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Old 06-15-2011, 01:05 AM   #1
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Travel trailer vs 5th wheel

We are considering a tt vs a 5th wheel. For those of you who have had both, please help with pros and cons and if you have one or the other , do you wish you had chose the other?

We are older and think the one level would be better, but worry about swaying with the tt. Please help thanks

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Old 06-15-2011, 03:58 AM   #2
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Which one to buy

Good morning and yes I will agree with you, I could never stop that little sway you get with the TT. No matter what I tried you had to fight with it most every mile. Always said if they put a 5th wheel hitch on a TT they might have something. TTs do have some great floor plans. I have a 36 ft Prairie Schooner 5th wheel and I think any 5th wheel is a dream to pull. Thats just me 2 cents worth.

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Old 06-15-2011, 04:06 AM   #3
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TT vs 5th wheel

I had 2 TT's, never had a 5 th wheel. Pulling the TT was no problem.
What I noticed a few times on a CG is, that both have to back up a few times, just to get into their spot, the way they are happy with their Parking.

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Old 06-15-2011, 04:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
We are older and think the one level would be better, but worry about swaying with the tt.
If you are agile enough to get into and out of the 5er, then the couple of steps from the main floor to the master bedroom of a 5er shouldn't be a problem.

Properly equipped, it doesn't matter. But "properly" equipped is the key.

For a TT, hook it up with the expensive no-sway hitch, and sway is no problem. You need a Hensley Arrow or ProPride hitch. About $2,500. I would not tow a TT without a ProPride hitch. (I have seen too many TTs upside down in the median or off the side of a mountain as a result of sway.)
Trailer Sway Elimination | Sway Control | Truck RV Trailer Hitch Accessories | ProPride, Inc.

With a 5er, the problem is hitch weight and bed length. Most folks think an F-250 can tow/haul the world. It can't, without being overloaded. Go by the GVWR of the 5er. If it has a GVWR over 10,000 pounds, then it will probably overload an F-250 tow vehicle. But Ford makes heavier-duty pickups that will tow heavier 5ers without being overloaded. F-350 SRW, F-350 one-ton dually, and the mighty F-450 pickup. And if that's not enough truck for your huge, heavy toy hauler or horse trailer with living quarters (LQ), they make medium duty truck conversions from Peterbilt or Freightliner or International chassis cab trucks. So there's no exceue for being overloaded.

And most folks want the shorty pickup bed, so they can get that CrewCab monster into the garage and shut the door. No sweat, with the right hitch. You need a slider hitch, and preferably an automatic slider hitch. With a shorty, trailer to cab contact often occurs on sharp turns or jacknifes. With a properly functioning slider hitch, you can make a full 90 jacknife with no problem. PullRite makes it, the PullRite SuperGlide hitch. But yep, there goes another $2,500.
PullRite has a SAFER, STRONGER, BETTER designed hitch for yousuperglide.htm
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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I have a tt and a 2010 ford f150 and the f150 comes with trailer sway control and I havent notice any sway since I used this truck I think the superdutys have this feature to
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:48 PM   #6
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I have pulled both tag alongs and 5th wheels. That said, I will NEVER go back to a tag along. Tag alongs tend to bounce a lot and they also tend to sway pretty badly unless you have anti sway bars. They are easily affected by semis going past at 70 and unless you have weight distributing hitches they will raise the front of your tow vehicle. They do have one redeeming quality... they are easy to back up.

