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Old 01-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #1
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RV types, the allure of camping, nice places

Well, I just couldn't stand watching the trawler vs motorhome thread head way off course so I started this new one.

So I will start by attempting to answer the fifth wheel vs Class A question.

A Class A puts a lot of investment in the powertrain and driving compartment. Otherwise the back end is essentially the same as a fifth wheel. As a result a new 40' Class a diesel pusher can go over $300,000.

Besides cost, the other downside to a motorhome is that once you set up at a campsite it isn't easy to go the convenience store for a six pack or use the motorhome to see the nearby sights. But many big Class As tow a small car to get around in.

A fifth wheel is much, and sometimes much more cheaper than the equivalent motorhome. A 35' is probably close to equivalent accommodation space to a 40' Class A, but costs $250,000 less. But you do need a decent size truck to pull one. A 35' will require at least a 3/4 ton pickup, diesel preferably. These aren't cheap but the package is still a couple of hundred grand less than a 40' Class A. And you can use the truck for other things.

There are smaller/cheaper versions of both. I owned a 24' light weight fifth wheel that I pulled with a plain vanilla pickup and both cost about $50K together. An equivalent 28' Class B motorhome (gas) will cost at least a little more and some Class Bs of that size go for double. But you can't really pull a car behind, well maybe a Smart.


For maneuverability, a fifth wheel beats a motorhome hands down due to the pin at about 40% of the overall length. I was able to back in to all but one site out of 50 when I owned my 24' fifth wheel and at least in western campgrounds I was never too long for the sites.

In terms of safety, I think that they are similar. A fifth wheel is without a doubt the most stable kind of trailer as the hitch pin sits on top of the rear axle of the truck. So there are no weight distribution hitches to worry about and sway is almost non existent.

A Class A is a big monster to drive. But being up high gives you a grand perspective and can keep you out of trouble ahead.

A diesel pickup truck pulling a 35' fifth wheel gets slightly better fuel economy than a 40' diesel pusher Class A.

David
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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I would see one advantage of a Class A over 5th wheel. Everyone is together in the motorhome, able to use all it's conveniences, so if the trip is long not nearly as boring.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:41 PM   #3
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I would see one advantage of a Class A over 5th wheel. Everyone is together in the motorhome, able to use all it's conveniences, so if the trip is long not nearly as boring.
That to me is a huge advantage.
Pulling a fifth wheel no one can be in the trailer so your limited to seating capacity of the hauler which is probably lower than the pusher.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:53 PM   #4
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The opposite end of the RV spectrum finds people like me "boon-dockin". An early '70's Toyota Land Cruiser to pull a small tent trailer suits our needs for a week in the woods. It'll be a significant upgrade from our well worn tents. Cab over slide in campers are another popular option, I sold mine after 2 decades of use. I never had problems finding friends to go duck hunting with me as they all loved the luxury of fresh hot coffee and breakfast while waiting to enter the refuges.

Bumper pull trailers are IMO the cheapest round trip(buy, use, sell) in the RV world. They come in single to triple axle 12-35 foot long with multiple slide outs. All levels of luxury are available but most tend to be modest. We've owned three from 17'-26' that served our needs well. Eventually we will likely purchase an Airstream trailer when we retire which is about as good as it gets in the bumper pull world.

Toy haulers are another option for those of us into our off road toys. ATV's, motorcycles, dune buggies or classic cars all come along for the ride. The bathroom and kitchen is up front along with a dinette or couch and the rest is dedicated to whatever you drag up the ramp. Swing down beds are often in the rear for after you unload the toys. Our friends have one and it's perfect for their lifestyle.

RV'ing may not be for everyone but it's a great way to see North America and has provided us with decades of fun.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:00 PM   #5
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That to me is a huge advantage.
Pulling a fifth wheel no one can be in the trailer so your limited to seating capacity of the hauler which is probably lower than the pusher.
But you can't walk around in the hauler. Can't prepare meals or snacks. I would just say not as conducive to the long drives. But then I don't know how often RV'ers cover long distances in a day.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:54 PM   #6
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Been there, done that! Small trailers, class C motorhome, big trailers, big 5th wheel and finally the 40 ft. Pusher. Why it took me so long to go the pusher route is beyond me. But if I do it again, the pusher will be the only way for me. I could set up the rig with slides out, rig level, awnings out, floor mat and chairs laid out in 10 minutes flat, and first cocktail also. All other rigs were a job.
Might cost a bit more, but I'll gladly pay the bucks for the creature features of the pusher. And the basement storage......to die for! This was my rig a few years back at Sturgis with the boys. Had a blast!
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:43 AM   #7
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RVers cover the full spectrum:


1. One side are those that stay only in commercial RV parks in a 40x20' slot and either hang out at the pool or encased in their RV cocoon. This is the style that Marin decries and I agree, but different strokes...


