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Old 01-19-2014, 02:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gjgerber View Post
After writing about RVs for 15 years, living in one for several months at a time will undoubtedly change my perspective on a lot of things.
Can I get an "amen."
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:06 PM   #16
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I see lots of comments comparing $250,000 motorhomes to $25,000 trailers. When comparing features and attributes, try to stay in the same price level.

For example, my brother has a very nice diesel pusher motorhome and a very nice car to tow behind it. I have a quite nice 5th and a comfy truck to haul it. He spent about 2X+ on his as i did on mine. Both were purchased new. They both have automatic hydraulic self-leveling jacks. He has to unhook the car to back up. Neither one hooks itself up to the utilities. We are both happy with our choices.

The choice is yours. For a given budget or price point you can find a lot of choices, which then comes down to how does it feel and can you see yourself living in it as you describe.

If you go with a 5th, consider 17.5" wheels and tires and replacing the axles with a Mor-Ryde IS and hydraulic brakes. If you go motorhome watch the weights and consider that you may need to spend some $$ on the front end to improve handling. They are both workable, and each has a few possible quirks.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:13 PM   #17
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What I find interesting is that when I go to campgrounds, I always see the same mix of RV's: Trailers and 5th Wheels: about 85%, Class A: about 10%, the other 5% contain class C's class B's, pop ups and even tents. I should probably try and get a better breakdown between TT's and 5th wheels. Sometimes, I'm the only class C at a given campground.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #18
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The wife and I were thinking about trading our motor home for a 5th wheel since we do more setting than traveling.
Was wondering about all the steps in a 5th wheel? We are not getting any younger.

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #19
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OK, I'll add my 5 cents worth:
Not sure, but would think it's a little more difficult to connect a toad by yourself (generally see folks jockeying back and forth connecting, one in the toad, the other holding up the tow bar assy), not saying it can't be done, just a little more difficult than backing into the King Pin on a 5er.

People always try to make it sounds like it takes and Army to setup a 5er. As Terry Jay posted, we too travel with friends with a 40' DP and toad, we're a 40' 5er and Dually TV. Our 5er has hydraulic auto levelers, so once disconnected pull the TV away and push a button and you're level. So we can setup and tear down just about equal to our friends.

Steps getting into the 5er aren't much different than a MH's, we have 4 steps, our friends have 4 steps. Yes we do have 3 steps up to the bedroom/bathroom.

Someone posted about higher end 5ers approx $35K or so, hate to say it but in todays market, that's entry level. A good higher end 5er will run $75 to $150K, and unless you go really crazy a 350/3500 series Diesel Dually will handle most out there.

Only you can make the final decision, just make sure you're comfortable whichever way you go.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:59 PM   #20
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A high end 5er and and new tow vehicle can easily run $150K. The advantage I have is that my tow vehicle is dual purpose and litterally pays for itself as my work vehicle. I have a 5th wheel toy hauler and I love it. However, I am learning what advantages a motorhome has while going down the highway. I have 2 airedales stuffed in the back seat. They do great but it gets pretty tiresome for all. Being able to have them relaxed with room to move around, make a sandwich, take a nap, use the facilities, while going down the road is very appealing to me. I have recently learned that I am stuck with it for a while unless I want to take a real beating. I guess that could be said about any RV.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Stano View Post
The wife and I were thinking about trading our motor home for a 5th wheel since we do more setting than traveling.
Was wondering about all the steps in a 5th wheel? We are not getting any younger.

None of us are getting any younger!

However I am heading off this year in my first 5th wheel, (used) and truck, (used) and all manual cranking. I had a TT many years ago when I was young (50's) and have no fear of pulling a 5er or of getting out to have a snack, potty break,or photo op. I do travel alone and try to choose places close to some sort of civilization for overnight stays, but for the most part I will be in place for at least 5-6 mos of the year. I think if I had a few extra $$ I would make sure I had the self leveling thingys but with good levels on the front and sides of trailer it is very easy to level off.
As for parking I will just try my best to get a pull through, if not available I will ask the manager to do it for me if near trees! (they have been obliging to me in the past, but I do ask when I book if help is available if needed) Mostly tho I can get a pull through no problem...

I like the idea of a MH but the upkeep would be too much for me, I like that I can get more trailer for my $$ since I will have to live in it FT. I also like to drive a truck, ...I have driven a truck for years now and a wonderful Tercel for 'run abouts' but this is all in change at the moment.

