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Old 03-22-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
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5er vs Class A

I am looking at going full time in about 5 years but trying to plan ahead. I currently have a TT that I would be getting rid of to buy the new camper. Trying to decide if I should go the 5ver or class A route. My question is what do you have and do you wish you had the other? Pros and cons of both. I would be looking at a 42 ft 5ver pulled by at F450 or F350 dually versus a 40 ft or so Class A pulling a toad. Plan on traveling all over and staying a month or so at each place during the summer and then spending a few months in the south at one place. Since I do plan staying at places for a while would I be better off with the class A so I have the toad to drive instead of a big dually? What does everybody else do? If I go with the 5ver I would look at getting the dually in the next couple of years so I could get it paid off before going full time. I would then just use that to pull my TT until I upgrade to the 5ver. Just curious on what over full timers use. Thanks
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:49 PM   #2
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First, depending on the weight of the 42' 5th wheel, you might need a medium or heavy duty truck. That's going to be a huge RV to tow.

We full-timed for 8 years in a 33' 5th wheel. We always hated driving the truck around. We liked to explore the gravel roads out West and the truck wasn't great at doing so in many instances. Plus, it scared the critters away.

Friends began taking us Jeeping and we loved it. We then went to a 40' motorhome and a Jeep for the next 8 years and had a ball on those backroads and Jeep trails with friends we met along the way.

As far as living in both - each kind worked for us. Our first choice was always public parks, dry camping and boondocking on public lands in the West. We were able to do that with both RVs. We had plenty of space in the 33' and only went to a 40' because it handled much better with the long wheelbase than a shorter Class A. We also purposely ordered both with minimal slides and both of them had to be on the same side. This made it easy to fit into heavily treed sites in the national forests. Slides only give you more floor space. They actually take up storage space especially in the basement bays. Full-timers carry a lot of stuff.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:58 PM   #3
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Wife and I going FT in about 70 days...sold EVERYTHING.

My research has found this.... 1) Most (over 50%) FTers go with a Fifth Wheel due to staying in one place for "awhile". 2) Many FTers with a Fifth Wheel believe that the best length for FTing is "around" the 33-35 foot range...that way you are not getting overly heavy and you're able to fit into "most" State and National Parks without too many size issues.

Just my findings, you're results may vary!
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I kind of like the class A route because I really don't want to have to drive a dually all the time when I hope to only move maybe 12 times a year if that. I would like to stay at least 6 months or so during the winter at one place so no moving then. Having a Jeep as a toad sounds better so I can have that as my daily driver.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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If I had to do it all over again, I'd go the class A and a medium sized TOAD. But I'm planning on not doing it all over again, not anytime soon.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wundertaker View Post
Wife and I going FT in about 70 days...sold EVERYTHING.

My research has found this.... 1) Most (over 50%) FTers go with a Fifth Wheel due to staying in one place for "awhile". 2) Many FTers with a Fifth Wheel believe that the best length for FTing is "around" the 33-35 foot range...that way you are not getting overly heavy and you're able to fit into "most" State and National Parks without too many size issues.

Just my findings, you're results may vary!
Thanks for the response. A few 5vers we looked at were more in the 32-35 range. The 42 ft one would be the absolute max. Weight is getting up there then. Wasn't thinking that would be an issue but your right. The research you did did it say why people go 5ver besides staying in one place? That seems to be the opposite of what I would have guessed. Driving a big dually around all the time does not seem fun especially when your not pulling. Seemed most would like the smaller toad. Congrats on going full time. Wish I only had about 70 days.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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If I had to do it all over again, I'd go the class A and a medium sized TOAD. But I'm planning on not doing it all over again, not anytime soon.
Can you tell me why? Just curious.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:23 PM   #8
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We are currently in the same position but only a year out. One thing you didnt mention was # of people?..More then 2 changes things somewhat IMHO..off hand it seems 5ver floor plans have some choices with a separate bunk area in that size. I figure a TV or toad is a wash one way or the other, if it wasnt for that we'd probably prefer a class A
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bwinger73 View Post
Thanks for the input. I kind of like the class A route because I really don't want to have to drive a dually all the time when I hope to only move maybe 12 times a year if that. I would like to stay at least 6 months or so during the winter at one place so no moving then. Having a Jeep as a toad sounds better so I can have that as my daily driver.
Personally, I wouldn't have a Dually...don't like the "look" and all the hassle that goes with it...parking...tires...maneuverability...etc. Note...Dually owners, no hate emails please...it's just me, not judging anyone who drives one! I have a One Ton Diesel SRW, Chevy, but brand doesn't matter. Also, don't need dually with a 35 foot Fiver. In addition, I like a Fiver because I can take my LP tanks out and drive to get them filled, not have to "break camp" and drive a MH somewhere to get the LP filled unless you are able to get them filled at the site...for an added charge of course.

