Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Pittsburgh Dave] We are looking at moving up from our pop up trailer to either a travel trailer or a fifth wheel. Will have to buy a new tow vehicle anyway and was wondering peoples thoughts on either. Is a fifth wheel easier to tow? Less problem with wind and such. Thanks for your thoughts
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Julian B. Anderson] I personally prefer a travel trailer. I have never experienced any handling problems and tow a 28 foot trailer. We do a lot of Wilderness camping consequently requiring the hauling of many extras such as a 55 gallon freshwater tank, generator, saws, tools, spare battery and the list goes on. For OUR type of camping, I can&#039t afford to give up the pick up truck box as required for a 5th wheel. 5th wheels do have some advantages but none that tempt me. The other negative about a 5th wheel for me is that unless you have a huge rig, you have a bedromm that you have to crawl up into and one not tall enough to stand up in. These are strictly my personal opinions and I&#039m sure that 5th wheel devotees can legitimately take issue with some of them. What it amounts to is, nobody else can tell you what&#039s best. You have to figure out how you are going to use it and choose what suits your traveling lifestyle.

Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Tom] I have a 5th wheel. As far as towing, you can&#039t beat a 5ver. I agree with Julian in that you give up most of your truck bed for a hitch. In most of your late model trailers you don&#039t have to stoop or crawl into the front bedroom. What a 5th wheel will allow you is a larger trailer, less overall length, and to some people an easier time of towing, connecting and disconnecting from your tow vehicle. No greasy hitchball to run into and no equalizer bars to mess with.
If I was doing it all over again, I would still get a 5ver, but have a gooseneck hitch put in and a gooseneck adapter put on the trailer. Just food for thought. Hope this helps. Tom
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Leo] Both previous responses were valid, although I agree that there is no need to "crawl" into the bed in a 5th wheel. Fivers come in 3 configurations. Low, medium and high profile. In high profile almost anyone except Kareem Abdul can stand up.

I have owned both a travel trailer and a 5th and much prefer the 5th wheel. Hookup is simple, no chains,equalizer bars, sway controls etc. Just hook up the lights and breakaway cable.

Some things to remember with a 5th, very few are made for short bed pickups, mine is (Shadow Cruiser). There should be about 6 inches between the underside of the trailer over the bed and the bed rails. Si be sure to check your truck hooked up to the trailer before purchasing. Be sure to buy a hitch that swivels sideways to take the strain off the truck frame and to facilitate easier hitching up on uneven ground.

With my travel trailer there were times when I would be pushed by passing rigs and had to hold on. With the 5th, forget sway. They tow straight and true. Think about it, this is the same type of hookup used on Semi&#039s

Any questions?
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Carolyn] Dave,
We have had three travel trailers and have just now bought a new 5th wheel. It doesn&#039t take nearly as long hitching and unhitching. I know my husband doesn&#039t sweat like he did when he was messing around with sway bars, chains, etc. This is our first slide-out. You would do well to consider getting a slide. Previously, if one of us had to go to the back of the trailer, the other one had to sit down to get out of the way. I like a lot of the amenities like the closet all across the bed room wall. We have a lot more inside and outside storage. Hope this helps.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Julian Anderson]

I will admit to not having looked at 5th wheels in a long time and was not aware that any of them except the huge monsters came in a high profile to enable standing up in the bedroom. The only ones I ever saw that were tall enough were like 35 feet or more. However, I have a short bed pick up and still need the pick up box for hauling accessories so guess I will stick with the TT.

I&#039ve had a 24 foot and now pull a 28 foot and maybe I am just lucky but have never had a problem with sway or trucks bothering me, and I have pulled both sizes across the country and back. When an 18 wheeler passes me I can feel the "puff" as it comes up on me but never have experienced any handling difficulties because of it.

While traveling north from I-40 up to Sante Fe in New Mexico I did experience a crosswind gust that was unsettling. It felt like it pushed the entire rig, truck and trailer, sideways but I still didn&#039t get any sway. That same day a motorhome was blown off that road.

