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  1. #1

    Default Question about what kind of rv to use or 5th wheel????????

    Hello to all;

    My family and I are looking to take a year and half off and travel the country. We are a family of four, boy that is 9 and a girl that is 8. We have looked at Class A motor homes, Class C and 5th wheel trailers. We have ruled out big Class A or C because we don’t want a toad. So to get in the National parks we were looking at 30’ or less Class C or 5th wheel trailers.

    We have been looking at a Class C motor home 22’ for the simple reason of ease of teaching the kids while one of us drives to our next adventure. The small size allows us to travel anywhere (even within cities) we want to go. Now my wife likes this idea because so much of our time would be spend traveling and naturally the motor home gives us more room while traveling. Also the option of cooking and sleeping at night if we wish. Because of the small size it would mean staying in hotels many nights. That means she would not have to make the beds or cook breakfast. Naturally the small RV size may lead to a prison sentence for murder. I am torn between the idea of not enough room for all of us vs. the ease of driving.

    The 5th wheel trailer gives us a lot more room at night. The 5th wheel would be about 30’ long and of course the room would greater than the Class C. But setting up and tearing it down would take longer. Also we would in a 4 door truck during the day which is limited space and very difficult to teach in. With the 5th wheel we have the truck to get into the cities without hauling the trailer behind.

    The question to everyone out there is what’s the best? I understand that this is very subjective but we want some true perspective from you’ll who have lived it. Especially those who ‘roadschool’ and how you’ve survived. We have our departure date in 2011 so we have time to make decisions, but really would like your perspective.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I wouldn't 5th wheel all over the country without a dual rear wheel 1 ton truck with a diesel, anything else is going to be a dog when you hit the mountains. Factor that into your decision, a new truck suitable for a big 5th wheel is going to be at least $50k. You can also spend the night in a motor home in a truck stop in a pinch, I wouldn't want to try that with a trailer. A motor home will also be easier to drive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Thoughts but no answers.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You are doing a fine job of weighing up the pros and cons of each choice, it's the decision making that is tough so the RTA pages on RV'ing will help to unravel those thoughts.

    I have not spent more than 16 nights in an RV, so long term I would be a complete newbie but I wouldn't rule out a toad either and budget has to be a consideration. I also would think a 22ft class 'C' could "shrink in size" real quick especially when the shorter days are around and the fact you will most likely be carrying quite a bit of gear with you. I would also presume that as you have so much time on the road there is no real need to do really long days on the road and therefor the kids could still get in some schooling sometime during these travel days while not on the move. After all the open road is an education in itself and getting them involved in what you are seeing and where you are going will be every bit as beneficial [if not more] as driving with there heads in a book. If you are thinking of spending large chunks of time in one place and venturing out from a hub each day a 5th wheeler could come into it's own.

    My thoughts would turn towards 32ft class 'A', a 28-30ft class 'C' both with a toad or a 5th wheeler, and if a toad was out of the question it would come down to the 5th wheeler or a 28ft/30ft class 'C'. Your best bet would be get around the dealers and get "touchy feely" with each one and imagine your living space over a long period of time.

  4. #4


    Motorhome or 5th wheel is a question many of us have asked. We decided on a motorhome. We spend 5 to 6 months each year on the road, that's equals an average of 13,000 miles each year. With a motorhome we have only six tires, one engine, and a bunch of other advantages you probably already realize over a 5th wheel. As to space, it is ample. Besides we have the great and vast out-of-doors. I would suggest you consider bunkbeds in the back for the children and you can have the double bed space over the cab. And take a tents for the children to enjoy sleeping outside occasionally.

    One thing you should remember is that in most states you can't be wandering around the rv. Set belts are required when your vehicle is moving especially on children. And beware if the effects of the rv's motion when driving down the road. I rarely have a problem with motion sickness but sometimes reading while we are moving can give me a yucky tummy.

    You mentioned "teaching" several times. May I suggest you consider volunteer with the Forest Service as part of a science unit. Perhaps you all could help with a raptor or butterfly count or maybe "plant" some fish habitats. Check it out. There was one group of children who helped the Naturalist find food for the critters in the Recreation Area's nature center - that was really fun.

    What a great adventure you are setting out on.

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