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Old 09-05-2015, 10:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Need an opinion

We are looking to purchase out 1st RV. We are hung up between a class "A" gas, class "C" or a 5th wheel. A 5th wheel, I would have to purchase a truck to pull it making it as expensive as the class "A". We are both 70 yrs old and healthy. We plan on going to a lake and fishing for 3-4 days, maybe a week and then moving to a different lake. Do that for about a month and go home for about a month, putting us out 5-6 months a year. A class "A" is made more for traveling a lot, and a 5th wheel is better if you stay in one place a lot. In the future it is unsure if we will go out more. Were not sure what class of RV to get and would appreciate any opinion of someone who has RV'd for a while.

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Old 09-05-2015, 10:51 AM   #2
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I would lean towards a Class A and pull a small vehicle.

It would be the most convenient for frequent travel and setups. It also is very nice to travel in because the washroom and fridge are accessible while traveling (not for the driver but facilitates quick stops). Easy to set up.

5er is better if you set up for longer periods. Depending upon the size the tow vehicle is also your get around vehicle. Our 450 is quite acceptable to me to drive for groceries, restaurants and the golf course. Others do not like that large a vehicle. (I generally park at the edges of the parking lot while most try to park as close to the door as they can get!)

Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:53 AM   #3
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We travel from St. Louis, Missouri to the south every winter. We have been going to Phoenix and this year we are going to Mission, TX. We went to Iowa this summer for a week. The class A we own is great for short trips (stays) and for 3-4 month stays in the winter. A class A is like a one bedroom apartment and we enjoy it to the max. I don't believe the class A is more for traveling a lot any more than any other RV. It is a matter of what you feel comfortable living in and driving.
Tom, Lou Ann & Zoe (the dog)
St. Louis, MO
2000 36' Damon Intruder
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:30 AM   #4
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I'd suggest renting an A and or a C. You might not like either, and save yourself by renting before buying anything.
2014 Itasca Spirit 31K
2016 Mazda CX5, on an Acme tow dolly, 4 trips 5800mi
Now 2017 RWD F 150 with a drive shaft disconnect
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:45 AM   #5
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I have never understood the 5th wheel is better if you're staying for a long time idea. We've had 3 and would rather stay in a class A anytime. Being able to enjoy your coach parked or when traveling is by far he best way for me.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:34 PM   #6
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How do you haul the boat with a fiver?

Hint, you can put a cartopper on a towed. ;-)

Can't beat walking back to the bathroom in the rain without going outside. Easiest with an A, manageable with a C, forget it with a fiver.

For a given length an A has more livable space than a C. OTOH some folks cannot deal with the big windshield in front of them and the steering wheel in the picture window. It's all emotion.

FWIW I think the sweet spot for what you want is around 30-35 ft preferably in an A. Currently have a 30 ft C and looking at the A's in that range. That gets you a place to sit, a place to eat, and a place to sleep with no overlap and room so you do not crowd each other. Most A's have a desk in front of the passenger seat that gives some room for computer or craft activities separate from dining. Shorter gets crowded, longer starts to limit available spaces. Add 20 ft for the towed when planning.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
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We've had both - a 5th wheel with a noisy big truck that we hated to drive in scenic areas and a motorhome pulling a small Jeep. The motorhome was the best for us.

I, too, don't understand why folks say a motorhome is only good if you travel constantly. It doesn't hurt a motorhome to sit.

Think of all the motorhomes that are put in storage until the next trip.

Think of the truck/5th wheeler travelers who leave their cars sitting all winter.

Think of farm machinery that isn't used all winter.

Get what you feel would be more comfortable for you and you'll be happy.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:55 PM   #8
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they all have their strengths, and you will find lots of folks that have had at least one of each, in their search of the perfect combo.

Parking that big 5th wheel takes more skill, and more room than parking a motorhome.

Pick the one you like- I think the 5th wheel is more suited for "camping" than "traveling"
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:57 PM   #9
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Do not say a MH is good only if you travel constantly. It is more convenient if you are setting up, taking down and traveling often. If you are parking for 5 months the few extra minutes required to set up a 5er becomes less onerous.

The advantage then is the 5er is less costly to get into and the truck gets exercised while the 5er sits. One less vehicle license and insurance to purchase. (5er insurance is less costly than RV insurance).

Trucks nowadays do not have to be noisy. Most of the new diesels are very quiet and more maneuverable. Noisy trucks are more to do with the driver than the vehicle.
Gordon and Janet
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:15 PM   #10
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I see that you want a class A with a gas engine. So this eliminates the really classy class A motorhomes that the diesel pusher provides you.

