Motorhome, Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel: Which One Is For You?

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You and your family have decided that it’s time to start having fun with an RV but don’t know whether to buy a motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel. There are reasons you’d prefer each of these options, but you can only choose one! They each come in many sizes and floorplans with slideout rooms being a common feature.  And, RVs go from basic to luxurious and in between in all three types.  In our article How To Choose An RV, we discussed the different types of RVs.  In this article, we will discuss the advantages of owning a motorhome, a travel trailer and a fifth wheel.  Hopefully, this information will make it easier for you to know which option would be best for you.


Virtually all motorhomes are equipped with generators, which give all the systems on the motorhome the power to function without hookups.  This means that campers can be completely independent while traveling.  If they choose not to camp at a campground with hookups, they have that option.  While the motorhome is being driven, passengers are able to move around in the motorhome and use the restroom, have a snack, take a nap, watch a DVD, play games and even watch TV!  Motorhomes can be equipped with “in motion satellite systems” that enable TVs to work while the motorhome is being driven.  Once the motorhome is parked, the cockpit chairs can be swiveled around and used in the living area. Motorhomes can tow a car or boat, which give you more options for fun once the motorhome is parked.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers, especially small trailers, can be very affordable.  And, they are less expensive to maintain than motorhomes.  It’s important to choose a trailer that is in the weight range your vehicle can tow.  Lightweight trailers, compact and economical, can be towed by a family van or SUV and are easy to hook up.  Travel trailers are great for destination – type camping.  You’ll have all the conveniences of daily living as long as you are connected to water, sewer and electric.  A travel trailer is easy to use for casual or spur of the moment trips…. you just hook it up to your vehicle and go!  And, when you’ve arrived at the campground and unhooked your vehicle, you have something to drive for errands and sightseeing.  The space inside a travel trailer is all usable living space.  Some trailers (toy haulers) are equipped with a large storage compartment and a ramp.  These are excellent spaces for storing motorcycles, dirt bikes, bicycles, surfboards, fishing poles, coolers, patio chairs, grills, toys, etc.  People who exhibit in art and craft shows can store their tables and artwork in these storage areas.  Toy haulers are also wheelchair accessible, making the trailer useful for people who might otherwise be unable to travel in an RV.

Fifth Wheels

Fifth wheels have the same advantages of travel trailers, and they are excellent for extended stay vacations, snowbirds or full-time RVers.  They have more usable space and more storage space than other RVs. They also have a higher weight rating so you can carry more cargo.  The section mounted into the bed of your pickup truck is usually a master bedroom, sometimes with a bathroom. The living rooms often have fireplaces and there are normally 3 or 4 slideout rooms.  You can get an optional generator on a fifth wheel, so you can do remote camping.  If you like a lot of space or plan to be in your RV for an extended period of time, a fifth wheel is a great option.

Whatever you choose, you and your family will have the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime!

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