Tags: , , , | Categories: RV Learning Center Articles Posted by TJ on 10/2/2009 7:18 PM | Comments (0)

Whether you are a first time RV buyer or someone that is looking to upgrade to a newer RV, I am sure you have thought to yourself should I buy a Motorhome or a Trailer? There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a Motorhome or a Trailer.

You need to ask yourself how often will I be using my RV, and how many people will be using the RV.  On the Trailer side, Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheels, and some Expandables will have plenty of storage, larger floorplans, and multiple slides out options which will be better suited for the more avid traveler and mid-to-large sized families. Pop-Up Tent Trailers can sleep many people but do not provide the room needed or storage for a large family, and are used more for weekend travelers 

On the Motorhome side, there is the Class A, Class C, and Class B Motorhomes.  The Class A will have plenty of storage, larger floorplan, and multiple slide outs. Class C will have a smaller floorplan and less storage than a Class A but both are suited for the avid traveler and a mid-to-large size family. The Class B is similar to a full size van but with a more amenities than a normal full size van. These are made more for great weekend getaways for couples.

Next thing to look at would be what vehicle you currently own that could tow an RV. Is your vehicle capable of towing the RV you are looking for, or would you have to look into buying a new vehicle to tow your RV. You would need a Truck or Large SUV to tow most Travel Trailers, and only a Truck can tow a Fifth Wheel.  If you are unsure what your vehicle can tow, use the Tow Rating Search at RVBuyersGuide.com  to help find the RVs your vehicle can tow safely.

Once you determine if the vehicle you own is capable of towing the RV you are looking for or not, this will help you with the next step to figure out which RV would be best suited for you.

The cost of Motorhomes vs Trailers, the "average" Motorhome is going to cost significantly more than a trailer. Say you find a Fifth Wheel that has everything in it you want for $60,000 to go find a Class A that has about the same features and living space the price will double it not more.  Maybe you don't have a vehicle that can tow a Fifth Wheel so you have to add the cost of a new truck into the price of buying a Fifth Wheel, which then the price of both a Motorhome and Trailer would then be closer to the same.

Maintenance will also add in to the cost of a Motorhome vs Trailer, the Trailer has fewer things to break down than the Motorhome.  The Motorhomes include things such as Engines, Transmissions, and other vehicle parts, your repairs might be more costly than a Trailer. Plus it's not only the cost of repairs to think about but the downtime for your "home" to be in the repair shop. With a Trailer you are still able to at least find another vehicle to tow the Trailer if your main tow vehicle has to go in for repairs.

Driving vs Towing, this is very much a personal opinion and how good of a driver you are. Driving a Class A RV would be more like driving a bus, although in many states you do not have a specific drivers license to drive an Class A Motorhome, some states do require one if the Motorhome is over certain length. Towing a RV is a little different than driving a bus, it does take time to learn how to maneuver an Trailer. Some dealers do offer driving lessons and test drives, if you are unsure which you would be better at, contact your nearest dealer to see if they can help. If you are unsure if you need a license for your RV please check with your local laws to find out.

Besides just Driving vs Towing you also have to consider the height factor of different units. With a Class A and a Fifth Wheel you will have be to more cautions of places you go and bridges you travel under, as both are taller than a most Travel Trailers, and other Motorhomes.  Check out the this video at CampingBloopers.com to see why it's important to know the height of your RV.

Once you get to your destination in your Motorhome or Trailer, you have to keep in mind if your family likes to do site seeing or day trips around the area you are camping. This might be another thing to keep in mind, when towing and RV you can unhook, leave your home at the camp site and go where you would like with your tow vehicle.  With a Motorhome it is easier to have a vehicle you can tow if you plan on taking trips away from the camp site. Sometimes it is difficult getting your Motorhome in and out of different places, so deciding how much you will be doing with your family outside of the camp site should be considered in your decision.

Even though there is a lot of things to think about when buying  a Motorhome vs Trailer, there are some great things about the Motorhome people might not think about. In Motorhomes you can get up and move around the Motorhome, go to the bathroom, make lunch, do many things without leaving the Motorhome.  They are setup so you can move around the RV without having to open the slide out. With the Trailers, many of them you have to open a slide out just to get into your kitchen or storage spaces. It also is not ready available for you to move about while on the road.


Also many of the holding tanks on a Motorhome can be larger than the ones on a Trailer. This is great if you are not at camp sites or places that have full hookups, but having larger tanks is a benefit if you're on the road many days before you get to your camp site.

After you have put some thought which one would suit you and your family better,  take a look at both in person. If you need help finding an RV check out the New RVs at RVingPlanet.com and Used RVs at UsedRVsforSale.com.  If you are unsure where to find your nearest dealer, use the RV Dealer Finder at RVingPlanet.com .