Buying an RV is a huge decision and a big investment, which is why we suggest you give yourself plenty of time to do thorough research on what type of RV would be best for your budget and your situation.
If you’re going into this thinking it’ll be a fairly easy decision, you may want to take a breath and pace yourself. There are many different options to consider before purchasing your recreational vehicles, such as the type, size, and various features. One of the main decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want a gas or diesel-fueled RV.
Whether you’re shopping for a new mobile home to cruise the country in or you want a recreational vehicle for family trips and vacations, it’s important that you understand the major differences between a gas vs diesel RV. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two so you can make the best decision for you and your specific needs.
For your convenience, we’ve broken down this comprehensive comparison of a Gas vs Diesel RV into three key points:
Let’s get started!
The overall cost of an RV is often the most influential factor in choosing which type to purchase. If you’re looking for the less expensive option out of the two, then you’ll definitely be more interested in a gas RV.
Gas-fueled RVs are considerably less expensive than diesel, which makes them a popular choice for budget-conscious families who want a recreational vehicle for summer camping trips, road trips, and occasional vacations on the road.
If you’re shopping brand new, the price difference between a gas vs diesel RV can amount to thousands of dollars. The average MSRP (or manufacturer’s suggested retail price) on a new gas RV can range anywhere from $80k to $150k. By contrast, you can expect to pay an MSRP of $170k at a minimum for a new diesel RV.
While gas RVs do cost a lot less than diesel, a diesel RV provides a better payoff in terms of resale and future use. You get what you pay for, right?
When it comes to the general maintenance and upkeep of the two, gas RVs require a very basic level of attention when compared to diesel RVs. Gas engines are a lot simpler than diesel, which makes them easier to maintain and less expensive to repair, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of cons. To help you get a clear understanding of gas vs diesel RV maintenance and upkeep, we’ve broken this section down into a list of pros and cons for each.
Gas RV Pros
A simple engine that is generally easier to maintain and repair.
Basic mechanical knowledge is necessary to maintain, so you can do a lot of the work yourself. For example, an oil change is fairly easy to do.
Higher horsepower, which allows faster speed on long-distance drives.
Gas RV Cons
Runs at higher RPMs, which requires mechanical maintenance more often due to the fact that the engine is constantly hard at work.
Less torque, which can be hard on the engine while towing or driving uphill for extended periods of time.
Diesel RV Pros
A more powerful engine and lower RPMs, which means better performance with less strain.
Requires maintenance and mechanical work less often than gas RVs.
Diesel RV Cons
A complicated engine that is more expensive to maintain.
Higher torque, which makes this option ideal for towing and spending a lot of time climbing uphill canyon roads.
The fuel economy of gas vs. diesel RV is another major difference between the two, and there’s a good list of pros and cons behind both sides. Use these points to decide which option is right for you:
Gas is considerably cheaper than diesel fuel and is more accessible.
Gasoline does have a stronger odor, and it’s not uncommon for the cabin to be filled with the smell during long drives.
Diesel burns cleaner than gasoline, which is better for the environment.
Diesel offers better fuel efficiency than gasoline.
Make Your Decision
Now that you know the major differences between a gas vs diesel RV, we hope you feel better prepared in your venture to purchase a recreational vehicle. Discover more helpful tips and advice on selecting your RV and financing your purchase on the Southeast Financial blog.
You’ve heard the phrase “go big or go home,” but in the world of RV living that may not be the best route for you.
If you go big with a Class A motorhome, you have a lot more expense and maintenance, and they are not as easy to drive. If you go small with a Class B RV, it may work for a solo traveler, but many more passengers than that and you will find yourself cramped and irritable. Read on for more information about Class C motorhomes to decide if this is the one that may be just right for you.
Safety and Handling
When shopping for your Class C RV, luxuries are nice, but you should always be concerned with safety first. The Class C motorhome has the following safety features the Class A does not:
Gas pedal and brake pedal are the same as on a regular vehicle, whereas in a Class A they are further to the right, which can take some getting used to.
