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View Full Version : Ok.... Why a 5er over a Class A?


08UltraRider
11-21-2010, 04:10 PM
I hope this posted in the right area...

We are still in the research stage before we purchase with a Montana on the short list more specifically a 3150RL or a High Country 343RL if I can find more info on this Helium Technology Keystone is hyping about. I have found lots of other good info on this site to help us out... (search is our friend):)

But a question comes to mind for you hard core 5ers...

Why do you prefer a fifth wheel over a Class A MH?

The main reason I am is because we donít plan on full timing (a month long trip here and a month there) when I retire where I didnít want to store an expensive drive train that would only be used when we took out the RV. The TV I use as my daily driver and could keep on doing that... Canít do that with a MH and would have to buy a toad on top of that...

My neighbor prefers the MH so his DW can move around while on the open road than to be cooped up in the cab of the TVÖ Not an issue with usÖ We can stop anytime to stretch and smell the roses... :)

Thanks in advance for your replyís.

Tim and Nadine of Calgary

Countryfolks
11-21-2010, 04:53 PM
For me it's money, initial expense, operating expense, maintenance/repair costs, etc. They also seem to be a bit smaller inside to me.

ExPatNW
11-21-2010, 05:10 PM
I have discussed this with others. For me, I don't see the point of driving in my RV and towing another motorized vehicle behind me when I can simply tow my 5er behind my truck. If I consider the cost of my truck and 5er - I still think am cheaper than a nice class A. As for moving around in the motorhome, there is clearly some risk involved in doing that. Any sudden braking, steering could be dangerous for someone standing in the rig...

I also think they make a trade-off in the layout of the class A and its slides, in that they have to allow for someone to move around the floorplan when the slides are in and you are travelling. As no one is allowed in the 5er, your slides can (and often do) block movement around it, but when you park and open it up its not an issue. I therefore think you get a little more advantage from your slides in a 5er.

Either way - both allow a lot of freedom and fun.

c214dick
11-21-2010, 05:33 PM
All of the above.

NCFischers
11-21-2010, 11:52 PM
Not letting an expensive drive train that I'm paying license fees on sit for long periods was my concern also. Additionally, engines aren't made to sit and not run. I like the room that the 5er slides provide when we're set up. We can still access the bathroom and refrigerator when we stop along the way.

CasaDelSol
11-22-2010, 01:52 AM
DH didn't want to have to maintain two engines with having a class A. I agree with countryfolks that the class As feel smaller inside. Also, there is the feeling that you are still inside a "truck" when you turn the driver and passenger seats around. The inside of the 5er feels more like a home. The stairs up into the bedroom make the distinction between the living room and the bedroom. Some people go out in tents, others little TT that look like an egg. Others have rigs worth thousands of dollars. It doesn't matter which way you go, it is all about the experience of traveling around in your "home" and seeing the country!! Good luck in your search and happy trails.

HughM
11-22-2010, 02:02 AM
Insurance, We've have both fivers and diesel MH's. Our pusher insurance was $1500 a year. Our new fiver insurance is less than 10% of the pusher.

richfaa
11-22-2010, 02:08 AM
The issue is what serves YOU best.You really need to do a lot of thinking about that. We did and the determining factor, for the wife, was counter space. She had a tape measure and spec'ed out the counter space and inside storage space on every unit we looked at. Within our price range of course.
We had a completly open mind on type of unit and let our needs make the choice for us.

TheCoachPotatoes
11-22-2010, 02:12 AM
We used to feel we might someday like a motor home. But after weighing the pros and cons, we are very happy with our fifth wheel. For all of the above reasons, the advantages of owning a motorhome do not outweigh the disadvantages. We love the spaciousness inside. As far as being able to move around while on the road, we like stopping every couple of hours and sometimes even more often. It gives us both a chance to move around and stretch our legs. We picked a layout that allows us to use everything inside without putting out the slides, however we really only need the fridge, and the bathroom while on the road. The expense of breakdowns with a motorhome, is our biggest reason for not having one.

Tom S.
11-22-2010, 02:19 AM
To receive another prospective, you might ask the same question on a Class A board.

