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SKP100526

What type of RV do you Full time in?

What TYPE of RV do you Full Time in?  

92 members have voted

  1. 1. What TYPE of RV do you Full Time in?

    • Air Stream
      0
    • Travel Trailer
      3
    • Tiny House
      0
    • 5th Wheel
      47
    • Class A Diesel Pusher
      22
    • Class A (Gas)
      11
    • Class B
      0
    • Class C
      4
    • Other (please leave a comment)
      5

  • Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.
  • Poll closes on 04/14/2018 at 07:00 AM

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20 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Ugh - arthritic fingers on iPhone keyboard!

I like my smartphone but hate typing on it! 

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4 hours ago, SWharton said:

We do have an all terrain hitch but relatively speaking it takes a lot longer than unhitching a truck from a 5th. To compare apples to apples. Assume both have been leveled. The 5th requires one plug and one safety to be removed and one handle to be pulled and you drive away. The MH requires the Protect A Tow to be removed and put away, the plug; safeties, brake cable and one other cable to be removed; the locks unlocked a taken out so the toad can be moved. Then the hitch sometimes needs to be folded. If you have a Brake Buddy that has to be removed and stored(we have the Ready Brake Elite).

Hitching up the reverse plus the toad needs to idle for 3 minutes(we usually do that when hooking up).

We figure it took about 1 minute for the 5th and close to 10 minutes for the toad. We haven't really timed it.

It takes me about 30 seconds to undo the PAT's center support bar, undo the two clips at the toad end, and then roll the fabric and bar up under the coach rear bumper secured by two small bungee cords. Then the two electrical cables and two brake cables are disconnected from the toad. Next comes popping the two retainer clips out of the tow bar pins and removing the pins before folding the bar arms up and stowing them at the back of the coach with the wires and cables wrapped around them. As Barb said, ~4 minutes tops...

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2 adults,  2 cats, 2 years fulltime in a truck camper.  Stopped ft due to family and heath issues.   We are currently completing our 3rd month of travel for this year.  Tonight we have hook ups for the 3rd time this year.  

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Even if it is really 4 minutes to unhitch the toad that is 4 times the time it takes to unhitch a 5th. We have a love/hate relationship with the hassle of the toad. The toad unhitch/hitch is so much more complicated than the 5th wheel. I don't ever see us unhitching in 4 minutes though. I think 10 is more realistic for us.

 

Edited by SWharton

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2 hours ago, SWharton said:

Even if it is really 4 minutes to unhitch the toad that is 4 times the time it takes to unhitch a 5th.

I towed 4-down for close to 20 years and am amazed by this comparison. Since the advent of modern tow-bars, it has become so easy that we used to frequently unhook the towed at lunch or somewhere along a day's travel just to run around a bit, hooking back up to finish our travel day. I suppose that one could unhook a fifth wheel as quickly if just dropping it in a parking lot, but not to spend a night in. I can't say that I ever timed either activity as I never really thought of them as competitive events! Since we now tow a travel trailer, I can tell you for sure that it is more work to hook that up or unhook, even if not spending a night but just parking it, than it was to do the same with our towed. Makes me wonder if the difference might be more attitude than difficulty? 

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On 10/12/2017 at 7:06 PM, SKP100526 said:

I am considering upgrading my 5th Wheel to a Class A Diesel Pusher because in my thinking it is so much easier when you are moving often.

I am not sure if I am correct in my assumptions.   So I thought I would ask everyone what they live in.    Maybe if you could tell me why you full time in what you live in.

I have lived in a DP Class A for 18 years this month. When going from point A to B that takes several one night stays. If the site is level I never put the jacks down. I never put the one slide out. I never hook up the water or sewage lines. Only use the electric at the site.
Never need to unhook the Toad.

Never stay at a Walmart's or other Free places other then my Sons driveway for 24 nights a year. PA campgrounds also helped to keep my 142 day 2017 summer trip average per night at $11.51. I do hit the button for the roof satellite dish to find the DTV satellites. And put the Batwing up for local OTA.
If satellites not found because of trees(doesn't happen often) I watch the many recorded programs I have on the DTV DVR.

If grocery's are needed during the trip they are plenty of Walmart's to park with toad attached. Also great for RX refills while traveling.

