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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13665

  • kimr
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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? And/or truck requirements for 5th wheel. We currently have a 30' travel trailer, but want to upgrade as we want to snowbird. We have considered getting a used class A, but thought maybe a new truck and 5th wheel might be a better/more useful option. I am recently retired mil, and husband's job is portable, so we want to at least snowbird. Want to get at least 37' of either (RV or trailer). Want seasoned opinions. Pros & cons of each. Also, we are looking at a new 2014 RAM 3500 Cummins diesel dually. Is this overkill or appropriate for a decent sized (37' +) 5th wheel? We have horses as well so we need a new truck anyway to pull our horse trailer. Our 15 y/o Chevy Silverado 1500 is getting tired. Any and all input is appreciated! :)

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Last edit: by kimr.

CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13666

  • johnandmari
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kimr - In my opinion, you answered your own question – you need a truck to pull a horse trailer. Just my thoughts here, and please realize just what opinions are worth – LOL :unsure:
1. A 15 Y/O half ton pick-up will not be sufficient to pull the size fifth wheel of the size you indicated.
2. You say you want to be a snow bird, but that means several things to some folks. Do you plan to go south, and remain at one location for the entire season? Or, do you plan to go south and stay for short periods at many locations? If you answered one location, then by all means a fiver is the way to go!
3. Fivers are really great for long stays, as apposed to class A’s which offer convenience to short stays, at lease that has been our experience.

Good luck with your choice.
John
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Last edit: by johnandmari.

CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13667

  • stanbnv
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What this always boils down to is personal preference. Warning, I would never have a motor home, just my preference and seeing other friends problems with their MH. Hooking and unhooking a tow car, verses hooking and unhooking a truck and 5er, in my experience traveling and watching others is pretty much a wash as is setting up and breaking down electric, sewer and water. We have friends who have had one type, switched to the other, and, some liked what they had done, and others switched back as soon as they could. After having towed with a gasser for a year when we fulltimed, I would NEVER tow again unless I had a diesel. With my 2006 Ram 3500 with the 5.9 Cummins turbo diesel I get 11 mpg towing either our 32 foot Laredo, or our 25 foot Arctic Fox. Not towing, I get 19 to 21 mpg depending on how heavy my foot is.
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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13668

  • JCSme2008
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I agree with John you answered your own question. For what you are doing and you already have horse trailer. Go with the truck and trailer.

I have asked the same question many years and received similar responses. For me and my wife we purchase a Class "A" for convenience of having it all in one, as we already own 2 cars and 1 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab, so we have options.
2005 FLEETWOOD DISCOVERY 38U
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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13669

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yes, I probably should have included that we do actually also have a Yukon SUV that can pull our bumper pull horse trailer or travel trailer as well, but we want something bigger than our travel trailer if we're going to be living in it with 3 dogs for more than a week. :) That's why we're thinking about getting a bigger truck and a 5th wheel. This thing is even set up with the brake box, bed liner, hitch, and power in the bed already! And still has a regular bumper pull hitch already installed. It's a LOT of truck. But it's also a really good deal. We just didn't know if it would be over kill.

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Last edit: by kimr.

CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13671

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Whatever you do, don't listen to an RV dealer when they tell you "your truck will pull it"! Yes it probably will, but you need a rig that will handle the weight and provide much of the stop too. I haven't followed the RV world for several years and I see all kinds of new 5th wheel makes that I never heard of. Our 2004 32 ft Laredo was an OK fulltimer for the two of us and two cats but we spent winters in either Yuma AZ or in an RV park 55 miles north of Puerto Vallarta Mexico and summers as far north as Washington State so we weren't too worried about an "all season" rig. Our 25 ft 2006 Arctic Fox is marked "All Season" and we spent January and most of February in Carson City NV for medical treatment and were comfortable with just a small electric heater. Of course we had an EXTREAMLY mild winter in northern Nevada this year and the temp rarely got below @25 degrees at night. If you want to go to South Texas in the Summer and northern Minnesota in January, I can't think of ANY RV that I would be comfortable with. Any 350/3500 SRW (Single Rear Wheel) diesel pickup should be OK with a 5er up to about 35 feet, anything bigger I would think a duelly would be better.
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Last edit: by stanbnv.

CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13672

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great points! That is why I asked here. I knew I'd get some good feedback. :)

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13674

  • Hank85713
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I am not a 5th wheel guru nor do I have one. BUT, let me say this. I see many BIG 5th Wheel trailers being pulled by some 1 ton trucks that look like they would be better handled by a medium duty truck like a frieghtliner or whatever. I had a friend who had/has horses and he towed his gooseneck with a 1T chebby dually. He broke down several times and finally got a freightliner and he said it was the best thing he ever did for hauling the horses and stuff. Yes they are big but so are the 1t duallys. The bigger trucks cost a little more but there are many out there used for sale. Bigger engines, transmissions and brakes are the key things. Besides in some states you can double tow if need be and if you have a 1 or 2 horse trailer bumper pull it could be attached to the 5er maybe, but I would not recommend. Friends do this with pontoon boats and boats but with a a couple of tons of horses?

Anyhow these trucks can be plushed out but most have air ride, air ride seats, etc and are about the equivelant of a big class A MH in comfort. There have been some on the lemon lot at DMAFB at times seen KW's and a peterbuilt there once. Just something to think about

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 11 months ago #13675

  • djenson
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If you use a truck like Hank85713 mentioned I think it would be a little rough using something that big as a drive around town vehicle. I also seen some of them at Davis Monthan AFB and I think they had extra vehicles and I know one had a motorcycle. Just food for thought and its best to match the towing vehicle to what you are towing and what you actually need to live in. If possible visit campgrounds and talk to those that have a 5th wheel the size you want and see how they tow and what they would change. Good Luck and safe travels.
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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 10 months ago #13739

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Well, we got the truck! And I am in LOOOOVE! I was concerned because of it's mammoth size it would be hard to maneuver just to run errands and stuff, but with the big mirrors and back up camera and stuff, it's easier than my 1500 was, and it gets better mileage! I can't believe how many cool features it has. Another of those "why did we wait so long/hesitate" moments. I wish there were some way of uploading a pic. Now to find the right 5th wheel.

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 10 months ago #13741

  • larryf
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You can "attach" photos to your forum messages. You can also upload photos to your own private photo collection in the COMMUNITY section of the website.
Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 10 months ago #13742

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yeah, I could not see any way of attaching pictures to the forum message. Whenever I would go to the "attach file" box at the bottom and try to upload one it would just show a string of letters/numbers when I went to look at the preview so I gave it up. The only option in the other boxes was attaching a google image link. I didn't know where else to look.

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 10 months ago #13771

  • skyking8
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I have owned a TT, 5W, and now a MH. The choice has many variables, but one that is always near the top is the lifestyle. I know that others may differ, but if you tend to spend time in one place then it's 5W because you don't lose the 3-5 ft livable space of the pax/driver space in MH. If are nomadic then a MH works well. Access to everything is walk thru convenience while moving down the road. Even tho my current rig is a MH, I still prefer a 5W. But I figured out that I could buy a really nice older MH for the cost of just the truck with the proper towing capability. Storage space prevails and $$ talks.
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Last edit: by skyking8.

CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 10 months ago #13775

  • Hank85713
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skyking is right about the MH and walking back to get stuff, use the bathroom its real convenient, for the PASSENGER. As a driver its still pull over and stop so no real benefit in reality. Just that you dont have to exit to enter to get to the facilities.

With that said I still stop and use the roadside rest stops for taking a break and going to the rest room. You get tired and stop stretch your legs which really does not happen in a MH, just not enough activity to really do much good IMO.

the 5er will supposedly pull better than a TT, but the cl a will require a tow vehicle which is part of the trailer system already. Best advice is to try and visit with folks who have whatever type you are interested in get the pros-cons and then make a decision hoping its the right one.

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 9 months ago #13780

  • skyking8
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Hank85713 wrote: skyking is right about the MH and walking back to get stuff, use the bathroom its real convenient, for the PASSENGER.


As you might tell from my avatar I am a pilot. My MH has an autopilot that allows me to get up and go to the bathroom while going down the road. And on the way back I can grab a brew from the fridge. :laugh:

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 5 years 9 months ago #13783

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only ones that can do that are herky bird drivers and you are showing the wrong wings for that!

Tell the CoS that she should not make any sudden braking or turns while you are out. Tell us, how do you switch over? Do you use 'the You have I got it approach with visual confirmation'?:)

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CLASS A -VS- TRUCK & 5TH WHEEL ? 3 years 9 months ago #16117

  • janmark72
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skyking8 wrote:

Hank85713 wrote: skyking is right about the MH and walking back to get stuff, use the bathroom its real convenient, for the PASSENGER.


As you might tell from my avatar I am a pilot. My MH has an autopilot that allows me to get up and go to the bathroom while going down the road. And on the way back I can grab a brew from the fridge. :laugh:


Your joke reminded me of a story. I recall back in the late 70s an Iranian student pilot was traveling in a van w/ cruise control. He did just what you described, engaged the cruise, got up to get a drink, and the van left the road and crashed. :woohoo: :laugh:

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