New RVer asks: Do I need a special tailgate for my 5th wheel?

New RVer asks: Do I need a special tailgate for my 5th wheel?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

We think fifth wheel trailers are great: Towing stability, excellent storage, and so livable. We towed our fiver up and down around the US with nary a complaint. But if you’re new to “fivers,” you may wonder–do I need that special “V” slotted tailgate on my truck?

fifht wheel tailgateThere are pros and cons to the special fifth wheel gates. We’ve RV’d with both a V gate and a standard gate and find that while the V gate makes it easier to hitch up–no need to lower the gate–it’s not all that critical. Detractors say that the V gates may actually reduce fuel economy, particularly when driving the truck solo, as truck manufacturers take tail gates into account when designing in aerodynamic factors. From our own experience we can’t say whether that’s true or not.

We will say from experience that forgetting to open the factory tailgate when unhitching can lead to no small amount of embarrassment and financial pain.

photo: avgjoejohn316 on wikimedia.org

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