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Old 08-02-2021, 03:25 PM   #1
rfifer
 
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Towing differences between TT and 5th Wheel

For those of you who have experiences towing both a TT and a 5th wheel, what are some of the differences you have noticed between the two? Is there a significant difference in towing experience? This is a general question and not one based on trailer weight or length, just overall driving experience.

Thanks
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:38 PM   #2
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I find my 5th wheel tracks better than my TT did. No sway issues at all with 5er.
I find the 5er reacts slower when backing up and turning. TT seemed easier to back up, but that was after many years of bumper pulling trailers. I am still improving my 5er backing up, but it is not a problem, just different. Of course a 5er will put more weight on the tow vehicle than a TT does.

Edit: 5er is taller, so have to worry about clearance more than I ever did with a TT.
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Old 08-02-2021, 03:56 PM   #3
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I can only think of a few things where bumper pulls have any advantage on fifth wheels.
Bumper pulls will follow the tow vehicles tracks a little closer than fivers, making tight corners a little easier. TTs seem to have a better selection of floor plans and less front end wind resistance. You can find much smaller and lighter TTs than fivers. Lots of models you can actually pull with a half ton. I never advise towing any fiver with a half ton, even though I have done it (a long time ago).
Things I don't like about bumper pulls: I hate to hitch/unhitch them, especially with WDH and anti-sway you have to fool with. I usually can't stand up in the showers due to lower ceilings in general. They react much quicker to steering when backing, but you learn how to compensate. They tend to sway much more easily in winds and abrupt steering changes than fivers.
Once you switch to fivers or gooseneck, it is very frustrating to go back to towing a bumper pull, at least for me.
Hitching a fiver is simple. A fiver feels much more stable in every normal towing situation I can think of. Wind affects them less than a TT as far as sway. Easier to back and require less maneuvering room for same length RVs.
Fiver downsides: hitch will take up pickup bed room and the RV has a huge front end air drag. You need a larger tow vehicle.
Personally, I would never go back to a bumper pull.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:50 PM   #4
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My thanks to you both for the information. Down the road a ways we are considering a somewhat larger trailer than our 26 DBH with a larger living area and no bunks (we gave up on the delusion of our son and his wife camping with us at some point). I want to remember reading somewhere that a 5th wheel is more stable going down the road but was interested in hearing from individuals with personal experience with both TT and 5th wheels.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:15 PM   #5
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You are welcome, after all, that is the purpose of this forum, to share knowledge and experiences.
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:29 PM   #6
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I dont miss the creaking and groaning from the weight distrubtion bars
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Old 08-03-2021, 04:46 PM   #7
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I dont miss the creaking and groaning from the weight distrubtion bars
Yea - I forgot about that. My last 3 trailers have been 5ers.
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:08 AM   #8
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Bob, I’ve done both, had a few TTs, then a few fifth wheels and now downsized to a small TT. What’s been said on this thread is good and I wouldn’t disagree, one thing that seems to be with fifth wheels these days is most have a full height bedroom, 1 or more ACs on the roof and with living room slides, most slides go up and over the floor, all of which make for a tall rig your hauling down the road. Our last one was 13’6”, that part I don’t miss a bit. With our TT paired to our Yukon, it is far easier towing than either of the fifth wheels were.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:33 AM   #9
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I have both types of trailers. I prefer the fifth wheel 100 times over a bumper pull. The fifth wheel is much easier on the road, turning and backing, but it is different in all respects. I can turn a fifth wheel around in a much smaller area.

Once you go fifth wheel you will not want to go back to bumper pull......

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Old 08-04-2021, 12:44 PM   #10
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Just switched to a 5er. Towing is much more stable. Had F-150 and 26 ft 6000 lb trailer and now have F-350 and 31 ft 10000 lb trailer. Total lengths are about the same for the two rigs. Similar power to weight ratio. You don't feel trucks passing, nor moderate wind. I only noticed one 18 wheeler passing and he almost clipped me. Much less effort to drive down the highway. Less tiring driving the 5er when going 300-400 mi a day.

