Pros and Cons of Fifth Wheel RVs

What is a Fifth Wheel Camper? 

A fifth-wheel camper is a large trailer that requires a fifth-wheel hitch to tow. A fifth wheel RV is heavy and thus requires a full-size truck to pull it.

Fifth wheels are popular RVs for various reasons. They are heavy due to their super-duty hitches; thus, they have more space for luxury amenities and sleeping. Most fifth wheels have multiple slide-outs, allowing you to expand your best-rated fifth wheel RV.

Fifth wheel RV in campground

The Advantages of a Fifth Wheel RV

5th wheel campers, which have long been popular among outdoor enthusiasts, make it simple to take the whole family camping in style. These campers, which come with various comforts and features, rapidly become the best fifth wheel RV for full-time living. The following are some of the most significant advantages of owning a fifth-wheel camper:

The Tow Vehicle Can Be Used for Transportation

When you buy an RV, it only has one purpose. You’d only drive your RV around town to run errands on rare occasions. 

Furthermore, after setting up camp in an RV, you won’t want to relocate it to go into town or get to a local lake or trailhead. On the other hand, with a fifth wheel camper, the truck that tows your trailer can also serve as an RV trader’s fifth wheel.

Do you have to dash back to town to get a forgotten bag of ice? Leave everything set up in the truck that carried your trailer to the location. While you keep your trailer in between camping excursions, you can still use your truck as a primary mode of transportation.

There are several fifth wheel RV brands; Grand Design Solitude, Forest River Cardina, Keystone RV fifth wheel, and others.

Has an Option for Safe Towing

One of the advantages of a fifth wheel camper over many tow-behind trailers is how safer they operate. The bed of your truck supports the weight of your fifth wheel camper. This makes maneuvering the trailer easier and improves the trailer’s stability while in motion.

Extra Space

A fifth wheel trailer is an attractive solution for large families. Most fifth wheel trailers have a lofted sleeping area above the truck bed. Typically, you can use this extra space as the main bedroom or a multi-bunk room. Slideouts, which can offer even more sleeping possibilities, are standard on fifth wheel trailers.

There are no limits to the luxuries that a fifth wheel camper may provide. Thanks to their vast body area, they have plenty of capacity for all the extras, which doesn’t require any room for engines or driver cabs. A fifth wheel camper is an ideal choice if you want your kitchen on the road or if you can’t live without your bathroom.

Less Vehicle Maintenance

You’re committing to a second vehicle’s upkeep when you buy an RV. This entails twice as many oil changes, fluid flushes, and routine car maintenance. With a fifth wheel trailer, all you have to do is maintain your truck.

 While a fifth wheel trailer still requires some maintenance, such as replacing tires as needed and keeping moving parts oiled, it requires significantly less maintenance than a standard RV.

Fifth Wheel RV Drawbacks

While it’s simple to see why so many people choose fifth wheel campers for their outdoor activities, there are some disadvantages to this type of RV. Consider the following potential drawbacks of buying a fifth wheel.

Requires a Capable Vehicle

When purchasing an RV, the size of your vehicle is irrelevant because you will not be pulling the RV. For example, you could drive a tiny Toyota Corolla as a daily commuter. When choosing a fifth wheel camper, though, make sure you have a truck capable of hauling the trailer. 

These trailers necessitate a car carrying the trailer’s weight and safely stopping it. If you do not own the appropriate vehicle, this may require a second investment.

Separation of Driving and Living Space

When driving a fifth wheel camper, it’s crucial to remember that you’ll be isolated from your living space. You can’t just pull over, rush into the back of the RV, and get back into your seat as you can with an RV. To go to the kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms, you’ll have to get out of your truck and into the fifth wheel. If everyone decides to stay in the camper, you can feel lonely.

Needs Enough Storage Space

When you aren’t using your fifth wheel camper, you will need to find a spot to store it. 5th wheels, unlike a modest camper van or pop-up trailer, take up a lot of space. You may need to rent a storage facility or RV space during the off-season.

