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Old 11-04-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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TravelTrailer or MotorHome: Debate or just separate camps?

We have been cruising this site trying to learn as much as I can. We actually looked at travel trailers now and are STILL in the learning mode.

I was recently speaking to a friend who has a Class "A" motorhome and he related how he has migrated from pop-up to fifth-wheel to his present motorhome.
He laughed: "yeah, I started out just as you are. Don't want to drive a beast. Want a vehicle to drive when I get there. Lower cost."
"You'll come around" he said, but "welcome aboard, we are always looking for people to travel with."

My question is: What are pluses or minuses for motorhome versus travel trailer.
For example, having a driver when you get to destination. His response was: "well, you don't travel 80% of the time, so, when at home, you are stuck w/ a heavy-duty TV, e.g. a 3/4 ton truck." He preferred to tow a cheap vehicle behind his motorhome and keep a decent vehicle at home.

I'm sure it all comes down to different strokes for different folks, I would just like to hear what you all have to say?

Thanks
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:26 PM   #2
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We also go back and forth. What put us off on getting a small motorhome (vintage Airstream, of course) was mileage.

In the end, we decided that we already own pretty much the best combination for overall economy: Vintage Airstream TT (30' weighing in at 4,650) along with F150 long-bed with small V8 motor.


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Old 11-04-2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
We have been cruising this site trying to learn as much as I can. We actually looked at travel trailers now and are STILL in the learning mode.

I was recently speaking to a friend who has a Class "A" motorhome and he related how he has migrated from pop-up to fifth-wheel to his present motorhome.
He laughed: "yeah, I started out just as you are. Don't want to drive a beast. Want a vehicle to drive when I get there. Lower cost."
"You'll come around" he said, but "welcome aboard, we are always looking for people to travel with."

My question is: What are pluses or minuses for motorhome versus travel trailer.
For example, having a driver when you get to destination. His response was: "well, you don't travel 80% of the time, so, when at home, you are stuck w/ a heavy-duty TV, e.g. a 3/4 ton truck." He preferred to tow a cheap vehicle behind his motorhome and keep a decent vehicle at home.

I'm sure it all comes down to different strokes for different folks, I would just like to hear what you all have to say?

Thanks
Travel trailer owners, love travel trailers.

Motorhome owners love motorhomes.

The only person that can answer your question, is you.

As you said, different stokes for different folks.

It's near impossible to rent a large travel trailer, but you can rent a large motorhome.

Renting a motorhome, a size of your chosing, would allow you use it for a few days, which would help you come up with a better answer to your question.

The investment in either case is large, and to take a suggestion from others, could prove disappointing, since no one, but you, knows what will make you a "happy camper".

Keep in mind, unless you want to be on the constant "go", if you chose a motorhome, you should also tow a small car behind it.

When you have a travel trailer, you already have a means of transportation, without disturbing your RV.

Andy
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:48 PM   #4
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MoHo vs Trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
.... I would just like to hear what you all have to say?
Having refurbed both an "almost vintage" AS Classic MoHo and a '78 31' Sovereign (and made multiple thousand mile trips in each) I can truthfull say...each has it's own advantages.

No doubt about it - the MoHo is a maintenance hog. On the plus side, the Chevy P-3X chassis is relatively easy to work on, and parts are readily available - just know that, if you don't do the work yourself, you will be charged commercial truck mechanics rates when (not if) you bring it in for servicing. On the other hand, the MoHo as several distinct advantages - for me, as I get older, having a bathroom in the cabin is at the top of the list. When the urge "to go" hits me on the road, I simply pull over at any handy and safe wide spot in the road. Having all of the services built into one coach is also a plus - hot water from the engine, a self contained generator, a single, but larger and more complicated 12 volt system, extra capacities in the house batteries, larger potable, grey, and black water systems are among some other advantages. The MoHo is a joy to hook up once you get to the campground - slap the levelling system down, hook up the auto-coil electric and water lines, quick drop the sewer hose, and you are done.

