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Old 12-01-2020, 11:41 AM   #1
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Class C or travel trailer and truck?

Hello, I am wandering what is better for first timer- class c or travel trailer and truck. I will appreciate your input before I decide what to buy. We like to travel and close to retirement.
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:27 PM   #2
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Gencho --

Welcome to the forum! There are many great forum members willing to provide help at anytime! Congratulations on nearing retirement and potentially joining the very enjoyable world of RV'ing!

The answer to your question I think centers around what you want to do after arriving at an RV park / resort in your new RV. If you want to enjoy dining at a restaurant, site seeing, etc. near the RV resort, you'd need a Class C small enough to drive like a large truck to those locations. And using a Class C in such a manner means disconnecting water lines, sewer line, electrical cord, etc. at the RV resort to travel to a restaurant / site seeing location and then re-connecting everything after returning to the RV resort. Avoiding this disconnecting / re-connecting work would mean getting a rental vehicle, using a ride share (Uber, Lyft, etc.) or even using a taxi.

If you chose a large Class C to have more living space, you'd need to tow a vehicle behind the Class C to use for outings away from the RV resort (or use rental vehicle or ride share).

A travel trailer (TT) with a truck big enought to tow the TT is another great option (most of us forum members started RV life that way). The truck purchased will always be used and is probably a replacement for one of you older vehicles. Purchasing a TT is the lowest cost way to start RV'ing and if for some reason you find RV'ing is not enjoyable, the monies spent are the likely the lowest.

To get started in the RV life, I'd suggest purchasing a very gently used 2-3 year old RV to avoid the large depreciation associated purchasing a new RV. Once place to shop for a gently used RV is a consignment dealership such as PPL Motorhomes located in Houston --> is a good on-line service for private sales of RVs that is a good place to shop -->

Hope this info is useful. Let the forum know what type of RV you decide to purchase.
Mike & Cindy in Katy, TX
2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:40 AM   #3
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We bought a small class C (B+), 22' with no over cab bed.
It is on a MB Sprinter 3500.
Only two adults and we have plenty of room.
Bought small for convenience factor.
Small enough that we can drive and park almost anywhere so no toad needed.
We never hookup to water or sewer and use a 20 amp electric cord for ease of use (flexible and light weight).
All we need to do to drive away from the campsite is disconnect electric.
When at the campsite we are ready to roll at a moments notice and are on the move every day. Go out to dinner, grocery shopping, go out for ice cream, drive to the beach.
We had a pop-up for 31 years and loved it.
The class C is so convenient. Everything is always with you. Pull into a campsite, hookup to electric, done.
Example of our vacation last fall.
We were at a state campground for three days.
Drove to see the sites every day.
While driving around we discovered a great national forest campground.
We still had another day paid at the state campground.
Pulled into the national campground and stayed for three days without moving, all on battery and internal water tanks.
Many times we have had a hard drive or ran into bad weather and pulled into a service center/truck stop/Walmart and spent the night without ever needing to leave the MH.
We have had the class C for four years now and if anything ever happened to it we would buy another the same size.
So if you stay at one campsite for many days and want more living space, a travel trailer would be a good choice.
If you are on the move all the time and want the ultimate convivence then a small class C or B would be a good choice.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:01 AM   #4
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We've owned popup trailers, two travel trailers and now, our gas motorhome. We haven't owned a class c.

I suggest sticking with a travel trailer and truck, and save some money by buying a used trailer and truck. You need some experience living in an RV to learn what you want and need in terms of space, floorplan, and storage. By going with a trailer and truck, each will be easier to sell when you decide to move on to something different. With a decent sized class C, you will end up wanting to tow a car, and getting a car set up for towing four down, or purchasing a tow dolly will cost quite a bit, especially if you can't do the work yourself.

Once retired, you may want to take longer trips and/or spend part of the winter in your RV. For longer trips and such, most folks want to have more room. There are some great advantages to a motorhome, and we enjoy ours. But I can also see advantages to a fifth wheel and truck. Even with our experiences going back to 1988, it was a real learning curve moving up to the motorhome in 2018. Prior to that, we made the mistake of downsizing to a smaller trailer (from a 28' trailer) and after a little over 4 years, decided we wanted more room and decided to go with a gas motorhome.

Changing rigs always ends up costing money (for most of us). So, start off with a 28-30' trailer with a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck. If you go with a 1 ton truck, you would have the option of moving up to a really nice 5th wheel trailer which could be the rig you would keep for a long time. Or, if you really want the advantages of a class A or C, then you can decide which will work better for you and take on the cost of setting up a tow vehicle. Even with a truck and fifth wheel, you should be able to sell and not take too much of a hit.

