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Post Info TOPIC: Easier to handle - fiver or travel trailer?


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Easier to handle - fiver or travel trailer?


I'm an almost 60 y/o lady with some arthritis and no upper body strength. I plan on getting a toy hauler for my motorcycle. I've found that the bumper pull trailers are much less expensive (something I have to consider) but wondering about the ease of hookups, leveling, backing up, etc. since I have no partner to help out.

So, any input is greatly appreciated!

-- Edited by Froggi at 07:22, 2007-06-18

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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I have a pull trailer and have never had a 5th wheel, so perhaps I can't truly compare, except by observation.  I have a New Horizons trailer equiped with a Big Foot automatic leveling system.  To my knowledge the Big Foot cannot be installed on other trailers and it is worth every penny of the very high cost.  If I'm correct that the Big Foot system cannot be installed on other trailers, then I say definitely get a 5th wheel.

I think the Big Foot system is worthwhile for anyone, but for a solo, it makes a huge difference.  It is such a pain to pull into your site, see how unlevel you are, get back in the truck, pull forward, get out and put the board by the tire, get back in the truck and drive over the board....ooops, need more boards, repeat process....oops, the board slipped out as you were trying to get up it, start process over again.  When you are doing all the set up and break camp tasks alone, anything that helps the process along is worthwhile.

The other thing that would be better about a 5th wheel is you get more useable space for the length.  I have at least 5 feet of wasted space between the end of my truck and the front of the trailer.  That means I need larger campsites which are usually not available at state and national parks.

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Good thoughts on the leveling, Sonja, thank you. Have to admit that is one reason I've considered a motorhome but keep coming back to the toy hauler (and there just aren't the funds for a TH MH - LOL!).

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Hi Donna,

I would have to agree with Sonia regarding the leveling process for both the travel trailer and fifth wheel.  Having owned both I can definately state that the fifthwheel tows a lot better than the travel trailer.  Travel trailers like to wander and are scared of the wind (you really feel it when the wind blows or a truck passes).  Also, fifthwheels tend to have more storage space (be sure to do the math regarding GVWR and Actual weight to determine carrying capacity).  Keep in mind that fifthwheels are higher off the ground which means several steps to enter and steps inside to get to the upper level (but if you are riding a motorcycle I think you can handle it). 

The Big Foot system is around $4,000 but well worth the price especially as we get older.  Camping World also has a leveling system that they install on fifthwheels at around the same price.  Most travel trailers cannot accept these leveling systems because they do not have the storage areas or height for the pistons.

Good luck with your decision.

Darrell

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Thanks Darrell, looks like the spreadsheet is going to come out again. <g> The fiver forces me to a bigger truck which in turn doubles my budget. Hmmmm, maybe the motorhome with a lift isn't so bad after all...then of course I still need a toad. Sigh....no perfect solutions for the budget conscious.

Thanks again everyone! Good food for thought and just the type of input I'm looking for.

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2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Or... have you considered getting a smaller rv, like a big camper van, or small Class C.   Easy to drive, and park, and then you can just unload the m/c off it's trailer,  and go sightseeing.  It depends how much stuff you HAVE to have with you.   Sometimes it is easier to level a shorter vehicle.   Penny

-- Edited by LakeConroePenny at 15:51, 2007-06-18

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I plan on full-timing so think that would be too small for me. Thanks for the thought though!

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2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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I second, third, and fourth the others that a 5th wheel would be much easier for you to handle.  You might take a look at Fleetwood's (FleetwoodRV.com) Toy Hauler Gearbox 295FS (31' 5th wheel).  Check the specs closely and see if you can get by with something less than a 1 ton deisel pick-up to pull it.  Compare cost to a class C with a pull behind bike hauler, although I would try to stay away from pulling anything but a 5ver, as things get more complicated with MHs if you have "add-ons" behind. 

