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Author Topic: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?  (Read 5737 times)

workingtorv

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Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« on: March 09, 2006, 05:42:30 PM »
Hello,

We are still considering a triple slide 34 feet (approx) 5th wheel instead of our 35 foot motorhome double slide.  We are very concerned with maybe getting into the situation and not enjoying it.   Have any of you ever done such a switch and if so, what are the pro's and con's from one to another?  If you can share any examples of what you may have gone through we would love to hear about them...
2004 Georgie Boy Pursuit
2008 Saturn AuraXR
Ontario, Canada

Ron

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006, 06:25:54 PM »
The have been some that have went from 5er to motorhome and some that have gone from motorhome to 5ver.  I think it is really a personal choice.  We were considering a 5er but after looking at the weight issues and what was available to tow with along with the above concerns and many others s luckily we changed our minds and bought a motorhome first and haven't looked back since.  Things we considered.

Safety when stopping at a rest area or such to eat or use the facilities there is no real reason we have to leave the safety of our motorhome.  We don't have to get out and go to the outhouse or to the kitchen to fix our meal. 
Should we be stopped in an area for a break, lunch or what ever if we see something going on outside that we feel may jeopardize our safety we don't have to leave the motorhome to get to the drivers position all we do is start it up and move on, can even lay on the air horns to draw attention if we felt it necessary.  Sam would not enjoy driving a truck big enough to pull a 5ver safely to go shopping or sight seeing.  Don't see too many vehicles used to tow 5vers that will go some of the places we like to go.  More to do when setting up a 5er after a days drive.

Like I said it is a personal choice and just because we chose not to go with a 5er doesn't mean that would be the best choice for everybody.  Folks that chose to go the 5er route have reasons they went the way they did.  Best to do your research and go with what you think is right.  Kinda an expensive proposition to change the find you liked the other better. ;D
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Wendy

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 06:55:48 PM »
We've gone the other direction....traded in a truck and 35' 5er for a motorhome. The 5er was perfect when we were working for the Park Service and sitting in one place for 6-8 months at a time. Now, the motorhome works best....I don't have to wait for Mike to stop if I need a potty break or want to get a soda....we can tow our Volkswagon Thing (when it's finished!)....the underneath storage is phenomenal. My parents, on the other hand, are hard-core 5th wheel owners and say they can't see a single reason to switch to a motorhome. They have a 4WD truck and a 24' 5er with a slide-out. Living in central Oregon, the truck works great when they're at home. So much depends on individual preferences. Whatever you decide, the search is half the fun!
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Jeff

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 11:39:22 PM »
We've gone the other direction....traded in a truck and 35' 5er for a motorhome. The 5er was perfect when we were working for the Park Service and sitting in one place for 6-8 months at a time. Now, the motorhome works best....I don't have to wait for Mike to stop if I need a potty break or want to get a soda....we can tow our Volkswagon Thing (when it's finished!)....the underneath storage is phenomenal. My parents, on the other hand, are hard-core 5th wheel owners and say they can't see a single reason to switch to a motorhome. They have a 4WD truck and a 24' 5er with a slide-out. Living in central Oregon, the truck works great when they're at home. So much depends on individual preferences. Whatever you decide, the search is half the fun!

Wendy:

As a former Thing owner (we had one for our girls when they were in HS that Dad got to run off with whenever he had the chance ;D) let me be the first to tell you they are NEVER finshed! There was always some gadget to add or something that needed tweaking. (Sound familiar to an RV owner?)

Fortunately parts are cheap, they are simple to work on, and FUN to cruise around in. 8) 8)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2006, 07:09:36 AM »
We have always said we could go back to a fifth wheel but never did it.   We now spend most summers in one place, workamping at various resorts, and a fiver is ideal for that mode of use.  And we have seen fivers we would definitely like.  However, the convenience advantages of the MH when traveling  (as well as inertia) have kept us from changing back.  I also suspect we would take a bath financially, so have never investigated closely
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Wendy

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2006, 04:18:31 PM »
Wendy:

As a former Thing owner (we had one for our girls when they were in HS that Dad got to run off with whenever he had the chance ;D) let me be the first to tell you they are NEVER finshed! There was always some gadget to add or something that needed tweaking. (Sound familiar to an RV owner?)

