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Old 11-09-2015, 09:04 PM   #1
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5th wheel vs. Class C

Looking for opinions from those that have had this dilemma before us.

We have been in a bunk house 5th wheel for 9 years and are looking to upgrade. While it worked and served us well, we never really liked it, mostly quality and fit and finish stuff.

We do a lot of state and national park campgrounds, so need to stay on the shorter end to keep options open for sites. It's me, wife, 12 yo daughter and 10 yo son and 60 pound furball. We already have a good truck for towing our existing 5th, a 2015 F-350 with the 6.7.

We were all set on a Eagle HT 29.5 BHDS when we went to the recent RV show and happened on a Greyhawk 31FS. Really liked that floor plan, then started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to do bathroom stops while still moving and allow the kids more room than the back seat of the truck with furball between them. Kids are rooting for the Greyhawk.

Wife and I waffle back and forth. Bigger bunks and outdoor kitchen on the 5th are enticing, but ride comfort with Greyhawk is enticing as well. Cost of the Greyhawk when I already have a capable is a bummer. I know that no RV is perfect, and everything is a compromise. We know what the fifth wheel experience will be, but not the Class C experience. Afraid to make a $70,000 mistake by switching......

Is there anyone else that has been through this that can offer words of wisdom, or experience in the switch from one to another?
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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5th wheel vs. Class C

That's tough. My only insight is a pickup is nice to have around for house chores (trips to dump, hauling wood etc). Also at campsite, you need a toad with a RV. We travel from Md to Fl with three kids younger than yours. We only stop when the diesel needs fuel. They do great. Is your only plus to a class c the drive time?

You say you all never really like they 5th wheel experience. If you all don't like it maybe a class c would be better. Maybe rent a class c before making a decision?
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:01 PM   #3
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My words of wisdom are to trade in some of your "thinking and thinking and researching and discussing and worrying" for some "actual personal experience" that you can get by renting.

No amount of thinking and wrestling with it will get it done. And anyone you ask for advice from is really gonna do nothing much more than come at it from their personal perspective which is irrelevant as to you needs as nobody knows your needs better than yourself and those only get sorted out via "actual personal experience."

I suggest you also rent a class A as well to round out your experiences.

So many buyers, not just new buyers, seem to get all dewey eyed and blow it. Just the nature of buying a dream. Similarly, so many buyers are so focused on buying new they ignore the best deals out there, which are the used units. However, buying used, in particular, is all about inspecting and that requires owners to upskill themselves and pay some professionals for assistance.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:52 PM   #4
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Never owned a 5 very or a MH. Have rented a class C a few times. Being able to move around was great. One thing we did not like was all the noise in the coach while driving. Lots of rattling.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:11 PM   #5
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I can't answer for you obviously but only post an opinion. Our initial quest for an RV was a fiver/truck combo. After much debate decided I didn't want a diesel commuter. Also didn't like the overall length of the fiver/truck combo.

We're on our third MH. First one was a shorter Jayco. Nice rig but was too small. Next rig was a 30' Class A. Nice rig also but I didn't like the ride or the drive. Wife didn't like the floor plan. The Jayco we have now is as close as we're going to get and it is also a compromise. We prefer opposing couch/dinette floor plan but then you give up a big galley. So far we're very happy with the rig in that it rides and drives much better than the other two. However, now we know we're going to eventually have to tow so now we're back to the overall length problem. Arrrrgggg! It's all a compromise.

As far as renting, you'd have to rent the exact rig that you're going to buy because they all drive and ride so different. Otherwise you won't get the whole story. Yes it is very handy driving a MH and being able to get a drink, a snack, or take a potty stop without a rest stop. Also a 15 minute setup is a real bonus. From the time we park til we're ready to check out the local campground is quick and easy. A real bonus if it's 100 degrees out.

Speaking of 100 degrees, 1 AC in my rig is inadequate. It's pretty darn warm in the rig after setup and takes quite a long time to cool down as the heat from the doghouse contributes a lot of heat.

Soooo, there ya go. No easy answer but we prefer the MH.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:09 AM   #6
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We have never had a motor home or a 5th wheel, but I spent a lot of time as a kid traveling with my grand parents in a class A. My opinion is that a motor home is good for traveling, a trailer is good for camping. What I mean is that if you want to spend only a night or 2 at a location, then move to a new location, a motor home is nice. The ability to move around, use restroom, grab a snack from the fridge (carefully) are very nice. If the plan is to camp at one spot for entire trip, then why waste inside space with the cockpit. You have already touched on my other though of tow vehicle. I am the type of person that wants and uses a full size truck. For me, why would I want to maintain another engine, for a vehicle that would only get a few thousand miles a year. On the other hand, if the truck would only be used to pull a camper, then it might make more sense to have a motor home, especially if your daily driver could be used as a toad.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCo View Post
That's tough. My only insight is a pickup is nice to have around for house chores (trips to dump, hauling wood etc). Also at campsite, you need a toad with a RV. We travel from Md to Fl with three kids younger than yours. We only stop when the diesel needs fuel. They do great. Is your only plus to a class c the drive time?

You say you all never really like they 5th wheel experience. If you all don't like it maybe a class c would be better. Maybe rent a class c before making a decision?
I should clarify a little. It's not that we didn't like the 5'er experience, is that didn't like the 5'er we chose. Was a bottom level rig and really cheaply made. It worked ok, but always was waiting for the next thing to break, fall off, etc. We have made the best of it and have towed it 45,000 miles across the country and saw some cool places and made good memories.

I know it may sound silly to buy bottom of the line and be disappointed, but it was our first RV. We didn't know what we were doing our really getting into. Nor understand how RV's are out together. Have a much better idea of what we are looking at this time around.

We are going to get something different and that opened up the discussion after seeing a C floor plan that would work.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:55 AM   #8
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Since we've gone from a FW to MH recently, I'll offer our opinion for whatever it's worth.


FW Pro's -
  • Comfortable ride when equipped correctly
  • Interior room/floor plans available
FW Con's -
  • Step-up floor
  • Less storage capability
  • Maneuvering ability in tight campgrounds
  • Exterior disconnect/connect in foul weather
MH Pro's -
  • Comfortable ride when equipped correctly
  • Ease of stopping anywhere
  • Greater storage capability
  • Ease of set-up/breakdown
MH Con's -
  • Motorized maintenance not available everywhere
  • Cabin noise
With all this said... Only you can decide which is better for you

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Old 11-10-2015, 06:24 AM   #9
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We went thru the same exercise and eventually decided on a Super C vs our previous Fifth Wheel for most of the reasons that have been stated in the previous posts. We picked the Super C in order to stay with a diesel engine; maintenance is readily available and fueling is easy at truck stops. Setup/take down is much easier especially the older I get.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:26 AM   #10
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I like the idea of rending a C for a short trip or two. See how it goes. I know my kids would love bouncing around an open coach while traveling. Me on the other hand would get distracted having someone walking around while driving down the highway. Sounds like a trip to the ER if I had to swerve...

I've never done it, but does anyone get car sick trying to use the bathroom in a moving vehicle?
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