The trailer, while MUCH easier to work on than the MoHo, also has other advantages. First and Foremost...SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) prefers housekeeping in the trailer as opposed to the MoHO - don't know why, since both are almost identical. Go figure. The MoHO sits a bit higher...

Both the MoHo and the trailer involve "towing" something....and the edge goes to the trailer in towing, since you CAN back up the trailer while backing up a four down car on the tail of the MoHo can be a trick. Entrance and egress from filling stations is about a wash - you have to be careful with either system - allow PLENTY of room with both for navigating around the fuel islands and other traffic.

Fuel economy goes to the trailer - about 10 mpg towing as opposed to 6 mpg on the 345.

"Cool Factor" the 345 definitely wins out - something about those aluminum classics that even the shined up Sovereign cannot match.








So...it's a matter of whichever floats your boat.

Remember - LOTS of heavy duty maintenance on the Motor Home, but much easier to dock and undock. The trailer, while easier to work on, seems to have more "small things" go wrong - possibly from the inherent rougher ride?

One thing for sure, look at comparable years of vintage or almost vintage AirStreams and SOB's, compare both the trailers and the MoHo's, and I'm sure that you will find that NO "cardboard and staple" construction will hold a candle to true aluminum and rivet construction.

You have already learned that "knowledge is power"...keep on learning from this site and others, the more information you have pre-purchase the happier you will be post-purchase.
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:49 PM   #5
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We've had two AS trailers and two AS mo/hos; LOVE the mo/ho! We don't tow, we rent a
wreck whenever needed. Our Isuzu gets a steady 15 mpg
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
For example, having a driver when you get to destination. His response was: "well, you don't travel 80% of the time, so, when at home, you are stuck w/ a heavy-duty TV, e.g. a 3/4 ton truck." He preferred to tow a cheap vehicle behind his motorhome and keep a decent vehicle at home.
80% of his time the motorhome engine sits unused and he's stuck with that and has a cheap vehicle and a decent vehicle all to maintain and buy insurance for.

A beast of a TV might cost more in gas than a non beast to drive but more than the cost of three motored vehicles and their upkeep and acquisition? And there are compromises where you can go a little larger on the TV and a little smaller on the trailer and find a level of efficient compromise.

What would you enjoy more driving? How much will you be driving. It's as personal as any other choice you make and what strikes your fancy.

For us a larger vehicle comes in handy both at home and on a trip. It holds alot, cargo, passengers, pets. It is versatile.
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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If you blow the engine in your motorhome, you're stuck until it's fixed. If you blow the engine in your pickup, you go get another engine put in (for a lot less $$$ than replacing the moho engine), or replace the pickup, and go on your way.
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:57 PM   #8
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We also considered both a TT and a MOHO. After a lot of thought and research, we decided to go with a TT. We have now spent 322 nights in the 25FB and pulled her over 40,000 miles in two years. We are now somewhat experienced RVer's, and remain happy with our decision. We feel that a TT gives us more flexibility with less hassles than a MOHO.

This is a personal decision. Give it a lot of thought and talk to a lot of RVer's.

Brian
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
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TravelTrailer or MotorHome: Debate or just separate camps?

Prior to purchasing my Airstream in 1995, I considered an early 24-foot Airstream motorhome. My decision was to go with the trailer for several reasons:
  • I had recently traded a GMC G20 Conversion Van because I disliked mechanics tracking oil, grease, and dirt into the cabin of my vehicle -- something that would likely be even worse with a motorhome -- for me this was strike one.
  • My travel style virtually requires a reasonably sized vehicle for sightseeing once I arrive at a destination. Realizing that I hadn't had much luck finding a small car that I could tolerate that could be towed behind a motorhome -- for me this was strike two.
  • Concern over the question of what alternatives there would be if I acquired a motorhome with a chassis that proved to be a lemon -- my luck in acquiring motorized conveyances that were lemons from day one has been unusually good -- at least with a trailer--tow vehicle combination a lemon of a tow vehicle can rather easily be replaced while retaining living space that you may have spent considerable time designing to personal taste -- this was strike three for me.
Other considerations for me also included longevity. Having owned many vintage cars, I realized that beyond fifteen to twenty years mechanical parts can become a bit more difficult to find -- I like to keep my RVs/auto for decades and I was concerned about the trials and tribulations of traveling in a decades old motorhome. The cost for tires and maintenance was also an issue as I knew that I would have to depend upon mechanics/technicians for most of my routing maintenance.

