Are you interested in living the RV lifestyle? You’re in good company. Approximately one million Americans live in their recreational vehicle full time, traversing the country according to season and whim. Of course, there are also many more who own an RV in addition to a traditional home, and use it as both transportation method and accommodations when they travel.
Anyone who’s just starting to explore the RVing options will be quickly faced with a big decision: whether to buy a motorhome, which is essentially an apartment on wheels, or to get a travel trailer, which gets hitched to the back of a vehicle. A fifth wheel trailer, which requires a pickup truck to tow it, is an excellent option. Read on to find out the reasons why!
- There’s Space to Spread Out
A fifth wheel trailer, even if it’s the same length as a motorhome, is going to seem more spacious. Why? It’s because the cockpit of a motorhome — the driver’s and passenger’s seats, dashboard, steering wheel, center console, etc. — take up a fair amount of space. In a fifth wheel, all of that space can be used for something else.
In addition, fifth wheels usually have higher ceilings than motorhomes. So even a relatively short rig will give the illusion of spaciousness.
- It Offers Physical Security and Stability
If you have ever towed a camper with a ball hitch, you probably noticed the trailer swaying back and forth as you tooled on down the highway. The design of a fifth wheel rig feels much more stable to the driver than when you’re simply pulling the trailer behind your vehicle. That’s because this set up puts the hitch weight over the drive axle, so the weight is more evenly distributed.
This hitch design also makes for a stronger, more secure connection. That allows for a heavier — read: more luxurious and feature-packed — trailer.
Naturally, you will also want to take customary safety precautions, like getting the fifth wheel extended service plan Good Sam provides.
- Fifth Wheels Come with Improved Maneuverability
Similarly, having the hitch centered over the truck bed rather than directly behind your vehicle is going to provide a significant advantage when it comes to maneuvering your rig on the road. Backing up, turning, and moving from one lane of a highway to another is a lot easier when you have a fifth wheel as opposed to a Class A motorhome.
Being able to drive your RV confidently means that you will drive it more often, go everywhere you want to, and get the maximum possible enjoyment out of it!
- A More Economical Option
When you choose a fifth wheel trailer rather than a Class A motorhome, it’s highly likely that you will be able to save money, or get a bit more bang for your buck. That’s because you don’t have to worry about maintaining a separate engine and drivetrain.
Of course, you will also need a medium- to heavy-duty pickup truck to tow a fifth wheel trailer, but if you already own one, the additional cost to invest in a trailer rig will be much less than that required to buy a motorhome.
- The Freedom of Unhitching
One of the major considerations when purchasing a recreational vehicle, and one of the main factors cited by those who choose a fifth wheel set up as opposed to a different type, is the fact that you can unhitch it from your truck.
That affords travelers a significant amount of flexibility and freedom. Once you arrive at your campsite, you can set up house with the trailer, then use the truck to take short jaunts as needed.
Whether you’re going out to eat, on a day trip to a nearby attraction, or just running errands, it’s a heckuva lot easier driving just a pickup truck as opposed to a motorhome. Parking is much easier as well, and you’re even making a bit of a difference in your carbon footprint.
Of course, fifth wheel trailers have their downsides, too. Probably the biggest one is that, by law, passengers aren’t allowed to ride in the trailer while it’s on the road. That means everyone must pile into the pickup truck while traveling. Fifth wheel advocates, however, say that the advantages more than outweigh this inconvenience.
Have you ever gone camping with a fifth wheel rig? Or would you prefer the all-in-one option of a motorhome? Tell us about your experience in the comment section!