Exterior view of white Cougar 5th Wheel Trailer

Top 7 Small 5th Wheel Trailers for Your RV Adventures

Since we first started shopping for an RV in 2017, the small 5th wheel trailers have always been one of the designs that immediately caught my eye when we walked on an RV lot.

Fifth wheel trailer and floorplan with text '7 small 5th wheel campers'

Honestly, when I first spotted one of these rigs, I was a bit confused by it. I knew that I liked it, but it the outside looked so different from anything I had seen before.

Sure, it had the same 5th wheel hitch design, as usual, but at a size that didn’t completely dwarf me!

I felt like these models could have a lot of the benefits of a 5th wheel trailer, without being a size that is tough-to-manage and intimidating-to-tow.

Side Note: If you’re not absolutely set on a fifth wheel, but interested in a smaller rig, be sure to check out our post on best Class C RVs under 25 feet also. I think you’ll like what you see!

I think you are really going to like this lineup of small 5th wheels we’ve got for you here.

Of course, our hope is that what we share here will help you get out there on the open road as soon as possible. Because it’s always time for some RVing adventures!

Top 7 Small 5th Wheel Trailers for Your RV Adventures

Before we jump straight into a close look at our top 5th wheel trailer picks, I want to point out a few things that you must be aware of going into this.

After all, knowledge is power, right?

The Smallest 5th Wheel Trailers Still Far Outweigh Comparable Travel Trailers

If the overall length and maneuverability of your RV are top priorities in your search, then every one of the trailers we cover will likely hold your attention and get you pretty excited.

However, if weight is also a major factor then let me make a key point. There is simply no comparison between even the smallest 5th wheel trailers and comparable length travel trailers.

Let’s take our full-time RVing travel trailer as an example.

Our Keystone Passport Ultra Lite 2670BH travel trailer was 26 feet long (just over 30 feet with tongue) and weighed in just over 5,000 lbs empty.

It had a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 7,000 lbs, meaning I could (supposedly) safely carry almost 2,000 lbs of cargo.

See my post about travel trailer tires for a full discussion of weight ratings on trailers vs. tires. Your safety could absolutely depend on it.

5th Wheel Trailers Typically Outweigh Comparable Travel Trailers

Now, compare the weight of our 26-foot travel trailer to the weight of the Coachmen Chaparral, a 29-foot 5th wheel trailer (more on that below).

You can quickly see there is a nearly 3,000 lb difference in GVWR between these two rigs:

  • Keystone Passport Ultra Lite Travel Trailer GVWR is 7,000 pounds
  • Coachmen Chaparral Lite 5th Wheel Trailer GVWR is 9,800 pounds

Despite the fact that the living space is only slightly longer, the 5th wheel trailer requires more truck to tow it.

We towed our travel trailer with a RAM 2500 Long Bed w/5.7L Hemi engine. And we had no issues at all across 35,000+ miles. That same truck would not come close to towing the 27-foot 5th wheel.

The takeaway is that as you shop for small 5th wheel trailers, be aware that it will require far more truck to safely tow many of these options.

Know that going in and be prepared upfront for that additional cost if you don’t already own a 1-ton diesel engine truck.

Smaller and lighter 5th wheels are out there, and we will cover some, but for trailers with larger living areas, the above guidance holds very true.

Small 5th Wheel Trailers May Be Taller, Requiring Close Attention for Route Planning

If you will be doing most of your traveling in the western portion of the US, this may not be quite as much of a concern for you.

Clearance issues didn’t seem to be a major factor in that region during our travels.

But we quickly discovered when we started exploring the eastern half of the US that clearance issues did become a major factor, specifically as we moved farther toward the Northeast.

RV park in Connecticut
Tucked away among the trees in Connecticut

Essentially, you should expect a small 5th wheel trailer to add approximately two feet to your overall height compared to comparable travel trailers.

Our travel trailer stood about 10 feet 5 inches high, while the exterior height of some 5th wheels (check the Forest River below) can exceed 12 feet.

That’s a huge difference. I guarantee you will notice the extra time you put in to planning your route planning, especially in when traveling through the northeast.

Don’t Be Scared…

Please understand that none of this information is meant to dissuade you from purchasing a small 5th wheel trailer.

Not at all, because I believe they offer some major advantages you should be aware of in terms of comfort, maneuverability, and convenience.

But if you are wired anything like me, the weight and height factors covered above will definitely make you stop and at least seriously consider the pros and cons.