There are different types of fifth wheel RV floor plans. The floor plan of your RV should accommodate your lifestyle. If you’re unsure which floor plan is best for you, explore the floor plans below:

  • Bunkhouses: A fifth wheel RV with a bunkhouse floor plan offers additional space for sleeping and recreation.
  • Front living: This is a fifth wheel RV with a front living room.
  • Rear living: This is a floor plan with the living room in the rear of the RV. 
  • Front bathroom: This refers to floor plans with the bathroom in the front of the RV.
  • Rear bathroom: These are floor plans with the bathroom in the rear of the RV. 
  • Rear entertainment: These are floor plans with the entertainment center in the rear of the RV.
  • Two queen beds: These floor plans offer two queen beds in the bedroom.
  • Front kitchen: This is a floor plan with a front kitchen fifth wheel RV.
Fifth wheel RV at campsite

FAQs on Fifth Wheel Campers

What Is a Fifth Wheel Hitch and How Does It Work?

The U-shaped coupling located on the cargo bed of the towing vehicle is referred to as the “fifth wheel” in the name. It’s comparable to the mechanism found on commercial semi-trailers hauled by over-the-road tractors. The fifth wheel camping trailer’s front pin-box locks into the truck’s fifth wheel coupling, allowing for left and proper rotation as well as up and down mobility.

Is It Possible To Make A Gooseneck With Fifth Wheels?

A gooseneck hitch is a standard attachment utilized on farm and construction equipment. A trailer pin box is installed on fifth-wheel RVs and connects to the fifth wheel hitch affixed to the truck bed. Check your RV owner’s manual or your RV dealer before changing your fifth wheel to a gooseneck system. 

The trailer frame is subjected to varying forces by a gooseneck hitch, which may void your RV warranty.

Which Of The Fifth Wheels Include Generators?

Most toy-hauler fifth wheels and bigger fifth wheels built for extended use include factory-installed generator choices. The big front “pass-through” storage space beneath a fifth wheel’s front overhang is suitable for putting a generator.

How Are Fifth Wheels Measured and How Do They Weigh?

The weight of a fifth wheel varies based on the manufacturer, model, and floorplan. Models range in weight from around 6000 pounds (2722 kilograms) to approximately 14,000 pounds (6350 kilograms) empty. Measurements of the fifth wheel generally get taken from the pin box to the rear bumper.

Are Fifth Wheels Easier to Tow Than Fourth Wheels?

Even though fifth wheels are often larger and heavier than pull-behind travel trailers, many experienced RV enthusiasts find them easier to tow. The reason for this is that the RV’s hitch weight is distributed over the tow vehicle’s rear wheels, resulting in a more stable towing platform. 

Compared to a traditional travel trailer, you can find the hitch weight behind the tow vehicle’s rear wheels. Furthermore, because the fifth wheel’s front end overhangs the tow vehicle bed, the overall length of the tow vehicle/RV combination may be shorter than with a comparable length pull-behind trailer.

What are the Benefits and Disadvantages of Fifth Wheels in Relation to Travel Trailers?

Travel trailers and fifth wheels are available in various lengths, weights, floor plan layouts, sleeping arrangements, and pricing. When deciding between a fifth wheel and a travel trailer, keep the following points in mind:

A vehicle, van, SUV, or pickup truck can tow a travel trailer. A pickup vehicle is required to pull a fifth wheel. A fifth wheel is intrinsically more stable than a pull-behind travel trailer because the hitch-weight is placed directly above the pickup truck bed.

A travel trailer has a ranch-style single-floor layout, but a fifth wheel has a split-level design. A fifth wheel may not be the ideal option if you have trouble climbing steps. The solitude of a bedroom on the upper level of a fifth wheel, on the other hand, might be precisely what you’re searching for.

A fifth wheel’s front pass-through storage is unrivaled; travel trailers have less outside storage. Most travel trailer floorplans have numerous bedrooms or bunkrooms; many fifth wheels have one bedroom and sofas in the living room that you can turn into beds.

Travel trailers are shorter than fifth wheels. While you’ll have more inside headroom; as a result, you’ll also have to be more careful of overhead tree branches and low bridges.

Fifth wheel at campsite


Camping is always fun, and when you have a fifth wheel RV, it makes it more fun. The best fifth wheel RV for full-time living is essential since you can do everything within the same place. Apart from camping, you can also use it for transportation for you and other people.

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