Class A Verses 5th Wheel for Full Time RVing

by Yvette
(Missouri)

We have no RV experience and are planning on living in the RV we purchase. Which do you think is better for full time living? A fifth wheel or Class A? There will be 3 of us living in it. I would appreciate any advice I can get. Also, which is easier to learn to drive with? Thanks




Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

My opinion is that the best type recreational vehicle for full-time RV living is a straight, bumper pull travel trailer. It gives you lots of room. You can choose from various tow vehicles. You can buy or replace your driving vehicle and your living vehicle at different times.

Why not a fifth wheel? It seems to me that you lose so much space. Not only in the fifth wheel, but also in your tow vehicle. Fifth wheels also tend to be more expensive.

Why not a motorhome? It's nice not to have to unhook every time you want to go leave the campground. Driving a large motorhome for every day errands can get to be a pain. Of course, there's the option of towing a vehicle behind the motorhome, but if you are going to tow, why not just tow a trailer?

Other RVers have different ideas on this. I'm sure you'll get other opinions.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.



Comments for Class A Verses 5th Wheel for Full Time RVing

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A Few Other Thoughts
by: Meg

I'm with you, Colleen. But here are a couple of other things to consider:

- If you buy a motorhome - Class A or the smaller Class C - and tow a "daily driver," you can have a daily driver that gets better mileage than the RV (and fits in more parking spaces). But now you have two engines, transmissions, drive trains etc. to maintain. And if you're staying in one spot for a while, one of those vehicles is going to be parked for an extended period - which isn't good for it.

- Fifth wheels tend to use the front section as the bedroom. This is great if you want a separate room for that, but there are stairs to deal with there - something to think about if you have knee problems or need to get up in the middle of the night. And some of those front "bedrooms" aren't high enough to stand straight up in. If they are, then you're going to have a higher rig, which you need to think about when you're on the road (bridges, overpasses, etc.)

Just my $.02. I hope it helps with your decision.

Best RV - My 2 Cents
by: Gypsy Jane

Really, it depends on what your lifestyle is.

I had a van/travel trailer rig when I was setting up shops in the 18th century and that worked best. Now I'm a supermarket merchandiser and I park on the job site, in a different location each week. A medium size class C works very well for that, but a travel trailer would not work at all. I have a motorscooter on the back for extra transportation, but no toad.

A Fifth-wheel Is It Now, But....
by: Anonymous

We've been full-timing for 23+years, the entire time in various 5th wheels. We feel they're better for our type of RVing, which now is moving every 3-5 months, since we're workamping full-timers. We feel they have better storage and layout and they feel more like a "real house."

Many of our friends have motorhomes and while they love them, they just never felt right for us. However, we're now in our 70s and don't know how much longer we will be fulltiming. We're thinking that sometime in the next 3-5 years we may go back into a house, buy a Class B or C motorhome, and RV for 3-5 months at a time, returning to a house for several months at a time.

We love our comfortable and cozy 5th wheel and it's served us well, but we're feeling the need to be more portable, not have to unhitch and level at every stop (motorhomes have automatic levelers but we've never found an automatic leveler on a 5th wheel that we could trust), and we no longer will need all the "stuff" that we now carry around with us.

All RV Options Have Pluses
by: Aljaymar

Due to the very significant differences, I suggest you spend a few days in each type of RV by renting and driving/towing each.

We are full time motorhomers and work campers/volunteers. Owned a fiver for a short time; hated it. The problem was more my fault as I was never comfortable towing and stupidly just couldn't master backing into a site.

When pull into a site, if i'ts storming outside we just stay in the MH, sometimes overnight, no running back to the trailer, easier for boondocking. On the road and nature calls, just pull over, stay inside.

Fiver with monster big front end terrible mileage, great interior space, poor outside storage compartments.

TT, best interior space, worst outside storage.

Extended warranty a must with MH; very expensive each year.

Differences go on and on.

For My Money... I Favor Fifth Wheels
by: Anonymous

I'm a fiver fan for full-timing, for a number of reasons. More stability on the road and no sway issues, as with a travel trailer. Shorter "road length," and easier to maneuver. Taller ceilings and larger windows. More slides. Deeper slides (vs. motor home). Yes, you lose storage space in the truck, but you gain most of it back in the fiver's "basement," and that storage is dry and secure. Holding tanks are larger, better insulated, and usually heated in most FW's. Hitching is easier than in a TT. Washer/dryer hookups are common in fivers, rare in TT's. Ditto for generators. Most FW's have 50 amp. service vs. 30 in TT's.

Hope I've helped.

RV Type
by: Adventurers2

We full-time in a motorhome because it fits our lifestyle. We have cats with us and they are always at home. The cats love to ride in the motorhome, and they hate to ride in a car.

For 3 years, we didn't have a toad, but have one now. It tows behind very nicely. When we started, we didn't want to tow anything, but then decided a car would be nice when we visit friends and relatives.

We like a MH because we usually only stay a week or two at a campground and then are moving on to someplace new. We never have to leave the motorhome to use a bathroom. We don't have to do any hookups if weather is bad or, for that matter, even get out in the weather. If we stayed in one place for a long period of time, then we might consider a 5th wheel. They seem more "homey" and spacious.

Hope this helps.

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