5th Wheel Campers
New and Used 5th Wheel Campers
5th wheel campers have gained enormous popularity of the past few decades and it’s no wonder. The advantages of a 5th wheel travel trailer over a bumper pull trailer are considerable. The biggest advantages are primarily related to towing. A fifth wheel trailer is attached to the tow vehicle (a pickup truck) by means of a 5th wheel hitch located in the bed of the pickup directly over the rear axle. When compared to a conventional bumper pulled trailer, you end up with much better weight distribution. Rather than having the entire weight of the trailer resting on a hitch located behind the rear bumper of the pickup, the weight is placed right over the rear axle. This essentially moves weight forward in the pickup making it far more stable and much safer. This configuration eliminates the sway that so many people experience when towing a bumper hitch trailer. Many people state that when on the road they can hardly even tell they are towing a 5th wheel.
Because of their configuration when attached to a tow vehicle, 5th wheel campers are essentially ‘shorter’. Attach a thirty-five foot bumper pull trailer to an eighteen foot pickup truck and you end up with a total configuration well over 55’. Do this with a 35’ 5th wheel travel trailer and you end up at less than 50’. Which would you rather tow?
5th Wheel Campers - The Best for a Lot of Reasons
A modern new fifth wheel travel trailer can range in price from anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000. They can be somewhat simple to a full blown luxury RV. 5th wheel trailers are generally quite spacious and most have multiple slide outs. Depending on the floorplan, these RVs can sleep anywhere from 2 to 10 people. The forward area is raised to go over the pickup bed and is generally designed to be the bedroom. Occasionally it will be configured as a living area or den. Some are equipped with rear bunk areas and fold down sleeper sofas to provide plenty of sleeping accommodations.
New 5th wheel travel trailers come with all the comforts of home. You can have granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, central vac, leather furniture, big flat screen TVs (with satellite hook-up), king size beds, hand crafted cabinets, and on and on. And while you might experience a little sticker shock when you walk up to the 5th wheel, you will be blown away with the beauty and the luxurious appointments of these vehicles. At the pinnacle of the 5th wheel market is Lifestyle RV. They are built on a super rigid double-stack box steel tube frame and the quality of the vehicles is breathtaking. The construction and engineering is first class and no expense is spared building these remarkable 5th wheel trailers. Heck, they even have solid, aged cherry wood cabinets and they are plumbed for a washer and dryer. These are the perfect RV for those folks that want to live the full time RV lifestyle. Add an RV generator and some solar panels and you can just about park these RVs anywhere and stay for a month without any hookups whatsoever.
If your budget is such that a new 5th wheel is out of range for you, consider buying a used RV. There are plenty of RVs for sale by owner and there are probably 100 Colorado RV dealers. It’s by far a better investment if you can find a solid vehicle that is only a couple of years old. Just like cars, RVs depreciate a great deal over the first few years. In fact, I’m sure you’ve heard it said that you lose several thousand dollars the moment you drive a new vehicle off the lot. It’s absolutely true. You will save thousands if you buy used. The key is to find one in great shape. Don’t buy a vehicle that’s been lived in full time and don’t buy anything that’s been in an accident. The best thing you can do is have the RV inspected by a certified RV technician. For a few hundred dollars you may save yourself a lot of heartache and money. If you are mechanically inclined and know a lot about electricity, refrigeration, hydraulics, and so on, feel free to do the inspection yourself. But RV technicians know the ins and outs of these vehicles and they know where problems arise. Spend a few bucks for the peace of mind.
While there are lightweight designs, fifth wheel campers tend to be on the heavy side. Therefore, you need to be certain that your pickup truck is fully capable of towing any 5th wheel trailer you are considering. If you have any doubts about this, ask the dealer. You’ll be way better off erring on the side of caution here. Safety needs to be your number one concern. Likewise, an under powered pickup will labor too hard towing a heavy trailer. That is going to increase the chances of a breakdown on the highway. Diesel engines have the strength and torque you will want to have if you will be towing a heavy 5th wheel camper. You should seriously consider going this route if you will need to upgrade your pickup.
To my way of thinking, 5th wheel travel trailers are the best choice in the RV industry. Motorhomes are way over-priced and don’t really provide hundreds of thousands of dollars more in luxury. Likewise, they are super heavy and require a skilled driver to stay out of trouble. You also have to tow a car behind you just to have something to drive when you get to your destination. Travel trailers don’t tow nearly as well as a 5th wheel and they usually don’t provide the same level of quality and luxury. Fifth wheel campers provide the best in cost-effectiveness, space, luxury, towing and convenience. So visit a dealer and take a look. I’m sure you’ll agree.
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Here's a look at a 2004 Carriage Cameo LXI fifth wheel camper. Until their demise a few years ago, the industry consensus was that Carriage manufactured the finest fith wheel campers in the country. They had a few worthy competitors, but they did produce a very high quality product.
2004 Carriage Cameo LXI 5th Wheel 34ft 3 Slide outs One slide from door to rear featuring the kitchen and entertainment wall, one slide on the opposite wall ...