As for me, the answers above pretty much explained it all. You also take a huge hit on value with a class A as soon as you drive off the lot - more so IMHO than you do with a combined truck and 5th wheel. Maintenance costs are extreme (a friend of mine pays over $500 when he gets his oil and lube done!).

Captain Joe
11-22-2010, 03:05 AM
Having owned two MH, the 5er is the way to go. In addition to all of the above, license fees and replacement items are more expensive, too, e.g., tires.

Parrothead
11-22-2010, 03:23 AM
A friend with a MH told us that he thinks repair places must think because you have a MH, you have lots of money. We agree with all of the above reasons. We were still working when we bought the first 5er and needed to use the truck for other purposes.
Whatever YOU decide will be the best for you.
Happy trails..................

indy roadrunner
11-22-2010, 03:59 AM
It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with. We had a Class A gasser, a 32 foot with 2 slides and most of the time we felt cramped. Another issue some people with MH don't like to discuss is the Cargo Carrying Capacity. A lot of MH have a very limited CCC. Then you have the issue of a Toad so really you are carrying for 2 engines and maintenance along with insurance. And diesel MH maintenance is very expensive along with initial cost. For some money is not an issue - to each their own. And as a driver I seem to be more at ease driving the pickup pulling a trailer than driving that top heavy MH. The convience of moving around in the MH while going down the road just doesn't hold water in my bucket. It is dangerous in any type of vehicle.
I will never go back to a MH. Just my opinion.

Sierra 117
11-22-2010, 06:41 AM
We need a truck for our business. If we had a MH it would not be used in the summer, which would not be good for it. 5th. wheel is the best choice for us. Cost would have been an issue if the decision making process got that far.

boylanag
11-22-2010, 06:58 AM
Welcome to the Montana Owners Club Forum. We had a 34' gasser MH and decided to get rid of it for many of the above reasons - a licensed, insured motor vehicle sitting there when not being used and towing another insured, licensed motor vehicle when traveling. The top heavy feeling we got was also brought to bear when traveling broadside to a heavy windstorm once. We got our first Montana 5er to replace the MH in 2002 and loved the difference so much we got our 2nd Montana in '06. We travel from 5-8 months a year and the rest of the time our Monty is in storage. We would not go back to a MH but some do prefer it and you will make the right choice for your circumstances.

BB_TX
11-22-2010, 07:13 AM
One thing not mentioned so far. On our last trip, we had an engine problem on our truck. Had the truck towed to a dealer for service and the 5er towed to the campground that we had almost reached. Warranty paid for rent car for 3 days and we got to stay in the 5er while the truck was being repaired.
With a MH we would have been in a hotel somewhere.

ols1932
11-22-2010, 10:10 AM
It appears to us that we have more living space in our Montana than in a comparably sized motor home.

Orv

pbahlin
11-22-2010, 11:14 AM
Here's the clincher. If you go with a motorhome, you'll drift away from here and you'll never find another forum like this one.

08UltraRider
11-22-2010, 11:41 AM
Thank you for the replies. We have already made up our minds this is the was the way were going but I was curious what the experienced people thought. For us the pros outweighed the cons by quite a margin. We never took in a few things that was mentioned in this thread into account such as you can still stay in your Monty while your TV is being repaired in the event of a breakdown.

On the Con side I feel the suspension and tires are not up to snuff.... A loaded fifth wheel weight is IMO to close to the maximum limits of the suspension and E rated tires... I don't want to turn this thread into a tire bashing thread so please don't go that way... I was only stating my opinion.

Thank you all again.

stiles watson
11-22-2010, 12:33 PM
Your opinion is correct in my opinion. However, tires can be upgraded to G-rated tires. Axles have already been upgraded to 7000# in most of the rigs. If you should decide to upgrade to electric-over-hydraulic disk brakes, more than likely it will include an upgrade to 8000# axles(which is only a difference in the axle thickness).

There is a new upgrade or option now available called LevelUp by Lippert or Big Foot Levelers which gives setup characteristics rivaling MH units. I have LevelUp on my rig as an after market upgrade and it is great.