Good luck on your quest.
Coyatee -

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Thanks Coyate, I peeked at the Gearbox and it's too spartan for me, especially for full-timing. I'll just keep looking.....the RIGHT rig will pop up some time! <g>

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Another thought, Class A motorhomes, especially diesel pushers are expensive to maintain.  The access to the engine is limited which requires more labor hours to fix anything.  I know this from experience and is a major reason why we just sold our motorhome.

Our next RV will be a 5th wheel, probably an Excel which also offers as an option a Hydralift motorcycle lift for the rear of the 5th wheel.  Check out their website at www.excelrvs.com.

Good luck!

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Thanks, Bill. The DP is well out of my price range even used....I'm a on Woolworth's pocket book here...<g>

Good to know that Excel has a frame built to handle the Hydralift...will take a peek. Thanks again...


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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Froggi, none of the above is easy. I guess if you had a backpack and a tent maybe?? NOT OK I understand the old Woolworth budget and the Macy's mind set but you can find what you want out there just keep lookin. Don't worry about how long it takes you to level and all that. Be like me I am the guy that comes into the campground and takes 2 hours to get set up. If it wasn't for me all the other campers would not have any entertainment. We need Fred Wishnie to pop in here and tail the story about the old 5ver coming off the pads in the sand! You have got to have some good stories to tell around the campfire at night....that is what this is all about!!

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ROFLOL!! Thanks, Joe. I've got some interesting images in my mind.....<g>

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Speedhitch, I'm glad to hear you take a while to set up. We just began to reconnect with camping after a 20 hiatus. I get impatient if it takes to long to set up now I'm not going to worry about it.

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Froggi,

I'm new here, but I noticed this thread and thought I would respond.  I have a 5th Wheel which is the 2nd one I've had.  I bought it over the travel trailer for a better ride and storage.  I had always wanted a Motor Home, however, after I looked at several and compared them to 5th wheels, I decided on a larger interior that most MH don't have including I like the tall ceilings in the 5ers, and one that looks more like a condo on wheels smile.gif So, I picked my fulltime unit with all rooms separated (sliding doors in the rear den) so it was like a little condo/apt smile.gif  I'm glad so glad I decided on this unit. I've enjoyed it very much.  I'm like the other poster, it can take me 2 hours to set up because that's what I do....take my time smile.gif  But, don't get me wrong I can sit up fast if its raining out or the weather is bad and I need to hitch up and get out of dodge. I hitched up about 3 weeks ago in 20 minutes and was outta of there when severe weather was on its way. It included putting everything up and putting in the slides and leaving. I wish you all the luck in finding the rv that fits you best! 

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Thanks for the input....one thing that still makes me nervous (other than maybe not having the physical strength to handle the rigors of a trailer or fiver) is being pulled over somewhere and getting nervous and wanting to leave. With the MH, I just drive off. I think that's one reason I keep coming back to that....

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2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Froggi, I would suggest that no matter what rv you choose, always stay behind the wheel until you feel comfortable enough with the area to sit up for the evening. I stay in my truck until I've surveilled the area for awhile. If you don't feel comfortable then its not going to get any better, so I would just leave while still behind the wheel.  Now, if you had already settled in and something strange was going on, even if you have a motor home with a toad, wouldn't you want to check on your toad before pulling out? I don't leave unless I check my entire unit over just in case.  If it was that bad, where you feared for you life that you couldn't go outside, I would call the locals ASAP and stay put and shelter in place (depending on what might be going on).  Safety is with numbers, so try to be at locations where there are other folks.  I stay in parking lot often for overnight parking and don't worry about it.  Just don't open the door if someone comes knocking and if you have the number to the store where you're parked call their security dept.  Above all, just be prepared for the unexpected any place you go and you'll be just fine.  Just think of your RV (which ever type you get) as a stick/brick house....and think what would you do at your house? most likely you would call the locals and put everything on lock down. A Class C might be a little better handling and not so much stress on your arms backing and turning. I wish you all the luck in your decision making and your plans to go fulltime!

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Hmmm, some great tips and things to mull over....thank you! I, for one, am really glad you dropped in here. Thanks again!

