Home Recreational Vehicles What is a Fifth Wheel RV?

What is a Fifth Wheel RV?


There are different types of RVs or recreational vehicles that you can buy today, but there may be some that are more suitable for you when it comes to your needs and preferences. One of the types of RV that may be perfect for you is the fifth wheel RV, which is a trailer that is significantly bigger compared to most RV types and may be suitable for bigger groups of travelers. To know more, here are the details about fifth wheel RVs, from their features to their pros and cons.

What is a Fifth Wheel RV?

trailer parked in the forest

A fifth wheel RV is a type of recreational vehicle that has a fifth wheel trailer attached to it. Basically, any vehicle that is capable of towing a fifth wheel trailer can be considered as a fifth wheel RV. The fifth wheel trailer has a “fifth wheel hitch” that can be towed onto a vehicle. The fifth wheel hitch rotates left and right so that the trailer can slide around corners easily while the truck that tows it moves laterally.

However, what’s different about the fifth wheel trailer compared to the classic travel trailer is that it is towed by being coupled or attached to the bed of the truck as opposed to the back of the truck which is usually done on classic travel trailers.

Because it is coupled to the bed of a truck, a fifth wheel trailer would have a bulge at the front that features the fifth wheel hitch or connector at the bottom. This bulge can also serve as an extra space for the interior of the fifth wheel. Due to how massive fifth wheel trailers are, they can only be towed by one-ton trucks that are full-sized.

Fifth wheel trailers usually have the same features as classic travel trailers and most types of trailers, and these common features include sleeping facilities, a bathroom, a kitchen, and storage compartments. But these features are bigger in size since fifth wheel trailers are wider and longer than other types of trailers. Most fifth wheel trailers today would even have slide-outs at the top so that the roof can be extended to provide a makeshift patio for people outside the trailer.

What are the Pros and Cons of Fifth Wheel Trailers?

Even though there are some people that would prefer fifth wheel trailers over other types of trailers, there are still a few RV enthusiasts that find fifth wheel trailers disadvantageous to own because of the trailers’ various cons that other trailer types don’t have. In order for you to make the best decision when it comes to buying a fifth wheel trailer, you must first understand the advantages and disadvantages of owning one so that you can see if this type of trailer is suitable for you. Here are the pros and cons of fifth wheel trailers.

Pros of Fifth Wheel Trailers

  • Plenty of Space Inside – one of the main benefits of fifth wheel trailers is their large interior space, which enables you to have a big bedroom, a less cramped bathroom, and a fairly large kitchen area. The extra spaces that fifth wheel trailers provide make them the best option for RV enthusiasts that like to bring groups of friends or family members with them during road trips.
  • Safer to Tow – because of the “fifth wheel hitch” mechanism of fifth wheel trailers, it can be said they are much safer to tow compared to other types of trailers, which are coupled or attached to the back of the car using a ball hitch. The fifth wheel hitch is considered to be a stabler and more balanced hitch for trailers since it rests the weight of the trailer on the bed of the truck instead of on the back.
  • Can Be Detached – this specific benefit is an advantage that all trailers have when they are compared to RVs or recreational vehicles. Trailers can easily be detached from the vehicles that tow them. So, if you are just running errands or going to get supplies for camping, you can just detach the trailer first so that you will have an easier time driving around the city or town buying stuff or performing tasks.

Cons of Fifth Wheel Trailers

  • You Will Need a Big Garage or Storage Space for the Trailer – due to how big fifth wheel trailers are, a lot of people that own them would often have struggles in storing them at home. So, if you are planning to have a fifth wheel trailer, your home should already have a large garage or parking space to accommodate the size of the trailer.
  • No Access to the Trailer While the Truck is Moving – a disadvantage the fifth wheel trailers and other trailers have when compared to RVs is that people in the driver’s seat and passenger seats of the truck have no access to the trailer while the truck is moving. The reason why is that the truck and the trailer are separate, meaning that you can’t just go to the bathroom or bedroom inside the trailer while you are in the truck since there are no pathways or hallways that connect them.
  • Cannot Be Towed by Smaller Vehicles – the problem with fifth wheel trailers is their size and weight, as they are too large and too heavy for smaller vehicles to tow. So, if you want to use a fifth wheel trailer, you will need a full-size one-ton truck that is capable of carrying a big trailer. Besides being able to move the trailer, the truck would need to have the ability to stop the trailer with ease.

And those are some of the best things that you need to know about fifth wheel trailers if you are planning on getting one soon. By reading this article, we hope that everything is clear to you now in terms of how suitable fifth wheel trailers are for you based on their features, as well as their pros and cons.

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