Even with the cost of these upgrades, the fifth wheel is far less of an investment than a medium quality mh. Happy hunting.....

camper4
11-22-2010, 12:51 PM
The rear picture window with the rocker recliners is great! Also no MH has the closet just inside the entry door. That is just the handiest thing!

sfish
11-22-2010, 02:41 PM
Its all about the slides and feel for the stairs into the bed room for us.It definately feels like there is more room.

wersqu
11-22-2010, 04:00 PM
First let me say you can't get me o ut of my Monty but... If I were into rock climbing with a Jeep, or pulled a boat, 4 wheelers or snow mobiles, and that's what I used the trailer for. To get close to these hobbies I would probably prefer a motor home to pull these items. I don't so I agree with all the above folks!!!

CORattler
11-22-2010, 04:02 PM
We had considered both very carefully but in the end we realized that it was the after purchase expenses that tipped the scales in favor of a 5th wheel. The drive train maintenance alone would have chewed up a good chunk of change as it would have to be done by a professional. I can do most of the Monty maintenance myself (and there's less of it). Did I mention that we really enjoy our Montana?

CamillaMichael
11-22-2010, 04:32 PM
We agree with many of the above posts, but the one thing that we found most objectionable with the MHs was that you never seem to leave the vehicle...you drive in it all day and then turn the seats around and sit in it all night. With the fifth wheel, much different feeling. After a long drive, you leave the truck cab and go into your home for the night, not the back of your vehicle.

D and M On The Road
11-23-2010, 03:40 AM
Cabin fever would hit us when we had a motor home.

doofus
11-23-2010, 03:45 AM
I don't know. I like my Monty, but if someone handcuffed me to the steering wheel of a Prevost Country Coach and pointed a gun to my head, I think I'd drive one for a while...

Exnavydiver
11-23-2010, 07:16 AM
I think the price difference between 80K and 3.5 million is a very convincing argument. Anywhere in that price range AND maintenance and fuel, and not going to MOC rallies.

doofus
11-23-2010, 07:33 AM
Dave, I agree! If I had $3.5 million in my pocket (burn baby burn!) I'd probably toss the 5er myself...

wswebster
11-23-2010, 12:39 PM
Well I guess we are the one of the few ex-5th wheelers. This spring we made the leap. Yes we miss the MOC group, but we wanted a change. We travel alot more now and wanted easier set ups. Our Coach sits in our pole barn for 3 months same as our 5th wheel did. We had 2 HD trucks, only needed 1, I had recently bought a new Traverse and it's a great "Toad". We like to stop at nice rest areas and have lunch, no more running to the cramped camper in the cold and rain, now I can have a hot lunch and not a cold sandwich. We travel with our large dog and we can stop and explore an off site and we Don't worrying about the truck being too hot or too cold for him, just run the generator & he has more room to roam also. Leveling the coach is a 1 button operation and we are not rockin and rollin anymore. No more stairs up a narrow isle to the bedroom & bathroom. Yes I have lost a little counter space but have gained more in other areas. We love all the basement storeage, no it's not all in 1 place but spread out along the entire length of the coach. We now have an even better view going down the road looking through our hugh 1 piece windshield. Yes we will have to renew our license plates every year now and the insurance is about the same as it was for the combination 5th wheel and truck. I have 2 bad shoulders & Bill's shoulders bother him at times & now he's looking at a knee replacement, no more climbing up the truck to release hitch handle or stooping to make the rig level. Another bonus is have our car with us for all the site seeing, we can find a parking space a whole lot easier now. We traveled over 5,000 miles this summer and havn't looked back. As all have stated above it's a personal choice. Maybe another Class A will respond with their view. Take care Stacy