I crave simplicity, and I also desire to control costs as much as possible. So I naturally lean toward the travel trailer side of the equation for my travels.

But these factors may be very minor concerns for you, in which case a 5th wheel trailer could be exactly what you want and need.

And with that, we will move on to our first pick for small 5th wheel trailers! These picks are in no particular order; we are offering all of them to you as equally viable options.

Keep in Mind that Extra Height Requires Extra Route Planning

#1 – Coachmen Chaparral Lite 25MKS

Coachmen is synonymous with RVing. They have been putting quality RV products on the US road since 1964, and even though they are now a brand under the Forest River, Inc. umbrella, they don’t seem to have lost a step.

A very lightweight 5th wheel option, the 25MKS can boast the following specs:

  • GVWR: 9,800 lbs
  • Empty Weight (UVW): 7,549 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,251 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 1,307 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 29′ 3″
  • Exterior Height: 11′ 10″
  • Fresh water capacity: 40 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 33 gal
  • Black water capacity: 33 gal

I have to say I was a little surprised by the smaller capacities on the holding tanks. I naturally expect any 5th wheel to outdo travel trailers on their tank capacities.

But, this model actually has a smaller gray tank than my 26-foot travel trailer had with the other two tanks very close in size. That may not be ideal for everybody.

If you don’t plan on doing any extensive boondocking, then this may be no issue for you at all. Obviously, this is really only a factor when you do not have full hookups for your rig.

So if you are more of a “RV resorts and full hookups every night” type of traveler, then the capacity of the gray and black water tanks is no cause for concern.

The Chaparral Lite lineup actually offers 8 different floorplans from 25 feet up to 30 feet in length, with the heaviest model (30 BHS) coming in with a GVWR of 11,500 lbs, a full 1,700 lbs over the 25MKS mark.

This option deserves a solid look, in my opinion, with floorplans to suit just about every situation and preference.

#2 – Winnebago Micro Minnie

**UPDATE: Winnebago apparently does not manufacture this model any longer, so you’ll have to look in the Used market for one of these beauties.**

If Coachmen is synonymous with RVing, you certainly can’t say anything less about this trusted household name: Winnebago.

And I was absolutely shocked to see all of the details of this “tiny wonder”, the Winnebago Micro Minnie.

Let me show you what I’m talking about using the 2405BH floorplan as our example (although all floorplans have very similar specs that are identical in many categories):

  • GVWR: 7,700 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 5,740 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,140 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 26′ 9″
  • Exterior Height: 11′ 5″
  • Fresh water capacity: 31 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 25 gal
  • Black water capacity: 25 gal

Two things shocked me about these specs: The very low dry weight (only about 700 lbs more than my travel trailer, which I think is awesome), and the small holding tank capacities (again…all of them smaller than my travel trailer).

I’m not faulting the manufacturer for the tank capacities, because the reality is that there may not be a market demand for higher capacities.

I just know that these tanks would not work for me, because when we hit the road again I will be fully prepared to boondock until my heart is content, hitting every single Harvest Hosts location I can possibly find.

Note: They do have other floorplans in this series with 50 gal gray water capacities…and that could possibly make this a contender for me, all things considered.

But I really do love the super lightweight options that Winnebago offers with this lineup. And with their solid name backing it up, the Micro Minnie should not be ruled out lightly (no pun intended).

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What About ‘Trying Before You Buy’ with Fifth Wheel Rentals?

Pardon the interruption, but I think at this point you should be aware of our plan when it comes to finding the next RV that will be perfect for our needs.

It might be exactly the idea you’re looking for.

You see, we have decided to try renting our way to our next RV purchase, which you can read all about by clicking here.

The worst thing any of us can imagine is making the wrong choice when it comes time to purchase an RV. That is especially true if you plan to live in it full-time!

So we are trying several different RVs on for size, from small camper vans to spacious travel trailers to adventurous driveables.

So far, we have used Outdoorsy as our rental platform of choice. And we have been very pleased.

Here are a couple of small fifth wheels (see images below) in our area that rent for $150-$200 per night. A weekend in one of these will be money well-spent and will give you a much better idea of whether this is a realistic RV option for your particular situation. Not to mention it will be a blast to just get away!

So, maybe it’s time for you to try before you buy. At least consider it as one reasonable option on your path to your next small fifth wheel purchase!

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#3 – Escape 5.0TA

It’s time to leave the “mainstream” RV pack and head north of the border for the next option in our rundown of small 5th wheel trailers: The Escape 5.0TA Fifth Wheel takes small to a whole new level.

