Fifth Wheels

Fifth wheel trailers are a subcategory of travel trailer that use a unique type of hitch called a fifth wheel coupling. Unlike other travel trailers, which can be towed by virtually any vehicle that can handle the necessary weight, fifth wheel trailers can only be towed by medium or larger duty trucks that are equipped with this type of coupling. In pickup trucks, the coupling is mounted in the bed.

The main factor that differentiates fifth wheels from other travel trailers is that the body of the trailer extends over a portion of the truck that tows it. This means that a portion of the trailer doesn’t have the same ceiling height as the rest of the trailer, but it also means that the combined length of a fifth wheel and its tow vehicle is shorter than the combined length of a regular travel trailer and a tow vehicle of the same length, due to the overlap. Since the portion of the fifth wheel that extends over the tow vehicle is often used for sleeping quarters, the lower ceiling height rarely comes into play.

starcraft travel star

Most fifth wheels are extremely heavy, but some manufacturers offer lighter options. Image courtesy of Starcraft RV.

Some of the most popular manufacturers of fifth wheel travel trailers include: