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Post Info TOPIC: MOTORHOME vs FIFTH WHEEL


RV-Dreams Family Member

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MOTORHOME vs FIFTH WHEEL


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.....



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Hi,


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.



-- Edited by ken and cindy at 22:00, 2006-08-24

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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



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Hi,
Since this is going to be your home, I feel the choice is similar to choosing a ranch house over a colonial.
Which is best?
Neither, it's what you prefer.

We chose a fifth wheel, the main reason being we felt the inside felt more like a little house, and we had a choice of layouts. In any motor home we were in, we always felt like we were in a "bus", no matter how nice they were.
And that leads to the other reason, just about any motorhome we liked, was way more expensive than we could afford.

We've only been living in the fifth wheel for 6 months now, but are very happy with our choice so far. We can't believe how easily we transitioned from 2400 sq ft to 390. The only minor downside for me is that I find myself envious of motorhome owners as they drive off for their day of sightseeing in a comfortable car.
However, that feeling may be partially due to the fact that I had absolutely no experience with trucks, and my last vehicle was a Lexus LS400

I would recommend going to a large show, like the upcoming Hershey show, and sample just about everything on the lot. Pretty soon you'll know if you prefer a ranch or a colonial.

Fred

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Hi All:
I've owned and travelled in both so I have a more balanced view on the topic. There are pros and cons on both sides. When my kids were small the motorhome was a great advantage to beat the boredom factor. They could sleep, watch a movie, or play cards at the table, without driving the pilot crazy. I don't feel the hookup is any easier for either but you can stop for lunch without exiting the vehicle. The downside is you have to pay insurance on two motorized vehicles instead of one(significant cost) and the gas mileage is much worse (more cost). Also, there is far more $$ depreciation in a MH that in a 5er and, if you don't fulltime (which I didn't), the winter layover seemes to wreak havoc on the mechanical systems on the MH. That doesn't happen with a trailer. Also the luxury trailers, even with a decent tow vehicle, are significantly cheaper than the equivalent MH. All that having been said, buy whatever turns your cank and get out there and enjoy it. There are no wrong choices other than the one to not go at all.

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We have had both. We have fulltimed over 6 years in 2 5ers. Assuming we are talking about fulltiming here - not travelling with children on vacations, or just a vacation unit, let me give you my comments on a 5er. There are a bunch of things you tend to hear about why a MH is better - here are my comments.

- a MH is easier to set up - Not true, IMO, if you have a properly optioned 5er. Our 5er has a leveling system (Bigfoot), and it is one-touch to level. Hooking up and unhooking a 5er is MUCH faster and easier than hooking a toad, assuming you have a proper hitch on the truck.

- I can fix lunch in a MH while driving down the road - WHY would you want to do this as a fulltimer? You will be stopping every 2 hours to take a break. You will stop for lunch. This is not a factor. Sodas are easily carried in the tow vehicle.

- I can just drive off if someone is bothering me in a MH - First of all, if you are in a campground you will probably have unhooked your toad. If you are overnighting then you should not be picking a place that is insecure. RVers are statistically not likely to be bothered, but if you live in fear, this is a legit advantage.

- The MH is cool/warm when I arrive at my campground - a legit advantage. The 5er will not be temperate if it is really hot/cold out. This has happened a handful of times to us.

- There is more storage in a MH - not true if you are comparing a fulltime 5er to a standard MH (not a true bus). Only a true bus will have more outside storage than a fulltimers 5er. A fulltimers 5er will have more inside storage than any MH, including a bus.

- With a MH I have a small toad to explore with - Very true and a significant difference for many people. However, our Volvo was our only ehicle for 2.5 years fulltime. It was not an issue, unless you wanted to go offroad. But we do not frequent cities.

In addition, as has already been stated a truck/5er is FAR cheaper for the same level of luxury than a MH.

In my opinion these are the major things you hear as to why a MH is "better". I do not believe they are significant for the reasons stated. Now, if you just LIKE a MH better, that is another story. Everyone is different.

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Not to contradict or start a flame war, but...

We have been traveling, camping and RVing, since I began teaching in 1974. We have moved from tents, to popups, 3 Avion pull trailers, an Avion 5'er, and now our 2nd Safari MH.

I can't explain how or why, but it just seems a little more relaxed for US with the motorhome. It is easier on the dog and my co-pilot has been known to take a short nap or play solitare when a little bored. Maybe even watch a DVD, in the back of course.

Not to say the 5'er wasn't comfortable, or the pull trailers too. Inexplicably, the MH is easier for us. However, I am pretty sure the 5'er had more storage. You have to judge for yourself and drive'em and set'em up too.

As always, your mileage will vary and so will opinions, that's okay.

Mike


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See, Mike - that is exactly what I was saying. Some people just LIKE a MH better (and vis versa). And you should have what you like.

Some vehicles work better than others for an individual. You have to look at the attributes of each, and how you intend to use them to make an informed decision. Weekend and vacation RVers use their units very differently than fulltimers, and that changes what you potentially look for in a unit.