You can tell immediately that this is a trailer of a different sort. From the fiberglass shell to the reduced height, it’s obvious we are heading into a different realm altogether here.

Let’s take a closer look at this tiny beauty from Canadian manufacturer Escape Trailer Industries.

  • GVWR: 5,500 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 3,810 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,690 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 630 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 21′ 2″
  • Exterior Height: 9′ 7″
  • Fresh water capacity: 28 gal
  • Gray Water Capacity: 28 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 30 gal

Now, we understand this small 5th wheel trailer may not be ideal for outdoor enthusiasts interested in a full-time RV lifestyle.

However, it would certainly be an ideal escape pod for a couple with plans to get away for weekend adventures. Someone who wants simple excursions to soak in more of the natural world for a few days at a time.

I do find it pretty odd – simply because it defies practical use – that the black tank capacity is greater than the gray tank capacity. Maybe there is a logical explanation. If there is, I haven’t yet figured it out.

#4 – KZ Sportsmen 231RK

Ladies and gentlemen, this one really has my attention. I’m seeing quite a few things to love about this unique rig, including the tank capacities and rear storage rack!

There are several key points in the specs below that really make this a contender in my book…and one puzzling number. Let’s see if you can spot the one that’s throwing me off:

  • GVWR: 7,000 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 6,100 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 900 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 840 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 25′ 3″
  • Exterior Height: 11′ 11″
  • Fresh water capacity: 38 gal
  • Gray Water Capacity: 93 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 53 gal

While I love the fact that it has about the same GVWR as my 26-foot travel trailer. It also has a surprisingly low hitch weight.

That said, it is very curious that they equipped it to carry only 900 lbs in cargo. Wouldn’t you agree?

For a full-timing couple, that is going to be pretty tough to manage, based on our experience.

I’m sure it is doable, but it could give you some headaches along the way since most rigs this size have cargo capacities at or near 2,000 lbs (like my travel trailer did).

Having said that, I LOVE the tank capacities they have equipped her with! The 38 gal freshwater capacity is respectable.

What is impressive is the gray and black tanks. Capacities of 93 gallons and 53 gallons, for the gray and black water, respectively, are among the highest I have come across for this size rig.

An adventurous couple could boondock pretty comfortably for a decent amount of time. Yes, please!

And clearance? Another big plus here at just under 12 feet. Because some comparable models from competing brands will rise to 13 feet (like our next option below in the lineup).

Of course, you should be aware that what you gain on the exterior in terms of manageable height, you also give up on the interior height. Always give and take…

Overall, I see plenty to love and plenty of reasons to dive deeper into this small 5th wheel trailer option. And I should mention that they have 25-foot and 26-foot floorplans available to explore on the site as well, so go take a closer look before you rule this one out.

#5 – Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS

Forest River Inc. boasts one of the broadest lineups of RVs in the industry, with a total of 7 RV brands under its corporate umbrella (including Coachmen that we covered above).

They know the game well and their Rockwood designs seem to reflect that.

Let’s examine the specs on this solid option so that we can compare apples to apples in this quest for the “perfect” small 5th wheel trailer:

  • GVWR: 9,165 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 7,149 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,016 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,165 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 28′ 5″
  • Exterior Height: 13′ 0″
  • Fresh water capacity: 60 gal
  • Gray Water Capacity: 45 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 45 gal

As you can see, this rig starts out about 1,000 lbs heavier than the KZ Sportsmen we just looked at…but it also has a more reasonable cargo capacity of just over 2,000 lbs. So full-timing seems to definitely be a viable possibility for this rig.

I mentioned above that you have to really decide what is more important to you in terms of vehicle height: Exterior height or interior height.

If you are exceptionally tall, you will probably have to give interior height a higher priority (so you have livable space).

Of that means course your options will be centered around rigs that cannot skimp on exterior height. Consider the potential stresses it can introduce into your route planning and overall driving experience.

Of course route planning is within your control. The extra time may be worth the headroom needed for a comfortable living space.

But overall, I feel like this 24-foot RV offers a very livable space for a couple, with additional convertible bed options for others along for the ride.

That 18-foot awning and exterior gas grill they included doesn’t hurt either, because we all know it’s really nice to have an enjoyable outdoor space while living the RV lifestyle.

#6 – Keystone Springdale 253FWRE

Here’s something interesting: Even though I owned a Keystone travel trailer and looked pretty extensively at their lineup before purchasing, I only recently learned that they offered a small fifth-wheel trailer in this series!

