Jump to content

fifth vs. mh


Recommended Posts

We are going full time and having a 'discussion' about a fifth or a mh. DW wants the room in the fifth and I want the drivability and ease of parking with the mh. Besides always agree with the DW, what sage words of advise can I get from this group. Are there any mh drivers out there that have had a fiver and changed to a mh who can give me real world experience. I just remember pulling a 30' TT with a Hensley (great hitch that really helped) and the whole parking, backing getting out of the truck to go to the TT for lunch and overnight boondocking and wondering about safety.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 96
  • Created
  • Last Reply

We prefer the MH over the 5th wheel. It is more convenient for us. You can stop in a rest area . . . turn on genny and have lunch, make coffee, don't have to stop for the wife to use the bathroom, access to refrigerator. Stay in rest area if needed and be comfortable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had both. For traveling, the motorhome wins. For stationary service, the trailer is best. If i was doing a lot of moving about and exploring, I would have a motorhome. But, since I usually spend two to four months in a spot, then take a day or two to move to another spot, I have a fifth wheel.

 

As far as drivability, I think you would find a fifth wheel more stable and maneuverable than your bumper pull. Parking is a toss up. Comparing to a motorhome, both have a learning curve. Size and quality can make a difference.

 

JMO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember that what you knew about a TT was in the past. Sort of..... Back then, you were in vacation mode and run, stop, run, stop, In retirement is more of a run stop, stop, stop, stop, run ....... Most of the 'successful' FT'ers drive 200 and sit for a week or so (maybe the summer) and then move to move to warm weather for the winter (5 months?) and then go someplace else. You are not trying (personal experience) to leave Michigan, run to Montana, and back in 3 weeks. Your taking 3 weeks to get there, spending a month, turning south to AZ and spending 2 months to get there.

 

People FT in both. Another thing, 90% of the campgrounds now have pull thru's. And, the Doc says that I should get out and stretch every 2 hours, move the old muscles, and avoid blood clots. So getting out and walking around the trailer, to the rest area, is not a bad thing. Just saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've had all three types of RVs.

 

We'd really dislikes the trailer - lots of sway in wind and passing big rigs and an effort to hook up and unhook.

 

We full-timed for 8 years in a 33' 5th wheel with only one slide. It served us well but we really disliked the truck for siteseeing. We like driving rural/gravel roads to find critters but the diesel truck scared them away. :)

 

We then full-timed for 8 years in our 40' motorhome which became tops with us. We took up Jeeping which is what we towed and loved it as our daily driver. The motorhome was so comfortable driving - we both did so. Having the diesel there was no noise up front. We loved the big windows - especially driving the mountains and trips to Alaska. We felt surrounded by the beauty.

 

We found the motorhome much easier to back into spaces - our favorite kinds of sites rather than pull-thrus. Having the 40' did not keep us out of public parks. We always seemed to find spots for us. We've done the major national parks and loved forest service campgrounds and boondocking off forest & BLM roads.

 

We did some volunteer stints and stayed parked for 2-3 months at a time. I'm not sure why folks say a 5th wheel is best for staying put. Many motorhomes do, too. Motorhomes will have a lot more storage space in the bays. We ordered ours with only two slides - on the same side. This because we parked in forests a lot and it was easier to park it among trees rather than slides on both sides. It was plenty of room for us.

 

Just another opinion but we would highly recommend the motorhome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We haven't done the MH thing but will speak to the 5ver side. We love our 5ver and, if we had to do it again, we'd do it the same.

 

One thing, though, is clear and encouraging for people who are making the big decision: you really can't go wrong. There are thousands and thousands of people happily fulltiming in both types of gear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We switched from a fifthwheel and dually truck to a MH and toad. The fifth wheel was harder to park , had less storage and the dually was a real pita as a run around vehicle and was rough riding.

The DP is much more comfortable , easier to park and handle in traffic, and the toad is way nicer as a run around vehicle. As mentioned too it is nicer to access the systems ie bathroom and kitchen while having a rest stop on the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been in a Holiday Rambler 40' Imperial for 13 years!.... Been in a 5th wheel for 8 months now!

