View Poll Results: Why did you choose one over the other: travel trailer or motorhome?
Better mpg with tow vehicle 29 17.90%
Easier to set up camp 31 19.14%
smaller vehicle available for "around the town" driving 45 27.78%
Safety 11 6.79%
Maneuverability 22 13.58%
Other 94 58.02%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 162. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-27-2004, 02:41 PM   #1
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Travel trailer vs. motorhome

At a recent rally, we noted about an even number of travel trailers and motorhomes. Would be interested to know the reasons for choosing one over the other.
We haven't made the plunge yet, but our thinking so far is:
travel trailer pro's: have smaller vehicle available for "around the town" driving
maybe they hold their value better?
economy - usually better mpg on tow vehicle
motorhome pro's: easier set-up and departure at site
What choice have you made and why?

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Old 10-27-2004, 02:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gardener
At a recent rally, we noted about an even number of travel trailers and motorhomes. Would be interested to know the reasons for choosing one over the other.
We haven't made the plunge yet, but our thinking so far is:
travel trailer pro's: have smaller vehicle available for "around the town" driving
maybe they hold their value better?
economy - usually better mpg on tow vehicle
motorhome pro's: easier set-up and departure at site
What choice have you made and why?
What choice does one really have, Janet said "we are getting a trailer" (read Airstream) and I said how big.
Seriously, we bought a trailer because I did not want another motor to take care of. Also you will only use a motor home a very short time during the year and it sits a lot. The sitting causes problems as many troubles as running a rig.
The short of it is for us a motor home is too expensive in the long run, and you have to haul a "toad" to get around once you get there.

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Old 10-27-2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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We ended up with a motorhome, and after looking into trailers, decided to stay with a motorhome due to the type of travel we typically schedule. We travel with three small children (and two dogs). While many local camping trips are within an hour or two we take at least two 2400 mile round trips a year.

It sure is nice to have quick access to food, bathroom, water, games, DVDs, etc. on these longer trips. We are also able to seperate children when they just can't seem to stop poking at each other with a stick, or toy or bagel or whatever they can find.

While I agree on the "extra" engine thing (maintenance is certainly an ongoing process on a Classic MH) I think buying a truck large enough to tow a trailer sized to sleep five would put me in the same [maintenance] place. But instead I'd be driving a big block powered something to work and back every day instead of my little VW.

I do like the pull in - flip on the jack leveler switch, pull out the awning and where here thing! And don't forget that your motorhome can tow a small car for quick errands while in camp.

I think like most floorplan/rv class decisions this has more to do with what kind of camping you do, how far away you travel, how handy are you with mechanicals, how many people are with you when you do it than anything else.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:23 PM   #4
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You forgot an important option on the poll: cost!

If you know you want an Airstream and you already have a tow vehicle, it's generally cheaper to buy a trailer than the equivalent motorhome. For a new model, the cheapest Airstream motorhome is about $100k (before discounts).

And another good reason to go with a trailer: if you want a vintage 60's or earlier, there are no Airstream motorhomes.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:29 PM   #5
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I'm afraid with a motorhome we'd breakdown somewhere and I'd have to max out a credit card to make it back home.

I'm very jealous of those that have them, though!
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:31 PM   #6
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We wanted to keep the drive train and transport vehicle separate from our "living" vehicle ( our plans are to go full time once I get free from work).
The ability to upgrade or replace the drive part seems more likely than our replacing the trailer. We also plan to use the Surburban for "camping" excursions, where we would sleep in it without the need for a separate tent. We are still convinced that this plan is right for us.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gardener
What choice have you made and why?

All of the above responses contain valid reasons - but have left out one very important aspect - travel comfort.

"The Wife" variously referred to as "Alpha Bitch" or "Sweety Pie", is, well, a very poor traveller.

She enjoys camping, but wants to GET THERE and GET THERE NOW!!!

The MoHo affords her certain luxuries, amenities, and freedom she could not find in any tow vehicle.

Prior to making an RV commitment I considered all sorts of options, popups, trailers, fivers and busses, and opted for the Class A.