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Well Froggi,

How is it going?  Have you decided on a unit?  You can go on http://www.RVsearch.com and see if there are any used units out there.  That allows to have the Macy's taste and the Woolworth's budget while someone else ate the depreciation.  I wouldn't have any problem buying a used fifthwheel, just do your homework and stay with the top end units. 

Anyway, hope your search goes well and that we see you down the road while we are Wandering America.

Darrell

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Hee-hee, I go there and about another half dozen sites daily as well as local newspapers & Craig's list....good thing I have no life. <g>

I have a couple of motorhomes that I'm watching...one especially, waiting to hear more details this weekend before I drive 400 miles to see it. It's the size, vintage, brand I want AND in my price range!

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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First of all let me commend you for having the courage to move on with your life after losing your partner. It sounds like you are quite a lady. As far as the comparison between a trailer and a fifth wheel, there is no comparison. We had a couple of travel trailers over the years. I would say that the only reason that I would ever have another travel trailer is if I just didn't want a pickup any longer. The difference in the way the fifth wheel tows is like night and day. It did take me a while to figure out how to back one up but that is no big problem. The stability on the highway when in wind or with passing trucks is far better. They are more spacious with much more storage. That can be a problem though as you have a tendency to take more "stuff" along with you. We are in the process of downsizing from a 1900 square foot house with a three car garage. It is going to be interesting for a while but it is becoming apparent that we sure didn't need most of what we accumulated over the years. Anyway, whatever you choose, best of luck to you. Maybe we will meet up at the rally.

Ray

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Thanks, Ray. From all the input I've had here it's pretty clear that the fiver wins. Now to make the decision between a toy hauler and a motorhome with a lift....see, the fun never ends!

Good luck on your house...the first time hubby and I full-timed, we had to downsize from over 2500sf. Last spring I got rid of everything (well, 85% of everything) in preparation for full-timing. Now how I managed to replace that 85% in less than a year, is beyond me! LOL!!

Believe me, if an offer comes in on the house, it will be super easy to clean it all out this time around....

Thanks again!

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Froggi,

One item I don't think anyone has mentioned is that haveing a travel trailer/toy hauler can be a risky adventure. I think it was Fleetwood that had a large problem with these models, and I hope I can explain the problem in a way that everyone can understand. Travel trailers can (and do) have issues with sway, depending on the tounge weight of the trailer. The manufacture has no idea about what you might want to put into the back of your toyhauler, and Fleetwood had a problem with early model toy haulers failing in the hitch area due to not anticipating owners  cramming everything possible into the garage! Think about a childhood see-saw, more weight in the back greatly effects the front.  This change in weight is not as critical on a 5th wheel (but it is something to remember)

If you really need a toy hauler, I would only reccomend you to stay with a 5th wheel model. They are much easier to hook up (solo) than a travel trailer, and the trailer axles are closer to your tow vehicle making it easier to drive and turn (and much less sway problems, if any at all) If you have a travel trailer, you will also need a weight distribution hitch, and re-adjusting this hitch can be difficult if you are changing the load in your garage often.

My mother full timed solo for many, many years, and her vehicle of choice was 5th's



 edit: not sure why everything ended up in Italics!!confused


-- Edited by D and J at 15:40, 2007-07-02

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Not sure about the italics either...LOL!

Thanks for the input....if I go TT it will be a Keystone Kargoroo which actually has an upfront garage. I don't need a large one so that works for me. The cost is great (2007 model for $20-21k new) and they are lighter weight which means a small truck.

But the handling & hookups are definitely something I need to be aware of. I'm still vacillating between TT, TH or MH. I'll probably make up my mind when I put the money down and commit myself to one choice. <g>

Thanks again!

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets



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Hay Froggie!

I know you toured a lot on your motorcycle. Why not get a little trailer and hook it behind your Harley?biggrin  Think where you could go with that rig!!!!biggrin

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Not unless I triked it....and this tired old body really wants a few more creature comforts....LOL!! But I've got lots of friends who do just that.

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Donna & Stu (& Sadie, too)
2 Taking a 5th ~ Sadie Speaks ~ Fire Lily ~ ToadilyPets

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