I have to agree with the others who say there is no significant difference on a travel day with a 5th wheel. For full time, I'm assuming you will have a toad, so you have to hook that up and unhook it when you arrive (typically while blocking the road). If you want the automated leveling system, they are available for 5th wheels, so that isn't an advantage anymore.
I've driven both (not the big bus conversions but those are thru the roof expensive and way out of our consideration) and the 5th wheel drives nicer in my opinion.
A lot depends on specifics. For example: You stop at a park for a quick overnight and move on in the morning. They don't have a pull thru spot available. I can back in drop the landing gear and plug into electric in 5 minutes. Try backing up a MH with a toad...doesn't work, so you wind up being pushed into paying extra for pull thru spots or moving on to the next park.
Tammy Mike & the Bilge Rat (AKA: Diego)
Ford F250 7.3L
1997 Sunnybrook 27' 5er
1995 Gemini Sail Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er
[quote=Camps with Critters]I agree with the previous poster, in fact I bet anyone that I can have my 5ver unhooked, level, and plugged into water & electric quicker than a MH can get on shore power, water, & unhook his toad. Same with breaking camp.
Have to disagree that you can do it quicker than a MH, cause if you have to unhook the towed, I can do that while DW is in the campground office booking into our site, unhooking a towed that is towed 4 down is not a big deal especially if you have a brake system like an Airforce SMI.
If your coach has airlevelling you level with the push of a button before even getting out of your seat.
There's no clear winner in this, it's all a matter of what you prefer and what works best for you.
Also if you have a pull throught site and it;s raining you can level, extend the slides and enjoy your coach without even having to get out,
Like I said both ways work, both have pros and cons and yes the modern 5'ers have come a long ways in equalling the pros.
Of course both ways work. In fact, all ways work. You can full-time in a 24-foot classic Airstream if you like. I've met people full-timing in a teardrop! It all boils down to how you want to do this.
For us it was the versatility of the motor home that made us move from a 5th wheel. With our 5er we always had to take the pickup truck and drive that when we went away from the unit. There were no choices. We couldn't even choose a small pickup. And there are lots of parking lots that are too small for a big pickup truck.
With the motor home we can choose a small car to tow, or a Jeep, or a trailer with an ATV. We don't even have to have a toad. And without a toad we can be unhooked and gone as soon as we have enough air pressure to work the brakes. This can be a real plus if nasty weather is bearing down upon you.
Brakes... that's another reason. On the west side of the USA there are a lot of mountains and steep grades. We have air brakes on the motor home along with a PACBRAKE retarder that takes the worry out of steep descents. And BIG brakes on the motor home with its 22.5" wheels, too.
The great visibility while driving the motor home is also good for when we're parked. Yet our motor home is nowhere near as high as most new 5ers are; I'm not sure I'd want to tow one of those things (our 5er was relatively low and streamlined in comparison).
It's quiet, too. With our diesel engine 30 feet behind the front seats we don't hear it at all. We can talk in normal voices without yelling. Or listen to the radio. Or one of us can take a snooze on the sofa; or use the bathroom; or make lunch. And the suspension on our MH - along with those big wheels - really irons out the bumps in the road.
Fuel stops are not so frequent, either. With the 5er we had to stop often simply because we didn't have the 100-gallon fuel tank we have on the MH. We have an 1100 mile range on one tank of fuel with no extra tanks or fuel transfer issues. With the 5er we stopped every 250 miles. Which wasn't that important since one of us would have to pee by then anyway. But it was 15 to 30 minutes of down time once or twice a day.
Much of this is not so important if you only drive for three days and sit hooked up for 3 months before moving again. But for us the versatility of the motor home is unsurpassed.
Again... for many people none of this is relevant. If you are brand new to the RV experience you may not understand what you like yet. All we can do is give you ideas. Lots of RVers out there in practically everything from a VW camper bus to a 45-foot semi-trailer with an expandable second floor.
Have to agree with Desert Rat and 2 Gypies, for us it;s the whole experience, being fully self contained, we can stop and spend a night at friends farms, relatives what ever, we want the total freedom feeling when we hit the road fulltime in another 1-1/2 years.
What we want and works for us may not be for everyone, but sure glad we're able to make that choice.
One major thing for you to consider since you're looking at a 40' 5th wheel...is that it's going to take a BIG truck to pull it. Do you want to do your shopping and siteseeing in that truck?
We full-timed for 8 years in our 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel with one slide. We loved it however things were wearing out. We never did enjoy driving around in the diesel truck.
Friends got us hooked on Jeeping so we bought our 40' Newmar motorhome and our Jeep and have lived in it for 8+ years. We have thoroughly enjoyed both and if we were to get a new one today it would again be a Newmar motorhome. It's been very trouble-free which is what we expected when researching manufacturers. However, this one still looks and performs like new so no new one on the wish list.
