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Old 08-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Motor Home vs. 5th Wheel/travel trailer ??

The missus and I have been looking at motor homes, trying to figure out the best floor-plans and options for when she retirees in about 4 yrs. A conversation at the FROG rally with a forum member who had switched from a motor home to a travel trailer got us to thinking about the pros and cons of motor homes vs. 5th wheels, or even the right travel trailer, although we are leaning towards 5th wheels if we decide to do the pull behind thing again.

The cost is probably gonna be about the same. A new 3/4 or 1 ton truck and 5th wheel, vs. a motor home pulling a toad.....I have a Jeep Wrangler already.

We have discussed some of pros and cons like:

Can't back a motor home with toad attached.
Motor home probably easier to back (without toad).
Can't walk to the back to pee or get an snack in a pull behind while in transit.
If a motor home needs to be serviced overnite, you loose your lodging.
Probably easier to service a pickup.

So, we would like the input for those that have owned both. We are planning on still have our sticks and bricks, with several months each spring and fall on the road.

Thanks, Chap
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The missus and I have been looking at motor homes, trying to figure out the best floor-plans and options for when she retirees in about 4 yrs. A conversation at the FROG rally with a forum member who had switched from a motor home to a travel trailer got us to thinking about the pros and cons of motor homes vs. 5th wheels, or even the right travel trailer, although we are leaning towards 5th wheels if we decide to do the pull behind thing again.

The cost is probably gonna be about the same. A new 3/4 or 1 ton truck and 5th wheel, vs. a motor home pulling a toad.....I have a Jeep Wrangler already.

We have discussed some of pros and cons like:

Can't back a motor home with toad attached.
Motor home probably easier to back (without toad).
Can't walk to the back to pee or get an snack in a pull behind while in transit.
If a motor home needs to be serviced overnite, you loose your lodging.
Probably easier to service a pickup.

So, we would like the input for those that have owned both. We are planning on still have our sticks and bricks, with several months each spring and fall on the road.

Thanks, Chap
Chap,

I hate unpacking the camper once a year to get it inspected. I would absolutely hate doing that every time it needed an oil change or a tune up as well. If you are full timing I am sure it is worse. What do you do? Rent a storage unit every time it needs service?

If you need a new motivator with a pull behind, you just go and buy a new truck. Same with the camper if your needs change. With a motor home you have to do BOTH at the same time; always.

Just sayin'
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Chap,

I hate unpacking the camper once a year to get it inspected. I would absolutely hate doing that every time it needed an oil change or a tune up as well. If you are full timing I am sure it is worse. What do you do? Rent a storage unit every time it needs service?
Something interesting that I hadn't thought about, although I don't have to unpack my trailer for an inspection....they don't even go in the trailer. But, with a motor home, the inspectors would have to go in to work the lights, horn, wipers, etc.

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If you need a new motivator with a pull behind, you just go and buy a new truck. Same with the camper if your needs change. With a motor home you have to do BOTH at the same time; always.
Another good point I hadn't thought about.

Thanks, Lou
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Each has it's pluses and minuses. I have had all three at one time or another. And IMHO I would not go with a MH again unless I hit the lottery. Initial cost of a new MH large enough to match my current fiver would be around 175-200K Add in insurance costs and the need for a toad, I could easily top 225K. For the same amount of livable floor space I can get a really nice 38 foot fiver for around 60K. Another 50K for a truck to haul it and I am a tick over 110K.
Down side to a fiver, stairs. Whereas a TT will have no stairs, they are also not as easy to pull and the luxury is just not there in a TT. so your choice.
Personally I would go to some dealers and price out what you believe you want in a MH, then go sit in it for an hour or so without a salesman and see about living in it. Then do the same for a TT and a fifth wheel of comparable lengths. You will soon see which has the most living space and which is the most comfortable for you.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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I gave the MH some thought, but as stated above, cost and the fact that you must have two motors, one in MH and other in toad. With a fiver, you have one well proven pickup of your choice.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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Not a motor home basher by any means and I am sure there are some VERY happy folks cruising along. I would REALLY like being able to watch TV; get up and stretch my legs or go make a sandwich while driving!


Oh, wait ....
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Besides cost, it really comes down to how much time sitting vs how much time moving. If you are constantly on the go, the MH definately has advantages. They can't just sit around though, you start having issues. Trailers love to sit in one place.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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Not a motor home basher by any means and I am sure there are some VERY happy folks cruising along. I would REALLY like being able to watch TV; get up and stretch my legs or go make a sandwich while driving!


Oh, wait ....
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Each has it's pluses and minuses. I have had all three at one time or another. And IMHO I would not go with a MH again unless I hit the lottery. Initial cost of a new MH large enough to match my current fiver would be around 175-200K Add in insurance costs and the need for a toad, I could easily top 225K. For the same amount of livable floor space I can get a really nice 38 foot fiver for around 60K. Another 50K for a truck to haul it and I am a tick over 110K.
Down side to a fiver, stairs. Whereas a TT will have no stairs, they are also not as easy to pull and the luxury is just not there in a TT. so your choice.
Personally I would go to some dealers and price out what you believe you want in a MH, then go sit in it for an hour or so without a salesman and see about living in it. Then do the same for a TT and a fifth wheel of comparable lengths. You will soon see which has the most living space and which is the most comfortable for you.
Thanks donn. Owing all three gives you a lot of perspective, and passing on the information gives me a lot to think about.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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I have had both and prefer a motorhome its alot easier to drive than tow. As for maintenance its the less than a truck & trailer you only have 1 oil change a year unless you put alot of miles on, and inspection on a motorhome thats it. a truck & trailer you have multiple oil changes and they both have to be inspected. on a motorhome you have front & rear brakes on a truck & trailer you have your truck front and back plus your trailer brakes. there is more i can say about the two but you get the picture. I prefer a Motorhome any day over a truck and trailer. their are pros and cons with both its whatever works for you. With all that said its your decision to make nobody can do that for you. Your the one that knows yourself more than anyone. good luck on your decision HAPPY CAMPING. PS I forgot to say that a motorhome should last 15 years and you cant get that out of a truck pulling a trailer so you will need 2 trucks and one trailer.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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For us (a family of 4 + in-laws are regular guests), it all came down to floor plans - then it was just FW vs. TT. For a family, there just was no comparison between a towable vs. MH.

