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Old 10-16-2014, 12:40 PM   #15
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We pulled TTs for number of years, then when considering next move of course 5th wheel came up. For us that also meant bigger truck to pull the bigger trailer. Issue was that I did not need to drive big truck around every day and between the cost if that and the price range if the 5rs my wife was looking at we decided to go right into a class A. Went with used one that actually cost less then what we would have spent on a 5r. Love the class A.

2002 Four Winds Infinity 37', 2 slides, F53 with V10, 22,500# chassis, CHF. 4 of us and a German sheperd.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #16
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Location: Honeoye Falls NY
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If you're still a few years away from taking the plunge I recommend that you visit many RV dealers as part of your travels. My wife and I did that for nearly 10 years - we were still working and not really ready but loved looking at them. That helped us narrow our choices and we eventually found one that we loved (and bought) quite by surprise. Many dealers will let you take their units for a spin so you can get a feel for them. You'll get a hard sell but if you can take it you'll also learn a lot.
After the driving experience we opted for a Class A DP and with the budget you described you should have no trouble finding one that you like.

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Old 10-16-2014, 05:33 PM   #17
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Location: Arizona
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Newbie with a lot of learning to do.

Both are the right choice for different people. It's far less about which is right then about what you want to do with it.

For the wife and I, our class A is a mobile bed and breakfast. We set up in a national park, or rv park, and explore the area in our hybrid toad. Almost all nights we return to RV, some nights we've traveled far enough to make a real B&B or motel worth the cost. Between the two vehicles we average 25 mph for most trips so distance isn't too much of a factor.

It provides us all the comforts of home, food costs are the same as staying home, and fuel and park costs are about the same as two round trip air tickets, yet we have a dozen mini vacations on the way there and back. For us, that's the ticket.

My next door neighbor just bought a fifth wheel toy hauler. He owns a full size truck already, and uses his rig to go mineral hunting in the back country. He can carry all his heavy tools and off road supplies in the toy hauler, will have a butt kicking truck to do the heavy lifting when he gets there, and a nice comfortable bedroom and kitchen for all his comforts and needs.

His rig would be near useless for us, and our rig wouldn't let him accomplish much more than visit all the area rocks shops. So before you worry about what vehicle to buy, spend most of your thinking time on what you plan on using it for.
Joseph and Sandy
Arizona Sunbirds

(Snowbirds in Reverse)
Winnebago Chieftain / Ford Hybrid Toad
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:01 PM   #18
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We are in almost same position as you are right now (almost, because our budget is a bit less). We are researching motorhomes for about 2 years now. And now we know what we want. What helped us is getting RV Consumer Group guide and their book. The guide has ratings for almost every brand and model of RV that is out there (they have two different guides: for motorhomes and for trailers). It helped us tremendously. The book teaches how to check the condition of the RV you are looking at.

What we've seen at dealers and private parties proofs that rating guide is right.

Since you are not mechanically inclined you really need to make sure the quality and customer service are superb.

We've received a great help on this and other forums. So, ask more questions.

I would advise to go to couple dealers and look at RVs. Also, to get an idea on prices you can check this site: SearchTempest: Search all of Craigslist nationwide & more It has all the ads that are on craigslist and ebay. Just put there, say, "Allegro Bus motorhome", your zip code and how far you are willing to go to look at it. Also I like rvtrader.com and rvregistry.com

We decided that if we get DP we will go with Allegro Bus, Newmar or Country Coach, most likely the first one. If not new, they are in our price range and very good quality. We saw 2005 models that looked like new, especially inside, too bad we did not get that one.

Oh, we now look only at ones that we can get for the price that is way below NADA. That gives us a cushion in case we need to sell it or for repairs. We've found couple great deals, so they are out there, they exist. But we are ready to travel to look at them. We've already been to 3 long trips.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:23 AM   #19
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This is our first motorhome (had TTs). and we are already thinking of the next in 2 years. The firth wheel vs. coach is a crazy decision and can drive you crazy. The way we see it is that the fifth wheel gives more room than anything else and you are driving a truck, which some might say is easier and less nerve racking than driving the MH. Also it a LOT easier and cheaper to fix a truck than a MH.

Ok but we love or MH and the fact we don't have to get our of a truck when we arrive or pull over or get something to eat or use the bathroom. That is the reason most likely we'll stay with a MH. Good luck on your journey!
living, loving and laughing on the roadJo

Georgetown 328TS Class A 2010 Toyota Corolla
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:45 AM   #20
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Location: Salmon Arm, BC
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Just a quick note of thanks and of course another question.

