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Old 09-08-2022, 07:43 AM   #1
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MH vs Pull Behind

I know this question comes down to a matter of personal preference, but I would love to hear from anyone who has experienced the RV Life with both a MH and a Pull-Behind (including 5th wheel)... Specifically, which you have found preferable and why.

We currently have a 31C Winnebago with a VW Toad and love it. However as we travel I see some of the awesome pull-behind/ 5th wheel rigs that look spacious and really well designed.

Again - would love to hear from those who are experienced with both. Pros and cons, etc. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:50 AM   #2
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Class A all the way for us.
We have had every kind of RV / camping setup known to man including cross country trips with motorcycles and tents.
We prefer class A over all others due to our coach being super easy to set up and tear down when at a campsite.
We also like that we plenty of room to move around and can use the coach with the slides in if needed. We boondock a lot and sometimes simply park for the night before hitting the road at dawn.
It basically comes down to your family / occupant situation, and your personal preferences. If you only move around once a month or stay long term in places, then a 5er or bumper pull may be more to your liking. If you move around a lot and like to stay mobile, then a class A, C or B may be more practical.
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:57 AM   #3
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We have had trailers, 5r's and purchased our first and hopefully our last Class A in 2019. By far the easiest rig to set up and tear down is the class A. If you get a higher end coach the build quality is better and full body paint protects the coach. Yes the 5r had more room but that is a personal need/want.

They were all fun. Enjoy whatever you get.
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Old 09-08-2022, 08:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Harrell View Post
..........would love to hear from those who are experienced with both. Pros and cons, etc...........
We have both...........both set up and tear down in the same amout of time.

The fifth wheel trailer is significantly more spaciousness, significantly better stability on the road, faster highway speeds, significantly better fuel economy, significantly lower initial/maintenance cost and hitching up to the tow vehicle is very fast (can hook up and go in a minute). Cons are its 41 feet limits our ability to camp in some parks and the wife does not drive the DRW tow vehicle.

The motorhome allows us to camp in parks that are limited cannot handle a 41 ft fifth wheel trailer and allows us to tow a toad that the wife can drive. Cons are considerably less space, stability on the road, slower highway speeds, significantly lower fuel economy and significantly higher initial/maintenance cost and hitching up the toad takes additional time.
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Old 09-08-2022, 08:30 AM   #5
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Had both. Class A works best for us. Bumper pull was a 30’. Plenty of room in the trailer, but it’s the driving down the raid that’s different. Wit the MH, stops are quicker, passengers are more comfortable, and quick overnights are a don’t have to get out in the rain event. Easier to unhook toad and back MH into site and level than with the trailer. Mileage is better on a per pound or per foot basis. If it was just about mileage, I’d still be camping in a tent riding the motorcycle.
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Old 09-08-2022, 08:47 AM   #6
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We've done a bunch. You'll love either one of them. We like to travel in the motorhome these days. It's more comfortable and everything is right with us. No need to stop if someone wants a bag of chips out of the cabinet. Stops are quick because the motorhome is the same temperature as the cab or can be made that way underway with the generator. Pull in, walk a few steps, and you're at the bathroom or kitchen or in bed. Passengers can stretch out a bit in the motorhome as well. We're not all trapped in our car seats. With a travel trailer, you have to stop to do anything, and the trailer is not whatever temperature you keep your tow vehicle, it's whatever temperature a closed trailer is. You have to find a place to stop, get out, and open that hot trailer to get a snack or prepare your lunch. It makes the stops longer, or you end up not stopping because it's unpleasant. We've loved them all though.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:04 AM   #7
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We have limited experience with a trailer of any kind. We chose a motor home.
In my opinion, it's largely because DW likes to be able to get up and move around with out having to stop.
A MH is decidedly more expensive, we had an E150 with a tow package. Couldn't pull a 5'r, but it would have handled a nice TT.
That was it for us.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:35 AM   #8
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We have owned both a trailer and a MH. For ease of set up and tear down, you can't beat the MH. A MH is the best choice for an older couple that only wants to do light boondocking. The trailer takes more time to make and break camp but can go places a MH cannot. It is also easier to find a trailer floor plan that works well for a family. If we had kids we would probably still have a trailer.
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Old 09-08-2022, 09:58 AM   #9
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We started (full time traveling) in a used 38' fifth wheel, switch to a new 39' fifth wheel, then a 37' Class A gas, then a new 43' Class A tag axle diesel, and now we are in a 44' fifth wheel.

