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Motorhome OR Towable … Which is Right for You?

diyrvguy

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I hear this question often, and the answers vary…

“Motorhome or Towable … Which is best for me?”

The simple answer is “It Depends…”

But…that’s probably not what you want to hear.

Honestly it depends on how you answer this 1 simple question…

“What’s your intentions?”

Do you intent to ‘camp’ or ‘travel’?

There’s a difference…

If life is busy and weekends are your primary escape.

If your plan or desire is to visit campgrounds for long weekends and the occasional week long getaways or vacations you fit into the ‘camping’ category.

If your desire is to travel longer distances, visit sites along the way and move frequently then you fit into the ‘traveler’ category.

Towable RV’s are great for short term stays, infrequent use and are low cost entry points for camping.

Motorhomes excel at comfort on the road often granting quick and easy access to supplies and facilities.

Setting up and breaking camp is often less time consuming when compared to a towable RV.

I’ve owned, traveled and camped in pop ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pickup campers, class C, Class A, bus conversions and diesel pushers.

When traveling and discovering a beautiful beach, hiking trail or roadside attraction - having all supplies on board are often the difference between, ‘maybe next time’ and ‘let’s do it!’.

The comfort, convenience and mobility of traveling in a motorhome is my current choice.

What’s your choice and why?



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We just recently traded our 5th wheel for a new diesel pusher. Far more expensive, no doubt. Owned 3 5er's over the last 25 years and loved them. However, now retired and getting older just wanted the pleasant ride and easy set up a class A offers. So far not finding fuel mileage to be an issue as our new Legacy 36' DP gets slightly better than I did with our GM duramax pulling a 32' Montana

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If money is no object then there is no contest. For most of us bang for the buck is an issue. For the most part, those who can afford a motor home get one instead of a towable. I would much rather tow 5,000 pounds with a 35,000 pound bus than tow a 12,000 trailer with a 6,000 truck. Comfort, stability, convenience, safety .... no contest. I'll take the bus.

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My wife and prefer the bus. Have now owned three class A's, and not regretted it one bit. We travel with 4 Yorkies (they don't think they are dogs), and I can't imagine hauling 4 in a truck towing the home. Also the dw loves to cook our meals while traveling, she puts the crockpot in the sink, plugs it in and starts it up while I am getting the air up on the bus, 4 to 6 hours later, we pull into a rest area for lunch.

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We prefer the Class C and tow a vehicle.
Reasons?

We don't own a truck.

Accessability to the RV---get out of the front seat and you are in it. ;)
Three doors to use for getting in/out of the RV

As was said earlier--quick and easy to "set-up" or "take-down" camp.

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We do mostly long weekends from March to November and long trips two times per year. This our second Motorhome, started with a Class C and moved up to a DP (in the picture). The draw for us was being able to use your own rest room and meal prep while traveling (plus no electric which means no A/C). Most trailers you cannot access the unit without opening slides. All of the other reasons we did not realize until we camped with friends with trailers and observed their discomfort during set up and tear down. We had the vehicle to tow a trailer at the time and it was still an easy decision for the Motorhome over the trailer since the benefits were staring us in the face. Cost isn't much different when you look at the entire picture. We have friends with a newer Diesel truck and a fifth wheel travel trailer and they have over $110000 invested which is $30,000+ over what I have invested in a nice clean used DP. And I don't have to drive that big fuel gobbler truck all over the place when I am not towing the camper. I work with one of my camper friends he spends $2300 per year more than me in fuel to driver that big truck to and from work. It all adds up.

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All good comments regarding which type or RV to buy. I would add one additional thought.  When traveling with kids, I would suggest the motorhome over any type of towable.  I know the cost is a little bit higher, but how many times when traveling in a car did you just get on the road, and then hear the comment "I need to go to the bathroom"!.  With the motorhome, they can use the facilities without having to stop and go back to the trailer or find a rest area.  Also, the seating is more comfortable than being cramped in the back seat of the car.

