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Post Info TOPIC: What made you purchase your particlar style of RV?


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What made you purchase your particlar style of RV?


I've noticed that many people here have fifth wheels RVs, some other's a class A and a few have a class C.  I was just wondering what the decision process was that made you purchase your particular style of RV.  I'm well aware that I need to purchase what suits me best but I'm also interested in the pluses and minuses of the various types especially when it comes to 5ers vs. motorized.



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We already had a towable (travel trailer) and a truck capable of pulling a fifth wheel. We could not have afforded the type or model year of class A that would have given us the living space, amenities, and drive train that I wanted. (In addition, there would have been the expense of setting up a tow'd.) We also like the fact that, if we have a drive train issue, we still have a home - just the truck goes in the shop. With a motorhome, the whole thing goes to the shop.

Different people have different criteria and there is no one perfect RV for everyone - that's why there are so many types and configurations out there!

Rob



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Fulltime for almost 12 years. First 10 in 5th wheels now in class C. Started in 5er but found driving a dually too restrictive for daily driver......after one year added a car. Worked well as we only travelled about 200 miles/day while moving and fuel saving in dually paid for extra expense of car.....had a good 9 years that way. Eventually we decided medical concerns might require only one thing to drive when changing locations so went to a large C. In the past year+ we have enjoyed the C but space is much less than 5er the same length (storage space primarily) and we find driving the 40’ C to be a lot harder than the truck and 39’ 5er. Backing into sites is however easier with the motorhome. Got to say both work and not sure which way I’d go next time.



-- Edited by igotjam on Saturday 1st of September 2018 02:01:16 PM

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For us it was the floorplan. I still think it's the most important factor (assuming the structure is satisfactory).

After we bought our 5th wheel and learned of some of it's potential deficiencies, we set about correcting those. MorRyde Independent Suspension, 8K axles, disc brakes, 17.5" wheels and Goodyear G114 H rated tires. We also made a visit to our manufacturer's factory and had the factory add about 400 lbs of structural steel bracing to the upper deck and pin box area (to avoid the trouble the H&L had). It is now as good as anything that costs less than $200K. There are other upgrades that we made were personal desires and did nothing to strengthen the structure like the MorRyde products and the factory did. All in, we have less than $100K invested and are very happy with our home on wheels. There are definitely better rigs that have the structure built in from the get go, but most of that can be added after market.



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 1st of September 2018 02:03:29 PM

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We really thought we would be going with a Class A but I couldn't find any models where I felt we could modify the floor plan to allow both of us adequate room to work. Found that there were a few 5th wheels with built in desks that solved the problem for workspace for one of us and then looked for a floorplan that we felt could be modified to allow good workspace for both of us.

BTW, we still "blame" Howard and Linda and the RV Dreams Rally big rig walk through in Oregon, Sept. 2012 for derailing our Class A hunt and starting our 5th wheel hunt!! Learned a lot at that rally, but we hadn't even considered 5th wheels before that due to not wanting the DRW truck as our only vehicle, but we've made it work for 5 years and have no regrets.

We've already been discussing our next RV, once we're both retired and we don't need this much work space, we really want something smaller so who knows what might transpire over the next 4 years, not that we're on a new countdown or anything, LOL!

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We were leaning towards a 5er, then we bought a Class C for weekends, etc. while still working. Our cats loved it, no moving from their house on travel days, pull in when raining, just wait it out, everything handy. So we then focused on Class As and decided we wanted a DP for room, etc. Purchased her in 2005, still going striong. She’s easy to drive, mountains are a breeze, easy to back in, push buttons and she levels and out go the slides. Plus we have an economical daily driver.

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We had two initial key criteria (i.e., maximizing the kitchen space and a king bed), as we started walking into RVs we realized ceiling height was important ... if GH could not stand upright in the bedroom or shower, that was a deal beaker. Our focus was Class As and Fifthwheels, we added Super Cs to that list as we looked at options. At the end of the day, our key criteria was best met by a Fifthwheel. In hindsite, we would make the same decision but do like the idea of a toad as a daily driver with a Class A or Super C (yes, we could drive a car separately, but that does not work with our traveling style where we regularly trade-off who is driving). A way to get around fifthwheel daily driver issue is to rent a car, when needed.

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That was one of the questions we asked people when we were researching several years ago. We didn't want to know why they chose the brand. We wanted to know why they chose the type of coach. We got lots of answers, but they all seemed to center around how they planned to use the coach. Some people settle into one place for several months at a time, and they tended towards 5'ers. Others move from place to place frequently, and they tended toward motorized coaches.