The point of my post was to address the "typical" reasons you hear that a MH is better so people can make an informed decision.....

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I was reading about the fire safety class at LOW in Howard's post. It sounds as if there is a big difference in fire safety between motorhomes and trailers, even between diesel pushers and gas pushers. Does this information sway anyone's choice?

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Realities of Fire Safety


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


Hmm...


You are nearly 10 times MORE likely to have a house fire than an RV fire.


Hmm....


"There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics" A famous quote often attributed to Mark Twain.


Hmm...


Fire safety (RV, sticks/bricks, or anywhere) IS a matter of life or death. BE PREPARED. Don't BE SCARED.



-- Edited by RVDude at 17:46, 2006-08-28

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RE: MOTORHOME vs FIFTH WHEEL


We researched for about 5 years and in the end decided on a motorhome. For us, it was important to think about HOW you plan to spend your time full-timing. There's definitely no right or wrong answer. I think storage space is more abundant in a 5th wheel which means Paul could carry more tools, but we've found you really don't need much "stuff." That was one of the pluses of going full-time...getting rid of "stuff" and simplifying our lives.

For the first few years of full-timing, we expect to be on the move alot. That's the reason we've gone full-time. We wanted to see this beautiful country of ours! We like to find a home base and then travel out an hour or two from there. We just didn't want the expense and noise of a diesel truck. We had trucks before full-timing and my husband loved his, but it was too heavy to tow with the motorhome. We needed something more lightweight and fuel efficient.

We could end up with a 5th wheel in the future if we slow down and spend extended periods of time in one place...but we're happy with the motorhome until we find that place.

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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.


 



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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.  



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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


 


 



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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.



-- Edited by ken and cindy at 10:17, 2006-09-09

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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?


Thanks,


 



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Readytogo,


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.


 


 



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Before you go spending all that money on a Freightliner MDT youi might want to take a look at my website and consider some options. Read the section on MDT or HDT. You really want to consider all your options....

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Jack,


Nice website and nice rig ! What kind of mileage do you get ?


I'm told the MDT's are getting 10-12 ?



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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



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Thanks for the info. on the MDT  We are not buying yet.  Just looking at all avenues.  I do like your HDT as well Jack.  I just know that when we do decide to to buy for fulltiming we will either be buying a MDT or an HDT.  Unless of course, we decide to buy an RV alot lighter than the ones we have been looking at. 

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An HDT is certainly not for everyone. But if you are looking at an MDT it is something to consider. In most situations, an HDT is equivalent in daily use to an MDT. It just looks bigger, because it is taller.

Before buying an MDT or HDT you really need to carefully evaluate your needs. Understanding how you are going to use your vehicle is key to sucess. I can not stress enough howimportant good storage is. If you are going to have this large vehicle, you might as well have excellent storage, and off-load the 5er. An HDT has unlimited weight carrying capability in the context of an RV hauler. How you utilize this is up to you, and requires careful thought.

For most people not already fultiming, or not familiar with the larger trucks, it is difficult to "wrap their minds" around the big trucks. So they tend towards the familiar, which is the pickup. An MDT looks kinda like a pickup so it is easy to rationalize going into one. But an HDT is essentially the same size and far more capable. In addition an HDT is a more flexible platform for building up a hauler, since you can do more with the bed. They should be factored into the decision-making process.

On the milege issue - first comment is that it really is not important to fulltimers. In the grand scheme of things, one or 2 mpg makes no difference. If it does, then I submit that your financial position is tenuous and maybe you should not be fulltiming...that is a general comment, certainly not directed at anyone. But milege is an interesting topic. It depends on weight - with our truck, GCW of 30K I got a solid 10.4 overall (2 years of data). My best bobtail figure was 13.6 mpg for 1650 miles. With our current GCW of 44K lbs we get about 9.3ish or better. We double tow a Jeep.

-- Edited by Jack Mayer at 11:34, 2006-09-01

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Hi Donna,


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.


Darrell



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Thanks Darrell, So far most of my research has been over the internet (many, many hours...as a matter of fact, I've been kind of obsessed with RV research).  We do plan to start visiting shows and visiting plants starting the first of the year and I am making lists....just wanted to confirm that I wasn't the only one looking for specific things that I wasn't seeing anyone else mention.  I may have missed it but if you don't mind, what brand did you buy?

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Thanks Jack,


 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.



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Hi Ken,

We have a 5500 Onan and it's mounted in the front compartment under the hitch. We have a control panel in the bedroom that can start/stop and diagnose problems, if there are any.

Fred

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Well that answers that question, thanks Fred. Do most people use propane for their gensets in 5'vers ? And whats the lifespan between fillups ? 

