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Old 02-01-2023, 07:42 PM   #1
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Travel trailer for Full Time

Anyone ever switch from a class A to travel trailer for full time rving?
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:23 AM   #2
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A travel trailer can sit in one place much better than a motorhome, so yes I think a lot of people can full time in a travel trailer. They make very nice motorhomes and very nice travel trailers. I could easily full time in a Flagstaff 29 RSWS for example. Two opposing slides in the living area and a wardrobe slide in the bedroom.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:49 AM   #3
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Lots of travel trailer and fifth wheel owners full time and they prefer a separate living space from the motorized drive train for separation. It's not that a trailer and tow vehicle combination is (probably) a little less expensive than a Class A, it's just these folks have a different preference.

When switching from a CLASS A to a towable trailer (of any sort), there are some considerations you really need to think about.

First and foremost is to make sure you have "enough" tow vehicle to comfortably tow the trailer. Far too many attempt to tow behemoth travel trailers and fifth wheels with F150 or 1500's and then wonder why they have horribly uncomfortable towing experiences and failures and breakdowns. So, before making that switch from a Class A, you absolutely must ensure you have a tow vehicle that, not only can tow the trailer .... but that can also carry the WEIGHT of the trailer (it's payload). And remember, "payload" includes the weight of the hitch, the weight of the trailer physically attached to the hitch, all the passengers in the tow vehicle and all the gear in the tow vehicle. Add cargo in the trailer and that adds more tongue weight which adds more to the total payload. THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT NEW TOWABLE OWNERS MAKE ... THINKING THEIR GO-GETTER LITTLE FAMILY RUN-AROUND VEHICLE CAN TOW (and carry) A MONSTER TRAILER.

The second thing you really need to consider is the amount of storage. Granted, Class A's have massive amounts of storage in the basement area. Even the best fifth wheels can't compete with the space a 40 foot diesel pusher has down there. However, some pretty creative new models (fifth wheels) are now making more basement storage is the pretty impressive. The interior has raise a raised rear living area. Some rear areas are bedroom space, others are living room space. Like the front of the trailer, there are now steps in the back going "up" to a second level of floor. The reason for this is to incorporate "basement" storage under the back end now. Again, these models are really impressive and are pretty competitive to some Class A's now (for basement storage).

Just be aware when considering a towable, every one has a different layout and every one has different amounts of storage space (inside and under).

Of course there are many, many more differences, but I think, as far as moving from a CLASS A to a towable, these two items will be the hardest adjustment to overcome.

FYI, I am not a CLASS A owner, I'm a "towable" owner, but I've considered the pros and cons of a motorized RV vs a towable for over 50 years now, and still think, for my lifestyle, towables are the best option for me.
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Old 02-02-2023, 07:15 AM   #4
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When considering pros and cons I came to the conclusion that there is no easy way to RV. You are either driving a box or towing a box which is lousy fuel economy.

I went from Ohio to Florida to look for a motorhome. I was staying at an RV park in Crystal River Florida. As I walked around the park I saw mostly 5th wheels. There were a few motorhomes but 75% where 5th wheels. I was going to buy a used DP motorhome. I bought a new dually truck and new 5th wheel for 40k less than a used diesel pusher. I used the 5th wheel to stay in 6 months a year as a snowbird. It worked out very comfortably as this 5th was almost better than my house. It was that comfortable.

In my travels I saw all kind of RV's people stayed in. I came to the conclusion that any RV would work. Motorhomes, 5Th wheels, travel trailers, and of any size. I would see 45' tag axle motorhomes next to a guy in a truck camper.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:11 AM   #5
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Never full timed, but if I were considering not having a MH for full timing, I would get a fifth wheel trailer because of the added storage room (typically) and the fact that some of the trailer length is over the truck bed. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each (MH + towed or truck + fifth wheel/travel trailer) and deciding which is the best choice decides on personal preferences, life style, budget, etc.)

