Class A or 5th wheel

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Saab Bob

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Joined
Jun 3, 2005
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Albany NY
???
Hello fellow RV?ers.

Wife and I are enjoying a beautiful week here at the Lake George RV Park in NY with sunny skies and temps in the upper 70?s. We thought it was a bit unusual to see all these HR Presidential?s, Imperial?s and Endeavor?s one after another. Little did we know that they were having a Holiday Rambler Rally this week until we stopped and looked at some of the dealers RV?s.

We are still relatively new to the RV world (second year with our older 34 ft Class A) and enjoy it so much we are looking to up-grade. Our fantasy RV was going to be a pusher with slides. After looking at some of the dealers Class A?s and 5th wheels, we are more confused then ever about what we want.

We love the self contained features the Class A offers while driving from ne location to another. The ?Dear, I?m thirsty or Dear, I?m hungry? amenity is great (for me anyway). The Imperial and Endeavor?s 4 slides was nice and roomy but just did not seem practical. However, the living room and general layout of the HR Presidential 5th wheel seems much more comfortable. I?m only using Holiday Rambler as an example because I know the model names from just looking at them.

Our plans are a mix, some parking for a week or more at one spot and some cross country. I understand that the Class A is better for cross country trips and pull your (got to get some eggs at the market) vehicle and the 5th wheel is better for the long stays at one spot.

Long story to get to my question and I realize it is a personal choice. Does anyone wish they had chosen a 5th wheel over the Class A or the other way around? Just looking for any thoughts that would help solidify what direction to go.

PS: Don?t have a truck to pull a 5th wheel so would have to purchases both if we went down that road.

Thanks to all
Bob and Sal
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
I can't help you on this one, Bob & Sal. As you say, it is strictly a matter of personal choice. We have owned both fivers and motorhomes and currently have a motorhome, so I guess you could say we made our choice.  We often workamp and thus stay in one place for 2-3 months at a time, but for another 3 months a year we travel a few hundred miles every 2-6 days.

RVing is full of tradeoffs and you just have to find what works best for you.  There is a length vs available campsite tradeoff, slides vs access to underneth storage bays, wash/dryer vs cabinet space, and on and on and on.    I suggest experimenting with different types and floor plans before buying that ultimate RV - stay with the older used models until you find what suits your lifestyle the best, then but your dream rig.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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48,501
Hi Bob and Sal,

Welcome to our friendly forum.

We've been through the class A/5th wheel loop a number of times, but came out on the side of a class A each time we bought. There's no right answer that's right for everyone, and for us it came down to the fact that we always wanted to tow something, either a car or boat. There's no question that a 5th wheel offers a lot of utility for your money, but we didn't want a pickup truck, so that would have been an added expense.
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
Like Tom and Gary has mentioned this is a personal choice.? All I can do is give you some insights that led us to choose the class A motorhome.? We like the convenience of having the bathroom inside so we don't have to exit the driving area to go outside to the out house when in a rest area. ;D? Sam wouldn't want to go shopping in a truck capable in size to legally and safely pull a  5th wheel. Safety wise in a motorhome you don't have to exit the living quarters to get to the driving area should you decide you want to leave an area that maybe something is going on that make you feel insecure or unsafe.? With a MH when you pull into a park or stop for the night and it is raining you do not really even have to get in the rain.? You can remain inside and watch eat and TV and sleep.

Like I mentioned before the choice is what fits your needs best.
 

Bob McNabb

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May 25, 2005
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45
Location
San Diego, CA
During the past 12 years we've bought and traded 3 motorhomes. All have been Holiday Ramblers and so we've had contacts with HR club friends who have enjoyed owning both 5th wheel models as well as motorhomes. There's been a notable tendancy among those friends to trade for motorhomes.

Our choice of rig is quite obviously because we like to tour, not camp. Even when we end up staying in one spot for 7-10 days, the toad is what we prefer to go someplace for dinner or to shop. We simply wouldn't like a truck and 5th wheel....and with a larger 5th wheel, we're talking about a BIG truck.

Our MH has 3 slides and what this does, for us, is to encourage longer trips because size does make a difference when it comes to privacy and one's "space". On a rainy day, we've been cozy and happy and never gloomy. Space makes an enormous difference on a long trip.

We're parttimers but plan 80 days of travel this year. 
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Trailer vs. Motorhome is a old discussion here.? ?Assuming you go 1st class in either choice, here are what seem to be the differences.

