Back in January, I announced that we decided to purchase an RV instead of pursue our tiny house dream. What I didn’t do, however, was go in more detail about our choice to obtain a fifth wheel vs other RVs. When we decided to purse RV living, we had to start thinking about what kind of RV we wanted. RVs generally fall into three categories: motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels. There are pros and cons to each type. After doing a little research and shopping around, we concluded the fifth wheel was best for us.
Why a fifth wheel?
- Better layouts.
- So many floor plan options to fit our needs!
- More living space / less space occupied by seating.
- More storage space throughout. Our model doesn’t have much storage, but most fifth wheels seem to have more indoor and outdoor storage space.
- Taller in the main living areas. Makes the entire thing feel roomier.
- Sturdier. After walking through several travel trailers and several fifth wheels, the fifth wheels don’t seem to sway as much as the travel trailers.
- Ease of towing/driving.
- Better weight distribution when towing since the hitch is located over the truck bed.
- Less chance of ‘fishtailing.’
- Makes the total length of the RV ‘shorter’ while on the road.
- Separate the home from the vehicle.
- If anything mechanical were to happen to the RV, we wouldn’t lose both our home and vehicle, it would be one or the other. Yes, it costs more to have both a truck and a trailer, but it wasn’t a risk we wanted to take.
- Keeps options open to unhitch the trailer if we need to take a quick drive away from a campsite or our land.
That said, our specific requirements when searching for a fifth wheel were:
- The entire bathroom needed to be its own separate room. No sinks in the bedroom.
- Bunkhouse for future kids and/or guests.
- At least one slide-out. Two would be great, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
- Enough room for all of our pets (two cats, rabbit, bearded dragon)!
- Something that didn’t need too much work.
- Price needed to fall within our limited budget (cash purchase).
After searching on Craigslist and various RV dealerships for several months, making some phone calls, and checking out a couple RVs, we finally found our trailer a few months ago — it belonged to an older couple that decided to stop traveling and had the RV parked in their son’s front yard an hour away from us. I knew the moment we stepped into the fifth wheel that it was ours. My husband was a bit hesitant because it was such a big decision, but after we left the house, we knew we had to call back and claim it. And we did. Several phone calls and weeks later (thanks to all the crazy snow), we hired someone to tow it for us, quickly found a spot to park it, and brought it to where it currently sits. Every day, I look at it and think, “That is our home!”
It has everything we were looking for. Sure, it is a little bit outdated, but not terribly so. The bunkhouse isn’t a completely separate room, but that isn’t an issue for us. And the price? The price was wonderful (and a few thousand dollars below our budget) considering the great shape the RV was in (pretty much move-in ready with a few fixes here and there). We are very happy with our fifth wheel and can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can start doing of the bigger renovation projects!
You can see more pictures of our RV here. The page will be updated as we remodel!
Oh! And we also bought a truck a few weeks ago!
This beautiful ’99 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD will be towing our little home on the road!
Everything is starting to come together…..