May of the members that I know of that are full timing are in motorhomes. THey are a lot easier to park, level, and move again! The small car normally towed behind is normally much easier to park at sightseeing places than the dually truck used by many fifth wheel owners.
That said, you can get a lot of trailer for about $60,000, and then buy a truck to tow it, overall cost is less, and insurance is less too.
I was in a huge toyhauler that might make a great full timer rig, it has 3 slides, huge bunk over the sliding glass door that separated the garage area from the front, kitchen curbside 10' slide has dual refrigerators, microwave and cabinets in it. Streetside slide was about 14' long with all couch in it, and in the upper level 6' tall bedroom was a third slide about 6' long with a closet in it.
I guess a motorhome with the space of that trailer would be in the $200,000 range, so the $59,000 cost was not all that bad (list price was about $79,000, but the dealer can make a pretty good price on one).
It is nice that most toyhaulers can carry 120 gallons of fresh water, and have generous grey and black tanks, with the ability to use the truck to carry a black tank to the dump station by using a mascerator pump to drain the tanks.
I'm not a FTer but I can think of only 2 reasons why we might have a motorhome. Physical disabilities of one person (DW has early Parkinson's) or being on the road a LOT. Doesn't make sense to me to have a motorhome to sit for several months in one spot like all winter in the south. It's also a second drive train to maintain. We couldn't afford one that would be really suitable for full time living.
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We will be starting our full-time adventure real soon, but the planning for that day started about 5 yrs ago. One thing we did is read forums like this, met an talked with full-timers and read the blogs of people who were actually full-timing. We went back and forth between a MH and fiver many times. In the end we settled on a fiver. I would like to invite you to take a look at my blog as it may provide you with some insights. Also, it has links to other experienced full timers blogs that I have been reading that helped me imensely. Good Luck
I owned a 34 ft MH and also a 32 ft 5Ver. I full timed in the 5Ver. There are good and bad points with them both. If I full timed again I would go with the MH. I think MHs are built better. The generator can be run on the internal fuel tank instead of being portable or on propane. MHs do cost more but I saw some of the Bounder MHs that seem fairly reasonable. Compared to a MH by the time I got my 5Ver in the park for the evening, leveled etc. I was thrashed. My MH just push the button when I arrive and everything was level. When I stopped to eat lunch in my MH the coach was comfortable. Not too cold or too hot like my 5Ver. Sight seeing in a TV when you are camped is not my idea of fun. Most parking spaces are for rice rockets. Underground garages can't handle some TVs. We usually rented a car when we were camped. If we had a MH to fulltime we could have had a small tow car and saved all of that rental expense. Considering all the rental expense it probably evened out the difference between the price of my 5Ver and MH.
My first thought about fulltiming in a 5Ver was that I didn't have to have a steering wheel in my living room. I should have given it more thought than that.
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We may be weird, but we enjoy touring in our F350. We sit up higher than small cars and can see over guard rails when going down the road. We have friends who drove Hwy 41 through the Everglades and saw no alligators because they were eye level with the guard rail.
It is a personal choice, but we love our big truck!
How long you expect to stay in any one location plays into it as well. As the setup or teardown time in a motorhome is less, when you expect to stay on the move, the MH makes more sense (at least to us). Longer stays in one place make a FW more attractive, as they have a lot more living space per sq ft. We rarely spend more than 2-3 weeks in one place, so being able to pick up and move within a half hour appeals to us.
We also like the fact that with a MH the toilet is always available while on the road without having to pull off and go outside. The older we get the more we appreciate that.
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As many do/did, DW and I spent months on the Class A v. 5er decision. We tend to stay 1, 3, even 6 months at one location except for overnights getting from A to B. And so we went 5er.
Just over 3 FT years later... I don't know... we've met some, not lots of, but some folks that are FT in 40' (give or take) Class A's and again, have spent some, not lots of, but some time in them. HUMMMMM again.
The single most commonly discussed negative comments with A's seems to be the maintenance issues associated with Diesels/Drive Trains etc sitting for months at a time. But well equipped Class A's are far easier to set up / close up than 5er's - seemingly, reportedly, and obviously to an observer - MUCH easier. So I'm thinking... if I had a Class A, every so often I would partially tear down the campsite, take the beast out for a drive / overnight in the area, return the the campsite and set up again.
Here I sit, in a just over 3 year old well appointed 5er in perfect electro-mechanical condition, still looking very respectable, contemplating the trade in / sale of it, and the purchase of an A. The A I would purchase, would be very well equipped, 3 slides minimum and new would cost $350 - $450K. And so, what was the 2nd reason we originally decided to go 5er, is now the #1 reason to NOT implement the contemplation - $$$$$$$$$$.
There are positives and negatives to each. We FT in our motorhome and there were several reasons for us to chose that over a 5er
Pro's for MH
-> Super-easy set-up/pull-down. I'm able to do the entire thing on my own incl. hitching the car, and we can be ready to go in ~30 minutes.
-> Easy to drive. Big engine, great exhaust brakes...I always feel safe (as a woman) driving the thing
-> Access to kitchen/bathroom/pets while on the road. Our pets are with us and we can access everything while on the road
Negatives for MH
-> Less ground-clearance than a 5er. So, if you like to camp in off-beaten track locations the MH is more difficult to get out there
-> More expensive than 5er. Both for buying and maintenance
For those who like to move around alot I think the MH has definite advantages since it's so easy to set-up/pull-down. For those who like to "sit" the 5er has advantages (MH really prefers to be driven, NOT to sit)
We're happy w/ the MH decision, esp. for the sake of having our pets with us all the time.