Class C RVs have more exits: driver’s side door, passenger side door, and the sidewall door to the living area. In case of accident, that makes it easier for passengers to exit quickly and safely.
Class C motorhomes are safer in a front end crash because of the location of the engine, which is at the front of the vehicle, just like a van or truck, with a barrier and crumple zones between it and the passengers.
Class C RVs are lower to the ground, so they are much more stable for driving, particularly in inclement, windy weather.
It is easier to see the front of a Class C motorhome and what is IN FRONT of the RV. Class A’s sit so high that something in front of it, like a small child, might not be seen.
Accessibility and Affordability
As mentioned earlier, the Class C has more ingress/egress for safety as well as ease in packing the RV and setting up camp. They are also lower to the ground, so they are easier to get in and out of.
When looking at RVs, don’t forget to consider accessibility to campsites themselves.
The average Class A motorhome is about 28-40 feet in length. Many campgrounds cannot accommodate campers that big. For example, at Yosemite National Park the maximum length for an RV is 40 feet, but they only have 12 sites available for RVs this long. The average length of a Class C is 28-30 feet, so there are many more campsites available to them.
Another accessibility issue to keep in mind, one that will save you much stress and many headaches, is the turning radius of Class C vs. Class A. The Class C motorhomes are much easier to back into campsites, as well as pull into parking lots and gas stations.
Typically Class C motorhomes are less costly than Class A’s, and you can also find some very nice used Class C RVs that are quite affordable.
When considering affordability, keep maintenance costs in mind. Many mechanics will not work on Class A motorhomes at all, and even some Class C+ motorhomes that are on a Freightliner chassis will require a truck service center. These are much more costly than your regular auto mechanic.
Class C RVs are usually lighter than Class A’s, so they typically get better gas mileage. More Class C’s are being manufactured with diesel engines, which not only get better mileage but also provide more towing capacity.
Class C RVs and used Class C motorhomes have many of the same amenities as a Class A, just on a smaller scale. You can still have a full kitchen and bathroom with shower. Many Class C’s come equipped with televisions and entertainment centers. A Class C usually has more sleeping space thanks to the sleeping compartment above the cab.
Class C motorhomes are perfect for the couple who wants to travel the country in style and comfort but do so on a smaller budget. They are also wonderful for small families with young children, as summer vacation or holiday transport, or just fun family camping.
At Southeast Financial, we specialize in Nationwide Recreational Vehicle Financing, so contact us today to take the first steps to the trip of a lifetime.
Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are gaining popularity with adventurers of all ages, and 5th wheel campers are perfect if you want to quickly hook up and take off.
Whether you like to keep camping simple at your local county and state parks, are a recent retiree who wants to hit the road and explore the country, or you are ready to splurge on luxury for some serious glamping, now is the time to invest in the 5th wheel camper of your dreams.
Below we highlight a few helpful tips to consider when searching for the right 5th wheel travel trailer for you.
Consider Its Intended Use
This is the most important factor to consider, as you really cannot make any other decisions about your 5th wheel travel trailer until you determine what type of activities you will be enjoying.
If you are a weekend warrior and plan to spend more time outside than inside, a pop-up camper may work for you, but 5th wheel travel trailers provide a lot more comfort and luxury. If you plan to spend more time on the road, say during the summer months while the kids are out of school, then you will want to make sure you have enough space for long comfortable trips, as well as some amenities for those rainy days.
If you are one of those lucky people who has decided to follow your wanderlust and live on the road, then again you have to consider room for comfort and amenities, but more importantly think about necessities like the size of tanks for potable water, grey water, and black water. Will you need more gas for heating as well as cooking. You should invest a little more in materials that are more durable, while also being lightweight for fuel efficiency.
