Question: Hi Luise: After coming back from seeing the RV dealer, we are torn between a lovely Yellowstone 5th Wheel and a equally lovely but very different Fleetwood Motorhome. Quite simply put, we are overwhelmed with the choice. How can we make up our minds? In looking for a web-based RV forum where people discuss the pros and cons of each, I came upon your site. We can see that with a motorhome we can still pull a small vehicle, if we choose, and with a 5th wheel our truck is our vehicle but we honestly don’t know which is the best way to go. And what about all the other issues and options? Do you happen to know where I could find a list of the pros and cons of each type of recreational vehicle? This way we could process our buying decision much more effectively! Thanks so much, Frannie and Matt
Answer: Dear Frannie and Matt: Do not decide! Do not buy. Do not pass “Go”. Do not collect $100! Stop!
You have just started on your quest and any shortcut you take now might cost you big time in the long run. I don’t feel that a list of the various features of 5th wheels versus an equally comprehensive list of what motorhomes’ offer is going to do anything more than confuse you further. That’s because we all react differently to all of those bells and whistles, based on our tastes and needs. There is no rule-of-thumb.
Start a very careful and thorough research program via renting both kinds of units. Take short and long trips. Try different lengths and floor plans. Keep copious notes. See what works, what’s superfluous and what feels absolutely necessary. Try towing, parking, backing up, threading through city traffic, and rolling along freeways. Do you like having a washer-dryer? Is a fireplace cozy? What about an alternate power source…generator or solar? Do slides work for you? Levelers? Do you need/want basement storage? There is only one way to find out and it is not on paper!
Write down the features in the Yellowstone 5th Wheel and the Fleetwood Motorhome you initially found the most interesting. Then list which ones disappointed you when you were out on the road. Which ones would you hate to have to live without? Compare…compare…compare, and then…buy! Blessings, Luise