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Old 08-30-2018, 09:08 PM   #57
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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We've had a class C, a Class A and now a fifth wheel. A couple of points from the wife's view.#1 I didn't mind driving the C, HATED driving the A and love driving the 5th. #2 We have a very comfortable short bed Chevy 3500, that is no problem to drive around the area where we camp, whether to the grocery store or seeing the sights.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:20 PM   #58
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 34
best bet

We became full timers 7 years ago. previously we had a tent camper for a few years. We did not understand all aspects of our decision. Here is what we now know.
1) We bought a 30 FT Class C with dual slides. My dear wife did not think she could drive anything bigger, or drive a fifth wheel. Of course, we have since met little old ladies who drive both with ease.
2) Our class C ,as are most, is designed primarily as a vacation bunk house. Lots of sleeping space, small kitchen and dining area. Looks like they expected people on vacation to eat outdoors a lot. We did not need to sleep 8, and eat indoors more often than not. Storage space is a premium need when you travel with all your goods.
3) I have significantly modified our unit. Now it sleeps two has lots of storage space, more kitchen storage cabinets, and a larger eating/GP table. I am handy at that sort of thing, so cost was minimal.
4) Living close together does have its challenges. (Nuff said)
5) Motor homes are more expensive and depreciate more quickly. A car and tow bar or tow dolly are NECESSARY, and add to the cost.
6) We have seen how easily 5th wheels set up, so moving every few weeks is not difficult. Plus, you will find after a few years, that staying out for a while has its delights.
7) With a fifth wheel, your truck is also your touring vehicle. Buying used and trading every few years is less expensive than keeping an older motor home
8) A 30 ft motor home has about 25 feet of living space. A 30 ft 5th wheel has 30 Ft of living space, plus the separate bedroom common in a 5er can make a difference.
9) Kitchen space in a 5er is much greater.

Conclusion. Most 5th wheel dealers will arrange a test drive. if all the drivers in your plan can drive it safely, that is the way to go.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:59 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Dkelley View Post
We are struggling, trying to decide between a 5th wheel or a diesel motorhome.

This will be our first RV. We are contemplating going full time but for sure will be traveling for several weeks at a time.

What are your thoughts?
This is from a previous owner of a 32 foot fifth wheel towed by a F-250 and the current owner of a 37 foot motorhome. First the 32 foot unit is too small for anything approaching being a full timer but if you can live with the size the biggest problem will be where you camp if you go for a larger trailer. If you are planning on state park campgrounds be aware that most state parks have trees very near the edge of pavement on the loop roads. The problem is the swing on the front of the truck..... doable yes but do it slow and easy. I really liked the way the fifth wheel towed on the highway, very stable. I would suggest that you stop at a nearby RV park or state park and talk to an owner of a large fifth wheel like a Montana and see what they say. I do like the motorhome and so far I have had no trouble backing into some tight spots.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:28 AM   #60
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: FLORIDA
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5th Wheel vs Motorhome

When you got to go, you got to go. We learned that lesson when we purchased a large 5th wheel and was driving around the country. Wife needed BR asap and pulling off the road in many places is near impossible. Then we learned that with the slides closed ( in driving position) even if she could get out of the 5th wheel and get the door open, it was like an obstacle course to get to the bath..Purchased a MH and never had the problem again. Plus, now I get snacks, coffee,etc. passed to me as I drive down that long lomesome highway..

MH is a real benefit for my family.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:11 AM   #61
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Location: Canyon Lake, TX.
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Over many years, we've owned two 5W rigs and four MHs. We recently traded our last 5W for a 2016 Bounder Gasser. We like it, but based on experience, we'll plan for more repairs than we had with the F-250 & 5er. Many more elaborate moving parts on a MH and our previous experiences have taught us that over a five-year period, even with TLC, the MH is significantly more expensive in terms of maintenance and upkeep.

The truck & trailer pulled easily and were quite nimble. No fatigue, but it usually requires stopping somewhere to 'take care of business' or fix a meal. Setting up & breaking camp took a little more time and effort, especially 'hooking up/decoupling'. On average, it took an additional 20 minutes or so to perform those additional functions. The trailer layout; however, was just as comfortable as the MH and we liked the separation of the elevated master BR.