The 5er tracks more inside the truck wheels and need to watch. I already nailed a curb somewhere.

The 5er is physically easier to hitch up, no WDH to carry around(I took it off when staying more than a day or two), but the 5er takes me a little longer to hitch up.
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Old 08-04-2021, 02:25 PM   #11
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Started with a 19ft Towlight TT, then a 26ft Kodiak TT (with WDH), now 32ft 11000# 5th towed by 3/4 ton truck. Liked them all, like towing the 5th best.

But we wish we had a toy hauler garage for kayaks and ebikes. 5th wheel tou haulers are huge and need a 1ton truck to tow safely. 1tons don't fit in my garage so we are looking at some of the smaller toy hauler TT that my 3/4 ton can tow. It's just the wife and I and the bunks in those is plenty for those few grandkids trips.
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Old 08-04-2021, 02:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
I can only think of a few things where bumper pulls have any advantage on fifth wheels.
Bumper pulls will follow the tow vehicles tracks a little closer than fivers, making tight corners a little easier. TTs seem to have a better selection of floor plans and less front end wind resistance. You can find much smaller and lighter TTs than fivers. Lots of models you can actually pull with a half ton. I never advise towing any fiver with a half ton, even though I have done it (a long time ago).
You forgot bumper pulls dont have inside steps, so much easier on the knees. We have had 3 different 5ers and my knees hated them. Got a bumper pull and it's somewhat different pulling but my knees like it more. It also has a better floor plan than any of the 5ers wife looked at. JMO.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
I can only think of a few things where bumper pulls have any advantage on fifth wheels.
Bumper pulls will follow the tow vehicles tracks a little closer than fivers, making tight corners a little easier. TTs seem to have a better selection of floor plans and less front end wind resistance. You can find much smaller and lighter TTs than fivers. Lots of models you can actually pull with a half ton. I never advise towing any fiver with a half ton, even though I have done it (a long time ago).
You forgot bumper pulls dont have inside steps, so much easier on the knees. We have had 3 different 5ers and my knees hated them. Got a bumper pull and it's somewhat different pulling but my knees like it more. It also has a better floor plan than any of the 5ers wife looked at. JMO.
Aren't there steps to get in the bumper pull?
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:08 AM   #14
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Aren't there steps to get in the bumper pull?
Didnt read the first sentence did you? Here's your sign.
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:35 AM   #15
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Didnt read the first sentence did you? Here's your sign.
I'm pretty sure almost all trailers have steps to get in them. Unless they are really low to the ground.

Even my popup trailer had a single step.

I suppose maybe some teardrop trailers might not have one...
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Old 08-05-2021, 08:47 AM   #16
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Didnt read the first sentence did you? Here's your sign.
How do you get in your bumper pull? Do you have a stairlift? Catapult? Escalator?
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:37 AM   #17
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How do you get in your bumper pull? Do you have a stairlift? Catapult? Escalator?
Pretty sure they meant less steps to get in and out. Itís a legitimate reason for people with bad joints.
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Old 08-05-2021, 09:58 AM   #18
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Pretty sure they meant less steps to get in and out. Itís a legitimate reason for people with bad joints.
The original quote:

Quote:
You forgot bumper pulls dont have inside steps, so much easier on the knees.
I believe he was talking about the fact that 5th wheels have a 2nd level that requires steps on the inside to go up and down.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:03 AM   #19
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So the 3 steps to get in a bumper pull are ok, but the 3 steps inside a 5er are a nogo? That makes no sense to me.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:37 AM   #20
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So the 3 steps to get in a bumper pull are ok, but the 3 steps inside a 5er are a nogo? That makes no sense to me.

The 5 steps to get into the 5th wheel and the 4 steps every time you want to go into the bedroom or bathroom do indeed make more climbing. If you have a front living room you have to go up and down those steps every time you need to go any place else in the trailer. If you have bad knees or hips like some of us do, it makes a difference.
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