If you’ve ever been rolling over the road and spotted a camper that hooks into the bed of a pickup truck — you’ve seen what is known as a fifth-wheel travel trailer. Unlike popup campers, bumper pull campers, or off-road trailers, fifth-wheel campers use the space over a pickup truck bed to add increased space and floorplan options. While some fifth-wheel campers are 40+ foot long beasts — there are also small fifth-wheel campers that are towable by less than a heavy-duty truck.
This article explores some of the smallest fifth-wheel trailers on the market today.
What is a fifth-wheel camper?
A fifth-wheel camper is a camper that hitches onto a hitch in the inside of a truck bed. Fifth-wheel campers are advantageous because they maximize the use of space, are generally safer, and are easier to turn.
Best and smallest fifth-wheel campers:
The best and smallest fifth-wheel campers can be driven by a light-duty truck. If you’re an RV owner looking to rent out a rig that won’t overpower a novice renter, small fifth-wheel campers can be the way to go.
The Escape RV company specializes in a full line of fiberglass travel trailers. Escape’s full fiberglass construction eliminates many of the seams featured in other small fifth-wheel campers. The fewer the seams, the fewer the possibilities for leaks.
The Escape 5.0 is a small lightweight fifth-wheel that’s light enough to be towed by a mid-size truck (e.g. Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, etc.). Because of this, you’ll benefit from an easy to tow fifth-wheel that’s also one of the shortest fifth-wheel campers on the market.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 5,500 lbs
- Length: 21ft
- Sleeps: 4 people
- Tanks: 28-gallon fresh water, 28-gallon grey, 30-gallon black
- Price: $33,495 starting
Looking to rent something like an Escape 5.0? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
Much like the Escape RV Company, Scamp specializes in durable all-fiberglass RVs that are known for their longevity and affordability.
The Scamp Deluxe Fifth-Wheel is another ultra-lightweight small fifth-wheel that’s a terrific option if you’d like to create extra camper space without adding length.
Being one of the shortest fifth-wheel campers on the market, the Scamp Deluxe fifth-wheel is easy to drive even if you’ve never driven a camper before. The Scamp Deluxe is also loaded with features such as a queen bed, toilet/shower, two-burner stove, AC, fridge/freezer, and ample storage for its size
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 3,500 lbs
- Length: 19ft
- Sleeps: 4 people
- Tanks: 12-gallon freshwater, 9.5-gallon grey, 20-gallon black
- Price: $22,295 starting
Looking to rent something like the Scamp Deluxe? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
The KZ Durango Half-Ton line offers eight different floor plans, all of which are small 5th wheel trailers in the sense that they can be towed by a half-ton truck.
But just because they can be towed by half-ton trucks doesn’t mean the Durangos lack space. Many of the floorplans feature two slide-outs. The KZ Durango Half-Ton trailers also feature luxury amenities like residential grade furnishings, outdoor speakers, and a steel powder-coated frame for extra strength.
These small 5th wheel campers even feature tremendous boondocking abilities due to their 4 season insulation, off-the-grid solar package (optional), and generously sized holding tanks.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 9,000-11,995 lbs
- Length: 26-35ft
- Sleeps: 4-10 people, depending on floor plan
- Tanks: 55-gallon fresh water, 93-gallon grey, 53-gallon black
- Price: ~$49,000 starting up to $100,000+ depending on floorplan and options.
Looking to rent something like the KZ Durango Half-Ton? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
When it comes to small fifth-wheel campers, the Micro Winnie is one of the best entry-level trailers on the market.
You’ll get tried-and-true Winnebago quality packed into one of the smallest and shortest fifth-wheel travel trailers on the market today. The Micro Winne line also features extra comfy sleeping quarters, full kitchens/bathrooms, and outdoor music systems.
If you plan to rent out a small fifth-wheel camper to others, the Micro Winnie is one of the best options because it is specifically designed for easy towing. All Micro Winnie floorplans fall in the 5,000lb. weight class and are only 7ft. wide — meaning that even first-time RVers can haul them with relative ease.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 7,000 lbs
- Length: 26ft 9 inches
- Sleeps: Up to 5 people
- Tanks: 31-gallon fresh water, 50-gallon grey, 25-gallon black
- Price: Starting at $34,751
Looking to rent something like the Micro Minnie? Check this out on Outdoorsy.
