EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: For full timers  (Read 3445 times)

dartdiva

  • Posts: 2
For full timers
« on: May 23, 2006, 01:59:07 PM »
Hi,

I am a wanna-be....doing a lot of research about full timing.  I would like to know what you think the percentages are for full timers in the following Rv's.  Class A, Class C and 5th wheeler's.  I'm tring to find out what type is used more for full timing. I can't make my mind up as to which type I want.  I'm leaning towards a 30' Class C, but would like to see what the experienced full timers are living in.  There would only be 2 of us and I will be doing the driving.

Thanks.....Liz

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44407
    • RV Forum web site
Re: For full timers
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 02:56:05 PM »
Liz,

I can't respond to your question with numbers (percentages), but folks often make the decision between a motorhome and 5th wheel based on how much time they're likely to spend in one place vs how much they'll be moving around. If you plan long stays in one place, a 5th wheel would probably be the best way to go. If you plan on moving a lot, a motorhome might suit your needs better.

If you've already decided it's going to be a motorhome and are trying to decide between a class A and a class C, you'll probably find a class A more compfortable &/or roomy. In a class A the driver and passenger seats can be swivelled to become part of the living area, but this is not possible with most class C's that have those seats in a lower cab area.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: For full timers
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 04:12:32 PM »
I pull a small vacation TT and have no full time ambitions so I have few dogs in this fight.

From my observations, most fulltimers opt for Class-As or 5ers.   Both units have the storage, size, and slideouts they like, and units can be had with the quality they need.   Both have the goodies they like also -- dual A/C, power leveling, big bathrooms, big fridges, ....chandeliers, hardwood floors, ....you know.

Both can be had with power plant that can pull all those goodies.  Class-As, deisel pusher chassis with monster engines.  5ers big F450 and 550 pickups and Peterbuilt, Volvo, and other medium duty truck tractors.  Monster deisels are de rigour with these trucks also.   

Motorhomes have to tow a smaller vehicle for mobility when at destination.  5ers have their tow vehicles for that purpose.  However, those tow vehicles tend to be a bit big for, say, the streets of San Franciso.

If motorhomes need periodic maintenance or repair, your home goes to the garage for x number of hours or days.  The 5th wheel stays in the campground and you can get around in a rental car.   

From what I have seen, most retirees do the motorhome thing, but not all.   Fiver owners tend to be younger and a lot are folks in the heavy construction trades who follow the jobs around the country.   In terms of physical effort in setting up camp, there seems to be little difference between motorhomes and 5ers.



« Last Edit: May 24, 2006, 02:37:49 PM by Carl Lundquist »
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7675
Re: For full timers
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 05:40:53 PM »
Hi Liz,

As stated earlier the difference between Class A's and 5th wheels is mostly determined by your desired lifestyle. Moving frequently with a 5th wheel can be very tedious. We have full timed in a motor coach for almost 10 years. I could never do it in a 5th wheel because I like to move around a lot. We might spend a few days in one location and then decide to move on to something new. It can be done in a 5th wheel but it takes more effort to get going and to set up.

Most Class C's just won't have the storage or carrying capacity required for full timers. Remember you will be carrying almost everything you own in the rig. This tends to add up to a lot of weight. I wouldn't want to start to full time with less than 3000lbs carrying capacity. You might use less but, if you need more, it could cost a lot since a trade would be necessary. One coach we owned had a 2000lb payload. I found I had 2100lbs on it and we weren't even full timing!!!
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Steve, CDN

  • ---
  • Posts: 2389
  • VA3VH
    • The Pallys
Re: For full timers
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 06:30:22 PM »
Liz,

Fulltiming requires heavy duty equipment, whether it's a fifth wheel or motorhome.  As others have said, fifth wheels are difficult to move around with, plus your day to day errands are done using a pickup..or even more cumbersome for large rigs, a tractor equivalent truck.

Personal preference would dictate how one feels about that.

Most fulltimers we have met use Class A motorhomes, usually diesel pushers.  A coach that's a pusher begins on a heavier duty chassis, with heavier duty suspension, brakes and more robust drive components.   Also the storage capacity is greater because as Jim said, you're carrying everything you own.

Class C's are vacation vehicles not intended for the kind of use a fulltimer requires.

There are distinctions among fifth wheels as well, as to which brands and models would endure fulltime heavy duty usage.  Some makes even provide heavier duty suspension components for fifth wheels used for fulltiming.

A mistake made by purchasing an inadequate RV the first time out results in a considerable financial loss, because the initial depreciation is substantial.  Your research will provide you with the information to avoid making the mistake made by many first time fulltimers.
Steve, Forum Moderator
Home Page
My Polar Bear Mural

dartdiva

  • Posts: 2
Re: For full timers
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2006, 07:41:47 AM »
Thank you ALL very much for your responses....this is exactly the information I was looking for!!!  :D I knew I came to the right place for this.  The more I have been researching the more I realized that the Class C was not the way to go for full timing.  OK....down to a Class A or 5vr.

Do you need a CDL license to drive a Class A?

Thank you again.......Liz

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60427
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: For full timers
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 10:36:02 AM »
Quote
Do you need a CDL license to drive a Class A?
No, because it is a private vehicle, not commercial.  The exact licensing requirements will depend on the state you are licensed in.  A few states require a special class of license if the vehicle has air brakes or exceeds a certain GVWR (typically 26,000 lbs), but most have no additional requirements as long as you do not carry passengers for hire.  In states such as Maryland, the "special class of license"  may be the equivalent of  a CDL, requiring the same written and driving tests, but the license is still not a CDL. From what I've heard, Texas also has fairly a strict test
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: For full timers
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 11:45:09 AM »
Dartdiva--- Just what kind of Class A would you be looking for.  Maybe someone here knows of a good unit to help you along.  For Instance I have a very nice PaceArrow 37 1/2' with slide, W/D, sat. Banks Power Pak and 3 yrs of extended warranty left.  31000 miles and would be willing to part with.  Otherwise is will sit for nearly a year and that's not the way to treat a MH.   Many in the Framly here are familiar with my unit.  If I can be of further help please contact me. Good luck in what ever you decide, just get to RVing./
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: For full timers
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 02:47:49 PM »
Quote
Do you need a CDL license to drive a Class A?


That depends entirely on the requirements of the state you live in.  Contact your state's department of motor vehicles, most seem to have a web site.   California for example has a non-commercial "class A" license which the largest of RVs require.  [In CA the ordinary drivers license is a "class C", the one for semi-trailer drivers is a "class A"].

If I were you I would check this matter out if you consider going into the larger rigs before you start shopping.  Check it with the DMV, not an RV salesman.    The latter is a notoriously unreliable source of information about any subject.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

 

Hosted by Over The Network