Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: TC vs Small 5th wheel
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 > TC vs Small 5th wheel

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Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 09/04/19 07:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In researching smaller rv's the TC's TT's and short 5th wheels seem to have some advantages over larger RV's. Having never owned any of these, what I have surmised from this forum is if you want a TC with some storage and FW capacity a larger TC with a slide or two is required which would require a DRW truck. In looking at short 5th wheels say 24 ft I see more storage and more FW that can be towed with a SRW truck. In addition I see more storage in the bed of the truck for FW and other stuff. Some have said the CG was much higher in a TC making it top heavy around corners. You have to exit the truck to access the the camper section in both of these. Is a small 5th wheel or TT much more difficult to back into a site and level? Have any of you owed both a short 5th wheel and a TC that can comment on any advantages or disadvantages of each setup? I dry camp 95% of the time so water capacity is important I have 60 gals now which last me 7 days.

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Vermont

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Posted: 09/04/19 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 38 foot 5th wheel and a TC. We use the TC for most trips and leave the 5th wheel at campgrounds as a seasonal home base, either here in VT or in FL, where it is now located.

Backing up with a trailer just takes practice and patience. No big deal. And as far as space and cost per square foot there is no comparison. The 5th wheel wins hands down.

The TC works for us (no slides, Northtstar Igloo 9.5) and I personally don't want slides and the associated inconvenience of weight and loss of heat in winter. If you can't fit into a TC without slides you really need to consider a DRW truck. We are able to make it work with a SRW and have over 30,000 miles with lots of smiles and no issues.

So you are really asking to compare apples and oranges. Each mode has advantages and disadvantages. You need to decide what is most critical for you and then you can make a decision on trucks and brands of campers.

Not much help I'm afraid but since we have both I can speak from experience.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 09/04/19 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pretty much apples and oranges except for both are RVs. You nailed the big differences on the head.
Backing up? It's a trailer. Either you can back one up or you cant or you have to learn how to. Requires some spacial awareness and grasp of the turn the steering wheel the opposite direction you want the trailer to go concept.


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Kayteg1

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Posted: 09/04/19 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having different RV over the years, beside number of family number changes, generally trailers are very good RV for people who don't drive far and stay for long. Cheap, lot of storage, don't require heavy TV and such.
But when you drive a lot, trailers make very lousy accommodation for lunch stop, when you are in hot climates. Even at the end of day- you should start AC 2 hr before your destination, or you will have to wait before it become usable.
That is where motorhomes for bigger family, or TC for smaller shine.
When motorhome offer lot of luxury, they are costly RV due to maintenance, insurance and registration cost.
TC offers less comfort, but is the cheapest and easiest to drive/park.
We own 12' single slide camper and are comfortable spending couple of months in it.
I like to shower every day, so have to fill water every 3 days, but that never was an issue.





work2much

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Posted: 09/04/19 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We like a TC for the ability to get off the beaten path. Many of the places we have been I wouldn't try and get a trailer into. Usually for reasons of high ground clearance. Our TC has large tank capacities 65/51/32 which allows for over a week of dry camping, large shower, queen bed, comfortable seating and lots of storage (for a TC). It does require a big truck though. Large multi slide campers start to blur the lines a little between super short 5th wheels and TC's.

If we were going std campground type camping or desert BLM fire roads only we would go with a 5th wheel, and maybe will one day. I have researched short 5th wheels and find very little under 30' that is premium quality. In 24 to 28 foot range you usually find their ultra light economy "1/2 ton" campers.


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Jayco-noslide

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Posted: 09/04/19 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Every type of RV has it's pluses and minuses. That's why you see them all. After 40 years, we've settled on a medium size Class C(30 ft) motor home with 2 slides towing a Ford Focus. As far as backing, cost, storage, tank capacity, etc. it's as good as it gets. We paid $23000 used so don't let the high cost of motor homes scare you. However, at our age, sometimes we would like a much smaller MH and towing nothing.


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jaycocreek

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Posted: 09/04/19 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Is a small 5th wheel or TT much more difficult to back into a site and level? Have any of you owed both a short 5th wheel and a TC that can comment on any advantages or disadvantages of each setup? I dry camp 95% of the time so water capacity is important I have 60 gals now which last me 7 days.


I don't think a TT or a FW is any easier to back in and level,infact,I give the TT and FW an edge in the easier department..Other than the backing part,a truck camper can be harder to level in the spot and they all need to be level for the refer..On a TT and FW it's a touch of a button to level North to South...A TC has to be fiscally moved onto blocks for N to S..

I owned a 35 ft Jayco FW and a 8ft truck camper at the same time..Lived in the FW and camped in the TC...Kinda cool...

The best rig we had for what we do was a 24ft Class C with the perfect floorplan(couch and two chairs) for us...Three of us and a dog lived and roamed in that one for years..

TT vs FW..The TT gives you the whole pickup bed for all your stuff while the FW makes it hard to transport large stuff like a 25 gallon propane tank that has to be laid down to work..Tall generators or other stuff can make hauling them with a FW tough...But a FW is easier to hookup and un-hook..

My pick would be a small TT for the room in the pickup bed or a small Class C motorhome if you like just pulling over and not getting out to be home...

As to the TC and truck needed on an internet forum,take it all with a grain of salt..I have owned a ton of truck campers from 8-10.5 ft and never owned a dually truck,but they were older campers without slides but the only mod was extras springs, one way or the other.

Good luck on your choice..


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jimh425

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Posted: 09/04/19 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The biggest reason for a TC is that you want to use the truck for other purposes and usually plan to tow.

A TC is generally more maneuverable. Long TCs of 11 1/2 ft start to lose some of that ability with a lot of overhang and harder to just back the rear over a curb and make towing more complicated with very long extensions required. For the most space in a small package, slides are required whether you are talking short 5vers or TCs. More slides mean more space inside and less storage.

Small 5vers seem to lose a lot of the under storage that larger ones have due to small light frames. Obviously way less space for a bathroom in a TC even with the large ones you are very close to others inside. There is basically no privacy in the bathroom. Probably not an issue with husband/wife, but gets more complicated with visitors. Something to think about.

Quite a few people have switched also some own both. Personally, I’d go a little longer than 24 in a fifth wheel, but it all depends on the floor plan. Obviously different floor plans are available for each.


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zb39

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Posted: 09/04/19 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have owned both at the same time for many years. Unless I am going by myself the 5th wheel wins hands down. We sometimes took the TC for both of us, but always wanted more room.
Once you unhook the 5th wheel your truck will go where ever you want within reason. We live in the middle of no where on 175 acres so vacation to us means seeing new things and meeting new people.
5th wheels are way cheaper per sq foot and a lot more new and used ones to look at. Every RV has good and bad, each person must decide what is most important to them. Either that or buy one of each. Cheers


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markowwes

Vegreville, Ab. Canada

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Posted: 09/04/19 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we first started shopping for a RV we were looking for a small 5th wheel, after some searching we discovered some provinces/states don’t allow you to tow a boat or other trailer behind a 5th wheel. As we always take out boat with us on vacation this sealed the deal to take a truck camper. With the larger campers with slides, you have very close to the same floor area as a small 5th wheel anyway. As we are getting older the only problem is getting in and out of the cab over bed. When we get rid of the boat we will likely go to a 5th wheel, but no time soon.

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