While I enjoy David's idea of Diesel Pusher hauling CCD, this thread has proven point made earlier that rationalization justifies "feelings" (kind of like religion and faith..), and that choice is personal based on a lot of circumstances, rather than something worth number-crunching... Fact that almost 2/3 of respondents chose "other" as reasoning for their choices proves how hard it is to build a logic tree here..
Folks trying to decide should try each, including new and "vintage" if possible, and decide if they value satellite TV and the option to make a sandwich at freeway speeds, or the ability to drop "home" off at the campground, and explore by car or bicycle or powered skateboard... I think quality advice is to try and test and discuss feelings openly, and then NOT let others try to convince you you're "Wrong..." That's a sure way to wreck a discussion around the dinner table or campfire...
In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
I mentioned "safety" earlier in this thread - and several others have commented on the dangers of a motorhome. Still, many of those who seem to be "on the fence" with their opinions seem prone to ignore safety as a consideration.
Short of the dedicated "bus chassis" conversions out there, visit any of the Ma and Pa Class A motorhome factories and take a look at the stripped chassis and engine units awaiting their "house" shells. Now envison that the shells will be installed with little or no regard for crash protection - and certainly without any mandated guidelines regarding safety. Imagine yourself, your wife, and your children, riding down the highway at 70 mph, sitting in household dining room chairs, bolted to the chassis with a couple of small clip angles and #8 screws, surrounded by composite plywood panels screwed and glued to a plywood floor, and capped with a roof of similar construction. If you doubt the implications of this scenario, ask any of the major Ma and Pa motorhome builders to show you a crash test of their product. After that, if you're now somewhat concerned, start pricing the new bus chassis conversions. If their cost is out of reach, and you're still intent on owning a "motorhome," seriously consider purchasing an old school bus and converting it.
The Class C chassis is certainly a lot safer for two people - provided they remain buckled in - in the steel cab section! As for anyone else in most Class C's (---there are some exceptions,) they're no better off than those occupants of the Class A chassis previously outlined.
I don't intend to be all "doom and gloom" - and I certainly don't profess to be an expert on vehicular safety - but I think, especially for the newbies, that you simply need to research and study the facts before you make a decision that affects you and your family. Don't expect a salesman to point out the shortcomings of his product.
I chose a trailer because I don't have the time to go on long cross-country endeavors. A motorhome is better usually because you have use of the RV's facilities while traveling down the road...a necessity for long trips with finicky riders and children.
Usually motorhome owners will tow a small car which translates into better fuel economy for putting around town rather than driving a gas guzzling tow vehicle. Even a diesel tow vehicle can't compare to a small car for fuel economy.
Safety is probably six of one and half a dozen of the other. Tow vehicles are crash-tested, whereas motorhomes are behemoths.
Maneuvarability can be argued on both sides as well. Motorhomes with vehicle behind translate most of the time into much longer, taller, and heavier rigs. That often times results in limited accessibility to more rural roads.
As for setting up camp, I think both have their pros and cons. Motorhomes generally have more gadgets that make camp set-up easier (ie.- back-up cameras, hydraulic leveling, interior remote dump valves, etc.).
Overall, in my opinion, a motorhome is an easier more comfortable way to go, but it all depends on how often you're going to use it and how much money you want to sink into your RVing endeavors.
Wow, this is an old thread, but I must chime in. I've towed trailers before and now own my first MH and must admit I love it. I tow my motorcycle trailer and still can get approx. 9 mpg at 65 mph. I don't believe there is any reason to go any faster, because it is all about the trip and not how fast you get there. I love how easy it is to set up and take down and I still crank it up and drive around town, it's great to go to the mall in, my wife and her girlfriends go in and shop and I stay and watch tv or read in ac comfort in the back and of course when my nephew come to visit and we can't get away I drive them out to the pasture down by the pond and we camp. I did get a kick out of see one Airstreamer who could not make up his mind. He had a 325 MH towing a bambi.
Anyway to each his own, live and let live and all that jazz, I'm just happy that we are in that percentage of americans who actually get out and enjoy the beauty of this country.
We looked hard at MH's and trailers, having already owned several SOB trailers. It came down to the fact that we enjoy vintage cars and a vintage trailer suits that well, but also the added maintenance of a MH. A whole additional power train to take care of, as we'd still need a toad if we bought the MH. For me with two commute vehicles and my vintage car to then add another full power train to maintain was not looking like a lot of fun. With a trailer we also have options on what to tow it with depending on where we are heading, weather conditions, and time of year.
I didn't need another engine to service. So my TV does extra duty pulling my boat and my stream. Not at the same time. Since it seats 7, I use when some when family comes down from the North.
Besides people, there are other uses for my van.
Hauls the roof mounted X-mas tree.
Will hold 4'X8' sheets of ply wood flat with rear seat folded. Max I have done is 25.
Hauled cinder block for a small wall that was constructed.
Loaded stuff to donation center.
And many other hauling kinds of jobs. May be not as useful as a pick up however it gets the job done.
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
I love my motorhome, but every so often the idea of having a trailer comes up in my house. It would get me away form driving my Saturn, which sometimes gets old. It makes a great tow car and decent daily transport but leaves a lot to be desired.
On the other hand the Motohrome has been loads of fun, and we only toa our car when we are staying somewhere long enough to need one.
Honestly I am 50/50 on this topic, but will be keeping the Classic Motorhome for awhile longer
A lot has transpired in my thinking since this thread first appeared. There is another option to compare to trailers, especially the Bambi class 16-19 foot trailer and that is the B van or touring coach as Airstream prefers to call them. Airstream has three versions of a Mercedes Sprinter van. They are basically mini-motorhomes and I think somewhat different than the American Chevy and Ford big van conversions since the Sprinter is an all steel body and frame from the factory with the safety engineering built in. They have all the conveniences and room of the Bambi and have the conveniences of the motorhome as well. In addition they can be used every day and go anywhere a tow vehicle can go when not trailering with probably better fuel mileage than most all two vehicles (22 mpg diesel).
This to me is an option for touring not camping and staying. Great for weekending and week to two week trips. We have taken numerous vacations like hitting a half dozen National Parks and more in a two week period or traveling from Minnesota to Oregon and back stopping at the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Craters of the Moon, Hell's Canyon, Columbia River, the Oregon coast, Corvallis, Mt. St. Helen's, Mt. Rainier and Teddy Roosevelt National Park (whew!) tent camping interspersed with a few motels. That has been our style and I am wondering if a Sprinter camper is the way to go with this kind of style. We arrived at a camp ground in Hell's Canyon after dark and then had to set up a tent. A Sprinter campervan would have been a better solution.
So that's an optional idea for the smaller campers. Here are comparative plans of the Airstream Interstate Sprinter and the Airstream 19 ft. Bambi.
2015 Sprinter Class B Camper Van
(Former 1971 vintage Airstream Owner)