At the sizes we were looking at, I liked the perceived benefit of better towing handling that the FW offered made our choice for us.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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PS I forgot to say that a motorhome should last 15 years and you cant get that out of a truck pulling a trailer so you will need 2 trucks and one trailer.
I knew there would be a happy MH operator out there!
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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I knew there would be a happy MH operator out there!
That is what I wanted to hear.....from both sides.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:55 PM   #14
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This our 1st time at this .We researched all we could on camping and RVing. We bought a motor home as we feel that it will suit our need better. No one know your needs better than you.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #15
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Had TT, then MH and now FW. Starting to get the same itch as you and now looking at MH again. IMO, its the only way to travel. The operative word being travel. If I was at a season site or long term site then a parkmodel or bigger TT or FW would work. But I like moving around and it's going to be a MH for me. Cheaper on fuel too than a TT or FW. When you do stop and camp , you drive a little toad around instead of a big PU. I've experienced that very scenario when we travelled with friends who had a MH with a toad and we had a Ford PU with a 30' TT. His gas consumption, overall, was much less.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The missus and I have been looking at motor homes, trying to figure out the best floor-plans and options for when she retirees in about 4 yrs. A conversation at the FROG rally with a forum member who had switched from a motor home to a travel trailer got us to thinking about the pros and cons of motor homes vs. 5th wheels, or even the right travel trailer, although we are leaning towards 5th wheels if we decide to do the pull behind thing again.

The cost is probably gonna be about the same. A new 3/4 or 1 ton truck and 5th wheel, vs. a motor home pulling a toad.....I have a Jeep Wrangler already.

We have discussed some of pros and cons like:

Can't back a motor home with toad attached.
Motor home probably easier to back (without toad).
Can't walk to the back to pee or get an snack in a pull behind while in transit.
If a motor home needs to be serviced overnite, you loose your lodging.
Probably easier to service a pickup.

So, we would like the input for those that have owned both. We are planning on still have our sticks and bricks, with several months each spring and fall on the road.

Thanks, Chap
Neither tt or FW can be approached, started and under way to a new destination in 5 minutes or less. I've done two trailers and 4 motorhomes, there's no substitute for convenience and portability. As for inspection, I've never removed anything for state inspections, always drive thru myself. Now we have 5 year intervals. Besides if someone wants used but good towels or pots, let em have them! Motorhomes are truly self sufficient, including built in A/C plant. We may be outnumbered, I'd never go back to towed. Oh yeah, movie stars and music giants don't use towed either! LOL good luck with whatever you go with.....
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:10 PM   #17
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Oh yeah, movie stars and music giants don't use towed either! LOL good luck with whatever you go with.....
Hold the phone on that one. A lot of movie stars use trailers still. Will Smith had a big deal not too long ago while filming in NY for MIB3. (Will Smith's trailer hits road amid NY complaints - Washington Times) He had a workout center and recreational room in it. It was a huge 5'er. Also, what about the old saying in Hollywood? "If you need me, I'll be in my trailer." You can get a lot more room out of a towed than a MH, even though I have seen some massive MH's.




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Old 08-31-2012, 09:20 PM   #18
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Not a lot of experience here but we bought a MH in April. We owned a small pop up 20 years ago so all I know is About MH and thats not much. I love driving the MH its easy to set up. The ride is great with the air ride. My wife Fixed me a cup of coffee and went to take a nap as I drove home from Indy today. It's easy to get used to driving and a toad takes 5 min to hook up. I can see it in the camera and although you can't back up it is a breeze to pull. We thought long and hard and it came down to the truck. I didn't want to drive the 3/4 or 1 ton diesel as a every day driver. I also get around 10 mpg with the MH.
FR has a few things to work out on mine but they are working on it and if you haven't looked at the 2013 Berkshire the RB is very nice.
That being said everyone has there own needs and wants, thats why they make so many different ones to choose from.



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Old 09-01-2012, 01:08 AM   #19
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We have owned a 31' TT, a 40' 5th, and now own a 36' MH. For us the MH works out the best. The TT took too long for hook/disconnect. The 5th was nice for a long stay at a CG but the TV was cramped with the 5 of use and two Boxers. For us it is nice to just have to pull over when some one has to use the restroom and the walk to the rear. Or stop and make a bite to eat on a LNG trip and be back on the road in 10 min. In a 5th or TT you have to pull over get out of the TV open the trailer go into a hot unit, move the slides to have a little room to eat. Another plus for us as others have mentioned is we do a lot of sight seeing when we go places. Having a toad half the size of a 3/4 or 1T makes parking in a busy city or area a breeze. As for on the road the MH and 5th were both easy driving with the MH edging out the 5th with a better view of the road and a more comfortable cabin (class A). Connecting disconnecting the toad takes 3 min and we can be parked and set up in 5 min with the MH.
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