Edit: OOPS....checked your profile and see you are in Florida. So, your plans may be to escape the summer heat in Florida and head north for part of the we call that a reversed snowbird????
Retired but busier than ever!
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:58 AM   #5
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I have owned both trailers and Class Cs. I currently have a quite large (32.5’) Entegra Esteem Class C with a VW New Beetle toad. On the plus side for trailers is the ability to unhook and go with your tow vehicle. If you are a destination camper then this is likely a better setup for you. They also tend to be less expensive but capable trucks are getting pretty expensive. At my age with 2 heart attacks under my belt and a pacemaker, I found the setup of a trailer to be too much for me to handle. I love the simplicity of my Class C. I pull in, push a button to level, plugin and connect the water. My toad is very easy to unhook if I want to go somewhere.

Folks often mention having to unhook from the utilities as a negative about a Class C without a toad. A bigger negative for me is having to stow all your daily living stuff before you head out. Having a toad eliminates that. Yes, it is expensive to outfit a vehicle for 4 down towing but IMHO it is well worth the convenience.

Your choice will come down to how you like to RV and what you can afford. The most important thing is to find a floor plan you like. I travel from Washington to Florida and back every year so comfort was pretty high on my list. My rig is pretty big for just me, my little dog and my girlfriend at times but a perfect fit for me. Good luck on your choice!
2019 Entegra Esteem 29V. Just me and my little dog Hope!

I am not a mechanic but I do play one in my garage!
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:20 AM   #6
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Welcome to the family !

As mentioned in a prior post , once you know how you want to use the RV it will make the choice of which type to purchase easier .

The ability to tow our toys helped us in our decision. We recognized a TT or 5er wouldn't allow towing anything else , plus a Toy Hauler was just to big for our needs.

In our case we bought a Class C Tioga 24D . It's small enough to get in all the State and National Parks , can go into town with it , yet meets all our towing requirements .

We tow many different things depending on what our travel plans are . Such as , a motorcycle on trailer , boat and trailer , car trailer with vintage MG , and our 4x4 Toad 4 down.

Before jumping into the RV life you might look into renting and trying the different types of RVs to see what works for you .

Remember it's all about having fun , so it has to work for you.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:41 AM   #7
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There's no perfect RV, all have advantages and short comings. We started out with a TT and first trip out was with friends with a small C. Watched them trying to level and stabilize that thing and vowed I'd never want one.

Eleven years down the road with TTs and we're now in a Super C and love it! Don't plan on ever going back to a towable. The hour of un-hooking, levelling and set-up with the TT was replaced by 7 minutes of mostly button pushing to be completely set up to camp. The day of prepping and loading the tow vehicle and hitching the trailer were replaced by tossing in a bag and turning the ignition key. It's so easy we're going more often and on short notice.

The best part of the MH to us is the ability to pull up and stay anywhere we want en-route on the longer trips.... and that I can send the wife back to make me a sammich while I'm driving down the road.
"Cracker Box" 2007 Jayco Greyhawk 33DS on a Chevrolet C5500 Kodiak
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:22 AM   #8
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Back in late 1997 I bought a Sunnybrook travel trailer and a 98 Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 truck. We did a lot of boon docking bringing along our dirt bikes in the truck. We also did a lot of conventional camping. Having the 4x4 truck allowed us to truly get away into the back country of the south west. I always carried spare water and gas along with a generator in the bed of the truck. We used our truck daily for exploring or running errands. It was a great setup for our lifestyle. Furthermore, it was very cheap to insure, license, and maintain. The only maintenance I ever did on my trailer was tire replacements and a new roof . My truck was also extremely reliable . Having back issues along with my wife being afraid to drive this setup convinced me to sell the trailer. We hadn’t used it for about a year due to my back issues when someone came to the house asking me if I wanted to sell it. We followed safe protocol and agreed on a price and off it went . We paid $15,000 for it in 1997 and sold it to a young family for $3500 in 2020. I would say that’s cheap ownership. Strangely, we had three people over the years come to our house asking to buy the trailer . What really makes it odd is that we live in the back of a beach community at the end of a cul de sac.
Being older, my wife wants a smaller Class C that we can both drive and also easily use for daily beach outings at our state beach nearby. It is concerning though to see how much more expensive and maintenance intensive a motor home is along with the quality issues that so many have. By the way, I still have that 98 truck. If I was younger with a good back I would stay with a travel trailer
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:36 PM   #9
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No one can tell you which is better for you. It all depends on how you plan to use the RV. You have to evaluate the pluses and minuses of each and decide. To see how well you like a class C, go rent one for a week and travel.

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Old 12-02-2020, 12:59 PM   #10
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Oh man.. that's like asking which is better, boxers or briefs? Only you will know what's right for you.