If you are thinking about a 5th wheel travel trailer that will be stationary instead of hauled, you will need to confirm the requirements of the RV park or community as far as length and hook-ups. Also, make sure you understand the amenities available (some provide perks like WiFi and satellite radio).
What Is Important to You?
Those enjoying RV living are undoubtedly resourceful and creative, and many of those camping hacks have been engineered into the newest 5th wheel campers, along with luxuries that make a pop-up camper look like a pup tent. When making your 5th wheel travel trailer wish list, consider these spaces used for everyday living:
Size of kitchen and counter space
Size and placement of appliances (full size vs. camper or dorm size)
Size and privacy of sleeping areas
Size and comfort of living area
Number of bathrooms
Once you have determined what you need for easy and stress-free daily life, then think about the things that will pump up the pleasure factor. Do you want:
Big screen TV
Washer & dryer
These are some luxury items that you can get in 5th wheel travel trailers that you are just not going to fit into pop up campers. This all relates back to what kind of 5th wheel travel trailer living you desire.
Benefits of a 5th Wheel Travel Trailer
Pop up campers are nice because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to haul.
They are great for families with kids or campers who are going to spend all of their time outdoors unless they are sleeping or if nasty weather rains on their fun. Class A and Class C motorhomes are also marvelous, but some issues with those include: having to tow a separate vehicle for short day trips; Class As are harder to drive and park; if you have mechanical trouble and it has to be in the garage, you are without a home; and depending on length of the RV, it can limit campsites available to you.
A 5th wheel camper is hitched up to a towing vehicle, most likely a truck, so once you set up camp, you have a vehicle at your disposal. 5th wheel travel trailers have more stability when hauling, so they are easier to handle and have a better turning radius—which is important for getting into some of those tight campsites.
The beauty of 5th wheel travel trailer living is that it can be as rugged or as glamorous as you wish. At Southeast Financial, we specialize in Nationwide Recreational Vehicle Financing, so contact us today to get the wheels rolling on your 5th wheel travel trailer dream.
RVs are made to help you fill your life with grand adventures while you cruise in comfort.
They vary widely when it comes to style, design, amenities, and . . . price—which often leads to the world of RV financing. If you are ready to embark on your lifelong dream of RV living, read on for more information about the necessary RV financing credit score.
RV Interest Rates and Terms
Recreational vehicles are considered luxury items and the maximum term is usually 20 years.
The shorter the term of your loan, the lower your interest rate. Oftentimes, the more you finance, the lower the interest rate, and of course your credit history greatly influences the rate and term available to you.
RV interest rates are also different with the purchase of new RVs vs. used RVs. While the lower interest rate and “new RV smell” are understandable temptations, paying less for a used RV with a little higher interest rate may be the most financially sound option in the long run. Just like when you buy a new car, your RV depreciates significantly the minute you drive it off the lot.
There are also a lot of new RV owners who warn buyers about the “shakedown period.”
RVs are constructed well, but travel and use will determine how things are going to fall into place. The first year of an RVs active life is spent more in the shop instead of on the road. If you purchase a used RV that is a couple of years old, those kinks are usually worked out and you may save money on the purchase and on repairs.
RV Financing Credit Scores
So we finally come to the big question: What kind of credit score do you need to obtain RV financing?
The answer is, it varies greatly.
The RV financing industry standard ranges from about 660-700 FICO score, but there is financing available for credit scores in the 500 to 600 range.
At Southeast Financial, we look at your credit history and RV financing credit score as part of the application process, but we do not have a set minimum number in order for you to be approved. Our RV financing loan specialists understand that life events have a great impact, and we do not look at our customers as a number. We also understand that RV financing may be a good way to help build that FICO score back up.
The bottom line is that just as with any loan, when you are looking into RV financing, take some time to find the best fit for your specific needs.
This is also good advice when you are shopping for your RV. Do not buy the first thing you see and consider the pros and cons of paying the sticker price. Do your homework and talk to other RV owners, as they are your best resource.
