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Been Camping in a travel trailer for about 12 years. We are thinking of upgrading to a Motorhome. I would like to get some response from those who has more experience and gets some pros and cons concerning a travel trailer or a moterhome. I appreciate your input in this matter!
We have a bus conversion. We love living in it. We are stronger and tougher than most TT's or MH's. We also get better fuel mileage, have more storage space since we have bays, the space for larger black, gray and fresh water tanks.

I love my class C.

It is well equipped for boondocking.

When I'm tired I can pull over for forty winks at any rest stop without having to do more than walk to the back.

I can trundle down the road while lunch or supper slow cooks delectably in the sink (to prevent spills). I can stop and grab a beverage from the fridge.

I don't tow a vehicle behind it yet--but once the Nissan Leaf is in my garage that may change!
John Tedball
Hi all, just a short note why we love our Travel Trailer. It is a Jayco Feather and is only 6000lbs and can easly be hauled by our F250 Ford. When we have parked the RV, we now can use the Truck to see the sites, don't have to stay put or haul and extra vehicle. This is jsut our own personal choice. Motor Homes are awesome also, have toured a few, but for now we love out TT. Thanks for the ear....John biggrin.gif
Our first year of full-timing was in a 35' fifth wheel, pulled by a one-ton, crew cab, dually diesel pickup. We switched to a motor home solely because the trailer was too heavy for the pickup and we didn't want to either downsize our living space (again) or move up to a medium duty truck.

That was seven years ago. Newer pickups seem to have more towing capacity than our old 1997 F-350 did, so if we faced the same problem today we might have simply bought a better truck.

That said, there are advantages to both trailers (especially fifth wheels) and to motor homes.

For the same amount of money, you can get a much nicer truck and fifth wheel than you can a motor home and toad.

A motor home and toad are much more expensive to license, maintain, and insure than a truck and trailer.

A trailer and a motor home of equal length will provide more living space in the trailer. The cockpit area of the motor home is essentially wasted living space. Yeah, you can turn the driver's and copilot's chairs around and make guest seating, but how may days of the year do you use that?

Trailers generally have deeper slideouts than motor homes, giving you more floor space. In a motor home, there needs to be room to move around inside while it's on the road, so slideout depth is limited.

Both fifth wheels and diesel motor homes are pretty immune to being pushed sideways by crosswinds and truck bow waves. Travel trailers and longer gas motor homes (with their relatively short wheelbase-to-length ratio) are more difficult to drive in those circumstances.

When traveling in a motorhome, rest stops and overnight stops are possible without leaving the comfort of your rig. (Unless the dog wants out. smile.gif )

Passengers other than the driver can more around, use the bathroom, etc. while on the road in a motor home.

I could hitch up our old fifth wheel in about the same time it takes to hitch up our toad, so there is no difference there.

Motor homes, especially diesel pushers, generally have more basement storage than trailers. OTOH, our fifth wheel had more inside storage than our motor home does.

Once we are at our destination, it is a lot more pleasant to go shopping, sightseeing, etc. in our toad than it was in that huge pickup. As a bonus, our toad is a Ford Explorer, which allows us to travel on roads that we couldn't with that big wide truck. It also gets better fuel economy.

In summary, I think a motor home, though more expensive, is a better way to go if you travel a lot. If you tend to park in one spot for long periods of time, the additional living space and inside storage of a fifth wheel is nice.
Denali pretty much hit our experience 'nails' on the head with his post.

We went from tenting to used Class C's when our camping style was long weekends with kids and dogs. However, were leaning heavily toward a travel trailer when we decided to try full-timing. More bang for the buck...and already had a nice work-truck.

We opted for a gas powered shortie (32') Class A towing a Honda Element (was better priced than comperable Saturn at the time). This combo fits our current rambling style with ease. (A couple more feet in length would have been nice.) wink.gif

However if we decide to purchase a pad someplace and stop moving, we'll look into ether a park model (never moves) or a long 5th wheel (could move if needed). Pointless to have that RV engine if you're not going to use it. (Much higher DMV fees, and that use-it-or-lose-it factor with an engine.)