If it is raining when arriving(Doesn't happen very often) I run generator(If AC is needed) until rain slows way down. Generator is handy when on hot day's the dash AC can't keep up. And both roof AC can be powered up and also keep Ice frozen in the stand alone Ice Maker & 2.1 cu ft separate freezer.
No need to go from TV to 5th in rain.

When at destination I don't care how many minutes it takes to unhitch the toad. I'm retired and not into NASCAR pit stops speeds to unhitch. Or hook back up when ready to leave days, weeks or months later. Usually I do that the afternoon before leaving and have plenty time to get it done. So 4 minuets or a hour makes no difference to me.

I have the Class A because I don't want a heavy duty truck as a toad(Had to drive a pick up truck for over 41 years at work) Don't want to drive one now.
I like my 4,680 lb toad with it's 8.5 seconds & 80 MPH in a 1/8th mile. :)
I like being up high when driving to see over the cars in front of me and seeing the landscape better.
Did I say I love my Class A DP.

Forgot to add. When traveling and pulling into a rest area. It is just a short trip to my bathroom and to the refrig to grab a cold Dr Pepper or make a quick sandwich. And when arriving at the campground the inside of the Class A is already cooled down unlike a 5th would be.
 

Edited by Biker56

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2 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

I towed 4-down for close to 20 years and am amazed by this comparison. Since the advent of modern tow-bars, it has become so easy that we used to frequently unhook the towed at lunch or somewhere along a day's travel just to run around a bit, hooking back up to finish our travel day. I suppose that one could unhook a fifth wheel as quickly if just dropping it in a parking lot, but not to spend a night in. I can't say that I ever timed either activity as I never really thought of them as competitive events! Since we now tow a travel trailer, I can tell you for sure that it is more work to hook that up or unhook, even if not spending a night but just parking it, than it was to do the same with our towed. Makes me wonder if the difference might be more attitude than difficulty? 

I doubt that , as it takes a while for the 5th front jacks to hit the ground . 

But then , who's timing you , so ...

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On 10/13/2017 at 5:18 AM, WeBeFulltimers said:

I would never want a class A myself.

I shaved had a 5th wheel full timing in it for 7 years,  Maybe just tired of all the repairs I have had to do....  So I know my 5th wheel inside and out.

so why wouldn't you want a Class A?

 

 

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I had a 5th wheel and lived in it full time for 5 years. Now I have a Class A. It is so much easier to set up the Class A. My 5th wheel did not have automatic leveling like the new ones do so that is part of the reason the motorhome is easier. I loved the big truck I had to tow the 5th wheel but it could be a chore as a daily  driver and finding parking in crowded lots. Unhooking the Jeep is not a problem. An air hose for the SMI break an electric cord a breakaway cord and two safety cables plus the two tow bars takes as much time as it did to type this. Plus once inside no steps. Can access everything when stopped at a rest stop without getting out. I haven't looked back since I changed vehicles. 

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My observations are that fifth wheels are for the younger full time crowd and Class A's are for the older crowd. I believe one benefit is that the younger full timers spend more time in an area while the older crowd tends to travel more. I also think the older crowd is more financially comfortable/stable with retirement and is willing to spend more $$ on a class A. We fit that stereotype and currently full time in a fifth wheel and can see a class A in our future. This stereotype is just a trend and there are many exceptions out there in the real world.

Greg

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Age is definitely a contributing factor in the decision to go to a Class A. For us it was the truck needed replacement(we had an MDT) and the 5th was getting on in years. Getting time to buy both. 5th prices had sky rocketed in the 8 years we had ours and we found we could get a Class A gasser, with heavy negotiation) for a similar price. We had the toad already so did not have that additional expense. If we had to buy a toad I don't know what the decision would have been.

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I found this to be an excellent thread. I’m still in decision phase of going full-time next spring/summer in my 25’ C, so the rational everyone provided has been hrlpful. 

Before getting the C I had been looking at A’s. I like the smaller C, as everything is ‘close.’  But, as I start looking at STUFF I’ve accumulated over the years an A with more storage is becoming appealing. Like others have said, I like having everything available when I stop, so for me a 5th or TT is not appealing, and I van’d for many years so not going back there. 