When purchasing any horse trailer, safety and handling are your two primary concerns.
This is precious cargo, not only because of the investment, but more so because the bond between owners and their horses runs very deep.
Here are some things horse owners look for when purchasing a used horse trailer, and some tips on used horse trailer financing.
What to Look For In A Used Horse Trailer
Put a lot of work and research into your purchase. These are the items that you should prioritize and consider when shopping for your aluminum horse trailer:
Good Floor: First and foremost the floor of the trailer has to be exceptional. It must be structurally sound and always look for a steel frame.
Overall Condition: How are the tires? Is the hitch in good working order? Are the safety chains intact?
Size Does Matter: Is it going to be tall and wide enough for your horse(s)?
Load Type: Do you prefer slant load or straight load? Everybody has their own opinions on this but many feel the slant load protects them better and they don’t move around as much as a straight load. You do not want your horse getting tossed around back there.
Loading Gate: Do you want a ramp or no ramp? Can your horse back out, or do you need to get a bigger trailer to allow for room to turn your horse around inside so they can unload facing the exit?
Dividers: If you have anything larger than a one horse trailer, make sure the dividers are secure. Your trailer should also have breast pads for your horse’s comfort while traveling.
Ventilation: If you are not getting an open stock trailer, make sure that your used horse trailer has good adequate ventilation.
Brakes and Electronics: Before purchase have the used horse trailer inspected if possible, and then annually make sure you have the brakes and electronics inspected to ensure proper function and safety.
What to Look for in a Used Horse Trailer with Living Quarters
When you start getting into living quarters for people, that’s where things can vary wildly. There are some crazy nice very expensive trailers out there.
If you are someone who spends nearly every weekend in your used horse trailer, get the basics. If you spend the money on living quarters, the most important things you want are a refrigerator, microwave, stove, sink…basically a little kitchenette, and most people prefer a full bathroom.
The gooseneck of almost all used horse trailers will have a sleeping area above it. Used horse trailers may also have a couch that turns into a bed, or a table that turns into a bed. Most people prefer a table that converts to sleeping space, because that way you have sitting room, and if it’s raining people have a place to go, play cards, etc.
Used Horse Trailer Financing
While it can be tempting to pay for your two-horse trailer, three-horse trailer, and other recreational vehicles in full with cash, you should really consider used horse trailer financing.
Caring for horses is an expensive endeavor, and sometimes emergencies come up for which you are going to need cash.
Not only can used horse trailer financing allow you some cash reserve, it can help maintain or improve your credit score.
When considering used horse trailer financing, remember that the better your credit score, the more you put down on the horse trailer, and the shorter your term, the better your interest rate will be. Just as with any vehicle loan, if you are financing your used aluminum horse trailer, you must have horse trailer insurance.
The staff at Southeast Financial understand that your horses are family, not cargo. We will work diligently to help put you in the safest and most comfortable used horse trailer you can find. Contact us today for more information.
Kicking back on the deck of your own boat with a chilled beverage in hand, alone or with your favorite people. Enjoying a homemade lunch to the tune of birds overhead and waves lapping at the hull.
It’s safe to say that the answer is, no, there is nothing better than a perfect day on the water—except, perhaps, a perfect day on the water on a beautiful classic boat.
If you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve lost (or never had) interest in the glittering bows, obnoxious sound systems, and characterless design of a giant modern yacht. You’re ready to sidestep the flashy bells and whistles.
You’re ready for polished.
Timeless. Refined. Elegant. You’re ready for a level of class that only a classic boat can deliver, and we’re prepared to help you find just the right one. In this article, you’ll learn about popular classic boat types so that you can make an informed decision. We’ll also point you in the right direction for boat financing and other classic boat loans to help you acquire your new obsession and get her on the water ASAP.
