Flagstaff or Surveyor


Active Member

Complete newbie so bear with me :)

Went to see American Caravans Direct today to look at 5th wheels. Came away almost certain I'm going to order a new travel trailer, 29 or 33 ft.

For me, they seem to do what 5th wheels do so can't really split between then other than the towing device. An expensive hitch vs a typical towbar. Need an American pickup truck but no fuss.

Also, I can't split between the Flagstaff and Surveyor models. Both I think are Forest River and seem very well made.

Any opinions or thoughts welcome




It depends what you want to do with it, a 33ft travel trailer & truck will be around 56ft overall length whereas a 33ft 5th wheel & truck will be around 49ft overall. This could make a lot of difference on access to sites if you're going to be travelling around. Forest River make most trailers of both types under various brands, quality is consistent but not always good, it will come down to the after service provided by the dealer. Either way you're going to need a decent truck as you seem to already be aware of. In the scale of things the hitch cost isn't much & shouldn't be a deciding factor, the important thing is that the layout works for your intended use.


We had 3 travel trailers on the site were I work
We rented them out for 3 years before we sold them to seasonal customers.
The most complaints we had were about how cold they get.
I have just sold all three of them as were putting lodges on the park.
Had to move them around a bit
I wouldn’t want to drive one on the road
See if you can take one out before you buy so you know for Sure


Active Member
What age were they? I'm hoping these newer models are well insulated.
Would you even tow a 5th wheel or do you mean the travel trailers are sketchy / too long?


Never owned one so not first experience however,

The tend to have very large overhangs to keep the nose weight down the wheels are generally a long way forward, making manoeuvring interesting, and the limit of a Std uk ball hitch can be very close to the travel trailer weight, reflecting in the build components. If the layout and tow ability suits then you will overcome these and enjoy them

Good luck in whatever you choose.


As shovelheadrob states, a 5th wheel will be shorter when hooked up. In my opinion, 5th wheel also tows very much nicer than a TT, no tail wagging the dog moments. It is down to you which layout suits your needs and lifestyle. There are four season trailers out there. I wouldn't say that one is better than the other.



Active Member
Thanks. Yeah I've seen a few posts / videos of "wagging" but for me the decision won't be particularly on the handling as I'm not going to be doing many miles in one go.
I saw another video who was quite passionate that TTs are better than FWs because of the aero / turbulance factor. When using a closed cab pickup the air flows better and as you can't have a closed cab pickup with FW I do see that benefit.

Quite interesting seeing many differrnt opinions



If you're not going to be towing much why worry about aerodynamics? FWIW I have towed the 5th wheel in 40mph winds, gusting to over 60mph, it's 4 metres high & 11 metres long, with absolutely no issues & the cruise control set at 60mph. I've also towed a regular American racecar trailer (only 28ft though) around Europe using a weight distribution hitch with no issues. The 5th wheel is nicer to tow, but harder to reverse until you get used to the way they turn. The key decision as everyone else will agree is the layout. Also consider if you want to use it without the slides out, some are almost unusable like that.