Fifth Wheel vs Travel Trailer – What are the differences?

If you were to look at a fifth wheel and travel trailer, side to side, you wouldn’t be able to notice a difference. The two are quite similar with it comes to their exterior look, however, there is a difference between the two. Not many new campers would be aware of these differences and can purchase the wrong one if they don’t do the proper research. It won’t be the end of their camping trip however, it can be a hassle if you don’t do the research and purchase one over the other, why you ask?

The Hitch

The first thing you need to pay attention to is how will you hitch the trailer to your car or truck. There is a huge difference on how you hitch a fifth wheel trailer and a travel trailer. While you need a ball and coupler hitch to attach a travel trailer to your truck, a fifth wheel trailer would easily attach to the bed of your truck with a  jaw hitch. If you were wondering which is more securely attached, we would say the fifth wheel trailer is slightly more secure since it attaches to the bed of the truck.

Driving with either one of the trailers is not easy, however, since a fifth wheel trailer is pretty much attached to a part of the body of the truck it can be slightly easier to maneuver. Do note that in either case, you will need a little bit of practice on how to move around with a trailer attached to your car.

Dutchmen Aerolite Travel Trailer

Cost and space

The cost and space pretty much depend on the model you get. However, in general, you get a little more space in a fifth wheel trailer and they tend to be slightly pricier than travel trailers. You can certainly make use of the extra space but as long as you have a budget for it. Travel trailers are lower to the ground, so if you are planning on traveling with someone on wheelchairs, they are easier to gain access for the handicapped.

Travel trailers also tend to save you a little money on gas expenses. Since they are lighter than fifth wheel trailers, your truck doesn’t need to exert a little extra gas as it tows it along.

Your towing vehicle

Travel trailers can easily be towed with a truck or SUV. All you need to do is attach a towing helper to your SUV or truck and you can easily tow it. The same cannot be said about fifth wheel trailers, they require to be attached to a truck bed. Since they do weight a lot, you can’t really attach the better models to just any truck. You will need a heavy-duty truck, so keep that in mind when you decide between the two.

Camping facilities

Both the trailers come with numerous different facilities for campers which depends on the model they purchase. However, fifth wheel trailers are a little better suited for longer trips as they tend to have a bigger water tank and provide ample room so you can even go with a group of people. You also tend to have a little more storage so you can easily carry a lot of what you require for longer trips.

When choosing between the two types of trailers, it is important you keep the differences in mind. It would make no sense to purchase a fifth wheel trailer if you don’t have a heavy duty truck that can tow it or don’t really require a trailer for longer trips, paying the extra amount for no reason. There are numerous different models of both types of trailers to choose from. Once you decide which of the two is more suitable then you can move on to deciding which model to go with.