newbie 5th wheel question

I am considering buying a 5th wheel. I know nothing about RV's. I have a 2001 Ford F150 (V6). How much does it cost for that 5th wheel tree stump looking thing installed in the truck bed? And how much should a nice used 5th wheel cost? I assume it is better to buy one or a few years used to avoid the depreciation hit. I am considering living in it for awhile (maybe a couple years).

Any advice is appreciated




Senior Member
newbie 5th wheel question

That tree stump is called a 'fifth wheel hitch' They run from $25 (used, of course) to $5000. Most small hitches are in the $200 - $500 range (including mounting hardware). Installation is usually $100 - $200, although if you know what you are doing you can install it yourself. You will also need a 'brake controller' for $150 or less; installation of this can be over $200 if your truck has no trailer wiring at all.

Is your truck a long bed or a short bed? If it is a short bed, you may need to add a 'slider' to your hitch in order to turn sharply without the trailer smacking into the cab. These are about $100 for manual ones, which are a real pain to use. In the $2000 and up hitch range, you can get 'automatic' or power sliders which claim to be much easier to use.

The real problem is that your truck does not sound like it will tow much trailer. 1/2 ton pickups are generally rated to tow 7200 lbs max. And that value usually requires special equipment (spring augmentation, extra engine and transmission cooling, optimal engine/gear ratio) and is probably not condusive to a long truck life. Without these, the rated weight drops signficantly. Exceeding the limitations of your tow vehicle is not recommended, as it will lead to an early (possibly immediate) death of your truck, your trailer and/or the people in the truck (or complete strangers whose relatives are lawyers :).

If by 'living in it', you mean tow it out to your spread and park it, possibly your truck will do. If you are going to be moving it a lot, you may want to upgrade your tow vehicle. Otherwise you are limited to the lightest trailers. They are out there, but I was not impressed with their layouts or functionality.

C Nash

Senior Member
newbie 5th wheel question

The price of a used unit will normally be according to the condition and how well they have been maintained, not so much the year model. Used lite weights 24 to 28 ft sell for around $8000.00 to $15000 here. Check all the classifieds on this site and others to get a idea of prices. You can also go to www, and find values. Like John said, I would not plan on towing very far with the v6 f150 if at all. If I was going to just set it up, I would see if when I purchased they would deliver. Save the price of hitch course you can always switch the hitch when trading. Good luck
newbie 5th wheel question

Another thing is, if you plan to leave it somewhere the cost. Fifth wheels are more money than a travel trailer. If I were goin to live in it and not move around maybe a travel trailer may be the way to go. They are less expensive and "may" have a larger pool from which to sell in the future. Like they say a 150 is a pretty light truck.

See Chelse, I am hear and posting ;-}