We had dinner with our friends Jim and Shar Lewis yesterday, and since they have been bitten by the RVing bug, most of our conversation was about our lifestyle, and specifically what kind of RV they should be looking at, a motorhome or a fifth wheel trailer.
This is a subject that is always good for a spirited debate among RVers. They have never built a “perfect” RV and never will. Each type of unit has its advantages and disadvantages.
While we prefer diesel pusher motorhomes, we have seen some great fifth wheels that we admired. But for us, a truck and trailer combination would not fit our needs or lifestyle. We carry a lot of stuff with us, we do a lot of overnight stops at WalMarts and truck stops, and for us, a motorhome is the best choice. However, as we told Jim and Shar, everybody is different, and when it comes to RVs, there is no “one size fits all.”
I have heard it said that while motorhomes typically give you more cargo space in the bays, fifth wheels give you more living space, because they don’t have a steering wheel and cockpit.
My friend, the late Gaylord Maxwell, founder of Life on Wheels, once told me that if you are on the go a lot, stopping for a night or two before you move on, a motorhome was the best choice, because he felt it was easier to park, level, and hook up to campground utilities. But, he said, if you stay in one place for a couple of weeks or more at a time, the fiver made more sense.
However, I know many fifth wheel owners who would debate the fact that their rigs take longer to park and hookup. I have never been any good at backing up a trailer, but I have seen many RVers who can slip a fifth wheel into places I would never consider, and make it look like child’s play. As one fellow told me, “it’s a lot easier to get into places when your house bends in the middle.”
Of course, nothing is set in stone. We know former motorhome owners who have switched to fifth wheels, and fifth wheel owners who have gone over to the other side as their needs and lifestyle have changed. Our friends Mike and Pat McFall from PressurePro have spent the last couple of years in a beautiful Teton Reliance XT3 that they pull with a 2001 Volvo semi tractor. As much as they love their rig, they recently decided to sell it and get a motorhome because their traveling style has changed. If you’re looking for a top of the line, well maintained fiver, check out Mike’s For Sale webpage.
We have known a few RVers who seem to switch rigs every year or two, though I don’t know how they can afford it. We started fulltiming eleven years ago in a Pace Arrow Vision gas powered motorhome, and when it literally fell apart around us, we built a bus conversion that we lived and traveled in for over eight years, Last summer we bought a Winnebago Ultimate Advantage diesel pusher. Our current rig has every feature and option we could ever want, and I expect we’ll be in it for many years.
Okay, I’m curious. What about you? Which do you prefer, a motorhome or a fifth wheel, and why? And do you expect to change rigs anytime soon?
Thought For The Day – If we are what we eat, I’m fast, cheap, and easy .