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 > The more I learn, the more I realize what I don't know

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Rwake901

Central, Illinois

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Posted: 06/19/20 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just went through the exact thing a year ago. After owning two different motorhomes we decided we wanted more room. So we traded our motorhome for a 5th wheel and a new pickup truck. What we have determined after using the 5th wheel for a year is that the motorhome was the best for traveling in. The 5th wheel is best for room, comfort and ease of maintenance. So they both have their strong points. In my opinion if you’re planning on doing lots of traveling stick with the motorhome. If you’re planning on going to one location and staying for a while get the 5th wheel. A lot less maintenance and a lot more room inside. Which is what we plan to do this winter in Florida for 4 months since we retired this spring. Good luck on your decision.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 06/19/20 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rwake901 wrote:

Just went through the exact thing a year ago. After owning two different motorhomes we decided we wanted more room. So we traded our motorhome for a 5th wheel and a new pickup truck. What we have determined after using the 5th wheel for a year is that the motorhome was the best for traveling in. The 5th wheel is best for room, comfort and ease of maintenance. So they both have their strong points. In my opinion if you’re planning on doing lots of traveling stick with the motorhome. If you’re planning on going to one location and staying for a while get the 5th wheel. A lot less maintenance and a lot more room inside. Which is what we plan to do this winter in Florida for 4 months since we retired this spring. Good luck on your decision.


Excellent feedback and that's where we are really stuck. Of course the MH's we had were entry level gassers and beat you to death so not ideal for long trips. But we plan on doing both, short drives/long stays but some long drives short stays, but I would guess not longer than a week or so at any given place. Ideally a big DP would be the answer but that's not in my budget. Once we make this 6 month trip next year it will probably sit unused for a few weeks at a time and I can't bring myself to let a MH sit like that. Never mind I need a new truck anyway. Despite all the advantages for a MH for lots of travel, I think financially anyway, the FW and truck makes more sense. If Money were no object it would be a 40-45 DP and be done with it. My pockets aren't that deep. In short, I'm going to feel a lot better using a truck every day and letting a $40k FW sit idle, than limping along on my 14 yr old F150 and a $180k DP sitting in storage.


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valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/19/20 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you compare apples to apples...ie, you can't compare a small bare bones 5er to a top of the line MH with all the bells & whistles....

You can get a generator and auto leveling on either. You have to hook something up to tow either way (very few travel in MH without a toad).

Backing...yes it takes some practice but I'm sure the first time you backed the MH into a spot, you probably took a few tires and were slow and careful. Once you get the hang of it 5ers back easy.

Filling up: Take the truck in the night before you tow and you don't have to take the 5er into the station at all. But even if you do, it's not greatly different from a MH. In fact if you have a toad, the 5er has the advantage that at least you have the option to back out from a pump.

Given you need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck regardless, price falls heavily in favor of a 5er. At $50k, you can buy a very nice 5er (maybe not ultimate top of the line but definitely good size with nice features and mid range quality. If you are looking at a new MH, that's basically bottom of the barrel small class C range.


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 06/19/20 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Personally, I never understood how anyone could justify a Class A ! Once you have setup camp, you can't go anywhere unless you have a toad or bicycles.

Truck and FW just seems like a logical solution. Plus you have a LOT MORE ROOM!

As for generator, get a portable, remote start unit. The problem with portables is that you need about 3500W to run a big A/C or two smaller ones. I know I don't want to try putting a 3500W generator in and out of a truck bed (I guess you could just leave it there but you need to secure it to the bed). A pair of 2000W generators makes sense, but make sure the parallel kit has a 30A outlet (Honda Companion does, but it is a twist lock, not a TT30, so you need an adapter. The Champion parallel kit have a TT30.)

Watch this video Westinghouse iGen2500 Vs Predator 3500

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/19/20 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

way2roll wrote:

In shopping brands I have NO CLUE, what I am looking at in terms of brand hierarchy. I can tell you down to the nuts and bolts of every newer Class A out there but literally know nothing of FW's. Our budget is going to put us at 40-50k. No idea what brands/features or pitfalls to look for in that range. I also know some of this is clouded in personal opinion- and that's Ok. Opinions come from experience.

Manufacturer website is best for this.

Generators - do most FW's really have no generator? Seems that way in my price range. We used our Genset a lot in our MH but of course we were in it at the time.

Yes generator is extra based on what you need. Some use a small portable, some a pair in parallel, loud construction generators, some go with built in. You need to get built in if that is the convenience you expect.

Stopping and using things - on long travel days I assume you can use the FW for a snack/lunch/bathroom etc. I assume either elec or lp fridge can stay on during travel, but many floorplans don't allow access to the fridge with slides in. Do you bump them out at a rest stop? I assume AC is out of the question. If you wanted to overnight and dry camp, seems without a generator you have pretty limited power via batts right? Provided you are fairly level, can you use the FW - slides out etc - , while hooked up to the truck?

