We get plenty of new RVers ask us whats better, a fifth wheel or travel trailer? Well there are both pros and cons to both! So we’ve narrowed it down for you to see which one best fits you. A fifth wheel or travel trailer.
1. What are you towing with?
First, and the most important thing to consider is your towing vehicle. If you have a larger family a truck may not be the best option which means you would end up with a vehicle with a lighter tow package. The more the vehicle can tow the bigger you can go!
When is comes to towing, a fifth wheel may seem intimidating, but really fifth wheels are designed to put more of the weight centered between the axles on the towing vehicle. This brings the center of mass forward on the towed vehicle. However, it requires a truck to tow. Smaller travel trailers are much more nimble and you don’t have to worry about height restrictions!
The bigger the camper the more storage you have! Storage is very important especially with big families. However, you loose the storage of a truck bed when you tow a fifth wheel.
In both fifth wheel and travel trailers there is a wide variety of floorplan options. What’s nice about a fifth wheel is there tends to be more roomy floorplans and they are also split level. So the master bedroom or in some cases living rooms can be on a higher level than the rest of the camper. It’s all the buyers preference.
5. Fuel Efficiency
Fifth wheels tend to tow better than trailers, but they also take a toll on your fuel efficiency. This can be important to consider if you are planning to travel long distances.
Since weight is restricted in trailers manufactures have to be careful what features they put in them. With fifth wheels they can be heavy and long which gives room for luxury! So, if you’re looking for something high-end a fifth wheel is the way to go!
Weight is very important to consider! Not only do you need to pay attention of how much your vehicle can tow, but also you need to consider how much weight will be added once you put all your belongings inside. Fifth wheels are much heavier than travel trailers!
8. Hitching up
When it comes down to it, practice makes perfect. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to hitching!
9. Off-Roading and Boondocking
Travel trailers take it when it comes to off-roading and boondocking. With the height and weight restriction of a fifth wheel, travel trailers are much easier to navigate with.
People go back and forth about which is better, but really a travel trailer tends to overreact more with movement than a fifth wheel. Once again, practice makes perfect when it comes down to it!
11. Heating and Cooling
Travel Trailers tend to be much easier to heat and cool. Fifth wheels are much taller and wider, which can cause uneven heat and cool air.
Let’s break it down a little bit more!
Fifth Wheel Pros
- More storage
- Greater stability and smoother towing
- Taller more spacious interior – more floorplan types
- Can be more luxurious
- Easier hookup
- Split level
- Usually easier to back-up
- Can have up to 6 slides!
- Better for full time RVing
Fifth Wheel Cons
- Taller – Height doesn’t always fit into camping
- Heavier – Difficult for boondocking and off-roading
- Usually much longer – can limit you with campgrounds
- Typically more slides – More room for issues
- Usually more expensive
Travel Trailer Pros
- Can tow without a truck
- Easier for boondocking/dry camping/off-roading
- Can use bed of truck for storage
- Usually smaller and much more nimble
- tends to be easier to heat and cool
- Accessibility, less height restrictions
- Usually less intimidation for new RVers
- Generally cheaper in price
Travel Trailer Cons
- Longer trailers are more difficult to tow due to swaying
- Less storage
- lower ceilings
- Usually smaller
- Limited floorplans
- Less features
So whats better? when it comes down to it, its most important to think about whats best for you. What price is right, whats easier for your day-to-day routine, and whats comfortable. You don’t want to end up with something too big for you to handle or too small and uncomfortable. Everyone has their own opinion, but your is the most important!