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 > Fulltime 5er to MH - Help?

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TheTripp

Houston

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Posted: 02/23/21 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all,

like the title says, me and my family live fulltime in a 5th wheel and are potentially looking to get into a motorhome. I've been doing a ton of research and looking at a bunch of MH's online, but I could really use some help. I've also went through this forum and picked up on some key things while reading through various posts. I'll list needs as well as some background and hope I get some helpful info/advice.

About us: Me and my wife are 29, and 30 yrs old, our kids are 8mo., 3, and 4. We have been fulltiming in our 2019 Big Horn 3925MLP for a little over a year now and traveled quite abit within Texas last year. My work can be done remotely and she is a stay at home mom. We like the fact that all our stuff fits in our setup and that we can pack up and move within an hour. We bought this 5er because we got a really great deal but the floor plan is not right for us. Our youngest sleeps with us in bed and we made the closet floor into a nice bed for the oldest 2. We are considering committing to this lifestyle for the foreseeable future and getting something that fits our needs or getting out of this lifestyle and into a nice house in Colorado Springs.

The Setup:
Diesel Pusher with a 24'-26' Stacker in tow with a small 3rd row seat SUV, a UTV and maybe a couple ATV's/Dirtbikes etc., and enough room to have a small office in the stacker for me.

MH Needs:
1.Diesel ( towing the stacker )
2.Tag Axle ( correct me if wrong but this seems like a necessity )
3.Do not want to have to use pull out beds or sofa beds, so a setup like a front overhead drop down bed, 2 bunks, and a king or queen master would be ideal.
4.Kitchen space, countertop space, kitchen storage
5.Do not want loose chairs, booth table is definitely preferred
6.W/D Setup

Biggest things on my wife's list are #3 and #4, privacy is not a big concern for us like I've read it is for some, and although a 1/2 bath or 2 bath would be nice, #3 and #4 are more important. I've struggled with finding a floorplan that checks all the boxes. Forest River makes the Berkshire XLT 45A that checks many boxes but I went to a dealer and they told me about the service nightmares they had with them and they have stopped carrying them, so I want to stay clear of that.

I know to avoid Forest River but what are other ones to avoid? I know Newmar, Thor 2016 and newer, Winnebago, Tiffin, American Coach, and Prevost are good ones but I dont know if I'm leaving another great MFG off the list.

We would fulltime so something suited for 4 season weather would be great as well. The Big Horn is very poor in this area so I feel like almost anything will be an upgrade there.

We are willing to get creative with sleeping arrangements, like if there is a large closet again or something of the sort, but it would be nice to not have to worry about them outgrowing their 'space'. We plan to have another baby soon as well, hence the sleeping spaces for 4 kids is ideal.

Budget, would like to stay under $300,000 for the MH and stacker combo. We have no issues going older used as long as the floorplan is right and its a good unit, we are handy and could do some minor remodeling/upgrading ourselves if needed/wanted, although we do not want a fixer upper. I am also mechanically inclined and would anticipate doing much of the maintenance myself or atleast being capable.

So, does this what I'm looking for exist?
Are there compromises we have to decide whether we are willing to make or not?

wanderingaimlessly

SOBOVA

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Posted: 02/23/21 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One that you may want to add, https://www.entegracoach.com/diesel/
Also will mention something else, would a Toyhauler with drop down bunks be a possible fit?

larry cad

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't know where you typically stay, but a 45' with a 26' trailer will have difficulty finding a campsite to fit. We are traveling in a 40' with a 20' trailer and just barely fit in most campground sites.

That's a lot of boxes to check, particularly in a 45' coach. Might want to look at 40' with bunk beds. Not sure what the necessity of a 45' is other than space, which sounds nice, but difficult finding with that many beds.


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TheTripp

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh yes, Entegra, forgot to add them to my post, have been looking at them too.

I dont believe I wrote that we needed 45'.. Although I would like the space.

Our 5er is about 42' and we tow it with a 4 door Duramax, I think we end up close to 59' in length and there is all but maybe 1 or 2 parks we stayed at last year where I think we would be able to fit with a MH Stacker combo. We havnt boondocked or went to places where accessibility is borderline an issue. In some cases if we stayed for awhile I may not even be opposed to getting the spot next to us and parking the stacker there if the spots arent long enough for both. Some places this would become pricey but In some places we have stayed it would still be reasonable.

TheTripp

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

One that you may want to add, ***Link Removed***
Also will mention something else, would a Toyhauler with drop down bunks be a possible fit?


Toy hauler would be a possible fit yes, there do not seem to be many Class A toy haulers though, I dont think I've seen any with tag axles.

Or are you referring to something like a Super C?