Fortunately parts are cheap, they are simple to work on, and FUN to cruise around in. 8) 8)

Unfortunately, parts are no longer cheap, especially things like windows, seats, etc. This is (or these are) our 3rd and 4th Things and we're paying way more for parts than we did in the 80s. But it will be lots of fun when it's drivable (as opposed to 'finished').
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

ncluley

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2006, 07:23:39 AM »
After 7 years with a 27' 5th-Wheel (no slides) we went the other way.  We really liked our 5th-Wheel but now that we are retired and we can go for more than one or two weeks at a time, we wanted more space.  After trying for almost 3 years (many RV shows in several states) to find a 35' ( +/-) 5th-Wheel that we liked and that we could safely tow with a one-ton pick-up truck, we purchased a motor home.  We couldn't find such a pick-up truck.  We did not want to have to tow a car behind us but we also did not want to have to use a truck larger than a one-ton pickup when just sightseeing or shopping without the trailer.
Norman -- 2006 Phaeton DP

motojavaphil

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2006, 12:25:41 AM »
We have had two 5r's and enjoy them.  We have looked at m/h's and they are nice..I could see why they are liked by lots of folks.  We have had long discussions about this and have decided to stay with the 5r.  One of the attractions for her (me too :)) is the ability to get a new one every three or so years without breaking the bank.  Floor plans and features are constantly improved from year to year.  I have to agree with the safety notion at a Rest Area but I do not stay at them often.  We will get an MDT or HDT to tow with and it should last us the length of the retirement.  Setting up a 5r in the rain is depressing but beyond that it is cheaper to maintain than a bus.  One thing I do like about MH's is that they tend not to vibrate when someone is walking in them like a 5r does.  I see owning a 5r as dividing your declining investment.  If the 5r has lots of problems you sell it and do not lose as much money and the same with the puller.  The motorhome is locked into one big investment and if you are not happy with your purchase it is a more costly mistake.  These are some of the ideas we have tossed around that have led us to our decision.  Good luck with yours...Phil   
Phil, Carol, Ariel, Grey Lady
2009 Carriage Cameo
2016 Ram CTC, 4x4

babyjunecook

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2006, 09:46:20 PM »
We just recently traded a B+ R-Vision 2005 23/5 motor home on a used 2003 Montana 5ver.  Since we haven't yet driven the 5ver hitched onto our truck I'm more than a little apprehensive about our upcoming Colorado trip from PA!  I'm having some better running board-type gear added to the Dodge Ram diesel so I can get into and out of it.  I'm really short and have had one knee replaced and need to do the other one so jumping in and out is out of the question!  Any advice out there?

rubysamm

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2006, 06:04:13 PM »
We are also considering a switch to the fifth wheel.  We have had trailers,class C's and one time a fifth wheel (but we never pulled it) it was just parked as a permanent unit.  (so I guess that doesn't really count.  Well it does actually because of all of them that 5th wheel afforded us the most room to enjoy(had a slide out).  Our Class C also has a slide out, but after returning from a recent trip where we ended up renting a car to get around, we began to consider a 5th wheel.  I personally feel the class c is just too swervy in the wind.  That is my only fear with a fifth wheel.  I've read a few story's that indicate a fifth would be perhaps more steady.
Can't wait to fly south

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2006, 08:36:54 AM »
Quote
I personally feel the class c is just too swervy in the wind.  That is my only fear with a fifth wheel.  I've read a few story's that indicate a fifth would be perhaps more steady.

A fifth wheel is indeed quite stable, but any vehicle with tall, broad sides is going to be affected by cross winds.  If you felt uncomfortable in your Class C, you may not like a trailer any better.   But get a good sized truck to tow the fiver and make sure everything, trailer & truck, are well within teir rated weight capacities and you will be safe and sound.

