Investing in a recreational vehicle might seem too expensive an option even for holidays. So, what to do when you do not want to settle for a hotel and want to go road tripping?
This is where a fifth wheel enters the picture. They can be easily attached to your vehicle to set up a makeshift RV for you.
Let’s go through some of the best half-ton towable fifth wheels and how you should pick one.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Half-Ton Towable Fifth Wheel?
Half-ton towable fifth wheels are quite useful, but you have to buy the right one to enjoy all of its perks. After all, investing in a fifth wheel will do you no good if it does not suit your needs. This is why we have listed down the factors that you have to look for while making your purchase.
The first thing that you have to notice in a fifth wheel is the floorplan that the manufacturers are offering. It has to be clean with a practical space distribution.
You should avoid floor plans that have a cluttered appearance. They do not have much room for you to move around or relax while you are out on a trip. So, go for a properly set-up floorplan so that you do not feel fatigued when you are out there to wind down.
Number of Beds
The next consideration has to be the number of beds that a fifth wheel offers. This is because solo travelers do not need much room. But, if you are taking someone along, sleeping space might be an issue.
Another important factor to bear in mind is horsepower consumption. This is because you do not want your engine to be drained of fuel if your fifth wheel consumes a lot of power. This can be both costly and hard to manage when you are out in the wilderness.
Review of the Best 1/2 Ton Towable 5th Wheels
If you’re interested in a half-ton towable fifth wheel but aren’t sure where to begin, take a look at our top picks below.
Cougar Half-Ton 25RES
Cougar Half-Ton 25RES Specs
Carrying Capacity: 2,370 lb.
Length: 28' 10"
Fresh Water: 60 gal
Waste Water: 30 gal
Sleeping Capacity: 6
Warranty: 3-year limited structural, 1-year limited base
Cougar Half-Ton 25RES Floorplan
The first thing you notice about this RV is just how beautiful it is. The interior design is not only gorgeous but functional, too. We love the optional off-the-grid camping package for those who like to travel off the beaten path in comfort and style. This RV is loaded with safety features and high-quality appliances and has enough storage space for the whole family.
That said, it sleeps six, which means it might be a bit much for smaller groups. Alternatively, you can opt for the theater seating instead of the pull-out bed in the living area if you don’t need to accommodate as many people.
This RV is great for the family that loves to travel in style. We love that there’s an option for an off-the-grid package so you can take it on different adventures with all the creature comforts of home.
Palomino Puma 253FBS
Palomino Puma 253FBS Specs
GVWR: 8,800 lbs
Dry Weight: 6,788 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,128 lbs
Exterior Length: 28 feet
Exterior Height: 12 feet 2 inch
Fresh Water Capacity: 43 gal
Gray Water Capacity: 69 gal
Black Water Capacity: 34 gal
Palomino Puma 253FBS Floor Plan
Palomino Puma 253FBS Layout
The 253FBS by Puma is an amazing fifth wheel with its floor orientation. It has three slide-out compartments that bring a lot of extra room to the camper. The U-shaped dinette and recliners with a table are set up in the outside extensions.
In addition, there is a central kitchen with an entertainment center to its right. Besides that is a bathroom that has a 32 x 32 shower in it.
Opposite the bathroom is a large wardrobe and pantry to store the edibles. And then there is a queen-sized bed with shirt closets on either side.
Who Is The Palomino Puma 253FBS Best For?
This is most suitable for couples who like to invite people for picnics. There is only one queen-sized bed with no bunkers or sleeper sofas, so there is a restricted sleeping space. However, the sitting area and the entertainment center make it great for your guests who won’t stay the night.
One of its most striking features is the slide-out compartment with two recliner chairs and an end table. This could serve well as a reading room or a place to casually chill at. The micro outside kitchen is great as well since it has a girdle and a refrigerator in it.
