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7/16/15 8:57am - Original Message: 'Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
dads2vette Lifetime Member
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Ash Fork, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Red Interior White exterior

Joined: 4/18/2007
Posts: 1038
OK folks, As you know or may not know or care I am moving to AZ later this summer after the girl(Sara) leaves for school.  I'll be boondocking in the RV for a year before building as I want to check out the best place to build. I've heard 5th wheels are more stable than TT's but I've also seen that they say fifth wheels have more room than TT's...not sure about that as 27' is 27' and you loose some space where the pickup bed is but whatever.

Can someone give me some of the pros and cons in the real world?  As far as size I'm probably going to stick around 24'-27'.  Alot depends on weight...not mine, the trailers.  Towing with a '03 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3 tow package off road package.

Thanks,


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Dave C..........My mantra: I can not be bought!!      Long and short term leases available.
In the words of Zora Arkus-Duntov "Is your seat belt fastened? Alright, Let's go"


Yeah, I know, Shut up Dave.
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7/16/15 9:53am - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
I have a travel trailer, my forth one. The reason I stay with the travel trailer is because I don't tow it around and you don't need a pick-up truck, You get a little more living space in them, but the 5th wheel is much better and easier to tow, also a lot of 5th wheel unit have what they call basement storage, under the living area, and they can be huge. Most 5th wheels have one bedroom on upper area which gives you a large living area, which may be great for you since it's just you. Based on 1 person and a long haul I think you would be better with the 5th wheel. The more slide outs the more room but they add weigh and cost. They make light weight units also. Check reviews on any model you like, since they are not the best well made things out there, trust me I know! I have a Gulf Stream and it's a piece of crap. Hade 2 Mallards before and both were great. Frank & Barb have a 5th wheel, Frank may also be able to give you some pointers. Good luck, if you have any questions I'll try to help you out.
Dave


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7/16/15 9:56am - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
5th wheels are more stable for towing. They track better with less sway, and are easier to control backing up. This is due to the load point being above the axle instead of out back. This also prevents the front of the tow vehicle from wanting to lift due to a lever effect. More room? Yes for the distance behind the tow vehicle. A regular trailer of 27 feet is all behind the truck. A 5th wheel has several feet above the truck, making the end of the trailer closer to the back of the truck. So while 27 feet is 27 feet, 27 feet behind the rear of the truck is longer trailer with more room. Depends on the measurement being used. So why regular trailers? The fifth wheel hitch takes away a lot of cargo space when not towing, and cannot be used with some types of trucks or some bed covering. Many older 5th wheel trailers are not tall enough and cannot be towed by newer taller trucks. And some folks are intimidated by fifth wheels when it comes to hook up, and sometimes overall height. Not really a big deal but ones perception is one's reality.

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(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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7/16/15 10:50am - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 868
Head on over to iRV2.com and sign up.  You will get a ton of info and any questions answered.

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7/16/15 11:39am - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
dads2vette Lifetime Member
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Ash Fork, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Red Interior White exterior

Joined: 4/18/2007
Posts: 1038
F4Gary said: Head on over to iRV2.com and sign up.  You will get a ton of info and any questions answered.


Thanks, I'll do that.

"ones perception is one's reality"   Man, I've been trying to tell my kids that for years!

Dave, I'll probably have lots of questions for you guys at ebo's or I'll aggravate you and call.


____________________________________
Dave C..........My mantra: I can not be bought!!      Long and short term leases available.
In the words of Zora Arkus-Duntov "Is your seat belt fastened? Alright, Let's go"


Yeah, I know, Shut up Dave.
Lifetime Member #192


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7/16/15 3:33pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Dave, first find out what your 1/2 ton will tow.......it may narrow down your selections.
Evil Smileebo


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7/16/15 3:52pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
johnu
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Eagan, MN - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 507
Drive out and buy one off Craigslist in Phoenix and make them deliver it to your "pad" and save all sorts of gas money tugging it out there!
 http://phoenix.craigslist.org/search/sss?sort=rel&query=5th%20wheel%20trailers

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7/16/15 6:12pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
dads2vette Lifetime Member
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Ash Fork, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Red Interior White exterior

Joined: 4/18/2007
Posts: 1038
RV dealer I saw today came up with a figure of 7900# which really narrows down the options on a fifth wheel.  Keeps it at 25'-26'. I was also told that they are better insulated and have more storage space than travel trailers.  Seems like a weird blanket statement but these folks sell all types of trailers so there shouldn't be any bias.

John, this was my thinking. 

Pros for getting one here: 
I'd be able to give it a test run to familiarize myself with it while being near the comfort of larger living situation.
If something goes wrong the dealer would be close.
I'd practise towing with a couple of outings(ebofest)
I'd be able to pack my stuff in it for the move.


Cons:
Price. Slightly cheaper on new ones out west and way cheaper on used.
Less selection on new and used.
I feel I would have to buy new, used would be a big risk...where was it used/stored.
Have to get a fifth wheel. With my lack of experience towing and a 2000 mile trip, i'd have to go with the easier towing fifth wheel.

Buying out there makes sense as the selection of used and prices is far superior.  Of the half dozen or so dealers I've talked to, all have delivery available to where my property is located. Not having to worry about towing and cheaper prices would mean more bang for my buck.

On the third side of this coin, I could just get a prefab building shell that is built on skids and move it around on the property every few months. 


