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Old 01-29-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel

If I have a tow vehicle that can handle either/or, what is the consensus on which is better, travel trailer or 5th Wheel and why? We want to get our dream camper and have no kids. Just me and the wife.

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:15 AM   #2
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That is a very personal decision for everyone on this forum.
For me it was a no-brainer to buy the 5er. I had the pick-up truck already and a 5er tows in my humble opinion easier than a TT. There is more space and extra carrying ability with a 5er and some different amenities such as different closed off living areas. Such as a bedroom with a real door not an according type door. You have more options as far as layout of living arrangement such as a font living room or a rear kitchen mid kitchen. The 5er in my opinion is a better built trailer with stronger construction of the frame and walls than a TT.
We have been RVing since 2007, with a 5er with just my wife and me. We do take the grandkids once a year but most of our trips our just the 2 of us.
The only real con against a 5er is than then to be more expensive than a TT.

Jim W.

Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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I think that there is a great deal of difference in the capability of storage between the two. Try to imagine everything that you need to take with you and everything the would be nice to take with you. Now try and imagine where you would store all these items. In the fifth wheels you will have a basement area and depending on the size of unit these can be very large and quite handy for storing large bulky items.

The other is that you can have the same size (length) fifth wheel compared to a trailer and have a shorter wheel base as the fifth wheel rides over the rear axle of the pick up. The flipside to this is while being shorter, you will be higher too, so keep an eye out for branches etc. that can snag on your fifth wheel when going into treed areas.

I believe this to be the biggest issues between them. Hope that helps.
2017 Ram 3500 Dually & 2012 Arctic Fox 29-5K Silver Fox Edition 5th wheel
Paul & Sheryl
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by iMaki View Post
If I have a tow vehicle that can handle either/or, what is the consensus on which is better, travel trailer or 5th Wheel and why? We want to get our dream camper and have no kids. Just me and the wife.
Are you sure your tv can handle a 5er? Many people make the mistake of looking at what the truck can pull, not what it can carry. To get an estimate of the pin weight of a 5th wheel, take the loaded weight and multiply by 20%. Get the payload rating of the truck (GCWR will tell you the combined weight of the truck and trailer you can pull, not carry), subtract the weight of passengers, hitch and anything else you will be carrying in the truck - either in the cab or the bed - if the remaining payload is equal to or greater than the estimated pin weight, then you will probably be ok.

As to 5er or TT - the 5er will definitely tow better, and you generally will have greater storage capacity in the 5er. The TT will be lower to the ground, so you won't have as many steps. And there won't be steps inside the TT as there are in a 5er.

Good luck,

'05 NuWa 29.5 lktg HitchHiker II
'05 Chev 3500 4X4 Crew LB SRW Duramax/Alison
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:02 AM   #5
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First off is how tall are you? Looks silly, but at 6'3" I run into stuff in many TTs. The chilluns at 6'9" and are scrunched in a TT.

The towing issue is moot if you have the tongue or hitch weights right. Issue is too many TTs are too light in front.

A TT is around 6' longer for a given nominal length, based on a tongue about 3' long and a 5er with at least 3' over the bed of the truck, some even more depending on pin placement.

Many TT have the BR in the rear, while most 5ers have it in front. Some 5ers have the height in BR to let you stand up, and some will have you hunched over big time. And there are stairs in 5ers, both to enter and to go from main level to Bath and Bed. With a TT there are just stairs to enter, and often fewer.

Storage in a 5er is forward of the wheels and adds greatly to pin weight. With a TT you put a cover on the truck bed and stuff things in the truck bed. Net wash.

I have both, and both are comfy and easy to tow, and we put 6,000+ miles on a trailer each year. For our 4 to 5 month extended stay the 5er is easier to live in and entertain in, but either would work.

Go find a floor plan and construction you like and suited to what you do. Both can be very good.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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We have been living full time in a TT for two years, both traveling and stationary. The TT is 30ft long. The two biggest issues are the height of the ceiling inside the TT and the lack of storage in the TT. (there is basically none)
If we were not living full time, and only the occasional weekend/week long trips the TT would be , just OK.
However, we just bought our first 5er and are very excited for the upgrade. Just those two issues made the difference for us. Now, all of our friends have 5er's and we have drooled over their units. Now we have a very livable home, on wheels with many different front and back yards.

We have a 2005 Ford F-350 dually, 4wd crew cab long bed with 6.0 diesel and 2005 Pride 37.5. The truck pulled the 30 footer just fine and feel it will pull the 5er just fine as well.
Good Luck on your decision but I'd go 5er.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:01 AM   #7
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Really depends on what you want to use it for. For me full time or long runs for extended periods I would choose the 5ver. Weekends or short trips I would look at the TT. I say each to his own. Good luck

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