RV Travel Trailer, Motor Home, 5th Wheel…Oh My!

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With so many choices on the market today, how do you make an educated decision as to what type of RV you’ll be happiest with? That’s just it. You don’t or won’t always know. Sometimes you just have to take your chances to see if it will be a good fit or not. RV travel trailers, 5th wheels, toy haulers, Class A, Class B, Class C. Who can decide with all these choices available?

Choices, Choices, Choices

Mark and I went through four types of RVs in the past 11 years. We’ve had two Class B diesel vans, two Class A motor homes, one 5th wheel and now a Class C.

The one recreational vehicle we have not experienced is an RV travel trailer.  We’ve looked at several models, some you don’t even need a large pick-up or heavy duty SUV to tow it with.

Deciding on the make, model and style of your RV is an extremely personal decision. Do you need more room? Less room? One bathroom or two? If you don’t want to have to go up any inside stairs, then a 5th wheel is not for you. Do you have a suitable vehicle equipped with towing features? Then a bumper pull trailer may be a good choice for you.

Once our home was sold and we had long before made our decision what our dream RV would be, we had no idea it would cost us $100.00 in gas for every 100 miles we traveled.

Our Decision was Made

Our first choice in motor homes was a Class A Safari Trek. This model RV was 26 feet in length, had a bed that came down from the ceiling and had a huge, very luxurious bathroom. Now, what made this RV expensive to drive was it’s weight. The cabinetry was made of solid hardwoods and no laminates. The countertops were marble and the flooring was wood. It was an extremely heavy coach, well made, structurally solid. We chose to buy used from a dealership and the prior owner had added many expensive upgrades, including solar panels on the roof.

We loved this motorhome. Unfortunately, during this time, gasoline prices had shot up exponentially and we couldn’t afford to take trips of any length.

The morale of this story is sometimes you have to kiss a few toads before you find your prince charming of RVs.

One of my favorite RVs was our little Class B Sprinter Van PleasureWay Plateau. (Pictured above) This little gem was only 22 feet long and was economical to drive at 21 miles per gallon of diesel gasoline. The couch folded down into a very comfortable bed and the all-in-one bathroom, even though small, was quite comfortable. This little baby, we called Toby, could go anywhere, to the mountains, the beach, the desert and we were always comfortable.

Content in our Tiny Home on Wheels

These days, we are quite content in our 2005 Class C Fleetwood Tioga motorhome.  She is only 24 feet long, is easy to drive and can be effortlessly parked anywhere in any RV Park or beach parking location.   

With so many choices on the market today, we found that visiting an RV Show helped in our decision making. Since we live in Southern California, the annual RV Show in Pomona CA is and has been our favorite location for window shopping.

In a future blog post, we’ll explore our shopping experiences, how we “try before we buy” and our good-cop bad-cop routine for escaping overly pushy salespeople.


8 thoughts on “RV Travel Trailer, Motor Home, 5th Wheel…Oh My!

  1. Hey Sue (and Mark),

    Great to see your progress with the RV Roadmasters site. Nice job Sue! Enjoyed both your articles on your RV Lifestyle. Very cool!!

    Even though I like the thought of downsizing and setting out on the open road, I’m not sure I’m ready for that. Kudos to you and Mark though. I bet you both have lots of fun when you’re able to get away.

    I look forward to checking in here again to see how it’s coming along. Also look forward to hearing about more of your adventures. Tom and I are thinking of getting a small trailer hookup (for lack of a better word) for camping down the road. (pop up?)

    Blessings on your new adventure…in blogging. 🙂


    1. Thank you for your very sweet comments, Evon. It’s a great lifestyle, but it was not at all easy to “let go” of most of our possessions. We’re really looking forward to traveling full-time again sometime soon.

      More blog posts coming in the next day or two.

      The best to you in your journey too…blogging! 🙂

  2. Hi there Sue,

    Thank you for some great information here. We started out a bit opposite of you and Mark. Our first camping rig was a pop up tent trailer. A few years later when we got serious about retiring we moved up to a 21 ft hybrid travel trailer. Then in 2012 we moved up again to a 26 ft Salem travel trailer. And finally we’ve landed in a 31ft class A Jayco Alante. I reckon we’ll be sticking with this one for a while… there’s just no comparison between past rigs and this Alante.

    I am so looking forward to following this website. Please don’t slow down at all… what a great read this is!!!

    Best wishes my friend,


    1. Thank you so much, Randy, for your comment and for your encouragement as well. Since we were recently given a 12 year old 5th wheel, our goal is to trade that one for a utility van. We’ll also sell our Fleetwood Tioga Class C and buy a travel trailer, to be towed by the utility van. There is a method to our madness. LOL! We’re going to modify the utility van, converting it into a very small RV, using that one for short trips and the travel trailer for longer trips.

      The Jayco Alante is a very nice rig. Congratulations! We’ve really enjoyed our motorhomes and, who knows, we may be back to one in the future. I’m about to add a few new posts and the latest one I’m working on has to do with how to deal with disagreements with your spouse in such a small space. Thank you very much for the follow.

      All the best to you. Happy travels.

  3. My first camper was a 26′ 5th wheel that I hauled with a 1/2 ton pickup. The roof sprung a leak so we upgraded. Both truck and camper. We went with a 40′ toy hauler and a 1 ton dually.

    I prefer 5th wheel over tag-along any day. They haul nicer, and maneuver easier. The downfall of a 5th wheel is the amount of storage space in the bed of the truck that you lose. That’s where the toy hauler comes in.

    You now have a garage that you can store pretty much anything in. Two motorcycles, a side-by-side, grill, fire ring, lawn games, etc.

    Check out my post about toy haulers…

    1. Hi Todd, We’ve had two 5th wheels in our RV past. I really like the spaciousness of them. There are some really unique toy haulers now. They combine homey luxury with your toys for adventure. I’ll definitely check out your post, Todd. Isn’t it great that we can share this information and get the word out to even more people.

      All the best to you,

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