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Why is it Called a Fifth Wheel?

When it comes to choosing an RV, there are various options available to suit your needs. While motorhomes offer the convenience of a mobile apartment, they can be expensive and limit your ability to have a separate vehicle for local transportation. Fortunately, there is an alternative worth considering: the fifth wheel.

This article will explore the origins and advantages of fifth-wheel RVs, shedding light on why they are named as such.

Historical Background

To understand the term “fifth wheel,” let’s delve into its historical background. In the 1800s, carriages featured a unique design element known as the “fifth wheel.” This horizontal wheel allowed the front axle to pivot, improving maneuverability.

The term “fifth wheel” has carried over to the modern era and is now associated with a specific type of hitch used in towing.

Origin of the Term

The fifth wheel hitch is a U-shaped coupling that connects the trailer to the tow vehicle. Its name stems from the historical context we just explored. This hitch, resembling the original fifth wheel, secures the connection between the trailer and the tow vehicle, ensuring stability and safe towing.

Definition and Function

A fifth wheel is a type of towable RV that requires a large pickup truck equipped with a fifth-wheel hitch to tow it. This design offers the advantages of a larger RV model without the bulk of a full-blown house on wheels. By distributing the trailer’s weight over the rear axle of the tow vehicle, the fifth wheel hitch provides a balanced load and a smoother towing experience.

Why Should I Choose a Fifth Wheel?

The fifth wheel design provides several benefits, making it a preferred choice for towing RVs. 

Improved Stability and Towing Experience 

A fifth-wheel trailer with a fifth-wheel hitch design offers superior stability during towing, especially when complemented with an 5th Wheels Air Hitch. With this setup, you can expect significantly reduced trailer sway, jarring movements, and tugging sensations.

The Air hitch takes it a step further by providing a remarkably smoother ride, boasting a comfort compared to traditional hitches. This enhanced stability and ride quality can translate into substantial cost savings.

Effortless Highway Travel and Enhanced Fuel Efficiency

Opting for an Air Hitch allows you to effortlessly glide across highways, free from the constant bouncing that often accompanies conventional hitches.

This reduction in bouncing not only enhances your overall comfort but also plays a role in maintaining optimal gas mileage. Without excessive bouncing, you can expect a decrease in fuel consumption during your journeys.

Additionally, the decreased bouncing helps reduce wear and tear on your tires, contributing to their longevity and saving you money on replacements.

Reduced Stress on Truck and Trailer Suspension, Minimized Breakages

Air Hitches offer more than just a smoother ride. They also help alleviate stress on your truck and trailer suspension systems, reducing the likelihood of breakages inside the trailer.

This improved safety and durability can be attributed to the strategic distribution of hitch weight over the tow vehicle’s rear axle. With the weight of the trailer evenly distributed across the entire rig, you can enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that your truck and trailer are better equipped to handle the demands of the road.

Stronger Connection and Luxurious Features with Fifth Wheel Hitches

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, a fifth-wheel hitch design provides a more secure connection than a traditional ball hitch. This enhanced connection, coupled with a high level of stability, enables most fifth-wheel RVs to incorporate stronger, sturdier, and often more luxurious materials and features than other RV models.

It is common to find fifth-wheel models boasting solid wood cabinetry, king-size beds, and full-size appliances. These amenities, which enhance comfort and luxury, are made possible by the increased weight capacity and superior stability the fifth-wheel hitch design provides.

Final Thoughts

The fifth wheel is the ideal choice if you’re in the market for a towable RV and seeking true luxury on your travels. Its unique hitch design ensures a safe and comfortable journey while enabling the use of lavish amenities that heavier models can accommodate. Click here to read about the 5th Wheel Air Hitches.

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