Best for the Money:
Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 230RL
Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 230RL Specs
GVWR: 9,495 lbs
Dry Weight: 6,888 lbs
Hitch Weight (Dry): 1,195 lbs
Exterior Length: 28 feet 1 inch
Exterior Height: 12 feet
Fresh Water Capacity: 52 gal
Gray Water Capacity: 71 gal
Black Water Capacity: 39 gal
Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 230RL Floor Plan
Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 230RL Layout
The 230RL from Reflection 150 Series has a great layout as well. Its overhead compartment in the bedroom and a spacious entryway to the bathroom and bedroom are quite welcoming. Also, it has pass-through storage on one side, making it easier for you to stow away your luggage.
Moreover, there is an L-shaped kitchen with a large pantry on its side. Right next to it are aluminum steps to get in the camper easily. There is a tri-fold sofa in theatre seating to help you relax while providing room for extra sleeps.
Who Is The Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 230RL Best For?
Keeping its features in mind, the 230RL is the best camper for you if you have a small family. It is great for older couples as well who like to take their grandkids on trips. The living area is spacious enough to keep the little ones happy and active.
This fifth wheel has stood out to us because of its high affordability and simple floor plan. One thing that sets it apart from others is the skylights in the bathroom. This helps you have the perfectly dreamy vacation feels that you see in movies.
Best Half-Ton Towable Fifth Wheel Bunkhouse:
KZ Durango Half-Ton D275BHS
Carrying Capacity: 2,630 lb.
Length: 32' 1"
Height: 12' 1"
Fresh Water: 55 gal
Waste Water: 53 gal
Sleeping Capacity: 8
Warranty: 2-year limited
KZ Durango Half-Ton D275BHS Floorplan
The KZ Durango Half-Ton D275BHS is the winner of RV New’s Best Lightweight Fifth Wheel of the Year and an RV Business Must-See RV for 2021, and it’s not very hard to see why. In addition to being gorgeous, this fifth wheel hitch is loaded with useful and convenient features, including in-floor heated water lines, a full perimeter rain gutter, and a large cargo capacity.
The floorplan on this half ton sleeps eight, so it’s a great choice for large families. There is also optional equipment available so you can make sure it suits you in every way, like an off-the-grid solar package, 40 or 48-inch fireplace, a central vac system, and a second ducted AC unit.
This RV is another great option for large families who enjoy traveling in a style that can also be fitted for off-the-grid adventures. With a two-year warranty, plenty of storage, and an impressive outdoor entertainment setup, this one checks all the boxes.
Best 1/2 Ton Towable 5th Wheel Toy Hauler:
Forest River XLR Hyper Lite 2513
Carrying Capacity: 3,532 lb.
Length: 29' 10"
Height: 2' 1"
Fresh Water: 102 gal
Waste Water: 30 gal
Sleeping Capacity: 6
Warranty: 1-year limited
Forest River XLR Hyper Lite 2513 Layout
If you’re looking for a lightweight toy hauler that’s easy to tow, this is a great option. It’s slightly more affordable than the other options on this list, and it comes with some nice features. The cast iron cooktop looks amazing and should last a really long time, and there is plenty of storage and sleeping space for six people.
That said, some users were disappointed in the quality of the construction. Complaints varied from the internal finishes peeling off to the AC being unreliable in hot weather to power issues at higher elevations.
This half ton fifth wheel has a lot of great features and options, and it’s one of RV News’s best travel trailer toy hauler RVs. That said, some customers were unhappy with the quality. Though their complaints are inconsistent when it comes to what part of the RV they had a problem with, there does seem to be a bit of a quality issue.
Half-Ton Truck Towing Terms You Should Know
Before you have a look at the fifth wheel options available to you, you need to understand their basic terminology. Keeping this in view, we have described the common terms for you.
The towing capacity refers to the amount of weight your vehicle can support when it comes to towing a trailer. Most of the vehicles are able to drag along fifth wheels, so you will not have a hard time finding a fifth wheel with the right towing capacity.
The payload is the maximum weight that can be loaded on a truck. The fifth wheel's weight has to be just right so that it is easy for the truck to withstand it. If the payload exceeds the vehicle’s designated limit, it can cause serious accidents. To calculate the payload of your truck, you should subtract its curb weight from GVWR.
