Is there any advantage to one or the other. I have been looking at the light wieght model now beibg offer by Rockwood. I have a F-150 with a towing package. I tow a landscaping trailer everyday so I am very familiar with towing trailers. Does one tow better then the other?
yes, the fifth wheel (fiver) tows easier than the travel trailer (TT), and is easier to hook up, to boot. Although these advantages can be offset by the appropriate hitch (PullRite and Hensley come to mind).
The fiver is often taller (so more headroom but more wind resistance and clearance worries) and usually has much more storage. The TT has a single level floorplan, while the fiver has a split level floorplan. The fiver/truck combination is shorter than the equivalent TT/truck combo. The fiver takes up much of the truck bed and must be pulled by a pickup truck, while the TT leaves the bed free and can be pulled by any vehicle which can handle its weight.
The fiver puts more weight on the truck's rear axel than does the TT. With a half ton truck like yours, 15 to 25% of the fiver's weight (the typical pin weight of a fiver) has a good chance of exceeding the rear axel GAWR (maximum weight on the rear axel) of the truck. The TT generally has a smaller 'pin' weight, perhaps a few hundred pounds.
With the 1/2 ton truck, common wisdom is that you limit the GVWR of any trailer to 5000 pounds. The trucks being advertised this year claim a significantly greater towing capacity, bet even with one of these I would not advise a trailer GVWR of over 75% of the advertised 'towing capacity'. This leaves room for passengers, tools, etc in the truck, and improved safety and comfort of driving.
I am looking for trailers 5000lbs or less. The truck is a work truck package so it has a tranny cooler and proper hitch. I would like to get a trailer in the low 20 foot range. It is just me and the wife. It pulls the 4000 # boat with no problems so i am tring too keep in that range. I like the 5th wheel models the have so much room but the light wieght models are scarce.