Motorhome VS 5th Wheel – Who Wins?

A motorhome vs 5th wheel comparison is the heavyweight title match between RVs. These are the big boys of the RV world. And usually those who are making this comparison want lots of space and conveniences.

There is a real fascination with RV minimalism these days. And a lot of RVers turn to a quality travel trailer like Airstream or a Class B RV to fit that need. But when you start to compare fifth wheels and motorhomes, you are probably looking for much more. And these larger style RVs can deliver in spades.

So which of these type of RVs is best for you? That’s hard to say unless you look over the advantages of each one and compare it with your needs and wants. And what you need in an RV may be completely different from what most others desire. So make the choice that is best for you and your circumstances alone. If you do, you can’t go wrong!

So here is my list of the best advantages of each in this motorhome vs 5th wheel showdown.

Reasons Why You Should Buy A Motorhome

Motorhome vs 5th wheel - a motorhome
A diesel pusher motorhome that compares well with a 5th wheel

When we are talking about motorhomes, we could be talking about any RV that has a motor for driving built into it. But in this article, when we say motorhome, we are talking about a Class A RV. Simply because that is the size of motorized RV that best compares with 5th wheels.

So here are some of the best reasons why buying a Class A motorhome is a good idea:

  • Probably first on my list is that everything is done for you. You don’t have to match a trailer with a tow vehicle and make sure that all of the weight considerations match. As long as you can verify that there is plenty of cargo storage in the motorhome, the rest of the weight matters are handled already.
  • Motorhomes are super convenient for traveling. Passengers can even use the bathroom while going down the highway. My wife loves this feature!
  • Motorhomes usually have more storage capabilities. At least the larger diesel pushers do.
  • Set-up and tear-down at campgrounds is a breeze in a motorhome. If the weather is bad when you arrive, just put the jacks down and fire up the generator. Then wait until better weather comes to hook up your water, electric and sewer. In the meantime, have a convenient cocktail!
  • Speaking of generators, the ones that come standard in a Class A motorhome are usually perfectly mated to your rig. This is a big advantage over installing one after you buy a 5th wheel RV.
  • Campground maneuverability is usually better in a motorhome too. It saves having to know how to back up a towed vehicle. Especially if you aren’t used to that sort of maneuvering.
  • All the living space in a motorhome is usually on the same floor. Rarely do you encounter any stairs in a Class A.
  • Your driving-around-town vehicle that you tow can be much smaller and fuel efficient. 5th wheel tow vehicles have to be big and bulky. And they aren’t very fuel efficient for everyday driving either.
  • If a dangerous situation arises around your motorhome, just fire up the RV and drive off. There is no need to go outside and expose yourself and others to the danger. This is not a scenario that happens very often, but if it does, you may appreciate this kind of security.
  • The expansive view while driving down the highway in a Class A motorhome is a joy to behold. If it is a diesel pusher, it will be quiet and cool too since the engine is in the back. And there is plenty of moving-around room for occasional stretches.

Reasons Why You Should Buy A 5th Wheel

Motorhome vs 5th wheel - a fifth wheel
A 5th wheel that compares favorably with a large motorhome

So that list of Class A motorhome advantages sounds pretty good, huh? Well, there are plenty of 5th wheel benefits too. And here they are:

