick for mom, dad, my 3 sisters and myself.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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IMHO No way I would try doing what you want to with a 5th wheel!!

DP is the way to go.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:57 PM   #9
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I have a similar situation, I have 4 boys, 14, 11, 10 and 3, we do small vacations in a 30ft TTw/BH towed by a Yukon. The smaller size doesn't really bother me so much as I keep the kids out and about during the day.

We plan to eventually fulltime once the two oldest boys head off to college in about 6 years. I'm no longer interested in owning a "tow truck" for a trailer and a second fuel efficient vehicle. I'd much rather have a DP and a Toad (Like a Jeep or somesuch). We're in MD and we definitely want to move away from this state for mostly political reasons, but if we could find a place that was both warm and reasonable that wouldn't hurt. I want to take my time finding the right place to settle down, 6 months maybe even a year fulltiming.

Bottom line, DP + Toad.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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OMG. keep the Newmar you have and remodel ! You already have the "cream of the crop" ! !

You also have the option of setting up a tent next to the motorhome sometimes.....kids would love the variety of choice.
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