2. The other side are those who hook up their pop up trailer or truck camper and head out in USFS or BLM land and camp far away from the madding crowd. They are sometimes hunters, but also get away from it allers.


I am somewhere towards the #2 style, but in established public campgrounds.


But exactly the same can be said for boating. Neither sides are right or wrong.


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Old 01-15-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
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We looked at both options for travel the souther US look at places to retire during the winter months. We decided on a 32 ft class A motor home, pulling a Land Rover. We wanted a motor home so we both can be together and with grandchildren there was space and comforts. Being there are length limitation for some areas and to maneuver, plus towing still 40 ft. We also decided the extra cost for a diesel was not worth it as 10 k is a lot of fuel. Being we live on the Eagle we are use to a small area. We bought used low mileage like new condition, tow dolley, and land rover about 30 grand as we are not sure how long we will be traveling. Another 2 years at least. The A allows the entire space to be used and you sit up high.


Being we are dock queens we do the same with the motor home. We mostly stay in KOA parks with full hook ups, but we travel locally with the Land Rover to explore see the sight, like we do with the dink. Travel a couple hundred miles, 4 hours, park the motor home and explore relax for several day. Then pick up and move to another location. We do stay in some parks that have hook up, but nice to have a pool after a long day. Once a queen always a queen.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:54 PM   #9
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Once a queen always a queen.
The term "dock queen" is often used disparagingly and really isn't fair in that way. Glad to see someone saying they are one and proud of it. We all use our boats differently. If it's primarily at our marina then there's nothing wrong with that, especially for a live-aboard. And while I don't understand those who use theirs for a week every two or three years, that's their choice and perhaps it brings them value. We recently ran across a man who has a very nice 60' Hatteras and it gets used for two weeks each summer. He has a management captain who maintains it and who he hires for those two weeks. The two weeks are the time he gets to vacation with his son who he only sees for occasional weekends otherwise. He had the boat when married and his son loved it but his wife hated boating.

Yours is simple. You like to live in communities whether marinas or RV parks, but you like the freedom for it to be a different community as often as you want and you explore from there by car.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:21 PM   #10
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My loving wife bought a boat beyond my comfort level. I prefer the boat tied to the dock, so there has to be a good reason and the weather conditions have to be with in my comfort zone. Basics the same with the motor home as we stayed for days week for the weather conditions. We bought the Eagles to be a dock condo. Nobody said I had to leave the dock.

A 40ft diesel is not in my comfort zone.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:12 PM   #11
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Been there, done that! Small trailers, class C motorhome, big trailers, big 5th wheel and finally the 40 ft. Pusher. Why it took me so long to go the pusher route is beyond me. But if I do it again, the pusher will be the only way for me. I could set up the rig with slides out, rig level, awnings out, floor mat and chairs laid out in 10 minutes flat, and first cocktail also. All other rigs were a job.
Might cost a bit more, but I'll gladly pay the bucks for the creature features of the pusher. And the basement storage......to die for! This was my rig a few years back at Sturgis with the boys. Had a blast!

Love the set up, my wife and are are going thru the choices and options now. I am leaning towards a pusher toy hauler, cuz I want to bring a motorcycle or two with me. How did you get your motorcycles around? I like the toy hauler idea, but it does eat up a lot of the space/comfort. And its not like I need lots of room, no grandkids in the near future...
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:16 PM   #12
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I been looking thinking of also a motorcycle. Some have motorcycle racks off the hitch frame, the fancy ones for big bikes cost around 3 grand. Also some have modified extended the two dolly. That is one reason we went with the dolly, and most vehicle can be towed on a dolly. This fall we towed our grand daught to her college. I still miss having a boat, but we bought a take apart kayak that fits inside the land rover. Having a small vehicle has many advantages to sight seeing and exploding. But at most popular tourist places you can rent motor bikes and or boats for the hour, day, week. However it's nice to be back on the boat.

15+ years ago on passagemaker the Eagles and I were called a condo dock queen which upset me, I have come to accept own it. Besides the Eagle is usually in the top 10% of the boats, which usually diminish the comments. Anyway make sure it's in you comfort zone or you may become a queen also.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:09 PM   #13
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I have motorcycle camped several times. It is a bit like backpacking: you use compact, lightweight gear but you can carry a small cooler with foof for a couple of nights.

