There is no simple answer to this, since all have their positive and negative features that you may be looking for. I will do my best to give you some of the positives and negatives about the different RV’s to try and save you a few headaches to better help you on making a decision if you are interested in living this type of life style.
Pros: Better fuel mileage for your truck, can easily park anywhere you want, don’t have a vehicle or trailer to tow, less maintenance needed. Cheaper then any of the other RVs
Cons: Limited living space, if your vehicle breaks down your home goes with it (unless you are in an area that you can off load your camper), limits your truck bed to haul additional supplies that may be needed.
Bumper Pull Trailers:
Pros: Can haul with a smaller truck, open truck bed to pack additional supplies that you cant do with any other RV, if your truck breaks down just unhook your trailer so that you still have your living space (which you cant do with a truck camper or mobile home), more living space then a truck camper, is cheaper then going with a motorhome or 5th wheel route.
Cons: Bumper Pull Trailers don’t play as well with the wind as the 5th wheels do, smaller living space then a 5th wheel, cant make 90 degree turns when backing up if needed unlike the 5th wheels, and truck/campers, depending on the size your looking for, this may limit your areas to park at campgrounds. One thing I’ve learned is if you can, 35′ is the max length you want to go since you can still get into 90% of the parks. Once you go longer, your percentage drops fast.
Pros: Has the most living space which makes it better for bigger families then other type of RV’s, easier to tow then Bumper Pull Trailers, can make sharper turns then a Bumper Pull Trailer, loading/unloading is quick. Brandy and I have got it to where we can unload the 5th wheel, fully hooked up, slides out, and leveled in about 5 mins. Once you have a routine down it goes fast. Less maintence then a motor home (a 5th wheel like a Bumper Pull Trailer has wheels and an axle). Like the Bumper Pull Trailer, we can unload our home if we have mechanical problems with our truck.
Cons: Less room for additional supplies in the bed of your truck, a 5th wheel may be lower in cost then a motor home, but is more then likely going to require buying another truck unless you have a min. of a 3/4 ton. I would recommend a 1 ton diesel for towing if you can afford it. The 1 tons wont get as good as mileage as a 3/4 ton off tow, but on tow you will get about 2 miles per gallon better then a 3/4 ton. A 5th wheel hitch will need to be purchased also which could run another few hundred bucks for the budget.
Pros: Your living area is your driving area (you can cook bacon while still driving if you have someone with you, or use the bathroom while on the road). Better view of the road while driving then your typical truck and trailer. Doesn’t require having a truck or a vehicle (but is recommended to have a small car for towing). More comfortable for long distance driving then any other RVs. (not sure, but hear the class A’s seem to be the best in this area). You will have better access of getting into parks since some of the parks are motorhomes only.
Cons: Maintenance is going to be a lot higher then a truck. Last I heard an oil change will run you over $300.00 if taken to a shop. Does not corner as well as trailers since there is no pin point for turning. Once a motorhome breaks down, you better have extra funds for a motel or a tent to set up since your vehicle/home is in one. A lot more expensive then a trailer, if towing a car, you may need to unhook your car first if you plan on backing up (this will depend on your towing set up). Smaller living area then a 5th wheel, more maintance will be required, if you don’t have a tow vehicle, you may be stuck where you park due to your size unless you call uber to pick you up.
Conclusion: Over all, you are going to find the good and bad with all of them and will never really find the perfect one. I just hope that I took a lot of the headaches away that I had to deal with when shopping for what would best suite us. Please comment on your experiences with what you have, had or any other info that I missed to help others interested in starting this life style but don’t know where to start with choosing the best RV that fits there wants and needs.