Bill-N-Donna
11-23-2010, 01:20 PM
As mentioned I think it would be more of a personal choice. We had 4 different travel trailers and then we went to a class A. I must say we got a bargain on it but it was considered more of an older one at that time (1990 model) than what I was used to. Our trailers we had were much older than that but kept up well. Anyway the 37í M/H had a lot of problems that we had to deal with. I almost feel like Iím comparing apples to oranges when I think about the problems we had. M/H does definitely have an advantage in some ways with all of the conveniences that come with them. For us it was cumbersome to try and drive it. It was big and it felt like it took way more of the road than I had room for. Nothing ever felt better than when I was towing a pull behind. Now when I got the fifth wheel it was like towing in heaven. There is no comparison to how much better it was and how much easier the towing experience became.

richfaa
11-23-2010, 02:01 PM
As we age it becomes more of a task to set up the 5th wheel and take it down.I can still do it and so can Helen but there will come the day in the not to distant future were it will become to much of a chore. Our next Rv, If there is a next Rv would be a MH. We drove big buses for @ 8 years after we retired school bus and over the road bus. IMO the MH is much easier to maneuver and handle than the truck/5th wheel combo.

HughM
11-23-2010, 02:29 PM
Rich is right. After owning several diesel pushers I found that I was much more rested at the end of the day than I am now. With the diesel truck I'm sitting with my feet straight out in front of me and with the pusher I'm sitting more like a chair.
The M/H had more things to keep me comfortable like air ride suspension and I had a better view of the traffic around me.
If money was not taken into account then I would chose the diesel M/H anyday. Gas class A's are completely different in ride, power, safety (air brakes) and exhaust brake. In gas M/H you have to listen to the motor screeming on the hills.

CORattler
11-23-2010, 03:31 PM
I very much enjoyed reading your post for the perspective it offered. It sounds like you found the right rig for you. I have watched the 1 button leveling on a MH and was at that moment envious of it. I never thought we'd have a beautiful 5ver so a MH in the future? Who knows?!


quote:Originally posted by wswebster

Well I guess we are the one of the few ex-5th wheelers. This spring we made the leap. Yes we miss the MOC group, but we wanted a change. We travel alot more now and wanted easier set ups. Our Coach sits in our pole barn for 3 months same as our 5th wheel did. We had 2 HD trucks, only needed 1, I had recently bought a new Traverse and it's a great "Toad". We like to stop at nice rest areas and have lunch, no more running to the cramped camper in the cold and rain, now I can have a hot lunch and not a cold sandwich. We travel with our large dog and we can stop and explore an off site and we Don't worrying about the truck being too hot or too cold for him, just run the generator & he has more room to roam also. Leveling the coach is a 1 button operation and we are not rockin and rollin anymore. No more stairs up a narrow isle to the bedroom & bathroom. Yes I have lost a little counter space but have gained more in other areas. We love all the basement storeage, no it's not all in 1 place but spread out along the entire length of the coach. We now have an even better view going down the road looking through our hugh 1 piece windshield. Yes we will have to renew our license plates every year now and the insurance is about the same as it was for the combination 5th wheel and truck. I have 2 bad shoulders & Bill's shoulders bother him at times & now he's looking at a knee replacement, no more climbing up the truck to release hitch handle or stooping to make the rig level. Another bonus is have our car with us for all the site seeing, we can find a parking space a whole lot easier now. We traveled over 5,000 miles this summer and havn't looked back. As all have stated above it's a personal choice. Maybe another Class A will respond with their view. Take care Stacy

Bill-N-Donna
11-23-2010, 10:36 PM
Let me quickly add thisÖ I believe the fifth wheel is much simpler and easier to set up than when setting up a regular trailer. To me itís a lot quicker than a trailer with a lot less work. Now a M/H again depending on what you have is just plain nice.

stiles watson
11-24-2010, 01:58 AM
Let me say again, with LevelUp or Big Foot Levelers, the set up ease and time closely rivals that of motor home. You may not want the expense of that upgrade, but it really changes the game for those experiencing the onset of physical challenges, back issues in particular.

Speaking of set up, I have been watching the motor homes come and go here. I see them laying on their backs on the ground, using long rods, with hooks on the end, to maneuver blocks of wood under the rig because they don't have enough stroke to level. I am on the same kind of terrain and used used 2 2X12 blocks under each of the the front feet, but didn't have to lay on my back to do it. I don't get down and get back up as easily as I once did.

