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Are you wondering what is a Fifth-Wheel? Here’s your answer!

Are you wondering what is a Fifth-Wheel? Here’s your answer

Want to go camping in the largest, most opulent RV that’s available right now? Would you like to have accessibility to all of it without having to pay some Class A motorhome’s Miami penthouse prices?

In that case, a fifth-wheel trailer may be the best choice for you and your family. Fifth wheels, sometimes known as fifth wheel rvs or 5th wheels, are among the RVs you see on the road the most frequently, and with good reason. They strike an excellent mix between spaciousness, elegance, and cost. This post is for you if you’re a solitary traveler (or cozy couple), a large family seeking as much legroom as possible, or both. We’ll go through all the information you require regarding fifth-wheel trailers. from the meaning of their name to how to install their special hitches.

What is a fifth wheel?

A fifth-wheel hitch is necessary to tow a fifth-wheel travel trailer, which is a sizable trailer. Fifth wheels must be towed by a full-size, one-ton truck because they are hefty. Their special hitch demands that the trailer sway- coupling be in the truck’s bed.

There are several good reasons why fifth wheels have become a such popular choice for RVs. They can be considerably heavier due to their super-duty hitches. This indicates that they have a lot greater room and weight rating accessible for opulent facilities and sleeping quarters. Today, the majority of fifth wheels also include multiple slide-outs. This implies that once you’ve established a camp, the area can be enlarged even more.

Let’s examine the “5th and fifth wheel rv.” portion of the fifth wheel trailer in more detail. What precisely is a fifth wheel and why has it been given that name?

What exactly does it mean as a fifth wheel?

Throughout the 1800s, older horse-drawn carriages had a fifth wheel that sat horizontally and enabled the front and rear axle’ to revolve. The word has persisted even though the modern fifth wheel layout is substantially different from this earlier usage.

A reliable fifth wheel hitch is required to operate fifth wheels today. This type of hitch is robust enough to support the pulling of heavier loads. The trailer’s “kingpin” connects to the U-shaped fitting hitch, which would be mounted in the bed of a pickup truck. From the tower’s vantage point, fifth-wheel hitches feel significantly more sturdy than conventional ball hitches and also lessen trailer wobble. Let’s discuss how to attach one of these U-shaped hitches to your tow vehicle as fifth wheels weigh four-wheel travel trailers need them.

Benefits of a Fifth Wheel

The advantages of a fifth wheel stem from the fact that it is a sizable recreational vehicle with a secure connection between the towing truck and the fifth wheel unit, rather than motor vehicles being one continuous item. Fifth wheels are advantageous in this way because they are safe and simple to tow, have a lot of storage space, and the tow vehicle can also be used for local transit.

Simple and Secure Towing

A top fifth wheel design with wheels hitch is situated directly above the truck bed, typically above the vehicle’s axle. The fifth wheel is particularly stable thanks to this positioning. The fifth wheel is already on your truck, and a travel trailer is hanging off the back. This makes it much simpler for your RV to turn alongside you and improves the ride better for everyone within.

Also, you have a better distribution of weight from the Fifth wheel onto the truck you use in order to tow it because the RV’s weight occupies the bed of the front wheel hitch work truck rather than the tailgate or back hitch. In comparison to other travel trailers, this will provide some heavier capacity.

Extra Huge Storage

Fifth wheels feature the most storage out of all the available RV options. This is caused by the truck’s cab over the bed as well as the lack of room for the engine and some other motorized parts required for RVs. So, a fifth wheel can be your best alternative if having enough space in another car will be a problem for you.

This extra storage can be put to a lot of good use. The majority of this storage can be considered beneficial for your personal items, but you can also store fuel and water here. In this manner, you can load up the tank once and keep on driving if you intend to go long excursions.

The opportunity for greater bed space is yet another advantage of having more storage. You will be able to accommodate more bodies by having extra beds. It can be challenging to locate the right amount of beds if your family is large.

Fifth-wheelers frequently have a lot of sleeping space. A portion of this comes from the rear bumper of truck’s cab, which is often used as a kind of bedroom. Alternately, fifth-wheelers featuring bunk beds are crammed with sleeping space into a limited space.

Including a toy hauler in your fifth wheel might take into account the additional storage space it offers. Toy haulers are either semi trucks or RVs with garages that can be used to transport a small UTV or another off-road vehicle in the rear of the trailer. As fifth wheels feature the biggest storage rooms, they will have the most versatility for you because more space equals more options.

Using a tow truck for local transportation

It is not very advantageous to have a separate unit if you won’t be utilizing your RV very frequently. Having a second place to live is convenient, but maintaining two vehicles means twice as many repairs. You can limit your truck’s repair expenditures if you have a fifth wheel. Your fifth wheel should essentially be ready to go if you maintain the truck in good condition.

This indicates that only one vehicle needs servicing. You don’t need to worry about obtaining a second automobile because you can drive this vehicle around at home.