  • First on the list is that 5th wheels usually have more room and living space than motorhomes. This is because the slides on a fifth wheel are deeper and make the RV wider when they are deployed.
  • The ceilings are also higher in a 5th wheel. This gives the feeling of even more roominess. In fact, the living room in a 5th wheel often feels like you are living in an apartment. If space is important to you, this is huge!
  • The initial purchase price of a fifth wheel is much lower than a comparably sized motorhome. This is true even if you factor in the tow vehicle as well. A well-appointed new 5th wheel along with a solid tow vehicle will cost about $100,000 – $150,000. A similarly well-appointed new motorhome will often cost $175,000 – $300,000.
  • If you ever have to get your engine repaired, you can still live in your 5th wheel while it is being done. A motorhome will require you to stay elsewhere until the repair is finished. Sometimes the repair facility can make arrangements for you to stay in your motorhome on-site. But don’t count on it.
  • Repairing the diesel engine in your tow vehicle will usually be easier to arrange and cost less. A motorhome’s diesel engine will usually have to be repaired by a facility that specializes in those commercial engines. Whereas most garages and dealerships can handle the repairs on a Chevy, Ford or Dodge diesel truck.
  • Whoever does the cooking will probably appreciate having a kitchen island in a 5th wheel. These are rarely found in motorhomes.
  • There is a great variety in the floor plans that you can get with a 5th wheel. With all of that space to play with, the RV designers can really get their creative juices flowing.
  • If you want to change your RV living area, you can just sell the 5th wheel. You don’t have to sell your tow vehicle as well. But if you sell a motorhome, the whole package goes together and you lose all the mechanical maintenance you have done on it.
  • Highway safety is better with a 5th wheel too since the tow vehicle will most likely have airbags. Most motorhomes do not have these safety features built-in.

Reasons For Either A 5th Wheel Or Motorhome

There are several areas where the comparison of motorhome vs 5th wheel is just simply a tie too. In other words, the advantages and disadvantages are about the same for both. Let’s take a look at some of these now:

  • The cost of vehicle insurance for motorhomes is greater than a fifth wheel to be sure. But you have to insure two vehicles with a 5th wheel (including the tow vehicle) so it’s basically a wash.
  • Fuel costs for both motorhomes and fifth wheels are similar too. Both use big engines that haul lots of weight. So they both burn a lot of fuel.
  • They both depreciate at about the same rate. Of course, the cost of a motorhome is usually higher. So you will lose more money overall in depreciation with a motorhome.

Results Of A Motorhome VS 5th Wheel Comparison

So which one is best for you? Well, it all depends on which advantages mean the most to you in your RV travels.

I recommend taking plenty of time to visit RV dealers and sample both motorhomes and 5th wheels in person. Look at lots of them. See which features appeal to you the most. Ask lots of questions. Imagine yourself in both types of these RVs. Usually you will find that a clear winner becomes apparent after a while of doing this kind of on-site research. That’s what we did and we are happy with our purchase.

I wish you well in your RV search and I hope that these tips and ideas have been helpful. Please subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get more in-depth RV comparisons and information like this. I promise to treat your email inbox with the utmost respect. No spamming here!

Do you have more ideas that can added to this discussion on motorhomes vs 5th wheels? Then please comment below and tell us which features of these rigs are important to you!

As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!

RV Fuel Station Discount Card Saves $$$$

Whenever I find something that is really helpful for my fellow RVers, I try to get the word out quickly. And this is one of those times that I can help you save lots of money on RV diesel fuel. A relatively new RV fuel station discount card is available for RV owners driving diesel engines. And the word is that the savings on diesel fuel is really dramatic.

Marc and Julie Bennet are one of the top RV bloggers and YouTubers in this industry. I have been following them for some time because they are genuinely helpful and glad to share their RV knowledge with everyone. And they just made a recent blog post and YouTube video on this new RV fuel discount card program. I asked them if I could pass on the savings to my blog readers and they said that would be great.

The Bennets wrote one of the best books about the RV lifestyle and we got it as soon as it was released. I loved it so much that I gave it a 5 star review on Amazon. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about RVing. There is something here for everyone from newbies to experienced RV owners. Just click on the image below to check it out.

Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road

So here is the information you need on this diesel fuel discount program.

Fuel Discount Program Details

The company who runs this RV fuel station discount program is TSD Logistics, a trucking company whose main office is in Texarkana, TX. It’s no secret that over-the-road truckers often get special discounts on fuel prices. Especially at certain national fuel station chains. TSD Logistics wants to lower its fuel costs but doesn’t want to add more trucks to its fleet to do so.

So they decided to open their fuel discount program to include RVers. This allows the company to reap the rewards of buying fuel in higher volume. But they are able to keep their costs the same. It’s pretty ingenious really. And as RV owners we all benefit as well. It’s a win-win for everyone. The only limitation is the discount is only on diesel fuel. If your RV burns regular gas, this program will not work for you.

