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Old 09-08-2017, 09:30 AM   #1
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5th Wheel to a Newmar

Hello everyone, we currently own a 40' 5th wheel and have begun the slow process of defining the next RV.

Right now I'm pretty much at a fork in the road with either getting another 5th wheel which would be a New Horizons or getting a Newmar MH, most likely a Dutch Star secondarily a Ventanna. We live in the DFW area and have bought a trailer previously from NIRVC and have been very happy with them so will almost certainly go back to them.

If I could get some insight on the good, the bad and the ugly of moving from a 5th wheel to a Newmar MH. Not actually knowing is concerning for me.

Our RVing is a strong mix of business and recreation. I travel Texas and Oklahoma for my business and almost always take the 5th wheel rather than stay several nights in a hotel. Most of our trips are less than 400 miles each way and we tend to stay 4 or more days. We usually take 2 big trips a year each being several thousand miles.

One big negative with the 5w is the next one will require an upgrade to a dually truck and the thought a daily driver dually is yucky, if we go with the MH I'll switch to a F150 to tow behind and that will be my daily driver.

In advance thank you for your insight.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:17 AM   #2
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I have been RVing since the late 80's and have owned travel trailers, several 5th wheels, and now a "new to us" 41' Dutch Star Diesel Pusher. Here my take. We are not full timers and get out for probably a total of 6-8 weeks per year in usually 1 week trips. This did not justify buying an "expensive" motor home so we found a good used one with 70K on the clock. I had all fluids tested and did my best to do a good pre purchase inspection and pulled the trigger just over a year ago. I traded in my Dodge CTD 3500 dually and my 32' NuWa fifth wheel on the deal.

Here is one of the biggest differences I can see over the past year. Keeping a motor home in shape is a lot more expensive and time consuming than the 5th wheel. Oil changes, coolant changes, new tires on the rear axle, recall work on the Spartan sub frame, new radio, rear camera, several calls to repair techs to fix the poor quality "Pinnacle W/D combo, etc. has added to my workload and is not cheap. That being said, the motorhome is a lot more comfortable to travel in and is a lot less of a problem setting up at the campsite. We tow a Saturn Ion behind it and this has worked out well.

I think it really comes down to personal preference. You future travel plans seem to be compatible with a motorhome, and your current financial situation should direct you to what you should purchase. Don't forget... These motorhomes take a real beating on value over the first few years of ownership. I hope this helps, and, remember... Everyone has an opinion...
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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We moved from a 5th wheel to a Newmar. All I can say is WOW! I don't know how sophisticated your 5th wheel is...but ours had one battery, no generator, small holding tanks, and was terribly under-engineered for it's weight.

The Newmar is built! Substantial motor, Chassis, and house components...very well appointed...it's a beautiful as it is functional. Larger tanks, comfort drive, QD generator, residential fridge, washer/dryer, customize with options, Auto Gen Start, Electrical Management System... You'll probably not know how fantastic it is until you've had a significant period of time to see how they all interplay in actual conditions.

Any questions in particular? Fire away...
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post
We moved from a 5th wheel to a Newmar. All I can say is WOW! I don't know how sophisticated your 5th wheel is...but ours had one battery, no generator, small holding tanks, and was terribly under-engineered for it's weight.

The Newmar is built! Substantial motor, Chassis, and house components...very well appointed...it's a beautiful as it is functional. Larger tanks, comfort drive, QD generator, residential fridge, washer/dryer, customize with options, Auto Gen Start, Electrical Management System... You'll probably not know how fantastic it is until you've had a significant period of time to see how they all interplay in actual conditions.

Any questions in particular? Fire away...
Our experience is almost exactly the same except that we transitioned to a 24' Sprinter-chassis MH before moving to the Ventana. Personally, we don't find maintaining the Ventana that much more expensive than properly maintaining our previous Ford F-350 tow vehicle and 34" Montana 5th wheel. And, the driveability factor of the Ventana towing a 2014 Honda CRV is much superior to that of the 5th wheel combo.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:15 PM   #5
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Well here's a couple of differences... On my 1 ton dually I changed the oil, coolant, and fuel filters. On my coach it takes 22 qts of oil, and 48 quarts of coolant, and the fuel filter is not very accessible.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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How often do you need to change the fluids and filters?

Engine oil?

Coolant?
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKRITTER View Post
How often do you need to change the fluids and filters?

Engine oil?

Coolant?
Onan generator is based on hr meter... first oil at 50...then interval spreads out.

If you go to Freightliner Custom Chassis...they have all the mx schedules downloadable in PDF format.

Generally, they recommend 1-2-3

1 yr interval, Engine Oil, Engine Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Water Seperator

2 yr interval, Engine Air Filter

3 yr interval, Air compressor water separator/desiccant cartridge

Coolant is either on time or on condition using test strips for the engine, and time on generator.

Other things not mentioned...DEF filter, axle/hub oil, power steering pump filter, Oasis maintenance kit, Hydraulic fluid for HWH leveler system, etc...

The Allison Transmission has a huge service interval using the newer synthetic lubricant. There are filters on the Transmission too....but you'll be a long long time before you have to worry about it.

Other service items include Tires, brakes, batteries. Again, you'll probably have to put some serious miles on the coach before the brakes need replacement.

Coach has a whole house water filter...

Newer residential fridges have a water filter too.
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