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Love my Fithwheel but looking for more...

wantabe351
Explorer
Explorer
In my 16+ yrs of RVing 15 of them has been in a 5er with about 68,000 miles of traveling distance.. So its here I'm raising a question about a more intimate way of RVing in a smaller RV..Ive been thinking of 2 types, 1st a PU Camper with a small cargo trailer for my MC or a small TH about 26' in length...See My wife and I love our 5er but on our last big trip camping along the Rockies from Grand Tetons up into Canada along the Ice Fields Pkway up to Jasper...Wow what a trip..We spent most of the trip in State or National parks camping. Which are smaller in size and have no utilities (for 1-3nights is cool,unless its Hot)..Now were interested in doing more parks but finding a 38' or more site is difficult but plenty of 28 to 32' sites and the roads in some of the CG are Tight...Has any tried a downsized RV or a PU camper and your thoughts? one of mine is the space for my Recliner!!
[purple]Rich & Andrea
[/purple] Semi-Retired
2022 Ram2500 6.4 CC

2019Keystone,Impact26v-TH,solarpower

,Lithium Batt.. all to take our 2012 Yamaha FJR along to ride..
22 REPLIES 22

JAC1982
Explorer
Explorer
Our first rig was a 30' bumper pull toyhauler. It had a separate 9' garage. It was tight in there. There was no real bedroom, just a bed shoved in the front corner with a curtain. No actual couch, just a dinette bench. Kitchen was tiny. Only thing spacious about it was the bathroom, but you had to walk through that to get to the garage from the living area. The garage had the normal toyhauler folding couch/bed things, but they weren't comfortable.

Point being, the smaller you go, the less functional it gets when it comes to trailers. I can do without a lot of bells and whistles, but climbing over each other to get in and out of bed, and getting out the camping chairs to sit and watch a movie when the weather was bad got real old real fast. If you're wanting space for a recliner, I don't think either option you mention is going to make you happy. Just look at smaller 5th wheels. Ours is 34' (downsized from 38' toy hauler 5th wheel) and I could live in it full time if I needed to. They came out with a 32' model a few months after we bought ours.
2020 Keystone Montana High Country 294RL
2017 Ford F350 DRW King Ranch
2021 Ford F350 SRW Lariat Tremor

Road_Phantom
Explorer
Explorer
Grand design makes a 30 ft toy hauler.
Imagine XLS 24MPR

Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
JMO but there is no such thing as perfect for everything. All of the various classes have their pros & cons. A TC is a long way from a 5er. The common part is the truck. Not a real big deal to change out the hitch for the camper if a trip best suited for just the truck is planned.

I see people talking about getting a TC for a trip to Alaska. Why? You are not going anywhere that is not crawling with As, Bs, Cs, TTs, 5ers, most anything else. If you have a 5er you might as well be comfy for the long trip & take the 5er.
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

StirCrazy
Traveler III
Traveler III
Likes to tow wrote:
What discourages me with truck campers now is the price. They have no axle, brakes, frame, etc. but yet they cost more than a tag along trailer and in some cases as much or more than a 5th wheel !! I still think at some time I will go back to one and ditch the 5th wheel idea. All those years of owning truck campers we had wonderful unplanned trips and exploring. When I traded in my last truck camper which was a Starcraft that I had purchased new 5 years earlier, the dealer gave me very little for it claiming truck campers were hard to re sell. I bet there are no truck camper dealers within 100 miles of me!!


theres a good reason for that, althought I think all rvs are way over priced for what you get. but while there may be no frame on a camper, it still has to be able to be ridgid so the wall system and such is usaly built better than a 5th or trailer. also I think your paying a lot of the guy who came up with the way to putt all that stuff in a unit half the size, but yes I do think they are over priced as I mentioned, thats why I found a 1991 10' unit that was well taken care of for a deicent price than did some upgrades to the power center, added solar and better batteries and so on..

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Likes_to_tow
Explorer II
Explorer II
In my opinion a 5th wheel has more room when compared to the length behind the truck. In other words, part of the trailer is up in the bed of the truck so a 32 foot 5th wheel is overall no longer than a 26' tag along trailer. So measuring from the back bumper of the truck to the back bumper of the trailer a fifth wheel is shorter. Plus you will normally see large basement storage on a 5th wheel.

Oldmaple
Explorer
Explorer
What about one of the smaller fifth wheels? Is there more room in a travel trailer or fifth wheel of comparable size?