First lets talk about the dollar signs. Obviously, a large tag axle 44' diesel coach will have about the same amount of living space as a 44' fiver, depending on the floor plans. For the initial investments between the two the diesel class A was over $100,000 more. The maintenance on the class A diesel was anywhere from $800 to $1,500 per year. The maintenance on my F350 dually averages $400 per year. Over 3 years of traveling in the diesel Class A my average mpg stayed around 6.5. Over the past 18 months we have now started to average over 9mpg in the Ford F350 towing. So for us full timing in a large fiver is much more practical and inexpensive.

I have always heard folks saying it is easier to set up camp in a Class A. I disagree totally. The only "extra" thing you have to do with a fiver is unhook. You have to connect electric, water, and sewer to both plus put the slides out. We can set up or break camp just as quickly with our fiver as we could with either of our Class A units.

We always hear "but we can get up and walk around while going down the road in our Class A". While we found this to be true, both of our floorplans provided limited walkability with the slides in while traveling. We could get to the frig and bathroom but no further. It was never a big deal for us because I like to get out and stretch every 90 minutes to two hours anyway.

We used a tow dolly with our Class A diesel for less than a year. Most folks will tow a car 4-down. Either way you cannot backup when towing this way. I never like the idea of not being able to backup.

Driveability is great in a large Class A diesel with a tag axle. Wind does not push you around and they are extremely stable. We found that our 37' Class A gas was horrible with just a little wind or when a semi would pass us, very unstable and not a pleasure to drive at all. With our F350 dually towing our fiver you can steer with two fingers and it is a pleasure to drive no matter the conditions.

These are just our opinions and observations after full time traveling in 3 different types of RVs over the past several years.
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Camp CA View Post
We have both...........
, faster highway speeds………..
slower highway speeds.
I’m curious how fast you pull the fifth wheel, and how fast you drive the MH……
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:08 AM   #11
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OP has not identified important things that become big factors, like:
Are you traveling with kids
Are you FT or PT with S&B
How many weeks/year are you using the RV
What’s your longest trip in miles and days
How far away from home do you normally drive
Where do you want to store it when not in use
What financial factors influence the decision

We’ve been RVing for over 40 years and have owned gas Class A and Class C, Truck Camper, and several size trailers, but no fiver or DP. So these are just our opinions based on our rv history.

If you are traveling with kids, a Class A with Toad is the most enjoyable way to travel.
If full timing, or staying in just a few places for longer periods, we’d opt for a fiver.

We’re now retired and enjoy our mountain home, so we spend only about 10 weeks a year and 10,000 miles traveling. Just the two of us with an occasional grandkid. For us, a small TT is all we need. Perfectly comfortable on long hauls, has same livability as a Class C, stores at home, and much less maintenance, and lower operating cost than a motor coach. Although we could afford a DP, we’re more prioritized on helping fund our grandkids college than the many thousands per year it cost to maintain and operate a DP. Of course there are many for whom the expense of ownership doesn’t matter. We’re just as happy in our rv lifestyle with a lesser rig; a towable.
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:11 AM   #12
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MH's were too 'crowded' for ME
I'm a big guy enjoy the openness of 5th wheel

Takes us about 20 minutes to set up/tear down
We FTd for 7 yrs and moved weekly

Only one engine to maintain...truck

Like you stated at the beginning.........personal choice.
Go with what YOU like
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:15 AM   #13
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I've had several pull behinds and two MH's. It would take a significant change for me to ever go back to the pull behinds.

One big advantage I see is when I get to the camp site or stop for lunch my MH is cool inside. Not so with a pull behind.
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:19 AM   #14
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Jumping into a big 5er also requires something capable of pulling it……. A newer truck that’s capable will cost you more than what you can buy a nice pusher for.
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