I have witnessed TTs however, that did have a real sway problem and I don&#039t understand why anyone would hit the road with that problem. I&#039m sure 5th wheels are basically more stable than a TT. They have to be, considering pure geometry and physics.

Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Steve] We had a fifth wheel years ago, then went to a travel trailer because my wife refused to crawl around in the bedroom.

We just went back to a 5er because they now make "stand-up" bedrooms in the shorter 5th wheel units. We have a 27 footer with a double-length slide and a bedroom we can stand up in, and love it.

The 5er&#039s definitely pull better than the travel trailers and are much easier to hitch. Although I was getting pretty good at lining up the old "ball" first time, the chains, sway control, and torsion bars are a nuisance, not to mention dirty/greasy.

You feel much more in control and safer on the highway with the 5er. Besides, in most states, you can carry passengers in your 5er (if you have communication such as walkie/talkies or intercoms) but you can&#039t in a travel trailer.

I doubt that we&#039ll ever go back to a travel trailer. The advantages far outweigh the loss of the truck bed space.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[KLIMO] If you are considering purchasing a 5th wheel make sure the kingpin on the 5th wheel is 22" and not the 13½" one. This makes your turning radius greater without jackknifing so easy.....
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Steve in Colorado] I am glad I ran upon every ones thoughts here. We started
out with a 8&#039 pop-up tent trailer, saw the storage was almost zero. Bought a 25&#039 travel trailer and loved it! Last night I bought a 28&#039 5th wheel with slide. I am looking forward to hooking up to it and driving for the first time! I know its gonna be that mmuch easier. One thing I did was hit a few campgrounds and asked folks. I dont think any salesman would or could help that much. So with the spring of 2001, we will start our 9th year rv&#039ing!
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Steve Johnson] Julian, it&#039s a chicken or the egg thing. Trailers are nice, especially for those that don&#039t have a pickup. Now, I prefer a 5er. Get what you prefer, you&#039re the one that is going to have to live with it. I&#039ve seen trailers that make fivers look small. No matter which you end up with, a slide really opens things up so there&#039s room to live. True, sometimes slides can be a problem, but now they&#039ve worked most the bugs out of them. A well rigged trailer will tow with little difference to a 5er. Equalizing hitch, anti-sway on both sides of tongue recommended. Trailer&#039s are usually shorter, not fighting as much head wind, maybe better mileage. Those stand up bedroom 5ers are nice, but getting up there a ways. I use a F350 CC PSD Dually for tow vehicle. I gotta little bitty 5er, 26 ft. Combined I&#039m only 15,000 LBS, nowhere near overloaded. If I get a larger 5er, I&#039ll get a larger truck. But, not everyone agrees with me, there&#039s hundreds of thousands of F150&#039s pulling all manner of stuff all over this country. As far as I&#039m concerned, worst thing in the world is to be undertrucked. Pick well and be certain, it&#039s expensive to change your mind later.

Cheers, Steve J.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[JamesD] Julian--Regarding pickup with short bed---Get an extended kingpin--I pull a 28 ft with "shortbed" Dodge Ram--No Problem
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Marty L] I would like to add one comment to this issue. When it comes to
deciding on which type of towable to buy, I think most people who
have experience towing both types of trailers would agree that
fith wheels are easier to tow and more stabile than travel trailers.One thing you must consider tho, is what you may need
your truck bed for.My wife and I like to canoe and kayak.So this
presents a problem of where to put our toys. Obviously this can
be a problem with a fith wheel.So you must consider what you may
want to bring with you camping now, or in the future.Personaly,I
would choose a fith wheel if I didn&#039t need a place for my toys.
The important thing, no matter what your hobbies and needs require,is to match your tow vehicle properly to the vehicle being towed to avoid problems on the highway.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Terry] We struggled with the same decision last year. We sold our Popup and looked at both TT and 5er&#039s. We purchased a 26 ft Golden Falcon TT and a 2000 Chev Tahoe with a Hensley hitch. We were all over the map on Pro&#039s and Con&#039s. Our path went like this:

