Jump to content

Flip-flopping


Recommended Posts

I spent three years upgrading a Ford Superduty with a 7.3l diesel to get ready to tow, and about the time I crossed the finish line - we changed our goals to a DP class A motor home. Well.... We took one for a test drive and I felt comfortable behind the wheel, but my wife did not warm up to all that bulk around her while wheeling between lane lines. I guess it's OK for me to sweat the 8'6" beam behind us, as long as she's not overwhelmed by that width in front of her. I get it, not everybody can be comfortable with threading a multi-ton needle at highway speeds.

 

So, after many sleeps and serious conversations - we're now leaning toward the 5'er again, and keeping our beloved "Stinky", the wonder truck.

 

For those that have done both for more than a weekend, what did you prefer - and why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as we prefer motorized RVs, I do not believe that this is one of those things which is easily changed from person to person. All of the logic in the world will not change what most people feel at home in. If the only problem is the feeling when driving it, that should be possible to over come if you both really like the motorhome for living in. No matter what you go on the road with there will be a learning curve for all drivers if you haven't driven one before. To me the actual travel down the road is less challenge with a class A than with any type of trailer but I'm sure that there are those who feel the trailers are less difficult. Most of the issue is a mental one as modern trucks and motorhomes are all easy to drive but require a mental adjustment and of course allowance for the increased size, travel arc & tail swing in turns and things of that nature. While they are somewhat different between the types of RV, all of them have those issues and none are physically difficult to drive if you can make the mental adjustments. If her only objection is to the driving of it, that is a very different issue than her preferring to live in the fifth wheel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our goals will likely get altered by the reality on the ground when we start to full-time. I see me "doing the circuit" annually - visiting my children/grandchildren and her family in California, Missouri, Texas, and Washington (the state). I also want to take my wife to all the interesting places I visited in my heavy-travel days. I then want to see some of the stuff I missed in the USA - like the Smithsonian.

 

We have a Prius (for a toad), a Jeep, a "super scooter" (Suzuki Bergman - can fit on hitch platform), two folding bikes, and a diesel pickup. We don't need to buy anything other than the RV - it then becomes a matter of what to sell.

 

Boondocking will occur, so solar cells and a generator will be involved.

 

I looked at the sticker on a Monaco Windsor, and it's rated to 31,000 pounds. Add the toad and I'm draggin' over 17 tons around. My 5'er option keeps me closer to 10 tons. There's something about it that just grinds on me - pushin' all that weight for our sorry a55es. Am I being a bit weird here? Am I just catching "Priusitus", even though I own a diesel Superduty as an antineurotic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been flip-flopping about this decision for the better part of a decade. We knew we wanted to go fulltime, but could not settle on which type of rig. What did it for us was that the diesel pusher overwhelmed the fifth wheel with truly solid hardwood cabinetry, a smooth, air-bag suspended ride going down the road, a huge, panoramic windshield to see this country through, beautiful tile flooring, hydronic heating, big built-in generator, automatic generator starting, the ability for the wife to get up and use the restroom occasionally, bus-size tires that rarely blowout compared to fifth wheels, a coach that allows the dogs to wander around and don't have to be moved from the truck to the trailer often. And the death blow for the fiver was the lack of cargo carrying capacity. The nicely optioned 100K fifth wheel we liked only had 1700 lbs of cargo capacity. The diesel pusher has 8800 lbs of CCC.

 

So, we're spending two or three times as much money, but we're getting a truly impressive traveling machine that will last us at least a decade. And I can carry my anvil collection if I want to!

 

Good luck!

