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Old 11-19-2022, 10:46 PM   #1
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DP vs 5er for full time

Hello all!

The wife and I have lived in Colorado for the past 30+ years. We are planning on going full time in 2023. She is retiring early and I will continue my remote work. I do tech support for satellite ground stations. I have a deep background in technical trades (refrigeration, electrical controls, battery and generators) and have construction background as well. We have moved frequently in the past so picking up and moving isn’t an issue. Because of this, we have family and friends scattered throughout the western US.

We would like to set up in an area near a regional airport ( for my work) and following decent weather. The plan is to stay at least 2-3 months at a time in a location.

We are very active with cycling and tent camping. We would consider the rig as base camp. Not really planning on boondocking. We would go on adventures when I have days off. Also, we are really considering doing an interior renovation on whatever we end up with.

We’ve owned trailers in the past and are contemplating either of the following-

1. Longer DP with a Subaru Crosstrek (manual) toad. The DP with toad appeals to us as it gives us a good, agile adventure ready car to take off in. It is also a great daily driver.

1. 5er with a late model HD dually. The 5er has the benefit of feeling more like a home. However a dually as a daily wouldn’t be our first choice. I have a full size pickup now and don’t really enjoy as much as the Suby.

Love to hear pros and cons of each, from those living it.
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Old 11-19-2022, 10:57 PM   #2
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We full-timed for 8 yr. in a 33' 5th wheel with one slide. Hated driving the big truck around especially off-road when exploring and we couldn't go on the deep roads of the forests.

Friends got us interested in 4-wheeling. We bought a 40' MH with 2 slides and a Jeep and had it for 8 yr. We had tons of fun with the Jeep and could 'sneak up' on animals during our off-road excursions. It took us places a truck couldn't.

The motorhome was most pleasurable driving (we both did) and traveling down the road. We were boondockers and also used public parks. Rarely in a RV park.

For office space, the 5th wheel had a customized desk area across the rear of the living area and the motorhome had a customized desk area within one slide in the living area. Both worked well.

Both felt 'homey' to us. We loved the big windshield in the MH when parked in scenic spots. Once we even had a moose peek in during a trip to Alaska.

Bottom line..... get what you'd feel most comfortable depending what you like to do.
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Old 11-19-2022, 11:26 PM   #3
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For staying in one spot for 2-3 months at a time I would choose a quality 5th wheel trailer over a MH for several reasons.
1. more livable space, comparatively in a 5er.
2. less maintenance expenses.
3. MH's are designed for traveling instead of long-term parking.
4.Total cost of same length MH and towed vs 5er and tow vehicle will be approx. 3-5 times the cost of a quality 5er and tow vehicle.


Yes, getting around in the city with a dually is more tedious than with a small car. OTOH, parking away from congestion means more walking, which is always good for one's health.
We traveled for 3-6 months ar a time with a 40' 5er and Chevy CC, LB, dually for 8 years and managed it quite easily IMO.
The only time we tired of having a 5er and dually was our Alaska trip, which required nightly setup and get ready to hit the road again next morning for 3 months.
These days 5ers have automatic leveling jacks, which eliminates most time and effort of daily moving.


That said; we are now in our late 70's and enjoy the convenience of traveling in a DP MH.
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Old 11-20-2022, 05:43 AM   #4
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If your plan is to sit still for 2-3 months at a time, then possibly go for the 5th wheel and get the Subaru for "daily driver". When you move, one of you can drive the dually and pull the 5th wheel and the other follow in the Subaru. Just a thought .... good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-20-2022, 10:51 AM   #5
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My post is more questions for reply. I'm waiting for someone more experienced than I to suggest dually and fiver toy hauler. Possible to place a small vehicle in toy hauler? Can you "live" in a fiver toy hauler?
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyg View Post
My post is more questions for reply. I'm waiting for someone more experienced than I to suggest dually and fiver toy hauler. Possible to place a small vehicle in toy hauler? Can you "live" in a fiver toy hauler?
About the only "car" you can put in a toy hauler is a Smart Car. No thanks.
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:30 PM   #7
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We’ve had both - a 33’ MH with a Jeep toad and now a dually with a 33’ fifth wheel. My wife loved the MH travel more than the fifth wheel. We both love the room and feel of the fifth wheel.

