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Old 08-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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5th wheel vs TT MPG while towing

Can't seem to search for this info so I figured I'd ask.
What seems to get better MPG while towing? 5er or TT based on similar weights and tow vehicle.
I know some people say 5ers just tow better, but with all the new technology for weight distribution hitches I feel they'll be similar regarding ease of tow.
Really just looking for MPG info. Figure it could help others on the fence like me deciding between the two.

Thanks,
DC
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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If you have the tow vehicle it is better value to tow the 5er. If you have to buy the tow vwhicle and equipment to tow the travel trailer is the route
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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A big high profile 5er will do s bit worse than a low profile trailer, especially if the TT is like an Airstream.

But a diesel will generally get better mileage with a big 5er than a smaller TT towed by a gasser.

Ken
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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I would say a 5er being a little taller ( but probably not much with a TT big enough to match the 5er) the wind resistence will be a little more. My experience is speed and a heavy foot is the hardest on MPG. When I dropped down from 65 to 60 my mpg went up 10%. The little bit that I went over 65 I lost another 10% real quick. 55 is better but I usually hold close to 60.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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5th wheels are normally much heavier also.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #6
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In our case, I'd say the TT was better on fuel mileage, since anything over 60 mph was a white knuckle experience. The fiver on the other hand rides smoother the faster we go, so I tend to drive a little quicker than I should to get the best mileage. But if I get to where I'm going a little sooner, I'm running the engine that much less time. So maybe it's a wash
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menoble View Post
I'm running the engine that much less time. So maybe it's a wash
The end result is the engine will turn the same total number of revolutions and the pistons moving up and down will be the same ....BUT...by driving faster, the engine requires more power and will be put under more strain.

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Old 08-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #8
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Too many vareeabulls.
I got 11.6 on the last tow.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #9
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As stated earlier if you have a pickup that can handle the 5er, I would go that way. You'll get a little less MPG than towing a TT but it will be a much easier tow.

When I owned it I averaged about 9.5 MPG towing my 29' Freedon Express with a 2008 Chevy Tahoe.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The end result is the engine will turn the same total number of revolutions and the pistons moving up and down will be the same ....BUT...by driving faster, the engine requires more power and will be put under more strain.

Ken
Yeah, I know. It's sort of like the time one of Indiana's finest pulled me over and asked what my hurry was, I said I was low on gas and wanted to get home before I ran out. The judge didn't think it was funny either.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #11
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At highway speeds, the frontal area of the trailer will determine how much areodynamic drag you have. The more frontal area, the worse the MPG at the same speed and weight.

There are three classes of 5ers: low profile, medium profile and high profile. The low-profile 5ers have crawling around room in the bedroom - better than a truck camper, but not much. The medium-profile 5ers have stooping around room in the bedroom. (Darling Wife insisted we trade our low-profile 5er for a medium profile 55er so she didn't have to crawl around to make the bed.) The high-profile 5ers have walking around room in the bedroom, even for tall guys. My medium-profile 5er was almost 12' tall. The high-profile jobbies are about 13' tall or maybe taller.

A low profile 5er will not have much more frontal area than a comparable TT, so the MPG hit won't be as big. But the taller 5ers drag a lot more air and therefore will get worse MPG. Not a hugh percentage worse, but maybe 10% worse than a TT.

As to towing ease, if you spend the big bucks for a high-quality hitch, the TT will tow as good as a 5er. But yeah, if you spend less than $1,000 for your TT hitch, the 5er will tow a lot better than the TT. The newest high-quality TT hitch is the ProPride, which will cost you $2,345. But 5ers cost more than comparable TTs, so you can probably buy the TT with the ProPride hitch for about the same money as a comparable 5er.
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