Travel trailer vs Fifth Wheel? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-26-2019, 02:25 PM   #1
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Travel trailer vs Fifth Wheel?

Opinions/questions Ö for my son, not me. But I trust your opinions/input here!

Heís looking into getting a trailer to live in much of the year as he travels for work. He has a Nissan Titan pick up truck with a crewcab, short bed and 9700# tow capacity and was looking at 21-25í travel trailers. He's looking for used, not new and is intending to pay cash. He went to one dealership and they mentioned the possibility of a fifth wheel.

Fifth wheel has never been an option for me so I canít guide him one way or another in this decision.

What are some of the pros/cons between travel trailers and fifth wheels? My only comment was that he would lose some of the bed storage in the truck, but the fifth might provide better stability when towing?

Oh, other information. He wants a place to sit and relax, a place to put a desk/computer, a place to sleep. He's 6'-6" and likes the taller ceilings (he can't stand straight up in my Coleman CTS16FB!)
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:41 PM   #2
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We currently have a travel trailer and are going to eventually switch to a 5th wheel and go full time when we sell our homes (we are looking at a DRV).

From what I have seen, the 5th wheel has a load of more storage and the loss of storage in the truck bed is not an issue. I have heard that towing a 5vr is easier and handling is improved over a tt. From what I’ve seen, the ceilings are usually lower over the hitch areas and higher in the rest of the RV...

When not hooked to the RV, the hitch usually remains and sounds like a pain to remove and replace when you want to just use the truck and the bed
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:50 PM   #3
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If your going to live in something and tow a lot a 5th wheel is 100% the way to go, BUT, with his truck limitations he's going to have to get one so small, the bedroom area(over the front) is going to have zero headroom, and feel super cramped. He also needs to check the pin weight if he goes with a 5th wheel, they usually have a lot more than a "1/2 ton" truck will handle, regardless of what the dealer says.
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
If your going to live in something and tow a lot a 5th wheel is 100% the way to go, BUT, with his truck limitations he's going to have to get one so small, the bedroom area(over the front) is going to have zero headroom, and feel super cramped. He also needs to check the pin weight if he goes with a 5th wheel, they usually have a lot more than a "1/2 ton" truck will handle, regardless of what the dealer says.
Agreed...

A 5th wheel tows better, handles better, and provides much more room & better options for long-term living. BUT... only if one has the proper tow vehicle to tow it, and that Nissan ain't it.

Given his current parameters... I DO NOT recommend a 5th wheel. Stick with the bumper-tow option, and stay within the weight ratings.

Remember, it's not about the ability of the powertrain to "tow" it... it's about how the truck will handle on downhill grades, and less-than-perfect roadways (bumpy, rainy, gravel-covered, etc)
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:31 PM   #5
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X2 ATCguy.
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:11 AM   #6
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Seen too many photos and videos of flipped bumper pulls. I'll keep my 5th wheel.
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:45 AM   #7
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@PamW, I would be surprised if your truck can handle a 5th wheel with a 9,700 lb towing capacity. Obviously, you can check the specs on the trailers you look at but donít forget to add all the stuff you carrying including water, propane tanks, batteries, food, clothes, all the stuff in storage, etc. Even the hitch itself can weigh as much as 300 pounds if you get a slider which might be necessary depending on your bed length.

And donít trust the sales person. Do your own research. They lie just to make a sale. Most trailers are underweighted and in the real world weigh more. Their ďdryĒ weight is seldom what it really weighs when empty. Also, check your pin weight rating on your Titan and make sure that is adequate as well.

Yes, I agree with those that say 5th wheels have advantages over bumper toes but double check and make sure you are within your towing capacity.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:52 AM   #8
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azdryheat, I think most people are recommending the trailer vs the 5th wheel due to the limitation of the tow vehicle. I wouldn't trade my 5'er either.
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:55 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your input!

The 5.5' bed he has also makes things ... interesting. I do think bumper pull is the way to go, I just didn't know why.

Logically speaking I understand the difference between tow ratings and cargo ratings on vehicles ... in terms of 'bumper pulls".

How are these ratings affected for 5s? Does the hitch weight (pin weight?) factor into cargo instead of tow at all? I'm probably asking about such a small percentage that it doesn't really factor in ... just curious.

Of course I'll guide him to give himself 'wiggle room' with the weights ...
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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Here's a good read with a calculator... https://www.fifthwheelmagazine.com/c...fth-wheel.aspx
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:49 AM   #11
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I tow with a Titan XD diesel. From your post I would absolutely go with a TT. Highly recommend the Blue Ox SwayPro as the hitch. I would recommend at least a 3/4 ton for a 5ver, even the so called half ton models. Stay as far away from the 9700# max as you can and still meet your needs or moving the trailer around will be a chore.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pctomlin View Post
I tow with a Titan XD diesel. From your post I would absolutely go with a TT. Highly recommend the Blue Ox SwayPro as the hitch. I would recommend at least a 3/4 ton for a 5ver, even the so called half ton models. Stay as far away from the 9700# max as you can and still meet your needs or moving the trailer around will be a chore.
The XD Diesel is a beast!
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:09 PM   #13
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The XD Diesel is a beast!
I have the same Cummins ISV 5.0 engine in my Tiffin motorhome, turbo lag sux in this application.

As others have stated, be sure to stay within truck ratings.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:18 PM   #14
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The XD Diesel is a beast!
The XD diesel makes a great tow vehicle for a TT. We stayed away from a 5ver due to the pin box weight limitations with an XD. It handles the 37' Denali with no issues due to the diesel, frame, tires etc..
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:46 PM   #15
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azdryheat, I think most people are recommending the trailer vs the 5th wheel due to the limitation of the tow vehicle. I wouldn't trade my 5'er either.
Rusty
Read The OP's 4th paragraph, please. My reply is appropriate and you calling me on it is not.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:33 PM   #16
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?? I'm confused azdryheat. I wasn't calling you on your post. I agree with what you said, and simply added that the information about the tow vehicle limitations.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pctomlin View Post
The XD diesel makes a great tow vehicle for a TT. We stayed away from a 5ver due to the pin box weight limitations with an XD. It handles the 37' Denali with no issues due to the diesel, frame, tires etc..



I ALSO have a Denali and it's 37'. Just got back from a month long trip up in the virginia mountains. the XD can take a 1500 pound pin rated RV. The denali I have is pretty close to 1k hitch weight.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:30 AM   #18
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the XD can take a 1500 pound pin rated RV. The denali I have is pretty close to 1k hitch weight.
My actual tongue weight according to the Cat scales is 1300#.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:22 AM   #19
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My actual tongue weight according to the Cat scales is 1300#.
OMG! Do you have airbags?
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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My actual tongue weight according to the Cat scales is 1300#.
What's the max tongue weight on that?
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