Deciding on RV ownership is not an easy task. Between 5th wheel campers and motorhome, there is a lot to consider. With such a big purchase, the most important things to consider is: how will one of these two fill the needs of your situation or family? With many things that make up the right answer for the decision, let’s look at the most common questions to ask in the process of your purchase.
What is the budget?
Regardless of which it comes down to, having the purchase be within budget is important. Considering cost of ownership is important in factoring budget as well, such as towing and storage. Buying new or used will affect the decision as well. New entry level 5th wheel campers can range from $15,000-$50,000 whereas entry level motorhomes begin at around $40,000. Having the right budget can affect this decision, and having the right RV loan can too.
How much room and what amenities are you looking for?
If you have a family of six, everyone needs room to move during a long drive. This will help to choose between the two. Both the 5th wheel camper and the motorhome have close to the same options. Depending on the manufacturer, features (kitchen, bathroom, dining room, interior furniture, comfortable beds in the master bedroom, living space, slideouts, basement storage space, etc) and layouts may affect the amount of space available even the same internal square footage.
How will you use the RV?
Many people have a certain way they prefer to travel. This is something to consider when traveling to or visiting parks and campgrounds if you are looking to stretch your legs or see the sights. With a motorhome, your choices would be to tow a car behind the motorhome, bring an alternative short distance travel option when parked, or drive the motorhome to the sites. For fifth wheel owners, you can unhook the camper and travel in the truck or tow vehicle. For those with a truck or considering buying a truck, another question to consider is whether you would you use a 5th wheel truck for anything else? Many people who use 5th wheel campers are those who already have a pickup truck. They use it for other heavy-duty jobs like pulling horse trailers or car haulers. An extra step is required to hook up the camper brakes and locking a jaw before pulling out. Make sure to check specifications on trucks before converting them. They need to be able to handle the vehicle weight of the camper or travel trailer.
Fifth Wheel vs Motorhome: Final Thoughts
There is no right answer of whether fifth wheels are better than motorhomes. Having the RV fit your needs and budget are the most important. That being said, you should still keep these helpful tips in mind. Take the time to check into RV gas mileage, licenses required, insurance, and how much those individual components will cost. License and insurance cost may differ in each state. Along with the purchase of a recreational vehicle is the matter of safety. Learning to drive an RV and maintain it is crucial to ownership. You don’t wanna find yourself on a trip, on the road and realize only then that a Class A motorhome will need lots of work navigating tight spaces vs a fifth wheel trailer since fifth wheels often have floor plans that maximize space. Other things you might want to consider are holding tank capacities, capacity for towing, generators and inverters, warranties, and maintenance costs (oil changes, tires, engines), to name a few.
Although both options are very different in a lot of ways, they also have some similarities. Although, and some people may often forget, that an RV’s engine is off most of the time, low fuel efficiency is unfortunately a reality that you just have to accept with either option. Both a 5th wheel camper and a motorhome can both be a home away from home, you know, just with a driving cockpit and steering wheel.
When it comes to deciding between a fifth wheel RV vs travel trailer the right one for everyone can be different, so invest in what travel trailers or RVs fits your lifestyle and have fun!