Towing fifth wheel versus towing bumper hitch - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-02-2014, 01:57 PM   #1
Member
 
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Michigan
Posts: 59
Towing fifth wheel versus towing bumper hitch

I know some of you have experience towing both types of fiberglass trailers, so I am looking for your input. Could you describe the pros and cons of towing each type of fiberglass trailer, in your opinion? Would you prefer one type over the other if you plan to make annual trips across the Appalachians or the Rockies? Is either one easier or harder to level or stabilize at the campsite? Escape is planning a twin axle, the 5.0TA, beginning in March. Will the twin axle yield significant benefits, in your opinion?

I am doing my own compare and contrast between the available fifth wheel and bumper hitch trailers as far as layout and amenities, and I am fine doing that on my own. My challenge is that I have no experience towing either, so I am looking to those who have towed both types to help with the compare and contrast from the towing perspective.

Chances are that someone will respond and tell me that this has been covered in earlier threads. Sorry, I haven't mastered the whole search function on this site, so if that is true, please provide the link to the thread and I will gladly read through it.
__________________

__________________
drstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Darwin
Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 3,030
Send a message via Yahoo to Darwin Maring
Another consideration: Towrite makes a hitch that fits under the tow vehicle and it tows a trailer like a 5th wheel.
__________________

__________________
Darwin Maring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 02:40 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Fran L's Avatar
 
Name: Fran L and Dave W
Trailer: 2008 Escape 5.0
New Mexico
Posts: 259
Registry
We've towed 1 bumper hitch 16' Scamp and two 5th wheelers (Scamp and Escape). We definitely prefer the feel of the 5er for towing. It is neither more nor less a hassle to level or stabilize at campsites...about the same.

As long as you have the right tow vehicle a 5th wheel is our preference...just watch your total cargo capacity since the 5er hitch tongue weight is generally more than the bumper tongue weight and it is IN the bed.

Good luck shopping!
__________________
Fran L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
We've towed both a Scamp 16 and a Casita 16. We do not use a weight distribution system. They both towed beautifully. We use an anti-sway bar on the Scamp and did not use one on the Casita though we have towed the Scamp for 1000's of miles with no anti-sway bar.

Both towed beautifully behind our Honda CRV, not a particularly large tow vehicle. We have towed all over North America. Ginny says towing these trailers is just like driving the Honda normally but someone's following awfully close.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by drstock View Post
I know some of you have experience towing both types of fiberglass trailers, so I am looking for your input. Could you describe the pros and cons of towing each type of fiberglass trailer, in your opinion? Would you prefer one type over the other if you plan to make annual trips across the Appalachians or the Rockies? Is either one easier or harder to level or stabilize at the campsite? Escape is planning a twin axle, the 5.0TA, beginning in March. Will the twin axle yield significant benefits, in your opinion?

I am doing my own compare and contrast between the available fifth wheel and bumper hitch trailers as far as layout and amenities, and I am fine doing that on my own. My challenge is that I have no experience towing either, so I am looking to those who have towed both types to help with the compare and contrast from the towing perspective.

Chances are that someone will respond and tell me that this has been covered in earlier threads. Sorry, I haven't mastered the whole search function on this site, so if that is true, please provide the link to the thread and I will gladly read through it.
I guess the first question is if you have an existing vehicle you want to use for towing, or are you prepared to buy whatever is needed. That said, a 5th wheel means a truck....period. Not withstanging some Disneyesque workarounds that have been seen.

And the advantages of a 5th wheel vs. a standard hitch pull tow with a suitable pick-up is an entire topic of it's own.

FWIW: I have never heard anyone say that towing with a 5th wheel was more difficult than a hitch pull. Usually it's the oppposite.

All that said, more than one peep has fallen in love, and even sometimes bought, the trailer of their dreams only to find that they didn't have a suitable vehicle with which to tow.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 03:58 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA
W. Mass
Posts: 436
I currently have a trailer and have the 5.0TA on order but have never had a FW.

Far a FW, you have to have an open bed truck, for the new Escape a decent size one. You also lose use of most of the bed of your truck. I currently carry my bikes inside a truck cap, and a canoe on the roof, that will no longer be an option. I'll put the bikes on the back of the FW and will need to go with a front receiver to handle the canoe, doable but far from ideal.
I'm going with the FW to get a floorplan and trailer size I want while keeping the complete tow package to as small a size as I can. My truck and my 16' trailer (box) comes out to 40', each being 20'. Going to the FW I get a bedroom while keeping the combined size to about 35'. If I had gone up to a trailer with the bed area I wanted, the combination would have been roughly 45'-50'.

From what I've heard from those who have had both, towing is nicer with a FW.

One thing I've learned is each type of camper has it's trade offs. Going with the FW means I have to drive the truck everywhere when on a trip. Folks with smaller trailers can tow with a smaller more fuel efficient vehicle. If you've not had one, a full size truck is a pain to park sometimes, not to mention the higher fuel and purchase price.
__________________
Bob & Deb
padlin00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
CPW
Senior Member
 
CPW's Avatar
 
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Flori-duh!
Posts: 934
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin00 View Post
You also lose use of most of the bed of your truck.

I still manage to carry a lot of stuff in the cargo bed carefully packed around the Scamp "5th Wheel hitch."
__________________
CPW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #8
Member
 
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Michigan
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I guess the first question is if you have an existing vehicle you want to use for towing, or are you prepared to buy whatever is needed. That said, a 5th wheel means a truck....period. Not withstanging some Disneyesque workarounds that have been seen.

And the advantages of a 5th wheel vs. a standard hitch pull tow with a suitable pick-up is an entire topic of it's own.

