Why we purchased a 5th wheel

by | Feb 2, 2019

There’s so many considerations to be made when purchasing an RV. Do we purchase new or used, motorized, travel trailer or 5th wheel, how long, fit and finish? This list can go on and on. Purchasing an RV should be based on the lifestyle you desire on the road and most important, how you plan to travel from destination to destination. It’s this last item, your travel style, that we’re mine and Joan’s major issues – how we plan to get there and once we arrive, what must we have to enjoy our stay.

7 Reasons why we purchased a 5th wheel

As we started our RV purchase research, we had a list of items that were important. Regardless of the type of RV, many have similar features from overall length, storage, bathroom size, large bed/no bed, bench or traditional dinette. This list can go on and on, but there were 7 reasons why we purchased a 5th wheel over a similar sized Class A or C RV.

  1. Mobility – When we considered our travel style, our plans were to stay in a location for weeks or even months. Moving day-to-day or less than a week was of little interest. We use a “hub and spoke” style of travel going to a location (the hub) then branching out 50 miles or less (the spokes) to visit points of interest. We then have the comfort of our set up 5th wheel at days end. This makes touring less stressful, no towing, ease of parking and a more relaxed time to enjoy the sites.
  2. Why we purchased a 5th wheelLiving Space – This was very important. We wanted that home feel, even an apartment type of environment. The 5th wheel won this hand down. With slides and 40 feet in length, we have 400 square feet of livings space. We’re able to seat guest comfortably, have ample kitchen space, a bath with a tub, plus a king sized bed. It’s our home on wheel for months on end and the well apportioned space makes travel must more enjoyable.
  3. 100% Living Space – Another benefit of a 5th wheel over a motorized RV is having 100% living space from front to back. The space isn’t lost to the driving area creating a better utilized area for seating and storage.
  4. Tow Vehicle – If you plan to travel for many weeks, months or even full time, having access to a vehicle that is not your RV is important. Sure, you can tow a car with a Class A or C that will offer similar benefits, but with a 5th wheel, it’s one motor and drive train to maintain. It’s much easier to find a dealer to service your tow vehicle and less costly. It adds up over time.
  5. Cost – When we started looking at an RV to purchase, we quickly realized a 40 foot or large Class A was well beyond our budget. I understand why. A large Class A has a substantial frame and drive train to manage the RV weight. There are a number of factors driving the cost of a Class A, but we found our cost was substantially less for a similar fit and finish 5th wheel along with the purchase of a large diesel truck.
  6. Fuel Economy – Is there difference in fuel economy when pulling a 5th wheel as compared to a similar size Class A? You bet! We are pulling 14,000 pounds with a diesel F-350 dually. We typically see 11.5 miles per gallon in the mountains and 12.5 on flatter roads. A gas engine Class A and even some diesels will be much less. Fuel costs can quickly add up on the longer trips.
  7. If we have problems with our tow vehicle, we still have a place to live. – It’s not if, but when will you have a problem with your RV. It’s going to happen. Miles, road hazards and just wear and tear. Most issues can be dealt with in a day, but having you 5th wheel in a campground that you can return to is a huge benefit if the unforeseen occurs and you tow vehicles is in a shop over night or worse, days waiting on parts. No hotel, no pet worries, your 5th wheel provides a place to return until the maintenance issues are settled.

Everyone has list or should prior to making an RV purchase. Lists will vary, this is a very personal and lifestyle purchase. Do your research, but don’t delay adding years of worrying about what’s best. Find an RV that meets your needs and join the lifestyle. There’s so much to see and do. Hopefully you too will be able to say: “I love RV life.”

RV AccessoriesNot sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.

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