This past summer, my vintage tow vehicle blew its alternator mid-afternoon on a Saturday. With the trailer/tow vehicle combination, I was able to have my tow vehicle taken to a reputable repair facility (for repairs the following Monday) while my trailer was towed to a very comfortable RV Park -- with a motorhome, my choice would have been to stay in the motorhome at the shop or take a motel room until the repairs were completed.

For each RVer, the choice between and among the RVs available is a personal one. One's particular use patterns and travel preferences often have a tremendous impact on the preferred RV type.

Kevin
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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What's your idea of 'camping'?

You have to look at the very broad spectrum of 'camping' and decide where you fit. At one end is tent camping, at the other end is the biggest of the big MoHo's. In between you have pop-ups, travel trailers (small to large) and 5th-wheels (which in my mind start at large and get bigger). Also, small and medium MoHo's (I think they're called Class C etc).

The big MoHo's offer incredible comfort, but it seems to me they're restrictive on where they can go. State parks, wilderness boon-docking, etc. are low on their list of options (not impossible, but there are fewer spaces into which they can fit). On the other hand, if you view the vehicle as a home-base from which to set out and explore your destination (meaning the destination is not the actual campsite) then the MoHo becomes a travelling hotel room and your 'toad' is the rental car.

Our Airstream is our first experience - we'd only camped a few times before, and that was in tents. But we have two friends with big MoHo's and enjoy the occasional travel with them. While we admire their luxury, we agree we wouldn't want one (even if we could afford it) because of the limitations. We view the campsite as the destination, and work hard to find beauty, seclusion, and nature. Our friends are usually content with some commercial RV park where they are 5 feet from their neighbor but have full hookups. We shudder at the thought!

Just my two bits.
Andy is right - you gotta decide for yourself, but there are relatively inexpensive ways to find out (MoHo rental is a good idea).
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:07 PM   #11
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I think Tin makes a good point. My wife and I like plenty of elbow room when we're camping. I think a travel trailer is more conducive to out-of-way places, boondocking, unpaved roads, etc.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:34 PM   #12
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You have already learned that "knowledge is power"...keep on learning from this site and others, the more information you have pre-purchase the happier you will be post-purchase.
Well said.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:47 PM   #13
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Ok, when are Brad & Susan gonna chip in with "Both!"?

You just kind of have to see the collection.

Good advice about evaluating what you like. Try to find a rally near you and tour what is there. Then you will have a much better idea. Airstream motorhomes may be difficult to find at rallys, though. I was really impressed with Brad and Susan's 310 at last Fall's Branson Rally. I also rode with Susan a few miles to meet other forum members with a motorhome when they stayed at the North Little Rock KOA. See http://www.gypsymoments.com/?cat=861
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:37 AM   #14
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I'm in he same situation than Billwil in the choice between a TT or a Mo/h as my "third house" for my travels in USA ( my second is a TT in France, the first one is an apartment, always in France...).
So , with the time, even if I'm fond of the vintage Mo/h, I'm afraid with what vintage means and I don't want to be on the side of the road with that and the cost when repairing ... With a vintage TT, they are strong , no engine and all the problems I know with my TT in France, don't stop me on the road.
The problem is to rent a pick-up trailer to tow the TT... and the lenght of the rig is great so not easy to stop for visiting.
And finally, my solution 'ld be to find a recent Airstream interstate for the fiability, consumption, lenght and the possibility to go everywhere and park it in town when visiting... My regret about that: not in aluminum.... and the actual high price.

hope that can help you in a décision.

Bruno.
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