Hitch weight, also called tongue weight, is the amount of weight that a fifth wheel puts on the axle of your vehicle. It directly affects the payload capacity of a truck, so buyers have to be mindful of it.
Unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) is the weight of a vehicle without any fuel or passengers. Professionals also refer to it as dry or empty weight.
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the weight of a vehicle, including its dry weight and all the accessories. It also includes the weight of the cargo as well as the passengers.
What Makes a Half-Ton Towable Fifth Wheel Great?
A half-ton towable fifth wheel can make your adventures more enjoyable. There are so many perks of having the right vehicle. So, let’s see what makes a half-ton towable fifth wheel great.
Ease Of Transportation
Unlike recreational vehicles, fifth wheels do not need major expertise on your part to drive them. You just have to be proficient at driving your usual truck in order to handle one of these easily.
What actually makes fifth wheels such a cool option is that they are much more affordable than other options. These are admittedly less luxurious, but the price range is definitely a win with these.
The best towable fifth wheels are the ones that are easy to maintain. They do not need professional cleaning or maintenance. You will be alright if you take care of basic cleaning and care.
Fifth wheels with the least weight and most space are great. The bulky ones just add more pressure on the engine, which might lead to accidents.
Another factor that makes fifth wheels great is a better fuel economy due to the lightweight construction. Lighter fifth wheels do not need much fuel to tow them along, so they are more fuel-efficient.
What is a ½ Ton Truck and How Does a Towing Package Affect Towing Capacity?
A half ton truck is one with a half-ton payload capacity. The payload includes all of the weight the pickup truck can carry, including cargo, passengers, and its hitch weight. A ton is 2000 pounds, so, on the surface, a half-ton truck can handle 1000 pounds. But, it’s not really that simple. Thanks to modern materials and designs, new half-ton trucks have stronger suspensions and heavier frames, so they can actually carry closer to ¾ ton or 1500 pounds.
Towing capacity is the amount that the truck can tow and the gross combined weight includes the weight of everything, including the truck, cargo, passengers, and anything the vehicle is towing.
You also have to consider gross axle weight rating, which is the total weight that each axle can handle at the maximum gross combined weight. Bear in mind that the weight of the trailer also includes the cargo capacity of everything in the trailer, so any food and equipment or anything placed in the storage area is included.
Popular Trucks With Half Ton Towing Capability
Here are some of the most popular half ton trucks on the market today:
Chevy Silverado 1500
There are many options available with the Chevy Silverado 1500, but with a 6.2L V8 engine, it’s capable of pulling 13,300 pounds.
Next up on our list is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with its turbo engine, which generates a torque of 450 Nm. It can tow a 5th wheel weighing up to 13,400 pounds without any difficulty. So, consider it if you are carrying a moderately-sized camper along with your truck.
Dodge Ram 1500
With a max payload of 1930 pounds and a towing capacity of 10,610 pounds, this popular truck has more than enough power to haul any of the travel trailer fifth wheels in our review.
RAM 1500 is a premium gas engine-powered truck that can take on a fifth wheel really well. It has a max payload of 2,300 pounds and a towing capability of 12,750 pounds. These enable it to drag along a fifth wheel with your essentials and passengers in it quite easily.
GMC Sierra 1500
Between the Sierra AT4, Denali, and Elevation, there are options for anyone interested in a GMC Sierra 1500. Depending on the model, it can tow between 9,200 and 11,800 pounds.
There are many Tundra options, too. With the tow package, the SR can handle 10,200 pounds and the Limited can haul 9,400 pounds.
Nissan offers the Titan King Cab, which hauls up to 9,310 pounds, and the XD Crew Cab hauls 11,040 pounds.
Ford F-150 is one of the most popular half-ton trucks that can support a fifth wheel. With a towing capacity of 13,000 pounds, it can be the perfect match for most 5th wheels out there. The delivery of 250 horsepower by its engine further improves the truck’s suitability for the job.