____________________________________
Dave C..........My mantra: I can not be bought!!      Long and short term leases available.
In the words of Zora Arkus-Duntov "Is your seat belt fastened? Alright, Let's go"


Yeah, I know, Shut up Dave.
Lifetime Member #192


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7/16/15 6:29pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 868
Is upgrading your truck to a bigger towing capacity an option?

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7/16/15 7:26pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
Vman73
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Gig Harbor, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1973 L82 4 Speed Coupe - Very original, well documented driver/survivor. 2016 Bend Regional NCRS Top Flight.

Joined: 10/2/2014
Posts: 362
+1 on fith wheel. More stable on the road, specially against side winds and that big 18 wheeler coming the other way on a two laner. Out there vs where your at 50-50. SW fifth wheels will be dry and rust free, but can definitely get baked by the sun. Paint, plastic, rubber etc. can all get pretty dried out if it's spent it's whole life in the SW. Buffalo area the rigs won't dry out as much but were they kept nice and dry and free from salt during storage ?? Run away from anything that's been stored outside on the grass or gravel during the winter. Personally, I think you should buy it in NY and experience the drive out to AZ. Things will go good and things will go bad (some very bad), but you'll never forget your first long trip in your RV, plus you'll be a seasoned veteran by the time you make it out to AZ. The biggest thing if you buy used in NY is tires, make sure they're new or almost new. Milage and tread wear mean nothing, time is an RV tires worst enemy. When you get out to AZ, cover them up !! Brand new tires will be baked in the AZ sun in less than a year. My two cents worth after 2 1/2 years and 15k miles in our motorhome. Good luck !!

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John Sigmund
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7/16/15 8:13pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
johnu
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Eagan, MN - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 507
Option Z,
 
I see these "park homes" at campgrounds more and more for year round renters.   They might be better insulated and cheaper to heat/cool and wiggle less in windy weather while you are watching TV.
http://www.rvtrader.com/dealers/Dennis-Trailers-Inc-756241/listing/1989-Trophy-Homes-Park-Model-112951595


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7/16/15 9:00pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
dads2vette Lifetime Member
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Ash Fork, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Red Interior White exterior

Joined: 4/18/2007
Posts: 1038
Gary, I just bought an 03 GMC Sierra so I won't upgrade.  I thought long and hard about what truck to buy, gas or diesel, make, engine size.  Really came down to two things: 1. this will be the only serious thing I haul and it will only make it to the property.  Once it's there I won't move it again, I'm just using it as a temporary living arrangement until the cabin is built so getting a bigger truck for that seems a little drastic especially if I end up buying a bigger unit out there and having it delivered. 2.  I got a good deal on this truck. Kind of fell in my lap.

If I were to do the full time RVing thing I would have definitely gotten a bigger truck.


John, all excellent points.  If I go used it will be inspected by a third party I hire.  I'm too much of a newb and it's well worth the $50 or so.  As far as buying here to get the experience, I like your thought process makes a bunch of sense but for me personally, I never wanted the RV road trip.  Like I mentioned to my reply to Gary once it gets there it's sitting.  My big plan was to buy the property and use it as a base to travel the west and mid-west with the vette and tent camp. That's the scenario I have planned in my head anyway.  recently I just became enamored with tent camping, I really enjoy it.  When I bring the vette out I plan on heading to Central FL to visit friends then maybe down to the keys for a bit and then to Louisiana to visit family the to AZ.  Not the most direct route from Hamburg, NY!

John(2), option z might work well.  Lots of folks move to Phoenix/Mesa during the winter and pick up a Park Home to try it out before they decide they like the weather and area.  They end up dumping relatively new models, 2 or 3 yrs old, when they decide. The ones I remember seeing being advertised were cheap but you had to leave them in that park.  The ones that you could move would be better moved to a dump and burned.  But I wasn't really looking at those so now I'll take a closer look. The trailer, whatever kind it happens to be will end up being temporary or at least it had better. I have plans for a small 12x28 cabin with a wrap around deck(8' to 12' wide I haven't decided yet).  Very efficiently insulated, water catchment, solar and wind turbine with a generator for backup. Lots of passive solar heat. I have to work on some sort of cooling.  A swamp cooler might work but I'm not a fan of a/c and where my property is located the temps top out in the mid-eighties low nineties.

Thanks for all the great input and for listening or reading my blathering. 


____________________________________
Dave C..........My mantra: I can not be bought!!      Long and short term leases available.
In the words of Zora Arkus-Duntov "Is your seat belt fastened? Alright, Let's go"


Yeah, I know, Shut up Dave.
Lifetime Member #192


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7/17/15 1:25pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 868
Well, then max out the towing capacity of the truck.  It's only one trip and you can take it slow.

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7/17/15 5:00pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
johnu
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Eagan, MN - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 507
F4Gary said: Well, then max out the towing capacity of the truck.  It's only one trip and you can take it slow.

I visualize a picture of Dave driving so slow that the gray hairs in their Buicks are flipping him the "bird" for driving too slow.   Wink



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7/19/15 7:06pm - Reply: 'Re: Fifth wheel vs travel trailer'
DStoffel
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Wampum, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1999 coupe Magnetic Red /w grey interior 30,000 miles.

Joined: 8/27/2008
Posts: 90
Lots of good advice. A couple things to add, having owned both types. My last 3 have been 5th wheels. Just bought one a couple of weeks ago to use while working out of town. I will probably never go back to a TT. 5th wheels tow and maneuver so much better when backing up. 5th wheels generally cost more for an equal sized unit and if you need a hitch they can be rather expensive for a 5th wheel.  Also your trucks towing capacity may be higher for a 5th wheel. Happy trailering.
 
Dave


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