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Old 10-28-2016, 04:57 PM   #1
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Motor Home Vs. 5th Wheel?

I bought a fully loaded Ram 3500 dually and 2017 3820FK Montana, and was just wondering after seeing motor homes that are one million dollars pull into parks what the difference was between owning a Motor Home vs. a 5th wheel. Then we have seen THOR manufactured Tuscany motor homes that are 45 feet long, and look really cool, and can be bought new for only 280k? So how do all of you feel about owning a 5th wheel vs. an affordable luxury Diesel pushing motor home, like the 45 foot long Tuscany? I love my Montana, but am just wondering what the pros and cons are between the two. Just an FYI, we were near a dealer that has 450+ RV's on their lot, and asked the salesman to show us a new Tuscany 45 foot Class A diesel pusher, and we walked in, and there was a huge leak from the big rain storm we had last night in Gilroy, CA. It was embarrassing for him to have water all over the inside of this brand new Tuscany???
2017 3820FK Legacy Edition full body paint Montana, For Sale this November, 2018. 2016 Ram 3500 long bed Dually Cummins Turbo with air bags
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:37 PM   #2
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Difference is cost, to include purchase, maintenance, insurance, intended use.
Mike and Lorraine
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:42 PM   #3
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We decided a while ago that we would be satisfied with either a MH or a 5er. Owned a MH some years ago and it did well for us. The choice boiled down to money.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:49 PM   #4
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Also remember you have to pull a "toad" with the MH which is another expense. The biggest benefit to me is the mpg. Most diesel pushers only get around 8 mpg max and I'm getting a whole lot better mileage than that. You can also back with a fiver behind that TV where you have to unhook the "toad" to be able to back that diesel pusher.
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:26 PM   #5
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Just curious why I am seeing more brand new Class A diesel pushers lately, and only see 5-10 year old 5th wheels showing up at the RV parks?
2017 3820FK Legacy Edition full body paint Montana, For Sale this November, 2018. 2016 Ram 3500 long bed Dually Cummins Turbo with air bags
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:55 PM   #6
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Come on over to the recreational camping world ... you'll see 50 fivers or TT's to one motorhome at the lakes. PITA to pull a boat along and have to use the motorhome every time you want to do something. With the prices you quote using the word "only" ... you've had a way better paying job than I.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:33 AM   #7
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Having traveled with people in a MH, it is a great way to go down the road. Plenty of room, air ride, the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom are right there, get up and walk around if want to and, pull into a CG in the pouring rain...don't need to get out immediately. However, my guess is that they have the same quality issues we do...only with many more systems to fail or not get installed correctly.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:47 AM   #8
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Motorhomes are great if you can afford them. I could not at over $10K annually as it got over 10 years old.
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Old 10-29-2016, 04:58 AM   #9
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Have to have some place to live when multi day shop repairs/maintenance are required on the on the drive train.
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:02 AM   #10
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In some states the registration on a MH can run thousands of dollars per year, plus the generally higher cost for insurance. Plus that first few feet of the 45' MH are lost in dash area.
We thought about a MH at one time, but decided it just wasn't for us.
Michelle & Ann
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:52 AM   #11
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I have both. A class C with 5000 miles on it and my 2011 High Country. I don't like the MH. I don't like driving it its not as comfortable as the HC. You haft to pull a car with you. If you are going to pull something you just as well pull a camper. The MH does have advantages my wife can take her bad back to bed while she travels.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:45 AM   #12
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What killed the MH for us is that you don't have a home when your drive train is in the shop. Also, if improvements in engines come along I can trade my drive train without trading my house. Not being able to back up with the toad on is also a killer. Have seen a couple of times when they had to unhitch just to get out of a tight gas station.
Dick and Joyce, Wilsey, KS & Lakewood, NM
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:50 AM   #13
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It's all about how much you want to pay. Extremely high dollars for a MH option - purchase price, insurance, weight, DMV registration (in some states), repairs, maintenance, parts, labor costs, a toad (and its numerous expenses) and a major advantage of convenience or lesser dollars for a fifth wheel. Even an older MH would be more expensive to own than a newer fifth wheel except maybe purchase price and insurance. My reasoning for me, is that being retired and having plenty of time, convenience is not important and I didn't want the potential other expense problems with ownership for an older MH.