It was a good choice -- if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

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Old 10-27-2004, 03:47 PM   #8
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If it was up to my wife it would be a motorhome. Mainly because she could use the facilities while underway.

My objection at this point is multifacited. First the cost. Second is the additional expense of insurance, fuel, and the fact that I am still working and lack of use really takes its toll on a motorhome. Third in my neck of the woods, motorhomes pose an inviting target to thieves. They break into them to steal all the nice electrical goodies inside. Trailers are pretty much ignored.

Maybe when I retire and we go on the road more. At this time a trailer makes a lot more sense for us.

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Old 10-27-2004, 05:15 PM   #9
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Once we park the trailer in a camp ground, we are gone. We spend the days out doing things, i.e., sight seeing, fishing, hunting, exploring, prospecting, off roading, or just shopping. When we get back to camp, the trailer is waiting for us. Most often if we are connected to AC power, the crock pot has rendered a succulent evening meal cooked during our absence.

A medium motorhome can't pull or carry a decent boat for two adults and two large dogs and also pull a toad for local transportation. A Prevost or similar heavy motorhome is an exception. But then, the heavy motorhome could not get to the places I have had the Airstream. Many of the camp grounds out west have size limits that just barely fit my 30 footer without the truck attached. So you would have to either get a small motorhome or stay in a commercial camp ground back towards civilization.
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:20 PM   #10
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We had trailers, now we have a Motorhome, actually this is our second one.

We decided when we were full timing in our trailer we discussed what we would do "next time" and the motorhome was our choice for many of the reasons listed in this thread.

AS some of you may know my wife has been struggling with health issues. She needed to sleep A LOT. Quite often she is asleep in the big rear bed while I drive. Fewer bathroom stops means we make better time, if we are in a time crunch all we stop for is fuel.

Yes I maintain an additional motor and drive train. I have in the last two years replaced the the engine and many other major parts. for the engine and suspension, including a few tires I have spent less than 10K. I look at that as 1/3 the cost of a new tow vehicle, and I will not need to do it that often if I simply use the thing on a regular basis. I have a 1200.00 car I tow behind it, that I also use as a daily commuter. When we had a breakdown in our last MH the car was a lifesaver. We also like the fact that if we decide to stop somewhere for a nap, or a break, we do not need to exit the MH unless the dog needs to find a tree and dump his tanks.

Diesel, If you towed an extended cab ranger or equivalent truck, you could carry a bot on a ladder rack. Most of the 30 foot Airstream classics can tow that as a toad. Once we setup in a campground we don't move until it is time to leave. We also have the benefit of running the crock pot off the gen-set while we drive.

Jack, That is why we keep it at home, or when it goes in storage all the electronics come off.

Rlur is also correct, if you go new, get the checkbook out! Even if you go classic, the purchase price is merely the initiation fee to ownership.

The used Motorhomes (read that as classic) do hold their value better than the trailers of the same vintage, but they are also more complex to own and maintain. It really comes down to personal preference.
Brett G
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:30 PM   #11
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To be honest, I never even gave a motorhome a thought. I have always had a pickup truck since I started driving, so a trailer was a natural choice. Sure would be nice to be able to put the cruise on and go back and use the bathrooom, like all you motorhome folk do.
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:42 PM   #12
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yeah right! I have only had a motorhome as it was a natural progression from my VW Bus camper to a Ford Van Camper, to the classic AS.
I love driving it, its a real cruiser and like having my house and travel bus all in one. I would have no issue with owning a trailer, in fact might someday.. but I think if you are mechanically able and not afraid to tinker the MH vs trailer is just a matter of what looks right to you. The trailer could definitely be a lower get in price though.
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Old 10-27-2004, 07:43 PM   #13
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We've had both, a 325 motorhome, and a parade of trailers, most recently our 34' Limited two door. Brett's right. Each has it's good points and bad, and you have to make your choice based on how you plan to use it. We switched back to the trailer because I didn't want to maintain a separate drivetrain any more. The motorhome's great advantages have been mentioned; primarily the use of the entire coach's facilities while on the road. The trailer's advantages are the lower initial cost, lower cost of ownership compared with the MH, and the ability to use the tow vehicle for other purposes.