We even conducted a video tour recently of a smaller Springdale travel trailer, but somehow I never realized that fifth wheels were also an option here.

At 25 feet in length (well, almost 33 feet total length), the Springdale 253FWRE may be a bit beefier than you would expect.

Given the lightweight options that Keystone offers in the travel trailer category, I guess I was hoping to see something close to 7,000 lbs GVWR in the fifth wheels.

But that is not in the cards. Here are the specs you desire:

  • GVWR: 10,300 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 8,615 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,685 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,500 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 32′ 10″
  • Exterior Height: 12′ 4″
  • Fresh water capacity: 52 gal
  • Gray Water Capacity: 39 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 39 gal

So as you can see, after moving to the lighter end of the spectrum with our previous picks, this option does take us back to where we started in the 10,000 lb GVWR range (like the Coachmen).

This is definitely still considered small by fifth wheel standards, but it’s nothing like the Winnebago or KZ options we covered above.

Having said that, it does have a respectable cargo capacity and a lower profile than the Rockwood (by about 8 inches), so it might be a great fit for your needs.

On tank capacities, it clearly doesn’t WOW me like the KZ, but it definitely beats both the Winnebago and Escape options.

For a couple, these capacities are still very doable for extensive boondocking options (with some reasonable measures in place to minimize tank usage).

#7 – Jayco Eagle HT 25.5REOK

Last but not least, for our final slot in this fine group of small 5th wheel trailers, let’s take a look at another industry leader: Jayco.

With a GVWR staying just a hair under 10,000 lbs, this model will get your attention.

Let’s be honest: This option isn’t likely to win any awards for style or colors. Nope, this one is built to kind of blend in with the grasslands of the Midwest.

But my guess is this is not your first concern as you shop for a fifth wheel. So let’s see what those all-important specs look like on this well-equipped rig:

  • GVWR: 9,995 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 7,775 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,220 lbs
  • Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,405 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 28′ 8″
  • Exterior Height: 12′ 8″
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 42 gal
  • Gray Water Capacity: 32.5 + 32.5 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 32.5 gal
small 5th wheel trailer from Jayco floorplan

A couple of things really jump out with this floorplan that we can take a closer look at.

First, this model is the only one to offer a secondary gray tank of 32.5 gal, giving it a total capacity of 65 gal.

While this still doesn’t outdo the KZ Sportsmen’s 93 gallons, it comes in at very respectable second. Accordingly, it gets high marks from me for enabling extended boondocking options.

Be advised that with an exterior height of 12′ 8″, this is the second tallest option in our lineup. Only the Forest River Rockwood (13′ 0″) exceeds that height.

I’ll say it again: this is a factor, maybe a deal breaker, for a simple-loving guy like myself.

I would think long and hard about the route planning issue before purchasing a rig with this height. But I’m just making note of the factors; it may not even make you bat an eyelash.

Either way, it’s best to be completely aware of it ahead of time and prepared to handle it appropriately.

#8 (Reader Recommended Bonus): Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 240RL

**Shout out to TREKKN reader, Blake, for turning me on to this small fifth wheel option. He suggested that it should be part of this list after I originally published this post. I agree, this Reflection needs to be included. If you have other suggested models, let me know in the comments below.**

If you don’t know about Grand Design, you are missing out. When I first purchased my travel trailer in 2017, it was parked in a storage lot right next to a Grand Design travel trailer.

I got to know the owner and he invited me inside to take a look at what it offered. I have to say I was impressed.

But when I was introduced to these small fifth wheel options in the Reflection 150 Series, I was even more impressed with the brand. Let’s take a look at the important specs this particular model has to offer:

  • GVWR: 9,495 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 7,691 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,804 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 1,272 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 29′ 11″
  • Exterior Height: 12′
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 52 gal
  • Grey Water Capacity: 71 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 39 gal

As you can see, our hitch weight (1,272 lbs) on this option has dropped over 130 lbs from our previous offering, keeping it within what I consider to be a comfortable and manageable range.

Cargo capacity (1,804 lbs) on the other hand is a nice healthy number near the top end of our range of options here.

This makes it an equally reasonable option for the full-time RVer looking for that ideal home on wheels.

In addition, its 12 foot exterior height is comparable to the rest of the lineup. Route planning would be less of a challenge than some of the other rigs mentioned here.

The rear living layout, similar to the majority of the options we have highlighted, makes it a perfect “getaway vehicle” for any couple looking for comfort and class.