Mine is cramped but usable with the slide in. Verify this by having the salesman move the slide in before you make an offer. Don not take the salesman's word for anything. Or you pop it out and we do if needed and have space.

Maintenance - I don't want to assume, but seems like a FW is a lot less maintenance than a MH - mainly there is no engine, genset or transmission. Just regular maintenance - seals, plumbing, roof, batts etc. Am I right? I see a lot of noise about packing bearings etc, no clue what that's about.

Yes there is some suspension maintenance. A shop can do this for you.

Hooking up - again, looks intimidating. I see some come with electric, adjustable pins, sliding receivers, auto leveling to help some of this. But I wouldn't know a good FW receiver from a stick. Just how hard is hooking up? What does a decent receiver cost?

Generally hooking up or unhooking is fairly easy. Do need to step through the process safely.

Seems like FW's in my price range don't come with a lot. They may have W/D hookups, but you have to buy the appliances. You have to buy the TV's, solar prep but no panels, etc. Just seems like there is more to buy to "finish" out the camper than a MH. Maybe it's just my price range and perhaps that's why my price range exists.

Yes a lot of roll your own depending on what you want. This way you only pay for what you want and need. You can have the selling dealer add stuff and roll it into the purchase loan or get the minimum and install what you need as you go.



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8ntw8tn

Southeast Iowa & Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 06/19/20 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot of good advice here. One thing I would add about learning to back up: I learned several years ago to have my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and that if the rear of the trailer needs to go to the left then I push the bottom of the steering wheel to the left; just the opposite if the rear of the trailer needs to go to the right. DW and I have tried several methods of communication when backing up; usually with very poor results. What has finally worked for us is using our cell phones and having mine connected to the hands-free bluetooth in the truck. I have no reference for you regarding SRW trucks. I've been pulling a 5er with a dually for the last 17 years. We spend the winters in the Texas Hill Country (9years) and the dually is our daily driver. It's a bit inconvenient in tight spaces occasionally but we've learned to adapt. Hitching up is really pretty simple, IF you can see the hitch. I've always been able to do that until I recently purchased the truck in my signature. The side rails are higher and the low profile tool box obscures the hitch. I'm on the lookout for a portable rear view camera/monitor as an aid. Good luck with your search. Hope this helps.


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TimnJo

Eastern Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 06/19/20 06:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only thing I have to add to the conversation is that I like the security of traveling in a truck with multiple airbags, a stout frame and OnStar should anything go 'sideways'.
I've seen pictures of motorhomes post-collision and it isn't pretty.


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Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 06/19/20 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of good comments. You are correct ultimately a motorhome is more convenient and more costly. I have a 5'er because I already have the need for a big pick up.
I did step up to a dually for RV'ing reason vs. a SRW but the price between dually and SRW is negligible.
Convenience,ease of set up,ease of travel,ease of departure,motor home always wins. For space and "bang for the buck" 5'er wins.
I also opted to get a built in genset for reasons you mentioned.
We stop for lunch, we overnight, we back yard camp, we marina camp and boondock.
Wherever we are we have convenient push button electric that can run both A/C units. There is no hauling genset,no storing genset,no set up,no gas cans,no planning, just push button convenience. I have become accustomed to having an on board genset and would not be without one.
But much like the DP vs. the 5'er, A portable genset can also get the job done: after you haul it, set it up, put it away, deal with gas cans etc. In much the same way the portable will always give you the best "bang for the buck vs. a built in genset. But a portable will never be quite as convenient.


2019 Duramax w/hips,2012 Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 06/20/20 06:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TimnJo wrote:

The only thing I have to add to the conversation is that I like the security of traveling in a truck with multiple airbags, a stout frame and OnStar should anything go 'sideways'.
I've seen pictures of motorhomes post-collision and it isn't pretty.


This point isn't lost on me and something I've thought a lot about. Not only is a truck safer, but compared to the entry level gas MH's we've owned, a tuck rides MUCH nicer. I thought for sure the wife and son would miss being able to lay in bed, watch a movie, make a snack, use the bathroom, all while travelling, but surprisingly they both agreed that a truck and FW would be fine. Gas MH's are loud and rough.

Thanks all for your responses, very helpful!

I feel like I am on the right track,

tomman58

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 06/20/20 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One other thing about a TT vs 5er, you have a pick up with a cap and with the Jayco Eagle I have it is as large as most 5er and then some. I admit that the Dmax pu makes you forget the TT is even behind the truck. We and several other folks here travel the US a lot and we spend 5 months in our TT a year and then some. So many campers only can camp for a few weeks a year and they are a far different bunch as their units just are not used.


2015 GMC D/A, CC 4x4/ Z71 ,3.73,IBC SLT+
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It must be time to go, the suns out and I've got a full tank of diesel!
We have a granite fireplace hearth! Love to be a little different.

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