That said, I've owned travel trailers, Class A and Class C motorhomes. You really don't know until you just try them and make your best decisions with the pro's and con's that come with everything.

Since you mentioned only C's and TT's, I'll stick with those.

I love TT's for the sole reason that you're driving your truck already. You don't need another vehicle. Pull the TT in to your camp spot and unhitch and you're all done. You're not paying for another engine which is probably the cheaper option. You don't have to worry about insurance since the truck's policy covers the TT. Your TT can be every bit as comfortable as your motorhome.

But we went with a Class C when it was all said and done. Why? My DW just couldn't get comfortable in the truck on longer runs. Also, pulling the TT was more difficult for her so I was the one that would do all the driving. She got bored, tired, etc., and couldn't get up or move around. So, we shopped for a Class C and now she drives it like the family wagon. I traded in the truck for a Wrangler and we tow that. Yes, more expensive in the long run but you do get the option of your first mate getting up out of the co-pilot seat and moving about the cabin, getting drinks, making sandwiches, laying down for a nap. You really don't need to unhitch until you get to your destination, or at least the CG where you'll stay a while.

So, while you're figuring out what works best for you, just don't go full bore on any hugely expensive option until you know. And you won't know until you try it. But the fun is in the journey sometimes more than the destination. Good luck!
Jeff & Sharon Wise
2021 Forester 2151LE-<2020 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Dripping Springs, TX
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:58 PM   #11
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If you're like me and didn't own a suitable towing truck when you looked for your RV, a Class C is a much cheaper way to go.

If I already owned a great truck to tow with, I likely would have chosen a TT.

1993 Rockwood 28' Class C - Ford E-350 7.5L
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:50 PM   #12
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In good health? A TT & truck are the cheapest way to get into RVing.
From there you can figure the rest out.

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Old 12-03-2020, 09:36 AM   #13
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Cool Been there, did this...

Seven+ years ago I sold my truck and traded our 22' TT for the 24' Class C. The truck and trailer combo was virtually perfect, the F-150 Scab with the 5.4 V-8 towed the 5,600# GVWR trailer like a dream. For 4.5 years we traveled throughout the west from Tucson to and through northern California, Oregon, Idaho etc., and everywhere in between.

This combo met our needs as it was just my bride, me and da pooch {65# of Greyhound rescue}. However, I wanted to do some longer trips including a dream, cross country run to reacquaint us with America in general and lot of friends and relatives scattered from coast to coast. While we could have done the trip with the TV/TT combo I did not want to shlep a trailer all those miles. In the 61 days we traveled from Arizona to Maine and back again we managed to spend 33 nights at the Friends and family RV Park... which would not have been possible had we been a TV/TT combo at 45' long.

We found our Nexus 24' Class C lightly used, with just 6,205 miles loaded with every option I was considering if we went with a new build version from the factory. We saved over $18,000 vs buying/building new, the truck sold in a heartbeat and after a little gentle persuasion La Mesa RV gave us $8,500 on our TT {full retail trade in value - though they started at $4,000 which was the wholesale trade price...arrrrg!}.

Over the last seven years we have logged 60,000 trouble free miles and have never looked back with anything but satisfaction with the change in rigs. We love the convenience of "just turn the key and go" and at 24' we fit just about anywhere with no need whatsoever for a toad. Having said that, over the last few years I have been towing my motorcycle or Rzr SXS not because we need a toad but because we love to ride a lot of beautiful roads and exploring the National Park's {we've done more than a dozen} from the back of a motorcycle is about as good as it gets.

Sometimes we leave the bike or our Rzr SXS home and just take the coach enjoying not towing once again but it is always our choice to match the rig to the destination/trip. We recently moved up to Payson AZ and now have a smaller home on a larger piece of property where I can park the coach, cargo trailer, bike, SXS, truck and car.

If you have bothered to read this far you know this is an unapologetic endorsement of the Class C equation. They just give you far more options but as noted above they will cost more to get into vs a TT especially if you already have suitable TV.

Further free advice {and when you get free advice you get what you paid for... but I digress} keep it simple. If you can find a floorpan that works for your needs stay at or under 25', preferably with no slide, electric steps or auto levelers as they are all problematic and add weight reducing your payload. Try to find a nice, lightly used unit 2 - 5 years old, the Ford E-350 or 450's with the V-10 are virtually bulletproof. Avoid the so called "entry level" brands as they are often junk but at 2 - 5 years old most of the inevitable bugs will have been dealt with.

As always... Opinions and YMMV

Good luck!

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Old 12-03-2020, 06:33 PM   #14
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Thank everyone for the good advice, Probably I will get used class C . Still have time to decide. By the way I am Rv tech and can repair it, just never had one.
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class c, trailer, travel, travel trailer

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