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 > Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

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rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You MAY be able to find a used Prevost RV that has the optional 20,000# hitch. Might not be any available in your price range altho it may be worth the effort to see if one is available for sale.

TheTripp

Houston

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dougrainer wrote:

MAX tow capacity on most Diesel pushers is 10,000 lbs. With your requirements for what you intend to put in that stacker, I will bet you be way over 10,000 lbs. The capacity is determined in part to the HITCH capacity on the Rear of the Motorhome. You CAN beef up the motorhome hitch capacity, but make sure you get a certified welder and somebody that knows how to do it. Also, you will probably be way over the complete cargo carrying capacity since you have a full family and will probably fill up the lower storage bins and inside. You really need to measure your existing 5th wheel FULL and then remove the personal items and see how much your total payload is. Diesel Motorhomes do NOT have unlimited cargo capacity, tho some think they do. Doug



I've seen many MH with 15,000-20,000lbs hitch capacities, although I do imagine ones without a tag axle are going to tap out around 10,000lbs.

As far as payload, we still have a fair amount of room to spare in the 5er, we dont have it packed full and if we make the switch we will be thinning out our stuff again, well, probably regardless.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/23/21 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheTripp wrote:

We want to travel, see the country with the kids, we realize that we are blessed to have the kind of flexibility that we enjoy and would like to take advantage of it. Traveling with 3 smaller kids in the truck pulling the 5er does not come with long endurance, after about 3-4hrs it starts to go downhill with our max being around 6-8hrs before potential meltdown it seems. Then of course there is the need to connect to a power source when we get where we are going. With a MH we could comfortably travel long distances much much more easily and conveniently, and if we get tired we can stop in a rest area or a truck stop and still be able to do what we need to without hooking up to power.

Our 5er you can see light through some of the slide out seams sometimes if the that rubber seal doesnt fold out right or what have you. We are at an RV resort in Houston and where here through the whole Antarctic power outage experience last week. It sucked with the 5er. Went to a hotel for a night, they lost power too, went to my work office for 2 nights, lost power there too, thank you Jesus we stayed warm. Had we had a MH we could have just made sure to keep diesel in it. One of our neighbors has a nice Newmar Essex and he was fine.

In the Texas summer our 2 AC's cant hardly keep up either...


Have you traveled much so far? I'm guessing by your comments you haven't.
- If you are traveling full time, there is rarely a need for long travel days. We usually shoot for 100-200 miles. It's not like having a 2 week vacation and trying to visit a site 2000 miles away so you have to make 400-500miles on travel days to have any time at your destination.
- 5th Wheels particularly large toy haulers often have built in generators, so if you pull into a truck stop for the night, no real difference (also once you learn you don't have to make 500 mile days, you realize you don't have to camp at truck stops or walmarts because you are off the road by 2pm having fun with the little ones). They also have auto leveling and the other fancy add ons same as MHs.
- The slide mechanisms aren't substantially different, so if you are seeing light get it fixed. We've never seen light on our slides.
- A 2 AC motorhome is going to suck in Texas. That's the beauty of being full time. You don't spend summer in south Texas. No RV is going to be happy in direct sun at 110F.

We also were in Texas last week. We have a portable generator so a slight hassle but not a big deal once I pulled it out and got it going. If you had a 5er with built in generator, it's basically the same as a MH. You push the button and you have power (if it's fancy, it starts up automatically if the power goes out).

4 young kids would be a bit of a hassle in a pickup if you insist on 8-10hr drive days but as suggested above, there isn't a need to travel for so long in a day. But to balance it out, where do you plan to put the kids in the MH? Are you going to just let them roam about as you cruise down the road? You may have to retrofit belts and car seats, which will then be in the way when parked...and there will still be meltdowns with them strapped in for 8hrs.

