which tows best? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-07-2016, 10:52 PM   #15
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General consensus on another large rv forum I frequent is that 5th wheels inherently tow with the best stability due to the hitch location (over the rear axle). Sway is practically impossible with a 5th wheel (or a gooseneck, for that matter... the Scamp 19' uses a gooseneck connection). A couple of very expensive bumper-pull hitches have been created to approximate this type of stability (Pull-Rite, Hensley Arrow).

A small bumper-pull trailer is usually very stable, but with insufficient hitch weight they can become unstable. I recall a couple of folks with 16' Scamps who felt that their trailers waggled too readily and too frequently, due to their trailer's relatively light hitch weight. Not that it's common, but it has happened.

One nice thing about 5th wheels: when they say they're 19', the trailer body is 19'. Bumper pull trailers measure from rear end to front coupler, so a 16' trailer has only about a 13' body.

Am I saying that it's a mistake to buy a bumper pull trailer? No! I have always used bumper pull trailers and I still do. But I recognize that 5th wheels do have a bit of an edge, and you asked.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:13 AM   #16
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The 5th wheel is more maneuverable in tight spaces than a tag trailer given the same length of trailer behind the tow vehicle rear bumper.

The 5th wheel limits your choice of tow vehicles to a PU truck in most situations. You also loose the transport or storage use of the PU bed with a 5th wheel trailer that you do not lose with a "Tag" trailer pulled by a PU.

The 5th wheel trailer setup tow vehicle will ride better than a "Tag" trailer behind the same tow vehicle. Gas mileage with a 5th wheel "can" be worse as a 5th wheel trailer grabs much more "air" driving down the road due to the higher profile of the 5th wheel trailer. You will have better control of a 5th wheel trailer in an emergency situation due to the placement of the hitch over the rear wheels of the PU tow vehicle rather than "hanging" on the back of the PU truck with a "tag" trailer. Tongue weight becomes a "mute" point with a 5th wheel trailer and a 1/2 ton PU versus a "tag" trailer.

Probably the BEST reason to get a 5th wheel trailer is that with the Scamp and Escape the bed is located above the 5th wheel area in the trailer, the bed is larger than the similar "tag" trailer models and you do not have to make the bed/dining area conversion EVERYDAY to get FULL use of the trailer which you MUST do with a similar length "tag" trailer"!
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
Probably the BEST reason to get a 5th wheel trailer is that with the Scamp and Casita the bed is located above the 5th wheel area in the trailer.....
Casita doesn't build a 5th wheel trailer. Escape does though
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:19 AM   #18
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The "Edit" button is a WONDERFUL thing!
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
The "Edit" button is a WONDERFUL thing!
TRUTH!
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #20
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The others have listed most of the pro's and con's.
If you're agile enough to crawl up and down to the sleeping loft in the 5r, it is a nice way to go.
We have a 16 Deluxe with side dinette so we leave the rear space as a bed. Just two of us.

With a tow behind, to reduce the chance of sway, arrange your trailer hitch to be as close as possible to the rear bumper of the TV, and add shims and/or set screws to remove all play(looseness) between the drawbar and receiver.
Also, make sure the ball joint is adjusted snug. Any looseness there can lead to trailer sway. And .... practice a steady hand on the steering wheel. Jerky steering will lead to sway too. With all the above, you should not need an anti-sway bar.
But you can add one for insurance.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:22 PM   #21
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Curious as to which is easiest to tow a 5th wheel or trailer? Starting to do research to go full time on the road with Scamp or similar.