Consolidate all of those costs into one location, use the fifth wheel for a trip, and use your tow automobile for local trips. Generally, this is advantageous from a financial standpoint, particularly if you are performing some of the mechanical work yourself. You simply must be familiar with working around the engine in your truck rather than the engine in a third wheel attachment or different RV, which can be challenging at times.

Disadvantages of a Fifth Wheeler

Fifth-wheelers are quite practical, but they are not faultless. Its drawbacks include the necessity for a vehicle, the separation of the front living space and driving compartments, and the need for a sizable storage space while not in use.

Needs Truck

A fifth wheel’s need for a truck can be a drawback if they don’t like trucks, just as requiring a truck can be a benefit if you like trucks. One of the main benefits of a fifth wheel is lost if you don’t intend to use the truck for any purpose other than towing your fifth wheel. You could find that a motorhome is a better choice for you.

Fifth wheels need a particular kind of truck bumper pull them. Fifth wheels will need you to buy a truck that really can tow the fifth wheel of the chosen weight. The truck is bigger the heavier the fifth wheel. Typically, you’ll require a medium-duty truck with a 7,000-pound weight capacity. You could have to purchase a 1-ton vehicle for fifth wheels that are heavier.

Distinct living and driving quarters

In a motorhome, you can enjoy the ease of getting a water bottle from the refrigerator or eating freshly prepared cuisine at the back of the RV. A fifth wheel won’t have that convenience. So, you are separated from each other and the RV if you are traveling. This can be annoying if you’re traveling with your family. They require a person to drive, yet you’d like to spend some time with them.

Because of this, you won’t be able to leave as you intend to dine together. Therefore, you’ll have to take a break for meals or whatever else you had intended to do as a family before continuing on the road. A less time-effective method of long-distance travel. The last thing we would want to point out is that whenever you have a motorhome, folks may easily slip in and out of the passenger side seat. This makes it simple for others to wait by the driver before slipping out to take care of business. When you’re traveling a long way, it is wonderful to have someone to chat with.

Needs a Big Storage Space While Not in Use

Lastly, you will need to identify a location to store most fifth wheels and any large car that will be used for prolonged periods of time. You need to have a place to store anything, regardless of whether it’s a boat or a camper. Fifth wheels are more difficult to move to the location where you need to keep them. The thing that endures is the motorhome.

And although, because a fifth wheel’s engine is independent of the tow vehicle’s engine, you need to have a location to park it that you can back it into so you can disconnect the towing vehicle from it. Consider alternate possibilities if you don’t have enough storage room for a fifth wheel. Particularly when considering that the horizontal wheel and cab occupies a lot more room than a typical hitch would. Nevertheless, you need to have room in your home to store the extra space a fifth wheel offers when traveling.

Installing a Fifth Wheel Hitch

You need a car that can take the whole hitch weight, plus tow the fifth-wheel trailer’s weight before you can install a fifth-wheel hitch. This generally refers to a full-size, one-ton truck, like a Ford F350. Prior to actually making either purchase, it’s crucial to study the towing capacity numbers for your tow vehicle and the weight ratings (such as the GVWR) of your rig.

Assembly isn’t too hard if you’re certain you have the proper pair of automobiles and a high-quality fifth-wheel hitch.

Below are the fundamental steps:

  1. Take off the spare tire, which is probably located beneath the truck’s bed.
  2. Set the fifth wheel hitch’s front base rail into place. Drill a pilot hole where you plan to start drilling to use as a reference point as you complete the installation. Before drilling the remaining holes, make sure the pilot hole is positioned correctly underneath the truck bed. The bolt holes that are already there might need to be bigger.
  3. To begin attaching the fifth wheel hitch to the truck bed, screw in the under-bed brackets.
  4. Secure the front portion of the fifth wheel rail with bolts.
  5. After securing the fifth wheel legs and placing the fifth wheel rear rail, measure the height of the fifth wheel hitch. Install any remaining bolts after drilling and fastening the rear rail once more.
  6. Before utilizing the hitch to haul a trailer, tighten all of the hardware and check that the bolts are well fastened.

Famous Manufacturers of Fifth Wheels

Which are the top 5th-wheel camper brands to take into consideration is one of the most frequently asked queries from potential customers. For the majority of us, even a modest travel trailer is a considerable investment because it costs tens of thousands of dollars. Customers naturally want to make sure they’re getting the greatest goods possible for their money.

It’s challenging to choose the “greatest” fifth wheel camper, despite the fact that certain manufacturers are more well-known than others. Instead, a wide variety of vehicles with varying degrees of amenities and prices are readily available. Depending on your needs and intended use, you and your family can choose the one that is best. A cheaper fifth wheel, for instance, is a terrific way to make the most of your free time if you just plan on spending a few days in the woods each year. And if you’re traveling alone or with just your spouse, a smaller RV can be more practical than a massive 40-footer.

Yet, there are a few particular, well-known manufacturers to keep an eye out for, regardless of whatever end of the spectrum you and your camping group fall into.

