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If you have always loved the idea of getting out and traveling in an RV, and you have been looking at the RV options that are available to you, it might seem overwhelming. There are many different types of RV available today in a range of sizes and styles. One of the top options to consider is the 5th wheel RV. They are a bit different from the “standard” RV, and you may be wondering how to choose the 5th wheel RV that will work best for you.
What Are These RVs?
Before you can decide which option that you might want to buy, though, it is important to understand exactly what a 5th wheel RV is and what makes is different.
When you start to explore your RV options, there are several different classes available. There are the Class A motorhomes, which are the large bus style RVs that you see. There are the Class B motorhomes, which are converted vans. The Class C motorhomes are often created with a chassis that has been cut away, similar to a big rig truck that has a bunk above. These will typically have rear bedrooms, too. There are also travel trailers, which are pulled behind vehicles that can tow them, and there are 5th wheels.
The 5th wheel simply refers to the hitch that attaches the RV to the tow vehicle. The RV itself will have four wheels, as usual, and the tow vehicle acts as the 5th wheel to haul the RV along with it. The hitch is what lets the RV stay attached to the truck, which is the typical type of tow vehicle involved. At the bottom of the RV, there will be front support jacks, which will keep the RV stable and sturdy when you have stopped to camp.
See some 5th Wheel Hitch Comparisons and reviews here:
- Gooseneck vs 5th Wheel Hitch
- How to Find the Best Weight Distribution Hitch with Sway Control
- The Andersen Hitches Review That You’ll Love
Why Are They a Good Choice?
Why would you want to have one of these types of RVs? They have a substantial amount of living space, which tends to be equitable with other RVs of a similar size. The master bedroom for these RVs will generally be located over the bed of the truck, which means there is something of a bi-level floor plan. This could actually provide you with more space than you realize in the lower area. In addition, there are RVs that have slide outs for the living room area and the dining room area. Some may also have a slide-out area for an additional bedroom. This allows you to have a lot of additional space.
One of the other elements that people tend to love about 5th wheel RVs is the fact that they tend to be easier to haul and drive than when towing other types of RVs. Because of the design of these RVs, the hitch is placed above the rear wheels of the truck; you will get better traction. This makes them a dream to drive, as long as you have a vehicle that is capable of handling the RV.
You will also find that the cost of the 5th wheel RVs tend to be low when compared to the price of an RV with a full motor in it. You can save some money on the cost of the RV, which is nice, but they are still large enough that you will be able to sleep four or more people in most cases. This is nice for those who are traveling with family or friends.
Some might be wondering whether they should consider getting a travel trailer instead. While there are certainly some benefits to travel trailers, they are not always the right choice. They tend to be smaller, which means you can tow them with smaller vehicles than you would with a 5th wheel. However, those smaller vehicles will not be able to take you onto the backroads and all of the other places you can get with a pickup and a 5th wheel. Being smaller also means that the travel trailers may not be able to hold as many people as a 5th wheel RV.
Consider the Price and the Fact You Need a Towing Vehicle
As mentioned, you can find a range of options with these types of RVs, and it should be possible to find something that will work well with your budget. However, you will have to remember that you need to have a pickup that is capable of towing the 5th wheel RV. If you do not already have a one-ton pickup, it means that you will have to buy one of those in addition to the 5th wheel RV that you want. The cost of the pickups will vary. Of course, you could always opt to buy one that is used if you prefer and if it fits your budget better. The same is true of your RV for that matter.
Whether you already have a vehicle that you want to use for towing, or you plan to buy one, you should make it a point to check with the RV manufacturer or seller to make sure the vehicle is appropriate. You need to have something that will be strong enough to ensure that you can pull your RV without putting too much strain on the engine.
What Size Will Be Right for You?
What size 5th wheel RV do you need? These RVs will vary substantially in terms of their length. While we’ve mentioned that they tend to be spacious, the actual length can vary quite a bit. They tend to range from 25’ to 45’. When you are choosing the size for your RV, you have to think about just where you will be using it. If you go to RV parks that do not accommodate large RVs, for example, you might not want to get a large 45’ 5th wheel. If you are going to be traveling along roads that make it difficult to turn around with a large RV, you might want to opt for a smaller version, as well.
What Accessories Are Needed?
You will also want to think about some of the accessories and features that can come with these RVs, so you can determine what you might want to have in your 5th wheel. For example, some of them will include washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Some will even have fireplaces in them, or televisions included. Take some time to look at the various options and features from manufacturers to see what might appeal to you, and then try to find an RV that has those features and accessories, and all of the other elements that you would want.
Consider the Quality
Whether you will be spending a few weekends out of the year in the RV, or you are going to be living in the RV full-time, you want to make sure that it has a certain level of quality before you buy. You do not want to get a cheaply built RV that has poor quality showers and flimsy toilets, or that has bad flooring. If you are buying new or used, you will need to make sure that the overall construction is sturdy and that the RV is in good condition.
Keep in mind that you will want to make sure that more than just the construction on the inside is in order. You also want to make sure that the RV has quality tires and axles, along with good windows. Make sure everything on the RV works properly before you buy. This is highly important if you choose to buy a used option rather than a new RV.
If you do decide that you want to buy a used RV, it can save you a lot of money. Just make sure that you do not get an RV that is older than a couple of years. This way, you will still have all of the newer features, you can be sure they are working properly, and you will be able to put the money that you saved toward getting a vehicle, or toward your RV trips.
Popular Manufacturers to Consider
You have a wealth of options available when it comes to your 5th wheel RV, but we thought we’d give you a nudge in the direction of some of the options on the market that tend to be popular and dependable. These are certainly not your only choices, but they can be a good starting point when you are on your search.
- Forest River Wildcat Series
- Keystone Montana Series
- Dutchman Voltage Series
- Grand Design Reflection Series
When you are searching for the best 5th wheel RV, make sure that you take the time to think about how you will be using it and where you will be using it. Having the answers to these questions, along with having a good understanding of your budget, will help make choosing the right RV for your needs a much easier task.