How To Move A 5th Wheel Camper Without A TruckAnthony Day
If you own a 5th wheel camper and need to move it without a truck, you’ve got a few different options to consider, but how do you do it?
RV trailers, especially those as large as 5th wheels, are designed to be towed via a truck and hitch. However, some 5th wheel RVers may not have a truck - or simply find themselves in a situation where their towing vehicle is not available. If that’s the case, you will need to find an alternative solution for moving your 5th wheel camper.
You can move a 5th wheel camper without a truck by using a trailer dolly, hiring a transportation company, or relying on dealer transport. Alternatively, you can find another vehicle for moving your 5th wheel that can support the weight of the camper such as an SUV or minivan.
Having a 5th wheel camper at your disposal enables you to hit the road in style, as these vehicles are equipped with all the essentials that one could ask for. With that said, unlike certain RV classifications such as A, B, & C, 5th wheels don’t actually drive, which means that you need to rely on a separate vehicle to tow your camper around. Although each 5th wheel is different and can vary in specs, the majority of these vehicles are designed to be used with a truck. By hooking up the 5th wheel to a truck via a hitch, you can drive your personal vehicle and detach your RV trailer when needed. This can become complicated if you do not have a truck available. While moving a 5th wheel without a truck is not very conventional, it’s also not impossible. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at how you can move a 5th wheel camper without a truck.
After researching 5th wheel campers, I have been able to gather enough information to determine how you can move one of these RVs without a truck. My research has indicated that you should carefully read the recommended moving conditions of your 5th wheel’s manual to ensure that the method you choose for transporting your camper is safe and compatible with your vehicle.
Can You Move a 5th Wheel Camper Without a Truck?
Yes, it is possible to move a 5th wheel camper without a truck. Although 5th wheels are much easier to maneuver and tow if you have a truck at your disposal, that is not always the case for all RVers.
There are a handful of methods that you try out for moving your 5th wheel camper without a truck. Depending on how large your RV is and how far you want to move it, you may find one of the following approaches useful:
- Trailer Dolly
- Transportation Company
- Dealer Transportation
- Alternative Vehicle
You need to consider the specs of your 5th wheel camper carefully. Each RV is different and has specific requirements and manufacturer instructions for being moved. When moving a 5th wheel camper without a truck and hitch, the vehicle does not have as much support and could potentially tip over if mishandled.
That is why it is so important that you read the manual of your 5th wheel before you commit to moving it so that you can ensure that the approach you take is safe for your vehicle.
Best Ways to Move a 5th Wheel Camper Without a Truck
After you have reviewed your 5th wheel owner’s manual, you should be able to narrow down your options as you consider which moving method suits your camper.
In addition to the physical specs of your camper such as the weight and vehicle length, you should also reflect on your budget, as well as the distance of how far you want to move your vehicle.
Some methods are going to be much better for short distances such as moving the 5th wheel around a campground or your driveway. Whereas others are going to be more ideal for long-distance moves such as between cities and across state lines.
One of the best investments that you can make as a dedicated RVer is to have a trailer dolly at home. A trailer dolly enables you to move your camper small distances so that you can maneuver it around your property or campground.
These tools have been a game-changer for a lot of RV travelers as they eliminate so many of the tedious aspects of moving a camper. If you own an RV trailer such as a 5th wheel, then you have surely experienced the frustration of backing up your truck over and over again until you find that sweet spot where it is right underneath your hitch.
With a trailer dolly at your disposal, you will never have to waste time or energy when hitching your trailer, as you can take care of attaching your RV in minutes. There are a couple of different options that you have for trailer dollies and you may find that one is better for your 5th wheel than the other.
Hand Crank Trailer Dolly
If you have a smaller 5th wheel, you may be able to get away with using a hand crank trailer dolly.
These are super convenient and easy to use, but they generally have a max weight capacity of around 5,000 - 6,000lbs, which is just enough to move some of the smaller 5th wheel models on the market.
Hand crank trailer dollies are particularly great tools to have as an RVer because they are not too pricey. You can buy yourself a fantastic hand crank dolly for under $500 and if you treat it with respect, it can last a lifetime.
Motorized Trailer Dolly
If you want to make moving your 5th wheel trailer as easy as possible, there is no better way to do it than to utilize a motorized trailer dolly.
This tool does all of the work for you. All you have to do is learn the basic controls and you can maneuver your 5th wheel effortlessly. Much like the hand crank trailer dollies, you want to find a motorized product that is going to be compatible with your 5th wheel.
Some options can only support smaller 5th wheels - whereas heavy-duty ones like this model are designed to handle as much as 18,000lbs, which is enough to pretty much support any large-size RV on the market.
One of the biggest downsides to buying a motorized trailer dolly is that they can be very expensive - especially if you buy a high-end option that can support a lot of weight. You may be able to find a service that rents out motorized trailer dollies in your area, which is worth considering if you only need to move your 5th wheel once or twice.
When you need to move a 5th wheel without a truck, the most reliable way to approach this is to hire a transportation company. This is going to be the best method for anyone that needs to move their vehicle long distances.
There are a ton of great transportation companies around the country that specialize in moving RVs from place to place, which includes large-size campers like 5th wheels. These are some of the well-known transportation companies that you should consider:
Each RV transportation company is different and I would highly recommend researching multiple options to find which one best suits your needs. Be sure to carefully read the moving conditions that the company offers so that they are in line with your standards. Not all transportation companies offer insurance or coverage for your vehicle, which is something that you definitely want when your 5th wheel is being moved over long distances.
In addition, get quotes from every transportation company that you reach out to. The price per mile and weight of your vehicle can fluctuate and you can save yourself a lot of money by being selective.
If you are on the market for buying a 5th wheel and you don’t have a truck to bring the camper back to your home, you are probably wondering how you can move the vehicle without getting a transport company involved.
You will be delighted to know that most RV dealers will offer dealer transport to their customers so that vehicles can be safely moved over to the property. This is a great way of getting your brand new 5th wheel from the dealer to your driveway without having to do any of the work yourself or hiring another organization.
Dealer transport may be priced differently depending on the company that you bought your 5th wheel from. However, some dealers may even throw in complimentary transport with your purchase. If this is important to you, be sure to ask about it before you make your purchase.
It is a common misconception that you can only move a 5th wheel camper with a truck. While there are plenty of methods that you can utilize, as we have just covered, there are also a lot of alternative cars that are capable of moving a 5th wheel such as:
Although minivans and SUVs may not be quite as rugged as most of the trucks on the market, these vehicles are designed with quite a bit of power and some of them can even handle large-sized 5th wheels.
When determining if an alternative vehicle can tow your 5th wheel, you need to confirm the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). Once you find out these specs, compare them with the weight of your 5th wheel to see if the car can handle it.
Most SUVs and minivans will be able to tow a travel trailer and even a lot of the 5th wheels on the market. You may already own an alternative vehicle that can tow your 5th wheel, which makes moving the camper very easy. However, if you do not own an SUV or minivan, you can always try reaching out to anyone you might know who does - or you can always rent one.
About THE AUTHOR
Hi, my name is Anthony, and RVs are what I'm passionate about. I bought my first RV when I was 21, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll guide you on how they work, how they can be used in different environments, and how they fit into our everyday lives.Read More About Anthony Day