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My DW and I hope to start either fulltiming or 3/4 timing in the next few years. We have been looking at different RVs and we cannot make up our minds, motorhome or fifth wheel? We would love to hear the reasoning that some of you used to make that decision.....
This is a never ending debate, each one stands on its own merits. My reasons are strictly by choice, but here goes,
My choice =Motorhome;
I like the fact you can just pull over and go to sleep without ever exiting the coach at rest stops and such.
I like the massive storage the coach offers .
I like the gas mileage the toad gets. After all ,the toad gets driven at least three to four times as much as the coach.
I love when you pull up to the site all you have to do is unhook the toad ,back in ,and hit a button for the jacks, hit a few of more buttons for the slides, and other than utilities, (unless of course you have a datastorm then there's one more button ).Hitching up seems to take less time also.
I have never owned a 5'ver, but have owned a few travel trailers, there's not much comparison between the two in my opinion except your pulling both of them down the road. In my opinion, travel trailers are not fun to pull at all !
The 5'ver has nice high ceilings,they pull great down the road and are generally setup more like a house than most trailers. But for me, the drive in a motorhome is less stressful than pulling something two ,maybe three times larger than the truck your in. Our experience in the trailers and the coach have been with our children,so the difference in the coach was great on long trips. In the coach you had room to stretch out and sleep if you were the passengers,and pulling the trailer we were packed in like a can of sardines , always getting on each others nerves. The kids constant drone of "are we there yet" drove me nuts !
I like sitting up high over the traffic and looking out the large windsceen when traveling, you really get to see the the countryside.
So for us to fall in love with the motorhome was easy.
I dont like the fact that when you need service your home is in the shop,but with a toad, you can still travel and see the local sites while they work on the coach. Most shops will make allowances if your fulltiming.
"HONEY" whats that noise ??? Ken and Cindy---- 08 MONACO CAMELOT 43'
I agree that the decision is really yours. We choose a fifth wheel. Lifestyle is the main driver. We spend a lot of time in a location and tend toward the outdoor activity mindset more than the tour and shop mindset. Cost is another reason. We pay maintenance, insurance, and upfront cost for only one motorized vehicle. We can trade or upgrade in smaller increments than with a motorhome. Yes we buy more fuel per mile but we choose to drive fewer total miles. Roominess is mainly an opinion and even though we think the fifth wheel is more roomy that seems to be in the eye of the beholder. We don't leave the truck when maintenance to the trailer is required we just go about our business and then come back to the trailer. Finally driving a big rig is driving a big rig. The bigger the more responsibilities on the road. When you tow you eventually have to hitch and unhitch no matter what you are towing.
Just some of our thought but one thing everyone seems to agree on. Any day even the worst day RVing is better than the best day at work. Well almost everyone agrees. Of course that is just my opinion.
Larry and Jacki-belle Linley with Taiga our minature dachsund - 2004 30 ft Cedar Creek towed by a 2004 Silverado 8.1 Allison.
Jack & Danielle Mayerhttp://www.jackdanmayer.com,2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2012 New Horizons 42' 5er, smart, Jeep Wrangler TJNew Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....
OK - Let's play statistics...
3,000 RV fires/year. That's 1 every 3 hours. What about injuries?
From CBSnews.com - "It may surprise you to learn that a house fire is reported every 80 seconds in the United States. Some 3,000 people die in them each year". More from Red Cross.com nearly 17,000 are injured (in addition to the 3,000 deaths) and some $5.5 billion in direct property damage from house fires in the USA.
Hmm... That says a lot all by itself. Especially injury/death. But wait, there's more...
Now, According to rv.net "Some 7 million households, now own an RV" So let's call that 7MM RVs out there.
Hence, Chance of RV fire is 3,000 / 7,000,000 = 4.28 in 10,000 per year
House fire every 80 seconds is 394,200 house fires a year. From census.gov there are 124,000,000 homes (of all types) in the USA.
Hence chance of a house fire is 394,000 / 124MM = 31.74 in 10,000 per year
You are nearly 10 times MORE likely to have a house fire than an RV fire.
"There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics" A famous quote often attributed to Mark Twain.
Fire safety (RV, sticks/bricks, or anywhere) IS a matter of life or death. BE PREPARED. Don't BE SCARED.
It's all been stated above, but here are the reasons that we chose a fifthwheel.
