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Old 12-05-2018, 08:17 AM   #1
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What swayed your decision to get a Class A vs a 5th wheel?

Hi all. Starting our initial research on RVs. Our son is a junior in high school. When he graduates, we plan on getting an RV and living in it 7-8 months a year. We will keep our house in FL and stay in it Nov-Apr. The other months will be spent exploring the state parks and the left coast. We plan on keeping our rig on the west coast while not using it and just flying back and forth at least once a month to check on it. Our budget for a late model used coach will be $300K

So when you were starting out, what were the keys factors you considered when choosing between Class A and 5th wheel?

Thanks in advance!!!

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Old 12-05-2018, 08:44 AM   #2
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To put it simply, my wife.

We were coming from a pull behind trailer and she wanted something that we didn't have to hitch up. Of course we now hitch up a toad so....

Having said that, I am happy with the motorcoach decision. It's nice to have a fully integrated unit and more fun to drive than pulling a big 5th wheel down the road. YMMV

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Old 12-05-2018, 08:45 AM   #3
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With a 5'er you have a vehicle to drive without having to uproot everything and drive your house.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:49 AM   #4
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We came from a bumper pull also.The MH is just easier for us. Much more room and just get in turn the key and go. When we get there just back in hit the jacks,let out the slides and do the hookups.But mostly just much more room and storage.Having a bathroom for the wife while we are driving is also a big plus.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:52 AM   #5
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For us we wanted the most water capacity we could get for the money. Then we wanted to have a toad that would be more economical to drive and easier to park once we got to where we were going shopping or site seeing. 5th wheels have great floor plans but have you counted how many steps you go up and down getting into or going from one end to the other? My wife can't reach the upper kitchen cabinets in a 5th without a ladder, that's not an issue with a motorhome. In other words she would be constantly climbing up and down in a 5th wheel. We can get drinks or snacks and use the restroom while traveling in a motorhome and we don't get wet if it's storming when we stop for a break in our motorhome.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:57 AM   #6
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For us it was pretty easy. We like to take trips to the lake or white water rafting destinations, so we need to pull the ski boat or rafts on a trailer and don't want to pull doubles. Also, when we traveled with the kids, and now grand kids, having a usable bathroom and kitchen while driving is a huge time saver. And, we already had quite a few vehicles, a couple that make good toads, but no other use for a suitable pick up to pull a 5er.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:59 AM   #7
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I could never see myself owning a pickup, it seems such a waste, big back end that rarely gets used, rides like an empty truck when empty, heavy, hard to park, only seats 5 or 6. I'm a Suburban and trailer guy. So I never considered a fifth wheel.

When I drive, I drive. Twelve hours is not a big deal to me. Twelve hours in a pickup is a big deal to the beautiful half, twelve hours in a DP not so much. She is, in fact, home, just the slides are in. Me, I'm driving in a leather Lazy Boy with tunes on the surround sound. Kids, I don't know where they are, we may have left them at the last gas stop. Dog on the dash, we CAN'T leave him. "Hey baby, can I have some more ice tea and those wonderful stuffer pretzels?"
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:00 AM   #8
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5th wheels have better floor plans IMHO. That was the deciding factor for us.

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Old 12-05-2018, 09:09 AM   #9
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we needed something to tow my off road vehicle and or the boat. we like it so much better than the 5vers we have had. fuel mileage is about the same
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:11 AM   #10
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We decided on a Class A for:
•*Ease of use, set up and break down. When we get to a CG, we disattach the toad and drive around to find a site. With a 5th wheel you have to drag that thing all through the park until you find a spot. Not fun and then your toad is a big ol' truck.
• Money - by the time we spent the money for a dually and the 5th wheel we'd have way more into what we could buy a MH for
• Fun to drive, eat along the way and use the bathrooms while under way

We have had our MH now since 2016 and we have said many times to ourselves, "man...we are so glad we didn't go the 5th wheel way".

Now if you were going to stay fairly local and do small type trips through out the year then yeah maybe a 5th wheel or toyhaler would work better for some folks.

There is a lot more to making these decisions but traveling.....basically Class A is the best hands down in our opinion.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:14 AM   #11
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We sold our 5er in 2013 because our age was hampering the setup/ tear down process.(no automatic leveling jacks). We bought this MH for the reasons assigned to the 5er. It's easy to setup/ break-camp at our ages.
The downside to a MH is, they are NOT designed for long-term stays over 3-4 months, too much stuff in the chassis to go wrong due to never moving. A 5er is designed for long-term stays, and since you do not intend to move it, IMO is the best choice for your type use. Taxes & insurance will be less too.

Some have mentioned with a MH passengers can get up and do stuff, very bad idea. Many years ago my (now) X-wife was up wandering around the MH while I was driving through a city. A man ran a stop-light, I slammed on the brakes to avoid broadsiding him, didn't quite get stopped when x-wife came flying to the front, the dash stopped her. Result, 2 broken wrists, wrenched back, face bruised and scuffed up. Had she remained in her seat-belt she'd been fine,as was I.
Now if anyone unbuckles, i find a stopping place ASAP. Next comes a lecture. I guess it boils down to how much you think of your occupants.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:23 AM   #12
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Floor plan and high ceilings. To me many of the Class As feel like a hallway on wheels.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:29 AM   #13
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Look at your time budget. How much time will be spent on the road?

If you spend several days a month on the road I would think a motorhome would make more sense. Consequently if the RV was almost always parked a 5th wheel would most likely make more sense.

We've decided for us since we spend about 30-40% of our time actually traveling a MH would make more sense.
Our Christmas trip for example is coming up, we'll spend 5 days traveling and 10 days parked. Plus it's winter so our 5th wheel is going to be 40 degrees inside when we get where we are going, it will take all evening to get the trailer warm. With a MH we could keep it warm as we go down the road. Did I mention not having to pull over every hour to let her freshen up!

In the end budget plays a major role and that's why we have a 5w now and are saving our pennies for a MH.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:32 AM   #14
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Motor Homes are build on expensive diesel pushers that will probably outlast the RV. At any rate, one will die before the other and you have to replace both. I like the fact that if or when I'm ready to retire from the RV lifestyle, I can sell the fifth wheel to the RV community and the truck (3500 HD DRW) to local construction, or farmer. In the meantime while at home, my truck can pull my 16' utility trailer to haul my tractor or building construction material.

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5th wheel, class a

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