Thank you for this topic, as it shows me what a wonderfully compatible and diversified group of people we are  

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Every few years the Escapees RV Club does a survey of the members and they have been pretty consistent in showing motorhomes to be nearly equal to fifth wheels, if you lump them all into one category. This seems to show them as only about half as many. While I doubt the accuracy of this poll, of all the reasons that I have ever heard of for choosing a particular type of RV, the results of any poll must be the least valid. I have met people living in every type of RV that I know of and each one of them has had some very good reasons for the choice that they made. I especially think of the couple who were in their third year of life in a large popup. While I do not know how much longer they continued in that popup but I do know that after 3 years they were very happy and had no plan to change. The best RV choice is whatever works best for the people who live in it and I believe that to pick based on the opinions of others would be a major mistake and one that could be disastrous. 

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We have just upgraded from both a fifth wheel and a gas class A to a diesel class A. As noted in many of the comments, folks chose the type of RV for their particular needs and wants. Our needs changed which led to our decision to change to a diesel pusher. The fifth wheel was used where we stayed in a park for longer times - measured in months based on where my job was and the gas class A was used for our weekend and short vacation trips. Now that we've retired, we will be spending our time traveling to see North America, hence our need to upgrade for a more appropriate RV that met my DW's needs and wants. LOL. Like Kirk has stated, many of the folks we have met have been happy with their choice and were enjoying their camping experiences.

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The diversity of this thread reminds me of a neighbor near our NY cottage that passed away last year. She full-timed with a mini-van towing a teardrop trailer for about 20 years, leaving the road for health reasons and moving in with her daughter at age 84. Her son and daughter-in-law, on the other hand, full-time in a 40' DP hauling a 24' box trailer that carries their car and other "must have" stuff. As said, most of us have what fits our current lifestyle, changing when called for. The best choice is to get out there and start enjoying the life in whatever you feel best fits your needs now. If later on you find it isn't the best choice for you, make the change, but you won't know that if you don't try it...

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This summer we met a couple that full-times in a 1973 Dodge van conversion. Usually we have the oldest coach at Care-A-Vanner builds, but they beat us by 20 years. Not for me.

We full-time in our 40' no-slide DP. At the time we bought it it was the right coach for us. Things have changed, though, and we'd like to sell it and go with a 34' Airstream towed with a diesel pickup. Why? We're finding that we are staying in one place for longer periods of time than we originally thought, and the Foretravel really needs to be driven at least monthly.

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On 10/18/2017 at 3:43 PM, Kirk Wood said:

Every few years the Escapees RV Club does a survey of the members and they have been pretty consistent in showing motorhomes to be nearly equal to fifth wheels, if you lump them all into one category. This seems to show them as only about half as many. While I doubt the accuracy of this poll, of all the reasons that I have ever heard of for choosing a particular type of RV, the results of any poll must be the least valid. I have met people living in every type of RV that I know of and each one of them has had some very good reasons for the choice that they made. I especially think of the couple who were in their third year of life in a large popup. While I do not know how much longer they continued in that popup but I do know that after 3 years they were very happy and had no plan to change. The best RV choice is whatever works best for the people who live in it and I believe that to pick based on the opinions of others would be a major mistake and one that could be disastrous. 

That's dead on.  Living in whatever is the most popular isn't necessary what's right for you.  Everyone's needs are different.

We haven't made the most popular choice in getting a 32 foot gas motorhome, though it's not the least popular either.   But it works for us on many levels and that all that really matters.  I suspect the OP isn't going to buy the most popular but listening to the reasons people chose their rig and applying that to your own situation is far more valuable.

We wanted small for maneuverability, more choice in campgrounds and to make getting to boondocking spots a bit easier.  We chose gas because it's in our price range and they are simpler and less expensive to maintain and repair.  We wanted a class A for storage and because we love our Jeep.  We used to have a big, diesel pickup.  If we still did, we might be looking at fifth wheels but we don't. 

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Hello, all. Full-time RVer here, in Louisiana. Mostly stay in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas but often travel on weekends. I work full-time and report to the office every weekday, mostly in a suit and tie or business casual attire. I park my 19ft. Four Winds Majestic 19G motorhome--nicknamed "Napoleon"--in downtown Baton Rouge two blocks from my office and then park on the street in Uptown New Orleans most weekends. I have been full-timing for over a year now. I love it. It's a bit challenging during the long, hot and very humid summers in south Louisiana but when the weather cools off, it's easy breezy livin'. 

