5th Wheel vs Travel Trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2011, 12:59 AM   #1
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Trailer: Shopping for dual axle Bigfoot
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5th Wheel vs Travel Trailer

I thought that I had made up my mind about about an egg type trailer.

Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - my dental hygienist was talking about how she loved her 5th wheel while she cleaned my teeth yesterday.

Long story short, I'm now thinking about a Scamp 5th Wheel or an Escape and comparing that with a 17 foot BIGFOOT...or maybe even a 25.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

That overhanging sleeping area sure helps livability, but surely there are penalties to consider.

Because I am a bit of a purist design-wise, I've always considered 5th wheel designs to be ugly ducklings...but functionally???
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:55 AM   #2
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Mostly it's a matter of personal choice. In our case, after two fifth wheels, we're back to travel trailers because of having a covered and lockable truck bed. 5th wheels are heavier and more expensive than travel trailers due to the type of construction. Basically it comes down to what you like.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
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If I didn't need the space inside my lockable Truck Top I would have a 5th I think.

I do though so I do not.

From a Pure Design perspective (whatever that means?) I have to think a 5th wheel make more sense too?
You seem to be think aesthetics but I see practicality.

Towing a 5th is easier and better for stability and turning and having the extra space for the bed where it can't be cluttered anyway for standing up scream better design to me.

But as they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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A couple of thoughts.. a 5th wheel necessitates having a half ton as a tow vehicle. If you already have one in the family, no biggie. A trailer allows a covered 1/2 ton or a van tow vehicle, which has storage advantages. A 5th wheel tows like a dream, however, even after a large number of kilometres, I find it backs up wierd. A turn while backing initiates the same as a trailer, but the precise moment to start unwinding the turn for exact trailer placement often eludes me, while I can maneuver a trailer just fine. I also find that a 5th wheel is much easier to hook up, since the action occurs in the bed, just three feet from your eyes; also depending upon your setup, no sway/equalizer bars are needed. I have my electrical hookup iinside of the truck bed, which keeps it out of the road mung, and makes the connection after the 5th wheel is attached a no-crawl cinch. I love the bed over the truck, but, depending upon the 5th wheel setup, getting in and out of the bed varies from easy to a pain; I would recommend having both people give it a try out as part of the initial inspection. Hard to loose either way, just different flavors.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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I think on the bigger trailers the advantages of a 5th are more apparent. They do tow nice, but my Scamp would tow pretty well laying on it's side . I do like the tighter turning for sure. I had to make some changes to my trailer to improve that since the tongue is pretty short. Losing the truck bed can be a big sacrifice. In my case, too big. I have often thought about building a dedicated 5th puller with a bobbed flatbed and just tool boxes for storage. On a 5th I would rather not have a box bed at all. This question has been a tough one for me too, but in the end, the conventional trailer has one out for versatility. If I were just out RVing, I would probably have one. Having to work and live from my rig changes things. For one thing, I really don't want more room to put stuff. What I want is less stuff!
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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Ahhhhhh...the loss of the truck bed in exchange for greater comfort. My wife will understand that, she prefers the idea of having a covered truck bed so she can carry her festival store and inventory.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:40 PM   #7
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We just went through this process and decided on a Bigfoot 25RQ. The main factors were having the truck bed for storage and having the bed in the "back" of the camper. Another issue was the FG fivers seem to have low front beds requiring one to crawl into them. With our rear queen we get the storage under it too. What we like you may not so just my 2 cents.

