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Travel Trailer vs 5th Wheel: What's the Difference?

If you’re looking for a full-time RV solution or just a weekend getaway vehicle, there are plenty of options to consider choosing from. Travel trailers and fifth wheels are two of the most popular RV types available, each with their own unique pros and cons.

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What are the main differences between travel trailers and 5th wheels?

The countless types of RVs and floor plans that are available make it difficult to make a decision. Let’s take a look at the difference between a travel trailer and fifth wheel, and some of the pros and cons with your budget.

  1. Travel Trailers
  2. Fifth Wheels
  3. Pros & Cons

1) Travel Trailers

This is the type of RV that can be pulled by your towing vehicle using a traditional trailer hitch. Travel trailers offer the flexibility of being able to detach the living area so that you can use your smaller vehicle freely. This easier to tow vehicle would be a great choice for families who like the idea of camping but aren’t willing to invest in expensive motorhomes.

2) Fifth Wheel

In comparison to travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers connect to your vehicle using a special U-shaped hitch that fits into the bed floor of a pickup truck. This special connection allows more stability when towing and can be constructed of heavier materials than typical travel trailers. 

Pro Tip: Larger families might prefer a fifth wheel since it’s a little bit bigger and usually comes with extra features.

3) Some Pros & Cons

Some of the pros and cons of travel trailers are:

Pros:

  • They are less costly than other major RV types
  • Towing vehicle can be used for other purposes as well
  • Insurance is less expensive
  • Less maintenance required
  • Lots of options to choose from
  • Economical way of RVing

Cons:

  • Difficulties related to towing behind a car
  • Cannot travel inside a travel trailer
  • Fewer amenities compared to other RV types
  • Traveling is restricted
  • Space and comfort limitations
  • May not be great in winter due to insulation
  • Difficulties in parking

While some of the pros and cons of fifth wheels are:

Pros:

  • More living space
  • Good for off-road places
  • Ample storage space
  • Low cost for ownership

Cons:

  • You need the right tow vehicle
  • Hitching and driving requires practice
  • Lack of on-board generator in smaller models

A Variety of RV Styles to Choose From

When it comes to choosing a travel trailer vs choosing a 5th wheel, the end choice is up to you and what works best for your family. Make a game plan of what kind of traveling you want to be doing, and what you’ll need to have the best camping experience.

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