5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by TheRichmonds, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. TheRichmonds

    TheRichmonds New Member

    We're new to rving. We were wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are to a 5th wheel and a travel trailer. We will be towing with a '99 Dodge V-8 if that matters. Also, can the 5th wheel hitch be removed or stored somehow? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  2. John Harrelson

    John Harrelson New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    Hello Allen,

    First off, yes the hitch is easily removed from the truck bed when not being used. Only the "rails" will remain attached to the floor of the truck bed and they don't interfere in any way with the use of the entire bed

    You do get more trailer with the 5th wheel for the same total overall length of your rig.

    You have way more storage with a 5th wheel than a TT.

    Also, as a full timer living in mine 24/7/365 year 'round, I have found it is easier ( and cheaper) to cool in the summer and easier and (cheaper) to heat in the winter, because of the height of the ceilings.

    You can get a 5th wheel with a low ceiling over the bed or with a high ceiling, up to seven feet high. My 40 foot Prairie Schooner had 6'7" ceiling and my current 30.5 foot Prowler has a 6'1" ceiling.

    The 5th wheel is safer and easier to pull on the highways. You are going to get a lot of feedback on this statement from the TT owners... BUT ... the facts and statistics speak for themselves.

    the 5th wheel is safer to pull on the highway than the travel trailer ... MOST of the accidents involving RV trailers are with travel trailers

    As for parking, (backing into a space) there is no difference... those used to backing a TT will have trouble with a 5th wheel and vise-versa for the 5th wheel owners trying to back a TT.

    The setting up of both are about the same. ie.. block the wheels, drop the leg(s) and unhitch. BUT .... Hooking UP a 5th wheel is a heck of a lot easier than hooking up a TT.
    Why ? Because the hitch is so much bigger and with the "funnel" shaped receiver on the truck for the pin to slide into, you don't have to be "exactly" on the point like with a ball and coupling travel trailer..

    If you read more of the RV forums, ( there are many more on the internet, see list below ) you will see that almost every person who has had a TT and then got a 5th wheel says that they will never go back to a TT.

    These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are going to the 5th wheel over the travel trailer.

    Everyone has their own opinion, this is mine..

    Hope this helps,













    http://www.rvingthemidwestconnection.com/faq.htm#full timing info

    http://www.rvliving.net/nalinks-pge 2.htm














  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    The 5th wheel is my preferance too. All the things which John mentions, plus the overall length of your unit is less than the equivalent TT, because part of the trailer overlaps the truck.

    There are a few reasons to chose a TT though. 1, if you have trouble getting up stairs, the TT is one level while the 5er is 2 with short steep stairs. 2. The TT is generally lower, which allows it to go some places where a tall 5er may have trouble. Also has less wind resistance. 3) if you need the whole truck bed for something else, or want to pull with a non-pickup, the TT is the only choice. 4) And finally, if your tow vehicle is near its GVWR or Rear Axel maximum weight, a TT doesn't add as much weight to the truck as does a 5er.

    The 5er IS easier/safer to tow and hook up than a standard ball hitch, but there are a couple of hitches which bring the TT closer to the 5er in these regards. The PullRite comes to mind and there is at least one more I can't recall right off.
  4. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    Agree with both Johns except I saw a car towing a fifth wheel :eek: . Can't remember what year chev it was but I worked on it after he unhooke the fiver outside. Think it was a 66 impalla with the hitch either on the rear deck but seems as though it was on the roof. Nope, not been hitting the bottle guys don't tuch the stuff. don't need anything to addle my brain anymore than it already is :laugh: [
  5. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    Hey guys, Chelse is right my Dad had a 5er that was made to be tow with a car roof mounted hitch, he never towed that way although he did have the mt, he only towed with his pickup, sold it to my brother you had it for 9/10 yrs and he just gave it to his/my nephew. I've only see one other one it was in AZ, it a Shadow, was mfg in Mo. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
  6. John Harrelson

    John Harrelson New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    HAHAHAHA .... hey by golly, I remember those.. I'm not sure,, but I think I saw one of those back in the 1970's,,, or maybe it was the 1960's.. whatever ...