For my motorcycle, a so called adventure bike- a Suzuki V-Strom 650, I added large saddle bags that hold food, cooking gear and a couple of pairs of underwear and socks. The tent, sleeping pad and bag straps on the back of the bike.

The V-Strom has semi off road capability, so I have explored some rutted fire service roads. But I never found a campsite nicer than the developed ones, so that is where I camped.

All my moto camping was in California where we lived for almost ten years- Palomar Mountain, west of Palm Springs over the mountain ridge, Joshua Tree NP and Sequoia NF. The last one was the prettiest. The campsite was within feet of a babbling brook. Slept well that night.

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Old 01-16-2016, 04:45 PM   #14
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But you can't walk around in the hauler. Can't prepare meals or snacks. I would just say not as conducive to the long drives. But then I don't know how often rev's cover long distances in a day.
I think we're agreeing. I personally would prefer a big bus type pusher.
If I were to ever go down this road.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:15 PM   #15
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Personal favourite, 1955 Flxible VL 100. Not sure about it's gas efficiency though.

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Old 01-16-2016, 09:21 PM   #16
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Ive got both a 5th wheel and a diesel pusher. Well and a 43' ocean alexander, but shes a slip queen currently.

rv's are great. I dont know how you could see the rockies or yosimite in a trawler. And trawlers are great too. I dont know how you could expierence the tropical swaying of the palm trees in an rv.

Well on second thought I do know how, bluewater rv resort in the keys. Not my rv, but I have passed out on their tables like the one person.



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Old 01-17-2016, 05:51 AM   #17
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"Personal favourite, 1955 Flxible VL 100. Not sure about it's gas efficiency though. "

Me too, I have a 1956.

Started life with a 6-71 and 5 speed , had a wimpy 3208 and 6 speed Allison when I bought it.

Could hardly crawl up a hill but OK in FL.

Now has DD series 50, 400HP and 5 speed ZF with OD. 2.93 rear gives great fuel economy.

I -95 which is mostly tiny hills to flat allows 10 -12 mpg at 75 in civilized states where where 75 is normal cruise.

The overhead glass allows a friendly interior on those gloomy rainy days.

With PS the bride can drive it easily.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:06 AM   #18
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Me too, I have a 1956.
They are way too good looking not to post a photo or two.
10-12 MPG is really good for an old rig like that, I was expecting something along the lines of a fire truck
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:20 PM   #19
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Love the set up, my wife and are are going thru the choices and options now. I am leaning towards a pusher toy hauler, cuz I want to bring a motorcycle or two with me. How did you get your motorcycles around? I like the toy hauler idea, but it does eat up a lot of the space/comfort. And its not like I need lots of room, no grandkids in the near future...
We had a 36 bumper pull toy hauler for a few years. A 1 ton Dodge dually was the muscle. The toy hauler had a front bedroom so we could put the bike in the back and still sleep in the bed without removing the bike. Was pretty tight though with all the other stuff, cuz no basement storage like the coach.

When we got the coach, things changed a lot. We could now haul a tow vehicle, the boat ( we were a bit over the legal limit at 74 feet total length), or the enclosed trailer for the Razor or Bikes. We tried the bike lift on the back, was a pain. And damn near overheated the cat motor once. I put the cover on the bike and when tooling down the road the cover restricted airflow to the Cat motor.

We looked at the pusher toy hauler but it takes up a ton of space for storing the toys. It also restricts the usable space for slides.

We mostly did the dry camp thing, but when we wanted to live it up a bit we would stay in a nice RV park. Fees for nice RV parks are pricey at times, just like docking the boat in a nice Marina can get pricey.

Hope that helps, and good luck !
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:20 PM   #20
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My loving wife bought a boat beyond my comfort level. I prefer the boat tied to the dock, so there has to be a good reason and the weather conditions have to be with in my comfort zone. Basics the same with the motor home as we stayed for days week for the weather conditions. We bought the Eagles to be a dock condo. Nobody said I had to leave the dock.

A 40ft diesel is not in my comfort zone.

Oh My God!!! .... to have a wife that would buy me a boat beyond my comfort zone!

I would love that opportunity to expand my comfort zone. I'd even like a chance to dock those cruise ships that I have had the pleasure of boarding.

But, my comfort zone ends at the thought of getting on a motorcycle!
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