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Travel Trailers vs Motor Home

drk351
Explorer
Explorer
I know this has been discussed before, but I am going to bring it up again. I have 2000 Winnebago diesel pusher that needs some work. I am thinking of down-sizing to a 28-foot 2017 Vibe travel trailer. I would appreciate some opinions from people who have made a similar switch. Right now, I am leaning towards the travel trailer. I would like to thank you all in advance.
28 REPLIES 28

p38fln
Explorer
Explorer
if your tow vehicle breaks down, you can always go down to U-Haul and rent an F-450 or F-550 (also known as a 26 foot moving van). They all have trailer hitches. u-haul also sells a bluetooth brake controller for $200. Might have to do a little effort on making up a 4 way to 7 way adapter but you'll be able to safely tow the travel trailer out of the campground without calling a tow truck.

Your motorhome breaks down? I believe its something like $1500 to call a heavy duty wrecker

valhalla360
Traveler
Traveler
Skibane wrote:
One of the things I appreciate most about RVing with a TT is the relative ease of self-repairs. Things tend to be smaller (which makes them easier to handle), and more standardized (which means less scavenging for repair parts).

Here's an example: Changing a flat tire.

Motorhome tires tend to be big, heavy, and secured with big, highly-torqued lug nuts. The nuts on my Class A required a 6 foot breaker bar to loosen or tighten to specs.

Having 19.5 inch tires meant that replacements were relatively scarce and expensive (and almost non-existent in Mexico).

Many of the automotive centers that cater to passenger vehicles don't stock them, and won't mount or balance them.

That's not much of an issue with travel trailer tires, and almost unheard of with tires on the pickups and SUVs commonly used as tow vehicles.


Replaced the tires on my truck...$600 out the door. A little less for the trailer tires but let's call it $1200 for a full set of treads.

Two couples we know bought front engine Class A's used. Of course, the tires were old on both. The one got a deal and it was $3500 but they had to drive an hour away. The other got them closer but paid $4000. I can only guess how bad it is with a big diesel pusher with a tag axle.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

ReneeG
Explorer
Explorer
After reading your original question on switching from a Class A to a travel trailer, think about storage and space. There will be a difference. Twelve years ago before we purchased our FW, we were seriously looking at a Class A and towing our Jeep. We visited the dealership several times looking at the motorhome and at the same time, we were looking at FWs. On the third visit of the Class A, hubby said to me, "where are you going to put the garbage can?" OMGeee! I started looking at the space inside. Where would I put the garbage can? Where would I store the dog food, etc? That did it for me. Inside, the space was not as much as some FW's we looked at. I'm not suggesting you look at FW's but think about storage compared to what you currently have. Also, consider the quality of RVs today. It's not as good as years back. The work you need to do on your Class A may equate to repairs to the TT down the road, even after the warranty (if you buy new) runs out.
2011 Bighorn 3055RL, 2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley TrailerSaver BD3, 1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica, Mabel, and Melton

Skibane
Explorer II
Explorer II
One of the things I appreciate most about RVing with a TT is the relative ease of self-repairs. Things tend to be smaller (which makes them easier to handle), and more standardized (which means less scavenging for repair parts).

Here's an example: Changing a flat tire.

Motorhome tires tend to be big, heavy, and secured with big, highly-torqued lug nuts. The nuts on my Class A required a 6 foot breaker bar to loosen or tighten to specs.

Having 19.5 inch tires meant that replacements were relatively scarce and expensive (and almost non-existent in Mexico).

Many of the automotive centers that cater to passenger vehicles don't stock them, and won't mount or balance them.

That's not much of an issue with travel trailer tires, and almost unheard of with tires on the pickups and SUVs commonly used as tow vehicles.

Samsonsworld
Explorer
Explorer
Lwiddis wrote:
With a motorhome and no towed, you are “trapped” in the campsite IMO. No one wants to break camp to go to town for lunch.


You say that like its a bad thing. I hate going somewhere and the first thing the wife wants to do is go to Walmart....or worse yet boutiques.

valhalla360
Traveler
Traveler
bukhrn wrote:
The only thing I don't see referenced is, Difference in size, ie: if you have a 34-36 ft Class A and go to a 28 ft TT, there's a big difference in comfort space/ storage space and generally lower class amenities. (Notice the term, Generally) as nothing about an RV is written in stone.


If you buy the same level, a 28ft TT is typically going to give you similar comfort to a 32-34ft MH because the MH has to set aside space for the cockpit.

If you move up into that "high class amenities", it typically comes with high prices. Far more so than the truck/trailer combo.

Storage tends to offset if that's important to you because you typically will have a van/pickup that offers a lot of storage...just in a different format.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Traveler
Traveler
MarkTwain wrote:
I towed a travel trailer 32' Holiday Rambler for 10 yrs. and a Big Horn 5th. wheel for 10 yrs. I would recommend a 5th. wheel without question. They are easier to hitch and unhitch and are much more stable with driving down the road. i.e. when strong winds and big 18-wheelers pass you will hardly notice.


