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Old 02-22-2014, 09:45 AM   #15
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The cost difference comes down to construction; a Fifth frame is under a lot more stress due to the step up room in the front. With that, they are built stronger. The other big difference mentioned above is room height. Those tow are what contricbute to cost the most. The difference in comparable TT and Fifth Wheels is ~10% (+/- 1%, your results may vary) actual out the door cost. We know, because we just did the comparisons and ended up going with the more expensive Fifth Wheel.

As far as why people pick them, most of that is above. More room, better road manners, shorter tow length, etc. Towing length was a biggie for me. We were comparing the Puma 32DBKS TT to the Puma 295BHSS Fiver. They both have 32' long living quarters, but the TT towed @ 37' while the Fiver tows at 29'. That is a huge difference in road manners on it's own, nevermind the TT vs Fiver physics that make Fivers a more comfortable pull. The last thing is TT tongue weight. If you are going to that TT's over 27', you are going to start to accumulate some huge tongue weights. When looking at tongue weight, the 32BDKS is one of the lightest multi-slide + outside kitchen Bunkhouse TT's on the market. Loaded out, the tongue weight on the one we were looking at was going to be very close to 1100 lbs. That disqualifies nearly all 1/2 ton pickups from towing, which means you are going to a bigger truck anyway. Even my F150 HD Payload truck was going to to pushing the tongue weight max not because of payload (which is what will limit most 1/2 tons) but because of the hitch rating of 1168 lbs Tongue weight.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:11 PM   #16
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If you want uppper range TT look at an Arctic Fox. We own one and it is great, stable, and solidly built with Oak all inside and we did put Michelin LTs on it for a more stable and smoother ride. It is well insulated, 4 seasons and we have used it at 4 degrees in Branson MO and were rather snug actually. I'd rate Northwood at the top with Tiffin Motor homes. Never had a problem with a 10 yr old one except water heater.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:19 PM   #17
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I have the 30U heavy but love the slides
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:28 PM   #18
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I've had both. A few differences I've noticed are
1. Hitching up is easier with 5er.
2. Little to no sway issue with 5ers as opposed to TT which are pushed around by passing trucks.
3. More storage in 5ers.
4. 5ers have shorter total length when hitched.
5. You lose most of you truck bed with a 5er.
Personal choices.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #19
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What do you use your tow vehicle for when not camping?

DH commutes in the 1/2 ton and it also pulls an 18 ft. boat on occasion. Bikes and kick scooters get hauled in it, as well as E cylinder oxygen bottle refills. Trash to the dump and firewood too. And we are everyone's favorite relative for moving day. So, no desire to put in a 5th wheel hookup in the bed and a half ton is not the best option for that anyway.

In other words, pulling a trailer is just one of many things we do because camping is just one thing we do. All we need is a place to sleep and have indoor facilities/utilities. So, no need for a 5th wheeler or even a big TT.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #20
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With a good hitch and adequate tow vehicle, a travel trailer should be easy to tow without any sway or instability. When we had a larger and heavier trailer, we had a Hensley hitch and the trailer never swayed, even in some pretty bad crosswinds. Our Winnie stays very stable behind the equalizer hitch.

A good TT can be the best bang for the buck. But for full timers or sunbirds, a fifth wheel does offer more storage space and the overall length is reduced because of the portion of trailer over the truck bed.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scbwr View Post
With a good hitch and adequate tow vehicle, a travel trailer should be easy to tow without any sway or instability. When we had a larger and heavier trailer, we had a Hensley hitch and the trailer never swayed, even in some pretty bad crosswinds. Our Winnie stays very stable behind the equalizer hitch.

A good TT can be the best bang for the buck. But for full timers or sunbirds, a fifth wheel does offer more storage space and the overall length is reduced because of the portion of trailer over the truck bed.
This is a good post. Here is what often happens (I personally have seen it twice). A guy with a perfectly good 1/2 ton pickup towing a TT wants to move up. He goes to the dealer. They sell him way too much 5w for his truck, assuring him all along that his truck is fine.

When they lower the 5w into his bed and he sees his truck squat like never before, he gets scared and now goes out and buys a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. Now when he hooks up his rig feels a lot more solid. Of course, had he towed a TT with a 1 ton it would feel more solid too!

I pulled a 27' Wildcat 5w with a 2500 Silverado Duramax. Great rig, but no generator, nor any safe space to put one.

They are all good. But each rig is better when fit to your lifestyle. I am not retired and now pull a Jayco Feather 26' TT with a Pathfinder with Load balancing hitch. It weighs 4000' loaded and tows great.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:01 AM   #22
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If your dividing the cost of square foot of RVing space, trailers would win hands down especially if it involves buying a diesel truck.

We always wanted a 5er, but also knew if I did pull the trigger I liked the mid to higher end 5ers, which would mean a diesel ($$$) truck as well.

So we'll stick to the hybrid we have now. The first 24' hybrid (2005) over 380 nights (7 seasons) of camping cost us $21 per night "of use" to own it, minus insurance and camping fees.