 

Every positive thing that's been mentioned about the MH I agree with 100%

 

We are really enjoying the 5th wheel as a stationary home!...Next move!...To a winter spot for 6 months! :D

 

If and when we decide on another road trip! :D I'll fire that DP up in a heartbeat! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just moved from a 5th to a MH. We loved our 5th but had to change over due to age and medical. The MH has a lot less storage space and isn't as well laid out. The kitchen is not designed for a toaster oven or a Kreurig, no wideish counter space. There is no place for the computer and a printer, things that everyone has now. We didn't see this in most MH's we looked at. We never saw a floor plan that was really "good" by our standards. Driving the MH is easier but you get blown around by the trucks and the wind. Since we are a gas MH we need to be careful about the layout of gas stations for filling up. We have also found that much of what is put into a MH is proprietary and takes forever to get. We previously had a Heartland 5th, would call up customer service and they would be very helpful, send us parts etc. We called up Winnie and they were not as helpful, parts(hydraulic line) were hard to get(weeks+). Questions had no answers. Factory mods weren't even considered. With the MH you can only have the "standard" model while with the 5th we could add things at the factory. One additonal item, the MH is noisy to drive, everything rattles etc. Lots of strange noises that we have no idea what is causing them.

 

It is a compromise but life changes. All in all we will adapt to the MH. We have a gas, 36 footer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything that has been said above is very true. The final thing that helped with the choice was cost. With a MH

you must haul an auto which means two engines. We do like to stay put for a while so the fiver was a good choice for us.

Good Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you move a lot the MH has its advantages as mentioned above, if you are parked for long periods of time the extra space in a fiver is nice.

 

Our fiver is 12 years old and still serves us well but I was thinking about a MH. Having driven a MDT for 15 years DH would only consider something with a nose out front in case of an accident so we looked at a Jayco Seneca. The salesman said inside storage was a concern expressed by some clients but they had put a clothes rod in the overhead queen size bed. DH was surprised at all the advances since we bought our fiver. He had been steadfastly against a MH. If it weren't for the small shower we might have made a trade. But we are not sure how much longer we are going to travel and though a VERY nice MH was a large chunk of change and our current car is not tow-able 4 down so that would have been another expense.

 

Just a thought.....For the last 8 years I have driven behind him with our car. Some people do pull a car behind their fiver but we chose not to. This year we decided to rent a car as needed and leave our car with friends. So far it has been very convenient. Enterprise picks me up at the RV park and when we are done with the rental they drop us off and we are on to the next stop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had the same decision in 2007......fifth wheel vs. motorhome. We shopped and selected a MH and 5W that would meet our needs. We then spent a few hours in each to see what it would be like to live in each. That helped us decide. Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These experiences were completely different from ours. For the differences it depends on the manufacturer, model and gas or diesel.

 

The MH has a lot less storage space and isn't as well laid out. The kitchen is not designed for a toaster oven or a Kreurig, no wideish counter space. There is no place for the computer and a printer, things that everyone has now.

 

We bought new from Newmar who allows changes from the buyer just so it's not a structural change. We made over 100 changes - many small such as moving electric outlets, adding outlets, adding additional lighting, etc. We also had a wonderful desk area with a drawer for the big keyboard and a cabinet for the printer. We would have had plenty of room for a toaster oven and Keurig. The model we chose has a nice wide buffet.

 

 

Driving the MH is easier but you get blown around by the trucks and the wind. Since we are a gas MH we need to be careful about the layout of gas stations for filling up.

 

Since ours was a diesel it was extremely quiet up front and we were not affected by wind or trucks passing us. We were able to use truck stops for fuel. Very easy to do.

 

We have also found that much of what is put into a MH is proprietary and takes forever to get. We previously had a Heartland 5th, would call up customer service and they would be very helpful, send us parts etc. We called up Winnie and they were not as helpful, parts(hydraulic line) were hard to get(weeks+). Questions had no answers.

 

No problem with our Newmar. Fast if sending parts and very thorough answers to any questions.

 

Factory mods weren't even considered. With the MH you can only have the "standard" model while with the 5th we could add things at the factory.

 

Newmar allows changes.

 

One additonal item, the MH is noisy to drive, everything rattles etc. Lots of strange noises that we have no idea what is causing them.

 

We had no problems with noises.

 

 

 

We like our fifth wheel, especially the cost factor compared to a MH. I liked the idea of being able to upgrade either the truck or camper at different time periods. Also, in the event of one of the units going into the shop, you would still have the other to either live in or drive. A MH you lose the whole outfit if it goes in the shop.

 

With a motorhome you don't loose the whole outfit if in the shop. If it's the car in the shop you can still drive the motorhome and live in it. If the motorhome is in the shop you have the car to drive around during the day and you stay in your motorhome at night at the facility - with electric available. It's simple to do.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just tell her that every time she wants to run to the store, she's going to have to drive the 1 ton dually that you'll need to pull the 5'er with. Instead of driving her choice of vehicle that you'll pull behind the MH just for her :)

 

I never believed in one size fits all, so I have one of each. I use the 5'er for winter when I go south and stay put. I use the MH in summer when I'm constantly on the move. The choice is really personal preference and how you plan to travel. You'll likely be happy with either choice.