FWIW: I have never heard anyone say that towing with a 5th wheel was more difficult than a hitch pull. Usually it's the oppposite.

All that said, more than one peep has fallen in love, and even sometimes bought, the trailer of their dreams only to find that they didn't have a suitable vehicle with which to tow.
Thanks, Bob. An appropriate tow vehicle is assumed in my questions, mainly because I a stickler for having a healthy margin of safety when it comes to any equipment.

Would you be willing to share a few of the advantages you see in the fifth wheel set up? I've heard the overall length of the rig addressed in earlier responses. Is there any advantage on mountain roads, or is that a function of driving skill mainly.
__________________
drstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
papa-t's Avatar
 
Name: Ted
Trailer: (Dark side)Crossroads Now
Glade Valley, North Carolina
Posts: 969
Well if we were talking about larger heaver trailers then definantly the fifth-wheel out tows a tag-along. Since I have change to FG units and have owned both a 16' Scamp and our currant 19' Scamp 5er; and have towed both with the same vehicle I can honestly say that I couldn't tell allot of difference IMO. That being said you do loose bed space with a 5er but make up the difference with trailer space. I agree it depends not only on your tow vehicle as to what may make the difference unless you plan on purchasing a vehicle depending on what unit you want to purchase. Again this is my personal opinion from the trailers I mentioned and my TV which is a 2012 Chevrolet Colorado Crew cab with a I-5 cylinder.
__________________
“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends would respect me. The others can do whatever the Hell they please!” —John Wayne
papa-t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 09:11 PM   #10
Member
 
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Michigan
Posts: 59
Ted, do you like the Chevy Colorado? Do you have 2- or 4-wheel drive on it? Also, what size bed are the Colorados available in? Thanks for your post.
__________________
drstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
papa-t's Avatar
 
Name: Ted
Trailer: (Dark side)Crossroads Now
Glade Valley, North Carolina
Posts: 969
I really do love the Colorado. I owned one when the Inline-5 Cylinders came out. I sold it because we sold our Class C Motorhome and went to a 34' Fifth Wheel and I needed a 3/4 ton. I always regreted it. So, when we sold our big unit and went to the FG Scamp I purchased another Colorado. Since mine is a Crew Cab with 4 doors the bed is 5'. Mine is a 4x4. I live in the Blue Ridge Mtns. so I need it in the winter time.
__________________
“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends would respect me. The others can do whatever the Hell they please!” —John Wayne
papa-t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
arlon's Avatar
 
Name: Arlon
Trailer: 2002 Casita Bunk Delux
Texas
Posts: 147
A 5th wheel tows better, no doubt about that. That being said there are always trade off. We towed a 28' 5th wheel before getting the Casita and from bumper to bumper there isn't but a few feet difference in length between the two. SO 5th wheel gives a tighter turning radius up to a point (when it hits the back of your truck cab).

The 5th wheel only can be towed with a truck, hitch takes up a lot of your cargo space, they put a lot of weight on the truck (one reason they tow so much better), they back differently. Google "chucking" with a 5th wheel. They can give the tow vehicle an odd ride, more like being in a boat as the load weight influences the ride of the truck much more than a BP.

The bumper pull has to be a longer package for the same interior room, sometimes much longer, BP is usually lighter than equivalent 5th wheel.

Personally I prefer the BP on the lighter trailers. They tow so well when set up properly that towing just isn't the issue. I hated the loss of my truck bed, the air ride pin box and sliding hitch the 5th had to have cost almost as much as my used Casita did. The 5th wheel was also a lot taller than the Casita.

Now having a truck set up to tow an 8000lb 5th wheel and dropping down to a Casita is quite a change. In the end less is more. Not sure what my thought would be exactly if I have been towing a much smaller 5th wheel.
__________________
2002 Casita 17' Bunk Model Delux (replaced 28' 5th wheel)
2003 Dodge/Cummins quad cab (daily driver/tow vehicle of choice)
2005 AWD Astro Van/camper (my solo camper)
2006 Xterra MT (for sale)
arlon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #13
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
"Generally speaking"..... on a good day, and going in a straight line the 5th wheels can feel good.

But a properly set up good handling TT connected with a superior connection system (ie Hensley) will also feel and tow very good.

The 5th wheels high mounting point and higher center of gravity is one of the shortcomings resulting in unimpressive emergency maneuvering at highway speeds.

For optimum road feels and performance the TV/trailer is IMHO the 1st choice.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 12:56 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Rene
Trailer: Bigfoot 2500 truck camper
British Columbia
Posts: 233
I have noticed that most FW are larger and heavier than Travel Trailers. Small FW like the Scamp and Escape are relatively rare. The biggest reason to go with a FW is that heavier FW trailers tow better than TT because the weight handling is superior. So if you want a large RV go with a FW for sure. TT's are best on the shorter and lighter side. I plan to stay with bumper pulls because I want all the cargo space in the back of my truck.
__________________

__________________
Rene is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing: 5th Versus Bumper Pull? Cathy P. Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 25 02-22-2012 07:24 AM
5th wheel to bumper hitch jackstrr Modifications, Alterations and Updates 7 06-11-2011 09:50 AM
SCAMP 19' Fifth Wheel or Bumper Pull! 1990 Maureen S Classified Archives 3 10-20-2010 07:16 AM
Four Wheel Drive versus Two Wheel with Posi Rear End Lyndon Laney Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 04-16-2010 10:38 PM
Hitch Aid / Bumper Guard Behind Hitch Ball? Parker Buckley Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 12 01-27-2008 04:05 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.