The FIFTH WHEEL is a great Way
to begin the LIFETIME
ADVENTURE of RVing!

The fifth wheel trailer is a towable RV like the conventional trailer but with a forward raised section.

It is hitched using a king pin hitch (jaw hitch), pinned in the box of a pickup truck, directly above the rear axle.

It adds around 15 to 25 % of the trailer weight as a load to the pickup truck.

  • normally sleeps 2 to 6 people
  • cost $13,000 to $100,000 new
  • length of 21 to 40 feet

Let's see the advantages and disadvantages of this choice:


PROS: (advantages)

  • more maneuverable and stable than a conventional travel trailer.
  • for the same living space, less length all together when attached in the box of the pickup truck than a conventional trailer hitched on a vehicle bumper.
  • unit of choice for full time RVing
  • easier to backup and hitched alone without guidance compare to the conventional travel trailer. - a lot of storage space, more than a conventional travel trailer of the same length.
  • more interior height for tall people.
  • big holding tanks useful when boondocking (dry camping)
  • if you already own a pickup truck that has enough towing capacity , the fifth wheel would be a logical choice just installing a hitch in the box. It would be the most versatile combination.
  • many modern units have slide out sections which increase the interior width from 8 to 14 feet when stationed.
  • allows the pickup truck to serve as a touring vehicle when at destination as well as being used as a regular vehicle at home.


CONS: (disadvantages)


  • necessary to have a pickup truck (often expensive if used only for this purpose) with the right payload and towing capacity.
  • normally more expensive than a conventional trailer with the same living space.
  • the living and driving spaces are not connected. It is necessary to go outside to have access to the RV.
  • in many States and Provinces, it is illegal to tow another trailer behind the fifth wheel
  • the installation of a platform on a bumper hitch at the rear of the 5th wheel trailer to transport heavy equipment (ex.motorcycle) is not recommended. It may damage the integrity of the structure.
  • the floorplan is on two levels with a front section raised, with the obligation to climb a few steps in order to have access to the bedroom or in some floorplans a living room area instead.
  • being quite high at the front, there are more possibilities of hitting low branches on country roads.
  • takes a lot of room at home while in storage.


The TOY HAULER (trailer variation):

It refers to a camping trailer either a fifth wheel or a conventional travel trailer (see link below) with a closed in space (garage) at the rear, to transport ATVs, motorcycles, small dune buggy and other toys.

Normally a big door at the back opens up and serves as a ramp to drive the 'toys' in. This door may be on a side with a smaller garage.



OTHER TYPES of CAMPING TRAILERS available:

  1. the tent trailers (or pop-up RVs)
  2. the travel trailers (conventional)
  3. the truck campers

Also:

Check the PROS and CONS of MOTOR HOMES


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