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Old 12-29-2009, 11:59 AM   #1
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One question

My wife and I are on a 5 year plan to move from a stick built home to RVing full time. We both love to travel and are really looking forward to RVing. The problem is: Where do we start. After reading several books, magazines, articles ont he subject, after questioning friends and family that RV, and going to the limited RV dealers in the area, we both are so confused as to whether to buy a 5th wheel or a Diesel Pusher!

So, even though the thread states 'one question', I guess our inqury involves many more than that. However, the main question we have is: Given what you now know..."What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone that plans to retire in 5 years and begin RVing full time?"

Greenhorns can easily be persuaded by flashy brochuresm slick talking salesmen, dreams of carefree open road travels, and devil-may-care attitudes, but when the rubber meets the road, there is indeed a lot to think about. And, even though we realize that we are going to make lots of mistakes along the way, sometimes it pays to listen to those that have already had the experience and can pass on some advice. We are planning to go to Qauatrzside this January to the RV rally there and talk to lots of folks. So, if you are there, please be patient to a couple of rookies to the RV world.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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Ask questions, if you have not RV'd rent some units and try it out. Rent trailers, 5th wheels, and motorhomes. If you plan on full timing eventually rent a class A gas and Diesel. Most of all take your time in evaluating.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Welcome fourdiamonds,
I am kind of new here too but not completely green with RVing. Have you read The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing? I just got it for my birthday and just jumped around reading it since it is too late for us to choose what we buy but it looks like a great book.

You will get a hundred answers to your question but I will give you some of our story/thoughts.

First off when you are traveling you will want some kind of smaller transportation when you arrive at a campground (CG) or what ever. With the fifth wheel you can simply drive your truck. It won't be the best on mileage and possibly a large diesel so for groceries it will hold a lot but might not be as nice as having a car. With a diesel pusher you can tow lots of options from motorcycles to a pickup. We towed a trailer with 2 Harleys our very first real trip. Great fun while in Florida during the winter to be able to ride but not so good for grocery runs or rain days. After that with the class C we rented a convertible. Pricey but better mileage on the way down and we only went for a few weeks, not full time and it was cool to drive. Now with the DP we are going to rent for the first real trip and decide what to tow for retirement in a couple of years.

If you need a good size PU truck for something other than camping then the fifth wheel may be the way to go. The passenger won't be able to go to the fridge for a sandwich while on the road like in a MH though.

I will leave it at that and let others chime in.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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The most important thing is the size of your Partner's bladder (just kidding)(no I'm not)!

Advantages to MH:

Bathroom and Kitchen on the move.
More comfortable vehicle to drive while stopped.
Real nice unit is expensive.
DPs are expensive to maintain
MHs have a whopping depreciation in total dollars
If and when you sell MH you still have Toad you can keep
You may already own a car that can be a Toad
No stairs to bedroom

Advantage of 5th Wheel

Usually lower cost of acquisition, even with Tow Vehicle.
Only one vehicle to maintain
Less total cost of depreciation
Some may believe that a Truck and Trailer are easier to drive/maneuver

Many believe that if you travel a lot, the MH is a better choice. It depends on your budget and what is important to you. You do read of people that fulltime who buy 5th wheels and switch to MHs more often than vice-a-versa! They would probably give you the best and honest advice.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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We've had both. A 38' 5th wheel that required a 1 ton truck to tow, and a couple class A motor homes. The 5th wheel was in between the motor homes.

I prefer the MH. Our current rig is a gasser, we tow a Jeep Wrangler. Traveling the fuel mileage is/was about the same with all three rigs, 6 to 7 mpg. Big difference once at our destination. Easy to find parking, much better mileage for exploring, and in our case, much broader range of exploring possibilities (the Jeep will, obviously, go places the 1 ton duallie couldn't on a bet).

It all depends on your intended use, life style and expectations. You have to decide what your priorities are.

Good luck, and have fun.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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This is not a simple question to answer as each person has their own likes and dislikes. For me, I started with tent camping, graduated to a tent trailer, rented two Class C MH's different lengths, bought a 1992 36 ft. Airstream Landyacht MH for my first MH, quickly realized that it wasn't going to be big enough for full-timing so one year later bought my 40 ft. 2002 Monaco Windsor PBT. Each decision was based on certain needs at the time. Now that I have been full-timing for all of 6 years after buying the Monaco, I have wrestled with the same question but I am not willing to trade up or down to anything different. I am very happy with what I currently have unless someone wanted to give me a brand new Prevost or a 45 ft. 5ver with a custom big rig hauler.

Now to really get to your question, the following pertains to both types of rigs: it depends on the floor-plan, inside storage, outside storage, cubby-hole storage, amenities that you consider a MUST, things that are necessary for convenience, things that you can live without, ease of keeping it clean, maintenance, number of slides and what size they are, total size of the rig, ease of driving, etc.