Some of the bigger fifth wheels have a second room that can be used as an office, which you may want to consider.
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Old 11-22-2022, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyg View Post
My post is more questions for reply. I'm waiting for someone more experienced than I to suggest dually and fiver toy hauler. Possible to place a small vehicle in toy hauler? Can you "live" in a fiver toy hauler?
We are living in our toy hauler since June 2019. Our unit is a 2018 Road Warrior, and we haul it with a 2017 Ram 3500. Our other vehicle is a 2013 Can Am Spyder.
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Old 11-22-2022, 08:08 AM   #9
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Fulltime options:

1. Longer DP with a Subaru Crosstrek (manual) toad. The DP with toad appeals to us as it gives us a good, agile adventure ready car to take off in. It is also a great daily driver. Agree, albeit significantly more initial and on-going registration and insurance cost and less space unless you buy one with oposing slides.

2. 5er with a late model HD dually. The 5er has the benefit of feeling more like a home. However a dually as a daily wouldn’t be our first choice. Agree 5er feels more like a home............and it is significantly lower initial and on-going cost and I can drive the dually as a daily commute vehicle.
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Old 11-23-2022, 03:24 PM   #10
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Since 2011 we have full timed in 3 different fivers, one gas coach, and a 43' tag axle diesel pusher.

I think you have to decide how important the daily driver is to you. Owning a large DP will cost you much more in maintenance and you will get a lot less mpg while towing.

We have found that our current 44' fiver (toy hauler) has a ton of room and the large garage is easily convertible to a social room, extra bedroom, or simply a large laundry room.

To be honest if you are only moving two or three times a year and possibly only putting 2,000 miles on the RV then it would probably be better to get an older DP, maybe even with an enclosed trailer for vehicle transport and extra storage. If you plan on actually traveling around the country and putting maybe 10,000 to 15,000 miles on each year then a fiver and 1-ton may be the route to go.
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Old 11-23-2022, 04:22 PM   #11
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I hear the cost argument for a 5er but have to question (no 1st hand experience to offer) whether driving a HD maybe diesel? Tow vehicle (lower MPG EVERYVDAY) as a daily driver is any / significantly different lower cost than the MH (occasional move at lower MPG) and a more economical and pleasant daily driver.
I havebto believe a HDbtow vehicle pulling a high square front 5th wheel can't be very good MPG... so where is the savings?
I think the OP knows their priorities and likely already has a first choice... just Checking to see if he missed anything.
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Old 11-25-2022, 05:14 PM   #12
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Ok- took all the advice into consideration. The wife and I followed a list of pros and cons that somebody posted about DP versus fifth wheel, 33 questions. And the fifth wheel won by a landslide. We took a quick trip to a local dealer to look at some options that we saw while doing research. We are seriously considering the Alliance Paradigm 390MP. Office space ✅ light and bright ✅ Morryde ✅ pvc roof (I know how to weld pvc roofing) ✅

Now we have to figure out the truck….. I’ll be selling a low mileage 2007 tundra soon.
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Old 11-25-2022, 06:52 PM   #13
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You would spend a whole lot of money on a DP for it to sit in a base camp for 2-3 months at a time. The HD dually would pull a decent sized 5er nicely and a 5er would give you the most bang for your bucks in terms of living space, but admittedly an HD dually wouldn't be the best for a daily get around vehicle.

But overall, the HD dually and a 5er would be my choice.

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Old 11-25-2022, 08:27 PM   #14
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I understand to each their own, but I have been daily driving a dually for almost 20 years now. It is not a big deal in most situations. If you are doing a lot of major urban downtown driving/parking you just have to be a little more mindful.
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