Question about an RV

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by NitroxAZ, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    My wife and I are seriously contemplating getting a travel trailer or a 5th wheel. We do not know much about the advantages or disadvantages of either one. I was hoping you fine folk could enlighten me.
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    ive thought about it but i couldnt justify the cost. i would have to practicaly live in the thing to make it less than the cost of hotel rooms when the wife and i travel. we just fill the back of her avalanche and drive.

    a problem i see with folks when i drive cross country on trips is people with fifth wheels using clearly innapropriate vehicles to tow them. massive gas costs, insurance and repairs along with finding places to park are some of the concerns.

    my wife and i would rather stay in really nice hotels with hot tubs if we arent gonna sleep under the stars.
     

  3. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

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    For what I know of 5th wheel trailers and tow hitch trailers is that 5th wheels usually tow and ride better as the weight of your load is usually over the center of the rear axle. The handeling of your vehicle while towing is usually better as well. Much better way to go when wanting larger and thus heavier trailer for more comfort in your travels. Also, with a 5th wheel, your usually going to get a much tighter turning radis. Another plus when having to back into and out of tight spots.

    The disadavantages would be the 5th wheel hinge plate taking up room in the bed of your truck. Not so much a problem when not towing as they can be removed and replaced for the trailer, but if you need the room in the bed of the truck for stuff while towing it does take up some space. Also your probably going to want/need that special tailgate with the center notched out. If you go for a larger/ heavier trailer dual real wheels may be in the picture as well.
     
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    If you live there, somebody can REPO your house; that is a serious disadvantage. ;)

    Seriously though, i keep seeing campers from the Katrina era selling on random parking lots & whatnot, especially this place in Hattiesburg, MS. You would need a more expensive hitch to pull the 5th wheeler, probably a stouter truck too.
     
  5. Sh00tnButt

    Sh00tnButt New Member

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    i actually live in a motor home .. house is up for sale and has been the last couple of years .. i have owned both the pull trailer and the 5th wheel .. there are advantages to all 3 kinds ..
    motor home - you can tow your personal vehicle behind you ..
    pull trailer does not require a truck to pull (depending on size) ..
    5th wheel - requires a truck ..
    depending on what your going to use it for is a big factor .. whether occasional, frequent or live in ..
    also how many folks and critters you take along ..
    if you give me an idea what your "use" will be i will be happy to let you know what my opinion is from experience ..
     
  6. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Buy a motorhome and you have between $60,000 and $125,000 invested in an occasional use vehicle. You can tow your vehicle behind you, if it is towable (List Here MotorHome Magazine: Making your RV travels easier Dingy Guide, right side bar half way down the page). You will need a Tow Dolly or if the dingy is towable on all fours, a tow hitch. This allows you to travel around in a more maneuverable fuel efficient vehicle. RV MPG is going to be ~10 MPG regardless of whether it is a gas of diesel. Look for an RV, trailer or 5th wheel here Lazydays RV SuperCenter - Number One In RVs (Gas & Diesel Motor homes, Fifth Wheels, and Travel Trailers)

    A 3/4 to 1 ton long bed pick-up will run you $25,000 to $65,000 depending on what you want and the GVW of the truck and 5th Wheel you expect to tow. The 5th wheel trailer will run you $20,000 to $65,000. You will have to have a special hitch and when parked you get to drive around town in your pick-up.

    Again, you don't need a truck to tow a trailer, but make sure your vehicle (Van, Full sized car, etc.) is capable of towing the size and weight of trailer you are looking to buy. Trailers run from $18,000 to $55,000 depending on what you want. And again you get to drive around in your tow vehicle after you've parked the trailer.

    Hope this helps, good luck! Any questions, PM me.
     
  7. nwrednk

    nwrednk New Member

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    I for one do not understand...

    The appeal of 5th wheel travel trailors! They require most of your cargo space
    for the "saddle" that would otherwise be used for cargo or a dead deer or elk!
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    We are looking to use this for weekend jaunts and sometimes weeklong ventures. We will probably use it 10-15 times a year, give or take. We are just unsure what will work best for us. We definitely are not going to get a Class A. It will be a TT or 5th wheel.
     
