Transitioning from a Motorized to a Towable RV

Why our family of six made the switch from a Class A to a Fifth Wheel
The back patio of JC and Barbel (Bibi) Barringer's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth-wheel

Our RVing journey started five-and-a-half years ago in a 37 ft Class A Motorhome. It had tandem axles, a washing machine and one slide-out—which was fairly new to the category at that time.

My family owned this RV when I was growing up, and after my husband, JC, and I got married, we decided to make it a bigger part of our lives and hit the road with it for an extended RV trip. We created many memories in that RV— it took us all over the western U.S. and it planted the joy of RVing in me.

Our motorhome had everything we needed to travel for long periods, but eventually, after three years on the road, we made the switch from a motorized Class A RV to a towable fifth-wheel RV.

Why We Switched from a Motorized to a Towable RV

  1. The Primary Bedroom

    When we were looking for a new RV, we knew we needed something with a spacious primary bedroom and closet. In our motorhome, JC converted the primary bedroom into a bunk room for the kids, leaving us with only a small aftermarket primary closet. 

    So when we were shopping for a new RV, we were thrilled to find the KZ Durango Gold fifth wheel had both. The primary closet spans the whole nose of the fifth wheel and even has a washing machine/dryer combo as well!

    Instead of having the kids’ clothes in their room, the closet in our fifth wheel is big enough to store all of our clothes and essentially turned the primary closet into a family closet—making laundry days a breeze.

    The master bedroom inside JC and Barbel (Bibi) Barringer's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth-wheel

  2. A Private Bathroom

    The bathroom in our old motorhome was a walkthrough, meaning to get to the kids’ bedroom you’d have to walk through the bathroom. This became a nuisance, particularly when the kids’ bedtime routine came to a halt because of family members taking showers too late. 

    In our fifth wheel, the bathroom is a separate room off the hallway and allows everyone the space and privacy they need to get ready morning and night. 

  3. A Larger Kitchen

    Our Class A, though well equipped with all the necessities, was lacking countertop space. That’s not the case in our fifth-weel. I now have plenty of countertop space to prepare food for the family. Though only three feet longer than our Class A, the new layout in the fifth wheel feels more like a tiny home and makes all the difference.

    Our fifth wheel even has an island, and I often find myself preparing lunch there while still supervising the kids finishing up school at the dining table. Our youngest will play close to me in the bunk room or on the living room floor, which brings me to point four below.

    The kitchen and living room of JC and Barbel (Bibi) Barringer's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth-wheel

  4. A Larger Living Room

    Fifth wheels often have multiple slide-outs that can completely transform their space. The fifth wheel we bought had two slight outs which allows for our whole family of six to be comfortable.  

    The kitchen and living room inside JC and Barbel (Bibi) Barringer's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth-wheel

  5. The Back Patio

    The main feature that sets our fifth wheel, the KZ Durango Gold 382mbq, apart from other mid-bunk towable RVs is that we have a back patio despite the fact our RV is not a toy hauler.

    Our living room extends sideways with a slide out, and to the back onto the patio with a set of sliding glass doors. It feels like having an additional room out there. All our kids can play out there safely, even our two-year-old. The back patio is what immediately sold me on this particular model.

    The back patio of JC and Barbel (Bibi) Barringer's 2018 KZ Durango Gold fifth-wheel

  6. A Separate Tow Vehicle

    There were definitely some benefits when it came to driving our Class A motorhome. I truly enjoyed how quickly I was able to learn to drive the motorhome when we had it. Yes, it was long and scary at first, but once you get some miles in, it can be so much fun. 

    It was also convenient to have access to our home on wheels at all times, like when we had to park in the rain. It was convenient to be able to access the bathrooms without having to get out of a vehicle and potentially get drenched. 

    On the other hand, having a separate tow vehicle means that when the RV or truck needs repairs, you can drop one off and retain access to the other. 

    Over the years of RVing, our neighbors have always been quick to help us. Now that we own a truck, we get to pay it forward by using our vehicle to lend a helping hand, whether that be to help park their fifth wheel or even grab them a load of firewood.

So why did we wait so long to make the switch?

That is simple. Our Class A was filled with memories of cross-country travels. When I came home from a long day of running errands, just the smell of the Class A would comfort me. 

But now I get to create memories with my children in our fifth wheel in this new, wonderful season we are in. RVs are meant to fit your needs for the time you are in, and ours does just that! 

Fifth Wheel RVs

Popular among long-term RVers, fifth wheels are designed for easier, more stable towing. Living space is maximized with additional over-cab space. This camping trailer—affectionately nicknamed a "fiver"—is a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling long-term in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite, a living room, even a kitchen.

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