Question: Dear Luise: We are trying to decide between a Coachman motorhome and a Coachman fifth wheel. They are so different and they are both so nice that we’re having a hard time deciding. Our question is…did you ever use your RV during travel? Did you ever stop at a viewpoint and make a meal, or pull off the road to use the RV bathroom? We see lots of RVs at restaurants and rest stops. Why? Does the choice of a rig make any difference in its on-the-road use? Thanks, Dorrie
Answer: Dear Dorrie: What a perceptive question! It’s the kind I didn’t think of when I was comparing rigs, and it’s a good one.
Part of the reason you see RVers in a restaurant is they have secured their kitchens. They have pins in their refrigerator doors, and have put everything away. Part of the reason is the kitchen may not be accessible if they have slide-outs in the “in” position. And some just like an excuse to eat out! Your question appeals to me because I seldom eat out due to my restricted diet, and have always liked to have an accessible kitchen for stops along the way. I’ve never had a slide-out, unfortunately.
Sometimes bathrooms are also not accessible on the road, again, due to slide-outs. I don’t know of anyone who would prefer a rest stop. So, if you’re interested in using your RV toilet on the road, I would look carefully at the floor plans. Some fifth wheels have a center door and a center bathroom, for instance, so it can be used in transit. The same is true, of course, with a back entry and a back bathroom.
When you are choosing between a motorhome and a fifth wheel, know that those of us who never conquered backing up a trailer had no choice but to choose a motorhome. You usually have a lot more room in a fifth wheel along with the freedom of a “detachable” car. Also if you need to put it into a repair shop, your home doesn’t have to go with it! We’ve faced a few motel bills due to that factor.
Whether you choose a Coachman motorhome or a Coachman fifth wheel, you are wise to think it through carefully before you buy. Suit yourself! Blessings, Luise