5th Wheel Toy Hauler – A Recreational Vehicle Review
While visiting RV show, I poked around in a 5th Wheel Toy Hauler or two. WOW! If your idea of camping is staying at the Ritz, this is the Toy Hauler for you. These bad boys use the 18-wheeler hitch known as a 5th wheel, which mounts in the center of a pick up bed. Up to three axles are needed to support weights up to, and exceeding, 17,000 pounds.
While smaller 5th Wheel Toy Haulers are available, most people own them for their massive roominess and unrivaled luxury. They are the most expensive of the conventional Toy Haulers.
First the good news: The 5th Wheel Toy Haulers I saw had fabulous kitchens, snack bars, full size pantries, and impressive woodwork and flooring. The kitchens were well lit and housed a full-sized microwave, refrigerator, range and oven. I was very much taken back by all of the counter space and ample cabinets. These certainly do provide a dream kitchen for the open road. A 5th wheel can come equipped with up to three slide-outs and a raised forward master bedroom making this the undisputed king of spaciousness. The overstuffed king-size bed and plush sofa quickly invite you to sit back and fire up the home entertainment center. Now someone, please make another Margarita.
What really sets the 5th Wheel apart in the Toy Hauler world is the availability of a totally enclosed cargo area, or as they are often referred to, the garage. Larger units have a solid wall and sealed door separating the toys from the living space. I even found some with a separate outside door to the garage. This feature is two-fold. One is for keeping the mud out of the living room, and the other for keeping the wife happy. If you are like me, and carry way-to-many tools, you’ll appreciate having all of those garage cabinets.
Now the other news: A 5th Wheel Toy Hauler can be really heavy; up to and exceeding, 17,000 pounds. You guessed it, that means a g big powerful tow rig. I’m not a huge fan of diesel pickups. However, I’ve found that if you want pulling power and something vaguely resembling decent mileage, then a diesel is definitely the way to go. Fortunately diesels have long lives, and there are plenty to be found in the used market.
Towing these very large barn doors can be challenging in high winds or when an 18-wheeler passes by. The 5th wheel hitch will help to maintain control and minimize white knuckles in what might be a hairy situation with a travel trailer. It also can be helpful when maneuvering these monsters into tight RV spaces and through downtown traffic.
Unless you have big rig experience, you will no doubt find towing one of these a little different from your basic rear hitch type of trailer. Because they are so large and tall, and so close behind the driver, they will keep you on your toes, especially driving though town. If you are not careful, to your dismay, you could look in your rear-view mirror just in time to witness the trailer laying a stop sign flat! I’ve been there, and done that.
Finding the right Toy Hauler for you is ultimately a personal decision. But if you require lavish accommodations with a separate toy garage, the 5th Wheel Toy Hauler may be exactly what you are looking for.
Jerry Siegel maintains an informative web site about recreational vehicles know as Toy Haulers, http://www.iToyHauler.com. Simple put Toy Haulers are RV’s with a cargo or garage space. If you have big boy/girl toys and want to take them with you when you travel, this is your RV. Find out what all the fuss is about, visit us at http://www.iToyHauler.com and sign up for our newsletter.