For full timing, the fifth wheel with LevelUp suits us comfortably.

Bill-N-Donna
11-24-2010, 12:58 PM
Iíll take the fifth!

mhs4771
11-24-2010, 01:14 PM
We too thought about going to a MH from our previous TT, but since we live in the country and need a truck we decided to move up to a 5er instead and fell in love with the Montana. I've added the level-up system to the Monty and with the dual ACs we have just about all the comforts we could want. As for being tired after a day of towing, I think it all depends on the TV, with a dually I'm not as tired or worn out at the end of the day as I was towing a much lighter TT with a 1/2 ton. Like eveyone has said there are pros and cons for either. We just preferred going the 5er route to avoid the reg and insurance for another vehicle.

8e3k0
11-24-2010, 02:27 PM
We prefer our 5th wheel at this point; have travelled with the brother in law; he has a 2004 Vectra 40 foot diesel pusher with all the frills and only 16,000 miles on the coach, he just spent $4200 for new rubber, one slide window is leaking and will cost him $1500 plus to replace, wipers are giving problems, and could cost another $1000 plus. Lots of problems with electronics for leveling system plus other elecrical problems that seem to pop up. I like the simple things that I can repair at a reasonable cost and keep moving down the road.

Waynem
11-25-2010, 08:00 AM
Okay! The other SOB is checking in.

We had the Montana 3400RL for 1 year with an F350 King Ranch, Long Bed Dually. If a car can fit in a parking spot, I can get the dually in there with several pivot turns. I never wanted for a parking space. However, considering all the setup I had to do with the Montana, and you all know what that is depending on the situation, now I push 3 buttons. One levels, one puts out a 12 foot slide, and one puts out a 23 foot slide. I switch to the MH because of physical challenges. One day I was setting up the Monty in Alabama (hot there) and DW said, "Why don't you get a MH before you have a heart attack." That did it for me. In all honesty, DW likes the kitchen of the Monty better than the SOB. I have to agree that at the end of a driving day I feel a lot more relaxed in the MH than pulling all day. After pushing the 3 buttons I can be set up in 10 minutes or less, that's electric, water, and sewer.

The other benefits are DW can get up and go to the powder room whenever she wants, grab us a snack (small one while driving), the puppy (70 pounds) has a lot more room and loves looking out the front window when we slow down, and our full wrap front window is our picture window. I can provide some pictures of the views we have had at some sites, and while driving (we sit higher). We are 40' long, well actually 39' 3", and 12' 4" high (basement AC). There is plenty of storage space underneath for our desires.

The expenses with a MH are typically higher than those of a 5th wheel. Fuel is compatible as far as I'm concerned. I got 8.5-10 mpg in the F350 when towing, and I get between 8.5-10 and sometimes 11 mpg in the MH.

As has been mentioned, the newer 5er's have the automatic leveling systems and that would help in set up substantially. In the two years I have had the MH, I have had to level with blocks only 3 times. And, I put the wood under the tires and get as close to level as possible, and then maybe a block of wood under the pad. I have never had to get on my back. I use the awning hook to push/pull the wood into place. I have on occasion when setting up on grass placed one 2x10 under the pad(s) to keep from sinking(settle) into the grass.

I like the MH. My wife would prefer to have the Monty back, but not give up the conveniences she has with the MH. Since I'm sitting on my butt, and men's organs are such, I can go for hours without having to go to the BR.

priceml
11-25-2010, 09:10 AM
My previous camper was a 1974 GMC motorhome,it was the best riding motorhome I have ever riden in.Torsion bar front end and air ride tandem wheels in the back,and front wheel drive.What I didn't like about it was when I needed propane I had to drive it to the filling station. What I do like about the 5th wheel is everything.But best of all is I get to keep my GMC K3500 DRW.

ray fischer
11-30-2010, 03:50 PM
A couple items not mentioned. I went from 31.5 class C to fiver. I'll never go back. I had bad knees prior to 2 TKRs, hitching up my toad was harder on back and knees than hitching up f/w. If you tow with a tow bar you can't back up w/o damaging the toad. I found myself being forced to back up in an emergency situation. I had 5 seconds to avoid a disaster. No time to unhook toad. Damaged steering on Jeep G/C. To get the comfort and space in a diesel pusher and toad comparable to my truck and F/W would be more than double the expense. If you travel extensively, a MH makes sense. If you sit for long periods, I think a f/w or TT makes more economic sense. IMHO

pbahlin
12-02-2010, 11:35 AM
For the best motivation of all to go with a fifth wheel.....

