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faster675

5er toy hauler or DP & Trailer?

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Retirement is coming soon. ..... So we are starting our research. .. Already done a lot!

Anyhoo, in all the searches I jhave done, I have not seen any posts on this topic:     Compare and contrast living half time (basically full) in a 5er toy hauler vs in a Class A diesel pusher with a trailer.   We will not be using a toad - our "toads" will be two enduro motor bikes and a large sport touring  motor bike. Everything i've researcehd and seen at the RV show makes us lean towards a Grand Design 328M or ssimilar. ..  We plan on boon docking, and want to camp in state and national parks (starting out mostly in the west). Even though the 328M is at the top of our list right now, we are definately making some compromises. Pretty much every small 5er TH seems too small inside - to feel like a comfortable "apartment" - it seems like to get one which is "as big as we want inside", we are looking at a 38 or larger (actual length 44-45 - too large for sate/national campgrounds). It seems like a small DP (34) actually is much more roomy and comfortable inside than any 5er TH as big as 35 or larger. .... But, with a 34 DP, we would need a trailer of 15 feet length from the bumper - and this would also prohibit state/national parks?      Anyhoo, very excited to be close to starting this new part of our lives! Any and all advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am not close to retirement but have been full timing in a toy hauler for many years. Have stayed in state parks, but mostly have found some private landowner who has allowed me to park on their property. I am usually in one place for at least 3 months and most often near 6. My first toy hauler lasted less than 5 years of full time use. It was a 2007 with very few miles/hours on it when I purchased it very slightly used. My current is a 2013 that I am sure will outlast me. I have an HDT with a garage for my motorcycle and a semi type trailer with a 15 1/2 foot garage for my car. Depending you your Sport Touring bike (I've had an FJR 1300 and currently have a 2015 R1200RT that I load across my storage box on the truck.  Here is a couple links to some photos of my rig. 

 https://goo.gl/photos/9h3ApA17u9ypah586

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EgRJXHzsR62jt6vz1

 

 

Rod

Edited by lappir
added better link for photos

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I had a 2014 Cyclone 4000 TH.  Lasted about a year.  Hated it.  Besides the build quality issues, wife and I were never able to get comfortable in it.  We were stationary for over 3 months and couldn't find a way to make the garage comfortable living space.  Instead, it became a secure area for the dogs when we were out riding. 

As you noted, the living space is small compared to the overall length.  The CY4000 was 44' long, but only 32' of living area.  And the living room was uncomfortable while the kitchen was small.

Eventually we will probably go DP with toad, but that is more than a few years away.

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1 hour ago, remoandiris said:

I had a 2014 Cyclone 4000 TH.  Lasted about a year.  Hated it.  Besides the build quality issues, wife and I were never able to get comfortable in it.  We were stationary for over 3 months and couldn't find a way to make the garage comfortable living space.  Instead, it became a secure area for the dogs when we were out riding. 

As you noted, the living space is small compared to the overall length.  The CY4000 was 44' long, but only 32' of living area.  And the living room was uncomfortable while the kitchen was small.

Eventually we will probably go DP with toad, but that is more than a few years away.

Why were you unable to make the garage a comfortable living space? Is it because it was not air-conditioned or heated?

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While I happen to prefer a class A motorhome, I do not believe it wise to choose your future home based on a popular vote. That is like letting your neighbors vote to choose what house you will live in. The choice is a very personal one and is greatly influenced by your own preferences and priorities. Spend a lot of time visiting both and going through the motions of living in them and also imagining traveling in them. Then you choose based on your personal preferences. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk Wood said:

While I happen to prefer a class A motorhome, I do not believe it wise to choose your future home based on a popular vote. . 

yes ... true ... but it is also good to learn from the experience of others who have already traveled the road I will be taking ... :)

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Our $.02 worth....But everybody does it different and gets by just fine.

We originally planned to go the class A with trailer route but my wife discovered 5th wheel toyhaulers and the die was cast.  We had selected a rig based on our own research but received great counsel from Henry Szmyt at an Escapade in Goshen, IN back in 2011.(?)  He showed me his Volvo and 5er and recommended we consider a well built used rig with certain minimum features for our first foray into the lifestyle.

We applied his counsel (and Bill Napier’s) to our search and ended up with a 4 year old 42’ Escalade with Mor/Ryde IS, disc brakes, thermopane windows, a heavy frame, 3 A/C’s, large holding tanks, and Big Foot leveling system for 1/3 the cost of new.  And it is the rig we are still fulltiming in to this day.  We pull with an HDT and our 10’ garage contains the FJR1300 and the street legalized XR650R.  We sold my wife’s VStar 650 and are now looking for a TW200 or an XT225 to replace it with.  Keeping them in the garage has kept them much cleaner and more secure than the 16’ unenclosed trailer we had before going on the road.

We typically stay 3-6 months at a time in each location to explore the area.  As you pointed out, we do have issues getting into many state and national parks.....enough so that we will do our research but pretty much don’t even try to get in to them anymore unless they specifically provide big rig access.  We usually can’t stay in them for more than two weeks at a time anyways and have found many other options as we travel.  Some parks have requested us to pay for the additional licensed motor vehicles (motorcycles) if removed from the trailer and used.  None of the privately owned parks have requested this.

