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Old 05-12-2019, 02:14 PM   #1
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Globetrotter/Serenity vs Fifth Wheel

Hello there. I just discovered the forum and have found it to be very helpful as I look into getting my first RV. I have never owned any type of RV but grew up around camping so I am familiar with what I will be getting into when I buy one. I have been quickly educating myself on RVís and would welcome any input I can get.

Here is my dilemma. I am leaning towards getting an AS. Either a Serenity or Globetrotter twin 25í to 27í but am also considering a Grand Design 320mks which is a 35 foot fifth wheel. I love the AS quality, windows, interior design, and ease of maneuverability but have concern about storage and overall living space. The Grand Design solves my AS concerns but I am concerned about the difficulty to tow it in terms of cross winds and also think I will feel closed in when inside the trailer. There is also a pretty big cost factor to consider as even though I will need a larger TV for the fifth wheel, I think it will be about $20k less than the AS trailer/tow vehicle.

I would love to hear thoughts on this.

Mike
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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Ahhh, memories. I was right there with you before I finally pulled the trigger on the Airstream. I went through all the Class A's, the Super C's, and attended an RV Dreams seminar where the presenters were long time 5th wheel owners. And right down the road was the LazyDaysRV dealer, the most prolific Grand Design dealer. I really, really liked their quality, true 4-season livability, relative ease of towing, well, you know.
What drove me crazy (and still does today) is the 1970's interior design of most other RVs with the exception of Winnebago's Horizon and Airstreams. If they offered a 5th wheel with Airstream interior design I would take it in a minute.
For me it was the right decision. In the end, I also wanted the Globetrotter, until someone pointed out to me that the Flying Cloud has all the same components for thousands less. I am a full timer, and have leftover storage space in mine.
If I was traveling with more people, I'd give the 5th wheel serious consideration. Take a look at DRV Mobile Suites.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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Glad to hear it am not alone! I totally agree on the fifth wheel interior design. Glad to hear the AS space isn’t a problem for you. Plus, I feel like I will pick up storage space in the bed of the pickup as the trailer won’t be sitting there like it would with a fifth wheel. Do you have a generator? I worry with the AS not having dedicated storage for a generator like most fifth wheels do.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:47 PM   #4
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I really like the idea of an on board generator, preferably in a diesel Class A or a nice BIG diesel Class C, towing a little car of some sort.



A big family, dogs, stayin' put for weeks or months, Class A or 5th Wheel.


A big family, dogs, stayin' put for weeks or months, Airstream will be a tighter fit.


My wife and I, no pets, runnin' all over creation, the Airstream does it.


Me to my wife "HONEY, there goes a Grand Design, what color you think the interior is?" My wife says, "BROWN".



Most RV's have the UGLIEST interiors ever seen. UGLY! Brown, Brown/Brown, Tan/Brown/Brown, Plaid, Herringbone, Cheap Vinyl, and the window treatment, don't EVEN get me started......
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:59 PM   #5
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Welcome!

This is a great forum. Your present dilemma has been shared by many. I believe you will find much of interest in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...eel-91672.html

also:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f520...er-112148.html

and
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f520...er-112148.html

All the best!
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChitownMike View Post
Glad to hear it am not alone! I totally agree on the fifth wheel interior design. Glad to hear the AS space isnít a problem for you. Plus, I feel like I will pick up storage space in the bed of the pickup as the trailer wonít be sitting there like it would with a fifth wheel. Do you have a generator? I worry with the AS not having dedicated storage for a generator like most fifth wheels do.
I do have a dual-fuel generator and run from propane. If you travel with the weather, you seldom need it. My Silverado bed is full of sturdy plastic bins, and right now, two of them are empty. I started with all kinds of tools and spare food and ten different shoes....slowly whittled it down.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:42 AM   #7
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I've always thought of a 5th wheel as a portable condo. You migrate with it north to south and back again as the seasons change. Lots of slides -- out twice a year and in twice a year is probably a good thing. It is tall, so a lot of back roads are out -- better cruise the Interstate. If you plan a simple migration, it will be roomier. Of course, in 15 years, it will be headed for a landfill...

