Why would you want a small fifth wheel camper? Wouldn’t a travel trailer be a better choice? Well, there are a few reasons why these small RVs are a great choice. Today, we’re going to take a look at those reasons and share our nine favorite small 5th wheel trailer options. Let’s dive in!
Why Buy a Small 5th Wheel Trailer?
First, the fifth wheel is the best and usually the safest towing RV on the road. This is because of the way it connects to the tow vehicle. Instead of hitching to a truck’s bumper, fifth wheels use a special hitch mounted in the bed of a truck directly over the rear axle.
Because the weight is over the axle and not behind it, it retains proper weight distribution characteristics, steering geometry, and suspension of the tow vehicle. This makes the towing experience much better and eliminates the need for weight distribution and sway control that you need for bumper pull trailers.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to buy a fifth wheel, here are The Differences Between Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck Hitches You Should Know.
Because of this connection position, fifth wheels can also be much heavier relative to the tow vehicle and still be towed safely. There is a reason semi-trucks use a fifth-wheel connection and not bumper style, and it’s because of safety and weight.
Fifth wheels have two major drawbacks: you need a truck for towing, and you lose storage space in the truck bed due to the hitch (although there are some specialty hitches that minimize this drawback).
Fortunately, there are some fifth wheel campers that are small enough weight-wise to be pulled by a common half-ton truck instead of a big diesel dually. With these smaller RVs, you get the ease of towing plus great maneuverability, and they are generally spacious inside.
When packing all of these benefits into a smaller package, small fifth wheel trailers can be a great bang for your buck.
How Much Do Small 5th Wheel Trailers Weigh?
Small 5th wheel trailers can vary in weight depending on their size, construction materials, and features. Generally, small 5th wheel trailers can weigh anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 pounds when unloaded (also known as “dry weight”) and can have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 12,000 pounds.
It’s important to note that the weight of a small 5th wheel camper will increase significantly when it is loaded with gear, food, and other supplies for a trip. It’s essential to make sure that your tow vehicle is rated to handle the weight of your loaded trailer to ensure safe and comfortable towing.
What Is the Smallest 5th Wheel Trailer?
The smallest 5th wheel trailer available on the market today is the Scamp 19′ Deluxe. It has a dry weight of 2,600 pounds and a GVWR of 3,500 pounds. Although small, this camper can sleep up to six people, making it a good choice for families. It also offers all the essential features and amenities needed for comfortable camping, such as a bathroom, a kitchen, and a dinette seating area.
9 Small Fifth Wheel Campers You Need To See
We’ve got nine fantastic small 5th wheel trailers you need to see! Keep reading to learn more about the features and benefits of each one.
1. Escape 5.0 Small 5th Wheel Trailer
About: Escape makes a sleek-looking line of full fiberglass body trailers that tow well and are of high build quality. The fiberglass body eliminates many seams and improves the aerodynamics of the trailer, thus further improving its towability.
This lightweight, small 5th wheel trailer is easily towed with a mid-size truck. Its low center of gravity and aerodynamic design gives you decreased wind resistance and increased fuel economy. Crafted from a one-piece fiberglass design, this trailer was made to last a lifetime.
Many trailers this size often come without a bathroom. The Escape 5.0 has a full wet bath with a fiberglass enclosure. It also includes a separate sleeping and living area.
Cooking and cleaning in your kitchen will be a breeze with the two-burner flush mount stainless steel cooktop and stainless steel sink and faucet. If you are in need of a microwave, this trailer’s microwave-ready cabinet will give you space for one. Otherwise, you can use this space for extra storage. You’ll find everything you need in this small fifth wheel camper without feeling cramped.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 5,500 lbs
Length: 21’ 2”
Tanks: 28-gallon fresh water tank, 28-gallon gray water tank, 30-gallon black water tank
MSRP: Starting at $44,510
2. Northwood Fox Mountain 235RLS
About: This small fifth wheel camper has everything you need in a home on wheels. With a one-piece aluminum frame construction, four-season insulation, and heated holding tanks and dump valves, you’ll be able to take on almost anything Mother Nature can throw at you. In addition, it includes an exterior shower, a 45-watt solar panel, one slideout, and many more standard and optional exterior amenities.
