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Old 07-21-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Towing TT vs. 5th Wheel

We have always been tent campers but moving towards retirement my husband would like to get a trailer so we can be on the road for a couple of weeks at a time. I really do not want a huge trailer the longest MAX 30' would rather stay around 28' really. My parents and brother all have the 5th wheel trailers and they all say it is much easier to pull those. We are purchasing our truck next week that will be a F250 so I am not worried about not having enough truck to haul it but I would like to hear from some of you that tow the regular trailers and your experience. I keep saying to my family there are many Travel trailers on the road it cant be that horrible to tow? Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:48 PM   #2
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Fifth Wheel!! Just completed 20 months in it and it was perfect! You have to have room. If he's about to.retire get the 5er you won't be disappointed. And yes it's easier to tow. Had 3 travel trailers before the 5er.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:07 PM   #3
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Lotsa folks say a 5er is easier to tow. With the latest and best hitches, towing a travel trailer can be a breeze... get a floor plan you can live with and enjoy... whichever it is. You can get a lot more trailer for your money in a travel trailer.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:19 PM   #4
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All depends on how much room you want/need, AND how much money you WANT to spend. If you don't need tons of room, and want to keep things economical, a TT is the way to go. If you want more room and have or plan on getting a LARGE/HEAVY tow vehicle, the 5er is a better route. I have a 21' trailer that I tow with a new Jeep Cherokee. It works perfectly for my gal and me. Only thing we have found lacking in this smaller trailer is a grey tank which is too small. 25 gallons doesn't go very far when we each like showers and are boondocking! But, it fits us perfectly economically and I didn't have to purchase a new tow vehicle. We are very satisfied.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:44 AM   #5
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There are advantages to both. If you are keeping a home base but want to travel for 2 or 3 weeks max...which I think is a flaw in your thinking. There are places in the country that are 2,500 miles from me. I think of travel for months at a time not weeks.

With a F-250 get the 8' bed. Put a nice raised truck cap on it. That will carry and keep all your stuff dry. Get at 28' trailer and go. A TT is the most bang for the buck and a F-250 will tow a 28' trailer easy. Especially if it is diesel.

On the flip side, I believe 5th wheels are built better that TT. Going from tent camping to a trailer or 5th wheel is so different. 5th wheels do tow better. Look at small 31' - 33' 5th wheels with 3 slides. You can 'comfortably' stay months in these units. They have the basement storage so you carry your stuff in the 5th wheel. But you need a 5th wheel hitch in the bed of the truck. Lol...I like the front bedroom that is higher off the ground for when I am in bear country.

If you decide on a 5th wheel get a F-350 as it is the same dimiminsion as the F-250 but adds approx 1,500 lbs. of carrying capacity and does not cost much more.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:39 AM   #6
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Go look at a dealer and spend some time inside each type. Travel Trailers don't have interior steps. See if you and your spouse can maneuver in the floor plan you like. Some kitchens are tight, some bathroom and vanity areas are made so only 1 person at a time can pass. If you need to get out of bed and someone is at the vanity mirror or sink, they may have to move 5 feet into an open area to let you pass. Visualize where you will stow your stuff in each floor plan and if it works for you. If you are height challenged, some 5th wheel cabinets are kinda high. You will have to watch how much the Pin weight is for a F250 with a 5th wheel. Some are well above a 250s capabilities. On the other hand, a F250 will tow most any TT out there.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:10 AM   #7
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I'd also recommend you look closely at the F-350 if you plan on getting a 5th wheel. The added payload will expand your selection of 5ers of which the truck can handle the pin weight.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:31 AM   #8
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Yes, there are a lot of TTs on the road. There also a lot of people who do a lot of white knuckle driving.

You will also find that a 5er has loads more storage space that does a TT.

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Old 07-22-2015, 10:51 AM   #9
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I've had both and neither was s bother to tow. Just got to have the right vehicle for each.
Some differences are TT will track closer to your tow vehicle in turns. Fiver cuts the corner.
You lose most of your truck bed cargo area with a fiver.
More weight on your truck with fiver.
They back up differently with TT being more sensitive to turning.
Fivers typically have a lot more storage space.
And if course... The fiver will be a shorter length with truck than TT and truck with trailers same length.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by davendeb View Post
I've had both and neither was s bother to tow. Just got to have the right vehicle for each.
Some differences are TT will track closer to your tow vehicle in turns. Fiver cuts the corner.
You lose most of your truck bed cargo area with a fiver.
More weight on your truck with fiver.
They back up differently with TT being more sensitive to turning.
Fivers typically have a lot more storage space.
And if course... The fiver will be a shorter length with truck than TT and truck with trailers same length.
I'll just add, to , davendeb's, post saying, interior level floor in a TT, is a plus for anyone with mobility issues.
DW's knee problems and access to bath & bedrooms , was one of the reasons we went from 5er; after having had 4 of them; to current coach.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
There are advantages to both. If you are keeping a home base but want to travel for 2 or 3 weeks max...which I think is a flaw in your thinking. There are places in the country that are 2,500 miles from me. I think of travel for months at a time not weeks.

