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5 Reasons to Avoid 5th Wheel RV Trailers

5 Reasons to Avoid 5th Wheel RV Trailers

5 Reasons to Avoid 5th Wheel RV Trailers

5th wheel RV trailers have more diverse layouts and usable storage than any other RV type.

There are lots of reasons to own a 5th wheel.

Today, however, we’re talking about the reasons you may want to avoid these unique RVs. 

Keep in mind; no RV is perfect. They will all require a few compromises. 

Let’s dive in!

What is a 5th Wheel RV Trailer?

5th wheels distinctive characteristic is their special in-box hitch called a fifth wheel coupling. This hitching method increases safety while towing. 

In fact, it’s the same type of connection semi-truck use to connect trailers.

The safety benefits include less sway and better weight distribution on your tow vehicle. Larger 5th wheels will obviously require large trucks, like a 3500 dually. But, some fifth wheels can be towed with 2500 trucks.

Here are the reasons we think 5th wheel RVs should be avoided.

#1 Expensive – The Truck & the Trailer

Buying a powerful truck to tow your 5th wheel can set you back $70,000, easily! Additionally, the trailer itself is also expensive.

By the time it’s all said and done, you could easily purchase a new Class A Motorhome. 

If you already own a heavy-duty truck, a 5th wheel may be an option to consider. However, if you need to purchase both, you may want to consider a drivable RV.

Avoid overspending, buy used! A used 5th wheel is much cheaper than a brand new unit. This rule applies with your tow truck as well.

With all the said, we’re excited to see the new Tesla Cybertruck & 5th Wheel combo (pictured below).

#2 Too Big for State & National Park Campgrounds

There are always exceptions to the rule, but overall, 5th wheel RVs will restrict where you can park.

They’re tall – making low hanging branches a severe issue. Our 5th wheel friends travel with saws to cut branches in emergencies.

They’re also long! Many National Park campgrounds (especially in the East) don’t allow them to make reservations.

If you want to explore these public parks, you should consider other RV types.

#3 Gas Mileage Is a Sad Story

Sure, no RV gets impressive gas mileage. 5th wheel towing is notoriously awful on the MPGs.

On travel days, you’ll probably get single-digit MPGs.

Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what RV type will be best for your budget.

#4 Your Daily Driver is Huge

Once you set up camp and get relaxed, a simple drive into town may bring back your anxiety! You’ll be driving a huge truck (often a dually) around small-town America.

Tight turns and even tighter parking spots will be a reoccurring pain in the neck. 

To make matters worse, your MPGs around town won’t be inspiring either.

Some folks are used to driving large trucks and aren’t phased by this. However, if you’ve only driven small vehicles, swithing to a dually will be a drastic change.

If you buy the smallest 5th wheel in the USA, this won’t be an issue.

#5 Limited Access on Travel Days

Like all towable RVs, access to your trailer will be limited on travel day.

This is worse with 5th wheel RVs…often, the living space is only accessible when slides are out. Making a quick snack in the kitchen or sleeping at an overnight parking spot can have added challenges.

Before buying a 5th wheel, make sure you test it’s functionality when the slides are in.

5th Wheel RVs Have Many Advantages

5th wheels are still very beneficial. They have added towing safety and the luxury of living space.

Here are a few reasons we like them:

  • Large Tanks (great for boondocking)
  • Separation of Spaces (multiple bedrooms and bathrooms)
  • Room for Company
  • Tons of Exterior Storage

Here at Drivin’ & Vibin’ we believe in giving every RV type a fair shake. You can see the reasons to avoid other RV types here:

Explore the Best Free Camping in a 5th Wheel RV

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:


Thursday 16th of September 2021

We get 16mpg (Diesel, not gas) while pulling our 5th wheel. Not sure why anyone or even how anyone would use a gasser to pull a 5th wheel 🤣. 16mpg is not bad at all. We’ve also had zero issues staying in state or National parks, not single one has ever told us we’re too big lol.

Our daily driver gets 19mpg, I’m not even upset by that!

5th wheels are way easier to pull in wind, weight distribution is amazing, more headspace, larger tanks typically, I wouldn’t trade my 5th wheel in for a travel trailer ever!

Bradd R Bruce

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

And I pull my 32 ft Flagstaff with a 2018 f150. You go with the super light fifth wheel you don't need the 250 or a 350

John King

Saturday 14th of August 2021

With a 5th wheel trailer no extra engine , transmission, drive train to worry about. Extra costs for towing drive around car or truck. One night stand on road pull out curbside and bedroom slides easy, been traveling around this country since 2006, everyone that visits my 34ft Newmar 5th wheel loves it. Lots of storage, lots of interior space , large rear window to look at scenery. It has been driven over 200 thousand miles. Akaska, Oregon, California, Nova Socia, and everywhere in between. The Kings of TAMPA.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

While all of the statements are partially true. They are also more so FALSE. The mpg is less but that is true with anything you tow and a travel trailer can be worse on mpg than a 5th wheel depending on size and model. To big for a state park? This also applies to travel trailers, since you can by a 40 ft model. And you can get many 5th wheels well in the range to fit anywhere. Limited travel days. Got a lot of nerve trying to use that. Seriously with COVID-19 out there trying to pin us in you want to use limited travel days. Just stop. Well those are the big ones. Have a good day


Thursday 8th of July 2021

Mis-information galore. Sponcered by....sigh.

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