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kerrywv

Move To Class A, Or Stay With 5th Wheel?

17 posts in this topic

Probably not a real good place to ask that question, on a motorhome forum, LOL. I currently am a 5w owner and I've retired, want to sell the house, and full time for a while.

First I thought about a bigger 5w, 43', and now I'm really considering a 43' Allegro Bus. Always said, if I went motorhome it would be a Tiffin product. I've worked 34 years at an RV dealership (24 part time, the last 10 full time) and I'm familiar with both, and have sold both. Haven't really talked to a lot of full timers with MH's, so I'm just looking for some perspectives from you guys.

I'm sure some of you have been 5W owners in the past.

So, are you glad you went to a Class A, or wish you would have stayed with a 5W.

I'd enjoy any and all comments, just asking,

Thanks.

Kerry from WV

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kerry,

Welcome to the Forum. And you are correct about your question. However 99% of the folk looking to the FMCA (Family Motor Cpach Association) Forum have a motor home of some sort or size. That being said, if you decide to go to a motor home we would love for you to join FMCA and come camping with us. Which ever way you decide, enjoy your retirement and full timeing.

German

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Kerry,

We were full time in fifth wheels (a 30 footer and two 40 footers) for thirteen years and just last year decided to go to a 40 MH.

No regrets after a year of ownership. We liked the 5w and had a great truck (International 4400) but i am finding the MH is much easier to maneuver into tight spots than the 5w was.

Lenp

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Ah, this is a great question. 5W owners are usually very biased as are class A owners. As this is an organization for Motor Home owners I would expect that bias to show. Having never owned a 5W I can't speak to the advantages. For what it's worth I thoroughly enjoy owning a coach.

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When bad weather is approaching which is the easiest to move to a new location? I believe most, if not all, will say the MH is quicker to get ready to move. I also believe a large MH such as you are considering will give more storage space for your "stuff".

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Kerry,

Let me also welcome you the the forum. I have owned two 5th wheels and now a 40 ft motorhome. Not only is the motorhome easier to maneuver, it is also much easier to park. The main disadvantage is when towing a car etc. You cannot back up the motorhome when towing a vehicle. That said, your wife can use the facilities, fix lunch, et while you are driving. No time lost. Also, if you drive into a camp site and it is pouring rain or worse snowing you can set up without ever leaving the coach.

I definitely prefer the motorhome over the 5th wheel.

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One other quick note, if you'll have kids, or grandkids with you, they can also use the facilities without having to pull over.

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That said, your wife can use the facilities, fix lunch, et while you are driving. No time lost.

Problem is, now that I've aged gracefully, I need the facilities more than she does! :)

To the OP, I've never owned a 5th wheeler, but I have had travel trailers. For me, the motor home offers significant advantages ... but I've seen some darn nice 5ers out there!

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We have only been full timers for 6 years but have watched both 5 W and Motor homes sit up and take down over the years. Motor homes are much easier to set up and get ready for the road. The other closer for us is what size of vehicle do you take to the store? A motor home you take the towed car and a 5W you take the truck. We only drive the motor home at the most once a week and only about 300 miles where the 5W owners must take the truck everywhere. Those are some of the reasons we are motor home people. We have a 43 foot Newmar and love it.

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We have had both, and some others.

Some of the new 5'ers have auto leveling systems but for those that don't leveling is a chore. You have to carry blocks, wood, ramps, whatever you like to level. You determine where you need the higher pieces, place them on the ground on the outside of the tires, move the 5'er back or forward, place the levelers where the tires are going to be, then move the 5'er on to the levelers. In the MH, push a button and you are level.

Hooking and unhooking a 5'er is more cumbersome than unhooking a TOAD. In the 5'er, get out level side to side, put the front jacks down, lower the tail gate, pull the king pin rod, get back in the vehicle and pull forward. Back at the 5'er now level front to back. In the MH, pull a few pins to unhook the TOAD. Push a button to level. Reverse the process to hook up. In the MH, unhook the water, electric and sewer - if they were ever hooked up, push a few buttons and drive away (with the TOAD hooked up)

Of course, with a 5'er this is all done in whatever weather is available. In the MH you can start the generator 15 minutes before you arrive and have the AC running during your set up and if the weather is inclement you don't have to go out and do anything until the weather clears.

In a MH there is dead space between the front seats and the living area, even when you turn the chairs around for entertainment the dead space is still from the back of the chair to the windshield. I don't mind, but just something to think about. The 5'er uses all of the space.

For traveling we like the MH. For living long periods of times at campgrounds we would like to have the 5'er. As for pariking a truck, we had a King Ranch, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Dually with 4 wheel drive. If a big car can park in a spot, so could I but it took a few more turns of the steering wheel. With the MH you take the TOAD to do the shopping.

The maintenance costs on a MH are higher than the maintenance costs on a 5'er, even considering the vehicle that pulls the 5'er.

For 90% of the time I'm happy to have the MH, but there are some times I would like to have the 5'er back, and the truck.

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Kerry,

Never had a 5w and love our motorhome but we camp a lot in public campgrounds (city, county, state, national, COE, etc.) and find that the sites for a 5w are more plentiful than for a motorhome. Normally, it is not the length of the site as much as it is finding one that is relatively level. Your 5w is more foregiving to a greater than 3 degree change in elevation.

Both offer great floor plans.

Many FMCA Chapters (as well as FMCA) will allow you to attend a rally or International Reunion (one time only). The upcoming Redmond Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase would be a great opportunity for you to gain additional information.

No matter which choice you make, safe travels,

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We own a Class A MH and travel quite often with a couple that has a 5th wheel. They are jealous of our security. They feel we are much more secure in our unit as we could get in the driver's seat and drive away if threatened by weather or other events. They are also envious of our ability to picnic in our MH at a rest stop; they can access their refrigerator but not dinette so they sit in their truck to eat. We can pull in all of our slides during inclement weather and still be comfortable; they can pull in slides but not sit comfortably on the couch or chairs. And the last thing I'll share is that she is quite envious that we can use our toilet whenever necessary.

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We came from a 33' fifth wheel and chev dually...switched to class A in 2012, never go back......in fact we are picking up a bigger MH this week....

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I had a 5th wheel prior to buying my motorhome a few months ago. The motorhome is the best way to go. I would never go back to a 5th wheel. The motorhome is a lot more convenient.

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One thing to put into the equation is the maintenance costs on both types of rigs. Total investment and depreciation may be something to consider. Cost of insurance could be much different on the two types of rigs. A potential plus on a MH is that you can use a smaller toad for getting around once you reach your destination, Odds are, the toad will be more comfortable to drive (easier to park, etc.) and will be more fuel efficient than your 5th wheel tow vehicle. If your plans including finding a perfect spot and then leaving the RV for more than the season, the 5th wheel may be a better choice. Any motorized vehicle likes to be excersized on the road.

We have had many types of RVs, but never a fiver. Our thought are that when we get to an age where we are not comfortable driving the MH on the annual migration to warmer climes, we will trade it for a travel trailer and leave it year round at our winter spot of choice.

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We've had a 5th wheel also. In addition to the other comments, travelling in a MH is much more pleasant than in a truck. We have flexsteel chairs that adjust in all directions (as well as adjustable arm rests and are heated). Also, the steering wheel is adjustable as are the pedals.

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