Fifth Wheel VS Travel Trailer: An Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your RV

If you are planning on buying your very first RV, you should do some research. Trailers and RV’s come in a variety of types offering unique features and designs. Getting the best trailer or motorhome to fit your personal needs is not an easy task.

If you are a fan of outdoors or you want to go on a road trip to attend a concert, festival or explore new places then an RV is the perfect option.

Fifth Wheels are not only are the cheap but they are great for some adventurous fun out in the sun. Motorized RV’s however, are very costly, heavy and require a lot of maintenance. Coming at a low price with a more space travel trailers and Fifth wheels are awesome. Let’s compare their features in more detail.

Trailers and Fifth Wheel Differences:

    1. Size Matters

Fifth wheel trailers are great for large families as they give more of an apartment feel. Fifth wheels are equipped with dishwashers, dryers, and fireplace. With more features and space fifth wheels require a more powerful vehicle (a 4X4 Truck) to carry them.

Travel trailers also known as “campers” are much smaller and require less power to be towed and carried around. They can be towed by small trucks rather than a full-size 4X4. Travel trailers can be elaborate, supporting all features that a fifth trailer holds so you can choose which best fits your budget, needs, and requirement.

    1. Cost Considerations

The fifth wheel is more expensive as compared to travel trailers, this mainly accounts for the fact that fifth wheels are larger, equipped with more rooms and are complex to build. Travel trailers are more compact and easier to build. The average price of a fifth wheel trailer ranges from $18,000 to $55,000 depending on the type of luxury you prefer. A travel trailer will cost you $12,000 to $40,000 depending on the sizes accordingly.

    1. Drive

The fifth wheel offers a better drive than a travel trailer mainly because of its maneuverability. Fifth wheels are also easier to tow, this is due to a better hitch the fifth wheel has to offer (located at an elevated level reduces sway movement giving a smoother drive). If you have a travel trailer and purchase some accessories it will reduce it sway and will make it easy to maneuver.

    1. Space

When it comes to space, the fifth wheel is a much better option especially if you have a large family. Fifth wheels come in all shapes and sizes and are comparatively bigger than travel trailers. Fifth wheels offer more luxurious options and privacy, if you are looking for an apartment to attach behind your truck then purchase a fifth wheel.

Space gets compromised when you buy a travel trailer but you could get it customized and add a few features at an additional cost.

    1. Ceiling Height

As mentioned earlier, fifth wheels are more spacious and they offer a good ceiling height, if you own a travel trailer and feel cramped then it's time for you to upgrade your RV. A fifth wheel; however, has a lower bedroom ceiling.

    1. Weight

Fifth wheels are bigger and are much heavier in weight as well but on the bright side fifth wheels have better tow ability and maneuverability.

There are smaller fifth wheels available on the market which weigh less, so you can choose from them accordingly. Travel trailers can be carried around anywhere easily and are very light in weight. Travel trailers are best for couples or short families who have a craze for outdoor travel.

    1. Floor Levels

Travel trailers have only one level which mainly includes living space on the truck bed. A fifth wheel will have more levels with steps leading up to a master bedroom. Space is an important factor which should be taken into consideration as more levels will lead to more privacy. The chances of picking out fifth wheels are observed by couples or large families.

    1. Storage Units

You can expect more storage space in the fifth wheel due to its large size, it can be found under the bedroom compartment or in the living space. Travel trailers often lag in storage units due to their one-layer of space. The storage compartment for the travel trailers are generally found outside the unit however manufacturers are working on improving storage with smarter floor plans.

    1. Fuel Efficiency

Due to a higher profile and a heavy-duty frame, a fifth wheel offers lower fuel efficiency. This will further be costly as a fifth wheel will consume more budget. Travel trailers are good at saving fuel costs as they are lightweight and consume less fuel. If you are on a budget and can't afford expensive fuel then opt for purchasing a travel trailer.

    1. Tow Ability

Towing a fifth wheel is easier and more stable, the entire mass of the RV is centered towards the front part of the towing vehicle. A fifth wheel gets attached with the help of a hitch to your truck bed. A travel trailer gets hooked up to the rear end of your bumper with the help of a ball hitch system, this allows more sway movement from a travel trailer as compared to the fifth wheel.

What to Consider when Buying an RV

Before you hit the market looking for an RV there are some things that you need to consider. Rest for a moment and ponder upon the following points and you will purchase the correct RV, without wasting your money.

Where Do I Need to Travel?

The very first thing to consider is the type of traveling that you are planning on doing. RV's are the best fit for a road trip or camping and if you are planning on going for a short trip, then a travel trailer will be perfect for you. Consider buying a fifth wheel if you want to travel for long durations as comfort will be your foremost priority on lengthy trips.

What is my Budget?

Budget considerations are other points that puts things into perspective. RV's come in different styles, designs and types so choosing the one which best suits your budget can be tough. If your budget is tight then consider getting travel trailers that are cheap and convenient but if luxury and comfort matters to you then purchase a fifth wheel.

How Many Things Will You Take with you?

The next consideration should be the people and the stuff which you would be carrying around. If you are selecting a travel trailer then carry minimum baggage with you, as travel trailers are quite compact and smaller in size. Fifth wheels offer bigger space and a larger storage capacity so there’s no need to be afraid to travel big with fifth wheels.

How Much Will the Fuel Cost?

If you are on a low budget you would never want to get an RV which isn't fuel-efficient. Travel trailers offer great fuel economy as they are lighter in weight and smaller in size. If you don’t have much of a budget then you could always go for the spacious fifth wheel.

How Will I Tow my RV?

All RV’s require to be towed from 4x4 trucks so first have that arranged before heading out to make a purchase. Be sure your truck has a trailer hitch on its bed to tow the RV. You will need a pickup truck to tow a fifth wheel and an SUV for a travel trailer. If you still need guidance on how to tow the RV, then you can always contact your dealer or find this information online.

Where Will I Park It?

When not in use, RV's require a huge parking space so buy one after you’ve have made proper arrangements for storing. You can store your RV or travel trailer in your garage and you could also store it in a storage facility.

In a Nut Shell

Camping and road trips are very memorable; RV's and travel trailers are meant to add more life to any trip. To choose the best RV for yourself can be very challenging but thanks to this guide you will not be able to make a confident decision.