    Also about that same time, they came out with the ultra-small 5th wheel designed to be pulled by the small pickup trucks that were so popular in that era.. remember those ??

    like the cigarrette ad says "you've come a long way baby"

  7. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    Everybody had always said I was crazy and I was begining to believe them :laugh:
  8. sloesch

    sloesch New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer


    Since you’re an avid RV’er, I was wondering how I can run my RV AC while traveling. Right now, I have a TT, but I will be buying a 5th Wheel in the next 8 months so, I will not have space in the back of my pick-up to put my dogs like I do with my Suburban. The only place I can put them is in the RV, but I need a way to keep them cool and comfortable while traveling with the RV AC, but I don’t know how to hook-up the AC to run while I’m driving. Plus, it would be nice to pull-up to a RV site with your RV already cool.

    I’ve been told that the only way to do what I want to do is to buy a generator. Is this the only option or do you know of another way?


  9. John Harrelson

    John Harrelson New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    Hi Scott,
    Don't know which John you are asking so I'll jump in here and see if I can help.
    First off Scott, are you sure you want to travel with the dogs in the trailer ?? Please read the posting I attached on the bottom of this post.

    As for traveling with the AC running,,, According to many of the forums on the web that relate to RVing, about the only way is to have a generator running.
    I have read where some people put the generator in the truck bed and then ran a power cord to the trailer and there are some that have the generator installed under the trailer and tied into the power panel, so that the trailer is totally self-contained.

    The biggest problem I see is the size gemerator needed to run the AC unit.. From what I read on these forums, the smallest generator that will run a "small" size AC in 3000 watts.

    The average weight of a 3000 watt generator is over 100 pounds. That's a lot of weight to have installed in a trailer to my way of thinking.

    Not saying it can't be done, because it has by several people. I just hesitate to put that much weight either on the front or the rear of the 5th wheel.
    If you do decide to go with the generator in the trailer, get back to us after you have tried it out for a couple of trips. Can't speak for the rest, but I for one will be curious as to how it worked out.

    Now for my feelings on carrying someone/something you love in the trailer....

    There have been several posts about this question... Here is the answer that I gave them....

    Place your family, children, spouse, pet, etc. into a cardboard box and then place the cardboard box on a skateboard and tie it to the bumper of the truck and then take off down the highway at sixty mph.

    Are they safe in that cardboard box ??

    A trailer is a big cardboard box, it has no safety designed features like air bags, reinforced doors, seat belts, etc. like a car or truck has.

    Do people get killed in a truck or car with those safety devices installed ??

    Of course they do, but think how many more people would be killed if they were riding in a cardboard box at sixty miles per hour down the highway ....

    Never allow any person or pet that you love to ride in the trailer at any time.

    Just my opinion of course,

  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    In addition to the safety issue, there is the comfort issue. Most trailers have no shocks, and if you are riding in the rear part, you will likely spend time airborne after each bump. Allegedly the bed is not too bad, because it essentially is riding on the rear axel of the truck, which does (hopefully :) have shocks.

    Other options are an extended cab pickup, with the dogs riding in the 'back seat'. If that won't work and you have a long bed pickup, and the dogs are small enough, you could build a custom kennel in the front third of the bed, flush with the top so the 5er won't run into it when turning. I did this for my generator, found a nifty 1/3 bed fiberglass cover to provide the security and weatherproofing for this area.

    Yep, generator is the ONLY way to run A/C. However, it is not the only way to cool. If it is dry and if you can find one, you may be able to run a battery powered evaporative cooler. Also, if the outside temperature is not too high, you can put a covered vent fan with thermostatic control at one end, and a window vent or other vent at the other end, and keep the interior temp from getting any higher than the external temp.
  11. dakotapicker

    dakotapicker New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    quote:Originally posted by TheRichmonds

    We're new to rving. We were wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are to a 5th wheel and a travel trailer. We will be towing with a '99 Dodge V-8 if that matters. Also, can the 5th wheel hitch be removed or stored somehow? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  12. patlipsette

    patlipsette New Member

    5th Wheel vs. Travel Trailer

    you can buy an inverter which will change the 12 volts in your trailer to 110 volts you would have to have a pretty large one to run an air conditioneryou might consider a large fan instead it would use a lot less electricity PatL
  13. jeffhoward43

    jeffhoward43 Junior Member

    The advantages of the 5th wheel is the overall TV plus trailer length is less for equivalent floor space, providing for better maneuverability. And it is more stable towing, though load balancing TT hitches can reduce this advantage. It is also easier to hitch and unhitch, especially by a single individual.
  14. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Since this post is 11 years old, although relevant is a bit out of date for the last earlier posters.

  15. Cruzincat

    Cruzincat Member

    Why does it always seem that the people who dig up these old posts have links in their signatures?

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