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This past October my wife and I upgraded from a 32 foot travel trailer to 40 foot diesel pusher.  We had simply outgrown the travel trailer as our children married and grandchildren started to appear.  We strongly considered purchasing a new 40 foot fifth wheel and trading our five year old 1/2 ton Silverado for a 3/4 or 1 ton Chevy HD truck to support our weekend outings to LSU football, wine festivals in the Texas Hill Country, etc. (being in our mid-50's were several years away from retirement and long road trips!).   When looking at the cost of a new fifth wheel and new truck to pull it, the incremental cost for a motorhome was not that much.   The best advice I received was from a fellow LSU tailgater who had a very nice, very expensive fifth wheel and new Ford F350 truck.  His advice was "when you do upgrade, make sure your new RV has a steering wheel !".   I agree with the comments above about the "ease of use" associated with a motorhome versus a travel trailer / fifth wheel.  I greatly enjoy NOT fighting with the weight distribution hitch, manual stabilizer jacks, setting up portable generators for an LSU football weekend, etc. that was required for my travel trailer.  The "push a button" effort to set-up my motorhome for a weekend stay was a big driver in our decision to purchase a motorhome over a fifth wheel.

I worked in my company's major capital projects organization for a few years and used my 32 foot travel trailer as my temporary home for 18 months. Combining that experience with my current motorhome experience says that fifth wheels are some what designed better for long term living at least compared to the way my travel trailer was and motorhome is equipped (neither has the nice big recliner I have at home). 

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We purchased our first motor home, a used 38 foot Monaco Dynasty, for almost exactly what it would have cost for a new heavy duty pickup and a 40 foot fifth wheel.  We traded that for a newer coach after living in it for two and a half years.  The new coach now is 12 years old and has 150,000 miles on it.  I don't think that we would have gotten 150,000 miles out of the pickup truck and fifth wheel.  We chose to go the motor home route for all the reasons listed above and have never looked back. 

Of course asking this question on a website for motor home owners is asking for a biased opinion.  If you want the other side of the decision you should ask this question on a forum for all types of RV's.  I'm sure that many of those with trailers can cite some good reasons for their decision.

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22 hours ago, fagnaml said:

This past October my wife and I upgraded from a 32 foot travel trailer to 40 foot diesel pusher.  We had simply outgrown the travel trailer as our children married and grandchildren started to appear.  We strongly considered purchasing a new 40 foot fifth wheel and trading our five year old 1/2 ton Silverado for a 3/4 or 1 ton Chevy HD truck to support our weekend outings to LSU football, wine festivals in the Texas Hill Country, etc. (being in our mid-50's were several years away from retirement and long road trips!).   When looking at the cost of a new fifth wheel and new truck to pull it, the incremental cost for a motorhome was not that much.   The best advice I received was from a fellow LSU tailgater who had a very nice, very expensive fifth wheel and new Ford F350 truck.  His advice was "when you do upgrade, make sure your new RV has a steering wheel !".   I agree with the comments above about the "ease of use" associated with a motorhome versus a travel trailer / fifth wheel.  I greatly enjoy NOT fighting with the weight distribution hitch, manual stabilizer jacks, setting up portable generators for an LSU football weekend, etc. that was required for my travel trailer.  The "push a button" effort to set-up my motorhome for a weekend stay was a big driver in our decision to purchase a motorhome over a fifth wheel.

I worked in my company's major capital projects organization for a few years and used my 32 foot travel trailer as my temporary home for 18 months. Combining that experience with my current motorhome experience says that fifth wheels are some what designed better for long term living at least compared to the way my travel trailer was and motorhome is equipped (neither has the nice big recliner I have at home). 

You can add a recliner or two. There have been several do that just recently. Here is a link that may give you ideas. I am in the camp that thinks the added storage in a class A makes it the better choice for long stays or trips.

Bill

 

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