Bottom line...it's your decision!!! I like to talk to many folks who've lived the life, weigh all the facts, then MAKE MY OWN "INFORMED" DECISION! Note that I didn't say the "right decision"!!! More times than not though, my research, willingness to "listen" and deductive reasoning win out and save the day! Guess I'll stick with that plan for awhile...
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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Had a 36í 5er for 8 years. We pulled all across the country and loved it. It was a big comfortable unit but we had to watch where we stayed, not all campgrounds accommodate a large fifth wheel. For short trips and staying for a few days, this unit worked great for us. However, the big truck was a hassle when sightseeing and when traveling long distances we tired of the ďbuckingĒ we experienced when driving on the interstates. We wanted a more comfortable ride so we transitioned to a 40í diesel MH. As we started to travel more with some overnight or short stays, I learned to really appreciate the ease of set up for the MH. The motorhome is way more comfortable when driving down the road and the DW sure likes having access to the bathroom. She can also make lunch or grab snacks anytime she likes versus having to stop with the fifth wheel. So, for us, the MH is the best choice. But for others the fifth wheel works great for them. Itís certainly a subjective decision based on how one plans to use the unit. Itís certainly not a one size fits all decision. Good Luck and enjoy the journey.

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Old 03-22-2018, 02:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bwinger73 View Post
I am looking at going full time in about 5 years but trying to plan ahead. I currently have a TT that I would be getting rid of to buy the new camper. Trying to decide if I should go the 5ver or class A route. My question is what do you have and do you wish you had the other? Pros and cons of both. I would be looking at a 42 ft 5ver pulled by at F450 or F350 dually versus a 40 ft or so Class A pulling a toad. Plan on traveling all over and staying a month or so at each place during the summer and then spending a few months in the south at one place. Since I do plan staying at places for a while would I be better off with the class A so I have the toad to drive instead of a big dually? What does everybody else do? If I go with the 5ver I would look at getting the dually in the next couple of years so I could get it paid off before going full time. I would then just use that to pull my TT until I upgrade to the 5ver. Just curious on what over full timers use. Thanks
Most of those who got a Class A did so because of the wife. She could use the toilet in the Class A when driving, didn't have to put out the slide at the gas station to go to the toilet, could make a sandwich while driving. That's about it.

If you don't have a wife, go with the 5th. If you have a wife go with the Class A.

More here.

Confused-How is a 5th Wheel cheaper than a Class A?

Trailer vs 5th wheel for full timing
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for the response. A few 5vers we looked at were more in the 32-35 range. The 42 ft one would be the absolute max. Weight is getting up there then. Wasn't thinking that would be an issue but your right. The research you did did it say why people go 5ver besides staying in one place? That seems to be the opposite of what I would have guessed. Driving a big dually around all the time does not seem fun especially when your not pulling. Seemed most would like the smaller toad. Congrats on going full time. Wish I only had about 70 days.
There was a point when in the Fiver World..BIGGER WAS BETTER!!!

Now, especially with FTers it seems that going down to the 35 footish range is getting very popular. Mine is currently 37/38 feet and my next go round with for sure be right around and no longer than 35. Some will say, what's 2 feet difference gonna mean??? For me, just a tad bit lighter (not always though), a little bit more maneuverable but still has the bells and whistles that we want for a FT life. Finally, and a big point for me is that we plan on FTing the entire US, Canadian Provinces, and 4-5 months in Alaska next year...so, lot's of miles "hopefully" in our future, God willing! I intend on keeping my Fiver weights and carrying capacities within 75-80% of my vehicles carrying capabilities. I for one "enjoy my towing experience" and want my TV to enjoy it also. I want my biggest worry to be keeping my coffee cup full of good, fresh, hot Joe!!!
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bwinger73 View Post
Can you tell me why? Just curious.
Because I ended up doing more living and less camping than I thought I would. I travel for work, and a nice larger living space with a smaller more economical daily driver type car would have worked too, and if the RV breaks down I'd still have a car to drive. With the pickup and travel trailer I depend on my pickup to be a daily driver and the tow vehicle, so if it goes down I have to rent a car.

I've not had a problem with my arrangement though except for fuel costs for the daily driving part of the nice diesel pickup, thus why I'm not planning on changing a thing about it anytime soon.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #14
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Because I ended up doing more living and less camping than I thought I would. I travel for work, and a nice larger living space with a smaller more economical daily driver type car would have worked too, and if the RV breaks down I'd still have a car to drive. With the pickup and travel trailer I depend on my pickup to be a daily driver and the tow vehicle, so if it goes down I have to rent a car.

I've not had a problem with my arrangement though except for fuel costs for the daily driving part of the nice diesel pickup, thus why I'm not planning on changing a thing about it anytime soon.
You have a ORV 19B which could have been towed by a 1/2 ton or good SUV! You didn't need a 2500 diesel.

If you went with the Class A and a toad you would be in the same situation as a 5th and a pick up. If the toad needed repair you would still need to rent a car. A Class A as a commuter vehicle doesn't make much sense.
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