Our Bounder is pretty much loaded with niceties which appeal to us at this point in our life journeys. Our current plan is to sell our home; purchase a small condo as an anchor located within 40 miles of the grand kids, then see those parts of America that we have yet to discover. Half-timing might be the appropriate term to describe our strategic plan.

The driving experience is unique to either option. I would give the nod to the truck & 5th wheel rig for easier maneuverability at fueling stations etc... If you've ever been in a situation where you need to back up with an attached toad, you know what I mean. Once mastered, I could back the 5th wheel on a dime, if necessary. Without forethought and some precision, the MH/Toad combo can get you into some jams that test your patience as well as that of others. Nothing like experience behind the wheel to hone those planning skills...

We treasure our adventures on the open road and although we are very happy with our current class A, don't be surprised if, in a few years, (Lord willing), you read of our latest crazy notion to find that elusive perfect F-450/Grand Design setup... After all; we have yet to grow up. We're comfortable in our own skin(s), and stuff like that is what we do...
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:39 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Dkelley View Post
We are struggling, trying to decide between a 5th wheel or a diesel motorhome.

This will be our first RV. We are contemplating going full time but for sure will be traveling for several weeks at a time.

What are your thoughts?
Did you make a decision yet?
Rick & Melissa Young, 2011 Itasca Meridian 40U, Frtliner XCL, Cummins ISL 380HP/DEF, Allison 3000 MH, 2014 Honda CR-V, SMI AF1, Blue Ox, EEZ TPMS, TruCenter steering control
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:02 AM   #63
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Having RV'd using most methods, I see good advice throughout the answers. One thing I didn't see however, is the priceless importance of one aspect of driving a motorhome. That is the access to a bathroom for the DW while underway. Ask her if she'd like to just get up and walk back a few feet while you are still happily steering and doing the boogaloo to tunes on the stereo.

2016 Tiffin Phaeton 40AH
2014 Jeep Cherokee Toad
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:07 AM   #64
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"to stay in nicer parks, you had to have a class A coach"

Originally Posted by New to this View Post
I pondered this same question, but I went with a motorhome. The deciding factors for me were the quality of 5th wheels only seemed to go up so high, whereas on a coach it can go as high as you want. Also, to stay in nicer parks, you had to have a class A coach. The fiver does have some advantages, though. More room for the money inside (the coach has more storage underneath), less to have to maintain and less to break mechanically speaking. I also look at those little wheels under those big trailers and cringe and I do see quite a few by the side of the road that have had tire issues.
No you don't have to have a Class A coach to stay in nicer parks.
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:32 AM   #65
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FW vs DP

We started with a camper on a 3/4 ton truck, then we bought a couple of TT, then we bought a Class C, now we have a FW, it is a great floor plan with lots of storage under and in. We wanted a separate bedroom with a door for each bedroom and a center living area. We are retired and living in the FW, a son is moving in with us in less than two weeks while he finds a job in a new location and gets a place of his own. We have 9 grandchildren who can stay with us when they visit because this model has two double beds in the bunk room, one queen in the master, the couch makes into a full bed and the dining table can make into a full bed. Plenty of sleeping space if needed. We are currently living in a new city to assist our son, in the nicest park in this city, Elko, and we use our 2017 Chevy 2500HD Duramax with Allison trans, to not only pull the FW, which is effortless, we use it to run around the surrounding areas to find suitable real estate, the truck also pulls horse trailers, flat beds, ATV trailers, etc. and has a long bed to tote lumber and stuff. For my husband and I, the FW was the way to go. Our Chevy is a 4 door and we tote two dogs and a cat in the back seat with seat belts and a pet pad. The front seat can comfortably seat 3 adults. Anyway, I think the best thing is for you to rent and try before buy.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:25 PM   #66
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Smile My 1st RV Experiences

Get "FullTime RVing" video from The RV Book Store, Join RVConsumer Group. Both great help. We did that, talked with RVers at RV parks, State Parks, RV shows, and campgrounds. RVers are your best source, especially like here at iRV2. Never, Never, go to the dealers until you've made your selection of what your going to do. In others words do your homework. We spent 3 years getting educated before deciding. The next thing is your RV Dealer choice. We've heard many horror stories from many RVers over the 12 years we've been fulltiming.

