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Old 06-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
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Benefits of 5th wheel units

A lot of members here are upgrading to the new 5th TA and selling their single 5ths to others and I'm wondering what are some of the benefits of owning a 5th wheel vs a tow behind. Do they tow better? Gas mileage benefit? I like the new 5th TA but I'm still on the fence about it's positive attributes. Thanks for any info….
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:55 AM   #2
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For me, it's all about layout. The extra length gives me the counter space I desire and the "cooking" on the door side. I like the extra width, but would have preferred the TA stayed the same height as the Classic. Now I gotta get my carport raised.

I've never towed a 5er nor a tandem-axle, so I'm in the dark as much as anyone. Don't think it will be problematic, as I've towed my current trailer for 12 years. I'm not getting the 5.0TA because of 5th wheel vs bumper pull. I would have been perfectly happy if ETI had taken the 5er plan and completely flattened the layout to a bumper pull. Which would be different than the 21' layout.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
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For me and as noted by others it is the layout of a 5th wheel that is most appealing. Having a raised penthouse above the truck bed allows for a lot more flexibility in the aft portion of the trailer. The advantages with respects to towing (in my opinion) would be no requirement for a WD hitch, the tongue weight is directly above the driven wheels (greater traction?). That in combination with the tandem axles would also result in less sway from cross winds.

One other thing, Donna, your 5.0 appears to have the U shaped dinette, however ETI's description on the web site says it doesn't come that way. Optional? The one disadvantage to smaller trailers is that there is no lounge area. With a U shaped dinette, you could remove the table and have a smallish area to retreat to.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
For me, it's all about layout. The extra length gives me the counter space I desire and the "cooking" on the door side. I like the extra width, but would have preferred the TA stayed the same height as the Classic. Now I gotta get my carport raised.

I've never towed a 5er nor a tandem-axle, so I'm in the dark as much as anyone. Don't think it will be problematic, as I've towed my current trailer for 12 years. I'm not getting the 5.0TA because of 5th wheel vs bumper pull. I would have been perfectly happy if ETI had taken the 5er plan and completely flattened the layout to a bumper pull. Which would be different than the 21' layout.
Donna,
Since the 21 and 5th are identical from the door back, why did you not get the 21 tow behind? Counter space and cooking on door side, extra width and no car port issues? Not sure what you are saying here?
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
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Here's a great link on hitching a 5th wheel.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:30 AM   #6
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Among other things, we like the fact that the length of the 5th wheel trailer + tow vehicle when hooked up is much shorter than the length of a comparably sized bumper pull trailer + tow vehicle. We like the way the 5th wheel hitches up and the way it tracks when towing. We've had a bumper pull so we have been able to compare.

We also like the more separate sleeping area of the loft bed. Our only real complaint about the Escape Classic 5.0 is the small counter/work space at the cooking area.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Is it possible to get a custom bed cover that keeps the bed dry while towing?
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wayne_m View Post
One other thing, Donna, your 5.0 appears to have the U shaped dinette, however ETI's description on the web site says it doesn't come that way. Optional? The one disadvantage to smaller trailers is that there is no lounge area. With a U shaped dinette, you could remove the table and have a smallish area to retreat to.
I believe the u-shape dinette was "standard" in the Classic(?), it's an option in the 5.0TA ($375... I think). I'm not getting a mounted table.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:41 PM   #9
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Donna,
Since the 21 and 5th are identical from the door back, why did you not get the 21 tow behind? Counter space and cooking on door side, extra width and no car port issues? Not sure what you are saying here?
I was truly thinking about getting the 21' Jim. But, that 5er kept tugging at my heart. I'm looking to my future and spending LOTs of time traveling. I just think the 5er is better suited to my needs. I like the built in laundry hamper too in the 5er!
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:53 PM   #10
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My main criteria when looking for a new trailer is bed size, I will not get something with a bed that's shorter then 80". I'm 6'2" and my feet stick out of the 75" beds we have now.

Did not want a longer package then we have now. My current tow behind is 20' making the total 40', the TA should be about 35'.

Like Donna I have not pulled a 5th as yet but I hear they are very quick/simple to hookup and easier to tow, not that I find my tow behind difficult or time consuming.

Went with the TA over the 21 for the separate sleeping area, my better half gets up at 5am, I try and stay in till 6. She also goes to bed earlier then I do. Also the Queen bed. I had to trade the truck bed to get these, not an easy decision for me. I like to have the bikes inside the cap and be able to carry a canoe. I had to remove the cap, put a heavy hitch in the bed, carry the bikes on the back of the TA, and get a front mount canoe rack. Like usual, one can't have it all.