They take a couple minutes extra to connect the WDH but not really more difficult unless you travel solo but even there with the rear truck cameras, I've seen guys do it quick and easy.

If you are wagging around every time a semi goes by, something is wrong...fix it. We've had both and while the 5er wins out by a small margin if it's a white knuckle drive with a TT, something is wrong.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

larry_cad
Explorer
Explorer
Lwiddis wrote:
“And with a travel trailer and no "tow vehicle", you are "trapped" also.”

Who would have a TT and not have a tow vehicle, Larry?


How about this guy:

"The guy next to us had been there for 5 weeks in his travel trailer. He was supposed to be there for 3 or 4 days, but blew the engine in his truck and was stuck"
Today is my personal best for most consecutive days alive.

Our Travel Blog

Skibane
Explorer II
Explorer II
Bobbo wrote:
On the other hand, in August we were camping on Newfoundland island in Canada. The guy next to us had been there for 5 weeks in his travel trailer. He was supposed to be there for 3 or 4 days, but blew the engine in his truck and was stuck. He had been waiting for a crate engine to be shipped there that whole time. Vehicle problems can happen to any vehicle, not just a motorhome.


At least he was able to continue staying in his trailer while repairs were being made.

Typically, when a motorhome is in the shop for repairs, you stay in a motel - or go home.

Lwiddis
Explorer
Explorer
“And with a travel trailer and no "tow vehicle", you are "trapped" also.”

Who would have a TT and not have a tow vehicle, Larry?
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

Bobbo
Explorer II
Explorer II
NamMedevac 70 wrote:
I have observed many many times in RV parks and campgrounds people stuck for days at a time with complicated mechanical issues with their newer Class A MHs and repeated visits from mobile repair technicians. In 16 years of towing a TT I never had a serious maintenance issue with my R-Vision 28 foot lte Trail Cruiser. Worry and maintenance free for fun and fishing in local areas whereas Class A folks set in chairs at campsite with all MH outside compartments open trying to solve their problems. Cheers to the truth and the d

On the other hand, in August we were camping on Newfoundland island in Canada. The guy next to us had been there for 5 weeks in his travel trailer. He was supposed to be there for 3 or 4 days, but blew the engine in his truck and was stuck. He had been waiting for a crate engine to be shipped there that whole time. Vehicle problems can happen to any vehicle, not just a motorhome.

And, to head off the question of why he didn't just buy a new truck, I don't know. Unless it was that he was from the US and didn't want to buy a Canadian truck. Or, he really, really liked his truck. Or, due to the vehicle shortages he couldn't find one that would tow his TT.
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

larry_cad
Explorer
Explorer
NamMedevac 70 wrote:
I have observed many many times in RV parks and campgrounds people stuck for days at a time with complicated mechanical issues with their newer Class A MHs and repeated visits from mobile repair technicians. In 16 years of towing a TT I never had a serious maintenance issue with my R-Vision 28 foot lte Trail Cruiser. Worry and maintenance free for fun and fishing in local areas whereas Class A folks set in chairs at campsite with all MH outside compartments open trying to solve their problems. Cheers to the truth and the d


Now that there is one of the funniest posts I have read on RV.NET in 17 years as a member here. Great sense of humor Nam!

:B:B:B
Today is my personal best for most consecutive days alive.

Our Travel Blog

toedtoes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Everyone will give you their opinion, but only you can decide which works best for you.

Both have their pros and cons. And both will require compromises.

I recommend making a list of pros and cons of each and using that to make the best decision.
1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

Skibane
Explorer II
Explorer II
I had a 28 foot Class A before doing a significant "downsize" to a 17 foot TT.

The Class A was roomier, but some of that additional space was inefficiently used in the driving area - which really can't be used for much else except seating.

The driver's area was also cold and drafty in the winter time, due to the difficulty of installing adequate insulation and gasketing in all the surfaces around the engine compartment immediately below it.

The TT is definitely more airtight, even though it is single-wall molded fiberglass, without a separate layer of insulation.

For ease of maintenance and repair, there is absolutely no comparison - Keeping the running gear working on the TT is a trivial job.

A pair of top-quality 15" tires for the trailer is under $300.
A set of 6 top-quality 19.5" tires for the MH is well over $3K.

Fuel economy of the Class A (towing a compact pickup) was 5-8 MPG.
Fuel economy of the TT (being towed by a mid-size pickup) is 15-17 MPG.

I will never own another Class A.

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have observed many many times in RV parks and campgrounds people stuck for days at a time with complicated mechanical issues with their newer Class A MHs and repeated visits from mobile repair technicians. In 16 years of towing a TT I never had a serious maintenance issue with my R-Vision 28 foot lte Trail Cruiser. Worry and maintenance free for fun and fishing in local areas whereas Class A folks set in chairs at campsite with all MH outside compartments open trying to solve their problems. Cheers to the truth and the d