I am a tight wad with lots of time on my hands so guess what I picked. Even with my 10 year old fifth wheel the costs associated with it are still less than my friends who now have 10 year old MHs.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:43 AM   #14
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With a MH there are to many systems to have problems with. Deasel engine, all have generators and the toad engine. If you need propane you have to take your whole house to get it. Then there is backing up with the doad. Plus the MPG being low. Ok on to the safety very seldom (in my case never) do you see a 5er burning on the side of the road. In the seven years I have been RVing I have seen four MH either burning or the after math of the fire. One close to home where four people were killed. A close friend who is a deputy Sheriff here in our county was about 3 cars behind the the MH and tried to help the people inside to no avail. He told me that it is common for some MH to have the propane tank right behind the right front tire and sometimes when the tire goes it ruptures the propane tank.
So $250,000 plus say $20,000 for the toad plus high registration and insurance or say $65,000 for the 5er and $62,000 for the TV much lower registration and insurance. The convenience of not having to disconnect when you need to back up. Only one engine to deal with and the ability to upgrade the TV to the latest technology whenever you want to. In my mind there is no comparison. JMHO.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:19 PM   #15
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I preferred MH. Helen preferred a 5th wheel.I lost one to one.
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Old 10-29-2016, 02:49 PM   #16
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quote:Originally posted by 1retired06

Difference is cost, to include purchase, maintenance, insurance, intended use.
Same here. Plus, my truck is my everyday vehicle; so, the addition of a fifth wheel was far less costly than MH.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:07 AM   #17
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We looked at MH's several years ago when researching before going full time. We decided to go with a larger fiver for many of the reasons that have already been listed. But that was based on being full time.

Our current MH has a value that is almost the same as our 2014 Montana added with our 2012 F350. Of course it is a 2014 gas MH and not diesel. We looked at some used diesel units but not being full time didn't want to spend that kind of money.

Fuel economy has surprised me. One of our regular trips is between Cape Coral and Peoria (1350 miles). The MH averages 7.5 mpg pulling a toad. This one way trip recently cost me $370 in gasoline. If I would have made that same trip with current prices diesel for my F350 would have been about $320. But if you factor in DEF plus fuel filter expenses it gets closer to being the same overall. Some day I will be replacing 6 Michelin 22.5 tires at about $550 each. Of course with a fiver and truck you have 8 to 10 tires to replace.

Our 3725RL had good livability. The 38' MH is almost the same livability inside, is on one level, but has 224 square feet of basement storage.

Camp set up is faster and easier. It only takes me a couple minutes to drop the toad. When parked where you want it you simply put on emergency brake, activate the lippert auto level (from driver seat) and you are done.

There are other little things that I find make a gas MH better for us currently. The oil/filter is extremely easy to get to and change myself. The tank gate valves are exposed in the convenience center so if they need changed or serviced it is easily done. City water hook up runs through a "whole-house" filter. The 5500 Onan is teamed up with 2 cart batteries, large inverter, and power management system. In other words, if I leave my coach unplugged with residential frig running on inverter, I can set it up so that my gen set will automatically come on and charge the batteries when needed. Or it can also be set up so that if power goes out in the middle of the night the gen set will come on.

For us having only a MH registration and insurance policy was cheaper than having two registrations plus insurance on a truck and a separate RV policy. Of course that could be determined by what state you call home.

Circumstances change. We have started doing more local camping around Florida where we wanted to just take the Harley, but we still travel up north during part of the summer where we may pull the car or pull the car and Harley (extended tow dolly).

Previous: 2008 Montana 3400RL & 2014 3725RL
Current: Full Time in DP
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:42 AM   #18
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From what I have seen, a $75k 5th wheel is a lot nicer than a $75k MH. I have a 2016 3791RD with a lot of nice amenities. I love the floor plan with the raised bedroom and raised living room. I get a feeling of room separation and hominess. I don't get that with a MH. To me, all the floor plans are one flat continuous room. (maybe a door for the bedroom) I will admit that there are some great conveniences with a MH while traveling down the road...FOR THE PASSENGERS ! The driver is still driving whether it be a MH or 5th wheel.
The drive train of a MH has only one purpose, propel the MH. The drive train of your TV is multi purpose, haul wood for a deck, tow a utility trailer full of lawn care equipment, bring that new fridge home, move your kid out of the house, etc. If the drive train on the MH has a problem, I have to get my "home" to a garage and possibly find a hotel. If the drive train on my TV has a problem, I only have to get the TV to a garage. I still have my "home" to go back to.
I suppose some day if I can no longer handle hitching and unhitching my 5th wheel, maybe I'll consider a MH. Of course, by that time, I probably have no business driving a "big rig" down any road.
P.S. vipermanden...your definition of "only" is WAAAAY different than mine.
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Rule #2. When in doubt, refer to rule #1.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:20 AM   #19
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A picture is worth a thousand words!!! Motorhome
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:02 PM   #20
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LOML wanted to travel and at first wanted a MH. We looked at several and were thinking along the lines of a 3 -5 year old Allegro or something in that quality range. Once we went to a good sized RV show and she was able to see the floor plan differences, she wanted a 5er. Reason being that the bedroom was a for real separate room. She didn't care about being able to do anything while moving and most newer MHs don't let you access much with the slides in anyway (just like our Monty!). I was quite pleased in the more manageable oil changes and minor maintenance on a big pickup vs. a big diesel. All in all, although we can't get into narrow streets and sometimes have to look hard for a parking place with the truck vs. a toad, we're quite happy.
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