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Old 10-05-2010, 06:58 AM
Camper Type: Popup
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Orleans, La.
Posts: 7
Default 5th WHEEL OR NOT

Presently have a Flagstaff pop up and am loving it. Realize it will not be long before I decide to purchase something larger. Don't know which way to go. What are the pros and cons about 5th wheels? Have never been in one, but they look real nice and I would expect they are easy to pull.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:15 AM
mikey's Avatar
Enthusiastic Camper
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 139

Well, not knowing much about you or the vehicle you have now, here is a couple of points I will throw out.

You may need a bigger truck like a diesel. They are easier to turn and backup than a pull behind trailer. They can also get you in a bind in tight campgrounds or parking areas. They do provide a lot of room and storage.

Tell us more about your situation maybe we can help further, like size of your family, what is your tow vehicle now, etc..
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:36 AM
Camper Type: Popup
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Orleans, La.
Posts: 7

Now pulling my pop up with a Buick Enclave SUV. If upgrade to a trailer or 5th wheel, will purchase a new truck. Think a 30 foot 5th wheel would be ideal. What size truck would you recommend, and what brand of camper. Seems like the prices vary widely, so obviously some are junk and some upscale.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:29 PM
dogbone's Avatar
Addicted Camper
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: north jersey
Posts: 265

I would go with nothing less than a 3/4 ton diesel. If the cash is available to get a 1 ton, get it. You won't have to by a bigger truck later if you go bigger. Some of the 30' 5 vers come close to overloading a 3/4 to anyway. Make of the truck is up to you.
Make of the trailer is another decision you will have to make. There are quite a few good manufactures out there. Go to a few RV shows in your area and check them out. The lay out is going to be what you feel will work for you. They have a lot of different lay outs. I myself like the rear living room with the picture window in the back, that way I can look out in the mornings. Mid kitchen, cause the linoleum is easier to clean when coming in from outside. I don't know if you have children, but they make the bunk house in the back for them.
Just some popular names are Jayco, Montana, Cedar Creek, Sunnybrook, Cross Roads, that just a few.
I like the fiver's, I think they are easier to back up, easier to hook up, more comfortable going down the road and they have more storage space. The only down side that I see is you lose the use of the truck bed while towing.
This is coming from my experience and what I feel comfortable with. Good luck in you search. If you need more help or an answer to a specific question just ask away. There are a bunch of friendly people here that are willing to help. I'm sure more will be jumping in behind me here to help you.

Bob & Deb
Diesel the black lab
2003 30' Cedar Creek rlbs 5 th wheel
2003 F 350 crew cab srw
6.0 powerstroke
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Addicted Camper
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 271

you can pull a fiver with a half ton truck but you'll be kinda limited on weight (pin weight for sure). you could pull a larger travel trailer behind a half ton than you can fifth wheel.

you need a starting point before some one can recomend a camper, just too many out there. most (not all) makers are like GM, they go from cheap (lesser quality) to higher (maybe better quality). go look at a few then ank about specific brands, you won't get so many off the wall recomendations, i'm not knocking anyone for suggesting one, it's just that everyone has the one they like, and that might not be the same things you like.
Bob, Beth, Sue & Sam
2006 Copper Canyon 29.5 RLS
2008 Dodge 2500 Megacab CTD
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:54 PM
turf&snow98's Avatar
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 8

As a former Chevrolet tech and p/t tractor trailer driver for the usps one thing i have learned with trucks is buy a 3/4 ton or larger, if you get a 1/2 ton or less they fall apart (brakes, trans, rear diff ). I perfer bumper pull trailers, i like to use my bed to much to have a hitch in there.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:09 AM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971

If you keep the tow vehicle within the weight limits of its tow ratings things should not be falling apart. 40% or more of all RV are OVERWEIGHT. That's the latest statistic. There are many who know they tow overweight, but I believe most just don't know it. There's more to being able to tow than the engine and trans and it's these other parts that struggle and break. That and the tow driver must not forget the tonnage they are driving down the street.

Advantages of a fifth wheel over a Travel trailer:

- Easier towing. With the weight of the trailer's pin over the rear wheels the ride is easier to control, there is less impact from trucks buffeting the rig and most driver's report while the rig feels heavy you don't feel like your dragging something.

- Shorter rigs. Because the trailer overlaps part of the truck bed, the rig is shorter in distance. Except folks will buy longer 5ers because of it.

- Heavier GTWRs - The pin of a fifth wheel can carry as much as 15% to 25% of its gross weight since the truck is carrying much of it. A TT should never exceed about 10%. Unfortunately, the risk is greater that the tow vehicle ratings could be exceeded.

- Heavier GTWRs means more cargo - A fifth wheel can generally carry more cargo or be constructed of better materials since it can hold more weight.

- Less room in the truck bed because of the hitch hardware.

- Trucks generally have higher tow ratings for a fifth wheel than a TT. This helps offset the weight gain for a fifth wheel's design.

- Backing to hitch up tends to be easier because you can usually see the pin and the hitch from the back window.


- Because a fifth wheel tows better than a TT, they tend to weigh more compared to the same length which means a bigger truck.

- Taller Rigs. Because the front cap sits over the truck bed and the height of the interior must allow for people standing, the rigs are higher which means you must pay very good attention to height limitations, low hanging trees and the like.

- The 5er hitch hardware is more expensive compared to a WD hitch for a TT.

- Heavier rigs therefore heavier trucks equals more expense and possibly less mpgs.

- Less room in the truck bed, however because the 5er can carry more, most owners will put the items in the trailer and not the truck bed.

- Accidents. Turning with a 5er can cause an inattentive driver to make contact with the corner of the cab (short beds or too sharp of turns). Also if the hitch fails, a 5er will drop onto the truck bed sides, and a TT will typically not damage the tow vehicle in this case.

I have had both types and when it's all said and done I much prefer my 5er over the Travel Trailer. I am not overweight at any point of weight measurement and my current pin weight percentage is 20%.

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Old 11-20-2010, 07:27 PM
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2

You've just opened one the bigger cans of worms. Some have already posted on the pros of a 5th wheel. There are nice aspects to them and many people prefer them. I have considered a 5th wheel and come close to buying one a couple of times. The reasons I stay with a regular trailer:

I don't want to give up the bed of my truck. A 5th wheel does have a lot of storage but I would not want to carry firewood inside a trailer, for example. This is probably the biggest issue for me.

They say the 5th wheel tows better - Even if they do, I am completely satisfied with how my trailer pulls behind my truck so, in my view, the "better" towing of a 5th wheel is a solution in search of a problem.

The bottom line is everyone has their own opinions, like the ones I and others have given, and we are blessed to live in a place and time where we can indulge our wants in all these different ways.

I would suggest you go and look at a lot of different campers, think about what you want to bring with you and how you are going to carry it.

Good Luck in your search

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Old 12-11-2010, 06:10 PM
Camper Type: None
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3

I have a 28 foot travel trailer because
1. I don't have to give up the bed of my truck
2. The hitch is less expensive
3. The same floor plan for a travel trailer vs. a 5er is about half the price
4. Towing is no problem with a travel trailer
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