 

Roy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woa. 8800 cc??? Are you sure that's not your CGVW?? If so that includes your toad!! Drop off a 3k pound car and allow for water, fuel etc and then you might have to leave most of those anvils some place

 

Now back to OP. Kirk is right you have to do what's right for you. We started with a 5th wheel. I just didn't think I'd like a DP. After 5 years we were changing our minds and spent 2 years looking for our MH. It did take some getting used to for me riding but that passed quickly. Now that I'm the driver Ron had a learning curve sitting on the passenger side. But its all good now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We part-timed & full-timed in a 33' 5th wheel for 8 years. We never did like driving the diesel truck around for siteseeing. You drive down a remote road and scare the critters away! :)

 

Friends got us into Jeeping so we got a 40' motorhome towing the Jeep and used it full-timing for 10 years. We both drive it and it's very comfortable doing so, including mountain roads which we love. The Jeep gave us a lot of fun times and was 'quiet' for siteseeing and viewing the animals up close with no noise to scare them away. We have absolutely no complaints with the motorhome. You do get used to the surrounding size around you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woa. 8800 cc??? Are you sure that's not your CGVW?? If so that includes your toad!! Drop off a 3k pound car and allow for water, fuel etc and then you might have to leave most of those anvils some place

 

LOL, but here are the stats we're looking at:

 

GVWR GCWR UVW NCC

44,600 lb. 54,600 lb. 35,800 lb. 8,800 lb.

 

 

Bring on the anvils!

 

Gotta Love it! :)

 

Roy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well... thanks to everybody's input, we are eyeing motor homes once again. This turned out to be fortuitous: Upon checking the most recent ads, we found a rig for sale that fit all of our criteria one mile from home - including the price. Part of that criteria included tire and battery condition - as well as the appearance of maintenance in all the mechanical areas. This is a pampered 36' Holiday Rambler with 56,000 miles on it, and no updates inside (other than a stereo and two flat screens) or modifications to the engine. I want to do my own updates, and here are my thoughts on engine modifications:

 

I know from experience that while it's nice to have the added power of a modified diesel, this does not give one license to "let fly" up a mountain pass. If one doesn't pay diligent attention to the EGT gauge, it's a recipe to render that pusher worthless. This was the case on a Monaco I test drove last month. It would drive down the road, but the boost was anemic, coal was rolling, the EGTs shot to max easily, and the idle didn't sound like any Cummins I'd want to buy. I suspect a damaged exhaust manifold and possible internal damage, or at least exhaust leaks somewhere between the turbo and the block. Depending on how the vehicle was treated, that engine could be "dead man walking", or just need some expensive repairs - but nothing more benign than that. The whole battery compartment was a powder puff with corrosion, the front wandered, the front tires were cupped, and the slide switch was intermittent - so my bet was "dead man walking".

 

This 36' 2002 Holiday Rambler Endeavor is the antithesis of the 40' 1999 Monaco Windsor I saw. More bedroom storage and less living space than the Monaco, better mechanical condition, new tires and batteries, and not a spec of corrosion on anything anywhere. I like more storage space and the open living area of the 40', but our lifestyle and retirement plans make the 36' a better choice. Oh... and the Holiday Rambler is 3000 pounds lighter and priced lower than the Monaco we looked at. That lighter weight thing plays big in my attitude - we traverse mountain passes here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having owned and fulltimed in a 5'er & DP, a big part of the advantages/disadvantages come down to, do you stay put for weeks to months at a time, or do you move frequently, every week or two, sometimes every few days, with occasional long weeks or months stays. The MH for moving frequently and the 5'er for long term stays. The 5'er is much more small apartment/house like. The MH is easier to setup/take down and travel in.

 

As Kirk as written many times it doesn't have to be a diesel MH, a gasser will work.

 

About driving either, I found after a thousand miles or so, I became comfortable knowing where the vehicle is on the road. In other words I wasn't driving a big vehicle, I became the vehicle. Much like when you walk down a narrow aisle or near some obstacle you don't worry about if you are too near something, you know instinctively how close or far away from things you are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MH is easier to setup/take down and travel in.

 

I continue to see this opinion posted over and over again. Since it is an OPINION, it is valid for the poster.....However, a properly outfitted 5er is not SIGNIFICANTLY different than a MH to set up or take down for travel. Unless the OWNER makes it so. That is MY opinion having owned both. So it boils down to personal preference more than anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I continue to see this opinion posted over and over again. Since it is an OPINION, it is valid for the poster.....However, a properly outfitted 5er is not SIGNIFICANTLY different than a MH to set up or take down for travel. Unless the OWNER makes it so. That is MY opinion having owned both. So it boils down to personal preference more than anything.

Would a "properly outfitted 5'er include leveling jacks, such as you find on most MH's? I see very few 5'er with leveling jacks.

