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Old 12-31-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel

We currently have a Lacrosse 327RES and have had some discussion of moving to a Sanibel 5th wheel. The thing is when we look at a FW it is about $20,000 more for a similar unit than a TT.

Iíll be honest I know little about the construction and the amenities differences to understand why it is so much more. I know the FW weighs about 3000 pounds more so I am guessing the structure is very different. Is a TT built with keeping weight down much more than a FW.

We have had a trailer for about 3 years and love traveling and camping we spend about a 100 nights a year in it with a couple of multi-week trips a year and a lot of weekends regionally.

The tow vehicle is of no concern, right now I have a F250 and the next truck will be a 1 ton for business reasons.

So please help me understand the major differences between a Travel Trailer and a Fifth Wheel?
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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Oh brother, lots of opinions on this. The structure on the fifth wheel is more complex and carries more weight on the frame forward but I don't think it makes big price difference. I have not shopped for both and didn't know there is such a price difference. I like the way a 5er tows better so I have gravitated toward those, but the TT are safe also, if properly hooked up and you are obviously comfartable with one. i currently have a small truck camper so am not in the game at all.

I'll be interested in the answers to this one.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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Just my 2 cents owning both over the past 30 years I would not own another TT. Even went so far to replace my car hauler with a 5th wheel.

I do not see a big difference in price when we were looking three years ago maybe about $2-3,ooo more for the fifth wheel.

The plus side.... Easier to hook up, tow better, the same length trailer putting part of the trailer over the bed making total length shorter. Fewer people can tow it off (plus & minus). Basement storage area in a fifth wheel is usually greater. Propane tanks & battery behind doors.

I will think of more........

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Old 01-01-2015, 02:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
Oh brother, lots of opinions on this. The structure on the fifth wheel is more complex and carries more weight on the frame forward but I don't think it makes big price difference. I have not shopped for both and didn't know there is such a price difference. I like the way a 5er tows better so I have gravitated toward those, but the TT are safe also, if properly hooked up and you are obviously comfartable with one. i currently have a small truck camper so am not in the game at all.

I'll be interested in the answers to this one.

X2 In your case, jumping from the Lacrosse to the Sanibel, is like going from a luxury "weekender" TT to a 5er designed for more long term/full time use. As mentioned previously, storage in the Sanibel is HUGE compared to a TT. The ceilings are higher in the 5er and the Sanibel has residential style option for the fridge. And comes with a 10 gallon HW heater, large residential style microwave, double wide 12 cu. ft. refridge, 2 a/c's, ceiling fan, 2 televisions, holding tank heaters & 50 amp service as standard equipment and much larger closet space. There is probably more but, all that adds to the cost and weight as well as the ease of towing (as mentioned). All worth it to me for the comfort and better quality standards.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
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Well we just moved from a 27' no slide TT to a 37' 3 slide TT. But with this move we knew it was only going to be for 6-7 years until we moved into the 5er realm. We purchased the 329BHT for the kido's but the big difference that we can see is the outside/inside storage. Especially the outside! We have the 12cu fridge and ample counter space (more is always better) but outside storage is pretty much nonexistent. You will get nice things like central vac and washer/dryer options in the 5er as well as king beds and closet/wardrobe space. Now some of theses items can be found in a TT but I do know they can definitely be found in just about all 5ers.

If you are comfortable towing a TT then you may not know a 5er is back there with the right setup. The two can not be compared in towing discussions with the right setup (IMHO).

Where I truly believe the jump can be made is the extended living and # of occupants during the stay. I have done a lot of comparison with 5ers vs class A's and found that a 5er is the same sqft inside and within about 20% in outside storage. Now this is staying under 500k for class A. Going higher and you can get marginal more for the money. I'm only talking space/storage not trim.

I really think this has been one of the hardest decisions we made as to what style we wanted to do our long stay recreation in. My $.02 is do your research, when camping talk to the folks around you that have what your looking for and then look at all the available models that you can so you know it's what you want.

Happy hunting😊
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:12 PM   #6
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We went from a 35 foot TT with bunk house and outside kitchen to the Sanibel 3601 FW and have never looked back. After pulling the TT down to Daytona last year and then trading on the 3601 in the fall taking it down to Texas for the first trip and I knew we made the right choice after pulling it down the road. And then after having the extra living space we knew it was the right choice for us. Twice the storage also. good luck and enjoy.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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Ok, so I guess I'll be the desenter ~ is that a word? ~ anyway ~ we've had both. Pro's for a 5er certainly include carrying all you want with you and you have lots of room to stretch out. Was great with 2 kiddos, dog cat etc...... but ~ I like small county parks. We've pulled in to parks with 20 spaces available and not fit into even one of them. Weekend ruined. Why they let tenters take up the big spots is beyond me. Also, the worst arguments DH and I ever had were in direct relation to that rig ~ parking, etc. So, for us ~ a TT is a better fit ~ and we haven't had an argument parking it yet ;-) I will be quite content with our TT for a long time to come
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:33 PM   #8
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I started with a TT and it was nightmare to pull, every 18 wheeler that came by moved me all over the road. Inside was nice but almost no outside storage it was a Fleetwood Terry. Easy to back into any camping spot. Now own a Cardinal 30RK,, this beast tows like a dream. An 18 wheeler can barrel by and you will not move a inch on the road. There is so much outside storage it is crazy,,, I fit everything plus more that went in my pickup bed,, most importantly it stays there so there is little load time between trips. Hooking up takes minutes compared to hooking up anti sway bars and levelers. The only negatives for the 5vr is the height. Here in
Fl we have lots of live oaks which have lots of low branches, so you really have to be careful 12'8" is a lot of height.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:36 PM   #9
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Clancy has a very good point,,, there are spots I can not get into in small parks. With that said, I always call ahead and not trust the web. Ok pulling a 5th wheel Ranger what spots can I get into?? If is is first come first server park, that is a real risk
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:01 PM   #10
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Lots and lots of opinions on this and all of them are right based on the experiance of the RV'er. It is widely believed that the 5th wheels are a more stable platform for towing and i think the facts are out there to back this up. The right hitch work couppled with a correcty loaded TT and TV can be pretty darn stable as well, however you may need to put in the work and moeny to get to that point. I have only ever owned a TT and went through the hitch game and finally settled on somehing i have great confidence towing down the road. It could also be the miles I have under my belt as well. I like that i can use my full bed while towing the TT (mindfull not to exceed payload) and as others said, TT's are generally lower profile and typically weigh less so there is that in tight sites. It stinks hooking up a TT compared to a 5th. It stinks climbing staris inside your RV especially if oyu have older pets and such in a 5th. The price of a 5th is generally higher than a TT. I would suspect that longer stays in a 5er would be much more enjoyable. I have a 12 day trip at the end of May...I may change my tune on this whole TT thing after that. JMO's
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