trailer vs 5th Wheel

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by David Hagar, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. David Hagar

    David Hagar New Member


    Im not sure that I have signed in correctly or where this message will go once it is posted. Regardless, here I go.

    My wife and I are in the process of learning about trailers vs 5th wheels to that we can purchase one in early spring. We just bought a 2002 Chevy 2500 e/w 8.1 engine, 3.73 rear end and the Allison transmission. We feel good about this vehicle for towing either a trailer or 5th wheel. Since we have a crew cab with the short bed< I know we will need a special hitch if we choose a 5th wheel.

    We intend to use our purchase for two or three trips not to exceed one month in length for the next 2 - 5 years. We are looking for + and - for trailers and 5th wheels - New vs used - size - and any other information to consider from anyone have experiences in these areas. Thank you in advance for your time.

    David Hagar
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    trailer vs 5th Wheel

    David, I have owned several Airstream TT which IMO are the best towing tag along trailers made. I now have a fifth wheel and would never go back to the bumper pull. I towed the fifth wheel with a short bed ext. cab Chevrolet but, I used a slider hitch. Never had any problems. I also really like the slids. It really expands the living area and we have never had any problems with it.
    - on the fifth wheel is you loose you tr bed storage area
    - most 5th wheel are higher
    + better handling and shorter overall length of tow and 5th wheel unit
    + 5th wheel eaiser set-up and hook up.
    + TT level floor plan
    My advice would be pick out a floor plan that fits your needs, don't skimp on the hitch, use the proper sway controls and either way you go enjoy.

    Chelse L. Nash
  3. joy

    joy New Member

    trailer vs 5th Wheel

    We have owned both TT & 5ver (2 of them). Much prefer the 5ver. Easier to pull, set up/hook up, more interior space for the same overall rig length, higher ceilings, and much more storage space. You can still use the truck bed but you must keep the load below the bed rails and away from the hitch. Slanted top tool boxes that fit against the cab avoid blocking the driver's view of the hitch. TT are lower to the ground if climbing up steps is a problem for anyone, have a lower profile. TT are affected by passing semi trucks - trucks suck them in and then blow them off so that you must be aware and steer accordingly - very tiring for the driver. Slides are a great feature of any thing!! It is surprising how much room they add!

  4. joy

    joy New Member

    trailer vs 5th Wheel

    One other very careful to match whatever you choose with your truck...nothing more dangerous than a trailer that is too heavy for the tow vehicle. Do your own research, don't depend upon either the truck or RV salesman - they are interested in selling you something and it is highly unlikely that they really know all they should about weights, etc. (One lesson we learned the hard way!!)

  5. Les Adams

    Les Adams New Member

    trailer vs 5th Wheel


    I certainly agree with all the other postings and the ultimate choice will be what fits your wants and needs... No doubt the 5th wheels are outstanding towers... However, their profile is higher and of course wind resistance is higher because of that... You will lose some room in the bed of the truck and in general, your truck will have to have a bit higher GVWR rating as the 5er's usually have 10-20% of their total weight on the pin as opposed to 10-15% on a standard TT... A 3/4 ton truck is a good starting point if the 5er is not too heavy, but a lot of people prefer the 1 ton dually for towing 5th wheels... Also, the 5er's generally tend to be a bit heavier than an equivilent standard TT of the same length and that means a bit more TT weight for a given size as well as pin weight... That said, they are also usually a bit roomier than the standard type TT... Also remember that for each slide out unit the TT has (5th or standard) you will add #500-#700 pounds of additional weight...

    You'll want to choose your 5th wheel carefully so as not to exceed the truck's maximum GVWR...

    We personally favor the standard type trailer as it leaves my truck bed free for cargo and the wind profile is lower... I get around the towing stability aspect by using a Pullrite Hitch which for all intents and purposes emulates a fifth wheel hitch mounted UNDER the truck... It doesn't contribute to a shorter length but the hitch stability is outstanding...

    Which ever way you go, it sounds like you have enough truck to do the job with the exception of the very large fifth wheel trailers that would require a medium duty truck for towing...

    Good Luck and Best Regards,

    2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty, XLT SuperCab, 4X4 Off Road, SWB, V10/3:73LS/4R100 towing 1999 Skyline 27' Nomad, Model 2700, Pullrite Hitch, Jordan Ultima 2020 brake controller

    RVPEDDLER4U New Member

    trailer vs 5th Wheel

    Way to go people, you all made great reasons for all types of towing, I do own a Hitch-Hiker 5th wheel, and have also pulled the TT, and like others, I would never go back to a bumper pull trailer again.

    You have a truck that will pull about 14k lbs of trailer, but in fact you should for safety sakes keep it to your comfort level! If this is your first time with a 5th wheel or TT, you may want to keep the unit under 30 feet for the TT, and 32 for the 5th (you will have about 4 feet over the bed of your truck on the 5th). Backing is much better with the fithwheel, and it is more stable on the road, in fact, in most states, you are allowed to have pass. in the 5th if your rig will allow it (altho, most people would not like to ride there) it goes to show that the way the unit hitched up to the truck is more secure.

    Just make sure you are happy with the floor plan and the quailty of the unit.



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