  • With a motorhome, your home is your car.? If you need service, your home has to go to the mechanic's for a stay.? With a trailer, your tow vehicle can go by itself.
  • A trailer-tow vehicle rig bends in the middle when you are trying to manuever into a campsite.? Motorhomes do not.
  • In camp, a trailer's tow vehicle is free for errands and sightseeing without breaking camp.? Motorhomes have to break camp to go to the grocery store unless they have a towed car, known universally as a toad.
  • That said, trailers require trucks, and some truly large trucks with big ones.? Motorhomes can tow a reasonable sized 4WD, sedan, or even, I have seen, Ferraris.? ?And, of course,?one can tow a boat. [pace Tom]
  • A truck towing a trailer can be backed up.? A motorhome towing a car cannot.? The car must be unhitched first.
  • Motorhomes establish camp a tad faster than a trailer but in the upper reaches of trailers, the matter is a wash (power leveling jacks etc.)
  • Entry to a trailer can be lower to the ground than a Class A motorhome.? Helpful with limited mobility.

 

Saab Bob

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Jun 3, 2005
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Albany NY
:)
Tom, Rob, Bob and Carl, Thanks.

With the understanding that everyone?s living comforts are a personal choice and the way each uses their RV varies greatly, there seems to be a common thread from you more seasoned (and I say that with admiration) RV?ers.

Sal and I have the privilege of taking our time (holding back the want it now syndrome for now anyway) to find our fantasy RV; meaning we have a 1984, 34 ft Pace Arrow where everything works, engine and tyranny are strong and the inside/outside look almost new. We would not press our luck with a run out to Las Vegas but a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine from Albany NY, in a heart beat. Our biggest problem in the current MH is passing each other while one does the dishes and the other is looking for her/his shoes. In a way, it?s kind of a status symbol to have the oldest MH in a park and a bonding moment when you find and can chat with an owner of the same vintage.

Sal?s daughter is expecting any day now so we are dry docked for at least a month. During which time I have plenty to do around the house. I did not mention that in an effort to up grade last January, we purchased an 89, 35ft Gulf Stream Hi-Rise in as condition from a local RV dealer. The good news was that the price was right; the bad news is that it needs lots (May I say $$$$$) of mechanical work before it will pass inspection.

If anyone else has a preference, I would love to hear what your thoughts are regarding MH or 5th wheeler.

Again thanks
Bob and Sal
 

PancakeBill

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Apr 9, 2005
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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Bob
We are in a slightly different situation right now.  I was downsized, and we decided it was time to pull the plug.  However, still to young and poor to fully retire.  We are leaving the north, have decided I really have no use or winter.  We are selling our hime, (tomorrow is first day in paper!), and will go to Fl.  I have a full time job lined up, and we plan on buying as 5th wheel. 

Our reasoning is that we will have a good sized place to live in, at a lower cost.  We already have a good sized truck, F350 diesel, so that is not an extra purchase.  At this point a MH would not be our best bet, because we won't be moving all that much. 

We figure we have a year to decide on whether to buy a regular stick house down there or stay with the RV life. 

Oh, my new job is selling RV's, so, this conversation is good for me to feel comfortable with. 

Really it comes to how you will be using it, and what you want out of it.  For us, limited travel, the 5er makes the most sense.  If I were to be travelling more I think I would go the MH route and tow something small. 

You are in a position where you need to buy the truck as well.  Good side is you can buy the appropriate truck, downside is you have to spend that much more.

Oh, coincidentally, out favorite 5er right now is the HR Presidential!

 

lmstewart

Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Posts
5
Location
Tennessee
Bob and Sal,

We've been in this same situation before.  We started out with a travel trailer, then went to a 5th wheel, then traded a truck, 5th wheel, and a pontoon boat for a motorhome.  Needless to say within 6-9 mos. we traded the motorhome and went back to a 5th wheel.  Unless I win the lottery, and can buy a Prevost Bus, I will never go back to a motorhome again. Ha.  First of all, our motorhome didn't have slides on it whereas the 5th wheel had two.  We have two boys and lost alot of the floor space when we bought the motorhome.  Second of all, we never sat in the seats up front (driving area) so that was wasted space unless you are driving.  Since we always carried snacks and a small cooler in the truck anyway prior to buying the motorhome, the only time we did need to stop was to go to the restroom.  Unless you are having bladder problems, that shouldn't be that often. Ha.  Our boys are almost grown now, one is almost 18 and one is 13.  We now have another 5th wheel that we bought back in February and I love it.  We purchased a Holiday Ramber Alumascape with 5 slides.  It is awesome.  We have two couches (the living area is up front) which I had never had before and it is so nice!  You don't have to wake the kids up to get to the kitchen to fix your coffee, or cook for that matter (no more fold out hide a beds).  We have a front and back door we can use to keep from waking them if we want to go outside and drink our cup of java.  The dining area has a slide, the two couches slide, the bedroom slides and the back end of the trailer is a closet which slides.  It is truly a home away from home once all of the sides are out. I can't begin to tell you how many people have come and knocked on our door and asked if they could see it!  That really makes you feel good and blessed.  Now speaking of a BIG truck....you will need it for sure!  We just bought a new F350 Ford Dooley to pull this baby with.  My husband wanted a stick shift this time so he can be in control of the power.  Can't wait to hook it all up and hit the road.  Good luck to you in whatever you decide.  Happy Rv'ing.
 
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