If you really want a MH, by all means get one but the issues you bring up are red herrings.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


PastorCharlie

NC

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Posted: 02/23/21 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

On the toyhauler, yes there are a few, Thor outlaw, and Newmar Canyon Star comes to mind, but I was referring to a 5th wheel TH, the garage areas in many have drop down bunks. That would also provide a "play area" when your toy was outside. Some even have permanent bunks above the garage leaving it free as a workspace.
If you are looking at Motorhomes because you are hoping it will be easier to heat, Texas had a very bad winter spell, I doubt you would find a MH much easier to heat, the front glass areas are a loser compared to an insulated front on a 5er, and the wall construction isnt going to be much if any thicker. You may have an easier time finding double pane windows, but those would be available in the 5er too.



The Texas snow storm which left a foot of snow was the worst snow storm in over 100 years. A person could wear out a lot of Class A motorhomes in a 100 years without worrying about if it was 4 seasons protected or not.

What is the worst snow storm in San Antonio?
Leaving the city buried under more than a foot of snow, this January winter storm was the worst snow San Antonio had seen in over 100 years. The mayor ordered citizens to essentially shelter in place, instructing businesses to remain closed until the snow was melted and roads were no longer icy.
The 5 Worst Winter Storms In Texas History
www.onlyinyourstate.com/texas/winter-storms-tx/

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 02/23/21 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like others I won't try to discourage you. I stayed in a RV Resort in Houston a few years ago and I was 45ft DP and a 30ft enclosed behind it--75ft. Just 2 of us so we didn't need a bunch of bed space. Motor home was a Monaco with a 450hp engine. Trailer was a pace 1ft extra high at about 13-14,000lbs. I hauled this all over the country for a few years and never had a problem finding sites or any of the other problems suggested. Although I never had one there is a thing called a trailer toad that carries the tongue weight of the trailer. I have now downsized to a 36ft DP but still tow the same trailer. Took it 1400mi over New Years. Hope this helps. Get your last DP first.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 02/23/21 05:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TheTripp,

Welcome to the forums!

First of all, I can tell you that there is NO BETTER WAY to travel with children than in a motorhome. When we got ours (ordered new from the factory) our children were 8, 4, 3 & 11 months. We researched over 2 years looking for our "ideal RV". Note, this was also our FIRST RV, and I wanted to get it right the first time. I spent A LOT of time on this forum, and the folks here were VERY helpful in guiding us to our final purchase. (Just to put things in perspective, we started out looking at small trailers to tow behind our Honda Odyssey, and ended up with a 36' gas Class A that we use to TOW the Odyssey. Yes, we were fortunate that I could increase the budget from $15k to $100k. Hey! It's only money! LOL) We took our time, investigated all options, and ended up with the RV & floorplan that fit our lifestyle and expected use the best. Seventeen years later and we STILL like it better than just about anything else we're ever seen. Ours is the rare (for a gasser) dual-sofa layout.

As you know, travelling with youngsters in a car/pickup truck for any length of time is a challenge. I can tell you that we travelled for long days in the motorhome with the kids, and it was a breeze. Whenever we'd run into traffic, the kids did they're potty breaks and the wife would break out snacks/lunch/drinks. Heck, a few times wifey and I even switched places in stop & go traffic allowing me to hit the restroom. The great thing about it is when the traffic clears, we just keep right on cruising down the road. Most of the other cars are headed for the next exit or rest stop. We might not travel as fast as a car, but the fact we rarely had to stop, other than for gas, allowed us to keep pretty near a 50 mph average speed when on the road. Again, NO better way to travel with the kids.

You WILL need counter space to prepare food for a family. Make SURE that counter space and everything else in the rig is accessible when the slides are IN. If you're pulled over in a rest area, you generally don't want to have to put out your slides, and sometimes you can't if there isn't any space.

Bathroom(s): while more than one would be nice, we made do quite well with just one. I WOULD recommend that if there is a bathroom in the middle of the rig, make sure it is all on one side of the rig or the other. Some mid-ship baths use both sides of the aisle and if someone is in the bathroom, you have now completely isolated the front of the RV from the rear. NOT a good idea with kids. It's also not convenient when you're trying to get ready to go out and people need to get clothes, etc..

