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Motorhomes vs Fifth Wheel Campers: Which is Right for You?


You might have heard the term “RVing” thrown around as if all RVs and campers are made the same. But the simple truth is, they aren’t. Specifically, there is a huge difference between motorhomes and fifth wheel campers. Although both are great for enjoying an outdoor, mobile lifestyle, you’ll want to know the distinct differences between motorhomes and fifth wheel campers so that you can gauge which one might be better for you.

What’s the Difference?

what's the difference between Motorhomes and Fifth Wheel Campers

Simply put, a motorhome is a recreational vehicle that drives itself, while a fifth wheel camper is an “RV” that needs outside power to get moving. This means you have to hitch fifth wheel camper to a vehicle designed to handle the weight.

The motorhome represents the complete “turnkey” experience of RVing—all you have to do is get in it, turn the key, and you can be off to the next adventure. The fifth wheel camper can provide a similar experience for a reduced cost, but it means you’ll also need a high-quality vehicle to do the towing.

The Advantages of Fifth Wheel Campers

Let’s start diagnosing which type of vehicle is right for you by looking at their distinct advantages. For fifth wheel campers, these include:

  • Cost. The standard oil change on a diesel Class A motorhome can run you hundreds of dollars. But, if you already have a truck to handle the carrying of the fifth wheel camper, your oil changes will only cost you what they’re already costing you. This is just a sample of how fifth wheel campers can save you on upfront and maintenance costs.
  • Storage. Because a fifth wheel camper tends to be smaller than a motorhome—otherwise, it wouldn’t be very convenient to tow it with your truck—it also makes for more convenient and efficient storage in the off-season.

The Advantages of Motorhomes

advantages of motorhomes

If you enjoy the RVing life and have enough money to spend, it’s possible that the motorhome might be the right choice for you. Here’s why:

  • Time. When you want to head out on the open road, you don’t have to spend extra time hitching it like a fifth wheel camper. Using a motorhome includes the option of simply getting in and turning the key.
  • Independence. Since you can technically live in a motorhome, it’s hard to deny that one of the chief advantages of this mode of travel is that it can double as an independent way to enjoy the open road.

Of course, you can always buy a cheap motorhome and a luxurious fifth wheel camper, and vice versa. That’s why it’s so important to understand these key differences and how they might fit into the RVing lifestyle you’re looking to attain.

Make Your RV Shine

If you’ve decided whether motorhomes or fifth wheel campers are right for you, the next step is knowing how to take care of it. We at RV by LIFE have the RV cleaners and restoration products to ensure that no matter which option you choose, you’ll always have a clean vehicle that’s in top shape.

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