With a F-250 get the 8' bed. Put a nice raised truck cap on it. That will carry and keep all your stuff dry. Get at 28' trailer and go. A TT is the most bang for the buck and a F-250 will tow a 28' trailer easy. Especially if it is diesel.

On the flip side, I believe 5th wheels are built better that TT. Going from tent camping to a trailer or 5th wheel is so different. 5th wheels do tow better. Look at small 31' - 33' 5th wheels with 3 slides. You can 'comfortably' stay months in these units. They have the basement storage so you carry your stuff in the 5th wheel. But you need a 5th wheel hitch in the bed of the truck. Lol...I like the front bedroom that is higher off the ground for when I am in bear country.

If you decide on a 5th wheel get a F-350 as it is the same dimiminsion as the F-250 but adds approx 1,500 lbs. of carrying capacity and does not cost much more.
In my honest opinion, you cannot beat this advice.

My DW and I have camped since 1976, and owned numerous tents, one pop up, three TT's, two being toy haulers, and one fiver toy hauler since then.

The advice on not going over 28 feet pulling with a F250 is one to pay attention to. it pertains more to driver comfort, and although the 250 can pull a 32 foot fiver with no issue, the dually is unequal when it comes to safety back up with two wheel per side, has less flex in tires due to the added stiffness using two tires per side, has extra weight carrying capacity compared to the 250.

If you are dead set on not buying a dually, there are plenty of nice 28 foot TT's out there, and I would try to find one that uses the same tire and rim lug pattern as the truck. That enables you to carry one spare that fits truck and trailer, very helpful. A fiver will more than like have the same wheel.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pkowis View Post
My parents and brother all have the 5th wheel trailers and they all say it is much easier to pull those.

Incorrect info. 5ers with a decent 5er hitch will tow better than a TT with a cheap hitch. But TTs with a the right hitch will pull just as good as a 5er. But the good hitch is a ProPride that will cost over $2,000.

I've towed a 5er over 100,000 miles between 1999 and 2010. I've towed a TT over 10,000 miles since 2011. They both tow almost exactly the same. But a decent 5er hitch will cost you abour $1,000 installed, and my ProPrice hitch for towing my 5er lists for $2,345.
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Quote:
We are purchasing our truck next week that will be a F250 so I am not worried about not having enough truck to haul it but I would like to hear from some of you that tow the regular trailers and your experience.
F-250 is fine for any 28' TT, and you can even get the shorty 6.5' long bed. But for a small 5er with GVWR over about 10,000 pounds you need as a minimum the F-350 SRW, and for the simplest and lightest 5er hitch, you really need the 8' long bed. You can buy an automatic or manual "slider" hitch to make the shorty pickup suitable for towing a 5er, but the slider adds weight and complexity to the 5er hitch. The F-350 SRW is almost identical to the F-250 in every way you care about. Same cab, seats, dash, engine, tranny, single rear wheels (SRW), options, etc. But it has 1,500 pounds more payload capacity. You need that increased payload capacity for the heavier hitch weight of a 5er compared to a TT.

So if you get a 28' TT and an F-250 tow vehicle, then pay the big bucks for the ProPride hitch and you'll be happy campers. If you get a small 5er, then get an F-350 SRW with an 8' bed as your tow vehicle, and get the Ford optional fifth wheel prep kit and optional 5er hitch, and you'll be happy campers. But get a TT with a cheap hitch, and you'll probably hate yourself by the middle of the first RV trip. IOW, the good stuff ain't cheap.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:26 PM   #13
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For a given size and quality, a TT will cost about half of a 5er, not including the hitch.

Properly set up, a TT will tow perfectly fine. I've towed mine over 10k miles in two years with no issues at all.

TT floorplans are a more efficient use of space, with no internal stairs and a much lower overall height, which makes them easier to get in and around in. Especially if you have a bad knee or hip.

I will say that a 5er has more storage given the "basement", but you lose the use of the truck bed, so that point is moot. In fact, when not towing you still can't use the bed of a 5er TV for much because that massive hitch is always there.

If you do a lot of towing, the sensation of sway/wind on a 5er is less, but they are a "bigger sail" because they are taller at any length. The lack of the "feeling" that your rig is being pushed is what a lot of people prefer. But from a weight and aerodynamics (fuel economy) standpoint, a TT will be better since they are about 50% lighter for a given size and several feet lower (think trees and low overpasses).

In the end, it's about personal preference, competence and budget. Also finding a floorplan you like.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've got a 2003 F250 SuperDuty 7.3 diesel that looks like new, and I bought a Grand Design Reflection fifth wheel to fit my truck. And at 11K lbs. (dry), that's about as much as I want to tow without dual wheels.

Fifth wheels just tow so much better on the open road. If you're not going to be traveling far and if the terrain is not demanding (mountainous), a travel trailer with a proper hitch would be okay. But it's so much easier to hitch and unhitch a fifth wheel trailer, however.


If you're going the travel trailer route, be sure not to go with the corrugated aluminum exterior that's susceptible to leaking. The 28' sliders are very popular floorplans.
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