Even though we liked our little 5th wheel, after having a motorhome we now know that's what we'll always have even if we downsize. We love everything about it. We only wanted two slides at the time and now would never want all the slides put into new ones. We also didn't want a washer/dryer and wouldn't want one 16 years later. Our campgrounds of choice are public ones and we have no problem fitting into national parks, national forests or state parks. However, most of our travels are west of the Mississippi. We even take it "off-road" and find ourselves some wonderful scenic boondocking areas. We have driven it to Alaska with absolutely no problems. Towing a small vehicle and siteseeing in it is so much more practical and pleasant - especially if it's a Jeep!! Good luck with your choice. It really boils down to how YOU use it. Everyone has different views, for sure.
Extremely Happy Full-Timers for 16 years
.... now trying to adjust to 3-season traveling - and it isn't easy!
2004 40' Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher
2004 Jeep Liberty
I have had both and pretty much agree with everyone else about traveling a lot take the MH. Setting at the same place for a few days the 5er is the way to go. The only thing I do not agree with is set up time. If you are buying new with that big of a fiver there is really no difference in set up and break down as the 5er will most likely have the same leveling system as the mh. Everything else would be the same anyway.
I unhook and press a button = level, plug in electric, connect water and sewer, finally cable or satellite
2012 Cedar Creek 36RE w/ Level Up
B&W Turnover w/ 18k Companion Hitch
08 Ford 350 Lariat DW PSD Crew Cab Long Bed 4:30
Money was a big concern for us. When we looked at MH's the one's we could afford we did not like. The ones we liked we could not afford!
Even the top end of the 5'vers were to rich for our blood, but Mid-Level 5th wheels are some darn good trailers for the money. 12" frames, push button auto level, king bed, built in generator, and the list go's on.
We went MH as we didn't want to have to use a big truck for daily driving. Initial investment 5er (and truck) vs. MH was insignificant. However, for someone who is full-timing, the storage space available in a MH vs. 5er is very significant. I've never seen a 5er that could store (and haul) everything we own. A raised rail basement is a necessity for full-timing in my opinion.
However, for someone who is full-timing, the storage space available in a MH vs. 5er is very significant. I've never seen a 5er that could store (and haul) everything we own. A raised rail basement is a necessity for full-timing in my opinion.
Wish you could see mine, I have full pass through storage underneath everywhere except over the axles, more interior storage than I have ever seen in a MH also. Of course this trailer is designed for full-timing and custom floorplan designed by myself, the DW, & engineer of the manufacturer. It was only a few thousand more in cost than a production line top end 5ver. Couple it to a used OTR truck with custom built bed & drom box (yet again more storage) and put a Smart Car on that truck bed and you have storage everywhere. As to cost, the trailer is mentioned above, what I have invested in the truck is very competitive of a new dually price inclusive of the custom bed , drom, and paint to match the car.
My point is anyone can make it work with either type of rig and be happy doing so. In my case I could not afford to lay down the money for a MH that would be as spacious & luxurious as my 5ver, so I made it work one piece at a time.
05 Freightliner Century with Smart Car on the back
2010 Spacecraft 44.5 ft with a fully stocked bar-room
The Critters: Boogie & Jack (2 great dogs)
We have just sold a 30' Jayco 5er. It was quite roomy and had rear bunks for the kids/kids friends that have been camping with us. It filled its purpose and we sold it for just a few thousand less than we paid. I still have the F350 CC LB SRW truck that we pulled it with. We are going to take a bath on it. Diesel was $2.25/gallon when we bought it. It went up .50 two days later and hasn't stopped. Last summer we paid $3.90+ and it looks like its over $4 now before the summer vacation season is even close. It's a great truck.
We are at least 8 years out from FT, but we have our sites on a MH as soon as the truck can get sold. The big problem I had with the 5er (besides the roof leaking) was with camping in the Smoky Mountains. There were only 8 or so sites in our favorite NP campground that we could get all 30' of RV and 40' of truck in. I think a 32' MH and small car could fit in many more. Parking the truck in Gatlinburg wasn't that much of a problem, but parking it at work every day is. I hand out of most spaces in city parking lots. Plus driving my tow vehicle in city traffic is spending trade-in money. I don't drive it but once a week or so now.
I do agree with most posters that like driving trucks. I have always liked seeing above everybody. Can't do that in a Mazda 6!
Glenn in TN
04 Liberty daughters
03 Mazda 6 wish I could tow it
00 Ford Taurus wish I could tow it 4 wheels down
99 Holiday Rambler Vacationer w/05 PT Cruiser toad