Originally Posted by avolnek
With the truck you have, I'd have to say the travel trailer is going to be the way to go due to the lack of payload on the truck. Regardless of the pin weight a fifth wheel is going to take up a LOT of air space. Air space means more resistance meaning harder to pull as well as catches a lot more side wind! With the half ton pickup you don't have much weight, nor can the 5er weigh too much but it still takes up a lot of air space... A lot of air space taken up and lightly loaded in a cross wind is a BAD thing!
A fifth wheel is no doubt harder to pull with a headwind, but I am not so sure about a side wind. Don't forget that a truck and fifth wheel act like a single unit, whereas a bumper hitch camper will get hit full force by any side wind.
But, in the long run, that wouldn't be the major determining factor.
If the OP would be satisfied with a fifth wheel his truck could handle, then I still think that would be the better choice.
A fifthwheel/truck combo is always much shorter that a truck and bumper-hitch camper of the same floor space. That means a unit that is easier to maneuver and park.
A fifth wheel eliminates the need for a sway-control hitch, and usually pulls better with less tendency to move around.
A fifth wheel just about always has much more storage space, as they have the "basement" under the bedroom/bath area.
The only real negative to a fifth wheel is that it is higher, and so one has to watch for over-hanging trees and such. But some of the new bumper-hitch campers are not all that much shorter, as the floors ride about 3 feet off the ground, which has always left me scratching my head what the factory is thinking.