Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome

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SSImpala

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Nov 4, 2006
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Pennsylvania
Hello All

New to this forum and plan in the very near future to be part of the RV community.

I am starting to gather information about RVing so that we can make a more informed decision as to what type of RV to buy.

I like a motorhome because I like to drive without looking at every exit for a potty stop. My wife can't make it by to many without having to stop. Is it legal to exit the passenger seat to use the facilities while a motorhome is in motion?

My wife likes a fifth wheel for the layouts and she feels more convenience because we don't need to tow a car behind.

Basically I need some opinions, pro and cons. Also are there any good publications that may help us to decide.

Thank You
Ed
 

motojavaphil

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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
This very same debate rages in my home.  The MH is nice and it is all there.  It is more expensive and your running gear is all tied into your home.  When we FT we hope to change our rig out every few years for new floorplans and updates.  The 5r is cheaper and you can always pull over to take a potty break.  No easy answer to this one and any case you will be pulling something.  Good luck on your search!  Phil
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
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SSImpala said:
Hello All

New to this forum and plan in the very near future to be part of the RV community.

I am starting to gather information about RVing so that we can make a more informed decision as to what type of RV to buy.

I like a motorhome because I like to drive without looking at every exit for a potty stop. My wife can't make it by to many without having to stop. Is it legal to exit the passenger seat to use the facilities while a motorhome is in motion?

My wife likes a fifth wheel for the layouts and she feels more convenience because we don't need to tow a car behind.

Basically I need some opinions, pro and cons. Also are there any good publications that may help us to decide.

Thank You
Ed

I don't care what you drive....you've got to stop every now and then to get the circulation going and stretch your legs, whether it's a motorhome or fifth wheel. Motorhomes are nice....I've had one. But we made our decision to get a fifth wheel because it was more cost effective for us. When not towing, we use the truck as a second vehicle and the truck has come in handy many a time. When standing still, the motorhome is a vehicle not in use. And that big investment is a chassis, motor, divetrain that doesn't like to not be run. No matter what though, you have to make the choice that's best for you. If money were no object, we probably would have gone with a diesel pusher instead of the 5er.
 

Shayne

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Both gents are right in their assessment.  However We no longer desire to drive around in a truck, liking the comforts of a Lincoln Town Car, so we drive a motorhome, which is more relaxing to drive, for us, than a truck.  We haul our car in an enclosed trailer.  Yep it's more expense, but that's what we enjoy driving.  Have had trailers in the past, never a 5ver. and after losing a trailer once,  decided never to try to pull something bigger and heavier than the tow vehicle.  Much harder to stop, no matter who good a brakes and setup you have.  Of course I'm only speaking for me, can't speak for and wouldn't , for others.  Also when youngsters are involved, Gran Kids, they can watch videos and play their games and use the computer while we are traveling.  Not quite as convenient with a 5ver or TT.  What ever you do , enjoy it.
 

Keith Haw

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Well I'll throw my inexperenced $.02 in.. I agree I like the floor plan on a 5r better but went with a class A.  My reason is I like to off road and fish. So with a motorhome I can pull my Jeep or boat. Where with a 5r your stuck with a truck, unless you want to pull doubles. So I got a 34' class A with a single slide out and it's great.
Keith
 

John From Detroit

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One of things I considered was this.

If you take a decent size 5-er, and a Class A of about the same size with towed, then you have rather close to the same useable space but it's a bit more comfortable in the "A" and when you go down the road you get almost exactly the same gas/fuel millage.

When you "Drop" the trailer, the millage on the TV may as much as double

When you "Drop" the Towed, however, it's millage can well be 4-5 times that of the pair.

Plus. heaven forbid you drop a drive shaft or blow an engine in the middle of nowhere where none of your communications hardware works.

With the Class A/Towed solution.. You have a spare you can use to run for help!
 

Shayne

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One other thing to think about.  When you have troubles with the pickup you are out of wheels and grounded unless you  rent a car.  With the MH one goes down you still have the other to motor.
 