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I have never had a campground reject my rig. There are campgrounds I can't get into however, because of size. But that has nothing to do with the truck. The MDT/HDT actually allows better turning than an F550 or pickup. A Volvo has a 50 degree wheel cut. Small forest service campgrounds are not going to be able to handle most big rigs. A better chance of being rejected or restricted in a campground comes from total weight. There are some campgrounds that have roads that will not handle big rigs (of any type) because the weight tears the roads up. We have only encountered one of these in over 6 years fulltime.

On the genset - I have one in my 5er - it is propane. It came with the 5er. It works well and I don't use it that much because we have a pretty large solar system. IMO the ideal setup is to have the generator on the truck, fed from the truck fuel source, or from a separate fuel source. Depending on how much you use the genset. You can still have a remote start and plug the 5er into the truck. A propane genset uses propane pretty fast if you run it much. If I had a genset in the 5er I would prefer gas. It is easier to refill.

If you have a solar system then a small Honda 2000 portable will suffice for battery charging. It will not run air, however. Most fulltimers are not boondocking where air is needed.

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Our genset runs on propane and it's quite expensive to run. It costs about $2.00 and hour at $3.00 propane.
Fred

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Our Onan 6300 propane genset in our 5er uses the following:

---------------Pounds-----------Gallons
.
No Load..........2.2___________.49
Half Load........3.8 ___________.84
Full Load.........6.6__________1.46

-- Edited by Jack Mayer at 12:40, 2006-09-02

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Donna,


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.


Darrell



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Well I have read all of the posts and don't disagree with any one.

It is most important tp get the type of RV YOU will be comfrotable with. Whch ever way you go the cost isn't insignificant.

We have been RVing since 1971. Two travel trailers, two 5er's and are in our third motor coach, a 40 ft diesel pusher.

There is only one point I would add to those already brought up and it was the biggest reason we opted for the motor coach. With a 5er you probably have the one drive train to contend with so if it fails while on the road, you are stuck trying to get cellphone service or hitch hiking (dangerous) to get help. The toad gives you a second chance. True, you may have to leave the coach somewhere but at least you aren't on foot or haking a ride.

Bottom line is that both a 5er and a motor coach each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It just boils down to two things. What makes you comfrotable and what you think you can afford. The choice is yours.

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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. 


 


   



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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?

 

Thanks,



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Cheryl......each has its own Qwirk.....required thought process and ease I would say they are even.........backing up a coach.....set up & tear down ....a coach.

available space and long term living a 5ver

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It's really about the same. They're going to be close in length, a 5th wheel will be just a pinch taller in most cases. One thing I do like about the MH is you sit up real high so you have a good view. Again In most cases you'll either have a tow vehicle or a toad.

Coming from just a minivan both vehicles will seem real big and might intimidate you at first. But you will learn to drive and enjoy the drive. I would suggest a driving school.



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Cheryl,

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



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Doncat, I believe it is personal choice more than anything. One thing is certain, once you pull into a camp space, the commute home with a fifth wheel is much farther than with a motorhome.

Incidentally, I like your tailor.

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Cheryl,

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!

Safe travels,

Les

 



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Only once we have been in a motel instead of staying in our motorhome while repairs were made and it was known in advance since the motorhome was getting resided. Only once did we not have electricity and had to use our generator, but it was only a couple nights. We have over nine years of full timing under our belt. We do carry enough water and try to keep our waste tanks reasonably empty so we can survive a surprise. Our motorhome has enough carrying capacity we can drive with full water and half-full waste tanks, which we do often.

In Alaska another motorhome owner was waiting for a new engine, and had to live in the repair yard for 6 weeks. They had electricity, water and once a week they paid a septic service to pump their waste tanks. Don't listen to the fears of those who don't know themselves.

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Thank you everyone for your answers. If our dealer won't take us out for a mini boot camp, it looks like there are a few driving schools available that can give lessons. I guess that'll be the best road to follow (no pun intended!) when we're ready. Sooooo eager to start this lifestyle already!

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Cheryl B. in her new RV

Finally made it (6/23/14)! 

2008 DRV MS 36TKBS3 (the CoW: Castle on Wheels), 2005 Ford F550 hauler (the Bull)

My blog is http://mitcheryl-rv-journey.blogspot.com/

My business: www.AZAdminSolutions.com



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I would Think that most dealers would give mini bootcamps........or at least have a referal to make sure you are safe and comfortable with your purchase.

one of our computer Guru's out here should make an RV simulator with multi mode to take to the shows....(there goes another million dollar Idea)

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

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!!!!!!



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Once again I would caution people about making decisions, or actuually giving any "weight" to things that happen rarely, or possibly not at all. You really need to give weight to your every day use of whichever unit you are considering. Not all the "what if" weird things. Like, for example, "what if someone comes up in the middle of the night. Can I just drive away." First of all, this is unlikely to happen, especially if you stay out of "iffy" places. We have been fulltiming 12+ years and it is yet to happen. Second, even with a motorhome if you car is not attached you are unlikley to leave it. That is they type of stuff I'm talking about.

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2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
New Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....

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