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Old 10-27-2004, 07:46 PM   #14
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Travel trailer vs. motorhome

I chose my Airstream Overlander for several reasons. I didn't really like driving the two motorhomes that I test drove, and I was not anxious to tow a small car a long for sightseeing along the way. It was also a cost factor as I already had a vehicle setup to tow a travel trailer, and I happened to be very fond of that vehicle and loved to drive it. The biggest factor, however, was that the motorhome just did not spark the memories of camping and Airstreaming from my youth. A final issue was that my regular mechanic didn't like to work on motorhomes so I knew that I would be facing the unpleasant chore of finding a mechanic whom I could trust to do the maintenance if I switched from the trailer/tow vehicle combinations that I had been accustomed to using.

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Old 10-27-2004, 07:49 PM   #15
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We had always traveled with a trailer, but thought we would try a motorhome. We bought a very nice classic GMC motorhome last year and took a long trip. There were many things we liked about the motorhome, but one big thing we didn't like. For driving on larger/divided highways the motorhome was hard to beat. For traveling on smaller, two lane roads neither my wife nor I felt as safe and as in control. The margin for error was just too small for the kinds of roads we like tt travel on most. When we returned from our trip we sold the motorhome and bought our airstream -- we're happy and safe again.
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:13 PM   #16
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I just don't feel comfortable driving a motorhome. I know pulling a 34' trailer with a 3/4 ton diesel is about the same size but somehow in my mind it feels different. I don't like the idea of a motorhome sitting. I feel like they need to be used in order to get your money's worth out of them. I can maintain my trailer and feel comfortable with most any repair that would be needed to keep it rolling, but I don't feel like I could handle the size of the motorhome. Changing a tire on a trailer is an inconvience not a challenge and I have done this on the road 3 times. I think for full timers motorhomes make a lot of sense. More room, storage inside and out and much more convient. I will have mine on the road for 2-5 months a year the rest of the time it will be sitting under cover in the backyard.
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:43 PM   #17
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My business necessitates that my "car" is a truck. A motorhome would be yet another drivetrain to feed, license and insure.

Since I aready have the truck, and I was willing to buy used, the up front cost of a trailer was a fraction of a motorhome. Depreciation is far less as well.

A motorhome would necessitate a toad - yet ANOTHER drivetrain to feed.

We do not need, nor do we want a really large RV - our 25' is perfect for us. Even a small motorhome, however, takes up considerably more parking real estate.

And I believe that my pickup does offer a safety advantage over a motorhome in the event of an accident. This is a perception only, I could be wrong.

As you can see, most of these factors are personal to me and may not be a consideration for someone else.

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Old 12-22-2004, 06:37 PM   #18
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I think it depends on how you use it. The motorhome would probably cost quite a bit more. We go out for a couple of weeks at a time & mostly stay at one RV park for around a week at a time & tour around the area where we are. Than we more to the next RV Park for a few days. Most of our driving is site seeing W/O towing the TT. If we traveled most days, the MH would might be better. I use the Suburban as a second car when at home.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:47 PM   #19
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Its an interesting subject. Most people buy small trailers and gradually go up in size. 28'-30' for fulltimers that travel and love state parks seems to be the prefered size. Those that go to parks and stay for extended periods of time seem to go for the 34'. The fulltimers also love the motorhomes both for travel and semi-permanent set-up in parks. The offer so much more room. Once they have used them its hard to get them back in trailers. The guys in the 34' might go down to a 30'. Its just so personal. We all have our reasons for what we like even if our dearest friend knows a dozen reasons why his choice for something different was a much better choice. For him.
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:29 PM   #20
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We have there AS due to the fact that I have a small collection of vehicles that was originally marketed to the upper middle and wealthy incomes. I felt that if an owner of such a vehicle was the out doors type then they may have showed their status and etc by having an AS.

I looked for five years to have an AS that was something that was some what new but still had that yester-year look to go with the cars. That is why we have a 1970 27 footer.

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