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 02/23/21 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the toyhauler, yes there are a few, Thor outlaw, and Newmar Canyon Star comes to mind, but I was referring to a 5th wheel TH, the garage areas in many have drop down bunks. That would also provide a "play area" when your toy was outside. Some even have permanent bunks above the garage leaving it free as a workspace.
If you are looking at Motorhomes because you are hoping it will be easier to heat, Texas had a very bad winter spell, I doubt you would find a MH much easier to heat, the front glass areas are a loser compared to an insulated front on a 5er, and the wall construction isnt going to be much if any thicker. You may have an easier time finding double pane windows, but those would be available in the 5er too.

valhalla360

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming the truck is in good shape, a 5th wheel will be much cheaper. Really surprising that with a 42ft 5er, you need to bunk the kids in a converted closet. I assume it's heavily geared towards a retired couple.

I would start looking at toy hauler 5th wheels. Friends have one in the 40-45ft range. Master bedroom up front, above the back of the main living room is a loft area that could sleep 1 or 2 who can climb and then the back has beds that come down from the ceiling and can be converted to a dinning table (ie: school room). They carry a couple of big touring bikes but a UTV and a dirt bike or two would fit. I think they paid something like $79k for it new 3-4 years ago, so a fraction of the cost of a MH and specialty trailer.

The only real downside is if you plan to be on the move several days in a row. To get the beds in the garage set up, you need to remove the toys. If it's just occasionally with week or more stays most of the time, you could bunk the kids in the main living room on those days and when you are in place for more than a night or two, you pull the toys out.

If you give up on the toys, there are tons of bunk house layouts that could easily accommodate.


Tammy & Mike
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Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


dougrainer

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MAX tow capacity on most Diesel pushers is 10,000 lbs. With your requirements for what you intend to put in that stacker, I will bet you be way over 10,000 lbs. The capacity is determined in part to the HITCH capacity on the Rear of the Motorhome. You CAN beef up the motorhome hitch capacity, but make sure you get a certified welder and somebody that knows how to do it. Also, you will probably be way over the complete cargo carrying capacity since you have a full family and will probably fill up the lower storage bins and inside. You really need to measure your existing 5th wheel FULL and then remove the personal items and see how much your total payload is. Diesel Motorhomes do NOT have unlimited cargo capacity, tho some think they do. Doug

TheTripp

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

On the toyhauler, yes there are a few, Thor outlaw, and Newmar Canyon Star comes to mind, but I was referring to a 5th wheel TH, the garage areas in many have drop down bunks. That would also provide a "play area" when your toy was outside. Some even have permanent bunks above the garage leaving it free as a workspace.
If you are looking at Motorhomes because you are hoping it will be easier to heat, Texas had a very bad winter spell, I doubt you would find a MH much easier to heat, the front glass areas are a loser compared to an insulated front on a 5er, and the wall construction isnt going to be much if any thicker. You may have an easier time finding double pane windows, but those would be available in the 5er too.


If we wanted to keep living in a 5th wheel then yes I think there would be multiple that would work great. I should maybe clarify what our 'vision' for MH living would be.

We want to travel, see the country with the kids, we realize that we are blessed to have the kind of flexibility that we enjoy and would like to take advantage of it. Traveling with 3 smaller kids in the truck pulling the 5er does not come with long endurance, after about 3-4hrs it starts to go downhill with our max being around 6-8hrs before potential meltdown it seems. Then of course there is the need to connect to a power source when we get where we are going. With a MH we could comfortably travel long distances much much more easily and conveniently, and if we get tired we can stop in a rest area or a truck stop and still be able to do what we need to without hooking up to power.

Our 5er you can see light through some of the slide out seams sometimes if the that rubber seal doesnt fold out right or what have you. We are at an RV resort in Houston and where here through the whole Antarctic power outage experience last week. It sucked with the 5er. Went to a hotel for a night, they lost power too, went to my work office for 2 nights, lost power there too, thank you Jesus we stayed warm. Had we had a MH we could have just made sure to keep diesel in it. One of our neighbors has a nice Newmar Essex and he was fine.

In the Texas summer our 2 AC's cant hardly keep up either...

TheTripp

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Posted: 02/23/21 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Assuming the truck is in good shape, a 5th wheel will be much cheaper. Really surprising that with a 42ft 5er, you need to bunk the kids in a converted closet. I assume it's heavily geared towards a retired couple.

I would start looking at toy hauler 5th wheels. Friends have one in the 40-45ft range. Master bedroom up front, above the back of the main living room is a loft area that could sleep 1 or 2 who can climb and then the back has beds that come down from the ceiling and can be converted to a dinning table (ie: school room). They carry a couple of big touring bikes but a UTV and a dirt bike or two would fit. I think they paid something like $79k for it new 3-4 years ago, so a fraction of the cost of a MH and specialty trailer.

The only real downside is if you plan to be on the move several days in a row. To get the beds in the garage set up, you need to remove the toys. If it's just occasionally with week or more stays most of the time, you could bunk the kids in the main living room on those days and when you are in place for more than a night or two, you pull the toys out.

If you give up on the toys, there are tons of bunk house layouts that could easily accommodate.


Besides what I mentioned when I replied to wanderingaimlessly, there is also the fact that when we have another baby our truck wont be able to accommodate us all. We would have to find a truck with a front bench and I'm thinking that would most likely also limit us on lower level trim packages, which may be ok but I like my cooled/heated leather seats and the built in DVD player for the kids.

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