Mountains- “5th wheel” vs Bumper pull - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-17-2024, 12:36 PM   #1
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Mountains- “5th wheel” vs Bumper pull

Good afternoon…
Just back from a non-camping trip to Grand Tetons and wondering about pros and cons of driving “5th wheel” (Scamp 19 / Escape 5.0) vs bumper pull trailer (Scamp / Escape) in the mountains. Any noticeable difference, ease of navigating, etc.?
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Old 05-17-2024, 01:48 PM   #2
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I have both, mountains don't make any difference. What might make a difference is the tow vehicle. Frankly, I see a number of people towing with a vehicle that I consider "marginal." YMMV
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Old 05-17-2024, 03:57 PM   #3
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Never owned a Fifth wheel. I have to guess that two equivalent tugs towing a Fifth wheel and another towing a bumper pull that the Fifth wheel would tow better. But then you loose a huge portion of your bed.
I have always opted on the assumption that the bed is needed. At least by my standards of travel.
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Old 05-17-2024, 04:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Never owned a Fifth wheel. ...But then you loose a huge portion of your bed.
Assumptions.


With my 5th wheel hooked up in a 6.5 bed, I can haul a 4x8 folding table, four folding chairs, two 10x10 EZ-ups, a washing machine tub full of wood, a 70 qt cooler (full) and a barbeque and stand. How much more stuff does a person need to carry?
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Old 05-17-2024, 09:25 PM   #5
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I have both, mountains don't make any difference. What might make a difference is the tow vehicle. Frankly, I see a number of people towing with a vehicle that I consider "marginal." YMMV
Thanks for your insight Donna - it’s a helpful perspective considering you have both bumper pull and 5th wheel.
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Old 05-18-2024, 06:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Assumptions.


With my 5th wheel hooked up in a 6.5 bed, I can haul a 4x8 folding table, four folding chairs, two 10x10 EZ-ups, a washing machine tub full of wood, a 70 qt cooler (full) and a barbeque and stand. How much more stuff does a person need to carry?
4 EBikes and a cap to secure things when the tug is left unattended.
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:23 AM   #7
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4 EBikes and a cap to secure things when the tug is left unattended.
I have a 1 Up bike rake for the back of my trailer. No E-Bike though. I'm still a pumper . I'll give you the ability to secure items in the back of the truck. I don't have anything in it worth stealing. My response was more to the fact, even with a hitch in the bed I can carry a LOT of stuff since you mentioned "But then you loose a huge portion of your bed."
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Old 05-18-2024, 07:34 AM   #8
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A 19’er is heavier and has a larger frontal area than a 16’er. You’ll notice the weight in the mountains and the frontal area at the gas pump (and any time you have a headwind). The more capable your tow vehicle, the less you’ll notice the differences between the 16’ and 19’.

The 19’ will be more stable on the highway and easier to back in the campground. You’ll have to pay a bit more attention to overhead clearances. They’re both pretty close to the same overall combined length, so parking requirements when hitched are similar. The 19’ requires more space in storage. The 16’ allows more tow vehicle options in the future.

A similar comparison would apply to Escape, but they’re bigger than the Scamp pair.

In general you should allow more margin in your tow rating for frequent mountain towing.
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Old 05-18-2024, 08:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Never owned a Fifth wheel. I have to guess that two equivalent tugs towing a Fifth wheel and another towing a bumper pull that the Fifth wheel would tow better. But then you loose a huge portion of your bed.
From the top of he bed rails down you lose perhaps 2 cu ft at most. We haul two e-bikes, and one trike, plus other gear and could add two more bikes on the back of the Escape 5.0.

There's always exceptions, but for 90%, no loss in the bed. I suppose if you carry a racing shell or ocean kayaks you'd be part of that 10%.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 05-18-2024, 01:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
A 19’er is heavier and has a larger frontal area than a 16’er. You’ll notice the weight in the mountains and the frontal area at the gas pump (and any time you have a headwind). The more capable your tow vehicle, the less you’ll notice the differences between the 16’ and 19’.

The 19’ will be more stable on the highway and easier to back in the campground. You’ll have to pay a bit more attention to overhead clearances. They’re both pretty close to the same overall combined length, so parking requirements when hitched are similar. The 19’ requires more space in storage. The 16’ allows more tow vehicle options in the future.

In general you should allow more margin in your tow rating for frequent mountain towing.
This is good info Jon. Hadn’t thought of the mpg impact or effect of mountain towing on vehicle.

I’m drawn to Scamp 19 layout A since most of my travel companions are siblings or friends and we would enjoy more sleep separation. :-) But, the 5.0 is appealing from the aspect of possibly doing seasonal work in the mountains in retirement.

Donna, Bill, and Perry, thanks for the context on how much “stuff” might fit in various configurations.
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