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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > Pros and Cons of owning a class A RV

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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 08/22/19 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

You can get a brand new fully equipped 5'er with onboard genset and diesel dually combo for $150K. Can you get a brand new diesel motorhome with toad for 150K?
A high end fiver without truck is 100K a high end diesel class A 250-300K
Towables are cheaper and provide more bang for the buck.
Class A's are more convenient and provide a better driving experience but cost more.


To answer your question, yes, you can get a brand new DP for near $150k. I wouldn't consider a high end DP in the $250-350k range. A high end DP is in the $500-2.5MM range.

Lantley

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way2roll wrote:

Lantley wrote:

You can get a brand new fully equipped 5'er with onboard genset and diesel dually combo for $150K. Can you get a brand new diesel motorhome with toad for 150K?
A high end fiver without truck is 100K a high end diesel class A 250-300K
Towables are cheaper and provide more bang for the buck.
Class A's are more convenient and provide a better driving experience but cost more.


To answer your question, yes, you can get a brand new DP for near $150k. I wouldn't consider a high end DP in the $250-350k range. A high end DP is in the $500-2.5MM range.

150K with a toad? But it does kind of further my point 5'ers pretty much top out at 150-200K. Diesel Class A's are just starting out at 150-200K.

We all have are budget and pick our price point. Be it new or used.
I think you will always get more banmg for your buck with a towable vs. motorized.
I also think you will always have more work to do with a towable vs. a motorized RV.
The end result is the same it's the cost factor and convenience that are different


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msturtz

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Posted: 08/22/19 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

You can get a brand new fully equipped 5'er with onboard genset and diesel dually combo for $150K. Can you get a brand new diesel motorhome with toad for 150K?
A high end fiver without truck is 100K a high end diesel class A 250-300K
Towables are cheaper and provide more bang for the buck.
Class A's are more convenient and provide a better driving experience but cost more.


The answer to the first question is yes you can get a DP (not high end)
but a fully capable DP with fully integrated systems including automatic jacks, automatic generator start, in motion satellite system, air ride, full wall sides, and so on. I would like to point out that most people already have a vehicle that could be towed behind a motorhome so the red herring about the cost of a toad is a bit irrelevant. Not all vehicles can be flat towed but many can be on a dolly and all can be hauled on an inexpensive car hauler. It is impossible for someone who does not have a heavy duty truck to haul a 5th wheel. It is quite possible for a person to use a motorhome without a toad. We have done it many times. It is slightly less convenient yes, but quite doable. With all of this said you still would need to upfit the truck with an auxiliary fuel tank to provide the same fuel range as a DP or even a gas A unit.
If a friend of mine had a 1 ton dually truck and wanted to get into RVing I would most certainly recommend they look at towable units because the truck is a sunk cost already. On the other hand if a friend had only cars and or light duty SUVs I would recommend they consider motorized. Of course all of this is dependent on how they intend on using the rig. Keep in mind that a basic 31' Class C can be had new at around $50K, a really nice Class C at about $70K or so. I have seen gas A units for slightly more. The options are endless however the basic equipment on a motorized unit is more than what you get on a towable. To get the basic equipment that comes with any motorized unit means you have to get into some very expensive towable units. To get the range requires aftermarket add ons. My ex-in laws started with towables and eventually moved to a motorhome. Having to drive around a 1 ton truck as your touring vehicle is not exactly easy either. However, they moved due to the hassle of managing the setup.


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colmbarry

Edgewater, md

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Posted: 08/22/19 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To the OP, if your main concern was the annual trip to Florida ( I will assume you are wintering there for this suggestion ) but why not just buy a 5th wheel or park model already on-site in some area of Florida you enjoy staying in and drive your newer smaller car there? There are many good deals to be found all around the state, just take you time and find one that works for you. Yes, the drive down will be a little onerous but it is just a few day's on the road both ways with a nice winter break in between.

As far as the few local summer excursions you mentioned, the field is wide open from small TT's or pop-ups, tent camping or even renting yurts.

Just another option.

