Pros and Cons of 5th Wheel Campers

The Transwest Team
The Transwest Team
May 03, 2021
Pros and Cons of 5th Wheel Campers

When shopping for an RV or camper, you will be faced with a variety of styles from which to choose. Some RVs are designed to offer ample space for a large family, while others are outfitted for a solo trip off-roading. Which type is right for you will depend a lot on how you plan to use the camper, how many people you are traveling with, and where you plan to take it.

One popular choice for travelers of all kinds is 5th wheel campers. A 5th wheel camper is a camping trailer that is pulled behind a truck and attached to the truck via a hitch mounted in the center of the truck bed.

When deciding whether or not a 5th wheel is the right type of camper for your needs, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons of this camper style before making your final purchase. The following quick guide will outline what benefits and drawbacks this style of camper offers, helping you determine if this is the ideal pick for your needs.

The Benefits of a 5th Wheel Camper

Long popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts, 5th wheel campers make it easy for you to take the whole family camping in comfort. Outfitted with numerous amenities and features, these campers quickly become your home away from home.

The following are all key benefits of owning a 5th wheel camper:

  • Tow Vehicle Doubles as Transportation: When you purchase an RV, the vehicle only serves one purpose. Very rarely would you drive your RV around town to run errands. Additionally, once you set up camp with an RV, you won’t want to move the vehicle to run back into town or to access a nearby lake or trailhead. Conversely, with a 5th wheel camper, the truck that tows your camper can double as transportation both during and after a trip. Need to run back to town for a forgotten bag of ice? No problem! Simply hop in the vehicle that towed your trailer to the campsite and leave everything set up. When you are in between camping trips, your truck can still act as a primary form of transportation while your trailer is stored.
  • Safe Towing Option: One of the benefits of a 5th wheel camper versus many tow-behind trailers is how much safer they are to operate. A 5th wheel camper rests the weight of the trailer in the bed of your truck. This makes it easier to maneuver the trailer and increases the stability of the trailer when in motion.
  • Extra Space: For large families, a 5th wheel trailer is an excellent choice. Most 5th wheel trailers feature a lofted sleeping space located above the truck bed. This extra space is usually designed as a master bedroom or as a multi-bunk area. Additionally, 5th wheel trailers frequently feature slideouts, which can be equipped with even more sleeping options.
  • Versatility in Amenities Offered: There is no limit to the amenities a 5th wheel camper can offer. With their large body space that doesn’t require any room for engines or driver cabs, they have ample room to host all the extras. If you dream of having your kitchen on the road, or you can’t do without your own personal bathroom, a 5th wheel camper is an excellent choice.
  • Less Vehicle Maintenance: When you purchase an RV, you commit to upkeep on a second vehicle. This means double the oil changes, fluid flushes, and general vehicle upkeep. With a 5th wheel trailer, you only need to perform maintenance on your truck. While there are still some maintenance tasks associated with owning a 5th wheel trailer, such as replacing tires as needed and keeping moving parts lubricated, there is far less maintenance than a traditional motorhome.

The Drawbacks to Pulling a 5th Wheel Camper

While it is easy to see why so many people fall in love with 5th wheel campers for their outdoor adventures, there are a few drawbacks to this style of RV. Check out the following potential negatives of purchasing a 5th wheel:

  • Requires a Capable Vehicle: When you purchase an RV, it doesn’t matter what size your personal vehicle is because you don’t need to pull the RV. For example, you can drive a small Toyota Corolla as your daily commuter. However, when you choose a 5th wheel camper, you will need to ensure you have a truck capable of towing the trailer. These trailers require a truck that can not only handle the weight of the trailer but can also safely stop it. If you don’t already own the right vehicle, this can require a second investment.
  • Separation Between Driving and Living Space: It is important to note that you will be separated from your living space when you are driving a 5th wheel camper. Unlike an RV, you cannot simply pull off, run into the back of the RV, and hop back into your seat. You will need to exit your truck and enter the 5th wheel to access the kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms. You could get lonely if everyone decides to hang out in the camper.
  • Needs Ample Storage Space: When you aren’t using your 5th wheel camper, you will need to find a place to store the trailer. Unlike a small camper van or pop-up trailer, 5th wheels take up a decent amount of room. This might require renting a storage unit or RV space during the off-season.

How to Decide Whether a 5th Wheel Camper is Right for You

If you are trying to decide whether a 5th wheel camper is the right choice for you, visit Transwest. We carry a quality inventory of 5th wheel campers, as well as all of the following other RV and motorhome types:

Our experienced staff will be more than happy to walk you through each style and answer all your questions. This will help you determine which type is the right camper for your specific needs. We look forward to assisting you in choosing the ideal camper for your next adventure.


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