Oh, you WILL need LOTS of storage, as you already know. I've never been a fan of the bunk model Class A's, and they really were not much of a "thing" back when we were buying. But if our rig had bunks, they would take up space which would cause us to lose more than 50% of our clothes closets & drawers plus our utility closet (plumbed for a washer & dryer, but we never installed one). NO WAY could we live that way.

Heck, just in shoes, with the 6 of us, there were at least 3 pairs of shoes per person....that's 18 shoes...and the water shoes were kept in the bin underneath the rig! LOL

Oh, the Washer/Dryer setup. We thought we'd want one so we had the rig prepped for it (plumbing and electrical). But after seeing how small of a load it could handle and that we'd have to give up our utility closet, the wife decided we'd just use campground facilities. Which we have done.

Now, the longest trip we ever took when the kids were young was about 5 weeks on the road when the kids were about 11, 7, 6 & 4. Not full timing by any stretch, but we lived very comfortably during the trip. I do carry a good assortment of tools and some spare parts, but we still had sufficient storage in our rig. While travelling, we often overnight at Walmart Supercenters where we pick up supplies, spend the night and get breakfast from their bakery.

We ruled out the few bunk models that were available because we decided that "living space" was more important then "sleeping space" for the kids, and that really was true for our clan. Having those two sofas and dinette up front gave the entire family enough relaxing room to play games or watch a movie when the weather was bad, or if it was too cold out. (We fairly frequently camped well into the Fall, early Spring, and sometimes even in the Winter here in the Northeast.) Wifey and I got very efficient at the evening/morning ritual of prepping the sofas and dinette as needed. Probably 5 minutes at most. Bedding and pillows were stored directly above each sofa & dinette. As the kids got older, they helped. (OK....sometimes with them helping it actually took us LONGER...but they enjoyed "helping".) Oh, when they're young like yours, you can fit atleast 2 on the dinette, and three on a fold-out sofa. As they grew, then we needed to deploy both sofas & the dinette. But they loved it. The kids got the front of the RV at night and mommy & daddy had the back to ourselves, with some decent space in between. With the A/C's running and/or heaters or fans and the front TV on, that even allowed a bit of "privacy time" for wifey and I. (My gripe with most bunk-model class A's is the bunks are a paper-thin wall away from the adult bedroom.)

Our rig has an RV Queen bed in it and it's good for us. I'm 6' about 250 lbs., wifey is a bit over 5' and NO WAY will I put her weight on here! LOL It works find for us. I've seen King size beds in RVs and always thought that was an inefficient use of space.

You already know about outdoor storage. You should know that some rigs have basement AC's instead of roof mounted units. There might be some advantages to those, but understand they use up a fair amount of storage space. With a family, you'll need the space. Heck, you'll need a fair amount of space just for tools and things, assuming you do your own work.

For what you want to tow, I think you will be looking at a rig with a tag axle.

I'm assuming you have plans to home-school your children. If so, GREAT! We did that with our kids and it worked out VERY WELL for them. The curriculum we used was not cheap, but it was VERY rigorous and complete. Send me a PM if you want to know more. Though...it looks like you've got a few years before that's much of a concern! :-)

I think at this point I'd be tempted to advise you to look for high-quality rigs from the early 2000's or so, well kept and low mileage. In this way, most of the depreciation is gone and if in 3-5 years you decide that you need a different floorplan, then you won't lose much by selling this rig. You're undoubtedly going to learn some things as you go, and as the children get bigger, you might find a different floorplan to be preferable. For instance, a bath and a half instead of a single bath.

While we still enjoy our rig and I don't see changing it anytime soon, I think if I ever did I'd be looking for a 20-25 year old, top of the line, class A which has been gently used and nicely kept. Buying new has some advantages, but you take a hit on the depreciation if you have to sell or trade. We knew we'd be holding onto ours for a long time and with a growing family, I had to (sort of) watch the budget. But I've seen some REALLY NICE classic Prevost's and Newmars in campgrounds and I could possibly see myself being tempted in a few years after I retire.