With Grand Design’s claim that it is “half-ton towable” (do your own due diligence here) and offers “90-degree turning radius without a slider hitch in a 5.5 ft truck bed”, this one certainly deserves a long, hard look!

#9 (Reader Recommended Bonus): Keystone Cougar 23MLS

**Shout out to TREKKN reader, Pam, who owns one of these small 5th wheel trailers and is apparently completely in love with it.

Here she is in her own words: “This model makes great use of space, has plenty of storage, feels roomy, efficient and cozy all at once. Her maiden voyage was over 10,000 miles and 4 months long and she had NO issues at all.” Thanks for pointing this one out, Pam!**

Our full-time rig in 2017-18 was a Keystone travel trailer, so we do have a special place in our hearts for this brand, no doubt about it.

But on a more practical level, this 5th wheel ticks all of the boxes for me. It’s compact, simple, relatively lightweight, and just all-around functional and comfortable.

So let’s take a closer look…

Image courtesy of Advantage1RV.com

Get ready, here come the specs (do you love them as much as I do?):

  • GVWR: 10,000 lbs
  • Dry Weight: 7,107 lbs
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,893 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 1,335 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 26′ 10″
  • Exterior Height: 12′
  • Fresh Water Capacity: 60 gal
  • Grey Water Capacity: 60 gal
  • Black Water Capacity: 30 gal

This model is part of Keystone RV’s “Half-Ton Towable” lineup. It should go without saying, but I’m going to say it (again): Don’t take their word for it. Check your towing capacity and payload numbers.

Then check them again. Then get your buddy to check them. And maybe your buddy’s buddy. Do those checks before you buy, please.

And after you buy? Check those tires and make sure they are really up for the job.

Keystone Cougar 23MLS Small 5th Wheel Trailer Floorplan

Now, back to those numbers. This model has a very impressive cargo capacity at nearly 3,000 lbs.

That overall length of less than 27 feet makes me salivate a little bit, to be honest. (Did I mention I like small and simple?)

I’m slightly underwhelmed with the Black Water Capacity at 30 gallons (2nd smallest on our list), but it’s not a deal breaker in my book.

At least the capacity of Grey Water tank is pretty beefy at 60 gallons and will allow an RVing couple quite a few days “off the grid” with a little bit of caution on water usage.

Overall, even though it is quite a bit heavier than a few options on our list, it still is manageable with a half-ton truck. It would be a fairly easy tow even for a relative newbie to the towing game.

That keeps it close to the top of my mental list if we end up going the small 5th wheel trailer route with our next RV purchase.

Which of these Small 5th Wheel Trailers Is Going to Get You On the Road?

We’ve pretty much seen it all here, friend. With options ranging from 3,810 lbs to 8,615 lbs in dry weight, from 9′ 7″ to 13′ 0″ in height and from 21′ 2″ and 32′ 10″ in total length, it’s now up to you to decide which factors are the most important to you and which ones you can just live with.

Of course, one major factor that we haven’t gone into here is the price of each option. That was a conscious decision.

With so many options and features available on each trailer, the range of prices would vary a great deal. We decided it would be best not to muddy the waters. We’ll leave the sticker prices for when you customize the choices for your RV.

As we’ve said before, there is no perfect RV out there; it’s always a game of give and take, pros and cons.

My goal is to help you most effectively and efficiently weigh those pros and cons, comparing apples to apples, so that you can locate and purchase the rig that is best for you and your family.

At the end of the day, you can make fantastic memories in any of these small 5th wheel trailers…and we truly hope that you do!

But let us know which one of these is the right fit for you, or if you’ve found another option that you can share with us and add to the list.

Thanks for reading. Now, let’s go RVing!

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33 Comments

  1. Can’t believe reflection 150 series was not considered for your list… Reflection is the number one selling mid profile fifth wheel in the country just saying.

    1. Hi Blake, that’s a fair point that I definitely wouldn’t argue with. That option honestly just slipped under my radar, and now that I am looking more closely at the Reflection 150 series I can honestly say that it is an impressive lineup that has my attention. For myself, that option would definitely be a solid contender based on UVW and hitch weight. As a matter of fact, I may just have to add it to this list very soon. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

      Best to you, Blake, and keep on TREKKN.

  2. The dry weight doesn’t include battery or propane tanks. On the KZ, you would be extremely over GVW with near full gray and black tanks.

