Fifth Wheel trailer or Class A Motorhome?
The debate about choosing a Class A Motorhome or Fifth Wheel rages on wherever RVers gather. Especially between people that decided to live full-time in their RV’s. Some will say that a motorhome is better for those who travel more often, and that a Fifth Wheel is better for those who prefer to stay still for a longer time.
The initial cost of a Motorhome can be a big downside for some of us. Because you are paying for both an RV and a motor vehicle into one. Also, insurances can be significantly less expensive for a fifth wheel. This is partly because they generally cost a little less than a motorhome. As well as adding insurance on the towed car on a class A.
Mechanically, you don’t have to worry about what could go wrong with the trailer. The maintenance factor can considerably influence your travel budget. For example an oil change on your Class A will be more expensive than on your pick up truck. Plus, most people will find it easier to fix their truck if something goes wrong on the road, than try to fix their Motorhome
Weather you choose a Fifth wheel or a Class A, you will be towing something, car or trailer. Usually, the total cost of a trailer and suitable truck together is less than a Motorhome with a towed car. But try to match a Fifth Wheel trailer to a suitable truck can be an issue. If you already own a truck, you will need a trailer that matches the capabilities of the truck. Websites like fifthwheelst.com can be useful to find a good match. You just have to fill in the blanks and the calculator will give you results.
The driving of a Class A Motorhome is definitely more comfortable and and convenient. The driver seat is as high as a heavy duty truck, for easy maneuvering. Not to mention the beautiful sceneries to enjoy through the gigantic front windshield. On top of that, most have at least a 50 degree wheel cut that makes it easy to back into campsites. However, backing any type of trailer into a campsite requires a lot of practice.
In terms of pure turning radius though, the fifth wheel is obviously the winner. With a pivot point put at the rear axle of the tow vehicle, the turn comes much sharper. So for driving around on tight city streets, the fifth wheel wins. Also handy when fuelling up in smaller gas stations or quickly grabbing a back-in campground
The most widely publicized advantage to the Motorhome is the freedom of movement you get as you travel. The passenger have the ability to get up and move around while the Rv is going down the road. Not having to stop for washrooms is a big advantage when you travel long distance, specially with children.
The living areas are generally more spacious in a Fifth Wheel. Because all the space is usable as living and storage space, while the Class A needs room for engine, transmission, or cockpit area. The slides in a motorhome are shallower which create less space. With the additional living space that “slides-out” the actual square footage of a Fifth Wheel is generally larger. The room also feels larger because most fifth wheels have higher ceilings.
On top of all that, people seems to agree that the Class A is more secure. Probably due to the fact that if threatened, you can always jump into the driver’s seat and leave the scene.
Some people prefer a truck as a regular vehicle. It’s easier to work on for most of us. A motorhome combines the engine, drivetrain and regular vehicle electronics with the RV systems. Its much more complex than a trailer. Not to mention that if your truck needs to go in the repair shop for an extended stay you still have a place to live in while you wait.