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Old 09-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
want a Cat 293REX
 
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Class C or FW (28')-need help choosing next RV

We need your advice, suggestions and thoughts on our next RV. So happy we started with a 21’ TT while we learn. We want to take a year to travel when we retire in about 2 years and are thinking of buying a fifth wheel about 26-28’ but...

We have trouble backing up the 21’ TT and wife is intimidated at the thought of towing a 26-28' Fiver. We have seen some beautiful Class C units in the 26’ range this summer and are now considering a Class C.

Lots of pros and cons to consider as we would not want to tow a vehicle for the same reasons and this would perhaps limit where we travel to as a Class C is not a 4WD truck.

We are sure this has been discussed but I cannot find many. Please email or post a where we can review previous discussions.

Really would appreciate any advice and thoughts on this subject.
Thank you!
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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If staying somewhere for long periods 5er has more room. I would go Class A over C, the additional feel of space is significant and I don't think the cost is much different for gassers.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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Please don't buy a rig that will limit your travel.
We have a truck and TT because of the lower profile and we have a separate vehicle to drive - that will go anywhere we need it to in any weather.
We looked at fivers and decided that they were too tall for our style of wandering.
The old tunnels and the old bridges and overpasses may not be so friendly to you if you have a 13 foot plus fiver.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:43 PM   #4
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We're getting out of the motorhome deal just for storage and room as we'll be full timing in the next few months. If needing storage, class A or fifth wheel. Class c's are great, but carrying capacity will sometimes be reached before you get it full, so we found out. I unloaded my class a when we got the forester, and got about half of it in the C. Fifth wheel hands down for storage, carrying capacity and towability. If you've never towed a fifth wheel, don't be intimidated as its so much better than the bumper pull. On the Motorhomes, in considering those, go drive the fire out of a class a and a class c to help with the decision. Everyone has different needs, so its a good thing we have so many options.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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We had a nice big 5er and experienced the irritation of finding neat places to camp only to find out that we just didn't fit the spaces ~ typically trees are the issue. Also, some of the worst arguments DH and I ever had took place while parking our 5er. As wonderful as it was, it wasn't worth it to us.

Now our Class C is a different story altogether! I loved loved loved it and still miss having it. It was a 28' Jayco Eagle ~ very well built, ran like a dream and I was comfortable driving it anywhere. As a matter of fact, DH rarely got to drive it. I loved it. It fit most anywhere we wanted to go. For whatever reason, Class A's make me nauseous.

I say try it before you buy it. Rent each and see what your experience with each are. I think that will be the best way to make your decision. Good Luck!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
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We have been through all levels of rec vehicles. Travel trailers provide the flexibility a vehicle to drive while camping. Down side is sitting in the car or truck while traveling. You can't go to the bathroom or make lunch while rolling. Some have generators for boondocking.
A smaller class-c could provide you with the versatility of a motorhome(access while traveling) and a car(transportation at the destination). All have generators which share a gas tank with the engine. We see alot of rental c-class units pack up daily then return in the evening. A small class-c can also tow a vehicle which weighs less than 5000 pounds.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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We had a popup for 20 years and went to a 31' FW and backing in to a site is just as easy if not easier with the FW. Tows amazing and lots of room. Also we now have our truck to go anywhere and see all those things out on the road that are not quite accessable with a longer vehicle. So I say go with the FW for storage, ease of towing & convenience once at the camp site for sightseeing and all the other daily chores that may require a vehicle.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:54 AM   #8
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I have made the progression from pop-up, 2 hybrids, 32' tt, and now 32' fifth wheel toy hauler. While I never owned a class c i drove in-laws many times and did not care for how it drove or handled. I personally like to towables because I think you get more bang for your buck with space and cost. There is a lot of maintenance, and up keep on drivables not to include higher insurance cost. While there is maintained for tow vehicle it is easier and cheaper to do. I wouldn't travel with out having transportation once I got there either by toad or tow vehicle. I think a upper 20 ft fw would be very manageable. Only downside is a little more physical hookup then tt especially if you have manual landing gear pins and tall 4x4 truck bed. Will need ladder for hitch and kneeling cuision for pins. Also 90 percent of time when using camper your not moving and a cab takes a lot of space. It is a downside you can't sleep or use restroom while towing 5th wheel like drive able.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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I think we need to know what type of camping you like to do. State, local & National parks might limit you options due to length & height issues. A fifth wheel would give you easier backing than your TT & a vehicle to drive out from your camp site. It still is a pain to park your truck in these small mall parking slots. That is one of the reasons we like Walmart & Cabela's.

For the camping that we like, there are space limitations, those trees grow right where we want to camp . We traded a 30 foot TT for our 21 foot TT & we feel like we gained space with a better floor plan. The slide helps too.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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We hope to go fishing across the country - so to speak - we want to see the USA. Kind of cliche, but Mt. Rushmore, Lake Banff, Vegas, Yosemite, the Canyon of course, etc. so I guess, typical tourist stuff. We are not committed hikers, but rather fly fishing. Maybe some BBQ competitions.

I don't think height will be an issue, or storage space, but we don't know yet. So many good suggestions here, thank you!
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #11
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I should have thought of this 1st as it sounds like you already have a tow vehicle, maybe it is 4x4. If it is in good shape, I would check its capability against a fifth wheel. That way you don't have to carry your fishing poles down to the lake & more importantly lug all those fish back to the camp site. Just load them in the bed of the truck. It might take two to lift the BIG ones in.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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I would bet if you do the PU/FW you could find someone that would back your rig in for you, I know I would and for free to boot!

just how many times do you think you would need to backup in a year.