How To Use The RV Fuel Station Discount Card

To join the program you need to apply to TSD Logistics for their card. Usually it arrives in about 3 – 4 weeks, although there are ways to get it sooner. With the card in hand, download their EFS card app and pair it with your card. Now you can search for fuel stations near you that accept the TSD discount program on your phone or tablet. When you find the best price, go to that station and pull into the truck lane section for fuel.

Once there, insert the card into the fuel pump and fill your tank. When you are done, the whole transaction will appear on your EFS card app. The next day the amount of the transaction will be deducted from your bank account. To cover the costs associated with running a program of this size, TSD Logistics will take a small fee. The fee is 10% of the total discount you received. So if you received a .60 per gallon discount, they will take .06 per gallon for program maintenance. That still leaves you with a savings of .54 per gallon!

The average savings per gallon according to TSD Logistics is about .40 – .60 per gallon. But Marc and Julie Bennett experienced some savings as high as .85 per gallon. This is not chump change. Especially if you have a large motorhome and go through lots of diesel fuel. There are other RV fuel discount programs out there, but not much with this kind of savings. And it is usable in over 16,000 locations throughout the US!

What Should You Do?

If you haven’t heard of Marc and Julie Bennett, my advice is to visit their page and sign up for their newsletter. They are always helping out the RV community in one way or another. And you will benefit by following them online too. Here is the link to their webpage where you can get even more details about this RV fuel station card discount program.

From there, I think you would be wise to sign up for the program and start saving on diesel fuel costs. I have already signed up myself and apparently a backlog of applications is coming in to TSD Logistics quickly. So don’t delay! Here is the link to the TSD Logistics sign-up page. Just make sure that you credit “RVLove” as the referrer. This makes sure that the Bennets get the credit for introducing you to this program.

The Bennets uploaded a YouTube video that explains the major details about this program. You can view it at the link below:

I really hope that you will take advantage of this way to save on RV fuel costs. I am not affiliated with this program in any way. And I don’t profit by it in any way either if you sign up. It’s just a great deal for all RVers who use diesel fuel.

Please sign up for my newsletter and comment below on your RV fuel expense experiences. As always, have safe and happy travels my friends.

Top 5 Must-See RV Destinations

What is the point in having an RV if you don’t use it to travel? And if you travel, why not see the best sites possible? After all, RV stands for “recreational vehicle”. So we need to get in our rigs and get out there for some recreation in an RV campground. That includes visiting some of the top must-see RV destinations in the US.

Of course, there are loads of great places to see in this country. But some sites are just iconic. You have seen them in photos so much that you can almost recognize them instantly.

And there is probably a video running in your head about how beautiful these places are. And how great it would be to actually see them in person. Well, here are my top 5 must-see RV destinations in no particular order.

Here are some RV travel books that I can recommend for finding even more incredible places to visit in this beautiful country:

Yosemite National Park

OK, I fibbed. I’m going to start with the number one spot in my heart, Yosemite. We are talking huge plunging waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, sheer granite cliffs, crystal clear water and more.

Almost everywhere you look is a postcard, especially in the fall. But here are some of the sights you don’t want to miss:

  • El Capitan – the largest piece of granite rock in the world. It towers 3,593 feet from the valley floor. You can get a great view of this icon from El Capitan Meadows. If you bring binoculars you can even watch the climbers as they ascend El Capitan.
  • Yosemite Falls – If you combine Upper, Lower and Middle Yosemite Falls, it’s the highest waterfall in North America. They cover a total of 2,425 feet in all.
  • Half Dome – one of the most photographed spots in the western part of the US. Talk about a sheer granite face. WOW!
  • Wawona Tunnel View – from this spot you can shoot your own postcard of Yosemite including the Yosemite valley floor, El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls.
Yosemite National Park - #1 in RV destinations

Get information about visiting and RV camping at
Yosemite National Park here

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is our first National Park and no wonder! It’s scenic beauty is like nothing you will find anywhere else.

It spans three different states, has 290 waterfalls, and wildlife galore. And how many National Parks can say that they sit on top of an active volcano?

