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Old 10-27-2021, 01:25 PM   #1
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5th Wheel to Class A DP?

Has anyone gone from a 5th wheel to a DP? We're in a 35' Grand Design Reflection and have been full time for about 7 months and plan to continue for the next few years. We sold our house earlier this year. My partner still works full time, but I do not. The 5th wheel has been working out fine and we've gone over 7,000 miles so far and mostly had minor issues which will hopefully be addressed in January. One thing we've noticed is we would really like a king bed, w/d, and residential fridge and while you can get this with a 5th wheel, we were thinking a Class A might be better. We frequently travel in the mountains so DP is probably a must. My concern is that a Class A wouldn't have the same storage capacity. We have bikes and other recreational gear for hiking, trail running, etc. and we also have a fair amount of kitchen stuff cause I prefer to cook meals. We also have a cat and dog who both hate traveling in the truck (not sure that would change in a DP). We also frequently stay in/near national parks, state parks, and forests although we've always had at least a 30 amp connection and never boondock so I'd like to stay under 40' and preferably closer to 35-36'.

So has anyone made the switch and been happy? We're hoping to be near some dealers in the next couple months to look at some DPs, but inventory is also low. I've mainly been looking at Tiffin and Newmar.
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:38 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard.

I can't help you with the experience side of your question but I have been planning and researching the same move.

One thing to keep in mine is that you will likely be pulling a toad. This can be used for storage. The bikes can be on racks at the rear of the coach or toad. Canoes on toad roof racks. Pet supplies in the toad. Lots of choices.

I like your choices of manufacturer. Just my research as again I'm still in the planning stage. My choice is Newmar or Entegra. I'm sure some better and experienced folks can help you better than I. Good luck. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 10-28-2021, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

We pulled a 5er for 10 years before getting the MH in 2012. We loved the Cedar Creek 36RLTS but after retiring we decided a Class A DP would be much more comfortable and practical to the extensive travel that we wanted to do. We wanted to have the same space as the 5er, so we figured we would need a 40' in order to have that. We didn't put the 5er up for sale for 6 months after buying the MH because we wanted to be sure that we would be happy with our new baby. We love it!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-28-2021, 02:04 PM   #4
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The single largest mistake new diesel motor home buyers make is limiting length.
Most of us start with a 32-36' and then realize we made an expensive mistake.

If you need basement storage and a king bed, go with 40-45' the first time. It will also handle better and be much more comfortable.
Add Entegra to your search. If you don't mind doing your own repairs, look at used diesel motor homes.
Make your search nationwide. Some dealers still operate under the old "Used Car Salesman" routine and there will be $20-50k difference in pricing.
Best of luck!
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
The single largest mistake new diesel motor home buyers make is limiting length.
Most of us start with a 32-36' and then realize we made an expensive mistake.

If you need basement storage and a king bed, go with 40-45' the first time. It will also handle better and be much more comfortable.
Add Entegra to your search. If you don't mind doing your own repairs, look at used diesel motor homes.
Make your search nationwide. Some dealers still operate under the old "Used Car Salesman" routine and there will be $20-50k difference in pricing.
Best of luck!
Thanks all for the replies. I think 40' would be our absolute max because of the areas we like to camp. I have reservations through most of 2022 and some of those campgrounds have 40' limits with no other options in the area. I've been checking nationwide and luckily we're heading to FL in early December so can check out some of the dealers there.

I've also checked out Entegra and I really like them, but hate their dinette booth and they don't seem to have an option to switch to the table and chairs that Newmar and Tiffin offer.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:01 AM   #6
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Are you SURE the campgrounds only fit 40 or less? The reason I ask, is many SAY 40, but easily fit 43 or 45. I just tell them I have a 40 footer…..even if it’s 43, IF I have done my own research, and read reviews knowing I fit fine.