Heard a story today about a guy who left his wife behind (thought she was sleeping in the bed room) at a fuel stop for their MH. 100 miles later the state police pulled him over to deliver the DW. Now that could strain a marriage!

mhs4771
12-03-2010, 05:29 AM
That's what you call a big OOPS, I bet he'll never put the MH in gear again without first checking where the DW is.

Yamaha_Mama
12-03-2010, 05:48 AM
Ken might look at that story as a great motovation to get a MH!!! ; )

Tom S.
12-03-2010, 07:43 AM
quote:Originally posted by pbahlin

For the best motivation of all to go with a fifth wheel.....

Heard a story today about a guy who left his wife behind (thought she was sleeping in the bed room) at a fuel stop for their MH. 100 miles later the state police pulled him over to deliver the DW. Now that could strain a marriage!



I wonder if she believed that... :D

richfaa
12-03-2010, 03:44 PM
Yea.. We have that same picture......

RickW
12-04-2010, 07:00 AM
Most of the points have been covered in my opinion but I did not see the point of you can change the trailer with out changing your TV or change TV with out changing trailer. I have most likely bought my last TV but I doubt I have bought my last trailer.

It all boils down to you have to look at what works best your needs and desires. Most would not consider my choice of TV for example, but it works very well for us and our needs. We found the 5th wheel was the best solution for us. The wife loves the features and livability. It feels more open to us and less cave/tube like. We also like that we do not have to look past the steering wheel to see the outside world.

We have not ruled out a MH in the future. As we get older a MH may serve our needs better than a 5th wheel.

blarkman
12-04-2010, 01:59 PM
In our Elks rv group we have several who have had both the one's who went from MH to 5ers said their biggest complaint was every time they went somewhere after the warrenty was over. They were consistinly fixing it and it just nickeled them to death. Everytime we go somewhere they are either getting something fixed has to take it in.
bob

Rancher Will
03-23-2011, 01:23 PM
We believe that the answer to your question depends on each individual. We have friends who have both.
As a rancher I have always had trucks to pull ranch and commercial trucks. It has always seemed natural to have a 5th Wheel RV since we had the trucks to use. We are on our third 5th Wheel now, Montana 3750 Model.
When we tour the RV shows, and examine the coaches of some of our friends, we admire their Class A's but see nothing that we prefer over our current Montana 5th Wheel. With our 5 slides out we also have more floor space than the Class A's of our friends. And, of course, the license and insurance cost is much lower with the 5th Wheel.
Over the years I also noticed that when it it time to trade and upgrade a unit, I easlily trade a 5th wheel or a truck without trading both.

David West
03-24-2011, 03:33 PM
Interesting thread, as we have sure considered both. Personally, I'd think a big motor coach would be easier to deal with, but for us, it comes down to having one "drive while parked" vehicle. Perhaps after we are in the full time world for a while, we'll change our mind. Since we already have the dually pickup, just can't jump out and get a MH, as my lady would have to follow me (or the other way around).
But, a lot of my thinking on going with a fifth wheel is we plan to be in about four spots for the entire year. So, less time on the road.
Trust me, if anyone hires me as the next great rock singer, I'd be happy to get the giant bus.... and the double decker toy hauler trailers. As I don't expect anyone to pay me to sing (since I can't sing), then I think a fifth wheel will do us well. My eventual goal after we get the fifth wheel is to get a medium or heavy truck to pull it, then upgrade to a larger fifth wheel. In my very unlightened and amateur opinion, seems easier to swap out either the pull vehicle or the fifth wheel rather than one big bus. But, again, I'm just getting into this, so any comments (or slaps to the head :-) will be taken as a learning experience. As I want to haul my motorcycle, seems that limits my motor home choices, but again I just am not positive.
For now it will be the Mountaineer 347THT and then see what happens!

scattershot
03-25-2011, 06:12 AM
Generally, more room for the size, you register it as a trailer instead of a motor vehicle, the insurance is cheaper, tires are MUCH cheaper,and you always have a vehicle with you when you want to explore.

