Fifth Wheels Provide the Most Living Space in A Trailer Design
Fifth Wheels have similar amenities to a large travel trailer but there is an extension on the front of the Fiver. This is connected by a special hitch and receiver that is mounted in your tow vehicle. Expect to pay a couple hundred dollars to have your tow vehicle outfitted with the necessary hitch equipment. Chances are you’ll need a full-sized tow vehicle, as well. New, smaller fifth-wheels hitting the market in the last few years are starting to change that, though. Today you can find Fifth Wheels with tow weights as low as 5,000 lbs. The big Fivers can weigh in at more than 20,000 lbs., though.
For larger Fifth Wheels you may need a dual rear wheel pickup truck (or “Dually”) and the ample low-end torque and better MPG of a diesel powered engine. Keep in mind that if your daily driver isn’t up to the task of towing your preferred Fiver, a new tow vehicle could be as much money as the RV itself. You’ll soon find that diesel power alone is a costly upgrade.
The elevated front portion of a fifth-wheel traditionally houses your master bedroom. In recent years, though, we’re starting to see front mounted living rooms, bathrooms and even kitchens. You’ll find the bathroom in a fifth wheel is usually larger than a travel trailer and in some larger models a built in washer/dryer is included. Many manufacturers will plumb and wire for after-market washers and driers, allowing you to buy and install your own.
Keep an Open Mind. Just because you started out looking for a Fifth Wheel doesn’t mean you can’t consider other options.
Fifth Wheels have traditionally been big, skewing toward campers who spend considerable time traveling. With the trend toward smaller and lighter RVs in the last few years, though, the industry is starting to offer smaller fifth-wheels than we’ve ever seen. You’ll notice it’s not just the size of the footprint that has shrunk, either. We’re seeing lightweight metal frames starting to replace traditional (and heavier) stick-built wood framing. Composite type sheathing materials have also helped cut the tow weight of even the biggest Fivers. Shorter overall lengths have been helped by the increased usage of slide-outs. In fact, you’ll find some Fivers now featuring up to six slide-outs. Six!
You may want to consider a Fiver if you are considering SnowBird or FullTime travel. Even though there are numerous full-sized (and very popular) Travel Trailers on the market, some research on Fivers may be worth your time. If you determine that a new tow vehicle will be necessary, keep in mind that a motorhome may actually be less expensive. Why, you ask? Well, the RV and tow vehicle are combined. Like everything else, you’ll find there are pros and cons with both types of RVs. If you do your homework you’ll quickly find which approach will best meet your needs. Some campers like the fact they can move around inside their motorhome while traveling. Others like the convenience of having a separate and easy to drive vehicle when they arrive at their destination. Whichever option works best for you, quality of construction and customer service after the sale must remain paramount to your search.
So how do you find out which fifth wheels will meet your needs? How do you negotiate the best price? Questions like these and many others are answered in our best-selling guide: The Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison Guide.