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Old 10-20-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
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Concerns with choosing 5th wheel over tt for boondocking.

Hello all, first post here after spending a ton of time reading old posts!

Me and the wife are getting close to buying a used toyhauler, and she really prefers the bedrooms and bathrooms of the 5th wheel models weve been looking at, and I prefer the towing ease of them as well.

I'm worried though, that I'll regret purchasing a 5th wheel over a travel trailer when we are hunting, and camping at some of the places we camp. The spots I'm worried about I've been able to get 20-30' travel trailers into easy enough, but I dont have to worry about bed clearance in those situstions.
. Tow vehicle us a 2015 f350, which has a tall bed height, were looking at 5th wheels from 2000-2010 era, most have been between 30 and 34' long.

So how much offroad travel can a 5th wheel actually take? When pulling off forest service roads into unimproved camp sites, how rough can it be?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:44 PM   #2
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Depends on the fiver, we dropped back to an Arctic Fox 25Y TT for us since we wanted to boondock a lot more. Fivers are less capable of off road unless the roads are excellent gravel roads. You find a lot of those out west but not all by any means. We boondocked in places this summer I never would have tried to take our 35ft Fiver.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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Length is going to be one major issue. Height is going to be the other. Stand up bed room fivers can be 12.5 feet tall.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:37 PM   #4
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Yes, a fiver will limit you a little, but you can compensate for the limitations. Just make sure to scout the boondocking sites with your tow vehicle beforehand, paying lots of attention to the lower branches. In some areas, the big truck campers have "pre-pruned" the branches for you!

The real trick for any longer rig will be space to turn around. Those forest roads are narrow, as I am sure you know.

And we take a trailer not designed for off-pavement into some pretty sketchy places on bad roads. Just slow way down. We usually go about 5 mph while towing to a boondocking site. No rocks? Then we're flying at 10 mph -- woo hoo!!

Of course, that limits us -- we don't go 20 miles off pavement very often, as a result.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:40 PM   #5
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I should also add that we have seen some big fivers in some pretty wild places -- like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Gros Ventre range near the Tetons. So it can be done, with some caution.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:19 PM   #6
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yeah most of the places we go are pre scouted, we're somewhat creatures of habit when going off grid, and have been going to the same areas for years! A lot of the places are one we hunt at, or ones we take the quads to often. The height thing does make me a bit nervous, but I'm willing to bet the 90% of the time we could make it work. a buddy drags a desert fox 28' toy hauler into these same spots. Its tall for a tt, and lifted slightly.

I was thinking, if I got a slider hitch, for my long bed truck, if I were to need to cross a wash or have a decent incline dropping off into a camp site, wouldn't sliding the hitch back buy me a little more room, and put less of my bed under the overhang?

I think my biggest concern in this whole venture is the idea of getting the rigs crossed up, with the driver side being high/low on the truck, and the trailers passenger side being opposite. that seems to me the worst case for bed rail contact?
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:52 PM   #7
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Is that high/low problem unique to fivers? I think it is also true of trailers.

Not sure about a slider hitch -- I have never used one.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:46 PM   #8
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Is that high/low problem unique to fivers? I think it is also true of trailers.

Not sure about a slider hitch -- I have never used one.

It might not be, my concern is bed rail contact. Seems with a tt on a ball hitch you could get away with more extreme angles, and nothing is in a position to collide. I could be wrong though?
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:23 PM   #9
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I think you will be better off with a tt.

The slider will help though with a long bed you may still be constrained as much as those of us with shorter beds and no slider. Now, a shorter bed with slider would really help.

But, my 5er was 12-6 before I raised it 3 inches. I'm 6-3 and love the bedroom headroom but that 12-9 has kept us out of some places we wanted to go. Heck, we've had reservations in campgrounds with paved roads and found tree branches across our site that we could not get under.

The 3" lift gives us ground clearance that has come in handy and a bit of extra bed clearance (only 1.5 inches) that has also helped. If I had it to do over again I'd lift it 4 inches. Still may some day.

Ideal I think would be a lifted tt. I thought lifting my 5er would reduce stability but if it did, it's not detectable. I've seen lifted TTs that seem stable enough.

All this said, I would not get another 12-6 5er even if I have to crawl into the bedroom. The height is a constant nuisance and moreover, makes wind an issue. In Wyoming a year ago the 5er in the rear view mirror was tilted badly and I was steering into the wind a lot. I'm not sure the upwind side 5er wheels came off the tarmac, but I'm sure they were close to doing so. I looked for a driveway or similar to turn into the wind but there were none. Scary few miles. I have no TT towing experience but I'm sure even lifted a tt would be less of a problem assuming it was, say, not much over 10 feet.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:38 PM   #10
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I think you'd be asking for trouble with either if you need to go across washes and steep incline/declines. We made a sharp turn and the 5th wheel went through our back truck window! We boondocked a lot on public lands with both the 5th wheel and motorhome but learned it's best to go on good graded roads with minimal sharp, steep grades.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syoungs View Post
Hello all, first post here after spending a ton of time reading old posts!

Me and the wife are getting close to buying a used toyhauler, and she really prefers the bedrooms and bathrooms of the 5th wheel models weve been looking at, and I prefer the towing ease of them as well.

I'm worried though, that I'll regret purchasing a 5th wheel over a travel trailer when we are hunting, and camping at some of the places we camp. The spots I'm worried about I've been able to get 20-30' travel trailers into easy enough, but I dont have to worry about bed clearance in those situstions.
. Tow vehicle us a 2015 f350, which has a tall bed height, were looking at 5th wheels from 2000-2010 era, most have been between 30 and 34' long.

So how much offroad travel can a 5th wheel actually take? When pulling off forest service roads into unimproved camp sites, how rough can it be?

Thanks for any help!
5th wheels don't have to be large.

When thinking about it, I'll bet a SMALL 5'er would be better on rough roads than a small TT ... due to more weight on the pickups rear wheels for better traction, and easier multi-point turnarounds on roads with few places to pull off.

For instance, take a look at this little 5'er:
https://escapetrailer.com/the-5-0-escape/
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Phil G. View Post
5th wheels don't have to be large.

When thinking about it, I'll bet a SMALL 5'er would be better on rough roads than a small TT ... due to more weight on the pickups rear wheels for better traction, and easier multi-point turnarounds on roads with few places to pull off.

For instance, take a look at this little 5'er:
https://escapetrailer.com/the-5-0-escape/
That is a slick little unit, but I need a toyhauler, and one with enough room puts me in the 30+ range.
We may go look at a weekend warrior this weekend. It does not have the stand up bedroom. The shorter heighth seems like a better idea compared to some of the monsters out there.

The more I consider it though, the more I think a 26-28' bumper pull would make the most sense for how we use a rv. I just really like the hookup and towing of a 5th wheel.

Were also seeing some shorter trailers, into the 24' range that could work for us. The wife wants a dedicated bed up front, and some floorplans have a bed running lengthwise, with the bathroom on the opposite side. If I can get 2-3 quads in that, I can put 1-2 on the truck using a sled deck. Probably the best solution!
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:53 PM   #13
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We had a 2007 Raptor, tandem axle and it went off road, not far but gravel roads then into field of some sort, never had an issue.
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