Classic Boat Types
What makes a boat a classic? For such a beloved collector’s item, classic boats are actually quite loosely defined. The ACBS (Antique and Classic Boat Society) defines a classic as, “a boat built between 1943 and 1975,” and contrary to popular belief, said boat does not have to be made out of wood. Fiberglass and aluminum aren’t that far behind polished mahogany in terms of what makes a classic.
It’s a lot like a classic car: you know it when you see it.
Below are a few of the most popular classic boat types to fall in love with.
Bass fishing boats are simply the best for freshwater anglers: they’re open and low to the water for easy casting. Having platforms in both the bow and stern allow you to stand while angling or set up chairs for a relaxing fishing experience. Many bass boats have both a powerful engine for getting there in a hurry and a quiet trolling motor to use during angling.
Aluminum Ski Boat
This is the quintessential fun-in-the-sun type of boat. You might have good memories of spending time with your friends and family in a ski boat at the lake when you were younger. Maybe you want to re-create that timeless feeling or make totally new memories as an adult. Either way, an aluminum ski boat is perfect for pulling water skiers, wakeboarders, kneeboarders, and inner tubes!
This is a luxurious home away from home! Cabin cruisers feature a kitchen, toilet, and beds—perfect for a family getaway or entertaining friends. You can even get a hot water shower, electrical outlets, and air conditioning! They’re very stable, even in choppy ocean conditions, making them a joy to drive and ride in. Even though they’re big, you’ll still be able to move yours with a trailer.
The Broads Yacht is a beloved classic that looks like it’s straight out of a good old fishing flick. It’s the perfect size for a solo ride or a couple good people aboard for a day on the lake, whether you’re fishing or riding the waves. This timeless and charming boat may look a little tight, but it’s got a lift-up coach roof to provide more space if you need it.
Pontoon boats are made for finding your favorite spot on a beautiful, sunny day. They’re designed to give you the most seating and storage possible—with a 360° view. So, bring as many friends and family as you can—and an ice chest full of snacks. Find a quiet cove or a sociable hangout, break out the sandwiches and drinks, go for a swim, and soak in the sun!
Classic Boat Loans
If you’ve already begun scrolling through the public or private listings for classic boats, you’ve probably discovered that classic boats are a lot more affordable than you previously believed. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should have to pay for the entire purchase (additions and all) out of pocket.
Financing your boat allows you to bring your dreams to the surface without having to wait years and years. Plus, without having to fork over one giant lump sum, you’ll be able to start saving for your boat’s maintenance and repairs—which typically amount to an average of 10% of your purchase cost every year.
If you’re interested in learning more about yacht loans or bass boat financing, contact us today. We’ve got the classic boat loans you need to cover your end at an affordable rate.
Getting out on the water is one of the best ways to enjoy the warm weather.
There is nothing like getting away from it all, including dry land, and exploring the many waterways both far and close to home. Buying your own boat allows you to have as many opportunities as you want to enjoy the water.
If you are ready to finance a boat, the first thing you need to decide is what type of boat is best for your favorite water activities. Here are a few tips for finding the boat that will suit your needs.
The first question to ask yourself is what type of body of water will you typically visit? Boating can be quite different on rivers, lakes, or oceans. Finding the right boat will make your favorite activities possible.
Rolling on the River
If you plan to spend your boating time on rivers, there are several types of boats that will work for you. While some features are important to have, there are some that you will certainly want to avoid.
The main consideration for boating on rivers is the potential for shallow water. Flat bottom boats are great for rivers. They allow for navigation in shallow water while still offering enough space for fishing and lounging on the deck. Bass boats and bay boats are also good options. There are a number of features to choose from. Outboard motors are still a possibility for boating on rivers. You just want to make sure yours can be raised out of the water when negotiating shallow water. If you are looking at running whitewater, then you definitely want a smaller, more flexible watercraft.
On the Lake
Lake boating offers a little more variety in boating activities, and therefore, in the types of boats that will work.