    1. Hi Dean,

      That fact does make the KZ option even less appealing, I agree. You would have to be traveling seriously light to avoid problems in that rig. Just not quite sure what they were thinking here.

      Thanks for your tip on that! Much appreciated.

      Todd

  3. We are first time buyers of a 5th wheel and would like more information on how well the units are built. I’ve looked at lots of customer comments and it seems like every 5th wheel starts falling apart as soon as it leaves the lot.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your comment. The truth is that I wish I had information like you are requesting that independently verifies the construction quality, long-term performance, etc. of each RV brand. I have been searching.

      I have not purchased this and cannot vouch for its quality or reliability, but I did come across a site called rv.org that offers RV review data for purchase. Their “Membership Package” that offers review info on Towables from 2011-2020 is located here and includes some additional resources. Not cheap at $85 but could potentially save you much headache and cash down the road.

      Again, I have no affiliation with them at all and just came across their resources recently. I have not purchased any of their products and am not a member.

      I hope that helps a bit, and if you do purchase please let me know your thoughts on the quality of the information provided. I wish you nothing but the best, Brian!

      Todd

    2. @Julie,
      Several of the companies listed here offer tours of the plants for their rigs oon this list. They can answer most questions you may have and you can see the various construction stages. We did that prior to purchasing our Montana and found it very helpful. Good luck on your purchase!

      1. That is great to know, Debra! Thank you for sharing that, and I would love to take one of those tours and see what it’s really all about.

  4. “Our Keystone Passport Ultra Lite 2670BH travel trailer was 26 feet long (just over 30 feet with tongue)”

    It has been a very frustrating experience searching for an RV. Why does the RV industry not know the definition of “length?” I’ve followed literally hundreds of links for, say, a 26′ travel trailer only to find it is actually 30′ or longer. Another frustration in our search for the ideal boondocking trailer is grey water capacity. WOW! Here’s one with 78 gallons—only to find it is two smaller tanks, one near the front and the other at the rear, requiring gymnastics at the dump station. I gave up on fifth wheels due to hitch weights—can’t afford a larger capacity truck and the 5th wheel.

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment and I feel your pain! This was definitely a confusing factor for me until I realized the measurement used in the model number refers to actual living space…but that tongue always adds 3-4 feet! I’m sure you figured this all out by now, but even then it can be frustrating having to go and look for the “actual” length on each unit.

      I didn’t realize it was common to have the two separate grey water tanks, actually. Ours just had a single 38 gallon tank. But I guess when it comes to towing safety it does make a lot of sense not to have a tank that would weight 500+ lbs when full at the front or rear. I’m no expert here, but I’m sure that would cause a significant loss in towing stability/safety. Emptying two at the dump station would definitely be no fun…even with the sewer hose splitter that allows you to drain both at the same time. That’s a lot of hose to wrangle!

      Despite these frustrations, I really hope you are able to track down the right rig soon. I’m assuming (because of your boondocking interest) that you plan to full-time? If so, let us know how it all comes together and we are excited for you.

      Take care and happy trails!

  5. Hi, my comment is a question that someone out there may have the answer to. My husband and I are starting to explore “Camp Host Positions”. We are in our early 70″s and would like to know which is safer, a fifth wheel, or a travel trailer? We just purchased a Toyota Tundra 4X4 for towing. I would really appreciate any helpful advise!!

    1. Hi Sally, I will jump in here with my initial thoughts and others can follow up as well to add to it.

      Generally speaking, fifth wheels are going to provide a sturdier frame and higher quality components that your average fifth wheel. I guess it’s really a question of whether or not that translates directly to “safety”, however. In terms of natural disasters of any kind, you wouldn’t be staying in either type of rig for sure. In terms of personal security and protection, the fifth wheel would most likely have an edge on the travel trailer. Of course, there is a wide range of quality and durability in both fifth wheels and travel trailers, but this is a “high level” view of the field as a whole.

      I’m not sure how much research you have done so far on towing capacity and payload for tow vehicles (like your Tundra), but I would be extremely surprised if a Toyota Tundra was capable of towing anything but possibly the very smallest fifth wheels. The vast majority (at least) of fifth wheel owners are towing with 3/4 ton (250 or 2500 model) or 1 ton (350 or 3500 model) trucks because they are built for the heavier loads. Most fifth wheels are going to start around 10,000 lbs completely empty and can go up to 15,000+ lbs, while average travel trailers are most often in the 5,000-8,000 lb range, give or take. (Obviously you see some smaller options in this post you are commenting on, but these options may be harder to locate and purchase as well.) So essentially, pairing a much smaller Tundra with just about any fifth wheel would be a stretch at best.