The more you do it the better you get!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:45 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice - we are going to first, decide whether wife can drive truck and a Fiver. For this, good advice, we need to rent a fiver and truck first to she if she is too intimidated to drive it. If she cannot, decision made! We go with a Class C, I guess, unless anyone has any advice because DH cannot do all the driving across this beautiful country !

Comments, thoughts, suggestions and advice, please!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #14
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We have had a TT, FW and now a class A motorhome. Each one we loved. All have pros and cons like others have said.
Our FW was a 33' and we pulled it with a Duramax 3/4 ton, 4x4. Did great pulling it and got 12.5 MPG. We were able to go any speed we wanted to. DW had no issues driving it but was a little intimidated backing it up so I did all that. Easy to drive. It was a learning curve to get use to it because we perceived it being big. After a few outings no problem. Lots and lots of storage.
As for the class A we love it even more though MPG went to 7.5 while towing a toad. It's a 37' rig. Seemed very big at first but after the first trip we were hooked. Very easy to drive and easier to backup than the FW or TT. As for the setting up, that was a breeze. All automatic and never having to left the coach, even on those rainy days were a plus.
The best part is the DW has made popcorn, cookies, a cake and on this last trip made a pumpkin pie all while driving down the road doing 62 MPH. Pretty cool.
As for a class C that should work for you if that is all you need. Just 2 people may be okay but if you have any animals it might be a little cramped, though a larger class C might do. Have you thought about a smaller class A?
I have seen the new FR3's that are pretty sweet and only about 30 long. They could also pull a small SUV like a Honda CR-V. That is what we pull.
Have fun deciding.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #15
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Thank you all for great suggestions!
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:12 AM   #16
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Truly like everyone said each one has trade offs. Layout for FW or Class C or A always should be first. Look at many before you buy and carefully consider how you will use the space. So for instance, plenty of counter space in the kitchen is my wife's priority.

If you decide FW, then you have to pick which FW you want and THEN match the truck. Depending on the weight you may need a dually or not. Then you have to decide gas or diesel. Diesel you will get much easier towing, but the repair costs can be quite steep. A Ford V10 is pretty much bullet proof and tows very well but not like a diesel. You can get the same truck with either engine combo. Weight is critical but a dually gives more stability in cross winds, but will it fit in your garage?

Now the decision between Class A and C. The suggestions above are very good. We opted for a 32 ft class c. Gets around easily and we have it loaded down with everything we want or need and it is well within the weights. Plenty of storage for us. We flat tow with no issues.

It drives well, matter of fact the driving position for some reason and I haven't figured it out, fatigues me less than any other vehicle I own. We like a literal 5 min setup versus a tt or FW.

We will eventually go class a when we retire. Then we will be out 4-6 months per year and that's a different conversation about room.

If you can afford it, I recommend full body paint on anything you get.

Lots to think about and study. This last year we e spent 50 nights in our new Sunseeker. I love it and the folks we meet. Sometimes it seems like home, and I believe I'd be ok with that.

Keep asking questions, study, look at these forums, and repeat a out 50 times before you buy. Don't be intimidated anything you buy you will learn how to drive.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #17
want a Cat 293REX
 
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Great suggestions, thank you all again! Yes, we currently own a 21' TT - MicroLite and love it - I do back the truck up to hook up b/c I can hear stop! and am good at that!

Your advice has really calmed me down about the whole issue of deciding on a fiver or class c. We will decide if I can drive the truck with a fiver first then buy the truck. I need to start driving our truck and TT now and practice.

Love this website and thank you for your advice and time, appreciate it!
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #18
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You will have no problem with a fiver and it will be much easier to tow and setup than a bumper pull. Just don't skimp on the truck, you will need an f350, or 3500 Dodge( my choice), or Chevy Duramax. But really I'd buy which ever one is cheaper they are all very capable vehicles. Don't let anyone talk you into a 2500 series truck. They are the same exact truck without a set of rear helper springs. And the ratings are a lot lower which is ridiculous. The rating is important if there ever is an accident. The cost difference is like $500 bucks. So for instance I had a dodge 2500 diesel 2008 model. Weighed 8200 lbs with just me and my Dad in it. 9900 gvwr. So we only had 1700 pounds of payload. Which made is questionable except for ultralight 5vers. Same truck in 3500 had a 12200 lb gvwr. Which means you had 4000 lb payload. Well that's a big difference for 500 bucks. Really they were both just as capable. But pin weight on a fiver is the driver. And you will want 3000 lbs of capacity to be comfortable especially if you guys load heavy. And that will tow all but the heaviest of fivers.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #19
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Boatless, consider this; with a class A or class C you don't backup with your toad connected - you can't with 4 down and tow bar but it's simple enough to disconnect jump in the toad and whip it around if you had to.
Simply, all the areas you would avoid with a 5th wheel (tight gas stations, McDonalds parking lot) you would avoid with a motorhome. With either 5th wheel or motorhome - when you arrive at a campsite you can select pull-through sites if they have them.
I had the big truck and tt but I was spending more money on fuel with my commute back and forth to work while I only needed the extra hp when I towed the camper. Now I have a smaller truck and tow or small car behind the motorhome and get about the same mileage I got with the big truck and tt.
As others have mentioned on motorhomes, it's nice to have the room to spread out while driving. It has saved me already on all the fast food stops and bathroom breaks on the road.

Bobby
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:36 AM   #20
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Great common sense comments here, love it! Wife will drive the TT this weekend so will see how she does!
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