In this video I explain why we chose a 5th wheel RV over a Class A Motorhome or a Travel Trailer or any other type of RV for us to live in full time.
Table of ContentsDifferent Types of RVs
Why We Need So Much Space#1 – Office Space #2 – Resource Capacity #3 – Washer & Dryer #4 – Spacious Living
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel vs Class A5th Wheel Advantages Over Travel Trailers Potential Advantage of Class A #1 – Lower Windows #2 – Failure Potential #3 – Financials
Leaning Towards 5th WheelsScouting in Person Discovering Toy Haulers Gathering Others’ Perspectives
Different Types of RVs
There are tons of different RV setups out there. Popups – Smallest Teardrops – Smallest Truckbed Campers – Still Small Class B Vans – Still Small Class C Buses – Bigger Travel Trailers – Even Bigger 5th Wheels – Biggest Class A Motorhomes- Biggest The first thing we knew we wanted when we began considering going full time was a rig with plenty of space.
Why We Need So Much Space#1 – Office Space We were in the midst of building our businesses and working extremely hard for long hours, often 7 days a week. Because of this we wanted enough room for a separate office space so we could mentally separate work from relaxation.
#2 – Resource Capacity
As first time RVers with no experience, we knew we needed as much “resource capacity” as possible. Plenty of water capacity. Plenty of power capacity (room for batteries, generator, solar). Plenty of storage space for tools and supplies. Without experience we had no idea how long a tank of water would last us or how much power we needed to run our business off grid. How many tools will we realistically need?
#3 – Washer & Dryer
We wanted room for our own washer and dryer. Having endured hours of wasted time at sketchy laundromats in our younger days, we knew we didn’t want to go down that road again.
#4 – Spacious Living
I’m 6’ 3” and didn’t want to spend my days hunched over, bumping through tight quarters and breaking my back just to rinse some shampoo off my head. All of these preferences immediately eliminated: Popups Teardrops Truckbed Campers Class B Vans Class C Buses So now it was between: Travel Trailers 5th Wheels Class A Motorhomes
Travel Trailers vs 5th Wheels vs Class A
We started our search by hitting up some local dealers and walking through a few travel trailers, fifth wheels and Class A’s.
5th Wheel Advantages Over Travel Trailers
It immediately became apparent that we preferred 5th wheels over Travel Trailers hands down. The ceilings were higher. Much more storage space down below. Larger tank capacities in general. And a good bit of the 5th wheel’s length goes over the truck bed, reducing your overall rig length. All things considered, if we were going to pull something, it just seemed like a 5th wheel was a much better fit for us. So with that, travel trailers were eliminated…
Potential Advantage of Class A
When it came to Class A’s, we really liked the idea of a simpler setup. Pull into a camp spot, level, and extend slides. No hitching and unhitching. But that’s only without a toad (aka a daily driver vehicle, like an SUV or car, you tow behind you), which I believe would be an absolute necessity with a Class A. It’s how you explore the town you’re in. How you pick up groceries and go to restaurants. If you have a toad, you’re going to be “unhitching” it instead. So either way, you’re going to be pulling and unhitching something, whether it’s the RV from the back of the truck or the TOAD from the back of the RV. So with that potential benefit eliminated, we were then left with 3 main concerns we had about Class A’s that we didn’t have with 5th Wheels.
#1 – Lower Windows
There aren’t as many scenic views from inside as there are in a fifth wheel. The windows are lower to the ground and smaller. This means you either need to hunch over or sit down to look out of them. Because of this, it feels less like you’re in a traditional home and more like you’re in a giant bus.
#2 – Failure Potential
More chance for inconvenience. If your RV has a mechanical breakdown, your entire house is going to the shop. While this applies to every RV, regardless of the type, non-towables have a much higher chance of something mechanical going wrong because the “vehicle” and the “house” are combined into one unit. Sure, a trailer could have a “vehicle issue”, like a suspension or frame problem that would require some substantial time in the shop. But Class A, B and C’s have engines, transmissions, power steering pumps, water pumps, belts, pulleys, etc. This is all ON TOP of all of the actual “house” problems that every RV will eventually have. Murphy’s law. What can happen, will happen. So why not double your chances of not having everything down all at once by splitting the points of failure into two separate groups?
#3 – Financials
There were also other things to consider like cost, depreciation, etc. but those weren’t big deciding factors for us as much as they were bonuses. After all, we weren’t going mobile because it made the most financial sense. We were doing it for the freedom to roam and explore.
Leaning Towards 5th Wheels
So knowing that we were leaning towards a 5th wheel we began walking through more and more of them at various dealerships. During each walkthrough we’d try to imagine what it would be like to live day in and day out in each of the layouts. We were especially looking for something that could accommodate a very functional office space. Where would we setup our computers in here? Is there even enough room?
Discovering Toy Haulers
While pretty much all 5th wheels were split into two main areas (an open concept living room/dining room/kitchen and then a bedroom/bathroom area) we began to notice there were some that were split into three separate areas. These were called Toy Haulers and they had a separate “garage” at the back of the unit (for bikes, ATVs, etc.) that also doubled as a second bedroom/entertainment room. These really started appealing to us as we could imagine using the garage as a completely separate office space!
Gathering Other’s Perspectives
We began watching tons of YouTube videos, gathering a variety of other people’s perspectives, experiences, regrets, etc. And then we found Chad and Tara from Changing Lanes RV! They literally had a 5th wheel toy hauler with the garage converted into a his and hers office space. They had a washer and dryer. A king sized bed. A generator. Extra batteries. Plenty of room for tools. Boom. That solidified it. Their setup was perfect and I knew a 5th wheel toy hauler was going to work for us! Huge shoutout to Chad and Tara for literally providing the foundational “proof of concept” for us to feel comfortable going all in on a full blown traveling home, office and garage!