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Old 08-21-2007, 04:29 AM   #1
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I'm in the military and considering going full time? I'm not sure if a 5th wheel or an "A" Class is right for me. We do plan to take mini vacations as often as possible, but we just can't decide on which makes more sense. Does any one have any suggestions?

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Old 08-21-2007, 04:29 AM   #2
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX
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I'm in the military and considering going full time? I'm not sure if a 5th wheel or an "A" Class is right for me. We do plan to take mini vacations as often as possible, but we just can't decide on which makes more sense. Does any one have any suggestions?

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Old 08-21-2007, 05:04 AM   #3
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Boy, you sure know how to open a can of worms ,. Here is a link that will get you started .


It's a little dated but as you will see will take you full circle. , Good luck. By the way we do just fine in our 30ft Class A.
04 Allegro 30DA, WH 8.1, Banks, 03 Honda CRV/2012 Jeep Liberty Jet, Brake Buddy Adv Select, 300watts Solar, 7 Group 31 Optima AGMs, 2000watt PSW inverter
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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jacobs family

The easy "right" answer is that which is right is pretty much personal preference. You need to think through the process for each type, and how it best fits you.

Some things to consider...
If you use a 5th wheel, you need room in your tow vehicle for all family members, pets, etc. ...and you will have to use that tow vehicle for all your transportation while in the campground. (ie. My wife did not want to drive a dually truck for a trip to the store for milk or whatever, so we did not go with a 5th wheel). 5th wheels often have more sleeping positions than motorhomes. Motorhomes are easier to use while traveling (ie. pull over in rest area and make lunch, use bathroom, etc without getting out into the weather). 5th wheels have to be cooled off (or warmed up) after stopping for the night while motorhomes will already be a comfy temp.

I'm sure others will chime in with other things to consider... just remember, it really is pretty much a personal choice based on your traveling style and personal likes/dislikes.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 08-24-2007, 03:01 AM   #5
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I'm surprised there haven't been more responses to this question. I figured there would be as many opinions as there are RV owners. Well, I guess I'll just have to jump in with my thoughts.

I agree with AF Chap that there is no right or wrong answer. It all depends on how YOU plan to travel, what YOU can afford, and what YOU want.

Before we went full-time, we went to as many RV shows as we could and looked at both 5th wheels and motor homes. We soon began to hone in on motor homes because we felt a motor home would suit our traveling style better. We knew we would probably move a lot during our first few years of full-timing and we felt a motor home would be easier to set up and be more convenient while traveling. So far, the longest we have stayed in one location has been one month. Our typical stay is a week or less.

We also didn't want to have to do all our sight-seeing and grocery shopping in a diesel dually. With a motor home, you can tow a car for your local transportation. You can choose from cars with very good fuel mileage if that's what you want or you can choose a larger vehicle. You can also choose something sporty like a Jeep that you can use off-road.

All that being said, when initially looking at RVs, we felt 5th wheels were more "home-like" and provided more flexibility with floor plans. We liked models with kitchen islands and we love the rear picture windows. If we had planned to stay at one location for several months at a time, then we may have decided on a 5th wheel.

A possible disadvantage to motor homes for full-timers is service. If you have to take a motor home in for service, you are without your house. You are trusting all your possessions to an unknown service shop. With a 5th wheel, you will still have to have your tow vehicle serviced, but if it needs to be in the shop for an extended period, you still have your house and you could rent a car to get around. If you can do some of your own maintenance such as packing wheel bearings and caulking roof seams, you could really reduce the number of times the 5th wheel would need to go into the shop.

As the previous post says, it's a personal choice based on your style and likes. The search is part of the fun. Enjoy and best wishes.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:03 AM   #6
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Having lived in both a class A and a 5er long term, I would go with the 5er and a large tow truck. Problem is when you get a larger 5er for full timing and a 4-season coach, they are heavy and you will need a 1 ton dually or larger to tow it within ratings.

The problems with a motorhome is if you park long term, you need to physically drive the unit for 30 to 60 minutes every 4 to 6 weeks. This is to keep all of the lubricants and seals circulated. Just running the engine at high idle for 30 minutes is more harmful than good.

Also a negative for a motorhome is that if you have to have work done on the chassis, engine, drive line, you are without a place to live while the "home" is at the shop.

The motorhome also has a huge heat gain/leak in the large windshield. The cab areas are generally not as well insulted as the rest of the unit.

The motorhome has the plus of convenience when traveling of having a restroom "in-house". You can outfit a 5er with a generator, so this issue goes away.

Mostly it is up to you to decide which you like better. If you have not RV'd you need to rent a motorhome for a week and see how it works out for you. We have meet a few folks that could not stand to be closed up in an RV for any length of time.

When looking at RV's for full time you need to be looking at units like Mobile Suites, Teton, Carriage and New Horizons to get a full time unit. A lot of them will void the warranty if you full time in a unit.

When you find a unit to suit you, tell the salesman to get lost and spend an hour or two in the unit. Pretend you live then and go through the motions of fixing a meal, is there storage for all of the dishes, food and pots. Check the bath for storage for linens. Check the bedroom for storage of you clothes and does it have drawers to put stuff in or just bags stuffed in the bottom of closets. Last but not least, try on the shower and sit on the toilet. Some barley have room to stand up and pull up your pants. Check out side for storage of the necessary lawn chairs, fishing tackle and so forth.

Have fun shopping.


Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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