In recent years, fifth wheel trailers have become increasingly popular among RVers. However, there are a few reasons why you may want to avoid them.
Fifth wheel trailers can be more difficult to maneuver and take up more space than other types of RVs. They also tend to be more expensive, and you may need to purchase a separate vehicle to tow them.
Before you buy or rent this type of RV, read on for 8 reasons to avoid fifth wheel campers:
What is a Fifth Wheel RV?
A fifth wheel RV is a towable type of recreational vehicle that is typically towed behind a heavy duty pickup truck. 5th wheels have special hitch that is mounted over the truck’s rear axle rather than at the back of the truck like a travel trailer. 5th wheel RVs are also often larger and can have more amenities than other types of towable RVs, making them ideal for longer getaways or full-time RVing.
8 Reasons to Avoid Fifth Wheel RVs
There are several reasons to avoid purchasing a fifth wheel RV. While we personally RV full-time in a fifth wheel, we can’t deny that owning a 5th wheel has some disadvantage over other types of recreational vehicles.
Below are the top 8 reasons to avoid 5th wheels. Let’s get to it!
1. Fifth Wheels and Tow Trucks Are Expensive
5th wheels and tow vehicles are undeniably expensive, especially when compared to those required for travel trailers.
If are planning to purchase an RV and are deciding to buy a 5th wheel, you’ll need to already own or will have to purchase an expensive tow truck or a heavy-duty pick-up truck.
Most 5th wheel RVers tow with a dually, adding to the initial expense and ongoing maintenance of owning a 5th wheel.
2. Backing in a Fifth Wheel is Difficult
Backing a fifth-wheel RV into a campsite can be difficult.
We much prefer pull-through campsites, don’t you?
The turning point varies from vehicle to vehicle and 5th wheel to 5th wheel. This makes it difficult to know when and how sharply to turn your vehicles wheel to appropriately adjust the tires when backing up.
3. Hard to Find Campsites for Large Fifth Wheels
If you buy a 5th wheel, particularly one over 35′ long, it can be rather difficult to locate a campsite in state and national campgrounds. Many national park campgrounds either have limited spaces available for larger 5th wheels, or they have none at all. So, you may have to find camp accommodations elsewhere and miss out on camping within the parks themselves.
4. Fifth Wheels Use Tow Trucks with Low Fuel Economy
With 5th wheels being some of the larger towable types of RV, 5th wheels require tow vehicles that use a lot of fuel. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to improve fuel mileage above the single digits when towing a 5th wheel.
5. Fifth Wheels Limit Interior Access While Traveling
While most RVs offer plenty of living space, fifth wheels have limited interior access on travel days. This makes them less ideal for long trips or families with small children. Unlike with a
, you most likely won’t have the option to pull over to grab something from the fridge or use the bathroom in a 5th wheel.
6. Daily Drivers for Fifth Wheels Are Still Large
Although fifth wheels have become increasingly popular in recent years, their daily drivers are still some of largest. This means you’ll be burning through quite a lot of gas when running into town for groceries or sight-seeing. It’s also difficult to find parking for large trucks both in small towns and in large cities, especially if your daily driver is a dually.
7. Fifth Wheels Require a Truck Bed Tow Hitch
Fifth wheels are a type of RV that require a truck bed tow hitch. This tow hitch is often large and quite heavy, adding to the fuel that will be used to transport your RV. Additionally, the 5th wheel hitch takes up so much room in your truck bed that you will have limited storage space for camping gear and other RV essentials.
8. Fifth Wheels Often Do Not Have Built in Generators
While some fifth wheels have built in generators, most do not. This can make it difficult to dry camp or boondock in very hot or very cold weather when camping in a 5th wheel. If you plan to mostly camp with full hook-ups, then not having an onboard generator isn’t really an issue.
Since we didn’t have an onboard generator for our 5th wheel, we bought a stand alone generator so we could have the freedom of boondocking in national forests and public lands. Having the generator has also been helpful on the rare occasion that the power was down on a particularly hot day while RVing at a campground with full hook-ups.
Some Reasons Not to Avoid Fifth Wheels
While we discussed the main reasons why you should avoid buying a 5th wheel, this type of RV does offer many advantages. So we wanted to include a few of them as well since we really enjoy RVing full-time in our 5th wheel.
For starters, fifth wheels typically offer more space and storage options than most travel trailers and smaller RVs. 5th wheels also offer more layouts and living space than most towable campers.
As you can see, there are several reasons to choose a fifth wheel for your next RV. (We did!)
Should You Avoid Fifth Wheel RVs and Find Your Perfect Camper
After reading our top reasons to avoid buying a fifth wheel RV trailer, you may be wondering if you should avoid fifth wheel campers altogether and what type of RV you should buy instead.
Fortunately, there are many different types of campers to choose from, so it should be easy to find the camper that is right for you. You can start by deciding what size RV you need and what amenities you want. You also need to consider how you will be using your RV and where you will be taking it.
Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, you can start shopping around for the perfect RV for your camping needs.
Any Other Reasons to Avoid Fifth Wheel RV Campers?
While we included the most basic reasons to avoid a fifth wheel, surely there are others. Let us know below, what is another reason you would avoid buying or renting a fifth wheel RV?