And the 32’ of living space has been plenty for us.  With the bikes out, I have space to build my RC planes and work on other projects.

Everything is a compromise,  Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the journey!!

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13 hours ago, TheLex said:

Why were you unable to make the garage a comfortable living space? Is it because it was not air-conditioned or heated?

The lack of air con was a part of it, as well as the lack of insulation.  I could have installed a 3rd ac unit, but that unit would have been blocked by the Happi-Jac in the up position.  In the down position, both couch sides are down with only a narrow walk way between them.  If you forgo the Happi-Jac, you need to carry additional chairs for the garage.  We had the patio option and put patio recliners out there.  

Some people have found ways to make it work.  We just never did.

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11 hours ago, faster675 said:

but it is also good to learn from the experience of others

We chose a class a because it was what felt most like home to us. We loved the fact that because we traveled inside of it the temperatures were always comfortable when we stopped, never too hot or too cold like any trailer can be. We liked that fact that we could just pull over anywhere it was safe to take a break, have lunch, or use the bathroom and never even go outside. When we happened to get caught in a traffic jam, the refrigerator and bathroom were useable even stopped on the road waiting. We chose a class A because we also towed a small vehicle to use when parked and so in our 12 years fulltime we put more than 250,000 miles on the small vehicles that were less costly to operate and to replace while putting less than 100,000 miles on the big engine moving the RV. The tow vehicles averaged more than 20 mpg, while the motorhome only averaged about 8 mpg. We don't like fifth wheel RVs because of the constant steps where our RV had a flat floor. If we encountered bad weather while traveling, we would find the nearest place to park safely and clear of traffic, start the generator to use the RV and appliances and just wait it out before continuing. The one time that we broke down on the road, we had a vehicle to drive after the motorhome was towed to the shop. I preferred the basement storage of the motorhome to the big storage of most fifth-wheel trailers because I found it easier to use and to see what I had with me. My wife was very reluctant to drive the type of large trucks needed to tow any of the bigger trailers when going shopping or into heavy traffic, even though she can and did so out on the highways. 

I could go on but the point is that there is nothing wrong with a fifth-wheel or a travel trailer, but we prefer a class A. What is best is a very personal choice and all too often RV owners will tell you what is wrong with the RV they didn't choose, rather than to give the reasons they prefer whatever they prefer. It is much wiser for a new RV buyer to pay attention to what owners of the various types of RV like about their choice and then try to find similarities that will fit them but to avoid the negatives some of us give about the choice we didn't want. If you choose the wrong one it will be very expensive to change to something different after you buy. 

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You talk about going to National/State Parks.  Most that I have been to usually have a 30 foot max for RV's.

We have found it easier to park in a RV park or as a Elk going to a local Elks lodge and then using our toad

for sight seeing inside the parks.

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I started out with a 5th wheel toy hauler and after 5 yrs full time now have a Class A. Most State and National parks can accommodate  big rigs now but they have limited big rig spaces. This applies to either a toy hauler or DP. Most have a 14 day max stay so not conducive to full timing anyway. In the toy hauler you had to go up stairs to get to the bathroom and bedroom. Also the garage area was wasted living space but great storage space. I prefer the DP all level floor, only steps are getting inside it. I also like the auto level system, but most upscale toy haulers now have auto leaving too. One problem with a DP and trailer is where do you park the trailer. Some places will make you put it in storage for extended stay and charge you for storage. My solution was to get a hydrolift for my bike and tow a Jeep but you have three bikes. There are lifts that can handle two but I have never seen one for three. 

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Wife refuses to sleep in a trailer that also houses a car.  Says she will smell the gasoline and tires regardless of the construction of the barrier wall.

So I bought a diesel pusher.  Good news is that I don't have to re-do the E-track since I keep my present trailer.  Bad news is that the motorhme/trailer combination does not tow nor bend in the middle as well as pickup/5er combination.  And we are short one vehicle to drive separate from the living area also.

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4 hours ago, pethier said:

Wife refuses to sleep in a trailer that also houses a car. 

If momma aint happy......................................  :)

You may find that you enjoy the motorhome more than you expect. We did and now that we are back to a travel trailer, we miss it. Keep stopping by to join the conversations and do keep us all informed as your adventure unfolds! 

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We've been in our toy hauler for over a year and a half.  Smart car in the garage for thousands of miles.  Have never noticed any odors of gas or exhaust.

When car is out it's extra living space/man cave/TV room/bedroom.

Like Kirk said-keep momma happy.

Enjoy the ride.

Todd

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My thoughts; 

Most gas MH's have a 5,000# hitch towing capacity/ 500# weight limit. Most diesel MH's have a 10,000# towing capacity, some newer and larger diesel MH's 15,000# towing capacity.

From experience, riding in the rain is unpleasant, especially when it becomes windy/gusty. It would be great to have a heated "garage" to wipe-down the bike upon arriving home.

