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Old 02-11-2017, 10:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 77
5th Wheel to Class A; Class A to 5th Wheel

Just wondering what comments you have as to why you went from a 5th Wheel to a Class A? Or the other way, from a Class A to a 5th wheel?

Have a 5th Wheel now, but always wondering if I would prefer a Class A.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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Location: Enjoying the Western States!
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We full-timed for 8 yr. in a 33' 5th wheel and it suited us just fine. However, we didn't like driving the big truck around especially on forest roads which we love to do. The noise also scared up the animals that we wanted to see.

Friends took us on some Jeeping runs and we fell in love with it. We then full-timed for an additional 8 yr. with the 40' motorhome towing a Jeep. It gave us endless pleasure and we met some great folks through Jeeping. The Jeep was fun to drive off-road and easy in towns with traffic. We traveled mostly secondary roads and the motorhome was great for viewing the countryside. We also boondocked a lot on national forest and BLM lands so we always picked places with great views of mountains, lakes and rivers. All the windows, especially the big windshield, provided us with expansive vistas.

All in all, we found we enjoyed the motorhome much more.
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:17 PM   #3
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Location: Tri Cities Washington
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We switched from class A diesel pusher to fifth wheel to have more full timer living space. After one year we switched back to the diesel pusher for two main reasons. First, with the fifth wheel I didn't feel fully in control of the rig, even though our tow vehicle was a one ton dually with Cummins diesel and five speed manual transmission. Secondly, the evening setup and morning readying to get on the road were considerably more tedious and time consuming than with the motorhome and toad. I'm sure there will be those that disagree, but that was my experience.
Happy RVing.
2003 Allegro Bay 36DB, Workhorse W22 Chassis
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:58 AM   #4
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Many 5th wheels now have some of the same amenities that motor homes have. Auto leveling, generators, inverters, disc brakes, Moryde IS suspension are just a few. With audio leveling, hook up/disconnect is just as fast as hook/disconnect a toad. To us, the advantage of a motor home is that there is no need to go outside if stopping somewhere for rest and the small tow vehicle available for use. The big dually takes some inventive parking at times when site seeing. However, a 5th wheel is much better on space (and cost).
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:45 AM   #5
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Location: Oregon
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Ok been there done that. We went from a 25' TT behind a Dodge Dakota to a 33' 5th wheel on a Dodge Ram 3500 TCD QC SB. We also changed 5th Wheels to a 35' one. We traveled across country with each of these and enjoyed each time. We then switched to a new to us 2003 Class A gasser then to a new 2014 Itasca Sunstar 35F which has also been across country.
I will say that we had more junk space in the 5th Wheels than we have in the MH. The advantage o f the MH is I don't have to stop to let the Navigator go to the restroom. She can also get up and grab me something to snack on and drink when going down the road. We could not do that with the 5th Wheel.
I do have to carry a TOAD in the MH but did not with the 5th Wheel.
I got way better MPG's with the 5th wheel, 10mpg compared to about 6mpg in the MH.
Setup is pretty bit easier in the MH but as some have said, 5th wheels now days have the exact same leveling setup or even better. Keyfob one button leveling setups.
I can say that when it's pouring down cats and dogs with the MH I can level setup and not worry about hooking up to shore power until it slows down some, with the 5th wheel you can't do that. I just run the generator in the MH, in the 5th wheel I have to get out and hook it up no matter what.
Both have their good and bad so it's up to you on which you prefer and can afford. They both cost a lot, don't let the 5th wheel dealer tell you that your truck can handle the weight of the 5th wheel until you actually look at the numbers your self. Big 5th wheels have a tonged weight of over 2klbs and can weigh over 15klbs, so if you aren't willing to buy that dually pickup with the diesel engine then forget about it. You need both the cargo ability and the towing ability to safely pull a 5th wheel.
The manufacture will tell you that their truck (1/2 ton) can tow 12klbs but the question you must ask yourself is can it stop that much weight safely and what bout the bed weight, you also have to take into consideration your passengers you will be carrying, they add to the weight.
I'm almost done here.
Cost is another one.
$50-80k for a truck plus $40-90k for the 5th wheel vs $80 -150k for a gasser Class A or $150 -$1million for a DP plus another $25k-$50k for a flat towable Toad.
No matter what you will pay to play.
OK I'm done
Retired Navy Submariner
2014 Itasca Sunstar 35F; 5 Star tuned; 2014 Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:41 AM   #6
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Location: Southwest Iowa.
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Went from a Class C to a Class A Diesel Pusher to 5er Toyhauler.
Loved them all and they all have their pros and cons, you have to buy what best suits your camping style.
I loved the "A" for its comfort while driving, amenities while driving (restroom for wife, food and drinks while going down the road), ease of setup and takedown.
If you're planning on doing a lot of traveling, I really like the MH.
We are not retired yet so we usually only take one big trip each year and lots of weekend and extended weekends locally so for us a 5er was a better option.
Maintenance and repairs are another consideration, I do my own when I can.
Yes I drive a 4x4 dually 4 door long box diesel as a daily driver, yes there are some parking lots that are not designed for such a long truck but geared more towards your Ford Focus type vehicle but usually I park a little further out and walk, most of us need a little more exercise anyway so it's good for me.