      I hope that helps a little bit! Might help to take a look at this post we wrote as well: https://trekkn.co/best-rv-to-live-in-full-time/

      Just keep digging through the site from there and let me know if you have any questions at all. I’ll do whatever I can to help!

      Best wishes to you in putting your Camp Host plans together! We are excited for your adventure. Peace!

  6. on your # 7 fifth wheel you have the cargo capacity mixed up with the hitch weight , that is why you found it to be the highest hitch weight ,subtract the dry weight 7775 from the gross weight 9995 and you get 2220 not 1405, 1405 is the hitch weight 2220 is the cargo capacity

    1. Hi Stan, you are absolutely right! I have no idea how I managed to mix those two up, but I really appreciate you pointing it out.

      I have made the correction to those numbers thanks to your attention to detail. Thanks for helping the community out!

      Peace and happy travels!

  7. Hi! PLEASE add the Cougar half ton 23MLS to your list! After much research we found and purchased our first fifth wheel in October of 2021. After almost 50 years of camping in tents, canvas pop-up, aliner and three small travel trailers, we finally got our fiver. We didn’t want huge, but had some specific requirements that this amazing unit has packed into 26 feet bumper to hitch. This model makes great use of space, has plenty of storage, feels roomy, efficient and cozy all at once. Her maiden voyage was over 10,000 miles and 4 months long and she had NO issues at all. From heat in southern Texas and Arizona to the unexpected polar vortex in northern New Mexico and Texas (we stayed warm and toasty with two $15 space heaters!) we were very comfortable. Small enough to maneuver through northern Georgia, Tennessee, western Carolinas where there are NO flat or straight roads and strong enough to hold steady in high winds and torrential rains in open prairie campgrounds. No wobble or sway or getting sucked out of your lane by a semi. Great holding tank sizes, quick connect for our grill, comfy recliners, large shower, and I could go on…Gotta admit, can’t really call it camping anymore, we’re just taking our tiny home with us. And for the first time wondering- could we do this full time??? We looked at a couple of the half ton Cougars by Keystone, and they were all nice, but decided on their smallest and are more than happy with it!

    1. That sounds like quite a rig, Pam! I have added that task to my to-do list for this week. Definitely want folks to know about all of the best small fifth wheel options out there!
      And yes, I am tempted by that one myself because I LOVE small but comfy options. Maybe we will end up in a 23MLS one of these days. 🙂
      Really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks for contributing to help the whole community!

    2. @Todd, nobody gives any info on a major dimension, clearance between the trucks top bed rail and the bottom of the 5th wheel overhang..many of the 5ths listed won’t work with a 58-60 inch high bed rail height on most 3/4 ton pickups..

  8. What type of RV would you recommend for a 2+ month trip to Alaska with 2 labs and wife? We have a ram 3500 dully

    1. That is a tough one to make a call on, Ace. If you’re talking about purchasing one specifically for that trip, I would think keeping it as small as you are comfortable with would be my best advice, whether you look at a travel trailer or fifth wheel. You aren’t likely to find a ton of places that will accommodate a “big rig” very well on that route. But I can’t speak from experience there.
      If I were towing something with that crew up to Alaska, I would probably be looking at 20-25 foot travel trailer for ease of travel and economic feasibility. But I don’t know all the details of your situation to give you much detail here, unfortunately.
      If you have any follow-up questions I might be able to help with, let me know!

    2. @Ace Miller, Good for you wanting to go to our last frontier. Something that you will never forget. I went to Palmer Alaska for two seasons hosting in a county park campground. Pulled a Roamer Open Range 29 foot with a Dodge 3500 diesel. Never had a problem with finding RV spots. Both Provincial Parks and private campgrounds had plenty of space. Living space that is comfortable is most important for long trips.
      Most important thing to remember is TAKE YOUR TIME. The Alaskan Hiway is great in many areas and rough in others, I’m talking no more than 30 miles per hour. Save your rig from unnecessary wear and tear and you will have a great time.