  9. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    I looked at trailers and ended up with a RV. Glad I did.
    For one thing the trailer cannot be occupied while towing. So the whole trip is in the car or truck and the trailer is just a small expensive hotel room when you get there. Driving the RV is an adventure as soon as you start the engine. Also on a long drive she takes a turn and I can lie down and sleep, read or watch TV while still moving. We get where we are going and are not worn out from getting there. No need to stop for lunch or pee breaks, just pull over and switch drivers.
    Also set up with a trailer can be a bear. Many need to have leveling blocks laid out and you then pull the trailer up on the blocks. The better fifth wheels have leveling jacks like the RVs. Hooking up a trailer is a feat extraordinaire without help to line you up as you back up to the trailer. If you have help then it is just a PITA. The fifth wheel again is a better option for the easier hook up. The RV of course you unplug and go. The one down side to the RV is that if you have a tow car, and you should have a tow car, you cannot back up period. If you get caught in a spot where you cannot go forward you have to un hitch the car, very easy with most systems, and move the tow before backing the RV.
    If I were you and really wanted to get into the RV trailer scene I would go look at the options available. Hell the shopping can be half the fun. If you already have a heavy enough truck for the fifth wheel take that over a travel trailer. But don't rule out the class A's. Check used. You may be surprised at how reasonable the costs.
     
  10. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Questions,

    Are you going to be at an improved camp ground with full hook-ups most of the time or dry camping?

    Do you intend to spend much time in the trailer, or will you mostly be outdoors?

    Will you be doing your own cooking?

    How much do you expect to "Rough It"?
     
  11. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    And, Jo has a point with RV's. With the economy as it is right now they can be had for what you will pay for a nice 5th wheel.

    Here is an example of what I would recommend 2006 Allegro Bay By Tiffin 37DB for Sale - A199 This Allegro Bay is a gas coach, $76,495, and
    take a look at the floor plan and compare the cost with a 5th wheel of comparable size. This web site is a good place to shop, but when you buy, buy a quality product or you will forever regret your purchase.

    Tiffin is built in Red Bay, AL. They have a reputation of customer service that is mind boggling. I have heard of owners with a used (do not buy new) '86 Tiffin that had a roof leak issue that they were unable to get fixed. At a rally in Red Bay, Bob Tiffin (the owner of the company) overheard them complaining about their coach. At 7AM the next morning he knocked on the door of the RV and asked the owners how long they were going to be staying. They replied a couple of days. Bob put them up in a local hotel, took the owner golfing, Bob's wife took the wife shopping and they put a brand new roof on the RV.....NO CHARGE!! Wish I owned one!
     
  12. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    My wife would love this actually and with the link Dune put up with the Allegro. The cost is comparable to a quality TT/5th wheel and the new truck I would have to buy to pull it. I will look into this option also.

    Our plan is to mostly go to improved campgrounds with some dry camping thrown in depending on location. We are long past roughing it. We will be doing some cooking and some eating out, again depending on location. We will spend a comparable time in and out of the RV.

    I have a few questions about a Class A. What does insurance run (ballpark)? How much maintenance is involved? How often do they break down? I really appreciate all of the info so far.
     
  13. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    First off it ain't roughing it in a class A. We dry camp in the mountains all the time. It's like having your own little cabin that you drive up there.

    Insurance is not too bad since they know you only use it a few times a year. Mine is under 300 a year for full coverage, and that is here in LA.

    Maintenance depends on age and if you can do any yourself. I change oil and lube. I do basic and easy repairs. Tires are expensive and need to be changed every four or five years due to the weight. It is not the cheap vacation everyone thinks. But if you like to drive, and want to see the USA, it can't be beat.

    You may want to try renting for a trial trip. Again that is not cheap but better to learn now if you like the life style.

    BTW trailer or RV get one with a slide out. The only way to go.
     
  14. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    I insure my 2000 29' Safari Trek, Land Rover, Jeep Liberty and smart car (my towd) for less than $1800/year.

    Oil changes at regular intervals, and miscilaneous maintenance costs $200/year.

    Wash it, wax it, keep it dry inside, monitor the batteries and keep them clean and filled with water, maintain the holding tanks, de-seal and re-seal all windows and joints every two years $500...$200 if you do it, and you're all set. This you would have to do with a trailer or 5th wheel anyway.

    Buy an RV maintenance insurance plan from Good Sam and you're all set.
     