Then we started asking about what they wish they could change. Almost everyone wanted more room. A few mentioned carrying capacity. A few mentioned tank capacity.

We didn't want to consider motor homes at first, because they use a lot of fuel. Then someone mentioned that a MH and a larger truck towing a large 5'er use about the same amount of fuel when going from one campground to another. The truck is the daily driver for going to church, Wal-Mart, sight-seeing, etc. The MH can tow a fuel-efficient vehicle for all of that. Some people get around that by converting a semi to tow the 5'er and carry a small car, often a Smart For Two. Others have one person drive the truck and trailer and the other one drives the car.

Consider each possibility in light of what YOU want to do and YOUR circumstances. If you are a single person you probably can't do the truck and car driving separately (unless you have a REALLY split personality).

In our case we wanted to be in the same vehicle when traveling. We ended up choosing a no-slide DP. The second choice was a pickup and Airstream. I didn't like the idea of having so much stuff riding in the back of the truck. In hindsight (which is always 20-20) I wish we had gone with the Airstream. We do some construction work for our church, and too many times I've said "I have that tool - back at the campground." If I had all of my tools with me I'd have the one I need but didn't think I would.

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Bought my first RV in 80, which was a 5th wheel. Bought as I worked on the road and used it to live in. Owned it for 6 years and had little issues with it, a Nuwa. Then when we decided to go full time I immediately gravitated back to a 5th wheel. Basically due to past experience but also with the same consideration others have stated, if you have truck issues you still have a place to stay, my opinion is we have more room then most coaches, ease of maneuvering the rig around.

The wife follows me in her vehicle so we can minimize the miles on the tow vehicle. Actually I think it helps as she is in another vehicle not being a “back seat” driver.

As some have stated it really comes down to the research and personal preference.

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I like driving my full size SUV daily, wanted the ability to explore once we found a campsite and didn’t want to “raid” the retirement fund for an RV. A modest TT was our choice.

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We went to many RV shows and it became quickly apparent we preferred a 5th Wheel. We liked that they felt “homier”. We (mostly me - Kelly) didn’t prefer the driving area always there. There were also budgetary concerns that were better addressed with a truck/5er combo. While we also had concerns about using a DRW truck as our daily driver, we followed H & L’s lead and kept my CRV, which I drive on move days, figuring we could always sell it later if we didn’t like having it. Aside from leaving it in FL the year we went to AK, we love having it with us. It is especially good to have now, with Bill doing solar installs, as we use it to pick up supplies, etc. We try to keep move days shorter vs longer, which makes it easier. It really comes down to personal preference. Go to shows, rallies and just walk in and out of as many as you can. You will quickly learn which you like and which you don’t.

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I find it interesting that many say you get kicked out of your motorhome when you have motor issues, but that is not our experience. We do have a bit of experience. We get kicked out during the day, but have not been kicked out over night for motor issues. We have been kicked out overnight for RV issues (some body work and electrical problems), but not often. We have friends who have been kicked out of their 5th wheel for RV issues.

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I'm looking for the day to day stuff, not the exceptions. Since I'm pretty sure I can fix most things wrong with the coach and most things wrong with the chassis, except for possibly a catastrophic driveline failure, I'm not really too worried about getting kicked out of the coach for repairs. Even if I do, there's generally a hotel within a few miles and I'm thinking all three of my vehicles won't be down at the same time. However it is interesting so see what everyone's thoughts are. The more input the better I think my decision will be. Thanks to everyone, and keep the cards and letters coming folks.

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bjoyce wrote:

I find it interesting that many say you get kicked out of your motorhome when you have motor issues, but that is not our experience. We do have a bit of experience. We get kicked out during the day, but have not been kicked out over night for motor issues. We have been kicked out overnight for RV issues (some body work and electrical problems), but not often. We have friends who have been kicked out of their 5th wheel for RV issues.


 X2

i find it interesting that so many who don’t own a MH are such experts on how we get them serviced/repaired.  



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Barbaraok wrote:
bjoyce wrote:

I find it interesting that many say you get kicked out of your motorhome when you have motor issues, but that is not our experience. We do have a bit of experience. We get kicked out during the day, but have not been kicked out over night for motor issues. We have been kicked out overnight for RV issues (some body work and electrical problems), but not often. We have friends who have been kicked out of their 5th wheel for RV issues.


 X2

i find it interesting that so many who don’t own a MH are such experts on how we get them serviced/repaired.  


