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Old 01-29-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer or 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, 09:37 AM   #2
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It really depends on your intended use and budget. Can you give us a bit more info Pease.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
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Camp 10-15 a year at mostly state parks. Average drive 200 miles round trip. Budget is $35,000. Want bang for the buck and rich looking interior. Other than easier towing, is the consensus fifth-wheels are the ultimate non- motorized upgrade?
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Everyone has their own opinion and what I like better about a 5th Wheel someone else will say is what they hate about them. Here goes with some of my preferences:

More storage areas
Same length 5th Wheel is about 5' shorter front bumper of tow vehicle to rest of trailer. This makes for easier turns and maneuvering.
Better smoother ride.
More storage areas
Batteries and propane bottles are enclosed and harder to steal
While parked/camping there is more room under the front to stow large items especially if you have a curtain/tent type enclosure around it
Can be pulled with either a Fifth Wheel hitch or a Gooseneck adapter (I know, some people claim they are dangerous. I've pulled with one over 50,000 miles wiout a problem)



Couple of my dislikes
5er, 5th Wheel hitch is easy to hit head on while using that additional storage however, with a bumper pull the hitch is easy to bang your shins on
Weight Distributing hitches are rarely hooked up correctly
Emergency escape window in a front bedroom 5er is 8' off the ground.

These are a few to think about. I'm sure you wil get others as it hoes on. Only thing I would do different in the one I have now would be to get a slide out in the bedroom. You can't have too many slides!

Good luck! Let us know what you end up with!
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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I've always thought a fifth wheel gave you more usable space and the thing I like about them most is the fact that you can have a ceiling fan in them.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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Fivers are easier to tow, have a smaller road foot print, and better storage space. TT's are generally less expensive, have fewer stairs. Your choice.
But personally it depends on how comfortable floor plan is for you. Can you watch TV straight on or do you have to crook your neck? Can you actually cook a full meal in the kitchen, or is it barely large enough to boil water? Can you actually use the toilet and shower or are you cramped into a tiny cubby hole? How about a washer dryer? Do you want one and is there a space for it? Is there sufficient closet space for your clothes? How about a place for a garbage can?
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Started with a TT and now own a 5'er.
5'er is more $$$.
TT is longer with less room inside.
More storage in the front of a 5'er.
Less room in truck bed with a 5'er, but the stuff you can't put in the TT that goes in the truck has to be secured and or removed when done camping. All our stuff that went in the truck with the TT now stays in the 5'er. So less unpacking when returning home.
5'er tows better hands down.
Expensive hitches are needed to have the same quality tow as a 5'er.
5'er is easier to hitch up.
Higher ceiling inside 5'er makes the inside feel bigger.
Shorter OAL when towing with a 5'er.
Nice thing about a 5'er for us is we have a shorter trailer with the same room inside.
Shorter camp spots are easier to get into since you can back the truck further under the front of the 5'er if needed.
$35,000 will get you more TT as far as fluff goes than a 5'er.
If I only had $35,000 to spend and wanted some nice amenities and was looking new I would definitely go TT.
5'ers aren't really an upgrade till you spend over $60,000. Most TT and 5'ers in the $35,000 range will be close to the same in amenities.
Using the word upgrade in connection with 5'ers is IMO more of a jump to a 35-40' $60-90,000 trailer. It's more about being able to get more and bigger than you can get in a TT. It's based on the fact that most TT's are under the $60,000 range and usually under 35'. Upgrading to a 5th is IMO is taking advantage of the 5'th's attributes, which are mostly size.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:50 AM   #8
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Fifth wheels are better for the most part. But in the price range you are looking that will not buy much fifth wheel new. All of the 5vers in that price range are exact twins to the tt of the same line as far as build quality and features.It will probably be something the ends in "ultra lite". You can buy a nice used upper mid range full profile trailer for that kind of money.

Also look at if you will be carrying a golf cart its very easy to carry one in the bed of the truck while towing a tt rather than dangling one off the back of a 5ver. Unless you get a toyhauler.
What works for someone else may not work for you. I have ran into quite a few fellas that were happy with a dually with a golf car in the bed and a large TT
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:07 AM   #9
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No comparison in towing and storage of a 5th wheel. Look at a 2-3 year old unit. If you buy a new one, you will be upside down as soon as you pull it off the lot. Let someone else take the beating. I learned the hard way. You can get a like new condition 50K - 60K unit for 35K if you look hard.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2500HD View Post
Fifth wheels are better for the most part. But in the price range you are looking that will not buy much fifth wheel new. All of the 5vers in that price range are exact twins to the tt of the same line as far as build quality and features.It will probably be something the ends in "ultra lite". You can buy a nice used upper mid range full profile trailer for that kind of money.