Oh, the other thing, be sure to check for seatbelted positions. Our rig came from the factory with 12 belted positions: 3 on each sofa, 4 on the dinette, passenger & driver. In addition, I installed three across our bed so that when we travelled at night and the kids were young, we put all four of them in the bed and put the straps over them loosely. Just enough so that if I had to lock up the brakes they wouldn't go all rolling out on top of each other! LOL Anyway many rigs only have 4 or 5 belted positions. You can always add more yourself, just be aware that you might have to do that. The advantage of having more belted positions than butts to put in them is that the kids had the option to move around and change seats throughout the trip.

And along those lines, try to find a rig that has a lot of windows up front. The huge windshield of the class A and some nice glass area on the sides gives the kids the opportunity to see the sights too!

OK...I think that's most of what I wanted to tell you.

ON EDIT: Oh, one other thing...when you say "fulltime", do you mean that you don't have a physical home someplace that you can retreat too on occasion? The reason I ask is because there would be a big difference for me between packing the rig for being out on the road knowing I can come back home if needed, and packing it with everything I own that I want to keep with me. I bring a cross-section of tools with me in the rig when we travel, but no way could I bring everything I wanted to have. I guess it depends upon individual preference, but I've amassed quite a selection of tools over my life (60 yrs. old now) and I'm not ready to part with any of them now. IF wifey and I become full-timers when I retired, I plan on keeping the house. I'm sure at least one of the kids will be interested in living in it while we're away. But to pare down EVERYTHING...THAT would be real tough for us.

Good Luck in your search. Take your time and please don't hesitate to ask us questions!

~Rick

* This post was last edited 02/24/21 06:25am by Rick Jay *   View edit history


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (24-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (19), 2 boys (20 & 17).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 02/23/21 05:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OH BOY, Most diesel pushers are designed for cocktails for six, dinner for four, and sleep too. There is not a gas Motorhome made that will tow a large stacker trailer...7500 lb hitch max. You could go with a toy hauler pulling a van 4 down (no trailer) is a possibility but 99% are gas. Once you go over about 38 feet you are in diesel pusher territory. A single axle 40’ DP might have 4500 lbs of CCC (amount of stuff you can put in it) and a 42’tag rig will have double that. Agree many DPs only have a 10K hitch... while mine is 10K, a 09 with the same hitch, is rated 15K.

A big DP is going to weigh 45,000+ lbs loaded up and a big stacker will be 15K... 60,000+ lbs putting you into the 500+ HP with 1600+ torque league ...not a Cummins ISL 450 (good engine but only 1250 torque).

Doubt you will find what you’ve specked so modifying one that comes close will be the only option.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Sold 04 Dynasty to our son after 14 great years.
Upgraded with a 08 HR Navigator 45’...


dougrainer

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Posted: 02/23/21 05:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As Ivy stated, Diesel motorhomes are geared towards 2 people. Sounds crazy, but even 45 tag axles also. So, when looking at Diesels remember that sleeping will be for you and the wife. The kids will have to use the couches that fold out. Most Diesels, the couches(usually 2 full size beds) that fold out have air mattresses, so it will be comfortable for the kids. Downside is, once the couches are folded out, moving around is not that easy. Doug

PastorCharlie

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Posted: 02/23/21 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Perhaps converting the back of a motorhome with fold outs like THIS would be a better option than slide outs.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 02/24/21 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The “THIS” above wouldn’t even make a good 3 season rig...no insulation.
Like I said above, you’ll likely have to modify an existing rig...this floor plan comes close and they are good solid rigs.
The floor plan below is by far the best we’ve owned...lots of counter space and a more open BR with a extra closet and the second sink in the BR area. It would be easier to convert the BR into a office during the day by tilting the bed up 90 degrees and folding down a desk top.

Concerning the extra seatbelts...in our 04 Dynasty they we’re screwed to the bottom of the slide out so adding ones for kids would be fairly easy.

The booth we have, instead of table and 4 chairs, is surprisingly comfortable and with the 2 extra chairs and with the leaf added, 6 would be possible. Easy enough to add seatbelts too.


The 09 Monaco Signature, Executive, HR Navigator have a 15K hitch that is identical to the previous 10K hitch and yes it’s that well designed.

[image]

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