Anyway you need to decide what your main use is going to be and get what's best suited towards your needs not what everyone else thinks.
2016 Voltage 3970
2018 Ram 3500 4x4 H.O CTD cclb drw Aisin 4.10gears
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:05 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Parker, CO
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Thanks for all the info! Got the'5er and the dully! More than that, thanks for "lurking in the deep!" I was on that huge flattop in the distance. Thank you for your service!

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Old 06-04-2017, 07:10 PM   #8
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What's the verdict?

Originally Posted by dosxx View Post
Thanks for all the info! Got the'5er and the dully! More than that, thanks for "lurking in the deep!" I was on that huge flattop in the distance. Thank you for your service!

I'm wondering how you feel about your decision. We're looking to buy either a 35-38' 5th Wheel with dually or a Class A and tow our Toyota FJ Cruiser. What have you seen since purchasing that might steer us one way or the other?
We plan to live in it and travel for a couple years, longer if we love it. We'd probably move every 7-15 days moving about the country.
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Old 06-04-2017, 07:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MnMBrewTour View Post
I'm wondering how you feel about your decision. We're looking to buy either a 35-38' 5th Wheel with dually or a Class A and tow our Toyota FJ Cruiser. What have you seen since purchasing that might steer us one way or the other?
We plan to live in it and travel for a couple years, longer if we love it. We'd probably move every 7-15 days moving about the country.
Welcome to iRV2

dosxx, hasn't been to the site for a few weeks so it may take a while for him to get your question and reply , but I'm sure he'll be along .

Anyhow I saw this is your first post and wanted to say, Hi and wish you safe travels.
I'll add ; after 4 , 5th wheels , the DW and I got our class A, 7 years ago , prefer the flat interior floor, ( DW has arthritic knees ) and loads of cargo space .
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:18 PM   #10
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We have gone the other way and sold our 38 ft. Imperial and went back to a 29rk fifth wheel. It is mostly cost driven as we loved our coach and it is the best way to travel by far. We previously had fifth wheels and still have a good truck to pull with so that is the direction we have gone. There are places we can go with the FW that we wouldn't go with the coach. Year to year expenses will be less and the fact we were not using it enough drove us to downsize. Will we be sorry? I hope not but there will be a re learning curve.
Dennis & Marcie & Captain Hook The Jack Russell,aka PUP, 2006 Itasca 29R 2017 Equinox toad. RVM59
We came, we went, nothing broken, nothing bent!
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:17 AM   #11
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Location: Columbus, MS
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We pulled a 5er for 11 years before getting the Class A. We loved the 5th wheel, but after we retired and wanted to start doing a lot of traveling, we figured the Class A would be better for us, like easier to set up, more comfortable driving, better security, etc. We love it!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:42 PM   #12
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We bought our first - a 37' class A gas rig - last year and it was mostly great - until it burned to a crisp this spring. Now we have a 31' TT with a huge bunkhouse.

The Class A was great for traveling with kids....TRAVELING with kids. But camping with kids was another story. We didn't have any bunks so the kids were on the couch and the floor. We thought that wouldn't be a big deal, but the rig was a MESS every morning and there was no privacy and my kids are teen/preteens so that was not ideal.

We haven't camped in the TT yet - we are leaving tomorrow (!!!). But hope the kids forgive the added inconvenience of being in a truck while traveling if they have the convenience of having their own room, own bed and ability to shut a door and watch their own tv!

Other disadvantage of the Class A was we had purchased a used one and we had a lot of mechanical issues which was a pain. We also paid so much more for insurance and registration and was a pricey venture.

In the future - when our kids are grown and if hubby and I travel alone I think a smaller and newer Class A would be a great option. Choosing one versus the other really is such a personal preference!
2017 Grand Design Imagine

2002 F250 Diesel
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:59 PM   #13
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We are new to this and investigating. We are leaning toward the 5th wheel. The MH negatives as I see them:
1. Windshield cracks - yikes. Gotta be pricey to replace
2. If the RV breaks, it could take a week or more to fix and you have to stay in a costly hotel waiting for a part to arrive.
3. Maintenance is more expensive and not something my husband can fix like he could more easily on a Dodge Ram.
4. Usually feels smaller inside, less storage space.
Steve & Lisa, Marana, Arizona
2002 Jayco Designer Legacy 36'
2007 Dodge Ram 3500 6.7L Diesel Quadcab Big Horn Dually
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:28 PM   #14
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We have worked our way through the various options until finally landing on a DP MH with a toad. The decade in the fifth wheel was okay, but set-up was tedious and the 2500HD showed its age. The choice came down to a new 2500HD or the Class A upgrade.

We took the Class A upgrade and will not look back. The A has more room than the 5th and gets better fuel mileage. Set-up in the A is a breeze. Set the jacks and extend the slides. Getting out of the site in the morning with the 5th was tedious. The A not so much so.
Bob & Patty Smith
Both USAF, RetIred
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5th wheel, class a

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