Where I am currently living as a resident until next May, I would estimate that a majority of the residents have 5th wheels versus MH's. The camper's or temp's that come and go, there are generally more MH's than 5ver's. I think if your on the move a lot, a MH is much easier, if your going to live in one place for a significant length of time a large 5ver with many big slides will give you more living space and higher ceilings, however I haven't seen many 5ver's with significant outside storage compared to my Monaco coach. One other thing I have noticed with long time 5ver's is that some of them don't even own a rig to haul it. They will have a smaller vehicle to drive around in. If they need the rig moved to another location, they hire someone to do that for them, but like I said, these are long term people that will live in one place for a long time.

Good luck in your research and finally making that big move into full-timing. I have no regrets and have never looked back. The road ahead is full of wonderful leisure times and interesting discoveries. I ran across this link that you may have already seen but thought i would include it anyway.

Choosing an RV - Which RV Is Right for You?

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:13 AM   #7
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Like Dr Film, we started in a tent then a Colman pop up and when full time went to the 40ft. diesel pusher for 7 years and loved it only problems with us were each time we traded todds it cost a arm and leg to change over to have pull equipment added and the replacement of tires or broken parts were very expensive to say the least.
In 2008 we went to a 34E/39RE Titamiun 5th wheel and found this met our needs better with high ceilings more room but miss the movability of the Diesel pusher while moving and boondocking.
I believe the biggest point you and the wife need to get out of the way first is the compatability you and her will experience while being cooped up in a 400 sq. ft. box whether it's 5th wheel or MH. so renting one for a month in winter conditions will tell tou quickly if this is the way you want to go.
We loved both the 5th wheel and the motor home, but for our needs and expenses the 5th wheel has won out over the motor home.
Wish you the best in your choices.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourdiamonds View Post
My wife and I are on a 5 year plan to move from a stick built home to RVing full time. We both love to travel and are really looking forward to RVing. The problem is: Where do we start. After reading several books, magazines, articles ont he subject, after questioning friends and family that RV, and going to the limited RV dealers in the area, we both are so confused as to whether to buy a 5th wheel or a Diesel Pusher!

So, even though the thread states 'one question', I guess our inqury involves many more than that. However, the main question we have is: Given what you now know..."What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone that plans to retire in 5 years and begin RVing full time?"

Greenhorns can easily be persuaded by flashy brochuresm slick talking salesmen, dreams of carefree open road travels, and devil-may-care attitudes, but when the rubber meets the road, there is indeed a lot to think about. And, even though we realize that we are going to make lots of mistakes along the way, sometimes it pays to listen to those that have already had the experience and can pass on some advice. We are planning to go to Qauatrzside this January to the RV rally there and talk to lots of folks. So, if you are there, please be patient to a couple of rookies to the RV world.

Many thanks in advance.
Fourdiamonds, MH or 5th wheel is obviously a personal preference and are both a great choice. Take a look at the MH and 5th wheel forums and ask questions on both. After you deside on what you want call these guys they are the best that I have ever delt with and will give you the cost over the phone or via email.

DeMartini RV Sales, Recreational vehicles (RVs), Holiday Rambler, Holiday Rambler Motorhomes, Monaco Motorhomes, Monaco Coach, Monaco Coach Corporation, Used Diesel Pusher, Used diesel, Endeavor, Scepter,** Imperial, Dynasty,* Windsor, Camelot, Navig

I just finished my wait and retired 2 weeks ago....I recommend it for everyone it's worth the wait.

Good luck on your new adventure
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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Well. a 5-er or a DP.. Personally I'd go with the class A (though I went with a Gasser not a DP)

I will list the arguments

With a 5-er you have to have a good size tow vehilce. To use ford numbers at least a 250 for a modest one a 350 is better or of course an 8000 would be better still (That is a semi tractor).

This means you will likely get around 8mpg towing, and perhaps 12-16 bobtail (not towing) running to the store for a loaf of bread

With a class a you may well get the same 8 mpg "Towing" but the towed car may well get 30mpg running to the store for the loaf of bread

And you drive it enough to make a significant difference in fuel consumption since you drive it to the store. the church, attractions around where you are camped, the post office to get your general delivery and so on.

You drive the motor home camp to camp.

Second, with the Class A, heaven forbid you feel the need to visit a specific portion other than the driver's seat when you are driving through a "Cats and Dogs" Grade rain storm but you pull off, walk back to the other seat. sit a spell, walk back to the driver's seat and continue without even getting your feet wet. Cant' do that with a 5-er.

The major advantage of the 5-er is lower initial cost.. However I'm not sure how much fuel differences between a towed and a tow-vehicle bobtail will make in that.

oh, and one other thing

Heaven forbid a drive train failure.. Say a busted U-Joint

With the class A towing a car.. You can send the wife to town for a tow truck.. Can't do that with the 5er as your "Run-about" vehicle.. is the one that's not moving.
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