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Old 04-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
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Fifth Wheel verses T/T

We are on our 2nd T/T and soon will be at a point that we can due some serious traveling. We would be interested in hearing why or why not a fifth wheel would be better to tow and travel with.
Not interested in anything large and would be happy with a unit around 24 to 26 feet.
Appreciate any feedback------
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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We traded our old TT in for our 5er last year. We spent up to a month in the TT (27' & two slides) and while it worked OK, there was really not enough storage or living space for much longer. Since trading, we've been gone for six trips, one 5 weeks, in our 37' 5er and are planning a 10 week one later this year. It's got easily over twice the storage space and vastly more room than the old TT. Even though I had to get a much longer truck and the 5er is ten feet longer, the new setup tows and handles much better than the old. There is a huge difference!
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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You should be able to find a world of information on this subject.
I went from a TT to a 5er mainly because of hitching. With the TT I was down on my knees a lot and they give trouble, so that was my main reason for trading.
I like the height and level floor of a travel trailer but hitching and towing the 5th wheel are much better.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:17 AM   #4
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Easier to hitch, more living space per foot of length behind the TV, better storage, more head room.
Downside, cost, need for heavier duty TV, loss of truck bed.
Having said that, in a 24 to 26 foot length I would stay with a TT. Where a fiver gets its advantage is towing 30 foot plus lengths. A long fiver will trail better than a long TT. You do have to decide what your priorities are. Personally if your going extended length of time you are going to go stir crazy in an RV of the sizes you want. Fine for a weekend camping trip, too small for extended camping.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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Not worth getting a 24-26 5'er. They don't make new ones in that size, and very few used ones are out there in that size.

Something to think about and that's, that a 24-26' TT will be 30' long when adding the tongue length to it. A 30' 5'er will be the same length as a 26' TT but will be shorter when towing by about 4'. You will also get more room in a 30' 5'er than a 26' TT.
Apples to apples on length at say 30'. The 5'er has 30' of livable space and the 30'TT only has 26-27' of livable space. The 5'er will be 4' shorter towing, will tow easier and you won't have to deal with a WDH.

There are lots of 5'ers in the 28-30' range that would be doable for longer travel.
Our 5'er is only 28' long but would be doable for several months on the road. It's a little short on closet space but even with more space I don't own enough clothes that I can go more than 2 weeks without needing something washed. I doubt many people can take 1-2 months worth of clothing and never have to go to a Laundromat. Food storage wise, we have a large pantry and the fridge is 8cuft. Enough for a weeks worth. Unless it's frozen most food won't last more than a week, so you need to shop anyway.
Here's an example of a long stay 29' 5'er.
Northwood Manufacturing: Arctic Fox Floorplan
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
Not worth getting a 24-26 5'er. They don't make new ones in that size, and very few used ones are out there in that size.

Something to think about and that's, that a 24-26' TT will be 30' long when adding the tongue length to it. A 30' 5'er will be the same length as a 26' TT but will be shorter when towing by about 4'. You will also get more room in a 30' 5'er than a 26' TT.
Apples to apples on length at say 30'. The 5'er has 30' of livable space and the 30'TT only has 26-27' of livable space. The 5'er will be 4' shorter towing, will tow easier and you won't have to deal with a WDH.

There are lots of 5'ers in the 28-30' range that would be doable for longer travel.
Our 5'er is only 28' long but would be doable for several months on the road. It's a little short on closet space but even with more space I don't own enough clothes that I can go more than 2 weeks without needing something washed. I doubt many people can take 1-2 months worth of clothing and never have to go to a Laundromat. Food storage wise, we have a large pantry and the fridge is 8cuft. Enough for a weeks worth. Unless it's frozen most food won't last more than a week, so you need to shop anyway.
Here's an example of a long stay 29' 5'er.
Northwood Manufacturing: Arctic Fox Floorplan
There are some shorter 5ers being made. For example, the Palomino RV - Manufacturer of Quaility RVs since 1968 is 24'6".