When boating on a lake, you can go for leisure craft like houseboats. These boats can be used to stay in one place or slowly explore the lake. You can also go for fishing boats with open seating in the rear or front of the boat. The flatboat you got for the river will also work for a lot of lake environments, though they may require additional caution around larger or faster watercraft.
One of the most exciting ways to enjoy boating on a lake involves speed. If you want to waterski or tow a tube on the lake, then you want to choose a boat that offers more power for speed and towing capability. Deck boats, jet boats, and performance boats are perfect for water sports. There are plenty of boats that offer these features along with enough room for fishing and lounging so you can enjoy a number of water activities at your favorite lake. Fish and ski boats help you get the best of both worlds.
Out to Sea
Ocean boating is an entirely different animal.
Speaking of animals, the incredibly large animals you can encounter in the ocean, along with sizable waves mean that opting for a larger boat is the wise move. You also want something with considerable range, including fuel capacity, if you plan on long ocean trips. Power catamarans and large cruisers offer the sleeping quarters and shelter for long boating trips. Also keep in mind that communications like cell phones are less reliable once you get farther from the coast, so equipping your boat with a radio or even satellite phone is a good idea.
No matter what type of boat you choose, you will want to get the best financing you can to help make it as affordable as possible. Once you have picked the perfect boat for you, let Southeast Financial help you with the financing. Contact us today for a free quote.
Buying an RV is a big investment, which can make it a complicated process.
With the right information, however, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are seven common mistakes that first-time RV buyers often make. By avoiding these missteps, you can have an enjoyable buying experience and ultimately get paired with an RV that you can enjoy for many years to come.
Buying the Wrong RV
It is every RV buyer’s worst nightmare: going on your first camping trip and realizing that you didn’t buy the right rig.
Maybe it is too big, or too small. Perhaps there isn’t enough storage space, or it’s too tall to get into your favorite campground.
An RV purchase is a big investment, and it pays to spend the time to make sure the camper is right for you. By doing your research, and not buying on impulse, you will have a much better chance of getting the right camper.
Interested in learning more about the different types of RVs? Check out our recent blog post to help you with your research.
Neglecting to Consider Both New and Used
There are benefits to buying both new and used RVs.
New campers are easy to find and available in any number of layouts. Many will come with the benefit of a warranty, and you will have the piece of mind knowing that the camper has never been damaged from misuse. On the flip side, new campers can depreciate up to 30 percent as soon as they are driven off the lot.
Used campers have already begun to depreciate and therefore are less expensive than new campers. They can be a good deal if they have been properly looked after. It may take some patience to find a used camper in the right condition, for the right price, to meet your needs.
Failing to Get a Used Camper Checked Out
Used campers can be great deals, but it pays to have a professional take a look before buying.
When buying a used camper from a dealership, be sure their in-house mechanics give it the green-light before you agree to buy an RV. If you are purchasing from a private seller, make an appointment at your local RV shop to have them inspect
the camper. Ask them to look for mechanical issues, as well as water damage, signs of excessive wear and tear, and malfunctioning systems. This inspection will cost you a small fee upfront but may save you from a big surprise down the road.
Not Having the Proper Tow Vehicle
If buying a towable RV trailer, it is crucial to determine not only the weight of the camper but the tow capacity of your vehicle. Be sure the tow capacity of your vehicle exceeds the weight of the RV trailer by a good margin. This will not only put less strain on your transmission but will also help to keep you safe by towing the camper with a vehicle rated to handle it.
Also, be sure that any additional braking or electronic systems are installed to allow you to tow legally and safely.
Driving Off the Lot Without a Lesson
Before driving off the lot with your new RV ask for a lesson on how to use all its systems.
You don’t want to pull into a campsite and realize you don’t know how to put down the stabilizing bars, or you can’t figure out how to start the fridge. While not knowing how to run the systems can be annoying, trying to run them without some instruction first and accidentally breaking something can turn out to be hard on your wallet. Make sure to get that walk-through before you leave with your new RV.
