Motorhome or Fifth Wheel?
So, you want to buy an RV but are finding yourself asking motorhome or fifth wheel? Don't worry, we were in the same boat as you over a year ago and couldn't decide. We continued to flip back and forth over the months on which to buy. We toured multiple floor plans from multiple dealers all over southern California. We read blog articles, watched YouTube videos, talked to people that were RVing already and finally settled on a fifth wheel.
When we were researching this topic we got the answer “it depends on what you want” A LOT. Welllll, yeah that's obvious but we didn't know what we wanted. We're going to give you some questions to think about and hopefully, your answers will guide you in the right direction.
How frequently will you be traveling?
If you move more frequently than once a week, a motorhome is generally easier to set-up / break down. We only move once a week and don’t have an issue with our fifth wheel.
Do you plan on doing long travel days?
Long travel days with a fifth wheel are little better than a car. A motorhome definitely takes the cake if you're the type to go hundreds of miles a day. We don’t like going more than 300 miles in a day max with our fifth wheel but prefer closer to 200.
Accessibility to living space with slides in?
The fifth wheel gives superior living space when parked but not when the slides are in. We only have access to one door of the fridge, the bathroom, and the bedroom without setting up. Motorhomes are built to be used while underway.
Do you want separate living areas?
This was important for us and was one of the main reasons we chose the fifth wheel. In a motorhome, you may get separation to the bedroom but your living room, kitchen, and dining room are one long room. In our fifth wheel, we have a separate living room, separate kitchen, and bedroom. We love our separate spaces.
Do you have a pet?
We didn’t want to have our dog wandering around the motorhome as we drove. We would have put her in a crate. We prefer to have her set up in the backseat of the truck in a dog hammock.
Do you want to maintain two engines?
We didn’t. Having to only deal with one engine is a godsend. No trying to get our house into a mechanic shop if something goes wrong. I also love being able to do most of my own maintenance on the truck with parts available at most auto parts stores and even Walmart. Motorhomes need a little more specialized maintenance and you won't be able to do it all on your own.
What's your budget?
The price we paid for our new fifth wheel was less than what we were going to spend on a 10-year-old class A diesel pusher. Sure we still needed to buy a truck to pull it but we were planning to buy a jeep as a TOAD anyway (what is a motorhome without a jeep?). Our truck cost us $35K used with only 80,000 miles on it. Jeeps we were looking at were around 30K used.
Hopefully, your answers to these question will guide you in the right direction of choosing a motorhome or fifth wheel. No matter what you choose though, you're guaranteed to have a great time on the road. Let us know if this post helped you decide, and what you ultimately purchased.