Aspects To Consider Before Buying
In order to make the most out of your trips, you have to be fully prepared. And, having the perfect fifth wheel at hand is a sure way to complete your preparations. So, keep the following aspects in mind to buy the right vehicle for your adventures.
Cargo carrying capacity or CCC is the amount of weight that a vehicle can carry. It has to be within safe limits for you to carry all of your belongings and still have a lesser strain on the vehicle.
The curb weight of a vehicle is the weight that all the liquids in a vehicle amount to. It includes the weight of the fuel in tanks, the water that you are carrying, and other automotive fluids.
Gross vehicle weight or GVW is the weight that a vehicle can support safely. It includes everything that is inside the vehicle and the stuff that is attached to it as well. The accessories, passengers, cargo, fuel, and the fifth wheel are all a part of this.
The pin weight is the amount of weight that the hitch receiver is going to deal with. It has to be 20% of the weight of the GVW that your fifth wheel comes with.
Do's and Don’ts of Towing Fifth Wheels
Towing fifth wheels is not something very technical. But you certainly have to take care of the stuff you are allowed to do with them and the stuff you have to avoid.
Here is what you can do when towing the fifth wheel without risking anything.
Fifth wheels are a great way of improving your road trip experience. You do not have to worry about prior bookings at any fancy restaurant. All you have to do is to pack away your stuff and hop in your truck. You can have as long a road trip as you want once you have a nice fifth wheel with you.
Another important thing that you can do is carry cargo with you on a towable fifth wheel. When you are not vacationing, you can just remove the major things from the fifth wheel. And, then you can transport your business-related things in that space.
Storage of Picnic Stuff
Now, it is not necessary to always have week-long road trips. You can just go out for a long ride with your friends or family. Just pack some picnic stuff inside your fifth wheel, go somewhere nice, and have some quality time together.
Now, here are some of the things you have to avoid doing with your towing fifth wheel.
Use for Storing Extra Fuel
One thing that you have to avoid at all costs is storing fuel or inflammable in your fifth wheel. They can cause fires and other misadventures that you do not want to happen. So, you need to be careful about that.
Summing it all up, a half-ton towable fifth wheel can bring a lot more fun and recreation to your life. You just have to choose the perfect one that fulfills all your needs. So, compare the options given on our list and see what works the best for you.
People Also Ask
Half-ton towable fifth wheels are a nice alternative to expensive RVs. But, they are generally used less than recreational vehicles because a lot of people do not know about them. So, here are some quick answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding these. Go through them to clear any confusions that you might be having.
Why Do They Call It a Half-Ton Truck?
As usually assumed, half-ton does not refer to the weight of the fifth wheel or the truck. Rather, it is named so because the estimated payload capacity is half a ton. It means that your vehicle can support almost 500 kg of passengers and cargo.
How Much Can a Half-Ton Truck Tow?
Most half-ton trucks can tow 9,000 to 10,000 pounds worth of weight. But, if you have a heavy-duty tow truck, you can tow much more weight than this range.
How Much Is Half a Ton?
Half a ton is roughly 450 kg or 10,000 pounds. It is quite a lot of weight for a truck to tow, so you should try to get a quality fifth wheel to keep things smooth for your truck’s engine.
How Much Do 5th Wheels Weigh?
5th wheels have different weight ranges depending on their size and frame. They can weigh anywhere between 2,500 and 20,000 pounds. But, the moderate weight range for 5th wheels is 12,000 to 15,000 pounds.
Do I Need a Special Hitch to Tow a Fifth Wheel Camper With a Half-ton Truck?
Yes, you might have to buy a special hitch to tow a fifth-wheel camper with a half-ton truck. Most campers are too heavy for usual truck axles to support. So, having a more appropriate hitch to support the camper is a wise choice.
How to Tell If My Vehicle Can Tow My Fifth Wheel
You need to refer to the specifications of your vehicle to see if it will be able to accommodate a fifth wheel. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) helps you in this regard. This is the ultimate weight that your vehicle can support or carry.