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Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer: Which One is Right for Me?

Here at Juniata Valley RV, we understand how important purchasing the right RV for you and your needs are. It takes lots of necessary time and research, but if done thoroughly, it is well worth it in the end. Deciding between a fifth wheel and travel trailer is a choice many RVers must face. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you decipher just which one is right for you.

The main difference between a fifth wheel and travel trailer is the way they’re towed. A fifth wheel is secured to the bed of the towing vehicle, while a travel trailer is hitched to the bumper. There are so many differences between the two and even more questions to answer. So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a fifth wheel?

A fifth wheel is a towable RV that is made by sort of cutting out a part of the RV so it is situated atop the truck bed and attached to the bed vertically. This type of towing can only be paired with a pickup truck that is fitted with a special hitch coupling.

Fifth wheels tend to be a tad more luxurious than travel trailers because it’s simply how they’re designed. They come equipped with the comforts of home, mostly because there’s space for it all. And, they use every square inch of room available for overhead storage. With a fifth wheel, you’ll a modern style along with a high level of comfort – floorspace included. Purchasing a fifth wheel will give you extra room, something often longed for in RVers. You can even find fifth wheels that are convertible to a toy hauler if you’re in need of a garage but can be converted back for sleeping space.

Here are the pros of a fifth wheel:

  • Floorplans are often roomier and no storage space is wasted.
  • They’re great for first-time towers because jackknifing rarely happens.
  • Usually is taller, allowing RVers to fully stand up instead of hunching over.
  • Normally easier to hitch than travel trailers, meaning less time to set up and tear down.
  • It can also be ideal for full-time RVing, seeing as they come with ample storage space and even king size floorplans for those wanting the more luxurious option.

 

Fifth wheel cons:

  • Fifth wheels are heavy, making them more difficult to tow and make for bad gas mileage.
  • They’re typically more expensive.
  • More storage in and outside means more maintenance.

 

What about a travel trailer?

The travel trailer is a general term that describes a towable that can be hitched to the back of any pickup truck. You do not need a special hitch as you do for the fifth wheel – travel trailers use a conventional hitch.

The travel trailer seems to come in endless shapes, styles, and sizes. Some come equipped with awesome outdoor kitchens. Some are only made with enough room for two. Others expand to sleep up to 12.

If you’re looking for a trailer that just sleeps one or two, you have the option of a pop-up or an expandable to look at. However, if you’re taking the whole family, you might need a full-family camper with a luxury kitchen and bathroom. Lastly, toy haulers are great if you need garage space for your favorite motor vehicle. They are so many choices, so start by deciding exactly what you’re needing the RV for. From there, you can narrow your search to make life a bit easier.

Now, for the travel trailer pros:

  • Travel trailers are usually much more affordable than a fifth wheel.
  • You don’t exactly need a truck to tow one of these – it can be done with an SUV.
  • It’s easier to boondock with a travel trailer because they can squeeze into a wider variety of settings.
  • Since they hook up at the bumper, they don’t take up any valuable truck bed space.
  • These are typically lighter than your average fifth wheel, meaning they’re often easier to tow.

Travel trailer cons:

  • They’re normally longer and make trailer sway more inevitable.
  • Not as much storage as fifth wheels.
  • They’re made smaller, so they are smaller than most RVs.
  • The ceilings are lower which can make the space feel cramped.

Which RV is right for me?

Here are a few things to think about before you make your RV purchase.

A fifth wheel might suit you if you already have a large truck you can tow it with and you enjoy taking luxury with you on the road. If you’re worried about maneuvering and towing your RV, fifth wheels are easier to handle. You also won’t have to worry about tight turns or jackknifing with a fifth wheel.

However, if you don’t want to buy another vehicle or have one just for RVing, a travel trailer might fit you better. These can fit any lifestyle, especially if you take a more practical approach to RVing and isn’t afraid to go without hookups. And, since there are so many options, you have a wider financial range. These also tend to be more budget-friendly.

When it comes to choosing between the two, it comes down to your personal needs and what features are most important to you. Do you already have a truck for towing? What’s your price range? Once you have answers to these questions, the choice will be clear to you! There’s no wrong way to RV, but doing ample research ahead of time will help you be happier with your purchase. For example, you may think a travel trailer suits you best, but after doing some homework, you find out the fifth wheel is more appealing to you.

Either way, both of these towables have their pros and cons, but matters most is that you’re happy with your RV and all the great features that come with it. If you have any questions, give us a call at (717) 436-8883 and one of our friendly staff members will help you choose the right RV for you.

Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer? Which One is Right for Me?

Tips For Taking Your RV Out Of Winter Storage

Spring is approaching so it’s time to get ready for camping. Check out these tips for taking your RV out of winter storage before you get back on the road!

Basic Inspection

First thing’s first. Ensuring all the basics that require an appointment are good to go. This includes your power source, tires and propane. If these are all okay, lets proceed to the next step. If not, this leaves you enough time to make an appointment and proceed with getting your RV out of storage.

repair rv

Electrical

Electrical Power outlets, do they all work? If not, here is how to diagnose. Check generator circuit breaker(s) and reset. Next, check GFI outlet and reset after you turn on the generator. (We sometimes have to do that to get the outlets to work.) If you’re still having trouble, recheck and reset all your 120 Volt breakers in the main house panel after you turn on the generator. Check for power when you leave the generator. If the outlets still do not have power it may involve a power transfer switch. If so, contact our service department at (717) 436-8883 and we will help you get this fixed right away.

Sealing Leaks and Cracks

It may not seem like a big deal but when taking your RV out of storage you will want to check for leaks and cracks that may have occurred during off season. Moisture can seep in and create an RV owners nightmare: MOLD. Make sure to check all windows for old caulk, remove and repair the area with new caulk after. If it’s going to rain, wait until you know you’re going to have clear weather for at least 24 hours to ensure a clean repair.

Repairing Caulk

Washing RV

Taking your RV out of storage will require a good wash and wax. Some helpful tips would be to use a mild car washing soap, a big sponge for scrubbing and a microfiber towel to wipe and dry off eliminating any water spots. Make sure you wash the roof, the wheels, windows and panels. Check awnings for mold growth or tears as you may want to replace before hitting the road. Once you’re done with the wash and dry, apply a generous coat of wax to get that like-new shiny look.

Getting Back on the Road

taking your rv out of storage

Juanita Valley RV has an array of supplies you may need for repairs including awning accessories, plumbing supplies, variety of vent covers, light bulbs, drain hoses and so much more. 

tips for taking your rv out of winter storage

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