 

I always found it a nuisance to level side to side by digging out the leveling boards and then pulling the 5'er forward or backing onto the boards, . Also manually dropping down the front support jacks and then leveling front to rear was more time consuming than just pushing a button or two in the motorhome to level side to side and front to rear.

 

From the traveling aspect, not needing to go from the tow truck to the trailer for the bathroom or for lunch is nice.

 

And yes it is an opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leveling was an option up until 2010 or so even on the more expensive rigs. Now it's just about standard on everything bigger than a pop-up.

 

Yesterday, including the old fashioned leveling, I was set up and having a cool drink before my neighbor in the motorhome that pulled in ahead of us. We had to wait for them to get situated in their site before we could back into ours.

Set-up time and complexity is all about the owner. Are you having to manually twist all the hose connections on? Or are you using quick connect's? Has the person located the proper items, tools, supplies in areas and compartments around the RV that keep you from walking in circles for an hour, or do you have everything crammed into 3 totes all buried under the lawn chairs? Familiarity of the RV systems also helps....Have you ever seen anyone looking at a sewer hose wondering which end went where?

Toad or Towed your still unhooking something.

Sewer everyone still has to be outside.

Water hookup- same

Power- same

Unpack chairs- same

As said above it all opinion and user options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is about as controversial as "What's the best chip?" in a diesel forum. From what I read here, there are true concerns to take into account, depending of the generation of the vehicle and the organization skills of the driver. I imagine watching the neighbors roll in and out is not unlike a day at the boat launch (complete with Italian sign language) - and it probably sounds about the same.

 

My user ID (OCD2AT) was carefully chosen, I didn't just pick them out of my bowl of AlphaBits. Either way I go, I'll have my act together - not unlike the 15 minutes it takes my wife and I to pack for a weekend trip now.

 

Probably our biggest push for a Motor Home is convenience for travel. We plan on being stationary at first, then start rolling. My biggest initial concern is which unit is easiest to protect from freezing with a harsh winter.

 

If I go 5'er now, we either have to compromise the size of the trailer (12,000 pound max weight) or get a bigger truck in addition to the 5'er. If I had known I was going to lean this way 4 years ago, I would have played the whole truck thing differently. If I owned an F450 or the like, I just might be more inclined to pull a toy hauler with a motorcycle or one of those 4-wheeled street-legal carts - but I'm not there. Maybe I should just flop again and consider that. Ugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you answered your own question. Since you are not willing to buy a tow vehicle suitable for a higher end 5er (read heavier 5er) then you should stick to the motorhome. Higher end 5ers that have the amenities of $500K + motorhomes are ALL heavy and require at least an F450 to pull them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three of our four motorhomes did not have automatic levelers. We either found a level spot or drove up on blocks. But those three that didn't have levelers were all only 24-feet long so finding a level spot was not as challenging as it was for the bigger rig. We did appreciate the levelers when we had them but they sometimes had to be manually set to keep them from lifting the front end off its tires. That was even more irritating than driving up onto blocks once we got skilled at doing that.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The motor homes I've looked at so far had auto-leveling with the jacks permanently mounted vertical. All I really had to worry about was to have pads ready for soft ground.

 

I still haven't ruled out the light 5'er, for the sake of being fast and loose. If we were really looking to be homebodies with fancy accoutrements, we'd keep what we have now. We want to see stuff and visit people, and have a base to operate from, not in. I liken it to a fancy hotel my wife and I stayed in one night. In my travels, I've stayed in plenty of shiny and spacious digs - but that was for business. My wife learned what I had learned before her - the hotel room is where one showers and sleeps... so all the trappings of a fine hotel are wasted on us.

 

The same could likely be said of a deluxe road home... but you guys know more about this than I.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After I retired and while waiting for wife to retire I worked for a transit company and dove all kinds of busses. School bus, over the road bus you name it we drove it. the human brain is a amazing thing it will adapt to most anything. I might drive a short school a long school bus and a charter over the road bus all in the same day. It is just like driving your SUV just a bit longer, wider, higher and heavier. Driving a big MH or a big 5th wheel will not be a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...