When it comes to adventurous towing, people are always curious to know whether a fifth wheel or a basic travel trailer is better. Both the fifth wheel and travel trailer are used to tow equipment with the use of hitches that connect large tow trailers to a vehicle’s bed.
We have presented overall information on fifth-wheel towing, and travel trailers with their advantages, and disadvantages. So, stay till the end to explore which one is better.
Before getting to our main topic, let’s start with an introduction to 5th Wheel towing, and a travel trailer.
What is a Travel trailer?
A Travel Trailer is used to create a recreational vehicle (RV) to tow 5th-wheel trailers, camper trailers, towable campers, and other cargo equipment. There are various types of travel trailers including basic travel trailers, pop-up trailers, toy haulers, and fifth-wheel trailers.
Fifth-wheel travel trailers require a powerful pickup truck as the tow vehicle while other lightweight trailers can be towed by a mid-sized SUV or larger Sedans.
Basic travel trailers (sometimes called ‘bumper pulls’) are connected to the tow vehicle’s bumper using the trailer hitches but fifth-wheel trailers directly sit on the back of a tow truck.
What is Fifth Wheel Towing?
Fifth wheel towing refers to towing a trailer with a fifth wheel hitch on the back of a semi-truck that couples to the kingpin. 5th-wheel is also a part of the travel trailer.
Full-size one-ton pickup trucks are only able to tow fifth-wheel trailers. The 5th Wheel hitch is placed on the truck-bed floor, and is capable to tow 16,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs weight. With this hitch, you can tow heavy equipment such as large campers, and RV Trailers.
Is it easier to tow a fifth wheel or a travel trailer?
As discussed above, the 5th wheel is a type of travel trailer that requires a 5th-wheel hitch attached to the truck bed over the axle. Other basic travel trailers are connected with tow vehicles using trailer hitches.
5th wheel trailer offers a stable, and more reliable towing experience compared to basic travel trailers because it is attached to the truck bed over the axle.
What are the advantages of a 5th wheel over a travel trailer?
Here are the advantages of a 5th-wheel trailer with 5th-wheel hitches.
- It offers quieter and smoother operation.
- Provides reliable control over tall trailers
- Requires few small hole drilling in truck’s bed (not required for trucks with a factory 5th wheel hitch).
- Can be converted to a Gooseneck hitch.
- Offers a towing capacity between 16,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs.
- Easy to install, and remove.
- Best for large RVs, and campers.
Does a Fifth Wheel tow better than a travel trailer?
Fifth-wheel trailers offer better towing than a basic travel trailer because it exerts more of the weight centered between the tow vehicle’s axles making it more stable, and secure.
If you are an adventurer and require your truck to pull heavy RVs, and campers, you may require a 5th Wheel trailer because it offers stable and reliable control over basic travel trailers that are prone to crosswinds. Bumper travel trailers could overreact with minor steering wheel movements and swaying.
Fifth-wheel trailers are designed with higher ceiling height meaning you will benefit if you’re very tall or feel discomfiting in a travel trailer. Weight is always an issue on travel trailers but 5th-wheel trailers are massive and offer ample space to meet your interior requirements.
People using fifth-wheel trailers claim 5th-wheels are easier to install and remove than basic travel trailers. Basically, it is a true statement however, you won’t struggle to hook up your basic travel trailer as it requires just a 2-minute operation to connect the trailer hitch to your tow vehicle.
When it comes to off-roading, or adventurous towing, basic travel trailers perform well than the 5th-wheel trailer. Due to heavier weight, and taller height, 5th-wheel trailers are prone to colliding with tree branches, and other obstructions. Besides, going downhill on a slippery, icy, or dirt road is difficult with 5th-wheel towing.
Talking about the truck bed storage, you will get little space with the fifth-wheel trailer but a basic travel trailer allows you to use all of your truck bed. If you are concerned about the pricing, 5th-wheel trailers are always expensive compared to basic travel trailers. You can purchase a basic travel trailer with a starting price as low as $10,000 however, the price of 5th-wheel trailers starts at $50,000.
Choosing between a 5th-wheel trailer, or a travel trailer for towing depends on your personal requirement. For instance, if you want to use your travel trailer for families, a basic travel trailer could be the best option because it is affordable, and meets the basic requirement of RV families.
But, if you require good towing performance, a 5th-wheel trailer is a better option as it offers a more stable, and comfortable towing experience.
A 5th-wheel trailer requires a powerful pickup truck so, you need to own a pickup truck. It could be expensive if you are a budget guy. In this situation, a travel trailer becomes your best companion. It is cheaper compared to the 5th-wheel trailer and can be towed by mid-sized SUVs, and larger sedans.
Fifth-wheel offers better towing than a basic travel trailer however, it fully depends on your requirement before choosing the appropriate one. You can rent travel trailers, and test them before you purchase one.
Stellan Carter is an accomplished writer, entrepreneur, and avid Ford Raptor owner. As a co-founder and content contributor for this renowned blog website, Stellan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the automotive industry. When he’s not behind the wheel of his beloved Ford Raptor, Stellan can be found exploring new terrains, capturing the essence of his automotive adventures through his camera lens.