Thank-you all for your very valuable information. Most of the comments are leaning me towards a MH over a 5th wheel (although I do see the potential challenges with costs and inconvenience should the MH have mechanical problems).
My next question is: How did you learn to drive these things? They are huge buses and I would really like to take a course and lessons before renting one next summer. Are there businesses that teach people how to drive these things?
Thanks again in advance for your time and your knowledge, it is much appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:19 AM   #21
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Posts: 649
There are places that teach driving RV's but depending on if your lucky enough to live near one they may simply be too much trouble to deal with.

There are some online videos of excellent quality, and you should certainly watch those. Just google "learn to drive RV" and you'll see the options. Some are paid courses others are free.

I've been a professional bus driver for twenty years and I used to be a trainer. There are really only two main things that make driving a large solid frame vehicle different than a car.

The most obvious one is the stopping distance. Under 45mph make sure you are AT LEAST four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. Add an additional second for EVERY 10mph over 45.

The most common accident caused by RV drivers, new and old, is to hit something with your tail swing, or drive over it with your rear wheel. Make sure the bottom of both your rear wheels are visible in your mirrors, and keep an eye on it while you are making turns. If you don't begin your turn until your shoulder passes the curb or other obstacle you will find that the rear wheel will not strike it unless you were right alongside it when you started.

Tail swing is something you MUST watch for. When you first get your rig, new or rental, park alongside a parking lot painted stripe, crank your wheel all the way and move away watching your rear corner. You will be amazed how far over the line your tail will swing. That will give you a good idea of how much clearance you'll need at all times in the future.

If you can, place a traffic cone on the corner before moving away, now go back and look how far you pushed that cone away from the line. It should be a lesson that stays with you.

Once you've gotten the basics, post any questions about particular issues you need to improve. Lots of advice and experience here.

The one thing I always told my new students, "you can do anything if you do it slowly enough." Never feel rushed, forget the jerk blowing his horn behind you. Focus on your task, take your time, even back up and start again if you have to. It can never take as long to drive safely as it will filling out the paperwork and repairing the damage after an accident. Slow down, relax, and watch your rear. You can do it, we all had to be new to it once.
Joseph and Sandy
Arizona Sunbirds

(Snowbirds in Reverse)
Winnebago Chieftain / Ford Hybrid Toad
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #22
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Carolina Campers
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Location: Murphy, NC, USA
Posts: 1,006
Hi Ted,

Welcome to the RVing community and you will find a lot of info here.

Your idea of renting sounds good to get the feel of rving and being together in a small place. As far as purchasing a new RV I would go naturally with a motor home for a number of reasons. While traveling down the road if you or the wife has to go to use the facilities then you have to stop get out and open the trailer then close it and go back to truck, not nice when raining outside or if it is a hot day and you want to stop for lunch, when you open trailer it will be hot in there. There are a few more reasons not to go with TT or fifth wheel which I won't go into here.

As far as motor homes go I would go with a 35-36 foot Class A gas unit with washer and dryer and a floor plan that your DW likes. I would not go with a diesel pusher for a number of reasons and here is where I get into trouble with the rvers who own a DP. Unless you intend to derive it 110,000 miles you won't get your money out of it as they are expensive to buy and expensive to keep up. an oil change on a DP will run you about $200.00 plus when the you are in the winter diesel fuel has a tendency to gel. Diesel fuel is more expensive than gas and mileage is about the same. Now some will say well a DP as more torque than a gas engine and climbs hills better well that is not so as I have passed DP going up hill with my gas unit. It all depends on how you drive it and if you use the gears. Because of the air ride the DP does give you a better ride but you will feel the joints in cement highways.

Now to get to the air part of a DP. Air brakes work different than hydraulic brakes and you can't sit on them going down a hill because before you get to the bottom you will run out of air. There is a course you can take to learn about air brakes, etc. which I would recommend if you decide to get a DP.

Finally as to what I would recommend in the way has product would naturally be a Winnebago Adventurer Class A either 35 or 38 footer. I'm on my fourth Winnebago and loved everyone of them. The factory is great for answering questions, solving problems going there if repairs are needed. I would also suggest you go to their website, Winnebago Industries ans see all their products along with floor plans.

I know this was a long piece but I hope it answered a few of your questions and Good Luck!


2014 Winnebago Adventurer 35P,Ford F-53, V-10
2011 Ford Escape,2000 Roadmaster Tow Dolly
"Have a Great Day, Enjoy RVing."
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