With a jackknife sofa including decorative throw pillows, a booth dinette, solid surface kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a TruRest Queen Mattress with bedspread, this small fifth wheel camper has similar luxuries to a home that doesn’t move. And if all of that wasn’t enough, it also has a glass shower enclosure with a garden tub!
With 60 gallons of water and 3,000 pounds of cargo capacity for adding solar or generators, this little rig would be well suited for camping off-grid for extended periods of time. Unlike the others on this list, you’ll probably need more than a half-ton truck to pull this rig fully loaded.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 12,000 lbs
Length: 27′ 10″
Tanks: 59-gallon fresh water tank, 42-gallon gray water tank, 36-gallon black water tank
3. Palomino Puma 253FBS
About: Palomino Pumas are a very popular small 5th wheel trailer because of the amenities they provide for the price. While not the highest build quality, they include a lot of what you would expect in a luxurious fifth wheel today. These luxuries include backup camera prep, solar prep, pass-through storage, an electric awning with an LED light strip, and an outside shower. It also has outside speakers, with an option to add an outside kitchen for all your camping and entertainment needs.
The interior has beautiful decorative finishes, including a decorative and functional backsplash in the high-end kitchen, along with a spice rack, high-rise faucet, and built-in knife rack. The beds are equipped with high-density foam mattresses, and the living area has everything you need for indoor entertainment or just a cozy night in. Enjoy the spacious dinette seating area, ample cabinet storage, a jackknife sofa with drink trays, additional storage and so much more in this spacious, well-crafted small fifth-wheel camper.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 8,800 lbs
Length: 28′ 0″
Tanks: 43-gallon fresh water tank, 69-gallon gray water tank, 35-gallon black water tank
4. Jayco Eagle HT 24RE
If you’re looking for a small fifth wheel camper with a residential feel and plenty of options for seating and sleeping, the Jayco Eagle HT 24RE may be the rig for you. This unit features an L-shaped kitchen with a 10 cubic foot 12V fridge, plus a stainless steel sink, microwave, and range. And although it’s hidden behind the entertainment center, the walk-in pantry should not be overlooked as a standout feature in this RV.
Choose between a tri-fold sofa or theater seating and a booth dinette or table and chairs on the slide-out. The bedroom comes standard with a queen-size bed, but you can upgrade to a king. When configured correctly, this fifth wheel sleeps up to six people.
Two storage compartments, a 19-foot awning, dual 30-pound propane tanks, a heated and enclosed underbelly, security monitor prep, and solar prep round out the exterior of this RV.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 9,995 lbs
Length: 29′ 1″
Tanks: 81-gallon fresh water tank, 80-gallon gray water tank, 43-gallon black water tank
5. Forest River Impression 235RW
About: This may be a small fifth wheel camper, but the inside feels very open. This is all thanks to the slide-out and panoramic windows in the kitchen and living area. While in the living room, you can warm yourself in front of your electric fireplace and enjoy watching a movie on your 40″ TV with a soundbar. Then when it’s time to catch some z’s, you can curl up in your queen-size bed.
Got laundry? Forest River’s Impression 235RW comes equipped with washer and dryer prep in the bedroom closet. Other impressive interior features include blackout curtains and roller shades, LED lighting throughout the unit, a 12V refrigerator in the kitchen, and an industry-leading 15K A/C.
The Impression 235RW doesn’t skimp on exterior features either. New models have e-rated Goodyear tires, a 2-inch receiver hitch with a 300-pound capacity, a roof ladder, backup camera prep, and an adjustable power awning with LED lights. If you winter camp, you’ll also appreciate the fully heated and enclosed underbelly.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 11,650 lbs
Length: 28’ 11”
Tanks: 57-gallon fresh water tank, 60-gallon gray water tank, 30-gallon black water tank
6. Coachmen Chaparral Lite 25RE
About: Like the Palomino Puma (#3), the Chaparral is well known for offering plenty of amenities in a cost-effective package. It’s the longest of the small 5th wheels we are looking at today at just over 29 feet. However, you’ll still have no problem parking this RV in most National Park and State Park campgrounds.
And once you park, you’ll be happy resting under your awning with an LED light strip to chase away the dark.
Pro Tip: Remember the Golden Camping Rule: turn off your exterior lights when you’re not outside, so you don’t blind your neighbors at night.