The entire Astoria line is towable by a properly equipped half-ton truck — making it one of the best small fifth-wheel camper options on the market.
The Astoria features proven Dutchmen construction and reliability, cutting-edge tech like one-touch auto-leveling and 4G LTE, and the tallest bedroom for this class of fifth-wheel.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 7,700-11,600 lbs
- Length: 29-42ft, depending on floorplan
- Sleeps: Up to 10 people
- Tanks: Up to 50-gallon fresh water, 78-gallon grey, 78-gallon black
- Price: Starting at $60,537
Looking to rent something like the Astoria? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
Forest River has long been known for its high-quality trailers that withstand the test of time and the elements.
The Rockwood Ultra-Light line features small, lightweight fifth-wheel campers that can be towed by a variety of half-ton trucks. These small fifth-wheel campers also feature amenities like outdoor surround speakers and an outdoor grill, pass-through storage, and rugged construction for off-the-beaten-path adventures.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 8,700-11,600 lbs
- Length: 29-39ft, depending on floor plan
- Sleeps: Up to 10 people
- Tanks: Up to 54-gallon fresh water, 90-gallon grey, 50-gallon black
- Price: Starting at $59,237
Looking to rent something like the Forest River Ultra Light? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
If extreme camping in harsh weather is your jam, look no further than Northwood manufacturing. That’s because Northwood prides itself on an entire line of campers that are built to withstand some of the coldest temps that RVs can handle.
The Fox Mountain is a small 5th wheel camper that can be towed by a well-equipped half-ton truck. On top of that, it has rugged camping features like heated holding tanks, an outdoor shower, and 3,000 pounds of cargo capacity — allowing you to add in a robust solar system or other heavy gear you might like.
All of this makes the Fox Mountain a small fifth-wheel camper that you could easily boondock in for extended periods of time. Northwood also loads in amenities like a comfy sofa bed, optional recliners, and even a small bathroom tub.
NOTE: Due to its heavy-duty features and insulation, the Fox Mountain can overload some half-ton truck capacities if you fully load the camper up.
Always be sure to read the owner’s manual for both your RV and tow vehicle to ensure you’re towing in a safe weight range.
- Gross (Loaded) Weight: 12,000 lbs
- Length: 27ft 10 inches
- Sleeps: 6 people
- Tanks: 59-gallon fresh water, 42-gallon grey, 36-gallon black
- Price: Starting at $53,877
Looking to rent something like the Northwood Fox Mountain? Check this RV out on Outdoorsy.
Why small fifth-wheel campers are good to offer for rent
Small fifth-wheel campers can be good options to offer for rent, but if your camper experience is limited, you might want to consider starting with something smaller like a popup or campervan.
If — on the other hand — you’re an RV owner with fifth-wheel experience who’d like to offer a small 5th wheel camper for rent to others, there are several reasons why this option might work very well for you:
- Fifth-wheel travel trailers are easier to turn than bumper pull campers.
- Fifth-wheel campers generally offer more storage than other trailers.
- Fifth-wheel trailers are generally safer and more stable than bumper pull campers — this is due to the hitch weight being centered over the axles in a fifth-wheel.
- Fifth-wheels place a bedroom over the truck bed, allowing for other bed space (e.g. a bunk bed setup) at the back of the camper — making fifth-wheels more appealing for renters with kiddos.
Despite the above advantages, small fifth-wheel campers can be intimidating for renters — especially new RVers. You can help alleviate these challenges by marketing your small 5th wheel camper rental in the right ways.
For example, you could offer delivery and setup of your fifth-wheel camper within a certain radius, rent out your truck with your small fifth-wheel, or only rent your rig to folk with small fifth-wheel camper experience.
Some of the smallest and shortest fifth-wheel travel trailers on the market make amazing and nimble campers whether you plan to camp with the family or rent your RV out to others. Fifth-wheel trailers have a natural inclination toward extra storage, extra sleeping space, and extra amenities — all things that renters look for.