KodiakRV

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As to your first question -- it may be legal in some states, but it is probably not smart.  I know a couple where the wife was up and about in the MH when they blew a tire.  Fortunately, she realized what was happening immediately and got right down on the floor.  If you're standing up and the driver has to hit the brakes, you're gonna fly and land hard.  It only take a minute to pull over for that quick, refreshing pause.  ;)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You are going to want to at least pull over and stop for potty breaks - it is amazingly unsteady to try to stagger around in the rig - or even sit of the potty - while it is zooming down the road. Can be done, sure, but it's far more comfortable to wait for a pause, even if just a traffic light.  But it is still much more convenient to do in a motorhome. I didn't think there would be any real difference until we got our first MH, but there is.
 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
From our library:

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.

Trailers require trucks, and some truly large trucks with big ones. Motorhomes can tow a reasonable sized 4WD, sedan, or even a Ferrari. A motorhome can also tow a boat.

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 given conveniences such as power leveling jacks.

Entry to a trailer can be lower to the ground than a Class A motorhome. Helpful with limited mobility
 

Lowell

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Tempe, AZ
All of these comments are interesting.  I think it shows that we all have different thoughts about what is important to each of us.  I guess that's way some people buy motor homes, some buy 5th wheels, TTs or pop-ups.  There is no one answer that fits everyone.
 

Shayne

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I've had popups, TT,. and MHs Cs and As, never a 5ver,  No way in hades would I eve go back to pulling a trailer.  I personally like the bigger the better.  In fact I'd rather drive our MH than even drivve one of our Lincolns, and they drive great.  But then that is just me and I can't speak for others. To each her or his own.  Just go  Class A  LOL
 

John From Detroit

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Lowell said:
All of these comments are interesting.  I think it shows that we all have different thoughts about what is important to each of us.  I guess that's way some people buy motor homes, some buy 5th wheels, TTs or pop-ups.  There is no one answer that fits everyone.

Exactly... Choices are good, no choices is not so good, in fact there is something called "The law of requisite choices" (If I've not mispelled it too badly)  Basically it's this:

So long as Total Choices is greater than FATAL Choices.  You may continue to live.

But when Total choices equals or is less than fatal choices.. You're dead!
 

Dave R

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North Carolina
My view is there is not much difference in 5ers or MH.  You driv your house and tow your vehicle or drive your vehicle and tow your house. A matter of
personal preferance seems to me. We have a 5er and we are set up in about the same time as MH folks and It takes about the same time to get on the road.
I know some MH folks will disagree, but they still have to hook up the toad. Takes the same amount of time as hitching the 5er and same with unhitching. Some say
they don't unhitch for one night. We don't either.

Just my thoughts

Dave
 

Ned

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One advantage of the motorhome is you can take a break without leaving the vehicle.  Especially nice when the weather is bad.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Ned said:
One advantage of the motorhome is you can take a break without leaving the vehicle.? Especially nice when the weather is bad.

We agree Ned.? Having to get out and go back to the trailer for a nature call is like having to make a trip to the out house. ;D
 

Bob Buchanan

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Dave R said:
We have a 5er and we are set up in about the same time as MH folks and It takes about the same time to get on the road. I know some MH folks will disagree, but they still have to hook up the toad.

You're correct, Dave -- I'm a MH folk now, and I disagree. :) I pulled a TT for several years, then a 5thW and I find the parking, and then breaking down and leaving "much" easier and faster with my MH (I pull a Jeep Cherokee now). Over several years of full timing in the 5thW, I felt that I got to the point where I could do the whole thing about as efficiently as anyone else. I "can" see some advantages to a 5thW over a MH -- but parking, unhooking, breaking down, and hooking up again is certainly not one of them. In my humble opinion, of course. ;)

Generally, my advice is that if the RVer does not move very often, a 5th wheel is a better choice. No sense in having a MH chassis sitting in one place for months on end.? However, if an on the go person like myself, the MH/toad combo is a better choice -- again, IMHO.
 

Shayne

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But with us  it's as what you drive once you get to your destination.    Having driven pickups for 60 yrs and retored tons of older ones and loving the heck out of them  I don't care if I ever ride in one again.  Lincolns are so much nicer to relax in.  Not saying I won't have a PU again but we sure injoy being comfortable and if we dohn
t do it now  at our age when will we
 
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