-John
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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What a conundrum this presents! Even in the little Scamp 19, the bed-over-bed affords more privacy for when our daughter travels with us than the more luxurious Bigfoot 17.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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Hi: mt5937... Here's my 2 pennies worth. I wouldn't go back to a straight trailer after the 5th. Now that we have a full 4-5 pass. 4dr truck our 30 something daughter can travel too!!! She doesn't drive so we usually take her along one week of the summer. There's still useable space in the truck bed when the 5.0's hooked up. We have yet to use all the storage space!!!
The crawl in bed loft is a small price to pay for the bed being out of the line of sight. I use a shower curtain spring rod to hold up a curtain for privacy for the extra one sleeping on the dinette. The Escape fore/aft sleep alignment works wonders for those night trips to the loo!!! When viewing our Escape we usually hear coments like "This trailer makes so much sense".
As Donna D always says YMMV.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf S. View Post
Hi: mt5937... Here's my 2 pennies worth. I wouldn't go back to a straight trailer after the 5th.
WOW! I love those Escapes! I looked at the deluxe Scamps and properly equipped they cost almost as much as the Escape 5.0.

I have a 2500 diesel RAM, so towing just about anything should be easy.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mt5937 View Post
WOW! I love those Escapes! I looked at the deluxe Scamps and properly equipped they cost almost as much as the Escape 5.0.

I have a 2500 diesel RAM, so towing just about anything should be easy.
I think your math may be off a little, deluxe Scamp 5th is approximately $24K loaded and the Escape is closer to $30K loaded, according to my numbers. either way, both are nice products.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mt5937 View Post
I thought that I had made up my mind about about an egg type trailer.

Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - my dental hygienist was talking about how she loved her 5th wheel while she cleaned my teeth yesterday.

Long story short, I'm now thinking about a Scamp 5th Wheel or an Escape and comparing that with a 17 foot BIGFOOT...or maybe even a 25.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

That overhanging sleeping area sure helps livability, but surely there are penalties to consider.

Because I am a bit of a purist design-wise, I've always considered 5th wheel designs to be ugly ducklings...but functionally???

In my case a 5th wheel wouldn't work so well. I tow with a Dodge Dakota that has a bed rug and canopy over the bed. This where I store solar panel, chairs, extra battery, shade item, dutch ovens, backpacks, radio antennas, etc. etc. The basic rule is that if it's used inside the trailer it goes in the trailer, if it's used outside it goes into the truck. The truck bed would be taken up by a 5th wheel and all that stuff would have to either go in the trailer just to come when camping or left at home.
Consider what a 5th wheel costs in all important storage space.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:29 PM   #13
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*hehehehe*

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I think your math may be off a little, deluxe Scamp 5th is approximately $24K loaded and the Escape is closer to $30K loaded, according to my numbers. either way, both are nice products.
...the quote I got today for a loaded Scamp 5th was kissin' $25k.

In my world, when spending the kind of money we're discussing, $5-6k difference is not much. IMO, the difference has to be evaluated in terms of real value to me - if the value is there - I spend the money if I can.

When the difference hits $9-10k, I'm forced to admit I cannot make up the difference for two items serving the same purpose.

Even though I can probably afford to buy a new TT, I'll buy a used one if I believe that I'm getting a good deal for an excellent rig. The used prices and availability of the type rigs I want in the current market are pushing me to look seriously at the new rigs. Coming up with $30-35k cash will be a stretch, but if I'm really uncomfortable with the used units I see, then that's what I'll have to do.

I've made many major purchases denying myself what I really wanted just to save a few thousand - I stopped doing that about 15 years ago. I'm much happier with my purchases since then - except for when my evaluation of what's the best choice is somewhere in the weeds...

...but make no mistake, buying a new rig will make my butt pucker when I sign the paperwork

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Old 11-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #14
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Hi: mt5937...The trouble with used Escape 5.0's is there aren't any!!! We bought the unit we viewed 8 mo's. after seeing it. How lucky is that? With the limited number of 5.0's the resale, when avail., is in the very nearly new range. Here's a pic. of our trailer at a Scamp camp+ a couple from the tip o the Bruce, near Tobermory Ontario ( Lake Huron/ Georgian Bay. Boy were we busy doing tours. We had lineups all hours. Every rest stop and gas fill is another tour prone area... What fun!!!
The 5-6k $ diff. is made up for in the quality, sleek design...and next to "NO" Rivets!!! Escape 5.0's truely are Limited production trailers.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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