It's possible your Class C simply doesn't handle very well. That's not an unusual complaint and often it can be improved substantially. However, it won't ever be a passenger car.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

rubysamm

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2006, 11:12:45 AM »
Thanks Gary for the input.
I used to hawl horses with a non fifth wheel and let me tell you THAT WAS SWERVY.  I think the C is just a bit too long for a nice stable ride.  They should consider 2 axles when making a rig that long.(its 31 feet)  Don't get me wrong i do love it and the wind gusts were quite excessive 40+ mph.  I considered beefing up the C with a better stabilizer and maybe air suspension.   Before I do anything  I am considering the trade to fifth wheel.  A few reasons Fifth wheel: 
1) much more interior room when stopped for a week at a time
2) perhaps a more stable ride
3) ability to have access to a vehicle to use when parked in a sight (ie pick up hauled with)
4) Less money sitting in yard when not in use for the off season.

A few reasons I like the class c:
1) ability to use facilitys when in motion (as long as your not the driver ;)
2)ease of parking and not having to hook up the truck to fifth wheel (after watching several people though it doesn't seem too difficult)
3)Easier to travel with the dogs (or so I thought) they still want to sit on my lap!!

Heres a question to the fivers --- How many Females haul there fifth wheel?
Can't wait to fly south

motojavaphil

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2006, 12:57:34 AM »
"How many women pull the 5r?"  Carol drove our 26' Jake without a problem.  When we went to the 37' I have driven it exclusively.  It's not that she does'nt want to do it, its just that I become a nervous wreck..nothing against her as it is all me.  This summer I will let her drive, back it and other things.  I am a very laid back person but just get wrapped about this driving thing! :-\
Phil, Carol, Ariel, Grey Lady
2009 Carriage Cameo
2016 Ram CTC, 4x4

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2006, 08:47:50 AM »
A 31 foot Class C is often over-sized for the chassis they build it on - the desire of the buying public for larger and heavier rigs usually outstrips the available chassis to work with.  More capable Class C chassis have recently come on the market, though, in response to demand for ever-larger Class C's.  Some, like the Gulfstream Endura, are now built on medium duty truck chassis and are good, strong machnes.  But for most purposes, a Class A is a better choice in the 30+ foot size range because the chassis is much better and you get more interior room besides.

You outlined the classis pros and cons of choosing a trailer versus a motorhome. All the arguments are valid and the conclusion will vary depending on how you "weight" each factor on your personal scale.

In a 40 mph crosswind a trailer (fifth wheel or travel trailer) may actually go down the road crabwise, at an angle to the direction of travel. So will a motorhome - I've observed it myself when following others in nasty crosswinds.  That doesn't make it unstable, though. Gusts can be unnerving because the angle changes as you drive.  The advantage of a fifth wheel over a TT is that the trailer is not exerting a lot of leverage on the tail end of the tow vehicle because the hitch is over the rear axle rather than behind the bumper. Thus the truck runs straighter and reacts less to trailer movement.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Wendy

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2006, 06:30:42 PM »
Heres a question to the fivers --- How many Females haul there fifth wheel?

My 77-year-old mother does all their driving. They currently have a 24-foot 5th wheel, before that there was a 30-foot 5th wheel and before that a 35-foot one. Dad did and still does the parking but Mom has done 95% of the driving for 30+ years. She's 5'2, 110 pounds, and is very comfortable behind the wheel.
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Carl L

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Re: Motorhome to 5th Wheel, have you done it?
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2006, 07:11:28 PM »
Quote
Heres a question to the fivers --- How many Females haul there fifth wheel?

Not a fiver, but my wife does half the driving of our 23' TT and has no problems.   She can even to a pretty good job of backing the rascal too.    She even drives the infamous crosswinds of Banning Pass no sweat.  A TT presents less side and frontal area to a crosswind than does the typical cab over 5er and certainly less than the typical Class C that I have seen.   A good sway control and weight distributing hitch system does the rest.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

 

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