Those that have a trailer know how long it takes to set up for an overnight stay while traveling to a distant destination. With our Class A, I can level the coach and extend my slideouts without going out in the rain. I can also push the button and have the satellite antenna lock on for TV viewing. If we are only going to stay for the night, and the weather is nasty, we have all we need within the class A. We can use the gas stove to cook a meal or use the microwave to heat something up. Our water supply and holding tanks are good for at least a week. If needed, we can fire up the generator.
Now, if the weather is nice, it takes only a few minutes to hook up the power plug. Again, if it is an overnight stay, we only hook up the water to fill our tank and only use the sewer when our black tank is full.
Another advantage, as you get older, is that you can just pull off to the side of the road and use your own bathroom, without having to leave the comfort of your coach.
We tow a vehicle behind our coach and it takes pulling two pins, unplugging one electrical connection, and disconnecting the brake cable. This takes only a few minutes in good weather and even less if it is raining. The new tow bars and brake systems are very quick to hook up.
As mentioned, if you travel a lot from point to point, a coach is better than a trailer. If you sit for a long time at one location, it is hard to beat what you get with a trailer for the cost.
This is all good information. We, too, prefer a motorhome for all the reasons listed. However, I would like to add one thing. In our situation the cockpit is not wasted space as it might be for others. When we are stopped we turn the seats to face each other and then we put a small table between them. This serves as our computer station and it is big enough to hold both of our laptops. Also we travel with cats so we rig up a curtain that hangs back from the windshield just along the inside edge of the dash. We put a large dog bed on the dash and that area becomes the cats' den. This gives them a nice sunny (sometimes) place to look out, and the inner curtain still gives us privacy. We have also seen many dogs occupying this area so I guess it is not just for cats.

While there are definite differences between motorhomes, 5th wheels, and travel trailers I think the most important thing is that you think about how you like to travel and buy the one that suits your needs the best. Any one of these RV can be a large investment so it is smart of you to investigate before buying one.
Mike F
Have camped using a travel trailer for 30 years. I retired 2 years ago and purchased a 32' motorhome. I love the convenience of traveling and stopping whenever, where ever. Depends on your style of camping. In my early years, the tow vehicle served as our transportation, while we were camped. Now, I travel from point A, to point B, with occasional stops. Pull a lever and I'm leveled, no need to get out. Depends on your style.
I grew up in a travel trailer.... Dad joined the Navy when he graduated high school, he said that he did not want to sleep on the ground. Tent camper, small travel trailer with no shower or potty, then for the next 20 years, a series of FAN Coach TT.

I tent camped in Boy Scouts, and that was enough for me! That was before light weight tents, teflon coated cook ware, Honda 2000 gensets.

My wife grew up with motorhomes, and when we got married, we bought a used Airstream Land (barge) Yacht that was a huge mistake, so we bought a new Fleetwood Bounder.

I have never camped in a 5th wheel, but I have been inside one... nice!

I prefer a Class A MH. The kids can play in the back dinette, the dogs do notget cramped. The thing drives like a dream.

If I were to buy something new, I would go Class A again, but make it a toy hauler so we cantake our business (custom printing & sign shop) with us.

I want to thank everyone for their imput on this matter. It really given us some great insight. There are pros and cons for each one. I guess right now with a daughter in college we will be keeping our travel trailer for the time being till we can afford a motor home. Be safe on the road and maybe one day soon we will meet at one of the campround. Happy Camping.
We have little kids (4 & 1) and the MH is the only way I will go for now. Having to do a minimum of setup once we reach the CG is important. Besides, baby and booster seats don't necessarily work in a truck that would be used to tow the TT. (We typically get a rental once we reach the destination... I have a serious fear of towing.)

Skymessenger' ...There are pros and cons for each one... Happy Camping.

I have listened and even participated over the years in similar comparison discussions.

You have captured an important essence. Enjoy camping... with whatever you have!
When doing extensive traveling ...I loved having the Class C and then the Class A. It was so easy to tow the truck and have the convenience of being able to stop anywhere and be totally self contained...did not even need to level up a lot of the time, but when we button did it all. Press it, the levelers come down and you are done.

However, if you are going to live in an RV full time and plan to stay for long periods of time in one place (over a week)....then a 5th wheel is the way to go. Oodles of space and the livability factor cannot be beat. And you are not paying for maintenance and upkeep on a motor that does not get used much. Insurance is a lot cheaper as well.