As already stated, there are folks that full time if relatively small rigs and are quite happy doing so, and otheres can't possibly get by without a large RV with all the amenities!
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:27 AM   #6
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Anyone ever switch from a class A to travel trailer for full time rving?
Yes but not for full time living. We actually went small (18 feet) so we could get into smaller campgrounds and sites that we couldnít with the pusher. Itís working out well and we travelled twice as far last year as we ever did with the pusher. Hiked a lot of trails.
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Old 02-02-2023, 03:03 PM   #7
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I went the other way, selling my Airstream trailer and buying a diesel pusher. Every RV has pros and cons, there’s no doubt about that. I see people on the Airstream forums fairly often who have sold Class A rigs or large fifth wheel trailers and moved to an Airstream. They like the size, the simplicity of no slide outs, and the classic Airstream looks. The larger models are quite well appointed and luxurious. It’s definitely doable; it really depends on what you prioritize in your RV experience.

I agree with the comments above regarding tow vehicles. I’d say the most common issue or mistake that I see on the Airstream forums relates to inadequate tow vehicles. People want to tow a heavy 27+ foot Airstream with a half ton truck when the tongue weight of the trailer alone (not including passengers or cargo) nearly exceeds their truck’s payload rating. They always seem to find a way to justify it…

For me personally, I don’t miss the hitching, leveling, messing with the weight distribution bars, unhitching, etc. The Class A rig is just so much easier…
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Old 02-03-2023, 09:55 AM   #8
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I went the other way, selling my Airstream trailer and buying a diesel pusher. Every RV has pros and cons, there’s no doubt about that. I see people on the Airstream forums fairly often who have sold Class A rigs or large fifth wheel trailers and moved to an Airstream. They like the size, the simplicity of no slide outs, and the classic Airstream looks. The larger models are quite well appointed and luxurious. It’s definitely doable; it really depends on what you prioritize in your RV experience.

I agree with the comments above regarding tow vehicles. I’d say the most common issue or mistake that I see on the Airstream forums relates to inadequate tow vehicles. People want to tow a heavy 27+ foot Airstream with a half ton truck when the tongue weight of the trailer alone (not including passengers or cargo) nearly exceeds their truck’s payload rating. They always seem to find a way to justify it…

For me personally, I don’t miss the hitching, leveling, messing with the weight distribution bars, unhitching, etc. The Class A rig is just so much easier…
Do you haul a toad? I always thought it would be a wash with a toad vs WDH and leveling time wise.
I would add that there are more and more self leveling TT's on the market now.
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Old 02-03-2023, 10:55 AM   #9
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I do not pull a toad. We have level 3 e-bikes on a hitch mounted bike rack. I’m not a full timer though. If I was a full timer, then I would definitely pull a toad. And it’s a good point; it’s probably a wash in terms of time if you’re unhitching a toad.

I really only know Airstream trailers. Their high end models have auto stabilizing, but not auto leveling. I know that some other trailers level automatically.

Ultimately, the right choice is unique for each person. I find the Class A rig to be easier overall, but for some this might not be the case. Class A rigs have many other potential issues that simply aren’t there in a travel trailer.
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Old 02-03-2023, 03:17 PM   #10
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Anyone ever switch from a class A to travel trailer for full time rving?


I have to be honest with you , I have never seen or heard of a travel trailer that had spec that would support full time living. Most of then maybe with the exception being airstream are not built to last . Once you get to a trailer large enough to consider full time living and you look at the payload of the trailer cargo weight you will be able to rule out 70% of what has been built. Then when you look at what you need for a truck to tow this weight trailer your going to quickly see that 5th wheel is going to make more sence. The handeling of a travel trailer compared to a 5th wheel can't be even close. My 42' long 5th in high cross winds or towing by 18 wheelers is a non-event. 70 mph up and down hills with crosswinds ( at 30mph or less) don't require any thought. My 32' (9200 lb) travel trailer with a 1 ton crew cab single wheel truck would make you think twice about passing trucks or crosswinds at bridge in open areas. I had a reese twin cam sway control hitch that worked well but nothing compared to a 5th wheel stability.
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