Welcome to Part 2 of my accidental series on travel trailer and fifth wheel comparisons. As I’ve said, each has its strong points as well as its not so great features. I have looked at both and am starting to love the fifth wheel. Maybe I want a change from the camper feel of my travel trailer, I don’t know. In Part 1 we looked at some of the homier aspects of the two RVs. As we move into this next part, we’ll look at more practical features. If you will be moving your rig, you definitely want to take a look at this because we’ll be talking about towing. You’d think that a towering monstrosity like a fifth wheel would be difficult to tow, but all my research says…well, you’ll just have to read and find out.
Our travel trailer has a lot of storage space both inside and out. That was one of the things that made me first fall in love with it. We have a very roomy basement storage compartment toward the rear on the side and a couple more storage compartments on the outside as well. Inside there are lots of built in cabinets and shelving as well as a neat slide out mini-pantry. Just about every empty space has been utilized for storage. A fifth wheel also has ample basement storage – many take up a good portion of the rear section. They also have very impressive closets in the bedrooms and throughout. I have seen models that had a second bedroom with a futon or Murphy style bed (that was cool) and storage was built onto those units.
At some point you are probably going to tow your RV. We haven’t towed our travel trailer much and we’ve never towed a fifth wheel, but it is a concern so I’ll mention it. Travel trailers are notorious for having a problem with “sway” when towing, especially when a tractor trailer passes. The most common recommendation that I’ve seen is to 1) have a decent tow vehicle, and 2) use a weight distributing hitch with an anti-sway bar.
From what I’ve seen, fifth wheels don’t really have a problem with sway.
Apartment or camper?
What it comes down to is, do you want to feel like you are living in a camper or an apartment? If you don’t mind the camper feel then a travel trailer is really nice, albeit it feels like less space. On the other hand, a fifth wheel has the same feel as an apartment or condo. You get the sense of space with a nice layout that is more like an apartment and less like an RV.
As I said, we love our little travel trailer, but next time around we may have to take the plunge and get a fifth wheel. It just makes more sense for us because my kids like to visit us and my grandbaby will be visiting and I want them all near me so I can love on them to my heart’s content.
So, what do you think? Travel trailer or fifth wheel? Which do you choose – and why?