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5th wheel vs motorhome


SWharton

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We are researching if we want to switch to a motorhome from a 5th wheel. I am amazed at the number of articles I read about the benefits of motorhomes stating that you can get up and walk around, cook etc. while driving down the road. Are these people clueless about the danger of any of that? I found it amazing that this info was in actual articles from magazines and newspapers.

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I agree with your opinion. On rare emergency occasion the passenger will head to the bathroom but other than that it is in the seat, buckled up. Even little things can fall or slide during normal movement. We don't want things to become flying missiles during a fast hard stop. Even though the sink is deep, I have a fear of that hot stuff could also be dangerous so no crock pot in the sink.

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I can only offer that my OPINION is the same as yours. But there will be differing opinions on the subject, so be prepared for them. Some of them may even get written someone direct and nasty.

 

I do not read magazines much anymore. I read info on this site, and I have grown to trust the majority of the information here. But I do try to differentiate what I might call "information" vs. what I feel is an "opinion. So when someone offers that cooking at 80mph is ok as they do it all the time, that falls under the opinion file heading. When someone offers that it should never be done and here is why........ with factual evidence that perhaps covers legal aspects or includes the fact that you only have a small amount of control over your surroundings, and have no control over the other drivers on the road, then I put that under the trusted information file heading.

 

IMO.<-------- O, always remember that the O is for Opinion.

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Just a quick comment as we are about to hit the road. The articles I read were from responible(I thought) adults from MH Mag, Trailer Life etc. If the comments were made on a forum I would have blown it off.

 

Deezi,

 

I'll get back to you later. I have been building a pro/con list. We are currently very happy in our 5th wheel, very comfortable but life changes and it may be time.

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I know people who were convinced a 5th wheel was it, who traded for a motorhome later. I know people who were convinced a motorhome was it, who traded for a 5th wheel later. I also know people who gave up RVing after only a few months, so their uncertainty was really "RV or not?" Between times some of these people had long lists of why their first choice was the best and then they changed their mind. Read everyone's opinion, and they are opinions, with some skepticism.

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Each one has advantages over the other and also some disadvantages. In my opinion it is more a matter of personal preference than of logic. I can give you a long list of reasons our choice was best, but in the end it is all just a justification to support the individual's belief.

 

We have also known people who were full-time for many years in a travel trailer but for some reason very few ever suggest that you even consider one. I have neighbors who tried a motorhome before fulltime, shifted to a fifth wheel when they began but two years later traded for a large travel trailer and continued with those for the next 14 years. They have little good to say about fifth wheels for RV living. We also have met people who lived in a class B, many who chose a class C, and even one who lived in a pop-up for at least three years. What it is best is whatever RV that fits your budget and your lifestyle. You can always find those who will support any choice and just as is seen here there are those who attack the choices of others. But the absolute best RV for long term living is the one that those who live in it are most happy with, no matter what their reasons may be. My only advice is that if you limit the choices which you consider you may miss the one that would have served you best.

 

I could tell you what we liked best about the RV which we lived in for nearly 12 years, but that may not apply to you at all.

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I am amazed at the number of articles I read about the benefits of motorhomes stating that you can get up and walk around, cook etc. while driving down the road.

 

I have never cooked a meal going down the road. I do know that some people will fill up their crockpot and set it in the sink and it will cook going down the road using the inverter or having the generator on. I have made a mad dash to the bathroom a few times, holding on making my way back and forth as quickly as possible, but in general we are belted in until we stop at a rest area. Now once in the rest area, it is so easy to fix a meal, use the bathroom, etc. but only if you get a rig that functions well with all slides in.

 

There really is no best way, it is what works for you.

 

Barb

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We are researching if we want to switch to a motorhome from a 5th wheel. I am amazed at the number of articles I read about the benefits of motorhomes stating that you can get up and walk around, cook etc. while driving down the road. Are these people clueless about the danger of any of that? I found it amazing that this info was in actual articles from magazines and newspapers.

Check out my "Hopelessly Lost" thread... I share your dilemma. That said, after having started with 5vers as our planned RV, plunging neck deep into class A's... to include the gas vs. diesel sub-tier conundrum, then considering class C's for a brief spite, we're back to 5vers. Now we're just focusing on the best, smaller size, full profile models that will match up well with our truck. Of course, this begins all the discussion about weight limits, etc.... I thought this retirement stuff was supposed to be low key, no stress, nothing but fun? :D

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I went through this same process and finally decided that a motorhome was great for anyone wanting to travel a lot coast to coast as opposed to those who have a 5er and don't travel coast to coast as much. When you are set up the 5er has much more room because the slides can be bigger and we liked the step up bedroom to help us from thinking we were living in a tunnel. I really wanted a motorhome but the DW didn't want to buy a toad and liked that the 5er had more room inside since we are fulltiming.

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Well this is just me but.....we went the fiver way for 2 years. What I didnt like was the roughness of the ride pulling a heavy fifth wheel and driving a dually. Backing it into tight sites was also not much fun even though I am good at backing up. Stopping at rest stops meant piling out of the truck and putting out slides...again not much fun. Also double towing was not much fun as we bring a RZR with us.