I didn't read all the responses, but these are my reasons for buying a 5er over a Class A.

Good luck!

Bill Frisbee
03-28-2011, 07:41 AM
We have owned: a 5th wheel (Montana 3400), a gasser motorhome (Allegro Bay 37DB), and currently a diesel pusher motorhome (Phaeton 40 QDH). For us, the MH is the preferable option because (1) DW is an incurable cat rescue person so we always travel with a small herd of felines, (2) I much prefer to drive the big one and tow the little one than the other way around, (3) I never enjoyed driving around town and trying to park a pick-up that was big enough (according to specs) to safely haul our 3400, (4) I got to the point where the set-up and take-down of the 3400 was more than I wanted to deal with, (5) the total cost of the Phaeton was not significantly greater than the combined cost of the pick-up and fifth wheel we would have purchased had we chosen that option, (6) wife refused to drive a pick-up and wanted a Jeep anyway ... so we were buying a Jeep (now our toad) regardless, (7) I have more CCC than I need even when fully loaded so don't worry about weight anymore, (8) the Phaeton drives and rides like a dream.

On the down side: (1) my insurance costs are much higher, (2) oil changes, etc. are much more expensive BUT only performed once every 12,000 miles, (3) the interior layout is neither as roomy-feeling nor as cozy/homelike, (4) many gas stations sell diesel, not many have the room or the height to handle a 40-foot motorhome towing a Jeep ... so have to locate truck stops and plan diesel fuel purchases carefully, (5) tires are obscenely expensive, (6) unlike fivers, 40-foot motorhomes do not like and cannot accomodate campsites that are not level (auto-leveling systems are wonderful but limited in their ability to deal with unlevel ground), (7) in our experience, motorhome chassis and other structural components (roofs, sidewalls, floors, windshields, etc.) are subject to greater levels of stress, strain, torsion, and twisting (i.e., greater potential damage) than we ever experienced with the Montana.

On balance, the MH works for us. Clearly it does not work for everyone. I expect that is why they build and sell both!

Bill

plattj1
03-29-2011, 02:06 PM
We started out with motorhomes and then moved to a pull trailer, after 6 years in a smaller unit we moved up to a Montana 5th wheel. I do miss the ability to move around in the motorhome while traveling, but everything else is better in the 5th wheel.

The room you have once setup is amazing, the hooking up and unhooking is a breeze, I would say that it tows better than my Class A drove in every condition. When I do have a problem with the tow vehicle I can just call the local Chevy dealer. Also, I am not out of my rig, I do not have to give up my home for routine mehcanical work.

I do not plan to go back to a MH ever, when I can no longer handle the 5th wheel it's time to get off the road.

danandbetty
04-21-2011, 06:45 AM
We love our 5er and have no complaints. I owned a Newmar diesel pusher MH before retiring and liked it too. There are certainly advantages to each. Here's a big one for me: Living in Alaska I have to be careful with my 5er to not head home through the Canadian mountains too early in the spring because towing my Monty on slick roads is mighty stressful. Especially steep downhill runs (and there are plenty in that country). Sometimes there are snow storms in those passes in late April and frankly I get stressed out worrying about that. In our previous MH that was not an issue...it took the mountain passes and slick roads with ease. On the other hand we really love living in our Monty which we do way more days of the year than we spend driving on or avoiding slick roads. Our Monty feels like it has more room than the MH even though the MH was a 38'. The other big factor for me is the cost of a MH. We live year around very nicely in our 3400RL and get great service from our Dodge dually for less than half of what I paid for the diesel pusher. If I won the lottery I may go back to the MH concept but that's not likely. Have fun making your decision and enjoy being on the road.