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Author Topic: Fith Wheel or Class A  (Read 323 times)

Hitdrd

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Fith Wheel or Class A
« on: October 05, 2017, 11:52:42 AM »
We went from a class C to a fifth wheel.  Now thinking of the future when we retire and can spend more time traveling I am curious as to whether we should consider a class A or a newer 5th.  I know the 5th is a better living space (love the theater seating) but my hubby says an A is easier to drive.  Also hooking up a vehicle is easier than a truck.  Thoughts?
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AStravelers

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 02:24:58 PM »
Lots of varying opinions come from a question like this.

Have traveled in both here is my opinion:

The 5th wheel is much more small apartment like, especially in the 35' and longer.  If you mainly stay in one place for 2 weeks to a few months, better than the motorhome.  However the vehicle you run around in is the big truck you tow the trailer with.  If you add leveling jacks to the trailer it sets up about as quick as the MH.  We didn't have jacks so leveling wasn't as easy.

Motorhomes, which we have traveled in since Jan 2008.  We seldom stay more than a week before moving.  Many times only 2-4 days.  We like the ease of setting up and tearing down.  Hooking up the Toad (the car/truck we tow) is about as time consuming as hooking the truck to the trailer.  While on the road, it is nice to not have to get out and go back to the trailer for the bathroom and at lunch time.  Also more comfortable staying in rest stops and boondocking.  We just stop, level with the jacks, put the slides out and we are set up.  We used to tow a 2002 Chevy Blazer and now tow a Chevy Colorado P/U.  Both 4x4.  Easy to go exploring on all kinds of roads with our vehicles. 

You should rent a 35-40 foot motorhome for a 3-5 day trip to see what you think.  Won't be cheap, but better than spending anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000 on a motorhome to find out you would be happier in the 5'er.

BTW, driving a Class A motorhome is different than driving a truck.  Not harder, it does take 500-1000 miles to get comfortable in knowing just where you are on the road.  Not too far to the left or right. 

Al & Sharon
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ArdraF

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 06:54:15 PM »
Hitdrd, I agree with your husband.  For people who travel a lot I think a motorhome is easier to drive (I LOVE driving ours!), it's nicer in bad weather when stopping briefly, there's a tad more safety when stopped because you can stay inside if the area is dicey, it's easier to hook up, and many have other features such as a good generator, dual pane windows, perhaps better insulation.  If you have the budget air leveling is wonderful because you just press a button to level with no more jacks.

We've always preferred motorhomes because we don't usually stay in one place more than a week or so and often less.  I think with trailers you also have to like trucks and we're just not truck people.  It sounds like you're used to driving around in a truck and if you like that, great, but if you want something smaller that you can take more places when stopped for a while then a car might be nicer.  And, certainly, one with four-wheel-drive is more fun because you can go more places with it.  There are so many tradeoffs when talking about trailers vs. motorhomes!  We made lots of pro and con lists when making our initial decision 'way back in the dark ages and decided motorhomes fit our lifestyle better.  I guess we made a good decision because we're still motorhomers many years later!  ;D

ArdraF

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steveblonde

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 09:00:00 PM »
Hitdrd, I agree with your husband.  For people who travel a lot I think a motorhome is easier to drive (I LOVE driving ours!), it's nicer in bad weather when stopping briefly, there's a tad more safety when stopped because you can stay inside if the area is dicey, it's easier to hook up, and many have other features such as a good generator, dual pane windows, perhaps better insulation.  If you have the budget air leveling is wonderful because you just press a button to level with no more jacks.

We've always preferred motorhomes because we don't usually stay in one place more than a week or so and often less.  I think with trailers you also have to like trucks and we're just not truck people.  It sounds like you're used to driving around in a truck and if you like that, great, but if you want something smaller that you can take more places when stopped for a while then a car might be nicer.  And, certainly, one with four-wheel-drive is more fun because you can go more places with it.  There are so many tradeoffs when talking about trailers vs. motorhomes!  We made lots of pro and con lists when making our initial decision 'way back in the dark ages and decided motorhomes fit our lifestyle better.  I guess we made a good decision because we're still motorhomers many years later!  ;D

ArdraF

I have a nice generator 5500 watt onan ,dual pane windows,  auto level with 6 jacks, and a 4 wheel drive truck, thats loaded 2017 f350 , i have had both MH and 5ers ( i grew up with them as my dad was the plant manager for scamper and skipper ) i will take my 5 er  anyday besides i dont loose the first 6 feet of my trailer to the driving area of a MH sorry Ardra i have to disagee with you on this one ( thats a first lol and i love your bus its awesome) i can be completley set up just as fast as any MH who is disconecting a toad 5ers these days come with the same options at MH but at a fraction of the cost because you have to have a tow vehicle to pull it
most MH i see these days are pulling a toad adding to the cost

besides with a MH you have to tow a toad most times if you want to venture out or if you need groceries etc
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 09:37:52 AM by steveblonde »
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Larry N.