DallasSteve

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Posted: 08/22/19 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msturtz wrote:


The problem is that the listed 5th wheel towable unit is in no way equipped similarly to a Class A. There is a reason for the apparent price difference. For example the motorhomes come with an onboard generator and usually have a large battery bank and inverter. No one is disputing that an inexpensive 5th wheel plus the equivalent of a work truck can be purchased that costs much less than a motorhome however you are not comparing the same things either. Option for option feature for feature. Does the motorhome have an automatic leveling system? Then so should the 5th wheel trailer. I can tell you from personal experience that riding in a work truck and riding in any motorhome is not equivalent either. Nor is the fuel range equivalent either without aftermarket additional tanks which I added to my setup. The F350 gas may only have a 40 gallon fuel tank at most the motorhome has a 80 gallon fuel tank. I know about these limitations because I lived it. I used to have to carry many gas cans with me till I installed the auxiliary fuel tank. Again in any comparison it is important to consider all the facts. Since I have built a great towable setup before we got our motorhome I am acutely aware of the difference in features between both platforms. Bottom line is that it depends on the individual requirements of the person using the equipment. I have a CDL and work for a heavy truck manufacturer I look at an RV like any other tool. I try to determine what our requirements are first and then look for most logical solution that fits within the budget.

I did a cursory check for 5th wheels on RV trader equipped with generators and residential refrigerators and the discounted prices start at about $90k. I am assuming that they have automatic leveling systems.

I think you're "moving the goalposts". I don't see a residential fridge in the $90K class A units I searched so they are comparable to the fivers. Do they have generators? Probably. Does that close the $40K difference in my example? Hardly.

I agree with Lantley's post. If you trick out the fiver, and you trick out the class A, it's still much more expensive.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 08/22/19 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

msturtz wrote:


The problem is that the listed 5th wheel towable unit is in no way equipped similarly to a Class A. There is a reason for the apparent price difference. For example the motorhomes come with an onboard generator and usually have a large battery bank and inverter. No one is disputing that an inexpensive 5th wheel plus the equivalent of a work truck can be purchased that costs much less than a motorhome however you are not comparing the same things either. Option for option feature for feature. Does the motorhome have an automatic leveling system? Then so should the 5th wheel trailer. I can tell you from personal experience that riding in a work truck and riding in any motorhome is not equivalent either. Nor is the fuel range equivalent either without aftermarket additional tanks which I added to my setup. The F350 gas may only have a 40 gallon fuel tank at most the motorhome has a 80 gallon fuel tank. I know about these limitations because I lived it. I used to have to carry many gas cans with me till I installed the auxiliary fuel tank. Again in any comparison it is important to consider all the facts. Since I have built a great towable setup before we got our motorhome I am acutely aware of the difference in features between both platforms. Bottom line is that it depends on the individual requirements of the person using the equipment. I have a CDL and work for a heavy truck manufacturer I look at an RV like any other tool. I try to determine what our requirements are first and then look for most logical solution that fits within the budget.

I did a cursory check for 5th wheels on RV trader equipped with generators and residential refrigerators and the discounted prices start at about $90k. I am assuming that they have automatic leveling systems.

I think you're "moving the goalposts". I don't see a residential fridge in the $90K class A units I searched so they are comparable to the fivers. Do they have generators? Probably. Does that close the $40K difference in my example? Hardly.

I agree with Lantley's post. If you trick out the fiver, and you trick out the class A, it's still much more expensive.


Talk about moving the goal posts. In a previous post you are claiming that a $35k Fiver is comparable to a $90k Class A. Oranges to basketballs. Of course with that sort of distorted comparison the Fiver and a used truck to pull it will be cheaper. As I said before, you can come up with multiple configurations to try and prove your point, are they comparable - based on your examples? - No. And a quick search revealed quite a few sub $90k Class A's all with residential refers. You are distorting facts to prove your point. Moving on.

* This post was edited 08/22/19 09:21am by way2roll *

way2roll

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Posted: 08/22/19 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

way2roll

I did a comparable search on RV Trader. I looked at new Forest River products to keep them comparable. I looked at about 35 feet long. I'm looking at gas, not diesel on both a motorhome and a tow vehicle. I see Class A motorhomes starting about $90,000. I see new 5th wheels starting about $35,000. As Don Henley says "Are you with me so far?"

I looked at new gas Ford F350 DRW. That should be plenty of truck. NADA says they run about $40,000. True or false? I don't know. I suppose you can spend $75,000 on a King Ranch F350, but all of this is targeting economical and comparable. I'll figure a new economical toad, not a Jeep; say about $25,000. Here's how my numbers look.

$90,000 Class A
$25,000 Toad
$115,000 Total

$35,000 Fifth wheel
$40,000 Ford F350
$75,000 Total

I doubt there is $40,000 of "fudge" in my quick and dirty numbers.