 

PS: a MH, at least a diesel pusher isn't noisy to drive; mines as quiet as a church going down the road. I agree that cheap gassers can be noisy. Also the lighter gas MH may get blown around by larger trucks passing, but a heavy diesel MH barely feels the passing trucks. Most MH have as much or more total outside storage space, its just broken up differently. MY MH has 12 different med size storage bins. My Teton 5'er has one large bin. The large bin is nice for oversize items, but hard to keep smaller items where you can get to them easily; the MH bins are nice for normal size items and easier to organize. After 10 yrs, the avg I spend on the diesel MH maint, is no more that what I spend on the 5'er & truck maint (this truck is used for nothing other than pulling the 5'er).

 

... Besides always agree with the DW, what sage words of advise can I get from this group. Are there any mh drivers out there that have had a fiver and changed to a mh who can give me real world experience..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With a MH you will need to tow a dinghy and have two drive lines to maintain. A MH will need to go to a specialized repair shop for repair or service.

 

If you need chassis work, your home goes into the shop.

 

With a 5er, you only have one drive line to maintain and if you use a Ford, Chevy or a Ram truck, repairs are easily taken care of at local dealers.

 

WE have had both and decided for long term use, the 5er was the best choice. The high end 5ers are more residential in feel and are better insulated for hot or cold use. The huge windshield in a MH is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

 

We have also found, that for a given size MH vs. a 5er, the 5er has more useful storage.

 

But you need to go sit in both for an extended period of time and play house. see what wyour morning and evening routines would be for bathing, meal preparation, watching TV. I do not like watching TV side ways.

 

Have fun,

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a small motorhome with no toad. We just stopped and did our errands on the way to the next campsite. We really enjoyed driving Historic Route 66 and being able to stop at diners and museums along the route because our rig was so small. When we really wanted to tour we rented a car from Enterprise. Like someone said above, they pick you up and drop you off at your campsite. But, everyone has different needs. Not many couples could live full-time in as small a motorhome as our Winnebago View.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We like our slightly used fifth wheel, especially considering the cost compared to a MH. Another advantage is to trade/update the camper or truck at different times which spreads out the cost and adjustment impact. I will admit we usually keep the chevy parked most of the time and use our Honda 750 motorcycle for grocery runs and local touring, which is hauled on a swivel trailer attached to the camper frame. I can see a MH being a future option as we get older. Different strokes for different folks.

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The final thing that helped with the choice was cost. With a MH you must haul an auto which means two engines.

What this thread shows more than anything else is that each of us have our own reasons for the type RV which we believe is best, and for some reason many of us also seem to want to convince everyone to want what we prefer... Most of the negatives the advocates of one type claim can be positives for those who prefer the other and this is an excellent example. You see one of the reasons that we prefer a motorhome is the fact that we tow a small car that gets far better fuel mileage than the big tow trucks needed to pull a large trailer do, they are easier to drive and park, and best of all if you do break down out in the middle of nowhere, you still have a means of going where you need to be! And also very important to us was the fact that in 12 years on the road we put over 200,000 miles on the small vehicles that we towed ( 3 different ones) and less than 100,000 miles on the far more expensive to replace or operate engine which mover our RV about! As to needing to put the RV in the shop for repairs, in all of our time on the road, we had few repairs because most miles were not put on it, and most shops will allow you to stay in the RV at night even when in the shop. We were out of our RV for repairs only one time in 12 years.

 

It is my suggestion that you consider all of the positive things that owners have to say about whichever RV type they prefer, but ignore all of the negatives that they will tell you about other types. That this is no different than listening to some political figure spew out how his opponent is worse than he is, when he can't tell you things that he is better about. Just like attack advertising..... :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some things I have observed that have not really been addressed yet about 5th wheels:

 

1. 5th wheel is easier to hitch and unhitch than a toad.

2. 5th wheels can be backed up without disconnecting anything unless you are tandem towing a toad or other trailer.

3. 5th wheels have more leveling capability from front to back on sloped sites without the need for blocks.

4. With the automatic leveling systems on 5th wheels that are now available, they can be set up and leveled just as easy as any motor home.

5. By being able to pivot tighter in turns, 5th wheels can maneuver in tighter places than an equivalent length motor home.

