When you think of 5th wheel RVs, you may picture a massive 40-foot beast rolling down the road. But did you know some RV manufacturers make models that are less than 30 feet?
Small 5th wheel RVs are popular among couples and solo travelers. They offer a lot of flexibility for getting off the beaten path, and they’re super easy to tow.
Keep reading to learn more about what makes small 5th wheels great and which we think are the five best models in 2022.
What Is a 5th Wheel RV?
You tow a 5th wheel RV behind a truck via a hitch that sits in the bed of the pickup truck or semi-truck. They come in various lengths, weights, and floor plans. You can tow some 5th wheels with a half-ton truck, while you may need a one-ton truck for large 5th wheels.
There are also 5th wheel models that are toy haulers. They have a garage in the back with a ramp door that drops down to load toys and other cargo. Toy hauler 5th wheel RVs come in various sizes and floor plans.
What Are the Benefits of a Small 5th Wheel RV?
The main benefit of a small 5th wheel RV is its towability. You can tow many of the small models with a half-ton truck, which helps keep your overall budget down as well as the gas mileage.
In addition, the shorter the 5th wheel, the easier it is to park, backup, and maneuver. Finally, a 5th wheel tends to have less sway going down the road than a travel trailer.
Small 5th wheel RVs can also get into tight campsites. Some National Parks, for example, only accommodate RVs up to 35 feet.
A small 5th wheel also provides peace of mind in that you’re towing less, so there’s less to worry about. Things on RVs break, and a smaller model reduces the number of gadgets.
These RVs offer as much space as a small travel trailer, whether traveling solo or with another person. But the edge they have on other types of small RVs is the ease of hitching and unhitching. Likewise, setting up camp is a breeze with a 5th wheel.
What Is the Shortest 5th Wheel You Can Buy?
The Scamp 19 Deluxe is the shortest 5th wheel on the market. It’s only 19 feet long and weighs 2,400 to 2,900 pounds. You don’t need much power to tow the Scamp.
The 5 Best Small 5th Wheel RVs in 2022
Curious to learn which small 5th wheel RVs are the best? Here are the top five in 2022.
#1. Escape 5.0
About: The Escape 5.0 is 21 feet two inches long and the shortest small 5th wheel on our list. It has an aerodynamic design, a dual axle, and a low center of gravity that provides better stability and gas mileage and less wind resistance. The GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is 5,500 pounds. You can easily tow the Escape 5.0 with a half-ton truck.
The interior has a queen size bed up front and a dinette or lounge area in the back. It has a wet bath with a sink, shower, and toilet. And the small kitchen has plenty of storage.
The Escape 5.0 has a 28-gallon freshwater tank. Its gray water holding tank has a 28-gallon capacity. And the black tank can hold 30 gallons of waste.
MSRP: Starts at $33,495
#2. Northwood Fox Mountain 235RLS
About: Northwood’s Fox Mountain 235RLS is a 27-foot-10-inch long 5th wheel. Its GVWR is 12,000 pounds. The 235RLS has one slide-out with a dinette and pantry on it. Across from the slide is the full kitchen, and there’s a sofa or optional captain’s chairs in the rear. It sleeps up to six people if you opt for the sleeper sofa. The bedroom is on the front with a full dry bathroom and wardrobe.
You can stay off-grid for a while with the Fox Mountain 235RLS, as it holds 59 gallons of fresh water. The gray water tank has a 42-gallon capacity, and the black tank holds 36 gallons. In addition, it has a maximum capacity of 60 pounds of propane.
#3. Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite 2445WS
About: Forest River’s Rockwood Ultra Lite 2445WS is 28 feet 11 inches long and has a GVWR of 9,815 pounds. It has two slide-outs, one in the front for the bedroom’s wardrobe closet and one in the back for the dinette. The 5th wheel has a full bathroom with a large shower and linen closet. Its full kitchen wraps around the back wall to the passenger side all the way to the entry door. You’ll have ample counter space. And in addition to the dinette, there’s a 60-inch sleep sofa in the living area.
The Rockwood Ultra Lite 2445WS has a 54-gallon freshwater tank. Its gray water tank has an 80-gallon capacity. And the black tank holds 40 gallons. The 5th wheel also has pass-through exterior storage mid-ship and additional outside storage in the front.
#4. KZ RV Sportsmen 231RK
About: The KZ RV Sportsmen 231RK is 24 feet 10 inches long with a GVWR of only 7,500 pounds. This lightweight 5th wheel’s tri-fold sofa is on a slide-out, and the booth dinette sits across from it. The kitchen is on the back wall and provides sufficient counter space. There’s a queen-size bed upfront with wardrobes on either side. And the full bathroom includes a separate room for the toilet.
KZ RV Sportsmen 231RK’s freshwater capacity is 45 gallons. The gray water tank holds 85 gallons, and the black tank holds up to 53 gallons. You can carry a maximum of 60 gallons of propane on board.
#5. Coachmen Chaparral Lite 25RE
About: Coachmen’s Chaparral Lite 25RE is a popular small 5th wheel that comes in just under 30 feet at 29 feet 10 inches long. It has a GVWR of 9,800 pounds and a hitch weight of 1,115 pounds. The Chaparral Lite 25RE has a large slide-out in the living area that holds the theatre seating sofa and a booth dinette. There’s also a corner kitchen in the living area and an entertainment center on the opposite corner. The front bedroom has a queen-size bed, and there’s a full bathroom.
The 5th wheel can hold up to 40 gallons of fresh water. Its gray water and black holding tanks each have a capacity of 33 gallons. It also has electric stabilizing jacks.
Note that the MSRPs listed here may change due to supply chain issues. Still, this should give you an idea of the features and prices of these fantastic small 5th wheels. They’re great for short or long trips. They’re best suited for couples or a solo traveler, and they’re an upgrade from a small travel trailer in terms of their durability. What do you think of these small 5th wheels?
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