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Old 07-01-2011, 06:29 AM   #1
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TT vs Fithwheel

We have a 32" TT (flagstaff 831DBSS) and are considering going to a FithWheel camper of similar size. Is there any reason why I should not do that? The TV is not an issue in this discussion. Are there any cons about 5th wheelers that can be overlooked easily?

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:31 AM   #2
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I can't honestly say their are any cons. I could go on all day about the pros. It's just finding a floor plan that you like and getting the right hitch for your truck that you like. I would go for it if you were able to.

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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Having towed both (currently a fifth wheel), I am not aware of any true "cons" to a fifth wheel. There are a few issues and concerns which need to be addressed when considering a fifth wheel, but from a towing perspective it is all "pros". One of the issues is of course the requirement of a pick up truck for towing of appropriate capacity, but you have discounted that already. With a fifth wheel you will lose most of the use of the bed for cargo and will have to plan accordingly. The only other concern is that a fifth wheel will generally be taller than a travel trailer, so you have to be more aware of overhangs, tree branches and pay attention to low clearance warnings. They also turn and react a little different than a travel trailer, but that is just matter of experience.

Glenn & Beth (Dad & Mom)
David & Audra (12 year old twins)
2006 Dodge Power Wagon (Adventure & Tow Vehicle)
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:25 AM   #4
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We just switched from a TT to a fifth wheel this year. The fifth wheel tows so much nicer, we are real pleased. The only con I can see, is you will have the rails to contend with if you want to haul something (other than your camper).

2011 Sierra 355 QBQ
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:48 AM   #5
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Depending on your tow vehicle (TV) you may find that with lighter trucks (1500 and 2500 series) that you can tow a bigger travel trailer than a 5th wheel. Less of the camper's weight actually rests ON the truck with a travel trailer so you won't max out the truck before you max out the camper.

While you can TOW a bigger 5th wheel normally than a travel trailer you will find that the truck becomes overloaded with the correct percentage of camper weight in the bed of the truck (15-25% for a 5th wheel and 10-20% for a travel trailer with WD hitch)

For example: In the 2008 GMC 2500HD DIESEL, the tow ratings are 12,000 pound TT vs a 15,500 pound 5th wheel. Yet since the max gross weight of the truck alone is 9200 pounds and the empty weight configured for camping (family aboard, hitch, and gas cans in the bed) runs around 7200 pounds you really are left with a 2000 pound payload.

A 2000 pound camper payload works out to be a:

20% (nominal less means more TV front end hunting) of camper yields a max 5th wheel weight of 10,000 pounds (though many people routinely overload their tow vehicles the manufacturers, state troopers, and insurance companies, do not recommend it.

15% (nominal less means more trailer sway) of camper yields a max TT weight of 13,000 pounds; however you max out the WD hitch tow rating of 12,000 pounds before you hit the max camper weight.

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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My Wife and I saw a few 5th's and love the layouts. However, they are a tad more expensive. But if money is not the issue what we didn't like is that most Campgrounds, the 5th wheel areas are kind of away from the fun because of their taller stance. With our shorter Trailers we can get into some nice shady campsites that feel more like camping instead of being packed like sardines in the back with other 5th wheels 10ft within your site. Next CON, you lose almost all TRUCK bed space. Sometimes, I like to throw all our dirty stuff in the bed of truck and wash it at home, or want to carry our ATV in truck bed and tow TT, or I may decide to go on a hunting trip with TT and then bring back a few hogs or a Deer in bed of truck Don't want a carcass inside trailer LOL. Or I'd like to mount some Kayaks over the bed of truck. Lifting kayaks onto the top of a 5th wheel would be a pain.

But like everyone has said. It's a personal choice really. It's up to how you intend to do something.

Ruben Zamora
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Went from a TT to 5er (Flagstaff 8528BHSS) last October. As far as we are concerned it's been the best thing ever. Only downfall for us is MPG, which is only about 7-9 depending on wind, elevation etc. Towing is exceptionally better. The sway we had before is gone. Never know a 18 wheeler is there until it goes by most of the time. It really is personal choice between the two.
2011 8528BHSS
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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My thinking ran like this on the issue. Number one: I do not want to give up the room in the truck bed that we can use for odds and ends. Number two: I dont want to give up the approx 160 cu. feet of space that a 5er requires to clear the truck bed out of the given length of the tow. Number 3: 5ers are much taller...a lot more wind resistance from that extra 3 feet stickin up there. Number 4: If I properly equip with the right hitch, there will not be any stability or sway problems with a TT compared with a 5er...tow-ability will not be an issue. So, more room for a given length of TT vs. 5er.
All personal opinion, of course. This wasn't always the case in the past, IMO, but that has changed, with the advent of new designs in TT's and hitches. So, it's a TT for me.

Randy and Cheryl
Sir Guinness-(Manchester Terrier)
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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I just went thru this same thing last year, deciding on what I wanted/needed.

I wanted all the exterior storage that a fifth wheel has. I also wanted the interior storage and headroom of a 5ver too.

I needed a way to safely haul my motorcycle camping with me.

After looking at several rather expensive options to tow a small trailer behind the fifth wheel and adding a rack on the back of the trailer (which I have a fairly heavy bike), I knew it would worry me too much to go that route.

So my "needs" outweighed my "wants"......and I ended up with a travel trailer on back of the truck and my motorcycle in the truck.
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I've just ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon.... I will keep you posted.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RubenZ View Post
Or I'd like to mount some Kayaks over the bed of truck. Lifting kayaks onto the top of a 5th wheel would be a pain.
Yep, that stopped me dead in my tracks.... and the fact that when I was shopping I was pulling with a Suburban.

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