Motorhome versus Fifth Wheel
Motorhome versus Fifth Wheel? This is a decision that has perplexed many an RVer, especially those bound to be fulltimers.
The bottom line is that there is no “right answer”. The pros and
For instance, in comparing a Class A motorhome versus fifth wheel RV, here are some of the factors to mull over:
Class A Motorhome versus Fifth Wheel Considerations:
Class A motorhomes usually offer more convenience and comfort going down
the road – large captain’s chairs look out over great views through an
expansive front windshield. You have easy access to kitchen, living
and bathroom facilities while going down the road or for quick roadside
Class A motorhomes usually mean you need to tow a car to do
errands and sightsee – so now you have two engines/transmissions to
maintain. With a fifth wheel and truck, you may avoid some vehicle
And then there is the subject of gas mileage. Yes, the motorhome will use a lot of fuel. But so will a big truck. Compare potential MPG for the long trips to take the RV from point A to point B.
But don’t forget the day to day travels about town once you have reached your destination – now you will be comparing the tow truck vs. the dingy you choose to tow behind the motorhome.
More Motorhome versus Fifth Wheel Factors:
Fifth wheels typically seem to have more living space, and more of a
Motorhomes tend to
We have found motorhomes tend to offer greater carrying
As you shop around, be sure to make storage space an important
Depending on your lifestyle, you may also want to consider toy
Motorhome versus fifth wheel and truck – what’s easier to drive? That
We have also heard the general characterization that a motorhome is better for those RVers who move frequently, and that a fifth wheel is better for those who stay put for a longer period of time. This may or may not be true for everyone. However, as a practical matter… if your regular routine is to park the RV for months at a time in a single location, think twice about paying to maintain a motorhome engine. Motorhomes are designed to be driven.
Stairs may be important as you ponder a motorhome versus fifth
wheel. So consider the entry steps, handrails and so forth. Remember
that you can always use an auxilliary step stool or platform if you need
an extra first step into the RV.
Once in a motorhome, things are usually all on one level. Most fifth
wheels will have a couple stairs to get to the bathroom/bedroom area.
Motorhomes and a tow vehicle are typically more expensive than a
fifth wheel and truck. But again, it all depends on how fancy you get
with your RV and tow vehicle.
Other things to compare include height clearance, capacity for
towing and carrying belongings, holding tank capacity, generator and the
quality and reputation of the manufacturer. There is a wide range of
designs, brands and models within each type of RV: motorhomes, fifth
wheels, trailers, truck campers and so on.
What might be suitable for occasional use may be problematic for more
frequent and longer travel. The weekend trip is different than a
cross-country journey or the fulltime lifestyle. Do not underestimate
quality as you make your choices. And definitely do your homework in
comparing motorhome versus fifth wheel, brands and models
. Avoid the pitfall of being “penny wise and pound foolish”.
Back to the question of motorhome versus fifth wheel. The best advice we can give is to carefully consider your sort of RV lifestyle. It is the key factor in deciding on the best choice for you.
Jill Miller is the founder of Your RV Lifestyle. Trading corporate America for the open road, Jill, along with her partner Jose, began their RV journey, making an unconventional start by wintering in New Jersey. A natural adventurer, she was motivated by a desire to explore the USA and beyond, embracing the varied landscapes, communities, and cultures across the country.
For Jill, the allure of RV living was not about material accumulation, but rather the pursuit of an adventurous, fulfilling lifestyle. A lover of golf, bicycling, hiking, and line dancing, she has carried her passions across the country, engaging with them in diverse settings. Jill’s commitment to the RV lifestyle came after years of careful research, numerous consultations with RV owners, and personal trials, including living in a rental RV.