I may not be as young as I once was, but I am also not as old as I'm going to be!!
this adventure is MY final frontier and I hope it is a long and fruitful journey,

The way I see it is, the good Lord gave me a certain number of things to accomplish while on this earth, and at the rate I'm going, I will never die!!

So get the 5er, and enjoy if that is what you want to do...why not?

Young at heart,
Older in other places !
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Stano View Post
The wife and I were thinking about trading our motor home for a 5th wheel since we do more setting than traveling.
Was wondering about all the steps in a 5th wheel? We are not getting any younger.

Our son and his family have a big fifth wheel that they haul around with their 3/4 ton heavy duty Dodge diesel. It's a really nice outfit, and they get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from it.

When we tag along with them in our motor coach, when we pull into a campground, it goes something like this:

I turn off the engine. I level the coach. I step down out of the coach, walk to the back of the coach. I unhook the toad. Then I walk over to help our son get the truck unhooked off the fifth wheel. Then I help him to get the fifth wheel leveled. Then we put the front tripod under the fifth wheel hitch pin.

When we get ready to leave, the time difference is even greater. Because the tow bar is so adjustable, I can drive the toad up behind the coach, taking my best guess as to where it should be. Then I get out and hook up the tow bar to the toad. Then I get back into the toad and back up until the tow bar locks in place. That's it. Takes less than 5 minutes.

While I'm doing that, the coach jacks are retracting, and the diesel is running building up the air pressure in the system. By the time I walk back to the front of the coach, we are ready to begin our check drill in preparation to leave.

Meanwhile, next door, our son has just managed to back his truck in and get the fifth wheel hitch to lock onto his truck. I walk over and help him to get things ready to go.

He has often said to me, 'At your age, you have the right rig. Fifth wheels are for young people.'

As a family, we have often discussed this, and agree that:

1. If you are parked more than you drive, then the fifth wheel is the best.

2. If you drive more than you are parked, then the motor coach is the best.

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Old 01-20-2014, 12:32 PM   #23
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Having had both here are my opinions. We had a 36' fifth wheel for about 8 years. It was nice, had lots of room. Once landed in place I enjoyed it. BUT, after all that time DH who could back a TT in a heartbeat, horse trailers, or any other trailer, still could not get into tight back in places without a million turns. We hauled with a Chevy dually 1 ton truck. The maintenance on the truck cost about the same as maintenance on a gasser. So we bought our first motorhome, a gasser. It was wonderful - no more getting out in the rain to hookup because we could wait until it stopped in the MH and we could push a button to level it from inside, also put out the slides - nice. No more fighting with leveling - our 5th wheel had legs on the front but we always had to work to level the thing side to side using blocks. We also used a tripod on the front and wheel locks between the wheels because the thing rocked something awful. No more fights as he backed to hookup the trailer to the truck, getting that hitch to lock was a chore. We now have a diesel pusher and we love it. We have a Demco towbar which is super easy to hook our Jeep to the motorhome and we use an Air Force One braking system that requires one line from the coach to the toad. A breeze to use. I don't care if we sit 3 months or 3 days, I am so much happier with the MH.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:16 PM   #24
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The first thing I will say is that you have been writing about them and never experienced them ?!? Take those articles with a grain of salt

Re what to get, everyone has a bias about everything, all the time, so even though they are looking at the same thing, they 'perceive' differences based on their bias... (politics anyone ? )

I too have had all levels over the years...
Many of today's 5ers have the same 'options' as the comparable MH's.

The balance of drive versus stopped is a consideration,
but IMHO, the main two differences are (in general and usually):
1) you have to get out of your tow vehicle to get into the 5er.
2) you have to give up your living quarters with the MH if service is needed...

A simple analogy is to equate it to multifunction machines for your pc -
if you have a printer/scanner/copier/fax machine as one unit and one part of it breaks you have to replace all of them at once

Our regular group has 2 fivers and 2 motorhomes...
unhooked and level is just as fast in either with auto levels...
hooking up and leaving is close as well, hmmm...
now that I think about it, I'm usually waiting on them when we are going between stops

also, 9 times out of 10,
the group is in ours because of the 55 inch tv for football games and can seat 10 or so comfortably in the living room. Although with a bigger tv the Phaeton may win out but now we are comparing golden apples to horse apples !!!

in your travels, talk to people and ask - try them out with rental MH's...
'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk(junk!), 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, Winn LeSharo, C's, popups, vans, tents...
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