Steve


The "fudge" is in your weighted numbers for the fiver and truck in your favor. A $35k Fiver is not comparable to a $90k Mh and good luck buying a new F350 equipped to pull a comparable fiver for $40k.

Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 08/22/19 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One great thing about buying used is that price almost becomes irrelevant. By that I mean that if you set a budget amount; such as $30000 you can find nice units of any class of RV. For an A you might have to go for something with a few more years or miles than a C but very doable.


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msturtz

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Posted: 08/22/19 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:

msturtz wrote:


The problem is that the listed 5th wheel towable unit is in no way equipped similarly to a Class A. There is a reason for the apparent price difference. For example the motorhomes come with an onboard generator and usually have a large battery bank and inverter. No one is disputing that an inexpensive 5th wheel plus the equivalent of a work truck can be purchased that costs much less than a motorhome however you are not comparing the same things either. Option for option feature for feature. Does the motorhome have an automatic leveling system? Then so should the 5th wheel trailer. I can tell you from personal experience that riding in a work truck and riding in any motorhome is not equivalent either. Nor is the fuel range equivalent either without aftermarket additional tanks which I added to my setup. The F350 gas may only have a 40 gallon fuel tank at most the motorhome has a 80 gallon fuel tank. I know about these limitations because I lived it. I used to have to carry many gas cans with me till I installed the auxiliary fuel tank. Again in any comparison it is important to consider all the facts. Since I have built a great towable setup before we got our motorhome I am acutely aware of the difference in features between both platforms. Bottom line is that it depends on the individual requirements of the person using the equipment. I have a CDL and work for a heavy truck manufacturer I look at an RV like any other tool. I try to determine what our requirements are first and then look for most logical solution that fits within the budget.

I did a cursory check for 5th wheels on RV trader equipped with generators and residential refrigerators and the discounted prices start at about $90k. I am assuming that they have automatic leveling systems.

I think you're "moving the goalposts". I don't see a residential fridge in the $90K class A units I searched so they are comparable to the fivers. Do they have generators? Probably. Does that close the $40K difference in my example? Hardly.

I agree with Lantley's post. If you trick out the fiver, and you trick out the class A, it's still much more expensive.


No, I'm not the basic 5th wheel units at that price point have much fewer features than any Class A. That is the reason for the price difference. Remember, I spent many years owning towable units. I work for a large heavy truck manufacturing company. If you have equivalent functionality and features you will have roughly the same cost. In both scenarios you have a dwelling and power unit. There is no magic in manufacturing. An engine, transmission, refrigerator, inverter, batteries, Air Conditioners and other components all cost the same regardless of whether they are installed in a 5th wheel, travel trailer or motorhome. Where you get into differences such as major missing components such as generators now you get some price differences a Cummins generator can cost well over $6K depending on model. In a typical two AC RV you would need a minimum of a 6K generator to run both ACs. Now, I am not talking about the high end Class A (gas or diesel) rigs that have tile floor and solid surface countertops etc. I'm talking about the family friendly lower cost Class A units that have vinyl floors etc. In my experience they are much better integrated than anything in the lower end towable space. To get equivalent features in a towable market you will need to go much higher end unit. Now, if those feature differences are not important to the customer then a really good deal at a much lower price point can be had in the towable market. We used towable units for many years. We restored a 1969 Terry travel trailer to usable condition years ago. That trailer only cost us $700 before we fixed it. The towable market can be a lower cost way to get into RVing if you have a suitable tow vehicle and are willing to tailor your use to fit the capability of the RV and put up with the limitations of the platform. Making blanket statements of which I have been guilty of doing myself don't help people understand the very real differences in the various options. When I help people figure out what they need I try to listen to what is important for them. I point out the things I have learned including the quirks of each platform. I have in the past been guilty of making blanket statements that equivalent towable are always less expensive. That isn't the case and is missing a lot of the factors that may or may not be important.

crawford

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Posted: 08/22/19 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

in a advent you need to evacuate my class A ready to go with my whole family yes my husky's are my family also i left no one behind. I keep can foods bottle water.fuel with treatment full,cloths,Locked box with copy of important papers needed. Up to date maps, Up to date,weather radio,Up to date GPS. You never know If fire, storms,Floods or a great get away may happen but which ever happen remember restock .


Change from a c class to a A class Georgetown 07 triple slide

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