Opinions...5th Wheel or bumper pull toy hauler?

10 replies to this topic
  • Javelin

Posted April 06, 2003 - 06:04 AM


Getting ready to purchase a toy box in 30 to 45 days and looking for opionions between 5th wheel and bumper pull. Is it true that a 5th wheel is legal to throw kids in the back as long as there is communication to the truck? You guys with both set ups let me know what you prefer and why. :)

  • wyohorse

Posted April 06, 2003 - 10:48 AM


I pull large/heavy stock trailers and flatbeds behind my one-ton pickup and strongly prefer the goosenecks, which are very similar to the fifth wheel as far as pulling characteristics. The weight distribution is much better on the pickup as is backing them up. How much weight do you plan for the trailer and load?

I don't know about the people hauling issue, but if you don't get an answer here you might check with a RV dealer in your state.

From the standpoint of pulling and handling, I recommend the fifth, especially if you plan to get fairly heavy. A drawback of the fifth is you lose most of the hauling space in your box. You usually gain protected storage in the neck.

  • Motorod

Posted April 06, 2003 - 01:36 PM


I'v got a 38' Dutchman 5th toy hauler. I love it. I had a Travel traler and loaded the bike in the truck. That worked OK but the box in the back is much more conveinant. The Dutchman service is not very good (not the dealer, the company).

  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted April 07, 2003 - 02:09 AM


The only bad thing about the fifth wheel or goose neck is that you loose your truck bed space. But if you have a big enough trailer, you don't need that space. The fifth wheel and goose neck are easier to back up then a traditional bumber hitch.

  • treecop

Posted April 07, 2003 - 02:30 AM


I personally go with a slide in camper so I can haul whatever behind the old Powerstroke. Lots of guys I rode with up in Washington State had 5th wheels. They had to weld I-beams to the trailers so they could carry bikes. When deciding for me, the question was how verstile the set-up was. I can still go hunting, pull a boat, pull the bikes, or a friends off road Toy 4x4 to Utah. Also, the wife doesn't get the garage smell in HER camper. Alas, I wouldn't have minded.... :)
How big is the family?
How many toys do you have??
How much space do you need???

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  • TWSimpson

Posted April 07, 2003 - 04:43 AM


I've got a 5th wheel and I had a reciever hitch installed on the back to pull my toys in a utility trailer.
As far as passengers in the trailer, each state has different regulations. You need to check on what's legal in yours. Personally I'm not too keen on having anyone ride in there even if they have communication. If you have to make any kind of quick manuver or stop someone could get hurt. :)

  • Fistfull

Posted April 07, 2003 - 12:13 PM


I have a 33' 5th wheel Weekend Warrior. Last Saturday on the way to Tucson the wind was whipping. My truck and trailer just cruised along, no big deal. Up ahead there was a 30ish foot bumper toyhauler, at every gust of wind it whipped back and forth, couple of times I thought he was going to loose it.
If you use a "Cody Coupler" and install a goose neck hitch in your truck you will not loose the bed of your truck to a fifth wheel hitch. The coupler is an adapter to adapts a 5th wheel trailer to a goose neck connection. I installed a goose neck hitch with a retractable ball, when the ball is down the only evidence of the hitch is the little ball cover in the middle of the bed.
A bumper trailer normally has more cargo area but we like having the permanent bed over the fifth wheel.
my $00.02 worth

  • dmp437

Posted April 07, 2003 - 01:11 PM


Depends on what you have to pull it with. With a fiver you'll need a 3/4 ton minimum, a 1 ton is better, and a 1 ton dually will give you more stability in addition to a bit higher payload. Fivers on half tons are really pushing the limits; dinky brakes, small bearings, small ring & pinions, etc. A lot of people around here do it anyway.
The trailer with a bumper hitch is lower usually so there is less wind resistance, and any problems with swaying can be cured with the right hitch setup such as the Hensley Arrow
If it was me, I'd go for a 40' fiver behind a '04 F450 with the new 6.0L Powerstroke/5 speed automatic. But that's if you're paying :D :)

  • Motorod

Posted April 07, 2003 - 01:34 PM


I've got the 1 ton dually 6.6 liter duramax :D, and pull the 38' 5th toy hauler 13,000lbs. :D. When your thinking of price, keep in mind, the diesel will make 500,000 miles easy. :D Check that out against two gas truck prices and you bet the diesel dually is the cheapest truck to buy long haul, it's the up front cost that is hard to swallow. :) :D :D
I love these new dudes on here. :D

  • Tom14911

Posted April 07, 2003 - 02:01 PM


The answer to your question is, "yes." Would I do it? No. Have you ever seen a trailer in a wreck? Sorry.. they just all crumble. Anyway I have a 2500HD Duramax crew cab and a 27' toy hauler. I prefer the travel trailer and not the 5th because I like having the bed space..... dirty bikes, firewood, dirty dogs, whatever. Backing up any trailer is just practice.

If you have a class a license in California you can pull a fifth wheel and a utility trailer.

Good luck.

Tom Maguire

  • Motorod

Posted April 07, 2003 - 02:25 PM


I have seen them in a wreck, NASTY! I agree don't let anyone you like in the trailer when you pull. My 5th has a wall between the living and bike conpartments, very nice. BTW the 2500 can haul more by about 300lb than the 1 ton. You can check the payloads at the GM site.


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