With one slideout, a kitchen pantry, and ample storage throughout this small fifth wheel camper, you’ll be comfortable knowing there’s a place for everything. Enjoy theater seating, a queen bed, beautiful kitchen appliances, and a spacious bathroom in your home away from home. This even has an entertainment center complete with a high-quality TV and fireplace. So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the warmth of your new home on wheels.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 9,800 lbs
Length: 29’ 10”
Tanks: 40-gallon fresh water tank, 33-gallon gray water tank, 33-gallon black water tank
7. KZ Durango Half-Ton D230RKD
About: As it says right in its name, this small fifth wheel camper can be towed by a half-ton truck. The KZ Durango has a steel powder-coated frame and two slides to make this small trailer surprisingly roomy. And while parked, the LED outdoor lighting, electric awning, and outdoor speakers make spilling outside into nature very comfortable. Add in the pass-through storage for all your camping gear and one of KZ’s available solar packages and you could spend a nice long vacation camping off-grid in the wilderness.
With huge grey and black water tanks, this RV is well suited for water and electric hookup sites that do not have sewer. These tanks allow for an extended stay before dumping.
On the inside, you’ll find beautiful appliances with all-wood lumber core cabinets complete with hardwood doors. The kitchen also has a gorgeous sink with a pull-out sprayer faucet.
When it’s time to turn in, you might glance up at some stars peeking through your bathroom shower skylight, while easily using the porcelain foot-flush toilet, and then sleeping the night away in your queen bed with a padded headboard. Family time at its best is when everyone is happily snoring the night away.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 9,000 lbs
Length: 26’ 9”
Tanks: 55-gallon fresh water tank, 50-gallon gray water tank, 50-gallon black water tank
8. KZ Sportsmen 231RK
About: The KZ Sportsmen 231RK small 5th wheel trailer is made standard with the high-quality one-piece, seamless, walk-on Tufflex roofing material. This provides high solar reflectivity and puncture and tear resistance for greater protection from the elements.
These RVs offer amenities and build quality like that of larger rigs in a small package and have been a popular choice for decades.
In the kitchen, you’ll find a standard 8 cubic foot gas/electric RV refrigerator with a cooktop that offers a recessed, three-burner work area and a glass cover, along with LED accented oven knobs. When the cooking is all said and done, you’ll love the stainless steel under mount sink with a high-rise faucet and pull-down spring sprayer.
While relaxing in the living room, you’ll either be cozied up on your comfy sofa or reclining in the optional theater seats. Then, when it’s time to crash, you’ll find a bedroom with storage space for all your clothing and toiletry needs and a queen size bed to sleep the night away.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 7,500 lbs
Length: 24’ 10”
Tanks: 45-gallon fresh water tank, 82-gallon gray water tank, 50-gallon black water tank
9. Scamp 19’ Deluxe Small 5th Wheel Trailer
About: Looking for the comforts of a small fifth wheel camper without the size that generally defines a fifth wheel? Then check out Scamp’s 19′ fifth wheel. It is the largest of the Scamp line but one of the smallest fifth wheels you can buy. It pulls easily and weighs much less than many smaller trailers.
This camper may be small, but it has everything you need, including space to sleep four people. Featuring a queen-size bed in its loft area, you’ll feel as though you’re climbing to paradise every time you head to bed. The bathroom separates the loft from the main floor giving you a more private sleeping experience.
You’ll find oak and birch cabinets throughout the camper, and in the kitchen, a two-burner propane stove fits well with the other kitchen appliances. For more sleeping space, the table converts to a bed. Rustic and practical, this tiny fifth wheel will feel like home.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 3,500 lbs
Tanks: 12-gallon fresh water tank, 9.5-gallon gray water tank, 21-gallon black water tank
Pro Tip: Before you make a decision, make sure you don’t go too small with your RV.
Small 5th Wheel Trailer – Big RV Lifestyle
RVs provide all the comforts of home, and small fifth wheels can do that without feeling completely cramped. Nobody wants to be in a space where there is no space. If an RV is your home away from home, then safety, quality, and comfort are important when choosing an RV. These small fifth wheel campers offer you all of the above and more. After all, you may want a small trailer, but you still deserve a big RV lifestyle!
Which small 5th wheel trailer can you envision calling home? Let us know in the comments below.
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