Fifth Wheelin'
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Early fiver

I noticed this fifth wheel parked at an RV park in my area. It caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First is the size - this thing was probably not much over 16' long. It looked a lot smaller parked right next to a 35' Montana. Also, check out the "bedroom," if you could call it that. It's more like the crawl-in sleeping area of a Class C. I've been doing a little research on fifth wheel history and that's how the first fivers were built in the late 60's and early 70's. Real bedrooms with raised roofs & lowered floors came a few years later. Notice the "landing gear" too. They are actually travel trailer jacks. This unit really looks like a truck camper on two axles. No slide out, no roof-mounted AC unit, a tiny exterior storage area - it kind of dramatizes how far fivers have come in 35 years.


  • I've seen two of these Taurus and they were both junk. Lousy front seals.
    I use a 20' Bigfoot 5'er to travel around the Wyoming area in the summer and it has a crawl up bed with two hydralic jacks on the front, but is fully contained.

    By Anonymous noname46, at 2:32 PM  

  • MMMMMM! Let's see, about a 1970 model? It looks as if it is still being used. 36 years is a long time for junk and I bet that it is paid for. Just my observation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 PM  

  • Looks like our first fiver -- all of 17 feet long with a crawl-in bed and a wet bath. We towed it with an F150 short box king cab being very, very careful on sharp turns. It was fun and it was paid for. Twenty years later we use a diesel pusher -- it's fun but not paid for yet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 PM  

  • Not much difference than the old home in the neighborhood when it gets over run with the new mega-mansions!
    I'll bet the owner has enough stuff for the size of the rig and doesn't miss much of the stuff we all carry in our 30+ ft. fifth wheels.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:33 AM  

  • We had one like this and it was in great condition. We went from Calif to Florida in it. It was small but very well contained. It had a very comfortable mattress. My husband is 6'7" tall and he would hit his head on the air conditioner. We sold it for more then we bought it for and now have an older 1983 Alpenlite that is like new. 24' long. We are going in Dec to Anahiem, then to Arizona and bum around for awhile.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 PM  

  • I actually lived in this exact model this summer; not really by choice but it was offered to me by the cg I was working at when my relationship was ending. It actually was not bad for what it was, and the sleeping area was more spacious than in my class C. There were some leaks though, but all in all I can't complain for something 30+ years old.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:16 PM  

  • Looks a lot like our 1984 24foot Alpenlite. It has individual crank up front jacks that come off and either store in the TV or sideays on their mounts.(no wheels though) The bedroom at the front end is like sleeping in a coffin. I sleep with my head to the rear of the trailer to avoid feeling closed in. If you want a great old trailer that lasts...Alpenlite all the way. Ours is as solid as my home is and is 23 years old. We paid a measly $2500.00 and everything It's huge and a huge step up compared to our 88 coleman tent trailer. Our first trip in it is one month away. We can't wait!

    By Blogger Rick, at 2:07 AM  

  • had a 79 Prowler much like this one, wife myself and son lived in that trlr for 3 years, winter too, in Canada. Just got out of it about 3 years ago.

    We get by in a 38 footer triple slide triple axle now.

    We had lots of fun in that old trailer.

    By Blogger coal, at 5:44 PM  

  • Good observation about the resemblance to a truck camper. We visited the Motorhome Hall of Fame near Elkhart, IN last year and learned that fifth wheels got their name from truck camper rear extensions that needed to be supported by a, well, fifth wheel. It was a short jump to the present design.

    By Anonymous Ken, at 4:42 AM  

  • My 1st fifth wheel was an 86 Taurus Model 24 ft long, best Rv I ever had. Looked just like this one, Loved the layout. Towed it with a 88 STX Ford Ranger 4x4 2.9 Lt. We had 4 long vacations to South Caralina 2000 Miles from home. I got grat millage with a 90 Chev 6.2L Diesel,So I traded up for a 34ft Same layout 1 Slide. My Ford 4x4 F250 now does the same millage I got with the Ranger.

    By Anonymous Laurent, NB Canada, at 12:28 PM  

  • We had one back in 1991. All of 17 feet long. It was our first and it was used and cheap, but it gopt the job done for short trips. crawl in bed and a wet bath. We used it for 2 years and then got a 25 foot Shadow Cruiser in 1993 new from the original owners of Shadow Cruiser, -- when they were good. That's now being used by the kids.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:02 AM  

  • Wish they would still make these. We were looking for one about 5 years ago... this is just the size we wanted. not too difficult to handle. Instead we got a Class B.

    By Blogger Pat, at 4:21 PM  

  • We have a 97 terry that's 21 ft long. I pull it with a 2001 Dodge half ton with a 318 engine. My wife and I down sized from a 31 ft class c and are very happy with this fiver.

    Have traveled from California to Bransen and on to Dallas Tx with no problems. Would like to fine a newer unit about the same size,but they aren't made any more..

    Tony K

    By Anonymous Tony Kuret, at 7:25 AM  

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