Home THE JOURNEY Road Trip What to consider before buying a 5th wheel?

What to consider before buying a 5th wheel?

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If you enjoy taking a break from the daily grind now and then, you may want to consider purchasing a fifth wheel. Once the trailer is parked, it’s an excellent option to use the vehicle as accommodation.

Various fifth-wheel brands are available worldwide, but it is confusing to decide on one. Some brands were trendy initially but lost their reputation over time. This is the first thing to consider while selecting one for yourself; for example brands, like Fleetwood, Coachmen, etc., seem to have various quality issues, and these are 5th wheel brands to avoid.

In this article, you will learn about what things to consider and avoid before buying a 5th wheel.

What is a fifth wheel?

Fifth-wheel travel trailers are large trailers that are towed by a fifth-wheel hitch. Due to their heavy-duty hitches, they can be much heavier, allowing them to accommodate luxury amenities and sleeping space. Additionally, many fifth wheels today have multiple slide-outs that make it possible to expand the living space even further once you’re set up.

Three important things to consider before buying a 5th wheel


For the best balance, safety, and ease of towing, ensure you have plenty of power in your truck before purchasing your dream fifth wheel. A small or medium-sized truck can tow lighter fifth wheels. These are perfect for those looking for a weekend getaway and don’t need much living space. While full-size and midsize trailers offer more living space and amenities, they require a more powerful vehicle.

Many trucks can carry up to 14,000 pounds, so you should know how much weight yours can handle. If you have a car, avoid buying a 5th wheel that weighs more than your vehicle’s towing capacity, as it can be hazardous to your safety.

Length of the truck bed

After determining your towing capacity, you need to measure your truck bed’s length. When your trailer and truck are hitched, it determines the space or clearance available. Trucks with long beds usually provide more clearance than those with short beds. It also determines whether you need a leg or slider mounting platform for your 5th wheel hitch.

Hitch style of the RV

Towing vehicles may have features that are more compatible with certain hitch styles. If it has metal rails or pucks, you will need a hitch that can be attached to pre-built anchors. Plastic liners will need holes drilled to accommodate the coupler. Custom rails are also an option if the truck has already been drilled with holes.

It would help if you always buy the 5th wheel according to the hitch style of your towing vehicle; otherwise, it may cause problems when you are several miles away from home or any civilization.

What should you avoid while purchasing a fifth wheel?

If you find any of the issues given below in the 5th wheel you are considering buying, then you can be sure that these are some 5th wheel brands to avoid

  • Ensure that the towable RV you are purchasing is built with durable materials. Try to avoid the ones that are lightweight and wobble when you move them around.
  • Take care of the position of the water tanks. Some brands manufacture 5th wheels with inclined tanks that spill the water everywhere when you travel.
  • Another vital thing to keep in mind while purchasing a trailer is electrical wirings. Make sure it has properly fitted and covered wirings to avoid any mishaps. Some RVs have uncovered wirings for heavy appliances such as refrigerators that can threaten your safety.


Fifth wheels are so popular because they are great for many reasons. They can be easily towed and maneuvered and provide more living space than motorhomes. Before deciding one for yourself, consider the points mentioned above to avoid any issues in the future.