5-wheeler parked by ocean

Fifth wheel travel trailers are one of the most popular types of campers on the road.

Want to buy a fifth wheel camper but wondering if it will meet your needs? Read on for information on the benefits and drawbacks of this type of camper.

What is a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer?

There are two types of campers: motorized and towable. Motorized campers, sometimes called motorhomes, have an engine and can be driven as-is. Towable campers are those that attach to the back of a truck or other vehicle and are pulled behind

Fifth wheel travel trailers are large, towable campers. Instead of connecting to a tow vehicle via a hitch, like a pop-up camper, fifth wheel campers connect to the center of a truck bed with a gooseneck connector. Fifth wheel travel trailers can range from 22 to 40 feet, and have one or more slide-outs to give the camper additional interior space when it is set up. Because of their spacious interiors, fifth wheels are popular for full-time travelers, big families, and anyone who is looking for the comforts of home while camping.

Truck with RV trailer driving through a desert

Benefits of a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer

There are two primary benefits to a fifth wheel travel trailer: towability and interior layout. Let’s take a look at both.

Despite their size, a fifth wheel camper is one of the easiest types of campers to tow. Because it connects to the tow vehicle via a gooseneck, there is more leverage from the center of the truck for an effortless tow. In addition, this type of connection allows the truck and camper to maneuver better as a connected unit. Fifth wheel travel trailers rarely have the side-to-side swaying that occurs in other towable campers. Drivers of fifth wheel campers enjoy the added stability on both short and long-haul drives, and on nearly any type of road.

The second benefit of a fifth wheel travel trailer is the comfort of its interior layout. While every camper’s layout is different, fifth wheel travel trailers benefit from the additional space that comes from both slide-outs and the overhang that sits above the truck bed. Fifth wheel travel trailers are not only spacious but are often luxuriously equipped inside. It is not unusual to find full-sized kitchens with all the amenities of home, multiple seating areas, a king-sized bed, and a washer and dryer. Some campers even come with fireplaces, multiple TV’s, and wine refrigerators.

If an easy-to-tow, comfortably equipped camper is what you’re looking for, a fifth wheel travel trailer may be right for you.

Drawbacks of a Fifth Wheel Travel Trailer

The one potential drawback to owning a fifth wheel travel trailer is the type of vehicle needed to pull it. While other campers can be pulled by lighter duty trucks, and sometimes even SUV’s, a fifth wheel travel trailer often requires a heavy duty truck or flatbed.

A heavy duty truck is needed primarily because fifth wheel campers are heavy. The slide-outs and overhang create a lot of space, but also add weight to the camper. Also, the longer the camper gets, the heavier it gets. The truck you use to tow the camper should have a towing capacity that exceeds the weight of the camper in order to not over-tax the transmission.

In addition to needing a proper tow capacity, the truck will need a mounting plate installed inside the truck bed. This is an additional expense that will decrease the space available in the truck bed for other uses. Additionally, as it is illegal for anyone to ride in a camper while it is being towed, the truck will need to have the proper seating capacity for the number of travelers.

Fifth wheel travel trailers are a great option for those who are looking for a camper that is spacious, luxurious, and easy to tow. While a heavy duty truck is needed to properly tow a fifth wheel travel trailer, those who can find the right combination will enjoy the ease and comfort that these campers have to offer.

Let Southeast Financial help you finance your fifth wheel. Contact us today.