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Old 11-02-2019, 09:36 AM   #1
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Age old dilemma: going Full Time, fifth wheel vs MH

I have read multiple posts and comments from you long term full timers. I've learned a great deal and love the iRv2 forum resource. Thank you all for educating me!

We are currently not retired (yet, but soon) and have tent camped, pop up, 29 foot travel trailer and currently have a Class B van. We thoroughly enjoy our travel in our B, however we feel it won't be big enough for full time RVing.

I see in your signature lines what rigs you have and even sometimes how long you've been full timing. From the signature lines, it seems it's almost an even split of fifth wheel rigs and motor homes with toads.

I can see the great benefits of each rig set up to my possible traveling/lifestyle mode. I see the sense in trying to stay in destinations for longer than a few days to really take your time and enjoy and learn the areas you visit. Also the economy of not burning fuel and adding wear and tear on your rigs.

I'm curious, how many of you long term full timers switched from MH with toads to fifth wheel rigs and also the reverse, how many from fifth wheels to Class As, and why. Do you regret your change of rigs?

Thanks again for the responses and the knowledge you've shared with a dreamer.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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We fulltimed in a 5th wheel for 6 years before trading for a diesel pusher. Honestly, the jury is still out for us on which is best. [Mod Edit]
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:13 AM   #3
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I loved the blog post you linked to in your response. Very informative but seems to confirm that this is a tough decision! Thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions on this topic.
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Old 11-02-2019, 10:46 AM   #4
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Age old dilemma: going Full Time, fifth wheel vs MH

Ford v Chevy. Pickup v work van.
You have to decide what seems to fit your situation best. Tough to do. When we were shopping 8 years ago we knew we were buying used, and were strongly leaning toward a 5th for space reasons.
But... couldnít find a 5th that seemed as well built or well insulated as a high end motor home. Also, We didnít want to give up our Element in favor of a muscular crew cab as a daily driver. Then we started thinking about having to cage our two cats and strap them down in the back seat for every travel.
So, we wound up buying a coach for our cats and were quickly glad we had done so. Funny how things work out.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:46 AM   #5
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We pulled TTs during our working years. We decided in retirement we wanted to see the country including many big cities. Try driving a big pickup in San Francisco or Boston or New Orleans. So MH with tow car worked best. Never really considered a fifth wheel because of this.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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We've had both. Could not go back to the fifth wheel for full time. Coach makes life easier for use. JMHO


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Old 11-02-2019, 12:32 PM   #7
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For us it would depend on how much traveling we were gonna do. A lot: Class A. Mostly sittin: 5er.
We pull into site, level, put slides out - hook up utilities. 5 mins done.
5er pulles in next to us.....30 minutes later he's still out there walkin around rig in circles
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
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I full time in a travel trailer. Takes me 5 minutes to get set up as well. I don't see why a 5th wheel would be any different.


The one that will work best for you is a decision only you can make. Class A and a toad works wonderfully for some people, but it's not what would work well for me. A truck and trailer works better for me. I could get a 5th wheel set up, but it's not ideal for my situation either, unless it's a toy hauler. Right now, the travel trailer works great. A year down the road, I might be in something different. Situations change.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:25 PM   #9
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We went with 5th wheel (34') and a Quad Cab Truck



WHY........
I like trucks, have driving one all my life
And I don't fold up very well in a small car.


As for traveling/staying put...
We traveled weekly/bi-monthly ....never considered that a 5th wheel would not be for traveling.
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hayden View Post

I currently have a Class B van.

I see in your signature lines what rigs you have...
I invite you to also create a signature line. It helps when answering questions.

We started full-timing in a 27' travel trailer and truck. Travel trailers don't have much storage and we hated hauling everything out of the truck bed to find things.

We went to a 33' 5th wheel and truck. We hated driving the truck around for siteseeing.

Friends latched us on to Jeeping and we then got a 40' motorhome towing the Jeep. It gave us lots of fun and excellent exploring. We met many new friends. The motorhome was a joy to drive - we both did; alternating with every move. We loved the one floor plan - no steps and the big windows.

The motorhome was our favorite.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itchytoe View Post
I full time in a travel trailer. Takes me 5 minutes to get set up as well. I don't see why a 5th wheel would be any different.


The one that will work best for you is a decision only you can make. Class A and a toad works wonderfully for some people, but it's not what would work well for me. A truck and trailer works better for me. I could get a 5th wheel set up, but it's not ideal for my situation either, unless it's a toy hauler. Right now, the travel trailer works great. A year down the road, I might be in something different. Situations change.
5 minutes site set up in TT...wow they most call you The Road Runner

Here's what I've observed watchin TT set up.

Pull in site but not all the way.
Get out, get the levelin blocks and arrange in front of tires.

Now get back in vehicle and pull up on blocks.....not right, back off and switch the blocks around.

Get back in vehicle and try it again. Good...install tire brake widget (?)
Unhitch equalizing hitch bars...unlock ball tongue and raise hitch off ball.

Disconnect electric lights/brake cable.
Get back in vehicle and pull forward.

Extend corner stab jacks.
Extend slides (?)
Hook up utilities

And since you don't have a roof mounted sat antenna...get your portable set up.


This is where I invite you to come on over take a load off and have a have cool one.

And if between disnations....get reaDy to do it all agAIN TOMORROW

Did I miss anything Itchy
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:44 PM   #12
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we full time in a class a have an aunt and uncle that do it in a 5th wheel it is personal choice due to different needs and wants
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:46 PM   #13
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Fulltime for almost 13 years and counting. First 10 in 2 different 5ers ( 38 & 39’). Last 2+ in 41’ class c and toad. Both work and I have no preference. With the c there is less storage ( likely would be more with an A) but both the 5er and the c are fine. Takes about the same time to set up either. In both cases when you need to get service, you lose your home.
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skypilot_1 View Post
5 minutes site set up in TT...wow they most call you The Road Runner

Here's what I've observed watchin TT set up.

Pull in site but not all the way.
Get out, get the levelin blocks and arrange in front of tires.

Now get back in vehicle and pull up on blocks.....not right, back off and switch the blocks around.

Get back in vehicle and try it again. Good...install tire brake widget (?)
Unhitch equalizing hitch bars...unlock ball tongue and raise hitch off ball.

Disconnect electric lights/brake cable.
Get back in vehicle and pull forward.

Extend corner stab jacks.
Extend slides (?)
Hook up utilities

And since you don't have a roof mounted sat antenna...get your portable set up.


This is where I invite you to come on over take a load off and have a have cool one.

And if between disnations....get reaDy to do it all agAIN TOMORROW

Did I miss anything Itchy
Perhaps you should watch more efficient RVers. Or watch people that are on a somewhat level site to start off with. I don't do at least half of the things you've got laid out there.


I have seen people pull in with a Class A, then pull out again because they can't get their toad off the dolly because they don't have room. Then try to unlatch the straps on the toad. Then fight with the ratchet strap because it's old and not working as well as it used to. Then forget the keys to the toad. Then try to unload it with the pin still in the dolly and rip off the front bumper. Then forget to unplug lights and damage the plug when moving the dolly away from the Class A so they can pull in and try to park again. Then finally get the Class A where they want it and try to level, but that one jack on the rear right corner just never seems to work, so they fumble around to get the good old trusty bottle jack to shore up that corner...



We can both play games about all the things that can go wrong with each other's setups, but that's a stupid game. Instead, let's act like adults and simply acknowledge each other's quick set up abilities.
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