[Article] 5th Wheel Campers vs. Motorhomes

In 2015, my husband and I purchased our first recreational vehicle (RV). We didn’t know much about RVs, so we checked out both 5th wheels and motorhomes to determine which one would fit our needs. However, no family’s needs are the same. To consider the features and drawbacks of 5th wheels versus motorhomes, check out the comparisons below.

There are many attractive features in a 5th Wheel, including expansive work space, higher variety of floor plans, better temperature control, and lower cost of maintenance. Insurance usually costs less than a motorhome, too.

Theft prevention is another reason some people choose 5th wheels. While someone could hop into a motorhome and take off, it’s harder to steal an RV that requires towing.

There are drawbacks to 5th wheels, some of which include difficulty in bad weather, lack of a generator, less security if you face danger and need to immediately leave, and difficulty maneuvering into tight spots.

Some people prefer motorhomes because there is often more storage capacity. Also, if you need to use the bathroom or grab a bite to eat, everything is inside the RV you are driving. Another benefit includes the availability of an onboard generator.

One drawback of motorhomes is that you cannot easily unhook and head into town if you need to run errands. Parking a motorhome in an urban atmosphere can prove problematic, given some city parking restrictions. It is also harder to drive a motorhome on narrower streets. Some owners solve this issue by towing a vehicle.

Regardless of whether you choose a 5th wheel or motorhome, it is important to learn how to properly operate your RV before taking off into the wild blue yonder of national forests and campgrounds.

When it comes to defensive driving techniques for RVs, one of the main considerations is to remember that while you may be a careful, conscientious driver, others are not. Your RV is significantly heavier than the average vehicle and will take you much longer to stop should someone unexpectedly turn in front of you.

Keep an eye on how you will need to alter your driving techniques in inclement weather. If it is raining, slick roads demand that you allow an even longer distance in front of you to stop in time for the traffic ahead. It also goes without saying that in sleet, ice, or snow you will need to take even more extreme driving precautions. Depending on your driving experience with your motorhome or 5th wheel, you may want to remain stationary and off the roads when it is icy or it snows.

To learn more about RV driving safety, there are several resources to visit online. Many organizations, including The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), offer an RV safe driving course. For more information, click here. In many cases, insurance companies will also provide you with a reduced rate if you complete an RV defensive driving course.

Purchasing an RV is exciting. In the end, we decided to go with a motorhome. However, the next time we are in the market for an RV, we may switch to a different model. One thing is for sure: there’s nothing like cruising down the highway in an RV, whether you decide to tow it or commandeer it from the front seat.

Bev Sninchak (also writing as Bev Walton-Porter) has been a professional freelance writer, editorial service provider, and writing instructor for over 20 years. She is the author of several books, including Sun Signs for Writers, Secrets of the Professional Freelancer, and Aim To Write: Tips & Tricks for Freeing the Scribe Within, among others. Bev is also a co-author of The Complete Writer (Red Engine Press). For questions or comments, visit her website at http://www.motherofcrows.com or e-mail scribequill@gmail.com



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