fifth wheel vs travel trailer

What’s The Difference Between Fifth Wheel vs Travel Trailer?

Are you thinking of buying a recreational vehicle? There are a few options to choose from. But if you are torn between the fifth wheel vs travel trailer, we’re here to help.

We’re sure you’ve all been wondering about the differences between these RVs at some point. Which one is better for me? What advantages and downsides does each of them have? We’ll compare them in different aspects and see which one comes out on top.

5th Wheel vs Travel Trailer: What Kind of RVs Are They?

Both 5th wheels and travel trailers are towable RV vehicles. They are pretty popular among a large number of travelers.

A fifth wheel is a hitch connector that is used to tow a trailer or other heavy load. It attaches to the truck bed over the axle. The connection provides a stable platform for the trailer to ride on, allowing it to be towed by a vehicle without tipping over.

An RV that uses this connector is called a fifth wheel. It typically has more living space than other types of RVs, and is popular with retirees and full-time RVers.

The hitch design of a travel trailer is quite different. It connects to the bumper of the tow vehicle. Some people use travel trailers as a way to save money on hotel costs while they’re on vacation, while others use them as a permanent home.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find some that are very luxurious and expensive or others that are more basic and affordable. Some trailers are small enough to be pulled with a car.

fifth wheel vs travel trailer
A 5th wheel has a more stable high design. Photo: Stephan Pietzko

Fifth Wheel vs Travel Trailer: How They Differ

It’s time for a showdown. Fifth wheel vs travel trailer: which one is the ultimate camping vehicle? Both have pros and cons, but only one can be the winner. Let’s take a look at how these two types of trailers compare in terms of size, floorplans, hitching design, weight, price, and more.

Size and Styles

First and foremost, let’s talk about the difference in size. Fifth wheels are larger than travel trailers. They’re usually mounted on a truck bed, which explains their bigger size than travel trailers that can be towed by cars or SUVs. Because of this larger size, fifth wheels are generally more expensive.

Floorplans Variations

Second, let’s talk about floorplans. What do we mean by that? We’re talking about the interior space and layout of these trailers.

Fifth wheelers have more variations with different layouts and placements of rooms, storage, and other space. The same goes for the available amenities, like bathrooms and kitchens. You’ll find a variety of options no matter which one you choose.

While lacking in floorplans, travel trailers come in various lengths and styles. Many models are available in small sizes; solo and minimalist travelers love them. They are also popular among people who don’t want to buy a truck to tow a large trailer.

Interior and Exterior Space

Another difference between the fifth wheel vs travel trailer is their interior space. Since fifth wheelers are enormous and have more floorplans, they offer substantial interior and exterior storage. Also, they have a pretty good height, making space for adequate vertical storage.

Travel trailers tend to be smaller than 5th wheelers, so they don’t offer that much storage. You may need to use extra storage if you like to travel with plenty of stuff.

Hitching Design

Another difference between these two RVs is their hitching design. Fifth wheels have a permanently attached hitch to the trailer, while travel trailers use a detachable hitch. This difference affects how easy (or hard) it is to tow each type of RV.

Fifth wheel hitches are generally more durable and can handle heavier weights than travel trailer hitches. But if you’re looking for a trailer that’s easier to tow, the detachable hitch of travel trailers is the better option.


The weight difference between the fifth wheel and travel trailer has everything to do with their size and hitching design. As for which one is heavier than the other, it depends on the specific model.

As a rule of thumb, fifth wheels are heavier than travel trailers because they have more space and thus more weight to pull around. Some models are so big that you will need a dually truck for towing, which is hard to handle. Overall, fifth wheelers are challenging to drive and maneuver around.

5th wheel vs travel trailer
Travel trailers come in various sizes: big and small. Photo: Oliver Travel Trailers


The price difference between the fifth wheel vs travel trailer is significant. Fifth wheels are generally more expensive than travel trailers, with the larger and more luxurious models costing even more.

The good news is that you get what you pay for. Fifth wheels come with all the bells and whistles: spacious floorplans, multiple bathrooms, top-of-the-line appliances, and more. Travel trailers are generally cheaper because they have fewer amenities than fifth wheels.

Towing – Which One Is Easier to Tow?

The ease of towing each one is fourth on our list of differences between the fifth wheel and travel trailer. As mentioned before, travel trailers are easier to pull because they are smaller and less heavy.

On the other hand, Fifth wheels are more difficult to tow due to their massive weight. You will always need a truck to pull them, and trucks are not suitable for small city streets.

Fuel Efficiency – Which One Is Better for Your Wallet?

Travel trailers are generally more fuel-efficient than 5th wheelers due to their smaller size and weight. Oversized vehicles tend to be less fuel-efficient because of more drag on their engine and tires. For this reason alone, many people choose travel trailers over fifth wheels when they’re trying to save money on gas.

So there you have it: eight vital differences between fifth wheels and travel trailers. Both RVs have pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which one is right for your needs.

One Response

  1. Roger Nelson

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