Why We Love the Fifth Wheel


Shopping around for the best RV for your needs can be a lengthy process that requires extensive research and a full understanding of what’s available. Based on the type of traveling you’re looking to do in your new RV, you’ll probably be able to select from a wide range of styles, modifications and RV accessories.

Whether you’re in search of a toy hauler, fifth wheel trailer or full-sized motorhome, you should take into consideration everything your journeys will demand and the accommodations you prefer. Better to over-prepare than to discover many miles from home that you overlooked an important detail.

[RV Repair Club Video: 5th Wheel Hookup: A Step-By-Step Demonstration]

For years now we’ve been huge fans of the fifth wheel trailer. We recommend this type of RV for many reasons, from durability to drivability. If you’re considering investing in a fifth wheel for your cross-country adventures, here are a few of our favorite things about this versatile vehicle:

It’s shorter, yet somehow roomier

Despite its truncated frame, we’ve found that the typical fifth wheel actually offers a greater sense of space than the more claustrophobic motorhome. Without a front dash area, fifth wheels boast open and flexible living quarters, as well as high ceilings that make spending time onboard more comfortable for those taller lodgers. Plus, most fifth wheel manufacturers offer a variety of floor plans, allowing you to customize your layout according to your preferences.

It’s easy to maintain

When you’re out on the road, the last thing you want to worry about is an unexpected engine breakdown. When you opt for a motorhome/towed vehicle combo, you have two engines to care for, whereas with a fifth wheel, you need only consider your tow vehicle.

[More from RV Repair Club: RV Service Center Overview for 5th Wheel Units]

Repairs on a diesel engine are hassle enough; we don’t prefer to throw drivetrain, propane and faulty electrical systems into the mix, if we can avoid it. And as a bonus, if you run into trouble with your truck or SUV and need a tow to the shop, your fifth wheel (your room for the night) and all your vital RV accessories can stay right where they are while repairs are conducted.

It’ll fit whatever you’ve got

If cargo room is high on the list of must-haves for your next RV, you’ll find few more capable candidates than a fifth wheel. Unlike the shorter travel trailer or motorhome, these taller tow units tend to offer up overhead cabinets and spaces, as well as a basement storage area with ample space for all the trimmings. Whether you need stowage for bulky luggage or extra RV accessories, you should have no trouble fitting whatever you plan to bring along.

In addition to these select selling points, fifth wheel trailers can be maneuvered in tight spaces with far greater ease than the cumbersome motorhome, simplifying the way you get into and out of campsites and congested areas.

Of course, these practical RVs bear certain shortcomings when compared to other kinds of vehicles, from a generally lower level of security to weaker fuel efficiency under heavy weight, but the upsides of the fifth wheel trailer make it one heck of an option, if it suits your needs. So if you find yourself in the market for a new RV, we hope you’ll give the fifth wheel close consideration. We love what it’s got to offer, and we think you will, too!


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29 Responses to “Why We Love the Fifth Wheel”

  1. JIM Blanchard

    Getting into fifth wheel after selling class C. anything I need to be aware of on this model or Grand Design in general?



  3. Jack Hood

    We love ours because of the roominess and ease of maintenance.

  4. jcdemsar.hoy

    On the right side of my RV I have wood rotten under the tin around my 5th wheel's front bedroom window and then from about my door back about 3' to the corner seam. How should I go about repairs, the rest of the trailer is in good shape.

  5. michael larrry

    front jacks

  6. Randy Aspinall

    The lower clearance light on the front door side of the trailer has lost power. It is an enclosed belly and I would like to follow the wiring to look for a break and wonder where it might be going. I pulled the next light to the rear off and it doesn't seem to be tied in at that point. Any ideas on how to diagnose where the problem is?

  7. Richard

    I need to replace the microwave and can not find the screws that hold it in. I have replaced others and the screws were in the cabinet above it or under the filters. Am I missing something?

  8. Peter

    Just curious about any major issues anyone has had with these

  9. Robert Laird

    In your article, you said 5th wheels are less secure... can you please elaborate?

  10. Dan Petr0

    Hello, I have a 2015 keystone cougar 5th wheel. It has a little round led lite by the 5th wheel hitch. it has a switch on outside of unit called 'dome light" it comes on when towing but when I disconnect unit and turn battery kill switch off it still stays on!! I can not control by switch as it does nothing. the only way I can get it to turn off soit does not drain battery when stored is to pull the positive cable off battery then replace it. That seems to turn it off. any help ??