Were on our 2nd hybrid (2013) (25') and it gives the 3 of us all the room we need. Having a 25' tt it allows the flexability it get into just about any state park site we reserve. Towing 25' in a hybrid and opening it up is like a 32' normal tt' without bunk beds.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:02 AM   #23
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All I know is that I pass most TTs on the road. When I approach a waging unit I always get funny feelings about passing it.
Most 5TH wheel that pass me usually are solid even the ones towed by smaller trucks.
I would rather loose a rear truck wheel pulling an over loaded 5th then a TT. Which I did by the way.
On a long trip the loaded 5th is a dream to tow.
I towed many TTs and loaded trailers in my time and really like to have plenty of weight on the truck. So to me that weight is better on the axles then 4 ft behind the axle. Every time the truck needs correction to the right the TT wants to go left, for 5th its neutral. So you better be smooth on the wheel. Now an obstacle on the road, it might be the last with a TT. I would rather tow over loaded with a 5th. Then again I usually like plenty of front weight in both for stability.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davendeb View Post
I've had both. A few differences I've noticed are
1. Hitching up is easier with 5er.
2. Little to no sway issue with 5ers as opposed to TT which are pushed around by passing trucks.
3. More storage in 5ers.
4. 5ers have shorter total length when hitched.
5. You lose most of you truck bed with a 5er.
Personal choices.
Agree with most of this except #2, TCs, MHs, TTs, and yes even 5vers sway. I've had them all. The difference I have noticed is driving a MH or TC you are inside, you feel the sway. In a TT you also feel some sway. A 5ver? Follow one down the road. They sway a lot. You just don't feel it in the cab. The 5ver gives you a false sense of security because you don't feel it. A 5ver will probably be yanked out of the hitch before you feel the sway. JMHO. I full timed in a 5ver. If my 5ver didn't sway I wouldn't have had to tie everything down even more so than in my MH. Anything high profile sways in the wind.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:54 PM   #25
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Well, everyone is talking about towing. While necessary, I didn't buy an RV just because it tows well. I tow it because I can't afford to own a cabin in all the places I like to fish and fly. I can tow it 5 hours and stay 5 days... and I'm more concerned with the comfort of the 5 days. My TT fills the bill for what I want. It does that as cheaply as I can make it. It isn't furnished as well as some nor made as well as some, but I believe it's a good value. Mine now has a stainless sink, an outdoor grille, and a few other things that make it very well fit for my purposes. I have thought of trading up, but I don't really need to for a while. I'll have 2 new grand sons in April. When they are 5 or 6 I will probably need to upgrade both TT and tow vehicle. I may consider a 5er at the time... but what I have for now is fine. All the towing debate makes little sense to me. So it sways a touch when a truck passes... So does the other 18 wheeler he passed after passing me.

Sorry, not trying to pee in anyone's Post Toasties... Just trying to say you don't have to spend large sums of money to have a great RV experience...
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:17 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davendeb View Post
I've had both. A few differences I've noticed are
1. Hitching up is easier with 5er.
2. Little to no sway issue with 5ers as opposed to TT which are pushed around by passing trucks.
3. More storage in 5ers.
4. 5ers have shorter total length when hitched.
5. You lose most of you truck bed with a 5er.
Personal choices.
For me and my setup, I can't agree with most of these:
1. With a rearview camera in both of my TVs, it's a snap. Lower the trailer on the ball, lock it on and plug it in. Takes 30 seconds.
2. Both my SUV and truck have E-sway control and I am able to pass big-rigs at 70mph without a second thought or wiggle.
3. Maybe in the trailer but not even close when you include the storage in the back of the TV for bikes, dogs, etc.
4. Agreed, but they are also as much as 50% taller, so you are hitting trees and dealing with way more aero-drag and cross-wind profile. Also more steps to climb all the time, which is not good for anyone, especially if you have a bum knee or hip.
5. Yup, not to mention the cost of the hitch and the holes in the truck bed of a 5er.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:39 PM   #27
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I can't agree that all TTs or FWs sway. My Sunline, with Hensley hitch NEVER swayed. And, our new Winnie with an Equalizer hitch does not sway. I'll reconfirm this after taking a trip in a few weeks that will have us traveling around 2500 miles.

That's not to say that some trailers sway....I've seen a few and wouldn't care to travel behind them. But, I believe that quite often, sway problems are due to improper hitch installation, no sway control, or improper weight distribution in the trailer.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #28
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I can't agree that all TTs or FWs sway. My Sunline, with Hensley hitch NEVER swayed. And, our new Winnie with an Equalizer hitch does not sway. I'll reconfirm this after taking a trip in a few weeks that will have us traveling around 2500 miles.

That's not to say that some trailers sway....I've seen a few and wouldn't care to travel behind them. But, I believe that quite often, sway problems are due to improper hitch installation, no sway control, or improper weight distribution in the trailer.
This is an excellent point. I think some folks shy away from loading too much weight on the hitch of their TV, or just happen to tail-load their trailer. If you end up with less than 12-15% hitch weight, I can see any trailer getting squirrely.
This is esspecially true if you are towing with black or gray tanks with anything in them after boondocking. Even the popular camp-kitchens. These are usually at the rear, add a lot of weight with a fridge full of drinks and reduce the advertised hitch weight. Or any rear kitchen TT for that matter. Ditto for empty propane tanks or a cargo rack with gear or firewood on the back.
They all screw up the balance and can promote sway.
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