  15. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    My parents replaced their 5th wheel after it jackknifed in the road, with a self-contained unit.
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a 28' 5th wheel and we use it to travel about 3 months a year. It works for us as I dont have a full vehicle system sitting around for 9 months. I have a solar panel on the roof to keep the 2 6V golf cart batteries charged incase we are boondocking. I also have a Honda 3000 generator mounted on the rear bumper along with 2 bicycles. I carry 2 kayaks stacked on my truck roof. Stacking allows me to extend the kayaks into the bed and not interfere with the trailer turning. Mfgs usually put tires rated to the max weight of the trailer with no margin. They figure the hitch weight gives them the margin. I just replaced my trailer tires with a heavier rated tires. I tow with an 02 Dodge deisel and average 12 mpg. The trailer gvwr is 10K and the truck is rated to 12k. I wont tow without a 20% margin. I too see a lot of under trucked rigs out there. I also have an exhaust brake. I spent a lot of money making the truck into a tow vehicle. The newer trucks are better equipped for towing but the price is high.
    A motorhome is an option I have looked at. If I had to buy both a trailer and a tow vehicle, I would definately give the motorhome a hard look. I would need a 34' minimum to get the room I have now. The choice there is deisel or gas and I wont even look at gas. Check the cargo carrying capacity of gas motorhomes and you will see why. Also the milage is better with deisel. Having the ability to drive your home rather than tow it is nice. No need to search for a safe to get out stopping spot when you or your wife needs a potty stop. Keep in mind you can not leave anything unsecured while you are driving. A sudden stop means anything that is not secured becomes a missle including passengers. Wandering around freely in a motorhome while it is moving is not a great idea. Neither is preparing meals in motion. Just because you have never had an accident does not mean you wont have one.
    Another question, is your car able to be towed? You may need a tow dolley or a car trailer if not or you may need a different tow vehicle. You see a lot of Jeeps being towed for that reason. My Chevy Malibou can be towed.
    Security is another issue if you are boondocking. Since the motor home is considered a home you can keep a firearm handy. It is a lot easier to get a motorhome moving and away from a spot if you feel uncomfortable. Bad stuff happens and it is best to be aware of it.
     
  17. Sh00tnButt

    Sh00tnButt New Member

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    if you go with a Motor Home that your not going to live in look at one of these ..

    The Class C motor home is a smaller, less expensive version of the Class A RV. They provide many of the same features as the larger Class A; however, they are built on an automotive van chassis made solely for class C motor homes. The class C motor home has a cab-over bunk and rear bedroom which makes it attractive for families.

    There are plenty of low mileage good condition used ones .. (pay your mechanic to check it out) or get a good warranted one .. get the biggest engine available for pulling power .. if you plan on spending a lot of time in it, then a slide out is advisable .. you can rent/buy a car tow trailer to put your present vehicle on to take it with you (and yes you can back up with it) the longer the tow trailer, the easier to back up! .. tow dollies or direct hook up are a PITA to near impossible even for experienced drivers ..

    no matter what you get remember the cost of staying at a campground can run $40 per night on up .. Military/Veterans & Good Sam members get discounts at some camp grounds .. if your traveling and just want to stop for the night, Walmart parking lots work great and most don't have a problem with it ..

    invest in one of those "silent" generators for camping in "no hook up" area's .. plus you can use it at home for emergency use ..

    lots of Plus's to a Class C if you look hard enough .. i have traveled all over the US towing my car as a "spare set of wheel's" .. and it's great for guest's that drop by your home to visit .. it's like the one poster say's it's a cabin on wheels ..

    good luck to you and Stay Safe ..
     
  18. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    What a tough choice. We have all but ruled out a TT and are seriously looking at 5th wheels and Class A.

    If we go with a Class A, will it need to be diesel to tow a vehicle like a Nissan Murano?
     
  19. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    It depends of the frame of the motorhome. Some extended chassis, like mine, have a towing restriction. My Safari Trek is llimited to 2000 lbs., that was also the restriction on my first coach, a Tioga Class C.

    It will depend on the coach and the chassis it is built on. Is the Nissan front drive, rear drive or all wheel drive?
     
  20. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    It is full time AWD. I haven't checked but it may need a front wheel trailer to tow it.