Thanks Ally
I had a Scamp 16 and now own a Scamp 5er. The 5er definitely pulls better but does weigh more than the 16.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:22 PM   #22
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On thing you've not asked and is important... which is easier to hookup. Hands down a bumper pull. Hooking up my 5er isn't difficult, just not convenient. I drive a 4x4 PU, extended cab. I cannot see the hitch in the bed of the truck. There's a camera on the tailgate that allows me to see the hitch on the Scamp. Can nail the hookup first time. To do the same with the 5er, I'll need to get another, different camera. With the Escape, I carry a small two step ladder so I can reach into the bed of the truck to finish the positive latch (and connect the brake disconnect loop). Fortunately I'm still spry enough I can usually step on top of the tire and boost myself up into the bed. I'm generally a lazy person and find it inconvenient enough that if I'm camping for only a couple of days I don't even bother to unhook. YMMV
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:13 PM   #23
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I have never been in a molded fiberglass 5th wheel however I am in love with the great space in the 5th wheels I have toured at RV shows. if I owned a pickup truck I'd own a 5th wheel for all the reasons already discussed.
If I was going full time I'd buy a pickup and a 5th wheel for the interior space.
Everyone has different space needs...I like the "house-like" space and feel of a 5th wheel. If I was full time I'd go nuts in the confined space of a small trailer.
Again different strokes for different folks.
My current trailer is a 26 footer, smallest I have ever owned was a 24 footer. The 26 footer is perfect for two people...plenty of room and storage.
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:44 PM   #24
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" tow vehicle breakdown, friends could tow our LS for us and not need a pickup to do so"

very good point!
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:54 PM   #25
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which tows best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
Alida, Two more points, just to add more confusion: 1) there must be a reason why all those millions (by my approximation) of commercial tractor-trailer trucks going up and down the interstate are set up 5th-wheel style, and 2) there must be a reason why tow-behind campers out-number 5th-wheel campers 50:1 (by my approximation) at fiberglass camper rallies (at least in our neck of the woods). As others have said, each has it's advantages and disadvantages. The main thing that concerns us about a 5th wheel is the thought of possibly having to maneuver those stairs in the middle of the night, for whatever reason, as we grow older. All that said, as others have suggested, get the camper you feel you will enjoy the most for your camping lifestyle. But if you choose a 5th-wheel, you're restricted to towing with a pickup - good, bad or otherwise. In the end, just get camping! To paraphrase an old fishing saying, "A bad day camping is still better than a good day at the office." Dale

I'm not sure these statistics. First, I have not attended any FG rallies where tow behinds outnumber 5ers 50:1. Perhaps 10:1 or 15:1. And there is a easily explained reason for that. Of the many FG manufacturers, only two (Scamp and Escape) currently market 5th wheels, and in both cases the base price for each is higher than any other model in their catalog. If you look at the "stickie" side of the market, where most manufacturers market both tow behinds and 5th wheels, or look around any campground the ratio of tow behinds to 5ers is not all that different. And some respondents have referenced space taken up by the hitch. Having owned both a Scamp and now an Escape 5th wheel, I can unequivocally say that I have no problem packing camp chairs and other equipment around all 4 sides of the 5th wheel hitch. Nor do I find the 5th wheels any more difficult to back into a campsite than any other trailer I have ever owned. And when I owned pull behind campers (3 over the years), I rarely utilized a drive thru, so I see that as a non issue. I personally find parking the 5er and going inside McDonald's, a bank, or whatever far less a PITA than having to make up and take down the dinette twice a day for sleeping. From what I have read here, many respondents are expressing pros and cons somewhat flavored by personal preferences (including me in the previous sentence). In reality, the suggestion that the OP go with the layout and features that best meets needs is the best advice that has been proposed.


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Old 04-08-2016, 04:05 PM   #26
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Smile

Thanks, I do like the idea of the bed tucked away.
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:26 PM   #27
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I certainly wouldn't argue with anyone that's concerned about stairs. Lots of people have bad knees, etc. However, my Escape only has one more stair to the loft than there is to get inside the trailer. In fact, thinking about it... it's the same. I have one outside step (step on that) and step on to the threshold and into the trailer... that's two. There are two stairs to the loft in my trailer too I would worry more about tripping over a dog sleeping in the aisle way... But really, just like everything it's about choice.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:47 PM   #28
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Agree, Donna. Stairs could be a concern, especially if one has bad knees. I usually back down them whenever exiting the loft. And Dale is right about a bad day camping is better than a great day at the office. I've never heard of anyone on their death bed saying "I wish I had spent more time at the office!"


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