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Fifth wheel length question

sportzfann
Explorer
Explorer
Fifth wheel owners
What seems to be the consensus on the best length of fifth wheel to purchase when you will be using it for 2 weeks up to 6 mos at a time? I would be staying at some national parks, and some boondocking locations. We are Thousand trail members so most size rigs will be accepted there. I have owned a 30 ft. Bunk model when we had kids, and I could manage that pretty well, but wanted something for the dear wife and me, rear lounge type, with bed slide.
I have a 2017 f350 Dually and truck camper at this time, for towing, but wanted more room than that.
?? thanks Sportzfann
31 REPLIES 31

ReneeG
Explorer
Explorer
Our first four RVs were trailers starting at 17', then 22', then 24', then 32'. Now our fifth is a fifth wheel at 35' 5", and we still camp in all the same places we did with the others except for one. We do have to consider the width of the interior roads and obstacles when selecting a site, but the same as with our previous trailers. We primarily camp at FS campgrounds and boondock. It's hard to camp with our tent set up or even our popup when our FW has so many nice comfy amenities with the recliners being one!!
2011 Bighorn 3055RL, 2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley TrailerSaver BD3, 1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica, Mabel, and Melton

jffnkrn
Explorer
Explorer
Might as well add another comment, thought, etc. When we upgraded form bumper pull to fifth wheel, we really never thought about our favorited spots as we can still camp near by, do day trips for the sights and activities. So the larger one is great, still get to do all the travelling and camping we want and then some. When we stay for three to five weeks at a time, it does make it nicer to have the extra room. As others have said, floor plan is one of the main issues. be happy with what you want to spend time in, the spot, it will be there, somewhere.

4x4ord
Explorer III
Explorer III
I think ours measures 35.5 feet. We often camp in older camp grounds that were designed for smaller trailers. Sometimes it’s a little tight but we are always able to make it work. We like the floor plan of ours but the new fivers with similar floor plans seem to be just a touch longer. I think if we were to get a new 5ver we’d end up sticking with a similar floor plan …. maybe go to a lKing size bed and end up about 38 feet.
2023 F350 SRW Platinum short box 4x4.
B&W Companion
2008 Citation Platinum XL 34.5

Campinghoss
Explorer
Explorer
When we were going back to a fiver from a 40 foot dp, we were only concerned with the floor plans and what would fit our life style. I never let length dictate the floor plan we wanted. It took us around two years to find and decide on the fiver in my sig. I have talked to a lot of folks who regretted letting the length take precedence over the floor plan that was actually desired. Every foot makes a difference somewhere in the floor plan.
Camping Hoss
2017 Open Range 3X 388RKS
MorRyde IS with disc brakes
2017 F-350 6.7 with hips 8'bed
Lucie our fur baby
Lucky 9/15/2007 - 1/30/2023

JKJavelin
Explorer III
Explorer III
After many years with a popup, then 20 years of no camping, we looked for a fifth wheel and fell into our Open Range, a leftover 2016. 31.5' long with 3 slides and a wide body and large tanks, it was the shortest they made that year. It has a split bath and the toilet/sink room is quite small and I think that's why it was a leftover. We are always looking at other floorplans and have yet to find one we like better in a similar length.
JK
2018 Ram 3500 Laramie Cummins 6.7
2016 Open Range RF316RLS
Titan Disc Brakes
Trailair pinbox
Morryde AllTrek 4000 w/ wetbolt kit
Demco Autoslide
570 watts of Solar

2017-2022 555 Nights
2023- 106 Nights

Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Determine what you will use it for. 36' is not going into many places.40' is not going into many more places.

Smaller is better. Then there is the question of how small? Too small on a multi month trip is not going to work.

Thoroughly do the research before going to a dealer. Buy what you need, not what some salesman has in stock to sell to you.

Buying a mistake is expensive. We were years researching & months searching for a model on the very short list.

15 years later we still have it.
Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter

2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
2006 Chevy 3500 LT, CC,LB 6.6L Diesel

Ham Radio: VP9KL, IRLP node 7995

cummins2014
Explorer
Explorer
Went from 38' to 35 , although not a lot ,and no difference in GVWR , much preferred the 38'. More the floor plan then anything , room is not the factor .

Curly2001
Explorer
Explorer
Overall I think that 30' is about right for us. We have one super slide and that gives us enough room to move about and if one of us wants to go "up stairs" to the bedroom, it gives us some separation.
Curly
2019 Chev. Double cab 2500HD, 6.0, 4:10 diffs, six speed auto
2013 Heartland Sundance XLT 265RK

wowens79
Explorer III
Explorer III
We are looking at going to a couples type 5th wheel also, and I went to the websites of our favorite campgrounds, and put in random dates like 10 months out, and put in different camper lengths and looked had how the availability changed. Once you got over 35-36ft, the number of sites really dropped off.

We were looking at state parks in AL, GA, FL.
2022 Ford F-350 7.3l
2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 268k miles (retired)
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

JTrac
Explorer
Explorer
Our favorite park has a 38' length limit so we only looked at units under that length when we bought a couple of years ago. There are plenty to see but it seems 40 plus foot fifth wheels are the norm. Ours is 36' 8" which is just right for us. It's still very roomy and comfortable.
JimT
2020 Jayco Pinnacle 32RLTS, 2020 Ford F350, Platinum, 6.7 diesel, 4X4, CCLB, SRW, 12,400 GVWR

rhagfo
Explorer
Explorer
DW and I full time in a 32’ 5th wheel and do T have any issues. Ours is a rear kitchen and good sized, comfortable living room, with master suite, where the shower is in the corner of the bedroom. Makes the bedroom much larger, and shower space larger also.
Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

"Visit and Enjoy Oregon State Parks"

Johnny_G1
Explorer
Explorer
32.5 Okanagan with 3 slides, an oldy but in mint shape 2002, a little heavy but just the right size for long camping or living if it comes to that, all solar and the rest of the electronics, do not have to plug in anywhere.
98 Mountain Aire 34' 210 Cummins Puller and 2001 dodge dully with all the toy's, 400 + hp pullin a 2001 32.5' Okanogan 5th wheel, new to us after 5 yrs with the 28' Travel Aire. Lots of fun.

jffnkrn
Explorer
Explorer
Past: bumper pull, 19 foot, 22 foot, 26 foot then fifth wheel, 33 foot twice, now 37 foot. All have been great. We do sometimes have a little issue getting into some places, but planning ahead to get a great spot and place hasn't been an issue. The last trade up gave us a bit more closet and bathroom space, living area about the same, plenty of room. plus we now have the washer and dryer so that will pay for itself hopefully with in the year. Just make sure you like the floor plan and get it, enjoy it and have fun. Boondocking won't be an issue, just remember about "off grid living" - water, sewer and electricity, how long you can be off grid. I know said before, have fun! ! !

Campinghoss
Explorer
Explorer
When we went back to a fiver from a mh, we were only concerned with the floor plans in regard to what we wanted and that would meet our expectations. It happened to be a 40 footer but if it had been longer so be it. Based on your question I would shoot for what fits your needs and go that route.
Camping Hoss
2017 Open Range 3X 388RKS
MorRyde IS with disc brakes
2017 F-350 6.7 with hips 8'bed
Lucie our fur baby
Lucky 9/15/2007 - 1/30/2023

sportzfann
Explorer
Explorer
Wow that was a lot of great responses I think we would be looking to limit its length at around 34’. Sounds like that would be a good compromise on length if all other things are a fit like tank size etc.