Of course, the geothermal activity in Yellowstone is what makes so much of its scenery unique. Here are some places you don’t want to miss when you visit Yellowstone on your list of must-see RV destinations:

  • Castle Geyser – the largest cone geyser in the park. It erupts every 10 – 12 hours. When it does it can throw steam up to 90- feet in the air for about 20 minutes. Impressive!
  • Grand Prismatic Spring – the largest hot spring in the US. And the third largest in the world. The brightly colored rings around the pool are like nothing else you will ever see.
  • Yellowstone Lake – the largest body of water in the US over 7,000 feet. It has a surface area of 132 square miles.
  • Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone – it’s nearly 20 miles long and at times 4000 feet across. Some of the most popular hiking trails and scenic overlooks are in this area of the park.
Yellowstone National Park

Get information about visiting Yellowstone National Park
and the available RV campgrounds here

If you want to earn a living online while RV traveling and seeing the incredible scenery in the US, here are some books that I can recommend for you to consider:

Zion National Park

Featuring towering red rocks, beautiful evergreen trees and plenty of hiking trails to enjoy it all, Zion is special.

It is considered one of the gems of the National Park system and a place that you definitely want on your must-see RV destinations list. Here are some of the top places to go and see:

  • Zion Canyon Scenic Drive – this picturesque route takes you on an adventure of beauty for 57 miles. To relieve traffic congestion a free shuttle bus will take you on this journey during the peak season.
  • The Narrows – you can see it from the Riverside Walk but to experience it you have to go wading. But along the way you will see some incredible red rock scenery in the canyon narrows.
  • Observation Point – on top of Mount Baldy at 6,521 feet you can see almost all of the main features of Zion NP. It’s an 8 mile round trip hike that climbs 2,000 feet so make sure you are in shape before you go.
  • Watchman Trail – a 3 mile round trip trail that only climbs 400 feet or so. It is much easier for the average hiker and still provides a spectacular view of 6,545 foot Watchman Spire.
Zion National Park - one of the most popular RV destinations

Get information about the campgrounds in Zion National Park here

Glacier National Park

For stunningly impressive mountains, crystal clear lakes, blue skies and wildlife, Glacier NP is hard to beat.

There are also plenty of waterfalls and hiking trails in this Montana park as well. It’s a little off the beaten path but it rewards those who visit with a lifetime of vivid memories.

Here are some of the things you want to see here:

  • Going To The Sun Road – this is an absolute must in Glacier NP. It doesn’t open until the beginning of July. But the scenic vistas will have you stopping every 100 feet to take pictures.
  • The Trail Of The Cedars – this is a hiking trail that almost everyone can enjoy and it has one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the park.
  • Saint Mary Lake – a beautiful 10 mile long lake with towering mountains surrounding it. You can even take a boat tour on the lake between June and September.
  • Logan Pass – at 6600 feet the area boasts lots of wildlife including big horn sheep, grizzly bears and mountain goats.
Glacier National Park

Get information about visiting Glacier National Park here

Grand Teton National Park

The Tetons are indeed grand. The sheer beauty of their majestic rise from the grasslands is breathtaking.

Then pair that with abundant wildlife, and great hiking trails. The full recipe is for fun and enjoyment in the outdoors. Here are some things you don’t want to miss:

  • Mormon Row – this historical district has some of the best views of the Teton range and the photos taken from here are world-class.
  • Jackson Lake – here is where you can water ski, go sailboating and windsurfing in the summer months.
  • Jenny Lake – it is 250 feet deep and the views of the mountains are amazing. You can also kayak and canoe here.
  • Taggart Lake – it’s a mile and a half to the lake from the trailhead. But the views are incredible. And plenty of wildlife can be seen in this area.
Grand Teton National Park

Find out about about visiting and RV camping at
Grand Teton National Park here

I hope you enjoyed this list of the top 5 must-see RV destinations. Of course, you may have your own personal favorites to add to this list. But I think these national parks should be on everyone’s short list of places to see.

Please add your own suggestions in the comments below. As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!