Now in my humble opinion a gas motor home Class A will be somewhat noisy. Why, the engine sets right up front next to you and as you struggle up the 6 to 7% grade towing a car behind you the engine RPM's will be in the 3,000 to 4,000 RPM range and the fuel mileage will be around 6 to 7 MPG at best. With a 5th wheel towed by a diesel pick-up truck the engine RPM range will be around 1500 to 1800 (Cummins) and you will have no issues what so ever as you climb this grade. As you descend this grade the exhaust brake and tow/haul mode will keep your speed in check. Plus your fuel mileage will be around 10 to 11 MPG when towing.

I went through several class A gas motor homes at the Forest River Owners Group rally held this year and you can have them. I will keep my Cedar Creek 5th wheel and Ram diesel truck. The Class A gas models where just to small for my likings and the set-up and take down times are no different.

When we first started to camp again; my dear wife wanted a Class A. I explained to her that we needed to tow something and we could not drive a class A to the grocery store or to the shopping mall breaking camp every time we needed something. So to me the 5th wheel is just as flexible to take off for the day and return to your campsite as a class A. Also since you now have a pick-up truck you will have a vehicle that can haul what every you need when not towing and be comfortable doing so.

Jim W.
Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 09-05-2015, 02:06 PM   #11
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We have a new 2014 Class A, F53. The new ford gas 3 valve engine is wonderful and well matched to its 5 speed tranny. On a recent 3,600 mile to Banff we average 8.5 mpg, yanking a toad, Honda CRV. Stayed between 60 and 65 mph. It would pull most hills at 60 to 65 or more easily, the really long steep grades >6% we slowed it down to where the engine felt comfortable usually around 50. The new transmission automatically would downshift on steep grades, including 16% grades never requiring a manual downshift. The RV type we saw the least on the road and in the campgrounds were the 5 er's. The most, new TT, then C's then A's. 40+' A's were also scarce. A lot of the newer shorter gas class A's, all brands.

If your in an A, need a drink, sandwich, cookie etc. it's a done deal. Bathroom visit simple. Look for an RV floor plan where the fridge and bathroom are accessible with the slides in. Get to a campsite, place it, set the brake, push the automatic leveler button. Turn off the engine. Push the slide extend button. Have a beer and watch your travel companion still trying to park his 5er, then re park on boards to level it, swear, re park to level, screw it. In an angry mood let down the front legs, they sink, pull them up, block them, set them down again, undo the electrical, skin knuckle swear again, get back in truck and pull it out now with no where to park. Get mad as hell, rage almost, run into side of front of 5 er, knock yourself out for the count - true. Now you have to manually Lower each jack to stabilize the rig. At night climb stairs to your mini bedroom with a mini bed. Get up fall down the stairs - get paramedics - helo to hospital! - real.

Get an A or C.

A pickup truck is a pickup truck. In diesel format plan to pay big bucks then another few grand for chips, exhaust brakes etc. They are noisy, engine brakes are noisy, cramped, smell bad, high maintenance and I question the overall tongue vs chassis ratio. Too much torque, too little chassis.
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:51 PM   #12
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Traveling in a class A is like traveling in a big glass bubble.
We have a view that just cannot be replicated in any other vehicle.

We had driven the Columbia river gorge many times before.
The 1st time through with the class a we must have said WOW a 1000 times.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:42 PM   #13
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Years ago I asked my dad why he picked a class a over a fifth wheel. He had been RV'ing for twenty years by then. His answer was simply that he did not want to drive a big truck to see the sights, or to use as a daily driver when they were away from home. Made sense to me.

If someone already owns a big truck, or wants one then a fifth wheel makes a lot of sense. Kind of like why a lot of people around here have travel trailers as they already have a vehicle that can tow them.

Everyone has their reasons for the type RV they chose.
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2013 Chevy Sonic Hatchback (Automatic)
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:09 PM   #14
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I think one point being missed here is that if you are going into lakes that have rougher campsites then I believe the truck and fiver would be better. The reason being is that class A's depending on the size, wont handle the twisting and rough campsites as well.

We have a 38 ft DP and I can't take it into the lakes I would like to go to because I would probably pop a wind shield out. I like the forest service campsites here where we live which are a little rough. Maybe where you go it is different.

Dennis & Marcie & Captain Hook The Jack Russell,aka PUP, 1998 HR Imperial 40 ft RVM59
A good day on the road means a better night at the park!
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