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Weight Classes of Fifth Wheel Campers

by Lynn Rademacher
Fifth-wheel trailers are classified by weight.

Fifth-wheel trailers are classified by weight.

A fifth-wheel camper trailer is towed by a special hitch installed inside the bed of a heavy-duty pickup truck. Fifth-wheel trailers can be divided into three categories, according to weight and length. When selecting a fifth-wheel trailer, it is important to consider the weight of your tow vehicle. Trying to pull a fifth-wheel trailer that is too heavy for the towing vehicle can cause dangerous steering and braking problems.

Lightweight Fifth-wheels

Lightweight fifth-wheel trailers are a good option for leisure enthusiasts who don't need a lot of living space or don't have much space to park a trailer when it's not in use. A fifth-wheel that's classified as a lightweight trailer can be up to 23 feet long and weigh a maximum of 8,000 pounds. These trailers can be pulled by half-ton pickup trucks.

Midsize Fifth-wheels

Midsize fifth-wheels must be towed by a vehicle with at least 3/4-ton towing capacity. These trailers are 23 to 30 feet long and can weigh 8,000 to 10,000 pounds. Towing a midsize fifth-wheel trailer with a 1-ton truck may provide the driver a bit more control and create a smoother ride.

Full-size Fifth-wheels

Full-size fifth-wheel trailers focus on providing comfort and luxury for the occupants. They are 30 to 40 feet long and are the heaviest fifth-wheels, commonly weighing 15,000 pounds or more. They must be pulled by a 1-ton vehicle. It's often recommended that the tow vehicle have a diesel engine, which can provide more towing power.

About the Author

Lynn Rademacher started writing in 2001, covering technology, family and finance topics. Her writing has appeared in "Unique Magazine" and the "Ortonville Independent," among other publications. Rademacher holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from South Dakota State University.

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