Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Trading in a Fifth Wheel for a Class A
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 > Trading in a Fifth Wheel for a Class A

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jfkbunkie

Chicago

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Posted: 06/18/18 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking for advice from those who have experience with both fifth wheeling and Class A ownership.

We are a family of six, with four teenagers and two dogs. We like hiking and biking in state and national parks. Our current rig is a 3/4 ton diesel crew cab pulling a 32-ft FW with a quad bunkhouse.
We consider it a must to have a (relatively) small vehicle to use while traveling.

Questions:

1. Driveability and maneuvering differences

2. Flat towing a vehicle

3. Maintenance and operating costs

kfp673

PA

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Posted: 06/18/18 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the same boat (family of 5 not 6) and the issue I run into is the size of the vehicle these can tow. Most gas rigs only offer 5000lb hitch and tow capacity. As much fun as a jeep would be, shoving 3 kids in the back seat of a jeep will get old and cause some serious fighting ;-)

If you can afford a diesel Pusher they can tow more typically.

We still have not made the jump and are back to looking at Toy hauler 5ers instead. Tough to pull the trigger

3 dog nights

Central, Virginia USA

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Posted: 06/18/18 11:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just did this last month. Went from a 40' 5ver with 4 slides pulled by 1 ton duelly with crewcab. to 37' gas MH. plan to pull a jeep. Biggest adjustment is lack of space, rocking and sway. MH's are not as stable as a duelly, still getting used to it. Make sure before you commit. I'm happy but adjusting.


Bob & Lynn
2 Chihuahua's, Ozzy & Dobby

was-2013 Open Range 424RLS,06' Chevy 3500, dually, Duramax/Allison

now-2015 Winnebago Adventurer 37F, towing 2003 Jeep Wrangler

WAFlowers

Clearwater, FL

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Posted: 06/18/18 11:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went from a 37+ foot 5th wheel to a 40' Class A diesel pusher preparing to go fulltime at retirement in 2-3 years. Unlike the report from 3 dog nights our Tiffin Phaeton is both more spacious and offers more storage than our Montana did plus the ride is more stable and comfortable than our F350 dually. There is no rocking or sway given the substantial Freightliner chassis and air suspension.

Drivability is great. Maneuverability is surprisingly good given the 55-degree wheel cut. Most of our 5th wheel driving skills translated well and even backing up the RV (obviously not with the toad attached!) is no problem.

We flat tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee but the 10K tow capacity would let us tow anything towable. Other than having to remember that I need a bigger gap when changing lanes it is as if it isn't there! ("What the heck is that SUV doing tailgating me? Oh, it's mine.")

Operating costs aren't terrible compared to a Class C we once owned. Maintenance isn't bad either because the intervals for oil changes are longer although the quantity of oil is greater.


Bill and Willemina Flowers
George, Sammy and Teddy (the dogpack)
2008 Tiffin Phaeton 40QSH
2005 Keystone Monata 3400rl (5/21/11 to 9/9/17)
(Was in a 2000 Coachmen Catalina Sport 220RK)


MetalGator

Florida

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Posted: 06/18/18 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I didn't come from a 5th wheel but from a travel trailer. We pull a 4 door Jeep which has a decent back seat. We have way more storage room in the motorhome than with the travel trailer. I think the 37' motorhome is easier to maneuver and get into tight spaces than our old '30 trailer. Cost will very but the motorhome cost more to maintain because I now have engine and generator oil to change, transmission to service, etc. For us, it was worth the extra money.

Burch


2018 Miramar 35.3
2005 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 1500
4 fur kids (Murphy, Monty, Lola and Pinto)

VetPartTimer

SoCal

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Posted: 06/18/18 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Went from a 40Ft 5th wheel toyhauler / 3500 Crew Cab Dually Diesel to a 31 Ft Class A gasser.

Water capacity was probably the biggest adjustment for us. Went from 130 gal to 60 gal (most of our camping is dry camping).

Battery power was another - our Class A doesn't have the space (without some major modification) to hold 4 6V batteries.

As others have said, the sway and general instability of the Class A takes some getting used to.

Towing is quite the chore in the Class A. Lot's of downshifing, engine noise and general slow going on grades.

There is usually less sleeping capacity in Class A's.

It is definitely easier to maneuver the Class A and I can get into a lot more parks due to the decreased size.

Setup in camp is way easier in the Class A.

If I had to do it all over again, I would likely step up to the Diesel Class A on the Freightliner frame. Lot's of extra $$ for that though. Also, I have never actually driven a Diesel Class A on the Freightliner frame, am taking everyone's word for it that they are much more stable and powerful.

Hope that helps you some . . .

TWZMYJP

Richland, WA

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Posted: 06/18/18 12:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Similar to a couple others already, we recently switched from a 43' toy hauler to a 35' Class A, and couldn't be happier with the transition.

1. Driveability is apples/oranges, but as others have noted the gasser is just generally slower on the grades. Maneuvering is also apples/oranges with the way a 5vr tracks compared to conventional towing, but we find it much easier to negotiate tight parking lots and camping areas with the motorhome towing our Jeep.

2. We tow our 4-door Jeep on an 18' flatbed trailer, and find it overall much easier to navigate than the 43' 5vr behind the 1-ton Dodge.

3. No question the motorhome will be more expensive to own and operate compared to a trailer.


'18 Jayco Alante 31R

mtrumpet

Hamburg, NY

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Posted: 06/18/18 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reading through some of the responses, a factor could be if you're going from a Fifth Wheel to a Class A GASSER or DP.


Mark & Cherie
2002 Newmar Dutch Star DP 3872, Cummins 350 ISC, Spartan Chassis


K Charles

Connecticut

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Posted: 06/18/18 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went from a 33 ft TT behind an excursion to a 35 ft class A gas. If you don't get a MH that is over loaded when empty the ride and handling would be much better. We tried many that had small tires no carrying capacity and didn't handle well at all. We tried a used DP that had more road noise then our gas engine makes. You can find a class A that rides and handles better then a dually if you look.





Blaster Man

USA

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Posted: 06/18/18 03:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mtrumpet wrote:

Reading through some of the responses, a factor could be if you're going from a Fifth Wheel to a Class A GASSER or DP.


Exactly. We went from a 38' fifth wheel pulled by a diesel dually to a 40' DP and then a 45' DP with a tag. Certainly no stability or ride issue with either DP. Also both have 15,000 # tow capacity as well as plenty of space.

I would look for a quality used DP.


2014 American Eagle

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