When I first started RVing, I had a truck camper, then moved to a TT AND a TC, then went full time for 9 years in a fiver. I loved the fact that if the mood hit, I'd load the camper and be gone. However when I took longer trips (a week or more in one place) it sure was nice to take my "house" with me (1989 36' single slide customized Prairie Schooner) I've only not had a TC for the year before I purchased my current Weekender and since I've lived back in a stick and mortar house since 1997 I think that is all I'll ever have now. With all the improvements in comfort and technology in truck campers since I started I can't see really ever needing a fiver or TT unless the day comes when I can no longer climb up to the over cab bed. But even then I might just end up with one of those double or triple slide TCs with both a dinette and sofa bed and use the sofa bed..or a motor home.. Time will tell, but for now?.... truck campers for life!
1995 Weekender model 910 extended cabover
Calvin, the 1996 creampuff Chev Silverado 3500 extended cab dually
The camper works well for the wife and I but we plan on adding a 5er when we retire. Conceptually, the 5er could be left at my favorite summer and fall lakes and we just drive up when the mood strikes us. The ability to host our grown kids and grandkids would also be a big bonus. I know I can't buy property and a cabin for the $40k - $60k that I can buy a 5er for.
Truck: 2006 Dodge 3500 Dually
Camper: 2007 Eagle Cap 850
Boat: 2003 Jetcraft 2125 - Yamaha 150 HP & 8 HP Kicker
I too am more of a traveler than a camper. I had a 35-foot Fifth wheel for many years. Every year, I used it less and less. I had TCs long before the 5er, and have had a couple of TCs since then. There is nothing about the 5er that I miss, but lots I missed without the TC.
With the 5er, it was necessary to plan for every nights stay while traveling. Added to that was the camp spots had to be very specific to the 35-foot 5er. While it had plenty of room inside, it really was wasted, either floor space or storage for stuff you seldom used. More space to heat, or cool, and clean. Very limited as to where you could stop and use the bathroom or whatever. We missed many things we wanted to see, simply due to no place to park.
The TC has none of the disadvantages of the 5er. I did live in my TC, in a parking lot, for three days and four nights for five years. Could not do that in a 5er, too big. The longest I ever camped in one spot is four days.
I have no interest in camping in the same place for weeks at a time. I have no interest paying a monthly fee for some place to camp. I really do not want the maintenance required for a big 5er.
We have gone from TC, to 5er, to motorhome, and are now back to a TC. I think we will get a 5er and leave it in our "winter" campground for when we retire completly. We will be snowbirding after that, but we will always have a TC for playing and travel. The 5er will just be our winter home.
We always considered ourselves Boaters not RV'ers.
Had a tent for many years. Bought the Truck and Camper just before retirement.
Have enjoyed the TC a lot but have thought the room of a 5er would be great.
So reading the responses of those that have had both is enlightening.
We are travelers so it seems we made the right decision with the TC.
We are thinking of renting longer term winter retreats, instead of buying a large trailer or 5er.
For those that have both, do you have any criteria for using one over the other such as distance vs length of stay etc.
I have both.
42' Toyhauler and a TC. For me, a couple of factors play into it--
1- Fuel. I get about 12mpg with the TC and around 9mpg with the TC.
2- PITA factor. How how big of a pain in the *** is it going to be to fit the toyhauler into where I'm going. I'm 59 feet bow to stern hauling that thing, and in a lot of cases, I simply can't fit it, so it stays home.
3- Length of stay. I boondock virtually exclusively. The Toyhauler has 110 gallons of water and 6 golf cart batts. Oh, and a VERY nice 12 gallon hot water tank!(I thought 10 gallons was the biggest they made till I bought this) Nice long showers....
Do you find yourself using one more than the other.
The TC, for sure. I generally go on weekend jeeping trips out in the sticks here in the Pacific NW. Weekend trips. Jeep goes on a flatbed trailer. I have taken the Toyhauler with my Samurai, but getting in where we go is kinda a pain with it. The TC has more than enough water, a generator, and 4 golf cart batts for a 3 or 4 day weekend.
We have a 'C' MH, a non moving TT(on blocks and hooked up permanently to water, sewer and Elec., oh and DSL now). So really the only useable RV we have is the MH. I am finding that the MH just won't get into the places that I, want to camp when I go fishing.
I have considered a small 5er of some sort (flipped axles, etc), but realistically it'd still be a pain to get to most of the places I like to be.
When DW goes, the scenery changes, as do the requirements for amenities. So the MH gets put into action. I broached the idea of a 5er instead of the MH, but it was vetoed. So no 5er I'm afraid. It was an easy sell as one of my best friends retreated to a MH when he felt he could no longer deal with the set up etc of the 5er. Since I respect his years of experience and wisdom, I elected to not fight it.
I just shut up and pay the extra licensing fees. But am actively searching for an old cheap cherry TC to bring into the program. Hoping to find an old TC with aluminum frame for cheap. As long as the frame and exterior are good I can deal with it.
2011 Dodge 1500 C'boy Caddy
2000 Jayco C 28' Ford chassis w V-10 E450
Doghouse 36' or so Trophy Classic TT
we have a 30ft 5er and Lance 11ft 3" camper ----and of course our '06 Dodge dually Cummins------------we have been using the 5er for running around Englnd all summer and are presently in Spain/Portugal for the winter with the TC------we made the correct decision to travel in the camper----we are not restricted (but still have to be very carefull!!!!) while travelling the SMALL mountain roads and don't have to plan every stop---it only takes a small area for us to be set-up for the night--------------IF we had the 5er, it would have been totally different-----but if you want to set up on a campsite for the winter (as many do) then a 5er would work well-----not for us though, we do like to move around without restrictions--------I think the only thing we miss when away in the camper is a comfortable arm-chair !!!!
Nigel & Pamala---Southern Spain