So we decided to switch to a motorhome. I find the smooth , quiet ride very refreshing. The MH is very easy to maneuver even with a toad behind. There are a few negatives to MH such as less storage ( a bit ) and the system is more complicated than a fiver.

 

Again as noted earlier this is an opinion based on my experiences.

 

Cheers

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.........and once again, very wise words from a very wise man. Thanks Kirk. Well said IMO.

Don't tell anyone that I said this, but just between us, in my heart I know that a 36', gasoline fueled, slide free motorhome is the very best choice for everyone! :P

 

If you try to be objective, there are differences which can be either positive or negative, depending upon your view. As an example, any type of motorhome usually means towing a car. That means that you have two sets of running gear to take care of. But it also means that you have a means of transportation in the event the power moving the RV breaks down. Some drivers don't like taking a big truck shopping so the smaller, more fuel efficient car can be an advantage to some, as can the lowered miles put on the big engine. (as you can see I am totally unbiased in my view of this.... :D ) Total cost is usually more for a class diesel than for a fifth wheel and diesel truck, but a gas powered coach can at least to some degree, mitigate that diffeence. Diesels generally get better fuel mileage, but the fuel costs more. Diesels have longer periods between maintenance visits but they cost significantly more(gas versus diesel). A fifth wheel probably has the most living space for the size of RV, but a travel trailer leaves the truck bed available for cargo. Storage can be a factor, but I'm not convinced that there is a clear winner on who has most of that unless you use specific models of each type of RV. I suspect that the class C is least intimidating to get used to driving and probably the class A most difficult with the fiver in between. But if you like the RV, most people can learn to drive it. Parking ease probably goes to the motorhomes, at least if you do not have a pull-through site. Ease of set-up and tear-down I would give to the motorhome, but I don't really think that it is that significant as it is rarely mentioned by most owners as a big issue.

 

Others can contribute many more things to put into a spread sheet, but none of those things will matter if you are not happy in the chosen RV. Most people that we know who stay on the road happily for a long period in the same RV, actually chose based upon their budget and how the RV feels to them when sitting in it. We have known people who move almost constantly and others who seldom move that lived in each of the choices and I don't think that frequency of moving has much to do with most of their happiness. This is a very subjective process and what the people in the RV feel about it is the key to satisfaction.

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I started this thread just to comment on the lack of sensibility of editors and their staff on what they publish. Not to compare 5th vs. MH

 

Each person needs to evaluate where they are in life and what fits their needs. We do this every 5 years of so, just like insurance etc. We have had a truck+trailer or 5th for 40 years and as we age we are looking for an easier way. We currently have an MDT+38' 5th, very happy with it and the layout. We don't plan to change but one never knows. I find where I drove most of th time, I now drive about 1/2 th time. DW does the rest. I find setting up in the rain a real pest, and hope for a level site so I don't need boards(most are level enough).

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I started this thread just to comment on the lack of sensibility of editors and their staff on what they publish. Not to compare 5th vs. MH

 

Each person needs to evaluate where they are in life and what fits their needs. We do this every 5 years of so, just like insurance etc. We have had a truck+trailer or 5th for 40 years and as we age we are looking for an easier way. We currently have an MDT+38' 5th, very happy with it and the layout. We don't plan to change but one never knows. I find where I drove most of th time, I now drive about 1/2 th time. DW does the rest. I find setting up in the rain a real pest, and hope for a level site so I don't need boards(most are level enough).

 

 

I got it - in fact, I commented to my wife that someone started a thread that pointed out that being able to walk around in the MH while under way wasn't necessarily an advantage in view of "what might happen."

 

Didn't stop me from joining the MH versus 5ver debate though! :)

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We're in that small group that is thinking about going from a DP to a TT. In our case, our lifestyle is somewhat different than what we originally thought. Our original plan was that we would spend some time as a campground host, gate guard, etc. and the rest of the time we would be seeing the country at a leisurely pace. In October, though, we joined Laborers For Christ. We help congregations with their building/remodeling projects, so we're at a project for anywhere from six weeks to six months. On our current project, three couples have 5'ers with pickups. The hitch takes up quite a bit of the bed, space which I'd rather have for tool boxes. For that reason I'm more interested in a TT than a 5'er.

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David, you can always cheat with some hitches. I had a B&W Companion hitch and I could loosen the hitch tie down bolt and pull the retaining pin located in the fenderwell and the use the hydraulic jacks on the front of the fiver to raise the entire hitch out of the bed and drive out from under the fiver and leave the hitch attached to the pin. When it's time to hook up, jack up the fiver, back under and set the hitch in the bed, drop it loose from the fiver, put it in the hole, push in the retaining pin and torque the tie down bolt. You are then ready to hookup. It is a pain if you are only there for a day or two as it takes about 10 minutes that way but if you plan on being there several weeks, it's not a problem and gives you the entire bed while you are working.

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