Tahoe/Expedition vs 1/2 or 3/4 ton
we test drove all the popular tow vehicles and decided we did not want to make a 3/4 ton truck our everyday vehicle even though we really wanted a slide (but it added more weight which requires more truck and we didn&#039t want to be under-trucked)

1/2 vs SUV
we looked at all of the 5er and TT options and liked the Golden Falcon (even though we gave up the slide, feeling that on nice days we should be outside not inside). We really liked the Tahoe but almost bought the Expedition. After driving the Tahoe (short wheel base) for a year and hauling the trailer over most parts of New England we are happy with our decision. The only time that I wished I had more power(we didn&#039t want a diesel either) was in the mountains but it was still pretty good. We really do like the Tahoe and particularily the Tow Mode and Auto 4WD (in the winter).

5er&#039s pull better - we decided to go with a Hensley hitch. It makes the TT pull like a 5er (Really). The only thing that bothers me is trying to unhitch when you end up in a spot that isn&#039t level (it takes some practice).

On the Golden Falcon, we had a few minor complaints that were for the most part fixed by the dealer. Two annoying things still need to be addressed 1. our bed sags (50 years making trailers and they haven&#039t figured out how to make a decent bed!), and 2. the rear bumper (it is compressed or something) doesn&#039t seem to be able to store the connector on our sewer hose.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Les] I enjoyed everyone&#039s opinions on this issue. Everyone is right. I thought I would jump in with our experience. I have a Ford 250 crewcab short bed pick-up. We could go either way. And we did. We are tent campers and this would be our first attempt at towing anything. Over months we went back and forth several times: trailer, 5th wheel, trailer, 5th wheel...augh. Then we saw the article in Feb. 2001 of Trailer Life. The article profiled a HiLo trailer. We had not seen this type of trailer before. The more I investigated, the more I liked it. It is a hard side trailer in which the upper half lowers down over the lower half for low profile traveling. No wind gust problems, no semi truck issues, better gas miledge...we&#039ll see. We found a used one in good shape and are picking it up today. If anyone&#039s intersted, I&#039ll report back.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Mac] Would appreciate your updates, as we have been considering a Hi-Lo also for the towing experience. Believe it would fit our particular camping and life style. We do not want to full time, but use it for extended trips for up to a month. What size did you get?
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Doug LIttlejohn] We have had them all and love our 5th. Our last was a 25&#039 TT and now we have a 27&#039 5th. The actual trailer is 6&#039 longer and yet the overall length of both vehicles is 1&#039 shorter. No stooping to get into the bedroom, 14&#039 slide out, 8&#039 ceiling with ceiling fan. We had a generator mounted in our 5th, so no generator to pack. The unit holds 60gal freshwater so we generally don&#039t need to bring more. We &#039wilderness camp&#039 (also known as dry camping) most of the time.

Yes you loose some of the truck bed, but you can still put a box up front of it no problem. We had a short bed for awhile and it worked okay, just can&#039t backup a full 90 degrees.

We have a supercap 3/4 ton so there is plenty of room inside and we got the diesel which gets me 17-18 mpg for regular use going to/from work.

With all of the extra room in the 5th, ease to hookup/unhook, storage, etc., it was the best for us.

Rvs are like anything else, your particular likes/dislikes, wants and the way you use things will impact your choice the most.
Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

[Les] We got a &#039 88 Hi-Lo Funchaser 22. (22ft). It is fully self contained and can easly sleep six. The newer models are called "Towlite". Ho-Lo reciently came out with lighter weight models to accomodate the med. weight tow vehicles out there. We havent had it out on a trip yet. But from practicing driving it around, and parking in parking lots, I hardly know it&#039s back there.