An Airstream is meant to move. Low slung, aerodynamic, torsion axles -- easy to tow, will pretty much follow you anywhere. You will have less room, it is heavy for its length, you have to diligently keep up with routine maintenance. In 30 years, it will be headed to you kid's house when you pass it on to them...
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:42 AM   #8
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Sometimes people transpose quality for design. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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Mike, I doubt if anyone here will recommend a 5th wheel over their Airstream. You might try the IRV2 forum with the same question. You will get some answers there like, more space for your money. But then, you already know that. There is really no comparison. Maybe someone who has traveled/camped in both will respond.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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It was an easy decision for us: Airstream is certified GREEN. No formaldehyde or outgassing of toxic fumes. I actually had an RV dealership employee tell me that they recommend that you should run the RV heater for 2 weeks to burn off the toxic gases in those plastic boxes. Really? No, thank you.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:28 PM   #11
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You have very accurately captured my wife’s feelings on the fifth wheels. She thinks they are totally blah. How do you like your 30 foot serenity? That’s one of the models we are considering. Is it too big? Do you have the twin or queen?
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:45 AM   #12
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I started RV life with a Forest River Sydney edition fifth wheel toy hauler, 35 foot and a low mileage f250 6.0.
I quickly learned in one season what a pain it is to maneuver that billboard of a trailer. Wind blew you everywhere. Pain in the butt to get in and out of gas stations. 8 mpg. Horribly cheap build quality. I didn't run into the campsite that was too small but it was just a matter of time.
The truck ran great but the more I read about the 6.0 the more I worried when on the road.
I sold the trailer at a loss and tried to trade the truck in but the dealer wouldn't take it, having been burned twice on 6.0 motors with blown head gaskets. Had to go to CarMax and sell it at a big loss and then go back to the previous dealer.
I bought a 1984 sovereign 25 and a Ram 1500. Got the truck for 20% off - end of year and sales manager was a buddy from high school.
The quality difference was huge. I've been camp hosting for the last couple months and find the Sovereign cozy but comfy for 2 and an occasional grandkid. 13 - 15 mpg towing and it's like the trailer isn't even there. Gas stations are much easier. Sure, the fifth wheel had more room, but you were towing a lot of air. I can fit the Airstream in my driveway. Security - anybody with a butcher knife could open up the side of that fifth wheel, the Airstream gives you a feeling of security when you lock yourself in for the night.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:38 AM   #13
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Over the last 15 years we have had several 5th wheels, the last being a 38ft Mobile Suites. We had a couple of 36ft + Cedar Creek 5th wheels before that. We went to the more top of the line Mobile Suites after having issues with both Cedar Creeks. We like to travel long distances and thought the Mobile Suites would hold up better over the long haul.

Sadly, as someone else has already mention, these trailers do not hold up when trailered over long distances. Their suspensions simply do not hold up under constant travelling, not to mention slide mechanisms. Eventually we had issues with each and every trailers slides.

I must say that the Mobile Suites was very spacious and luxurious, but it was big, heavy, (required a dually) limiting the places we could stay and made maneuvering in parking lots, gas stations, campgrounds challenging. Not to mention issues with the air suspension, hydraulic leveling jacks, broken drain pipe for the washing machine and slides after a time. In the end, it seems no matter how much money you spend, the build materials and quality are just not there.

2 years ago we downsized to a 2016 27 FB Serenity. No slides, no power jacks, simple. Tows like a dream, easy to maneuver, and a suspension and construction designed for road travel. It is comfortable, bright, (you won't get this % of glass on any 5th wheel), and modern. Yes, sometimes we do miss the space, but the grief isn't worth it and we will never consider another 5th wheel after several thousands of miles travelled in the Airstream.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leif9016 View Post
anybody with a butcher knife could open up the side of that fifth wheel, ]

Someone call John Carpenter!
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