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Old 10-28-2011, 11:22 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Vs. Large Travel Trailer?

I assume roominess is the biggest advantage of a 5th wheel versus a large TT, but are there any other benefits?

I'd be interested in knowing the plusses and minuses of both and why people choose a 5th wheel over a large TT.

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
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We had a 30ft, 33 overall TT prior to our 5th. Being 6' 3" in a TT feels a little close to me. Showers were all outside with the exception of one due to the eleveated bath. The high ceilings were a huge plus in our opinion. The towing is night and day for me. No "wagging the dog". You can go heavier and larger in a 5th with the right truck since the weight is over the axel of the TV. hitching is a lot easier. Tighter turning radius. More storage capacities in certain models, i.e. basements. Some can hold built in gennys. Overall lengths are longer since you have some of the trailer over your TV keeping it under the 65ft total length limit of some states hwys.

Minuses would include decreased bed capacities for hauling gear. Only able to pull with a pickup or bed type vehicle. Height restrictions on certain roads. More to clean and wax! Some cabinets can be a reach for shorter people in the galley.

I would find it hard to go back to a TT for me but they may come out with something in coming years that changes my mind. Until then...
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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The advantages of a fifth wheel include:
1. Easier to tow
2. Easier to hitchup
3. Easier to back up
4. More storage space
5. Can have a generator
6. Frequently better constructed
7. More likey to have space for a washer dryer
6. Frequently more luxurious
7. Usually better insulated

Disadvantages include:
1. Heavier
2. Usually requires a larger tow vehicle than the equivalent travel trailer
3. Requires a heavy hitch that sets in the bed of the tow vehicle
4. Have steps one has to go up and down on the inside
5. Set higher above the ground requiring more clearance under bridges, etc.
5. Usually cost more than travel trailers

Advantages of travel trailers include:

1. Usually lighter
2. Usually less expensive
3. Can be towed with a lighter tow vehicle
4. No hitch in bed allowing the tow vehicle to be something other than a pickup or to allow one to have a shell on a pickup bed
5. Less overhead clearance needed

Disadvantages include:

1. Usually not as well constructed
2. Less storage space
3. Usually less luxurious
4. Not as easy to tow
5. Not as easy to back up
6. More work to hitch up
7. Harder to find a place for a washer/dryer
8. Usually not as well insulated


Everyone has different needs and preferences so which is better is a personal decision each person or family has to make. One disadvantage may trump all the advantages of either a travel trailer or fifth wheel. Factors to consider when making a decision include:

1. Is the tow vehicle also the only vehicle in the family. One may not want to use a 3/4 or 1 ton pickup for a grocery getter, for long didtance commuting to work, or a soccer mom's taxi.
2. How often does one move the RV? For frequent and/or long distance moves, a fifth wheel might be a better choice over a travel trailer because it is easier to tow, back up, and hitch up. However, a travel trailer will be more economical to move since it is lighter and can use a lighter (and less expensive to own and operate) tow vehicle.
3. If one has a pickup, how valuable is the bed space?

In my case, I'm single and have only one vehicle. I do not want to pay more for a heavier pickup to be able to lug around a fifth wheel nor to feed and park such a beast. Even though I plan on fulltiming, I will move the RV no more than two to four times a year and no more than 200 miles when I do tow it so ease of towing, backing up, and hitching is of less importance to me. I'm not getting any younger and having to climb steps once inside is not very appealing to me. The final nail in the fifth wheel coffin for me is the hitch in the bed. I have a nice shell (Leer 100R) on my current pickup that has built in tool boxes along the side where the side windows would normally go. I'm in love with that thing (imagine what the children will look like)! There is no way on God's green Earth I am ever going to give up having a shell like that up! So choosing to have a travel trailer is a no brainer for me. But, that's just me. Your situation could (or even more likely) be completely different.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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Smile

We have had tagalongs,motorhome,and now a 5thwheell.Wont go back.i have other uses for my truck so I use a "gooseneck" adapter and a hidden hitch in the bed so when not towing its just a pickup truck,no hitch taking up room.
i pretty much agree with all the pluses/minuses that have been posted.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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We traded our Montana 5er for our Jayco 330RLTS travel trailer. I don't miss anything about that 5th wheel. It all really depends on your particular wants and needs. For us one level was a big deal and I now have my truck bed back so I don't have to tow another trailer behind the 5er to haul our toys. Contrary to what some people claim, our travel trailer tows and manuevers just fine.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #6
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I have the same feeling about my truck bed and Leer top as Lady F and, like Clutch, my 320RLDS pulls just fine with the 3P hitch, although I have my problems with it. One dissapointment when I bought the Eagle TT is that they no longer offer a Polar package on their TTs. I notice the furnace cycles very frequently in the 30s, and I probably wasted my money buying the thermal windows. But to be honest, my RV barn is just over 12' high, so any 5er we'd consider wouldn't fit under it, and that also was a deal breaker for the fivers.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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I much prefer a TT to a 5er but that is a personal thing... The big plus I see for a 5er is a shorter overall length for the same size this makes getting into small spaces that much easier.. eg Natl Parks. The biggest negative for a 5er is that sail over the cab eating fuel.. yep it cost more to drag it around... I tow over 6000 miles a year and even a 1% savings in fuel adds up.

My TT leaves the bed of the truck open to carrying my toys

I just wish that RV manufactures would make TT's with the same appointments as 5ers...
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cekkk+ View Post
...One dissapointment when I bought the Eagle TT is that they no longer offer a Polar package on their TTs...
Curious. According to Jayco's website, a glacier package is offered on both the Eagle and Eagle Super Light TTs and a thermal package is offered on the Jay Flights.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
...I just wish that RV manufactures would make TT's with the same appointments as 5ers...
Can I hear an Amen?! It infuriates me that fivers get better construction, insulation, and appointments.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Can I hear an Amen?! It infuriates me that fivers get better construction, insulation, and appointments.
I think part of the feature difference comes down to weight considerations. 5ers are heavier than a similar length TT.
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