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Travel Trailers Versus Fifth Wheels

Published on Nov 30, 2023 by Awesome RV Team

Travel Trailers Versus Fifth Wheels

If you are looking for an RV and are trying to decide between a travel trailer and a fifth wheel you’ve come to the right place. Both are excellent choices for the right buyer but there is no question that one may fit you and your family better than the other. This guide is to help you decide which of these RV options is best for your needs.

What is a Travel Trailer?

Travel Trailer really is a broad term. Travel Trailers can come in many different shapes and sizes including small pop-up campers or 65-foot mega-size trailers! The one common characteristic you will find on all travel trailers is the ball hitch that is needed to tow them behind your vehicle.

Pros of Choosing a Travel Trailer

Vehicle Versatility – The nice thing about travel trailers is that you can tow them with any vehicle that is tow ready and meets the towing weight capacities. This includes trucks, large SUVs, and even some crossover vehicles and small SUVs.

Many Size Options – since travel trailers vary so much in size, you are likely to find one that can fit you and your family. There are great options for travel trailers that are perfect for even just one or two people like the Winnebago Micro Minnie which is conveniently only 7 feet wide! If you have a family of four, something like the 2020 Forest River Salem 33 Ft is a great choice. Most trailers this size come with a kitchen, dining, and living space area so there is plenty of room for the whole family to stretch out.

No Motor – Unlike motorhomes, both the travel trailer and fifth wheel are motorless. This isn’t really a “Pro” or “Con” since there are benefits to motorhomes, but it certainly does mean less maintenance and costs associated with a motorless RV purchase.

Travel Trailer Brands We Recommend

  • Forest River
  • Winnebago
  • Jayco
  • Keystone

What is a Fifth Wheel?

A Fifth Wheel is an RV that has a hitch that attaches to the bed of a truck. In many ways a fifth wheel is similar to a travel trailer but it is unique in the way it connects and how extra space is made available thanks to the RV space above the truck bed area.

Pros of Choosing a Fifth Wheel

Makes for easy turning – A fifth wheel is generally easier to make turns with than a travel trailer because of its connection point.

  • Stability – because the Fifth wheel is attached to the bed of the truck, it has a different weight distribution than a travel trailer which makes for a more stable feeling towing experience.
  • Space – Fifth wheels utilize the space that is above the bed of the truck to usually put a sleeping area. Travel trailers don’t have this luxury since they are attached to a ball hitch and can be towed by vehicles other than trucks (SUVs).
  • Great Value – a fifth wheel offers many of the amenities of a motorhome without the higher costs. Plus, if you own a truck at home that is capable of towing a fifth-wheel you are pretty much ready to go!
  • No Motor – similar to the travel trailer, the fifth wheel is towed so there is no additional motor like a motorhome. Fifth wheels are a little more limited with how you can tow them since you basically need a heavy-duty truck with a bed to attach the fifth wheel to.

Fifth Wheel Brands We Recommend

  • Winnebago
  • Shasta
  • Crossroads

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