1. The cost. We looked at Motorhomes and really loved them, but the ones we loved started at $256K. Then we would need to buy a toad, register both, insure both. Also, the maintenance on a motorhome would cost more. Should one experience major engine/transmission problems, it is easier to upgrade a tow vehicle than it is to purchase a whole new home.
2. We are too young to retire, so we are quiting work. That means that we will be workamping along the way - which means staying in one place for longer periods of time. Motorhomes are great if you keep moving, but they don't like to sit unused for months at a time. As for the argument that motorhomes are easier to set-up, it is wash with all of the new improvements to fifthwheels.
3. The fifthwheel just felt more homey. Higher ceilings, more wall space for personal pictures, larger slideouts, etc. We even bought our own furniture from a regular furniture store for the livingroom. We travel with two katts and it gives them more room as well as a space for their litter box.
4. I am able to perform most of my own maintenance work on the fifthwheel where as the systems on the motorhome scared the stuffing out of me. I wouldn't know where to begin.
Anyway, as all of the others have stated - it all begins with what you are comfortable with and would like to call home. We could adapt to a motorhome quite easily, but are extremely happy with our decision to fulltime in a fifthwheel.
Good luck on your decision and hope to see ya out there.
Before we decided to fulltime we had a popup tent camper towed by our station wagon, then moved to renting Class C and A motorhomes. I fell in love with the Class A because of the IMax window. To me, when we hit the road, it is the ongoing view of scenery that I love. We travel 8-10 thousand miles a year so that IMax movie gets played a lot.
Having made that decision, we rationalized all the other reasons to fit our decision We enjoy driving our toad van, we love to stop by a river for lunch, we appreciate not having to go out in the heat or rain for potty breaks.
Be aware though that you can't (shouldn't) back up a motorhome with toad attached. This can present some difficulties and is especially a pain you know where when you are trying to find gas (not diesel) and you have to find a station where you can pull this long rig into the regular car pumps.
If you can rent or try out in some way both types of vehicles...you can get a much better idea of what works and feels best for you.
Well here goes, its mainly up to the individual...having had all 3 a motorhome, pull behind trailer and now a fiver. We choose the fiver in the end. Mainly because you do not have 2 motors to maintain, insurance is less, and you have full living area with the fiver...no steering wheel to contend with and loose the space. However, if buying a fiver make sure you can get into it and still get to your frig, bathrooom, sink and table without opening any of the slides, as so many buy them and have to put the slides out to use these places. Also moving about in a Class A when driving down the road is against laws as you should be seated and buckled in.
Southwest Judy & Bob & 2blackdogs
Ok !! You guy's have me rethinking what I thought was "the plan" because after all ,I have only used our coach in vacation mode ,not fulltiming mode . But, am I not still in the same boat as where I started ?
I looked at a very nice Cambridge, like Howard and Linda's, list $93k can be had for 63k ,then looked at a Newmar Kountry Aire, list $129k can be had for approx $97k (thats excessive I think)?. Then after reading about weights ,mountains and such ,to be safe, needed to look at a MDT ,freightliner sportchassis is $84k-$93K ? Thats comes pretty close to the same price I would pay for a 40 DP ? I guess the difference is I will still need to factor in the toad with the coach($18k)and the tow bar ($1200) braking system($1100), but lets not forget with the 5'ver, I would still need a generator for the 5'ver ($5k) and a hitch ($2k).
2006 Holiday Rambler 40PLQ $147500.00, toad assembly $20300.00 total $167800.00
2006 Keystone Cambridge 361 $62500.00, Freightliner MDT $93000.00, hitch $2000.00, genset $5000.00 total $162500.00
So......all things pretty even, it is all about choice, and that requires more research, looks like a trip to the RV show in Dallas is in store sept 28th or the indoor one at Fortworth on the 14th.
Ken & Cindy,
Is that the MSRP on the MDT Freightliner Sportchassis or the price they would come down to? We talked to the dealer closest to us and he told us the MSRP was $129,000. I don't know what options it has, but it probably has everything. He said the selling price is approx $120,000. He said he will not bring one on his lot without all the options. Do you have any idea what options are on the price you got?
Dale & Bev
I found this one HERE its called a 2007 Freightliner M2106 (4) Door trailhauler , I am not sure if its the sportchassis, but from what I understand its pretty well loaded. 330hp . I believe he said this is the sale price !
