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Old 09-26-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
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Is an "upgrade" really an "upgrade"?

We are new RVers and looking for some opinions. We recently bought a 2004 Holiday Rambler Admiral SE, 36', workhorse chassis, 496 big block, 25k miles and in outstanding condition. We are recently retired and have several trips under our belt. We plan on doing more trips in future including some maybe month long tours. We had planned on buying some type of towable but now we are wondering if a 5th wheel would more suit or needs. Here is the question....given the condition and low mileage on the HR we have been offered $27k on a trade for a $33k new Montana 5th wheel. Sure it's all shiny and new and has lots of new technology BUT..the HR is a pretty solid RV that was rather expensive back in 2004. If we are looking to spend in the mid $30k's would we actually be stepping down in quality to get a newer model? I know this is an apples and oranges debate but I'd like to hear some opinions. Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:50 PM   #2
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My first thought is do you have a vehicle to tow that 5th wheel? If not you need to add that cost as well.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:30 PM   #3
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The only person who can answer your question is you. I myself would rather own the class A. You get to enjoy it while on the road, easier to set up, just a lot more convenient.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:33 PM   #4
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Aside from needing a tow vehicle there is the issue of what kind of tripping you like to do. Any of the RV's will do the job but towables are more amenable to parking somewhere for a time while driveables lend themselves to going places. An economical towed for sightseeing lets fuel economy more or less average out between the two setups.

There seems to be little question that the quality is not there on new RV's. Most get a list of needed detailing type repairs, some get real problems. If yours has been check over and does not need work you are a year ahead on a new one.

I'd keep what I had and give it a year or so and some long trips to see how it works out. That would give me a better clue. YMMV.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:22 PM   #5
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Are you asking if a 5th wheel is an upgrade from a class A or are you asking if a Montana is an up grade from a HR?
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2023 Grand Design 2600RB, 2013 Nissan Platinum Armada tow vehicle, Titusville, FL when not on the road
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:42 PM   #6
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So... trailers are inexpensive. The tow vehicle is what hurts if you don't already have one. I have 3 trucks, all paid for but none of them make a decent tow vehicle either age or engine size. And to make matters even more fun not one of our vehicles can be towed without using a trailer, none can be 4 or 2wheels down.
Selling off the 3 trucks to get one truck that gets 13mpg isn't what I want to do. Spoiled by 20mpg.

Fast forward to making a decision. Tow vehicle in decent shape used (omg the prices of new ) we were looking at what we would spend for a decent motorhome. Plus have the benefit of being able to go potty whenever I need to instead of pulling off somewhere. I have a one hour bladder. Makes for a long trip. Just a more comfortable trip overall. If I want I can kick back on the couch and watch TV.

We can pick up toad for cheap. Ive been keeping my eye out for something. What I really want and what I can find locally is a challenge. I wish I was still in Utah I know a company that can convert one of my newer trucks to tow 4 down.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:34 AM   #7
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I know this question is VERY general. I did alot of research before buying the HR and the consensus seems to show they are a pretty decent class A. I am concerned that given our limited budget a newer 5th wheel, a Montana or whatever, may get us a newer unit but may not be of the same construction quality of the HR. Thanks for the response.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:36 AM   #8
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A lot depends on how you RV. If you park and sit a week or better toss up for setup even though the A is easier to setup, much easier in bad weather, if you stay short stays the A is so much easier. Now if you tour or sight see everywhere you go a small(4x4 for me) towed gets into and out of small city streets and small roads in national and state parks rather than a large possibly diesel truck. Then the cost the up cost of the new RV and you don't have a tow truck plus hitch. You would want dependable so nearly new so the cost will be ??, $30000. Small dependable car or 4x4 $10000 and $2000 for towbar and brake system.

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Old 09-27-2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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You really need to help us out a little. Are asking about the transition from a class A to 5th wheel, a HR to a Montana or an older RV to a newer RV? All are valid questions but have differing considerations.

I would never own a 5th wheel, I would never trade a HR for a Montana and I have no problem at all with owning a 10 year old RV.

Maybe this will help - Keystone Montana RV Reviews
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2023 Grand Design 2600RB, 2013 Nissan Platinum Armada tow vehicle, Titusville, FL when not on the road
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:46 AM   #10
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That type of question gets asked here very frequently, and you asked two different questions at once.

First question is "do I want a 5er instead of a Type A?" That answer depends, as others have said, on what you want to do. Mostly the answer to that has to do with the logistics of how you want to travel.

The other question is "should I get a newer, but cheaper house?" Different decision altogether. If you look at other responses here, the overwhelming majority will tell you that you are better off going to an older but better quality unit. They will all be "used" as soon as you sign the papers, and you may be stuck with a poorly made house to live in for a long time.

It looks like you are ready to put about $5K into the trade, plus taxtagdealerprep, etc. in order to make the trade. You can set up a pretty nice toad and tow bar rig for that amount, and just hit the road.

I'm biased, of course, but I did look into the idea of a 5er before getting our motorhome. The 5er has its appeal, but the drawbacks outweigh the advantages to us.

We always go to the RV shows and look at new units, but they would have to be at least as good as our present coach even to be considered. Your HR Admiral is a very good quality coach, and trading down to a cheap rig just to be "new" is a step in the wrong direction, in MY opinion.

My advice, as other have said, is to take advantage if the coach you already have. There will be cheap trailers available next year, and your HR will still be a good coach then, too.

Just sayn',

Tom & Jan ---- Westwing43 (RVM28)
Pulling a 2014 CHEVY CAPTIVA
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:34 AM   #11
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! You need to do a lot of head-scratching on that decision. Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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