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Old 12-03-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
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Trade a 5th Wheel for a 5th Wheel?

Hey guys. The better half and me have decided to sell our camper in hopes to save some money. The plan was to sell ours and buy another smaller camper for cheaper. The plan should save us money all around:

Smaller/older camper = cheaper payment (unless we pay cash)
Cheaper camper = cheaper insurance
Smaller camper = better fuel economy when towing

We haven't sold ours yet but Iv been doing some browsing to see what I can find. I didn't realize they made micro-5th wheels! You can get a 5th wheel all the way down to 19' (smallest Iv seen at least. Made by Scamp). One has come up for sale close by and its a 21 footer. The sleeper part is tall enough to sit up in bed without giving yourself a concussion. So it begs the question: would I be saving any fuel mileage by getting this smaller 5th wheel? Its obviously lighter (a ton and a half less than my 25' w/ a slide) but its almost as tall (not sure how much though). Iv read its not the weight thatll get ya, its the aerodynamics, but Id like to confirm my readings.

Thanks guys!
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
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I don't think you would save that much fuel unless you were going on cross country trip where you could see a large immediate saving. I pull a 39' FW (13K lbs) and get 9-9 1/2mpg. I have a 5x10 all metal trailer (not enclosed) with 20" sides and a rear hinged gate/ramp. The trailer weighs probably weighs 800-1k lbs. Pulling that unloaded I only get a little over 12 1/2mpg. BTW, are you really an El Camino guy. Years ago I had several of them.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
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Just my opinion, but I think you are going to miss the 25ft with a slide more than you will appreciate any possible fuel savings. Many campers, especially small ones, have a way of becoming even smaller the more time you spend inside it.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrlakelover View Post
I don't think you would save that much fuel unless you were going on cross country trip where you could see a large immediate saving. I pull a 39' FW (13K lbs) and get 9-9 1/2mpg. I have a 5x10 all metal trailer (not enclosed) with 20" sides and a rear hinged gate/ramp. The trailer weighs probably weighs 800-1k lbs. Pulling that unloaded I only get a little over 12 1/2mpg. BTW, are you really an El Camino guy. Years ago I had several of them.
That's CRAZY! Id never believe a trailer that weighs, literally, 1/13th the weight would only yield 3 mpg savings. It sounds like I wont save hardly anything by getting another 5er.

And yea, Iv owned my El Camino for 9 years now. I used to know the ins and outs of em but mine hasn't been on the road for some time now
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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I pulled a 19 foot travel trailer on a few trips the traded for a new 34 foot fifth wheel, full height...My mileage was a little better pulling the fifth wheel. I can't explain it, but it's true...
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOTTOYS View Post
I pulled a 19 foot travel trailer on a few trips the traded for a new 34 foot fifth wheel, full height...My mileage was a little better pulling the fifth wheel. I can't explain it, but it's true...
I went up 5,000 pounds in dry weight, over ten gallons in fresh water, added the hitch(es) when I traded my 28' double slide TT for my 38' triple slide 5er. I picked up over one MPG. I got 10.3 on flat land before, I pull down 11.5 now. Even pulling uphill into the mountains I averaged 10.8 and that was with two pretty serious multi mile climbs that I know tanked my average.

In short, it's the aero that gets you, so I don't think you'll see much of a difference in economy.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #7
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We down-sized from 40' fiver to a 32' unit, shaved about 3,000# and the mpg didn't change at all, still get about 12-13 at 60 mph. The new camper is not as streamlined as the old one. IMO, don't give up comfort for a couple of mpg.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:06 AM   #8
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Just my 2 cents Insurance will change a hundred or two, gas mileage may change 1 mpg. The only thing I can see is either making at or the same payment ( depending on what you buy could be a larger payment) So not much savings.

My trucks over the years didn't care what they pulled the fuel mileage didn't change much.

Good Luck !!!!

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:23 AM   #9
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I think I would do a lot of checking on a Scamp before I went with that brand. Maybe try and find there forum and read about them. I got some brochures on them and the construction kinda of turned me off them. I think they were made in Texas if I remember right. Nothing wrong with Texas but I don't think the quality is there. My brother in law bought a Lance, I told him No , but now he's afraid to even use it. Also I agree you will not see a big gain in MPG.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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Just my opinion, but the savings will not out weigh the convenience of the larger camper. I went from a 24 ft. 5th wheel to a 32 ft. 5ht I know we all want to save money towing etc. and please don't be offended but there is not such thing as good gas mileage pulling or driving a RV. If you camp you have to know that fuel cost will be higher while towing.
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