This unit is $94,70.00 plus the tow
device, 5th wheel or ball.
Nice website and nice rig ! What kind of mileage do you get ?
I'm told the MDT's are getting 10-12 ?
Been following this post and am wondering if I'm way off base in what I've been looking for. Do not currently nor have we ever owned an RV. Want to RV full time within the next year.
Pretty much decided on the 5th Wheel cause I like the idea of leaving the house when we're sight seeing and don't really want the added expense of the "toad", I think there'll be more living space, sounds and looks like there'll be more storage, and I think we can find a 5th Wheel with tow vehicle for less money (all the motorhomes I find that I like are way too expensive for us).
Now, down to my real reason for posting a reply--after you get past all the reasons given already for buying a certain type of RV (besides it being a personal decision), what are some of the reasons (personal reasons) that you chose the RV manufacturer/model that you have.....i.e., it has plenty of work space for the computer and accessories, the kitchen has lots of storage, you like the shower, you like the color scheme???? I've been thinking about this whole adventure with the idea that this is some place I want to be comfortable in so there are a couple of things I've been looking for....two work areas, one for computer and accessories and one for my scrapbooking, comfortable living room area that doesn't feel like you're watching TV in the kitchen, large windows, washer and dryer space, and a couple of other "vane" sounding things.
Bottom line: Did you all just look for the "best built, best value" (of course in your opinion) or did you also look for the things I've been looking for. If so, I would like to hear some of those decisions. Thanks
We had a list of things that we required in the RV.
Comfortable Living Room with a fireplace. A Computer Desk. Ability to get through the RV when the slides are closed. A Coat Closet. A Washer/Dryer area. Place for the Katt's litter box. Separate front and basement storage areas (some units combine these areas into one). And then a list of options - air ride system, air hitch, receiver hitch, Surround sound, convention oven, central vac, artic insulation package, thermo pane windows, two ACs, upgraded furnace, We didn't want RV furniture or mattress, then there was a list of custon things that we wanted the manufacturer to do.
The construction was a major issue. I've been in manufacturing for over 25 years and do not like aluminum welded frames, so we were looking for units that had 16" O.C. aluminum framing that is glued and screwed together. Also, we needed a manufacturer who was willing to customize work for us.
My advise is to visit RV shows and go through every unit you can (motorhome as well as fifth wheel). Make lists of the features that you like. Then you can start thinking about what you need to have and would like to have to live fulltime in your RV. Go on line visiting manufacturer's sights looking at floor plans, specifications, standard features, and options. Once you've got it down to half a dozen or so, then start visiting dealers to look at the units you have chosen. Get rid of the salesman and just spend as much time as you can in the unit going over everything. It doesn't hurt to have some idea of what you want to take with you so you can look for spaces where you'd put it. Try to think about your daily routine as you go through the unit.
Just some thoughts that I hope will be helpful.
Its good to hear the HDT's get about the same mileage as the MDT and the DP coach. So fuel cost is not an issue, back when I owned a small trucking company, my trucks averaged around 6, but that was loaded down weighing 80k++ lbs.
What about campgrounds like BLM and COF's are they picky about HDT's , I guess its better to ask you, have you had any problems being denied entry because of the size or length of your rig ?
Heres some more questions I have about the fiver's, where does the generator go ? Is it stored in the 5'ver ? And can you get a autostart option ? I see on some spec sheets for generator prep, but wasn't sure if that meant there was a specific area on the trailer set up for it.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Been off playing and not on line a lot.
We purchased a customize 36RLTS by Cedar Creek. You can see the floorplan on forestriverinc.com.
But, please, please, please do as Howard suggest and get many different opinions. We are happy with our choice and it is the third Cedar Creek that we have owned.
There was one advantage of the MH option that hasn't been mentioned, but important for us.
Sometime people have certain specific problems that make having a bathroom very close and very quick to access "a real must". As our case dictated this type of, it was a no brainer for us. Frequent stops to take preventive precautions don't always work.
Another situation for us was the case when the DW fell and dislocated her shoulder and broke her clavical while in AR. The hospital in Casa Grande tried to help but ended up with an ambulance ride to Tucson Med Center. The orthpedic Dr knew what to do and reset the shoulder. Even the small bone that broke snapped back in place. From there she lay on the sofa as I drove non-stop back to FT Worth.