Not Knowing Your Size
Drive through any underpass and you’ll see scrapes on the concrete where the drivers of RVs or other tall vehicle have misjudged their height.
It is crucial to know how tall and wide your RV is before you go on your first trip. The dealership or private seller should tell you the dimensions of the RV. Keep the dimensions written somewhere easily accessed from the driver’s seat. Repairing a roof-mounted air conditioner, antenna, solar panels, or the roof itself will cost you big time.
Getting the Wrong Insurance and Roadside Assistance
RV insurance, as well as RV roadside assistance, are different from those you would acquire for a passenger car.
This mistake has cost people in unexpected towing costs and unrecoverable losses. Remember RV insurance only covers the camper itself, not the contents inside. Sit down with your insurance agent to work out the best policy for your needs, and call your roadside assistance provider to add RV coverage to your plan.
Don’t let these seven common mistakes happen to you. By doing your research you can buy a camper that is right for you, in great shape, and will be a comfortable place for you to camp for years to come. Let Southeast Financial help with your recreational vehicle financing today.
Fifth wheel travel trailers are one of the most popular types of campers on the road.
Wondering if a fifth wheel camper will meet your needs? Read on for information on the benefits and drawbacks of this type of camper.
What is a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer?
There are two types of campers: motorized and towable. Motorized campers, sometimes called motorhomes, have an engine and can be driven as-is. Towable campers are those that attach to the back of a truck or other vehicle and are pulled behind
Fifth wheel travel trailers are large, towable campers. Instead of connecting to a tow vehicle via a hitch, like a pop-up camper, fifth wheel campers connect to the center of a truck bed with a gooseneck connector. Fifth wheel travel trailers can range from 22 to 40 feet, and have one or more slide-outs to give the camper additional interior space when it is set up. Because of their spacious interiors, fifth wheels are popular for full-time travelers, big families, and anyone who is looking for the comforts of home while camping.
Benefits of a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer
There are two primary benefits to a fifth wheel travel trailer: towability and interior layout. Let’s take a look at both.
Despite their size, a fifth wheel camper is one of the easiest types of campers to tow. Because it connects to the tow vehicle via a gooseneck, there is more leverage from the center of the truck for an effortless tow. In addition, this type of connection allows the truck and camper to maneuver better as a connected unit. Fifth wheel travel trailers rarely have the side-to-side swaying that occurs in other towable campers. Drivers of fifth wheel campers enjoy the added stability on both short and long-haul drives, and on nearly any type of road.
The second benefit of a fifth wheel travel trailer is the comfort of its interior layout. While every camper’s layout is different, fifth wheel travel trailers benefit from the additional space that comes from both slide-outs and the overhang that sits above the truck bed. Fifth wheel travel trailers are not only spacious but are often luxuriously equipped inside. It is not unusual to find full-sized kitchens with all the amenities of home, multiple seating areas, a king-sized bed, and a washer and dryer. Some campers even come with fireplaces, multiple TV’s, and wine refrigerators.
If an easy-to-tow, comfortably equipped camper is what you’re looking for, a fifth wheel travel trailer may be right for you.
Drawbacks of a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer
The one potential drawback to owning a fifth wheel travel trailer is the type of vehicle needed to pull it. While other campers can be pulled by lighter duty trucks, and sometimes even SUV’s, a fifth wheel travel trailer often requires a heavy duty truck or flatbed.
A heavy duty truck is needed primarily because fifth wheel campers are heavy. The slide-outs and overhang create a lot of space, but also add weight to the camper. Also, the longer the camper gets, the heavier it gets. The truck you use to tow the camper should have a towing capacity that exceeds the weight of the camper in order to not over-tax the transmission.
In addition to needing a proper tow capacity, the truck will need a mounting plate installed inside the truck bed. This is an additional expense that will decrease the space available in the truck bed for other uses. Additionally, as it is illegal for anyone to ride in a camper while it is being towed, the truck will need to have the proper seating capacity for the number of travelers.
