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Living in a fifth wheel or RV

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:30   #1 (permalink)
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Default Living in a fifth wheel or RV

I can now see why RV'ers and fifth wheel owners like their rigs so much,We have been living in a european motorhome for 4 years now and as it has had to go in for warranty work for 2 weeks,we are renting a fifth wheel to live in until its done.
The space is amazing and the water and sewage are all fitted up, the central heating is not working though nor is the air conditioning (not that we need that this time of year) and its not double glazed so could be cold if we had a spell of really cold weather, its mild at the moment and still have 1 oil radiator and one convector radiator going.
I think the cost of owning one and having to get a big car to pull it with would take the shine off though?
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:18   #2 (permalink)
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I have just changed from an A class Winnebago RV, to a 5th wheel and truck.
Although I haven't used the 5er in earnest yet, it seems to be more suitable for us.

The A class was super to drive and live in, and the slide made it more than roomy. The separate bedroom, was as good as any hotel, and supremely comfortable.
The only downside for us was when on site, we had no transport. We could have a small trailer and Smart car to tow, but with grandkids coming out of our ears I would have needed a much larger car than a Smart.

So, over to a 5er. Nice to tow, beautiful layout for us, larger kitchen, and more roomier on site due to the slide out being deeper. Comfortable, all the usual RV amenities, but no double glazing (on mine), and no generator. The heating is nice and warm, and the A/C is nice and cool (HU only). Multi solar panels keep the batteries topped up, and it has an inverter. More than enough storage and cupboards everywhere.

We also have a 6 seater truck to ferry us and how many grandkids are with us at the time. Probably less maintenance on the 5er and truck compared to an A class. Possibly slightly more mpg with the 5er too, but not much.

RVs are equipped with, what i think, proper waste tanks. Large capacity, easy to empty, and properly vented. Mine has two 40 usg grey tanks, and one 50 usg black tank, and one 50 usg fresh water tank. All insulated and heated.

Have we done the right thing? I think so, only time will tell.

If there was only us two, we would have probably stayed with the A class, and Smart car.

In the future we may revert back to an A class, at the moment we are happy.

One thing is certain, we could never go to a Eurobox. We have been well and truly spoilt by US RVs. They are not everyones choice, and I wouldn't deride anyones pride and joy, whatever it is. My choice is US RVs.

Craig
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:42   #3 (permalink)
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We have never been able to afford a RV MH but went from caravan's to a used 5thwheel - american import, and a truck. We sold the wife's car and bought the truck which she is more than happy to drive about in, so one less set of tax and insurance. The 5ver has the same facilities as a large and very expensive RV MH, but at a fraction of the cost - used at the right age and condition - set up for UK laws etc, they can be no more than a fairly new standard european caravan. You have the truck to drive about in when pitched, so dont have to tow a small car behind the MH which defeats the object of those whom aren't sure about towing so they go for a MH. We have auto central heating, runs fine off of the LPG, but hook up and oil filled rads are better. We do Kart racing and are out twice a month all through the year in all weathers with no real problem. It tows so nice from the pick up bed compared to any bumper mounted towpoint. The only minor downs we can see are. LPG heating can be a little noisy with the blown air etc. also a little guzzly (is that a real word?) on the LPG. Would like 240V powered integrated heating. No double glazing is a bit naff, but looking at temp (or permanent if I can work out a the window opening mechanism etc) secondary double glazing using 3mm polycarbonate. On board water pump is a bit noisy - not sure how that compares to MH with on board tanks? Maybe looking to sort an alternative pump.
So methinks people don't go for 5vers cos they are a bit odd and also can have a load of scary info. / issues thrown at you ref. UK on road legality. Have done loads of research on this including contacting VOSA, mains points are, keep within the gross train weight (some UK trucks Ford Ranger and Izusu Rodoe have high enough GTW to haul a 'compact' US 5ver and load and GTW), make sure all road lights are set up for UK roads, make sure it is fitted with a mechanical handbrake permanently mounted on the 5ver working through the braking system, and all is well!
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:22   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trish-n-tez View Post
I can now see why RV'ers and fifth wheel owners like their rigs so much,
I know when we first got invited into one all we could think of was "The Tardis" or "am I seeing things". Like a mansion on wheels. It was close to a Travellodge room.

But the downside was a huge Yank pick-up eating fuel like it was going out of fashion.

If you are full timing and don't move a lot then the fuel isn't a problem and like a caravan, you have transport available.
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Old 08-01-2013, 14:21   #5 (permalink)
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I know what you mean - hugh yank truck guzzling fuel. You can get LPG converted ones so it's not so bad and smilar MPG to a large MH. Also some have 6 seats which can be handy.
If you go for a UK truck, 3 litre auto with a bit or tweaking, you can run with that and MPG is comparable to std size MH or better when not towing. You just have to be careful with your weights; there are US 5vers availible at the right weight to use with a UK truck. The right UK truck won't be slogging it's guts out at 50mph or even 60mph.

You do start thinking like an 'eddie stobart' though - ref. routes, turning around, narrow streets as you are 8ft wide (now legal in UK), low bridges even! But once you get used to towing a 5ver it's a breaze.
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Old 08-01-2013, 14:36   #6 (permalink)
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My Dodge pick up is lpg converted, so in comparison to some, it's reasonable to run. I am not commuting in it, and i don't do a lot of miles, so what the heck?
It also has MDS (multi displacement system) whereby the V8 engine, when not under power, cuts out 4 cylinders, and runs on just 4.
It is man enough for the job, and it is comfortable enough as a car. 6 seats, and useful cargo space if i need it.

Craig
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Old 08-01-2013, 14:39   #7 (permalink)
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Notice to brain...............Must change my avatar!

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Old 08-01-2013, 18:19   #8 (permalink)
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Every one automatically thinks 5th Wheel = American Tug - this is not the case - there are many 5th wheel vans that can happily be pulled by a Euro style pick up - we have a 5 seater Landy Crew cab which pulls out 27ft 5'er many others use Nissan Navara or Isuzu or similar. The major advantage of a Euro sized rig is that the tug is a day to day runabout when disconnected and returns a very acceptable mpg. I do not have any axe to grind about American sized units everyone to there own but I think a smaller tug allows us to get onto more of the remote CL's and CS's that we prefer.
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