5ers are so much more road worthy and have much better road manners. They tend not to sway and are rarely affected by wind or fast moving semis. When pulling a tag along they act like they are alive and moving around all the time, sometimes unpredictably, and sometimes the only way to get them to settle down was to apply the trailer brake manually. In a 5er that almost never happens. Tag alongs back easily because the pivet point is behind the tow vehicle and as a result once you have gotten them turned a bit the tend to take off that way. In a 5er you almost need the truck at 90 degrees to the trailer to initiate a large turn and because the 5er pivet is just behind the cab, they track to the inside of a turn. Once you know that it becomes second nature to take turns wide. Pulling a 5er is just like you attached a 12, 000 block on wheels behind you. They tend to be heavier then a comperable length tag along but they also offer more living space as compared to a tag along. In a 5er the total length is living space while a tag along add the tounge to the total trailer length. Pulling a 5er generally requires a larger tow vehicle and suffers lower fuel economy. It's hard to figure whats best but in my opinion look closely at 5ers and if they are too heavy or too big for your tow vehicle to tow them safely. However,Once you are under the weight ratings for your tow vehicle you are golden and they have a far smaller learning curve then a tag along except for backing up. 5ers require a truck with a bed to tow them. Tag alongs can be towed by anything with a hitch as long as they are capable. I would not tow anything with my Prius but a Ford excursion is a worthy tow vehicle as is an Escalade and neither is a truck with a bed.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Look at both and see whether you prefer the floorplan of one or the other. We bought a FW even though it's going to be moved once and set up semipermanently so towing isn't really an issue. We first looked at a travel trailer, figured out the layout we liked (living area in the rear with a large rear window, slide on the driver's side with sofa and dining area, mid bathroom and front bedroom). Then we looked at fifth wheels. Although there's more headroom in the travel trailer bedroom (an issue for me, since I'm 5'11" tall), I can stand up in the FW bedroom. We won't be spending much time in the BR and when we're there, we'll mostly be horizontal. The TT did have an entry door in the BR which the FW doesn't have.

The big plus with the FW is the height in the living area. The ceiling at its highest is 8' tall. That really opens up the living area and makes it seem larger and roomier than it really is. It's hard for me to believe that the FW has only about 300 sq. ft. under roof, including the slide.

I can't give any technical advice but you've certainly gotten lots of that from people here who know. If you look at both TT and FW, you may find that you have a strong preference for the livability of one over the other, or you may not. Just something else to consider.

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Old 06-15-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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I have pulled both and Smokey pretty well summed it all up. I would add to look at the Reese Dual Cam High Performance with the trunnion style bars. it is a great intregal sway control hitch with a proven record. the Propride is relative new to the market.

if you get the proper size tow vehicle, load the trailer correctly and have a good sway control W/D hitch, a TT will tow fine. Our old triple axle Avion never so much as wiggles and tows as well at the 5er we had before it.

A lot of the bad rap that TT's get is from poor trailer design/loading, not enough tow vehicle and not setting up a hitch correctly.

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Old 06-15-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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I have had both and the 5th wheel gets my vote hands down.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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Excellent reply Smokywren!
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by faye
We are considering a tt vs a 5th wheel. For those of you who have had both, please help with pros and cons and if you have one or the other , do you wish you had chose the other?

We are older and think the one level would be better, but worry about swaying with the tt. Please help thanks
Never towed a 5er but had three TT's. Never a problem with sway. We always used a Reese weight distributing hitch with an anti-sway bar. We also always had a decent tow vehicle (Yukon, Yukon XL, Infinity QX56). The longer XL and QX56 were much better than the short Yukon. We had salesmen try to tell us we could tow with an Explorer. No way.

The problem with a 5er is you have to drive a pickup truck everywhere.

We've since moved on to a Class C and then a Class A DP. The TT's were an easier drive than the Class C. The DP is a dream to drive.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:58 AM   #12
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My vote is for the TT. Just moved from a class C mainly because of gas mileage and a monster truck to pull a fiver isn't any better than the C. I travel solo and like to take short drives, park the TT and use my tow vehicle to explore the area. My unit is only 19 feet but the floor plan is great and all the room I need. I'm outdoors any chance I get. No problem with sway on this little unit and the Jeep Grand Cherokee gets 18mpg once I'm unhooked.
Fulltime workamper traveling with Toy Poodles Cricket and Liza and Standard Poodle Gable
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:28 AM   #13
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One factor that hasn't been mentioned (at least that I've seen) is that 5th wheels typically have significantly more basement storage than TTs. If you're full-timing, that can be very important. If you're not, it's up to you to decide how important that factor is in your evaluation.

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Old 06-16-2011, 07:45 AM   #14
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Have owned 2 pop-ups, 2 TTs, and now a 5er. Originally pulled the first TT with a Heavy Duty 1/2 ton. Pulled OK, but at the end of the day I was beat. Upgraded TV to a 1 ton Dually, wow what a difference. Hardly knew the TT was back there, but then we decided we wanted more room and got our 5er. So much storage we still have a couple of empty cabinets. Once you get the hang of a 5er they are easier to hookup and tow. If you get a 5er with auto level feature you don't need that lumber yard with you. Draw back, yes you need a good truck, but for any TT of a good size you still need a good truck. Yes, you'll see some pretty large TTs and 5er hauled by some pretty small TVs, I get away from them fast. Just my 5 cents worth (inflation you know)

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