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Old 05-03-2015, 05:44 PM   #1
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Fifth wheel or trailer?

Hi All!

So glad there is a forum for rookies like me! I have never owned an RV but plan on buying one within the next 2-3 months. Although I've always loved road trips and camping, and wish I would have been able to travel via RV, the main purpose of my purchase is for a different reason. I had aggressive cancer a few years ago and it looks like it might be back...I am gainfully employed but live paycheck-to-paycheck. I would like to buy an RV for my daughter in case I do pass away earlier than expected, I can at least go with the peaceful knowledge that she has a roof over her head. I'm looking to buy her an RV that she can park in an RV lot or RV park and live in it for as long as she needs to while she gets herself situated in life.

I will have about $12,000 - $15,000 cash and think (hope!) I may be able to get financed for another $10,000 or so.

My question is: Would you buy a fifth wheel or a travel trailer for the purpose I just outlined? Would you buy a new one or a used one and, if used, what are the things I should look out for? I am RV-illiterate and I don't want to go to the RV dealer and get totally ripped-off or buy something that does not carry its value.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Happy travels to you all.


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Old 05-03-2015, 06:26 PM   #2
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:31 AM   #3
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Welcome, glad to meet you!
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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Hi Mitzi! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the perfect RV for your needs! Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
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Welcome and sorry to hear about the cancer. Hope you are able to beat it or live as long as you are able pain free. Janet had cancer but we were fortunate enough to catch it early and the Dr's were able to get it all.

Your daughter is very fortunate to have a parent such as yourself. It is very generous for you to be thinking of her while you are battling cancer.

I will give you my 2 cents worth.

Either will be fine if you find the floor plan that works the best for her, or both of you if you are sharing.

I believe used would be your best value and in all likely hood you will be able to get a bit more for you money if you buy a TT.

Whatever you buy sit in it for a while and pretend you are living in it. There will be periods of time with inclement weather and when confined space can be an issue.

If you purchase used it would be wise to have a knowledgeable person look it over. Check that all of the appliances and options work. Does the A/C cool, does the furnace heat, water pump delivers water, tanks empty, tv's work? Is there any sign of water damage, is the roof firm all over or are there soft spots. While appearance of the decals is minor it is just as cheap to get one with good decals.

Most important thing is to ensure your daughter likes it. Try to look past the bling and look for a solid well made unit.

On a personal note, I prefer a 5er. But we move quite often and I like pulling a 5er more than a TT.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #6
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Thank you for insightful message Gordon,

very good to hear your wife is on the mend! Your pointers are well-taken and I will definitely keep all those things in mind when I start shopping for...definitely hadn't though about spending any amount of time in the RV except to walk through it but you are absolutely right in that we should be in it a while to get a feel for what it would be like to live in that space!

Best wishes to you and your wife!
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:39 PM   #7
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5th wheels are easier to tow and have more cargo space.
If the unit is primarily parked for living full time , then the level floor inside , is a big plus. For one person , storage space should not be an issue.

If your looking at used , you want ownership history , particularly in a TT, make sure it was never a rental or used by FEMA.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:40 PM   #8
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A couple observations..., You don't state that you can move it, or where you are at.

Manufactured living space comes in a lot of flavors that meet your financial criteria. Park Model trailers tend to be about 35' long and include residential appliances, usually a small stackable washer and dryer, and are somewhat permanent in a park. Older mobile homes in a nice park will also meet your needs. They usually have full size washer and dryer. Travel Trailers usually lack a washer/dryer and max out around 28 to 32'. Fifth Wheels can go over 40' and can have stackable laundry.

If you have severe winters or truly hot summers, go with a Park Model or older mobile home, they are a lot easier to heat and cool. If you need a towable look for an older (as in 10years +) model with thermal windows, thick walls, and high quality. A towable will need a lot of special treatment if winter is cold to keep the water supply running and the holding tanks working and dumpable. And she will have to dump those tanks about once a week.

Look at the cost for a parking space, including the utilities.

Best whishes all around for both of you.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:20 PM   #9
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You are an inspiration as a parent! And welcome to the RV lifestyle! It is great. As a fiver fan, I am a bit biased...tons of room and A snap to tow - but TTs also are great. Please keep everyone in the loop on your progress! Blessings and prayers to you!
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