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 04:02:06 AM »
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i will take my 5 er  anyday besides i dont loose the first 6 feet of my trailer to the driving area of a MH

You might lose that in a class C, but not in a class A. The driver's and passenger's seats swivel around to become easy chairs for the living room.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 08:56:55 AM »
When we camped with the kids a few years ago, my daughter and son-in-law owned a 36 ft 5r. It took them the better part of an hour to get set up, and a lot of sweat if it was hot out, most of the time. Ours was 10 minutes tops, and I had manual levelers. Plus my 30 ft coach could almost park anyplace their crew cab duelly could. I'll take the comforts traveling in a MH any day over a truck and 5r. Never had a problem finding a place to park that 30 ft MH either. I'll take the MH over the 5r any time.
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johnaye

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2017, 10:36:13 AM »
Motorhome v 5th wheel is like chocolate v strawberry ice cream.  Each side has its ups and downs.  Check both out and pick the type and floor plan that fits your lifestyle.  Include checking how much storage each has for your needs.
John and Becky
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muskoka guy

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2017, 11:08:06 AM »
My friends theory is, if you can write off the truck for business, buy a fifth wheel. If not, buy an A class. Unless you have another use for the truck, the cost of a one ton diesel truck is almost as much as what you can buy an older quality A class for. Add in the cost of the fifth wheel, and you are in comparable numbers on price for a slightly newer A class. If you are going to be parked most of the time, A class mh dont like to be parked for months on end. Better to get the fifth wheel if mostly parked.

SeilerBird

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 11:16:15 AM »
I have owned many As Bs and Cs and I currently live in a fifth wheel. For me it is a question of the right tool for the right job. It is a pain to set up and tear down a fiver at a site compared to setting up and tearing down a motorhome. Five minutes compared to an hour or more. If you intend on doing a lot of travelling and staying at different locations then a motorhome is the best solution. However if you are going to park it and stay there a while then fiver is a much better option. When I decided I was going to get a newer RV to live in full time and never move it I only shopped fivers.
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sc4668

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2017, 12:11:09 PM »
I owned a 31 ft class A motorhome for 12 years bought it new. It worked fine for what we used it for, towing a race car trailer and traveling around the country. We retired and sold the motorhome. Last year we purchased a 35 ft Denali fifth wheel and love it. We are just not traveling and staying a few night but stay for weeks at a time. There is much more room and it is not that hard to set up, maybe 30 minutes tops. Like stated above you need to determine your needs and buy accordingly.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 02:10:12 PM »
Quote
my daughter and son-in-law owned a 36 ft 5r. It took them the better part of an hour to get set up, and a lot of sweat if it was hot out, most of the time.

We used to get our 5W set up and be sipping a cocktail on the patio in 30 minutes tops (without auto jacks either), but the motorhome was still easier and a little quicker.   Hardly worth debating the time/effort difference, though.

Definitely a chocolate vs strawberry kind of thing. We can cite some differences easily enough, but labeling any of them as advantages is highly subjective.
Gary
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ArdraF

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Re: Fith Wheel or Class A
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 05:06:42 PM »
Hitdrd, as you can see there are many opinions in the motorhome vs. trailer debate.  (I like the chocolate vs. strawberry ice cream analogy.)  That's why it's such a personal decision.  Whatever you get has to suit YOUR lifestyle and needs so our opinions don't really count except to make you aware of the differences.

As to my comment that "many have other features such as a good generator, dual pane windows, perhaps better insulation" I wanted you to be aware that there are many things in many motorhomes that are not necessarily available in fifth wheels.  Generators are such an example.  Almost all Class A motorhomes have builtin generators but that's not what I've found in the case of fifth wheels.  Maybe that's changing as Steveblond suggested.  I hope so because I've been surprised in the past to find that an otherwise really nice fifth wheel had no generator and the new owner had to buy one, unlike motorhomes where the generators are built into the rig.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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