 I think you are reading too much into the responses and are a little sensitive. Having stayed at the RV dealer to get our unit serviced, yes much like a coach, we have to vacate once work commences. But having to be ready by 7:00 AM to leave and then staying away until about 6:00 PM (which we did for a week) is a real pain. Having the two separate would mean we wouldn’t give up the ability to come and go from our trailer like normal. Utilizing our car to move around means everything would be just like a typical day with the exception we may not really be parked in a location we desired due to a tow vehicle breakdown.



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I did not respond about being kicked out until two different people mentioned it as an advantage for towables. I fail to see why that is being sensitive. I did feel it necessary to point out that the our experience is the engine work is not when you get kicked out, it is the work that is the same as a towable, body work, work that makes the RV systems unusable or dangerous. There are many reasons people chose the type of RV they have and those reasons vary by person and time. We know many who have changed to a 5th wheel after owning a motorhome and others who have switched to a motorhome from a trailer. Some have downsized to a truck camper, campervan or small trailer. Some have moved up in size and sometimes type as their needs and desires changed. The decision of what kind of RV you want does not have to be a lifelong choice.

We just spent almost two weeks having to be ready by 8AM for paint and body work. Some days little went on. Some days we had to be away with the cat in the car all day. Our actual body work was minor, but the shop was very busy and these things get done in stages and they only have one paint booth. For large paint jobs people were having to vacate one or two nights. We are happy with the result and the bill came to about $30 less than the estimate. They had 50AMP and water available, but we did have to drive across town to dump in the middle. One motorhome was having to be pumped out, since they were illegal to drive, at $75. (The place we were at Straightline in Springfield Oregon, does body work and paint on motorhomes, trailers and boats.)

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Our original thinking in 2008 was to go with a Class A or C. After attending a number of shows and walking thru campgrounds talking to people, Joan decided she preferred a 5'er. After more research, she chose a toyhauler with a shorter garage,mostly to accommodate my hobbies and need for space to tinker and build, but also to use as a 2nd bedroom for occasional visitors. We then researched and chose our new TV and 5'er, but got some great just-in-time advice on things to look for in our new "home's" foundation. They included frame, brakes, suspension, windows, tanks, tires, GAWR, GVWR, CCC, insulation, air hitch or pinbox, and a recommendation to consider high quality used instead of new. Armed with this information, we looked at the rig and TV we had selected.....and found them sorely lacking. Our original choices just didn't measure up to what was recommended. We ended up with a used HDT towing a used KZ Escalade that had an 18" frame, disc brakes, independent suspension, H-rate tires & wheels, thermo-pane windows, and 3500+ lbs of CCC. Another recommendation was to consider keeping a "paid for" vehicle to use as a daily driver until we had some experience under our belts and knew exactly what we wanted.

While our HDT may not be an acceptable choice for many, the price was less than half what we were looking at spending for a commercial 5500 and bed and it has more GCVWR capacity than we will ever need. That being said, the day will eventually come when we will downsize our rig and TV to something smaller......but not yet.

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We decided on a motorhome for most of the reasons Barbara states in her first post on this thread.

No cat, but much easier on our dog. Plus a parking spot is a self contained rest stop.


FWIW, "dashboard, etc." in my living room, the front seats swivel to the living area. I've seen some creative folks use steering wheel and dash and a small board to create a table for a lamp. Cover it up with tablecloth and there ya go.


Giving up one's home for repairs, is part of this life style. Whether emergent or planned. We have our system, there's one that will work for you.

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Rickl wrote:
 I think you are reading too much into the responses and are a little sensitive. Having stayed at the RV dealer to get our unit serviced, yes much like a coach, we have to vacate once work commences. But having to be ready by 7:00 AM to leave and then staying away until about 6:00 PM (which we did for a week) is a real pain. Having the two separate would mean we wouldn’t give up the ability to come and go from our trailer like normal. Utilizing our car to move around means everything would be just like a typical day with the exception we may not really be parked in a location we desired due to a tow vehicle breakdown.

 We look at those days as the same as any other - a chance to go exploring the area or do laundry, etc.   Didn't find the early morning start a problem, as we would go out for breakfast on those days.   And quite often when we return from breakfast we find that the work is finished for the day (parts that arrived overnight have been installed) and we usually hit the road, or if we were at the Coach Care facility in Elkhardt, we would stay another night in their RV park.   Brazel RV in Centralia, WA  even put in a park next door for the use of the customers.  Especially nice when they can do the work at the coach and not have to take it into the shop area.     As to being to sensitive - this is RV-Dreams where 5ers reign supreme.  biggrin   

Like Cookie Dough, I am also amazed at the number of people who complain about the dash area not being useful - - obviously they do not have a cat or dog that firmly believes that dashes are obviously there for THEIR exclusive use while parked in order to enjoy the parade of people walking by.   We have a cover for the steering wheel that makes a small table which Shadow loved - - she got angry at Christmas when we put a little tree on it!   