MH's and trailers and 5vers all have their places where they shine the best. It is all what you want to do and how comfortable you want to be. Most important thing is to go while you can. All too soon will come the time when you will have to stop because of age or other reasons. Never pass an opportunity may not come again.
dog bone
A lot of great answers and reasons to buy any one of them. Seems like the right answer is to get what works the best for you and what you are happy with. If anything in life becomes to much of a hassle to do you tend to stop doing it. Camping is for enjoyment, so get what you want and enjoy.
I started in a tent, went to a pop up, to a fifth wheel. For us the 5' ver was the way to go. I drove tractor trailer for a living back then, so the fiver was just on a smaller scale. More storage outside and more room inside then a tt.
I used a pu for work, later on in life, so I had the tow vehicle. We got a nice deal at an rv show and bought the fiver. For us to go out and spend 100 to 200 grand for a class A mh and have it sit in the driveway for most of the time would have been a waste of money.
We are now looking at the mh's, class A. I'm semi retired and I hope my DW will get there soon. I like to stay around the water when we camp, so I like to bring my boat. Now DW tows the boat and I tow the 5'ver. With a mh I can tow the boat and just rent a car if we need one.
Happy camping everyone.

I agree with pretty much everything above, but have a little to add:

If you have a motorhome and have engine trouble (or many other problems) then you don't have a motorhome until the mechanic finishes fixing it (or you are camping at the mechanic's shop). If you have engine trouble with your pickup truck your trailer is still livable, and maybe even parked somewhere nice.

If your motorhome's engine fails catastrophically then you don't have a motorhome anymore. If your pickup truck's engine fails catastrophically then you still have a trailer, and you can replace the truck. Likewise if your trailer fails catastrophically you can keep the truck and get a new trailer.

A motorhome without a towed vehicle is a lot simpler to drive around then a trailer plus tow vehicle (but also limits you in a lot of ways). Once you add the towed then the MH+towed is a whole lot like a TT+truck (not exactly, since the towed vehicle can be a lot nimbler then a big old pickup...close enough for my tastes, but maybe not for yours)

However I'll point out that I totally agree with the other posters, none of this means a travel trailer is better then a motorhome for you. There are a lot of trade offs, and just because I think something is better for me don't make it better for anyone else.

If you are having fun (or saving money, or whatever you have set out to do) then you are doing it right! No matter how you are actually doing it.

(BTW, I think I saw a video showing some of the new Keystone 5ers doing the self leveling thing -- my 5er sure doesn't though, and that is something I would surely like to have automagic like a lot of motorhomes!)
My wife and I both grew up in tents , I still enjoy them but she doesnt anymore ..

We had tag alongs and fivers down thru the years , and we had crew cab duallies , which served us far beyond the trailers at the time , so we didnt have a truck sitting here for the trailers only ..

In the last five years we no longer needed the duallies , and as much as I hated getting rid of the last one ( it's a guy thing I suppose ) , we did , as it wasnt needed anymore ..

She never cared for a Class A , wouldnt even look at one whenever we were shopping for another trailer .. I always wanted one .. She's not a good "traveler" and gets irritable after a few hours of sitting in a vehicle ..

When we decided it was time for another camper , we looked around and all the used stuff was overpriced or junk , the new stuff was outrageous , and our 5.4L Super Crew 4WD wouldnt safely tow what we were interested in ..

So coming home from work one day last summer , I saw a used Class A at a local car dealer , snagged her and got her to come look at it , she loved it , had a fantastic price on it , and about three weeks later they had knocked $1000 off their asking price , now I'm interested more , go in , tell the salesman , we dont have to buy it , but we want it , one shot , whats your best cash price ?? He knocks another grand off it .. So now its here , paid for , and in excellent working order , only expense has been 2 grand for six new tires last year .. Only thing I need to do , is put new sway bar bushings in it ..

Is a 1998 Itasca Suncruiser 32' with 454 and gets almost 7.5 mpg running the genset , had 27500 miles on it when we got it ..

We got a dolly for the toad and have a small trailer for the Harley , and I've got a wife who will travel now ..

So for us the A works well ..
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