I've never owned a TH, just a 40' 5er, which had enough living space we were both very comfortable during those gusty rainy days. The newer 1T SRW pickups are no bigger than a 3/4T of the same brand, but have a larger towing/hauling capacity. I had a 2002 1T dually out of necessity, at the time it had a GCWR of 11,000#, today the SRW pickups have virtually the same rating.

Finding a  space large enough to park a MH +  16' trailer may prove difficult, especially in national parks. Separate parking areas may be available, which means parking the bikes outside at night or parking them in the trailer perhaps 300' or more away from your MH.

A trailer has room for maintenance supplies, if the MH hitch capacity allows. You can house the pets in a TH because it is heated/cooled, not so for a cargo trailer.

Room for maintenance supplies in a TH may be problematic when full-timing and desiring to secure the pets in the same area.

Edited by Ray,IN

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21 hours ago, pethier said:

So I bought a diesel pusher. 

 

9 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Finding a  space large enough to park a MH +  16' trailer may prove difficult, especially in national parks. Separate parking areas may be available, which means parking the bikes outside at night or parking them in the trailer perhaps 300' or more away from your MH.

He has already bought a motorhome so it is a little bit late to convince him!  I believe that if we really want to support those new to our lifestyle, once they have bought an RV we will find reasons to encourage them to be happy with the choice that they have made. We are all part of the RV community so let's try to encourage them to enjoy the lifestyle. 

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15 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

Oops. You are correct.  Guess he hasn't said what he is doing as yet. 

My intent wasn't to convince, one way or the other, simply voiced some opinions.. BTW, who's on first?:D At least we've given the OP food for  thought, perhaps even overwhelming.

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On 2017-12-21 at 11:19 AM, pethier said:

Wife refuses to sleep in a trailer that also houses a car.  Says she will smell the gasoline and tires regardless of the construction of the barrier wall.

So I bought a diesel pusher.  Good news is that I don't have to re-do the E-track since I keep my present trailer.  Bad news is that the motorhme/trailer combination does not tow nor bend in the middle as well as pickup/5er combination.  And we are short one vehicle to drive separate from the living area also.

She should be aware that cars cant emit much of anything anymore .......  moving or standing still. The new trailer will gas you first with all the formaldehyde and ... stuff.

but I get it 

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We snowbird and back in '03 we had a motor home and pulled a trailer with our motorcycles from Alaska to a park in Arizona for the winter. Other than the motor home the bikes were our only transportation. If your going to be frequently moving it should work out. However, if you plan on parking for a few weeks.............That didn't work out too well for us. Keep in mind you can get miserable (cold/wet) weather in the south west in the winter and it's too hot to ride in the summer.  We had electric gear as it is usually cold in the morning and warms up during the day. Some places are far from reasonably priced groceries. Death Valley is a good example. My wife and I had enough room for 1 cart of groceries between the 2 bikes. How much can you carry on your bike? Otherwise you have to pack up the motor home every time you need to go shopping.

If I were going to do what you plan on, I would use a toy hauler. You have an on board gas station for the bikes, can use the pickup in bad weather or to dump/fill your holding tanks. Your going to have to get propane too. Toy haulers also have large holding tanks.

As someone else said there is no wrong answer to your question. You just need to look at all the angles (good/bad) of each set up and choose what will work best for your situation.

Now we keep a 5th wheel in a park year around in Arizona. Then we have a pickup camper to pull an enclosed trailer with the bikes to various destinations to ride.  Works well for us.

 

 

 

 

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Back when we were researching Jo Ann didn't want a MH because of the poor fuel economy. Then we figured out that, no matter what we got, something was going to be towing something else. We tow a Jeep behind out 40' MH and are in a State park right now. Missouri State parks will allow a boat trailer to be parked completely on the grass. Don't know about any other type of trailer, but if I see one of the official people tomorrow I'll ask. I would think that the biggest problem with a trailer for the motorcycles would be that it would be too heavy to move around by hand, so you would have to use the MH to park it. We've got our 40' MH and our Jeep all on the concrete pad with plenty of room.

One of the things that pointed us toward the MH is that the interior stays comfortable all the time, even on travel days. That won't be true for any towable.

Jo Ann would like a sewing room, so we have looked at toy haulers with the idea that she could have that area for sewing. Like others have said, that 10-12' of garage space comes out of the living space when compared to another 5'er of the same overall dimensions.

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On 12/23/2017 at 7:47 PM, hone eagle said:

She should be aware that cars cant emit much of anything anymore .......  moving or standing still. The new trailer will gas you first with all the formaldehyde and ... stuff.

but I get it 

One of our toy cars is a 1973 Triumph Stag.  

And tires still smell.  Especially a fresh set of Hoosiers for my Lotus.

I take your point.  A garage separated by a doorless wall with a vapor barrier ought to be enough, but arguments are futile when her mind is set. 

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7 hours ago, pethier said:

arguments are futile when her mind is set. 

The first rule of a long and happy marriage, "If momma isn't happy, you will not be happy either!"

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