What is a Fifth Wheel?

The Fifth Wheel offers maximum living space for a given trailer length. With the master bedroom over the truck bed, these units, "Fivers" as they are sometimes called, have pretty much become the RV of choice for full timers.

Fifth Wheel at a Glance

• Length: » Normal Range: 21' to 40' » Average Length: 26' to 32'

• Width: » Standard: 96" » Wide-Bodies: 100" to 102" » Widths do not include slide-outs

• Sleeps: » Two to six people, depending on model and floorplan

• Price: » Range: $15,000 to $100,000 » Average price range: $20,000 to $35,000

Fifth Wheels are constructed with a raised forward section for the master bedroom, allowing a bi-level floorplan. This style provides more room in the "living" area of the unit. Add in a couple of slide-outs in the living/dining area and a slide-out for the bedroom area, and it's easy to see why they are more spacious and the RV of choice for full-timing.

Because of the hitch design, all Fifth Wheels will require a pickup truck for towing. Larger models will require super-duty pickups, and the largest Fifth Wheels will require a medium-duty RV hauler. Unless you already have an adequate tow vehicle, this requirement is one drawback to purchasing a Fiver. Adding the cost of a one-ton pickup to the cost of the trailer, and the dollars start to increase. A new medium-duty RV hauler for a large Fiver can run from $50,000 to $75,000+ alone. Just make sure you match the weight of the trailer adequately to your tow vehicle. Your RV dealer should be able to assist you in this matter.

Towing a Fifth Wheel is much easier and much more stable than towing another type of RV. The hitch being placed in the pickup bed and directly over the rear tires of your tow vehicle contributes to improved traction and handling.

Fifth Wheels are available with a wide range of features and appliances. Some of these are normally found only in higher-end motorhomes, such as a washer/dryer and an on-board generator. Of course all of the standard amenities, and some not so standard such as ceiling fans, are also available.

For maximum living space, easy towing and reasonable prices, a Fifth Wheel Trailer might be for you.

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