Jim, I'm going with a tri fold cover for the bed, I can keep the front third covered somewhat.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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I too was thinking about the 21, the 5er just has too many advantages over the 21 in my opinion. I love the full queen size bed as well as being separate from the main living space. I have never towed a trailer, but everyone I've talked to that has experience has indicated a fifth wheel wheel tows and parks much easier than a bumper tow?
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #12
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We're a little bummed that our "old" 5.0 is out of production. For us, it's about perfect as is.

The extra width would force us to get mirror extensions and it already has plenty of room inside. We're both tall and find the existing height to be more than adequate.

The allure of Escape trailers is a beautiful trailer in a small package. In our minds, bigger is not better.

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Old 06-14-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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The web site is bit confusing. It says that it doesn't come that way not that you can't have it. I have an appointment in the 'Wack next week so I plan to drop by ETI for a look around. I have lots of questions for them. I've been looking for an excuse to get out there and It so happens that on that day my wife has a Dr's appointment in Chilliwack, I have a job site to look at close by and my uncle wants me to drop by for a visit. Karma?
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:53 PM   #14
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The allure of Escape trailers is a beautiful trailer in a small package. In our minds, bigger is not better. Sharon
Amen to that. (Says she who thinks the 15 is the perfect size. )
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:02 PM   #15
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The web site is bit confusing. It says that it doesn't come that way not that you can't have it.
It's on the very bottom of the options page, and it's $350, not $375 like I mentioned earlier.
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And yes! KARMA! !
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:25 PM   #16
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I've never had a 5th wheel so I can’t comment on the towing and parking differences. And not ever owning one I’ll only give my rather one sided opinions. I still own a Honda Ridgeline which I love, and it won’t handle a 5th wheel. And if I want to tow with something other than a pickup, (SUV, maybe) I can’t have a 5th wheel. The 21 + the Ridgeline is around 39’ so the overall length, I don’t think, is an issue. And I find parking the 21 precisely where I want it to be a simple task. Towing the 21 has been a dream with no sway from cross winds or large trucks. It’s just been a very stable platform for us. I also like having the entire bed of my truck, and I like it covered, for what I consider necessary items for the way we camp. I don’t know anything about mileage differences.

We too were concerned about not having a queen bed, but as it turns out, the bed in the 21 is great. We don’t feel cramped at all even after sleeping in a king at home. Being tucked in next to the bathroom with 2.5 walls and the opening at the foot of the bed is like having a separate bedroom. Even though it’s separate, it’s on the same level as the rest of the living space, and being on the same level actually gives a larger feeling to that living space.

The kitchen counter top in the 5th wheel is 4” shorter than the one in the 21, and we really like the size we have. We even added a counter top extension at the Escape gathering and have already grown to appreciate that.

We like the larger bathroom in the 21. Placing the bathroom at the end of the trailer instead of along the side makes for a wider continuous isle. Not having to climb stairs in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom is also a plus for us. So, to me, the 21s living space just feels larger with the wider, longer isle and having the bedroom on the main floor.

So there you have it. Remember, I only toured the new 5.0 at the gathering for a short time, with lots of people in and out. I was impressed, as always, by the fit and finish, it’s stance, and the way it looked when connected to a pickup. Most 5th wheels dwarf their tow vehicles, but the 5.0TA blended well with the two vehicles I saw it with (F150, and a Nissan Frontier). I think both the 21 and 5.0 are going to make their owners very happy, and proud at what’s following behind them.
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I'm not getting the 5.0TA because of 5th wheel vs bumper pull. I would have been perfectly happy if ETI had taken the 5er plan and completely flattened the layout to a bumper pull. Which would be different than the 21' layout.
One difference would be that if the interior dimensions (not just the arrangement) were the same, the "5.0TA style" trailer would be longer than the 21'.
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
It's on the very bottom of the options page, and it's $350, not $375 like I mentioned earlier.
I wouldn't trust the information on the 5.0 page Options tab without confirming specifically with ETI, since the Specifications and Features pages are both outdated (describing the original 5.0).
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:08 PM   #19
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if (When?? ) we graduate to a 5th wheel i'd still be looking to Anderson for my hitch.

Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection

with all of the hauling that I currently do with our pickup i wouldn't want a big bulky hitch sitting in the bed.

-DR
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:43 PM   #20
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Nice hitch. I def have to start writing stuff down.
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