We have had a popup, trailer toyhauler, and three fifth wheels, a gas MH and a DP. We would have probably still have the last fiver we had, but problems were many with the unit so we decided for a change. We went to a Tiffin gasser. It was great staying in, however, the driving part was less than exhilarating. We made a mistake and drove a DP. We purchased a Newmar Ventana and it was outstanding. You can't beat air brakes and air ride.
However, the issues we found with our situation and getting a DP. I am retired Air Force, but my wife is a teacher so we really were only able to use the DP during the summer with occasional weekend trips. The costs associated for annual maintenance didn't justify us keeping it. It cost us about $1100 for annual maintenance compared to our Tiffin gasser or previous Dodge dually which was about $150-200 a year.
So now we are in search for the right Fiver again and will make a purchase in about 2-3 years.
With our experience of having MHs and Fivers, here are our pros and cons for the MHs and Fivers:
Pros DP: Smooth and quiet ride; can stop on a dime; excellent down hill stability with exhaust brake; being able to eat while still driving and don't have to get out in the elements to take a restroom break; able to tow our sports cars on trailer or larger vehicle with the 10k towing capacity; don't have to get out in the elements to level and put out slides (if raining can run genny and wait to plug into shore); always cool in summer/warm in winter when getting to camp site; maneuverability in tight situations (can turn on a dime with the 55 degree steering); easy access to water/waste tanks if problems occur; being able to fill up in truck lane at truck stop; fuel mileage is better and don't have to fill up as often with 100+ fuel capacity; able to use pull in sites taking advantage of huge front window; living area all on one level; easier in and out of rig since can be lowered; excellent visibility while driving since have side and rear cameras; don't have to have a big vehicle (toad) to drive around in busy places
Cons DP: Costs to maintain (initial costs also); backing with a toad (can't do it); interior space not quite as good as fiver (also depends on size of rig); handling on curvy roads (has body roll)
Gas MH Pros: Annual maintenance costs are good (not much more than a standard pickup); Being able to eat while still driving and don't have to get out in the elements to take a restroom break; don't have to get out in the elements to level and put out slides (if raining can run genny and wait to plug into shore); always cool in summer/warm in winter when getting to camp site; maneuverability in tight situations (not as good as DP but still good with the 50 degree steering); easy access to water/waste tanks if problems occur; able to use pull in sites taking advantage of huge front window; living area all on one level; excellent visibility while driving since have side and rear cameras; don't have to have a big vehicle (toad) to drive around in busy places
Gas HM Cons: Ride (rough, but not terrible); handling (lots of body roll); brakes aren't as strong as would have liked; limited towing capacity (5K); since engine is up front can be very noisy when RPMs are high; engine braking down hills isn't as good as DP exhaust brake; have to fight with cars at a gas station when filling up
Fiver Pros: Cheap maintenance; easy to maintain; better handling on curvy roads; more floor plan options; don't have cab area taking up living space; more interior storage (depends on size); high end models will have similar amenities of high end MH for a lot less money; having a truck with exhaust brake for stable downhill braking; don't feel as guilty for it sitting extended time since didn't cost as much as MH; able to use truck lanes to fill up diesel
Fiver Cons: Ride can be harsh (bucking/chucking); have to have help backing up (most of the time); can't get into snobby Class A only resorts (wasn't for us)
Once the wife retires, we might go back to a DP, but until then a fiver is our best option.
In the Branson area, any of the COE parks on Table Rock Lake are good. We usually stay at Indian Point, Mill Creek, and Campbell Point.
We have also stayed at Bucksaw on Lake Truman near Clinton.
We recently stayed at Persimmon Hills on Enid Lake in Mississippi.
Thank you for the link as well as the information you provided. The unit we purchased does not have the tankless water heater (dodged that problem) and we have requested that they open up the bottom of the unit and check for straps on the tanks. We did read all 48 pages and did notice those were pretty much a repeated problem that it looks like they have corrected, but we don't want a tank falling out,hence the request to check it out.
We also have looked at many posts and videos on the schwentec slide problems and it seems that the problems are with all manufacturers who use these types of slides.
We do expect to have a few annoying problems but hopefully ones we can correct ourselves and if not a trip to a repair shop will be made.
Glad you are having things looked at and the dealer is willing to do it. We really liked ours, but with the problems the dealer wasn't very helpful. They worked on our tank 3 separate times and it was never "fixed" is the main reason we got rid of it. Having a good dealer makes a huge difference. Best of luck to you and happy travels.
Newmar makes a great Motorhome. But, when you look at those statistics, it does NOT tell what you think it tells. Sales rose. That is great. BUT if Newmar sold 500 motorhomes last year and then sold 700, then the marketing dept would tout that 40 percent increase. Now if Fleetwood sold 10,000 last year and then sold 10,500, that is a 5 percent increase, but still they sold a LOT more. Newmar does NOT have the market share they had just 10 years ago. They are slowly increasing their share every year, but have NOT sold as many as Tiffin/Winne/Fleetwood and Thor. Remember, Marketing will use the numbers and fudge them to make any RV line look like they are selling more versus the competition. Doug
Fortunately, quantity is not their business model. They are geared towards quality and limit how many they make a year. Tiffin is similar, but the rest only care about $$$ and not quality.
Here's a lot of info for you. 49 pages worth.
We owned one for a year (we posted on the link above). Although very nice on the outside, how it was put together was very lacking. Our main problem was the fresh water holding tank as was others. If you read the IRV2 forum, you will see what I am talking about. Also, if it has the tankless water heater, it can be very frustrating as it is near impossible to get it working properly. Luckily it didn't effect our unit, but their were several instances of slide problems. Hopefully you won't have too many issues, but be prepared for potential problems (as in any new RV).
The Newmar Ventana are also available in a Tag Axle with their coachs that are 40' and above. We are picking up our new Ventana (non tag) this weekend. They are nice as well as Dutch Star you already mentioned.