Some more considerations, and is now becoming very important, age of the RV. Many parks are putting age limits on your RV. Not so with your towing truck for trailers, or 5th wheels. Remember you can't have too much truck when towing, it's the stopping, and controlling your RV in a panic stop that is important, then the pulling power. Long box not sort box, for better control and travel. If you choose fulltiming, you better secure your home park. Some are restricting, and the good ones are requiring a year advance reservation. Lastly the length! Many, many parks have length limits. We're in a 34', and have not had any problems. Beyond that, limited choices.

The other replies have cover most all the other concerns. Good luck you'll love the life of fulltiming, and RVing life.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:13 PM   #67
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Of course every person will have a different perspective depending on their needs.
We always thought we would buy a large FW, but once we started seriously looking thought a MH would be the better option. We have an older Dodge 2500 and every FW I wanted was too big to tow. When we switched to looking at MH we thought they were of better quality. We are quite happy with our choice of Class A DP. We pull a small car which is easy to get around with when the MH is parked. It also suits me when we are home.
I need the washroom more than my husband, so it is convenient for me to go when travelling. I do get snacks etc., but also believe in rest stops for the driver, so we do stop occasionally.
It is not mentioned often, but the ability to drive a MH may require special licensing, depending on where you are licensed.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:24 PM   #68
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Location: Titusville, Florida
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After having both diesel pushers and a fifth wheel, the fifth wheel offers the most interior space because the slides can be retracted to the point that they almost touch inside.
Other factors to consider:
Fifth Wheel requires a large tow vehicle, ok if you already have one, not so much it you do not.
The fifth wheel has less exterior storage space for the "stuff" you will accumulate to carry.
Most diesel pushers have "basement" storage which usually is two or more compartments that are open all the way across the coach.
Diesel pushers usually come with a mounted generator, a desirable option if you dry camp or if the power goes out. The fifth wheels that I am familiar offer the generator as an option but this takes up valuable storage space with the generator and fuel supply.
Most diesel pickups are getting less than 20 mpg. This is great when traveling, however, you must drive the tow vehicle after you park at a campground so you will always get that mileage.
Diesels generally get around 8-10 mpg on the road, however, if you tow a car or other vehicle it can get much more mpg than that. My current towed gets around 29 mpg average.
Setup and pack-up time are usually less in a coach. I have been in the same campground for 2 months and have had many coaches and fifth wheels park on either side of me. It has taken every fifth wheel an hour or more to get packed-up , connected and on the road. The coaches are usually packed up and the towed connected in less than 30 minutes.
The most important reason I am now in a diesel coach is that my wife wants to use the bathroom whenever she needs to and not wait for me to find somewhere to pull over or a rest stop. She can use the bathroom as we travel.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:35 PM   #69
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 33
Over the years, we have had ALL pop up's, cab over, travel trailers, tents LOL and our last was a 30' 5-wheel for about 10 years with a F250 long bed and loved it, plus you have a vehicle to get around.
We now (which will be our last) have a 38' DP and love it more! I always tell people to start small just to make sure you learn the in's and out's of RVing and make sure you want to continue to doing it!! One the reason we purchased a MH was we raise and show Great Danes and it was hard to travel in a 5-wheel.
Also don't forget the cost of the toad, but its much easier to get around when you have a MH. Enjoy!!
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:06 AM   #70
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 93
I see that my statement about staying in nicer parks requires you to be in a Class A has been challenged. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose the degree of the niceness of a park is too. So, let me rephrase that to say that to stay in a high end resort requires you to be in a Class A. When we have stayed in resorts that did allow fivers, we are usually not real happy with some of the neighbors. However, if you like other people's kids running around your campsite and rig then you may enjoy the beauty that is there. My wife and I prefer the solitude that seems to come with going to the places that have restrictions and we seek those places out.
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5th wheel, diesel

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