2018 Coachmen Fifth Wheel Chaparral RV


One of the most well-known RV manufacturers is Coachmen. They provide a wide variety of vehicles, including towable and self-driving models, in a variety of sorts and styles. These five wheel RVs provide outstanding construction quality while being inexpensive. Because of this, even campers wishing to acquire their first RV or at the lowest level can get a dependable vehicle. The Chaparral and Brookstone are two of their fifth wheel brand names. They are available in a wide range of sizes and floor plans. Visit their website to learn more about their offerings and to purchase a Coachmen fifth wheel trailer that you may customize.

2022 Highland Ridge RV Open Range 373RBS

Highland Ridge RV

Highland Ridge RV produces a series of popular and in-demand fifth wheel trailers called Open Range. These towable vehicles feature roomy cabins and surprisingly light towing capacities. They include large slide-outs that are a whopping 42 inches long and wide-body construction, giving you extra space to move around. Its furnishings are picked for both aesthetics and dependability, providing both in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and elsewhere.

Here is just a small sampling of the enormous selection of fifth-wheel trailers made by a wide range of manufacturers that are offered on the market. For a more thorough list of RV companies building fifth wheels and other towable and self-driving models, see here. You can surely reduce your options by doing research online. But traveling in one is the greatest method to determine which kind of travel trailer is ideal for you.

Forest River Travel Trailers

Forest River RV

Another company that creates rigs in a variety of various types is Forest River RV. This includes a sizable number of brand names and a guarantee that the products will be appropriate for all kinds of camping adventures. Their fifth wheels in particular are praised for the variety of sizes and configurations they provide. Also, the vehicles cover a wide range of pricing ranges, making them affordable for buyers of all income levels. Click here to view the complete lineup of fifth wheels from Forest River RV.

What can you do with a fifth-wheel trailer?

Fifth-wheel travel trailers are fantastic because they provide both the convenience of a towable car as well as the luxury and comfort of enormous RVs. These trailers frequently have numerous slideouts and enormous interiors. They can provide a living area that is as large as 500 square feet. (We’ve undoubtedly lived in apartments in cities with less space than that!)

For campers who want to travel permanently, these fifth-wheel trailers are excellent choices. In particular, given that they usually have above-and-beyond features like full-sized kitchens (with islands! ), bathtubs, washing machines, and more. A fifth wheel gives you plenty of extra legroom to feel at ease wherever the road may take you, even if you’re just a weekend traveler. A fifth wheel can give you the chance to offer a little bit more privacy if you have a family with kids.

Before making a selection, we advise renting a few various RVs so that you can truly feel what it’s like to camp in each one. What is a simple method to accomplish this? Utilizing some platform’s peer-to-peer marketplace! Look at the RVs that are currently for sale in your area.

Would you benefit from a fifth wheel?

Let’s go back a little bit now that we’ve discussed some fundamentals about how fifth wheels operate and even how to attach the hitch in your truck. Would a fifth wheel be the best choice for you? How would you know?

If you want to tow a fifth-wheel trailer, you must have a fifth-wheel hitch. Fortunately, fifth-wheel hitches can also be used to tow other substantial, heavy loads, including horse trailers or big freight trailers.

Choosing a fifth-wheel travel trailer may make sense if you have a lifestyle that frequently involves transporting hefty objects. The hitch will probably be used for other purposes regardless. But let’s pause a moment to consider what makes fifth-wheel travel trailers in general are so fantastic.

What is the price of a fifth wheel?

New fifth wheels typically range in price from $35,000 to $90,000. How big and how many amenities you desire in your fifth wheel will affect the pricing. The price of a fifth wheel increases with its size and features.

Take a fifth wheel, for instance, which is around 30 feet long. As a result, you should expect to pay between $20,000 and $50,000. And that doesn’t include any additional expenses or specialized amenities that you’ll need to add to your RV. Remember that you will need to pay money for items like RV insurance. those are not affordable.

A rough estimate of the cost of fifth-wheel insurance would be between $900 and $1,100 per year. Although a good variety of fifth wheels are covered by this, certain more opulent fifth wheels are going to incur higher premium costs.

You should expect to pay $50,000 to $150,000 for a fifth-wheeler that is 40 feet long, which is a significantly higher price range. These fifth-wheelers will offer a greater variety of options, additional extras, and several slide-outs. Furthermore, they will have roomy sleeping areas and the ability to transport toys, but this versatility comes at a significant cost, as evidenced by the expected price range.


You now understand the definition of a fifth-wheel trailer. Do you fit the bill for a fifth wheel? It depends on a variety of variables. This is true of the great world of recreational vehicles. A fifth-wheel camper is a terrific option if you want the most residential RV that is also equipped with all the comforts.

A fifth-wheel trailer may not be suitable for you if the thought of pulling a massive RV down the road and then having to drive a big, frequently awkward pickup vehicle every day doesn’t appeal to you. Enjoy the ride no matter which type or model you choose; there are several to consider.

Are you wondering what is a Fifth-Wheel? Here’s your answer
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