Likes_to_tow
Explorer II
Explorer II
What discourages me with truck campers now is the price. They have no axle, brakes, frame, etc. but yet they cost more than a tag along trailer and in some cases as much or more than a 5th wheel !! I still think at some time I will go back to one and ditch the 5th wheel idea. All those years of owning truck campers we had wonderful unplanned trips and exploring. When I traded in my last truck camper which was a Starcraft that I had purchased new 5 years earlier, the dealer gave me very little for it claiming truck campers were hard to re sell. I bet there are no truck camper dealers within 100 miles of me!!

wantabe351
Explorer
Explorer
when out on a 6 to 8 week trip I just love the room inside the 5th wheel and all of the outside gear we can take along, but boy I would love to do some Lake side or even being next to a river for a few days.So I gave it a try 2yrs ago in VT alone in a small tent with a blowup air matress, which had a leak during the night and temps drop to 46* that night....at 60yrs old with a fused lower back..I lasted that one night..Never again, thats the draw to a PU camper.. ...Thanks for your input with a PU camper
[purple]Rich & Andrea
[/purple] Semi-Retired
2022 Ram2500 6.4 CC

2019Keystone,Impact26v-TH,solarpower

,Lithium Batt.. all to take our 2012 Yamaha FJR along to ride..

StirCrazy
Traveler III
Traveler III
I went through the same gthing, we have a 39.5' 5th and we love it. use it all the time, but I was finding it was to expensive to go to the island unless I was going for 3 weeks or somthing to make the 750.00 in ferry fees worth it. also there are a lot of forestry sites, in absolutly beautifuls lakes, that I have no way of getting into. so I went out and bought an older 10' truck camper for thoes types of tripa. still need the 5th as the majority of our trips the kids and grandkid still come along but for just ht ewife and I we have the option of going different places or visiting on the island with the camper.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

SteveAE
Explorer
Explorer
We have a small camper/over sized canopy and tow a 22' travel trailer. Sometimes we leave the trailer and go out for several nights with just the truck. Best of both worlds.
Merry Christmas.

happycamper1942
Explorer
Explorer
I've had 5 different truck campers over the years, but when I retired 13 years ago I traded in for a 5th wheel. We love the 5th wheel and have done many wonderful trips in it, right across Canada, the Yukon and Alaska, and several trips to California, Oregon, Utah etc.
However, I always missed having the camper for shorter trips, more exploring etc so 8 years ago I bought an older fairly cheap camper and used both for a few years until I passed the camper down to my daughter.
I am now thinking that in the spring I will trade in the 5th wheel and get a better camper, which will be much easier to handle and take me to more accessible places.
They are both great, I thing the difference is a 5th wheel is "RVing"
and a camper is "camping"
2008 Ford F350 crew cab short box PSD, 2021 TravelAir 90W camper

Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Rule #1: Keep She who must be obeyed happy.

Have to agree, a 38' 5er or larger is huge & difficult to find sites for if you prefer the much more scenic SPs & NPs. I really don't know what you get in the big 5ers other than more floor space. The same fridge, the same table, the same sofa, the same 2 recliners go into the 38 plus size as go into the 30-35' size.

Not so sure about going down into the 25' or so range unless the designer has a marine mind & has put every bit of space to good use.

We tried to stay at 32' but could not find the build quality or layout combination acceptable so we had to go a little longer & get a 34 model number. About 2000 nights on the road with 4 trips to Alaska, no regrets on model or length. SPs are our first preference.
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

wing_zealot
Explorer
Explorer
Lance makes a 26 foot toy hauler (THE2612).

ssthrd
Explorer
Explorer
I went from sleeping bags and mother earth to tents to truck campers to a 24' TT to a 30'TT to a 35' 5er. Each one had their own advantages.

With the campers, I could park anywhere, and I never had an issue with finding a spot for the 24. The 30 was mostly doable, and not sure yet about the 5er. The effective length is about the same as the 30, so next summer will tell.

The most memorable was the tents with a young family who loved the outdoors.
2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2013 Palomino Maverick 2902
2018 GMC 3500HD, 4x4, 6.5' box, SRW, Denali, Duramax, Andersen
DeeBee, JayBee, and Jed the Black Lab

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll)

FlashBuddy
Explorer II
Explorer II
Likes to tow wrote:
Just be sure your truck is set up for a truck camper. Nothing less than an F350 is best.


Awww c'mon! I had a cabover on my '76 Datsun pickup. I wonder what I could stuff in the bed of my F-150 today?



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