  9. GD BUYER BEWARE! We purchased a Grand Design Reflection 220RK on September 26, 2018. It has been one problem after another with this 5th wheel RV. On Sept 26, 2019 I had to take it into the dealer to have the drawers and pantry shelves repaired, as they were coming apart. From there it was other issues needed to be repaired or replace. The problems got bigger and more expensive to repair, a thousand dollars here and there. I took it back to the dealer on January 3, 2022, to Colerain RV to repair a leaking shower drain. The dealer told me the damage was caused by the furnace heat exchanger that was too close to the shower pan, causing it to melt. That repair for the shower pan replacement and to move the heat exchanger back from the new shower pan cost us $1,107.50 that time. I notified Grand Design by email about this poor design and the expense I incurred to correct & repair it. But they didn’t bother to respond. Then on March 2nd 2022 I took it back to the dealer because the roof’s membrane of this RV began to tear apart and separate from the roof’s surface. Grand Design advertises a 12 year roof warranty, which I learned is worthless. Once again I wrote to Grand Design and a Christine Holland of GD did respond. Her response was, sorry to hear about your roof and that’s as far as it went. Ms. Holland tried to place the blame on us for not taking proper preventive roof maintenance. I was insulted be her response. I have a receipt from the dealer were I had recently had the dealer perform preventive maintenance on the roof and documented the inspections I had done, after that. I certainly did take care of the roof! The dealer told me that GD declined to fix our roof. GD said that the 12 year warranty was only on the membrane material. But the dealer told me that the adhesive to keep it in place only had a 90 day warranty and therefore this was not covered under the 12 year roof warranty as advertised. By the way now GD advertises an 18 year warranty on their new RV roofs. This time the dealer was recommending a complete new roof membrane for an estimated $12,000 or they suggested I could have the old membrane reattached for $1,200 then unload my RV on some other poor unsuspecting buyer. The dealer was interested in selling me a new Grand Design RV with a similar floor plan. Really…after all our experiences would you buy another Grand Design RV? Don’t think so!
    Between all the issues we have had with this RV, the melted shower pan damage and the roof membrane tearing and pulling loose from the roof, it’s clear that Grand Design doesn’t honor their warranties and are not worth the paper they are written on.

  10. If only there were more than a couple fifth wheel toy haulers with UVW under 9000# and hitch wheel under 1800# or so. Even without generator, almost impossible to find and surprised only a few manufacturers have caught on here.

    1. I agree, Dave. I think this is an extremely underserved segment of the market. Maybe it’s too small of a segment for the big manufacturers to care about? I don’t know.

      All I know is that when it comes to RVs, I always look for smart and small! Hope you find what you’re looking for, Dave.

  11. We are so frustrated trying to find a 5th wheel short enough to allow us to pull the boat and still creative enough to fit in bunk beds for our small children. We don’t need theater seating and a TV! We want smart design to maximize our camping get away with the family. If there are any <30 feet with bunk options, we'd love to hear it.

    1. @Jessie,apparently not. I’m searching high and low!
      Todd, you mentioned the micro minnie bh…no sign of it anywhere! Discontinued, none for resale as far as I can see. We off road a lot, bring a boat, kids. Like to get into small spaces. The micro 2405bh looks perfect! Help!

      1. Hi Kat,
        As far as I can tell, Winnebago has stopped manufacturing that model at this point. What a bummer!
        I updated the post to reflect this, and I hope you might be able to track a Used option down that will still be close to perfect. I wish I could be more help on that.
        Thanks for pointing this out and happy trails to you!

  12. What I don’t see here is smaller rigs built for 3/4 or 1 ton duallys. With all the new couples & solo RVers out there now working fulltime on the road, RV manufacturers shouldn’t be afraid to build heavier short 5th wheels which can take on more cargo & be more stable on windy days. I’m frankly tired of seeing small fivers with no east/west bed with full wall-length closet floorplans. Another thing I don’t see here is rear dinettes/credenzas, which would be ideal for working AND enjoying the view, unlike sofas or recliners (unless they can turn around). Working RVers need office space furniture more than redundant sleeper sofas to bed guests in.

    1. I can’t argue with you there, Michelle. I think the industry will start to come around and meet some of these needs in the market, but it’s like turning a large ship: it takes time to make these adjustments.
      If some of these changes are coming, I will hope we will start to see some by next year. I’ll keep my eyes peeled and hope to update the post with some of these options.
      Thanks for your comment!

  13. Can’t be taken seriously if you don’t have the Northwood products on here. Northwood is by far the best-built small fifth wheel on the market.

    1. Great suggestion, thank you. Another reader also suggested Arctic Fox. We’re definitely going to keep a look out for Northwood at the next RV show.

  14. To solve your dilemma about the black water tank on the Escape 5.0 being larger than the grey tank. It’s because you’re adding waste & paper to the water being used. Not rocket science.

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