Which way to go????


New Member
:question: Will retire very soon and the better half and I are kicking around doing some full time traveling. We currently live in northern NY but our plans are to travel the US and Canada.

Having a difficult time deciding which way to go so we decided to seek some experienced help.

Was hoping to get the Pros and Cons of....
Motor Home?
Travel Trailer?
5th Wheel?

Our RV experience amounts to almost nothing as most of our traveling accommodations were in motel rooms.

At this point we are leaning towards a 5th wheeler but nothing is written in stone.

What are your suggestions.

Gary B

Senior Member
Which way to go????

Hi GlennNY, welcome to the forum, how about renting a Class C or A MH and taking it on a weeks trip say 2/3/400 miles that way you would have an idea of whats its like to drive and be in a motorhome. We have had all of the above, and there are points for each but I & the better half like a 5th wheel the best(were on our 3rd one), I don't think we'll ever get another MH but wouldn't rule out a TT.
Pros of a MH: generally have an onboard generator(can be nice/is nice), living area is on one level, large basement storage areas, you don't necessarly have to go outside if you stop for lunch or pitstop.
Cons of MH: towing a toad to drive once you arrive, you can't backup with a towbar, getting fuel is harder, you have to change truck part with the home part or vice versa, generally tires cost more brakes cost more.
5er pros: you can change tow vehicle or camper independently, better or more floor plan options, larger slides (more room)(I) find it easier to refuel,not as large overall, less costly than a MH per foot.
Cons of 5er: not on one level(its a big deal if one or the other is handicapped)some folks don't like towing a large vehicle, you have to get out to go into the rv, backing is more challenging to some.
Pros of a TT: can be towed with a pickup, Van, or SUV, you have the truck bed/ back of tow vehicle for stuff, its all on one level, can change either independently, large slides, lower profile, generally the cost of a TT is less than a 5er per foot.
Cons of TT: generally less storage, longer overall length than 5er for same footage
I feel that a properly set up tow hitch for a TT will allow it to tow almost as well (some say as well)as a 5er.
I still like a 5er :laugh: OH I guess I already said that. :) :bleh: :approve:


Senior Member
Which way to go????

Hi Glen,
Congratulations on your soon to come retirement.
I'll try to give you my opinion on the types of rv's.

Pro: Good if you are going to travel frequently with shorter or overnight stops.
Easy to set up, level, and take down to move.
Can use "facilities" while enroute.
Good view from cockpit while traveling
Comfortable ride (usually)
Good storage capacity
Easy to stay at Wallmart since you don't have to leave your vehicle :laugh:
Con: Very expensive initial purchase and expensive to maintain
Most people tow a car to avoid having to move motorhome when camped
Two engines and drivetrains to worry about

Fifth Wheel:
Pro: More room than most TT or MH for the money
Good storage capacity
Can be left at site and tow vehicle used for site-seeing
Easily towed with little or no sway problems
Easy to hook up and unhook from tow vehicle
Con: Usually more expensive than TT
High profile creates wind drag and can hit low trees
Heavy pin weight usually requires large tow vehicle

Travel Trailer:
Pro: Less expensive to purchase and maintain
All interior room is usable
Lower profile so less wind resistance and damage from trees
For me, a more comfortable atmosphere
Con: Can be harder to hook up unless using a power tongue jack
More involved hook up procedure
Less outside storage capacity (in most cases)
Can have tendency to sway unless properly loaded, and a proper hitch is used
(There are hitches available that make a TT tow just as well as a 5th wheel)

That is about all I can think of. Hope it helps you a bit. I'm sure others will have more to say since there is always a good debate going somewhere about the advantages/disadvantages of the various kinds of rigs. There are people full timing in each and happy doing it.
Good luck! :)


New Member
Which way to go????

Very well put Gary and Barney! Now for my two cents!

We got into RV'ing last year. After some serious looking we too were undecided; MH or fiver. Our kids talked us into a MH. So we bought a one year old 34' SeaView by National, and made a 4,000 mile coast to coast and a million points (it seemed) in between. (did you know in Oklahoma you can't get a senior rate at a state campground unless you are from Oklahoma or a few other midwestern states, we stayed at a Walmart that night) But, I degress!

We emmensely enjoyed our MH ... until the vehicles AC quit working. As everything was still under warranty I took it to a Ford dealer. They charged me $300 bucks to fix it and it wasn't under warranty. According to the Ford dealer when National got the Ford chassis at their factory they routed the AC wires through the fan shroud instead of where they were supposed to go. After a few thousand miles the fan ate through the wires (that happened in Mo. during a hot muggy August. So it was Nationals screw up. I figured National would surely stand behind their product and reimburse me. Nope, the warranty was for a year, the vehicle was 15 months old.

After we got home the MH sat in the driveway eating up payments while our other two vehicles were both approaching 100,000 miles. So, we made the decision to sell the MH on Ebay (did so in a week, got $2,000 less than we paid, which I figured was pretty cheap rent) and turned around and bought a pu/5th wheel combination.

The pu is now our "family car". I wouldn't go as far as to say we don't even know the 5er is there when we are towing it, but the pu is certainly more comfortable and versitable than the MH when traveling. Too me the 5th wheel is by far more comfortable and spacious than the MH, i.e. sit in a rocker/recliner and watch a 27" inch TV at eye level vice craning my neck to watch the MH's TV mounted at about eye level when standing.

Barny's suggestion of renting before buying is a good one. Wish I had done that!


New Member
Which way to go????

I think you three have pretty much re-enforced what I was already suspecting. A 5er is the way to go. The pro's definetly outway the con's. Having drove truck for years the towing, backing are not a problem for me. A P/U as the family vehicle works fine for me.
Spent the last few days visiting local RV dealers and checking out their inventories. Looked at many used units and many new ones. Never realized the huge range of prices. Now I have to decide if I want to spend $20,000 or $80,000. Glad I still have some time left.