That being said, you will probably be happier with a slightly longer one. If nothing else, looking at models up to 30' will give you a wider choice of floor plans and features.

Ours is 27', and has all the space we need. This past winter, DW, the two cats, and I spent a little over 10 weeks in it without ever feeling cramped.

Joel
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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I think one of the big issues in deciding is where do you plan to travel and how long do you plan to stay. 10 days is a long trip for us. For some folks serious traveling is 6months on the road.

If you are out west in the mountains I would say a fifth is the only way to go.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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We went from a MH Winnebago, to a TT, that was a big mistake, since we travel and camp late fall and very early spring and often ran into bad weather rain and cold weather 3, 4 days in a row, travel trailer doesn't have the comfort and the storage room that a 5th Wheel will offered.I also like towing and backing-up a 5th wheel.much easier then the TT,
Now we have a lite weight 5th Wheel that can be towed with a 1/2 ton pickup and we love it, just came back from a trip from Canada to Louisiana, no problems at all, lots of power, en plenty comfort. . Best trip we ever made.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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We went from a TT to a 5th wheel and really do appreciate it much more than the TT. The interior is much more accommodating than the TT it just feel more comfortable and relaxing, more storage space also. The biggest difference is towability, especially in the wind. I had the Reese Dual Cam sway control setup on my TT and liked it a lot but I still experienced some sway problems when the winds began gusting above about 25 mph. I've towed the 5ver in winds around 35 to 40 with no problems. My only problem with our specific 5ver is that it's heavy as are most Arctic Foxes. Ours is 28 feet long and weighs in ready to camp at 11200 lbs. with a pin weight of right at 2400 lbs. Gonna need a F350 or 3500 to tow it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
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Short 5ths have very restricted headroom in the bedroom area. Old and Tall do not mix well with short 5ths. But then short people can't get to half the cabinets in 5ths.

The best thing about current production 5ths is the availability of hydraulic leveling, such as Big Foot and Lippert. They also tend to have room for a generator or a battery array if you do solar, sometimes both.

A properly set up TT tows very well, but you and the manufacturer have to get the weight balance right. Most 5ths tow well right off the lot.

If you are doing commercial campgrounds and interstates, any size and configuration will work. State and Federal sites are getting better but many are sized for the smaller units only, and I have seen some where a 30' is about all you have to work with.

There is a huge difference in power cords. A 30amp cord is relatively light and flexible, a 50 amp cord is a bear to handle. Have not seen many electric cord reels on either 5ths or TTs. The difference is one AC or two. I got a 30amp cord for our 5th that works just fine while traveling.

There are a scad of trade-offs here, depending on where and when and how long you want to travel and what you want to see or do. Concentrate on HOW you will use your unit and get it well defined, then go looking for a tool (RV) that will do the job.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:55 PM   #11
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5th wheel handles much better, more stable. Easy, secure hitching. Wife likes the "split level" feel of a fiver. Much more storage. Easier to back into tight spots (for most people). Downside: 5th wheels usually cost more. You need a bigger truck to pull. You have to be mindful of low overpasses and tree branches.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:13 PM   #12
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5th wheels are built better than trailers. There are 5th wheels that advertise frame size, insulation ratings, axle rating etc. You usually do not see this on trailers.

You can buy a very high quality 5th wheel and keep is relatively short. Example is the Excel Limited 31 IKE.

5th wheels really do tow better and will usually come with 3 slides.

TT's give you the most space for the $$$ but a TT will not feel as solid.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:18 PM   #13
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I had a Sunnybrook Titan travel trailer for 10 years. It was as solid and well made as most higher end 5th wheels. Unfortunately, they are no longer made. I agree that current travels don't meet the same standards.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #14
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I like the idea of pulling safely and feeling secure while towing. From what I hear so far the 5er fits that idea very well. Not to mention the extra room. You folks have helped a lot with all your comments and experiences. No better place to gather information than here on IRV2-----
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