Also look at if you will be carrying a golf cart its very easy to carry one in the bed of the truck while towing a tt rather than dangling one off the back of a 5ver. Unless you get a toyhauler.
What works for someone else may not work for you. I have ran into quite a few fellas that were happy with a dually with a golf car in the bed and a large TT
Wife & I are empty nesters and looking at Autumn Ridge 30 footers and Prime Time's LaCrosse 327. You get so much more without having to climb a lot of steps with the TTs! With 3 slide-outs, there is a ton of room. Will have to make a decision before the RV & Camper show in Rosemont, IL. Typically the dealers give as much as a 25% discount.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:30 AM   #11
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This is along the same lines as gas or diesel, etc...
It certainly IS personal choice and experience...
So go look at as many of each as possible and consider rental as a test base...

MANY mfg's are now making upgrades to both TT's and 5er's to have the upper end amenities. Our 5er has things our expensive house doesn't have !

Just like choosing a retirement location - everyone has different 'standards'

I never heard of someone upgrading to a TT from a 5er, but I have heard of many going from a motorhome to a 5er !

And speaking of retirement locations:
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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This thread has some great comments and if I may intercede, I would like to know about set-up and hook-up between the TT and 5er. I have a TT and disregarding levelling, it takes roughly 20 minutes to unhook from the TV and get set-up, takes about the same amount to hook-up.

Are 5er's easier than the TT's in this regard? Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trailerken View Post
Wife & I are empty nesters and looking at Autumn Ridge 30 footers and Prime Time's LaCrosse 327. You get so much more without having to climb a lot of steps with the TTs! With 3 slide-outs, there is a ton of room. Will have to make a decision before the RV & Camper show in Rosemont, IL. Typically the dealers give as much as a 25% discount.
The primetime lacrosse appears to be a step above the autmn ridge which screams entry level. If I were buying a fifth wheel I don't think I would even look at primetime. For it to truly be an upgrade from the average TT you would need to be looking at used Cedar Creek, Cardinal, HR, Montana, etc...
That aside I know what you are talking about from just a layout and PRICE stand point there are some killer TT's out there.It makes them really hard to pass up for the guy who uses it 10 times a year 200mi from home.I think that's why most ppl keep buying them.

Rv's like boats are always a sacrifice you can never have it all. I have pulled goosenecks, 5vers, and heavy bumper pull trailers. If you can live with a TT not pulling as good and not being able to do 75mph with the Tractor trailers you will do fine. Just know your limitations. Our dream trailer is a Fifth wheel toy hauler, it may not be my next trailer, but my next truck will be a CC Dually so when we do move to a big toy hauler I won't have to worry about a srw truck have enough pay load and getting dirty looks from the guys with duallies
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MoeBelly View Post
This thread has some great comments and if I may intercede, I would like to know about set-up and hook-up between the TT and 5er. I have a TT and disregarding levelling, it takes roughly 20 minutes to unhook from the TV and get set-up, takes about the same amount to hook-up.

Are 5er's easier than the TT's in this regard? Thanks.
I've had both and feel the 5'er is physically easier. It only takes 3-4 mins to hookup and unhook our 5'er. A TT and 5'er pretty much require the same leveling side to side and front to back. Water/Elec/Sewer hookups are the same also.
Big difference for me is I'm not dealing with safety chains and WD bars and trying to align the coupler and ball.
Raise the 5'er up a couple inches, pull the release handle, 7 pin plug and break cable and drive off.
When we had our TT we used an Equalizer WD. Always had to raise the tongue 4-5" to get the bars loose enough to unhook. Then there was the times when the coupler would catch on the ball and you had to either backup or pull forward to release the coupler all the way so you can get the coupler off the ball. None of that exits with a 5'er.
We have a B&W Patriot hitch and it's pretty much a no fail setup.
It's also easier backing into the 5th hitch than trying to line up the couple and ball. With a TT you either need a backup camera, one of those tennis ball thingys or another person to tell you when you are centered and back far enough. With the 5'er I just look thru the back window and can see perfectly how the pin is lining up with the hitch. Just keep backing into it till it's set. No getting out to dbl check.
Plus a 5'er just tows so much nicer without needing sway control.
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