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All types of RV's have advantages and disadvantages.... how you deal with them is the only difference.  The van camper can be as good as the Provost.  It all depends on what you want and perhaps your budget.  We can all visit the same great locations no matter what we drive.

For our first 5 years we were happy in our 15 year old class A gasser.  We changed to a diesel pusher this year and my wife still misses the old RV.  What we drive to get to our location is much less important than the great places we get to visit in this lifestyle.  I believe I could be happy in any RV so long as I could travel.

Once in 5 years we had to be out of our motorhome so that transmission work could be done.  We were happy to drop the RV at the shop and and drive to the airport for a two week trip to Maui.  I didn't feel the least bit deprived to be away from the motorhome.

Life is good ....in any RV.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

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6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

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We were out of our RV last month, our car died in downtown Seattle in the evening and we had to find a 3rd rate/overpriced hotel to stay in until the car could be towed the next morning to be repaired. We were lucky in that Carter Subaru in Ballad had free loaner cars, so we had transportation for the two days to replace the clutch on our 14 yr old car. No matter what you have, things can happen.

I do like the idea of Hawaii as a place to go while repairs are being made.

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Money fixes a lot of things ... and makes them more bearable.

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

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already had and needed a truck so the 5th wheel was the best choice. Based on the cost and the quality/amenities in our 5th wheel, I feel if you consider the economics alone it was the better choice.

We have replaced the first truck with a brand new one and still have not spent as much as we would have if we had gone with a Class A or C.

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So here's another way to approach the decision on what type of RV to purchase.  Maybe the towed or daily driver vehicle should be a major factor in your decision.

If I had already owned a large truck the 5th wheel might have been a better choice.  But because we had a Honda we wanted to start with a motorhome.  It was a better choice for us.  Some people are comfortable driving a dully around as their daily driver, we wanted a four wheel drive to go exploring with.

The gas mileage of our towed became a factor for us because we drove the Honda 4 times more miles than the motorhome.

Our budget at the time dictated an older (15 years) motorhome.  We were retiring early and we had 3 years before all the retirement income was going to be available.  I have to say that the $28,000 Monaco LaPalma motorhome served us well for the first five years.  The choice between waiting until we were 65 or taking off early has been priceless.  We were as happy in that old RV as we would have been in a million dollar rig.

So here's my advise.  Go as soon as you can.  Go in any RV you can afford.  Go debt free.  Don't look back, just enjoy all that is out there waiting for you.

Life is very good!!!



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Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



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x2 on the debt free.

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Having some debt is not necessarily a bad thing if (1) you have an income stream that can easily handle the payment and (2) it allows you to keep invested funds (particularly tax-deferred funds) to keep earning money. This "debit free" is beaten into people over and over again. If retiring early gets you out of a stressful job so that you can enjoy your retirement at a time when you are physically able to really enjoy it, far better than continuing to work in a job that will end up being your demise.

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Barb,  I agree with all you have written.  My point in saying "go debt free" was that it didn't cost us an arm and a leg to get started.  We were perfectly happy in an old  $28,000 motorhome for five years.  For some people the start-up cost may be what is holding them back.  A new motorhome or a new truck and new towable will probably eat a big chunk out of 100 or 200 grand.

After our five years of fun and adventures, I wanted to encourage people to go sooner rather than later.  My wife is a cancer survivor and my heart in for maintenance regularly (stents and mechanical valve).  None of us know how many years we will be given, for us it was time to go early.

Each year I am more grateful that we choose to not wait until too late.  It has been priceless.

As we begin our sixth year we are excited to see Alaska this Spring and Summer. 

Life is good.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



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X2 on the debit free. There is no situation that is improved by debit. My fixed income allows me to continue to grow my investments, but debt would erode that. Debit is poison ... it is the Universe’s way of telling you “you cannot afford this purchase”.



-- Edited by RonC on Thursday 6th of September 2018 10:42:33 PM

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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I disagree.  We were able to keep tax deferred funds working, made more each year than the interest on the loan, and finished with larger tax deferred accounts than when we began plus our RV, which is worth the same as if we had paid cash for it.  Tell me again how this was bad?  



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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)

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We just see debit differently.

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Obviously. I would suggest not castigating people for having different approaches to getting out and enjoy the lifestyle.

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Sigh😉.


-- Edited by RonC on Friday 7th of September 2018 11:08:32 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Friday 7th of September 2018 11:18:16 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 5220
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Let's get the discussion back onto the original topic, not how one should do it financially.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2017 Ford Expedition EL as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug

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