Fifth wheel travel trailers are a great option for those who are looking for a camper that is spacious, luxurious, and easy to tow. While a heavy duty truck is needed to properly tow a fifth wheel travel trailer, those who can find the right combination will enjoy the ease and comfort that these campers have to offer.
If you’re in the market to buy a used motorhome, there are a few things you should know before you sign on the dotted line. Here is a list of dos and don’ts that will set you up to drive happily into the sunset for years to come!
DO Decide What Is Non-Negotiable
There are so many wonderful options available in many different types and sizes of motorhomes. In fact, pretty much anything you desire can be found inside one of these apartments-on-wheels. The only thing is, you won’t be able to get everything.
It can pay off to be a little flexible in some of your wants while remaining true to what you actually need. Your non-negotiables should cover anything that makes the investment worth it and the lifestyle commitment a joy.
For example, if you’re more of a “glamper” then you don’t want to compromise on the cleanliness of a particular used motorhome. If you imagine yourself staying closer to nature and camping in more intimate sites, don’t compromise on choosing a pull-behind tent trailer. If you have a big family or want to bring guests along, don’t compromise on the number of people your vehicle can accommodate.
Other things you might consider essential could be a dishwasher, the ability to tow, or two bathrooms. It’s all up to you, but realize that the more “essentials” you have on your list, the harder it will be to find exactly what you want.
Besides, since you are in it for the long haul, you can always customize or upgrade down the road. It’s most important to get a solid-running vehicle now and add a skirt, awning, or high-quality speaker system later.
There are a hundred ways you can overbuy, overspend, or overextend yourself when standing in front of a potential pre-owned travel trailer. You may get excited and then end up with foggy vision about the realities of your choice.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do I have a truck big enough to pull a fifth wheel?
Do I really need that extra bed?
Are the places I envision myself traveling to able to accommodate a Class A?
Can I safely drive such a large unit?
Will my budget allow for a newer model?
Your honest answers may bring you clearer vision so you end up with a purchase you won’t regret in the end.
DO a Thorough Inspection
You absolutely don’t want to end up with a lemon. Things to look out for are:
Leaks: Look for brown spots on the ceiling, or bowing. Check around the windows and doors. Check the corners of the carpeting near appliances and the bathroom.
Mold: You will most likely see any mold in the corners or caulking of the roof or laminate floors. Make sure to inspect all seams and creases and inside the cabinets and appliances. Also check the caulk in the bathroom.
Rot: Jump up and down in the kitchen and bathroom and very carefully walk on top of the roof. The floors and roof should feel stable and sturdy. Push on the exterior walls. Inspect around the cutaway.
Rust: No matter what, rust is common and not necessarily a big problem. However, a rusted frame is a big deal and a costly replacement, so be sure to check the frame.
Sun Damage: If the roof has cracks, bubbles, or splitting paint, it may be irreparable.
DON’T Be Put Off By Minor Issues
Although you should be mindful of any issues found in a used camper, you don’t necessarily need to be put off by the minor ones.
If your budget only allows for a fixer-upper model, that’s okay! It’s a big trend these days to makeover a dud and make it your own. After all, ugly can be replaced and minor repairs can be made. You may feel fine letting things slide if the cost of fixing it up still comes out to be cheaper than buying a better one to begin with.
DO Put Your Finances In Order First
Unless you’re paying all cash up front, you’ll need to take a close look at your budget and figure out how much you can spend each month. Remember, there are quite a few costs to be considered, on top of your loan payment. Depending on the type of recreational vehicle you buy (folding tent trailer, Class C, Class A, etc.), you will have varying purchase and use costs that may include:
Maintenance and repairs
After your budget is set, get approved for a loan if you plan to finance your motorhome purchase. Doing this before you start shopping will make the purchasing process much easier and you’ll be able to get on the road sooner.