As some have said, sometimes they simply measure the length of the concrete or gravel pad…..and this is not correct, since only the WHEELS need to be on the pad usually….lots more can overhang out the back (again not always, but usually)

Towing a car behind can also take up less room, as you can take a “pull through” site, and then when you unhook the car park sideways across the pad (in front of, or behind the motorhome) and it takes very little room. The wheels of the car are still on the pad no problem.
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:09 AM   #7
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4+ years ago we were traveling in our 5'er with our 2 dogs, and finally realized that the 5'er didn't meet our needs. It was a great RV and truck, but just not for us. Beforehand, we were against a DP. I guess we must have visited Margaritaville because we had a "changes in attitude" about DP's. We purchased a great 35 ft Tiffin and have been enjoying it ever since. Now we have decided to get a longer coach and will do that hopefully in the next few months. It was a great decision for us as we have not looked back.
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Old 10-29-2021, 10:49 AM   #8
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We used to be in 5th wheels and have since gone to a DP. Do we like the DP, yes and no. Ours is under powered and not able to be upgraded due to the transmission. Make sure whatever you pick has plenty of GCVW. We have a 340 ISB 6.7 with the Allison 2500 Transmission that limits us to 33000lbs. We are right near that 33000 lb weight when pulling our Chevy Colorado. Every hill, on ramp or bridge is a struggle for our rig. There is a lot of storage on ours and we have a bunch of empty cabinets or totes just to keep things from sliding around in the storage bays. Our current rig 2013 Itasca Meridian 34B.

If you can get a DP with at least the Allison 3000 transmission and at least 360HP I think you will be happier. Of course that's my personal opinion, but if we were to get another DP, that would be our minimum for powertrain choices.

We are looking to go back to 5th wheel but this time in a full profile like a Solitude instead of the mid profile Reflections we had previously.

Good luck with whichever you decide!
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Old 10-29-2021, 12:22 PM   #9
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Shawn makes a great point. Avoid the small ISB (Cummins-Dodge truck engine) in a motor home and the small Allison transmission.
I would ask the for engine torque rating, not horsepower. If towing I would want 1250 ft lbs or more. 1050 would be the absolute minimum.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:15 PM   #10
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We used to be in 5th wheels and have since gone to a DP. Do we like the DP, yes and no. Ours is under powered and not able to be upgraded due to the transmission. Make sure whatever you pick has plenty of GCVW. We have a 340 ISB 6.7 with the Allison 2500 Transmission that limits us to 33000lbs. We are right near that 33000 lb weight when pulling our Chevy Colorado. Every hill, on ramp or bridge is a struggle for our rig. There is a lot of storage on ours and we have a bunch of empty cabinets or totes just to keep things from sliding around in the storage bays. Our current rig 2013 Itasca Meridian 34B.

If you can get a DP with at least the Allison 3000 transmission and at least 360HP I think you will be happier. Of course that's my personal opinion, but if we were to get another DP, that would be our minimum for powertrain choices.

We are looking to go back to 5th wheel but this time in a full profile like a Solitude instead of the mid profile Reflections we had previously.

Good luck with whichever you decide!
A Solitude would be the plan if we can't find or don't like any of the Class A's. A Tiffin Bus 37 AP used is at the top of my list right now and that has the Allison 3000 transmission. At least the new ones do, I'll have to look up the 2014-2019 specs.
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Old 10-30-2021, 06:53 AM   #11
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We have a 35 ft DP with the 340 hp Cummins and 2500 Allison transmission, and tow a CRV. The 340 is at the small end of the DP size. The smaller transmission is my dislike because it is limited to 5000 lbs towing. I really cannot complain as we have enough power in the mountains, but I would like to tow a larger vehicle. We are looking to upsize to a 40 ft DP in the next few months.
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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Why DP?

Good luck and enjoy the hunt for your next RV. Certainly take your time. My last two RVs took me over 6 months each to find. The beauty of an RV vs a TT is, as soon as your leave your driveway, or campsite, you are on vacation, not just driving in your truck as with a TT. My question is, why limit your search to a DP. Consider a Super C. Cant be beat for storage, Gross Weight capacity, drivability and power. Lots of quality options in the 36' to 45' range.
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:06 AM   #13
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Don't limit yourselves to makes and models, there are a great many choices out there. Normally, when you get to 40', you'll get the ISL engine (400 to 450 HP) and at least 10k towing capacity. A Cummins ISM (500) and my DD 13 increase tow capacity to 15k.
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Old 10-30-2021, 12:45 PM   #14
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Don't limit yourselves to makes and models, there are a great many choices out there. Normally, when you get to 40', you'll get the ISL engine (400 to 450 HP) and at least 10k towing capacity. A Cummins ISM (500) and my DD 13 increase tow capacity to 15k.
I've mainly narrowed it down to Tiffin and Newmar because they seem to have good customer service and I really like their floorplans. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has brands/models they like that come with good customer service. We're looking to stay in the $250k range and since we live in it full time (and sold our house) having it sit in a shop for weeks or months isn't an option.
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