Drivable Motorhomes vs Towable Fifth Wheel RVs

motorhomes vs fifth wheels

It’s the age-old debate. Drivable RV Motorhome vs Towable RV and which type of RV is better? A towable (travel trailer, 5th wheel, etc.) or a drivable (commonly referred to as a “Motorhome.”) To answer this question, you must first determine which type might be best for YOU and YOUR travel style. There is no “1 type fits all” when it comes to RVs and RV Life.

There are some things that are the same and some things that are different regardless of what type of RV you are considering.

What’s The Same – Motorhome RV vs Fifth Wheel RV

motorhome vs fifth wheel
  • Packing down for travel, The pack-down process for travel days is going to look very similar regardless of what type of RV you have. Making sure all slide areas are clear before pulling in slides and that all items are put away in a safe place doesn’t change from drivable vs. towable.
  • Connecting hookups look very much the same for both RV types. Most all RV will have the same types of connections for your main 3 hookups- Sewer hose, water hose, and electrical.
  • Leveling – most all RVs will have some sort of leveling system – in some RVs, there are auto-leveling systems, but not all RV types will have some sort of leveling or stabilizing jacks.
  • Walk around when departing – to make sure all is secure, etc. 

What’s Different Between Motorhomes & Fifth Wheels

  • In a drivable motorhome, you don’t have to worry about transferring anything from your rig to your truck, etc. on travel days.
  • Passengers can use the bathroom while in motion – no need to stop for potty breaks.
  • If you have a drivable RV – no need to purchase a vehicle with a large towing capacity or be concerned with the towing capacity of your truck/SUV. 
  • If you have a drivable and choose NOT to tow a car behind, you will need to consider transportation options. Or consider a “toad” vehicle. 
  • Snacks on the road are a little easier with a drivable. Just help yourself to the fridge. 
Drivable motorhome

Pros of a towable Fifth Wheel RV

fifth wheel rv
  • As a general rule, the cost of travel trailers is less than a drivable motorhome. 
  • Travel trailers are great for weekend warriors and occasional campers.
  • You can back up easier vs. if you have a motorhome with a “toad” vehicle. 
  • Travel trailers are less likely than motorhomes to need expensive repairs. 
  • Sometimes, travel trailers or 5th-wheel RVs can feel a little more “homey.” For example, you are not staring at a steering wheel, while sitting in your “living room.”
  • Less risk of losing living space if you are full-time if you have to take your truck in for service, you still have your living space. 
Fifth wheel interior

Pros of a Drivable Motorhome RV 

  • A bathroom on the go
  • Snacks on the go
  • TV on the go
  • More comfortable to ride in (take a nap in your own bed!) Travel days are a little easier/more comfortable. 
  • Lots of “basement” storage if you choose a larger Motorhome
  • Set up/tear down is much easier when arriving/departing campsites – even with a tow vehicle. 
  • “Stealth Camping” or boondocking can be a little easier. 
  • “Off-grid” can be a little easier – with a generator on board in most class A motorhomes. It’s easier to be without external power for longer. Also, in models with an inverter, you can still use the microwave, etc without being hooked up to shore power. 
  • Easier to back up – if you can back up a car, you can back up a motorhome. (if you do not have a tow vehicle on the back when backing). 
  • House on wheels. No need to deal with motel or hotel rooms. You take your bed with you!

What RV Did We Choose and Why?

Our Class A Motorhome

We have a 2004 Fleetwood Discovery which is a class-A drivable motorhome. We chose this type of RV because it works best for our travel style with our two younger kids. We also like the cargo capacity we have in our motorhome.

Whatever the type of RV you choose, Drivable RV vs Towable RV, we encourage you to get out there and enjoy living the RV life!

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