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A fifth wheel RV is the perfect blend of comfort, mobility, and versatility for your travel dreams. However, buying a fifth wheel requires careful consideration and knowledge to ensure you find the ideal match for your needs. So, we rounded up a comprehensive guide of things to consider when you buy a fifth wheel camper. Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or a first-time buyer, this blog will equip you with valuable insights and expert tips to make an informed decision.


What is a fifth wheel camper?

First things first. A fifth wheel is a type of RV that is designed to be towed by a pickup truck equipped with a specialized hitch system. The name “fifth wheel” originates from the mechanism that connects the RV to the towing vehicle. It consists of a large, U-shaped coupling device located in the bed of the truck, resembling a fifth wheel, which allows for a secure and stable connection between the RV and the towing vehicle. As a result of this coupling mechanism, you get better maneuverability and weight distribution. This makes fifth wheels a popular choice among RV enthusiasts who prioritize spaciousness, luxury and the ability to detach the RV and use the truck separately when needed.

A pickup truck sits parked next to a fifth wheel at a camp site.

What do I need to consider when buying a fifth wheel?

Fifth wheel shopping is different than shopping for some other RV types. Some of these may apply to other RVs, but not all of them do. Use this list as a reference whe you are buying a fifth wheel.

Towing Capacity

One of the most important factors when buying a fifth wheel is ensuring you can tow it safely. What numbers do you need to pay the most attention to when shopping for a towable? The tow vehicle’s towing capacity and the RV’s payload capacity. You can either shop for a fifth wheel that matches your truck’s towing capacity or you can shop for a truck that matches your fifth wheel’s payload capacity.

Whichever one comes first, you need to know both of those numbers. Your RV’s payload capacity should NEVER exceed your tow vehicle’s towing capacity. Different truck models and trims will have different towing capacity. Find the exact number by looking at the vehicle’s owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer. When it comes to towing fifth wheels, vehicles with robust towing capabilities are typically preferred.

Payload capacity refers to the weight of the cargo, passengers, and additional gear that the fifth wheel can safely carry. Overloading the fifth wheel can strain the tow vehicle’s suspension, brakes, and engine, leading to safety hazards and reduced performance. At Courvelle’s RV, we always list the fifth wheel’s payload capacity on our website. Carefully review this specification and compare it to your vehicle’s towing capacity to ensure a proper match.

What trucks can pull a fifth wheel?

Popular truck models for towing fifth wheels include the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty, the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD. In general, you need a large, capable truck to handle fifth wheel towing. Not all trucks are equipped to tow a standard fifth wheel. Generally, you should stay away from light-duty trucks and mid-size trucks that don’t have the towing capacity for fifth wheel towing. Always start with comparing your truck’s towing capacity to the payload capacity of the fifth wheel you want.

An older fifth wheel is parked among cacti at sunset in the desert.

Fifth Wheel Hitch

This sets buying a fifth wheel apart from buying a different RV type. Every fifth wheel requires a fifth wheel hitch in order to tow the vehicle You can purchase a fifth wheel hitch from various sources, including RV dealerships, auto parts stores, and online retailers. There are different types of fifth wheel hitches available, such as fixed hitches, sliding hitches for short bed trucks, and gooseneck adapters. . Our RV parts department can help you find the fifth wheel hitch that fits both your RV and your tow vehicle.

Floor Plan

With any RV purchase, you want to choose a floor plan that fits your lifestyle needs. However, it can require more thoughtfulness to choose a floor plan when buying a fifth wheel compared to a motorhome or travel trailer. Why? There are typically more options with fifth wheel floor plans! Motorhomes are almost always front kitchen floor plans with a rear bedroom. Travel trailers offer some variety, but fifth wheels usually have much more living space. As such, there’s more room to work with when manufacturers are designing floor plans.

For instance, you may come across rear living floor plans, which typically feature a spacious living area towards the rear of the RV, providing a comfortable space for relaxation and entertainment. This is different than a rear bedroom floor plan where the primary sleeping area is at the rear of the vehicle instead. Another popular option is the bunkhouse floor plan. It typically features a separate area with multiple bunk beds. This makes it ideal for families or those who frequently travel with guests. You may also come across a split-level fifth wheel floor plan that separates the living space into two separate and distinct areas. This makes it feel much more like a traditional sticks and bricks home.

The interior of a fifth wheel with a split-level floor plan.

At our RV dealership, we proudly carry the CrossRoads Cruiser fifth wheel. Take the Cruiser Aire CR27MK model for example. This model features a rear kitchen layout – and at the time of publishing this blog, is available at a DEEP discount! No matter which fifth wheel camper you choose, you want a floor plan that meets your needs.


Construction Quality

Most importantly, you should pay close attention to construction quality when buying a fifth wheel. Fifth wheels represent a significant financial commitment, and you want your RV to withstand the test of time and provide years of enjoyment. By focusing on construction quality, you can ensure that your fifth wheel is built with sturdy materials, reliable craftsmanship, and superior engineering. At our dealership, we understand the importance of construction quality, which is why we carry fifth wheels exclusively from brands known for their reputable construction standards. CrossRoads fifth wheels are our most popular new models, and this brand is known for their exceptional durability and long-lasting quality.

When it comes to used RVs, we thoroughly vet them before offering them for sale on consignment. This meticulous process ensures that our customers have access to reliable and well-maintained used RVs that meet our stringent quality standards. When you are buying a fifth wheel at Courvelle’s RV, you can have confidence that your fifth wheel will deliver exceptional performance.

A fifth wheel at a campground. You can find an RV like this one at our fifth wheel dealership.

How much is a fifth wheel?

The price of a fifth wheel can vary greatly depending on the brand and the features. They can be as affordable as $30,000 and as luxurious as upwards of $150,000. Our fifth wheels for sale typically fall in that middle sweet spot. You can save on more luxurious models by buying a used fifth wheel, or we offer GREAT deals on new fifth wheels! Shop our inventory to find a fifth wheel that fits your price range.

When buying a fifth wheel, the dealership matters

At the end of the day, you want to choose a dealership that can help you find what you need when buying a fifth wheel. You want a dealership that not only offers a high-quality selection but also provides exceptional customer service. At our family-owned RV dealership, we take immense pride in curating a collection of top-notch fifth wheels from reputable brands known for their quality. In addition to our fantastic selection, we also prioritize personal customer service. At Courvelle’s RV, you will always find a warm and welcoming environment where your needs and preferences are heard and valued. When you choose to shop with us, you can trust that you’re not only gaining a top-of-the-line fifth wheel but also receiving personalized attention and support. Experience the difference of a family-owned dealership!

Ready to find the right fifth wheel for you?