 

 

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I see the numbers are evening out a bit more. As of this post, the 5'vers are just a bit over 53%, and the non-5ver's are just under 47%. Certainly not as big a gap as the graph makes it appear...

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On 10/13/2017 at 3:11 PM, SWharton said:

We have had both. Currently, due to age, Class A. Hated to give up the 5th. 38' 5th to a 36' Class A gasser. A lot less storage and the Class A + toad cost a lot more.

We feel setup is about equal but we tend to be very efficient in our setting up. Unhitching/hitching the truck from the 5th a lot faster than unhitching/hitching the toad. 

Floor plan is the key to what you have access to. In all our rigs we have certain requirements that must be met with the slides in: bathroom access; refrigerator access; table access and a way to lock up the cats.

Like the storage we had in the 5th but going to a 36' A from a 38' 5th is a significant downsize. Like the convenience of never needing to go outside in the MH. Don't like having to unhitch the toad if stopping overnight and need to back in.

MH catches a lot of wind on the road. 5th was solid. MH has poorer mileage than 5th.

Steps: 6 steps to get into MH; 5 into 5th.

The answer to your question is what do you want. Make a list of the +/- of the a and the 5th. Try to be objective.

Your storage, handling and fuel economy issues, I think, are primarily driven by your decision to go with a gas Class A.  With our DP the underneath storage is equal or larger than any I have seen in a 5er.  Our coach is a dream to drive on the highway and doesn't notice winds unless they are crosswise and exceed ~40mph.  As for fuel economy we have experienced a very realistic 8-8.5 mpg in >55,000 miles of driving over all sorts of roads and terrain.

It's probably worth noting that the issue of access to things with slides not extended is not necessarily a Class A vs 5er issue.  Our vintage DP is 100% usable with its slides in--every single cabinet can be accessed and we have lived for a couple of weeks during remodeling in this state so we know it can be done.  By way of contrast, we have seen some rather expensive newer DPs in which some cabinets and even some parts of the kitchen aren't accessible with the slides not extended. 

As for 5ers that seems to be the rule rather than the exception and is one reason we would never want one if we were still traveling. If we eventually want to park something permanently on the RV site we own, it might well be a 5er because of the additional living space, but that would be the only time we would consider it.

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Docj,

I was responding to the OP, he wanted to know the differences. We are generally happy with the MH due to age and physical limitations, just frustrated with some of the differences.

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1 minute ago, SWharton said:

Docj,

I was responding to the OP, he wanted to know the differences. We are generally happy with the MH due to age and physical limitations, just frustrated with some of the differences.

Right, and I was trying to make clear that some of your frustrations were due to the gasser vs DP issue.  I've read all sorts of explanations for handling issues including detailed analysis of the wheelbase to total length and how that affects handling.  All I can say is make sure you drive the coach you intend to buy; I've known people with coaches ostensibly identical to mine who report different high speed handling experiences.

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I agree...Before we bought we made sure the wheelbase was appropriate for the length. Many people don't do that and many mfgs. ignore it.

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I will second docj comments on the gasser vs DP when comparing 5ers vs MH, especially when thinking about an MDT/5er combo - - only thing similar would be a DP.     

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11 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

I will second docj comments on the gasser vs DP when comparing 5ers vs MH,

There are gas chassis motorhomes that have good storage, handling, and weight & balance characteristics and there are diesel rigs with bad ones. It is true that the air ride of most diesel coaches is as good as it gets but not all diesel RV's come with that so be careful about assumptions. One advantage of the diesel chassis over the gas is that most manufacturers extend the rear of a gas chassis while they can't do that to the pusher but there are gas motorhomes that are built on longer wheelbase chassis and have good handling. For some reason, the only air ride in gas coaches that I know of continues to be an after-market addition. 

As with most RV issues, there are good products out there but there are also some bad ones in every catagory. You can't simply say that every pusher is better than any gas coach or that motorhome storage is better/worse than every fifth wheel. It might be nice if things were that simple but they are not and never will be. 

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