I'm not saying a MH takes preference, just saying you have to establish your needs/wants and get what best meets those needs/wants.
As the years and medical considerations passed we thought of trading in the MH for a 34 ' drag along with slids and park it at Lake Whitney, 60 miles south of FT Worth. Have freinds that offered to drag it down for us. Things happened to fast for that reality.
When it comes to the final decision, you have to make the choice and live with it until you feel a change is needed. Good luck in your choice, what ever it will be, but for sure to do it now before it's to late.
I know this is an old post, but I'd like to add a question that hasn't been answered on this thread.... what about the actual DRIVING of the vehicle? For someone for whom a minivan is the largest vehicle ever driven, which one is easier to learn to drive, and easier all around to drive - motorhome or 5'er?
Cheryl in NJ
Still planning. We'll get there eventually!. My blog is http://mitcherylrv.blogspot.com/
1998 ...24'Safari Trek pathfinder class A (Pint size)
My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)
We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!
2005 Monaco Diplomat 400 ISL Cummins
2012 Honda CRV AWD
2008 Harley Ultra Classic
"We are now on the road fulltime!"
Regardless of which style of RV one chooses, there is always a learning curve when it comes to driving one. I also recommend a driving school if at all possible where you are located. If not, drive to a large empty parking lot, like at a mega church or old shopping center and simply practice cornering and backing with the use of traffic cones or something similar. If it is not an abandoned facility, be sure and see if you can get permission before doing the above.
I like to tell folks that the advantage to a fifth wheel is that they "bend in the middle." On the other hand, a number of motorhomes have a very tight turning radius considering the length of the unit. We got to test drive a 40' and a 42' Tiffin Phaeton and the salesman took those through a small gate off of a 90-degree turn when I would never have thought it could have been done. With a tight turning radius, you will seem to be turning left or right more "feet per second" than you are going forward. You will almost have the sense of driving sideways.
Good luck with it all.
Terry and Jo2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB32008 Ford F450 2010 Ford F150 as Tag-along or Scout Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:Our photos on PhotobucketIgnoring the Barking Dogs - Terry's Blog
MarkS & Jackie
MSgt, USAF, Ret
2004 Volvo 780 625 HP Cummins 13 speed
2014 Trilogy 3650RE
X2 on Mike's thoughts. When we realized this is what we wanted to do we went round and round between the 5'er and the bus...each has it's pros and cons. For us we looked at the issue that while FTing if we broke down our home would be in the shop for whatever time period to fix. With the bus you still need to tow a vehicle for simple transportation once your parked. The cost of a bus overall is greater depending on what you want out of it.
In the end we chose the 5'er as if we needed service on the TV then we just drop it off at the shop and still have some place to stay. On this note, this past August while on our way back from South Dakota, the ABS braking system went bad on the truck and we had to lay over in Nashville while the International dealer fixed it. Thankfully they allowed us to drop our trailer in their parking lot over night while they worked on it. If this were a bus we would have had to get out animals and selves to a hotel, etc.
We also if and when we decide to trade in or up to a newer 5'er we still have the truck. Because we have our motorcycles we custom built the truck to haul them and other stuff like my tools. If we had a bus we would have to have a large car hauler to tote around.
If you are looking at the economics and if you go with a good middle to upper level 5'er along with a good heavy duty pick-up you are probably looking at the low to mid 100's. From what we saw at the Hershey show this year some of the newer buses more for FTing would run low to mid 200's and higher.
In the end I would recommend going to the various RV shows that will come up starting in the early part of 2013. I noticed you are from NJ (We just sold our home in NJ this past summer after being born and raised there) so there are some shows coming up in central NJ and also some will be coming up in NE PA. Depending where you are at you should visit several RV dealers and check out the different set-ups.
Sue has no issue driving our set-up and prefers to be higher up like we are but she did drive the rig when we still had a HD pick-up with no issues.
Good Luck no matter how you proceed but as long as you are happy in the end!
Les and Sue
"CHARACTER is doing the right thing when no one is looking"
9/11 Never Forget!
GOD Bless America!
'09 International 4400 LP Customized by 2L Custom Trucks, Pooleville, TX
'11 Montana 3580RL Custom,'10 H-D Roadking Classic, '09 Honda Rebel
Bill Joyce, 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 Chevy EquinoxJournal at http://www.sacnoth.comFull-timing since July 2003