6. 5th wheels have a higher ground clearance.

 

Overall, the only advantage we have seen with a motor home is the ease with which you can tow a smaller vehicle to use daily. That being said, with only 2 years of full timing under our belts, we have never missed going some place because we were in our dual wheel crew cab truck but we may have had to walk further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just another example of how different folks come away with different observations/opinions.

I have one of each, and I strongly disagree with your #1,3 & 5

 

1) I can unhitch my MH toad from the towbar in 3 mins flat; pull 2 pins, pull 2 cable plugs, and shift the transfer case out of neutral and its ready to drive off, It takes that long just to lower the front jacks on my 5'er, before we even begin the multi step unhitching, with at least 2 trips in/out of the truck. (we're doing this without any assistance)

 

3) the factory rear jacks on most 5'ers, unless you upgraded them, are not lifting jacks but only stabilizers. The jacks that come standard on every motorhome are capable of lifting any or all 4 wheels off the ground. I almost never need any type of blocks to level my MH. I almost always need blocks to level the 5'er. Yes there are auto leveling sys available for 5'er but except for a few high end rigs they are not a factory std item like every MH, you need to spend several thousand to have them added after the fact.

 

5) My MH & toad are much easier to navigate through tight turns than my 5'er and truck. Turning a 38 ft MH around a tight right turn in city traffic, I never go over the curb. Dragging my 38 ft 5'er behind the truck I almost always hit the curb at that same tight right turn when I can't swing out into the other lane.

 

 

Just some things I have observed that have not really been addressed yet about 5th wheels:

 

1. 5th wheel is easier to hitch and unhitch than a toad.

2. 5th wheels can be backed up without disconnecting anything unless you are tandem towing a toad or other trailer.

3. 5th wheels have more leveling capability from front to back on sloped sites without the need for blocks.

4. With the automatic leveling systems on 5th wheels that are now available, they can be set up and leveled just as easy as any motor home.

5. By being able to pivot tighter in turns, 5th wheels can maneuver in tighter places than an equivalent length motor home.

6. 5th wheels have a higher ground clearance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just another example of how different folks come away with different observations/opinions.

I have one of each, and I strongly disagree with your #1,3 & 5

 

1) I can unhitch my MH toad from the towbar in 3 mins flat; pull 2 pins, pull 2 cable plugs, and shift the transfer case out of neutral and its ready to drive off, It takes that long just to lower the front jacks on my 5'er, before we even begin the multi step unhitching, with at least 2 trips in/out of the truck. (we're doing this without any assistance)

 

3) the factory rear jacks on most 5'ers, unless you upgraded them, are not lifting jacks but only stabilizers. The jacks that come standard on every motorhome are capable of lifting any or all 4 wheels off the ground. I almost never need any type of blocks to level my MH. I almost always need blocks to level the 5'er. Yes there are auto leveling sys available for 5'er but except for a few high end rigs they are not a factory std item like every MH, you need to spend several thousand to have them added after the fact.

 

5) My MH & toad are much easier to navigate through tight turns than my 5'er and truck. Turning a 38 ft MH around a tight right turn in city traffic, I never go over the curb. Dragging my 38 ft 5'er behind the truck I almost always hit the curb at that same tight right turn when I can't swing out into the other lane.

 

 

I'm not just stating an opinion or trying to bash anyone else for their experiences. I believe the OP was asking for our advice based on experience, not our arguments as to who is right or wrong. I was just stating that with the equipment available today, 5th wheels are not as difficult to set up or operate as they used to be. So to better clarify my points that are being questioned:

 

1.As for hitching and unhitching, the hydraulic jacks used on allot of the larger 5th wheels today not only simplify the process, it is also quicker. I can be unhitched and pulled out from under our 5th wheel in the same amount of time as you can unhook a towed and if it is a back in site, I'm already in place and ready to level without having to go move the towed.

 

3.I was referring to the front to back only as I have seen several times where a motor home cannot get level front to back on a slopped without adding blocks under either the front or rear jacks where a 5th wheel could because they have a longer stroke to the jacks and with the axles centrally located,they actually pivot on them like a fulcrum when leveling front to back

 

5.I am referring to general overall maneuverability in tight spots, a 5th wheel can turn tighter. Point in case, that's why you can hit a curb or tree easier with a 5th wheel trailer when making a forward turn. But the tighter turn radius sure is handy when turning around or backing into tight spots. So I guess this does depend on one's interpretation of maneuverability..

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.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

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

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

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...