Is a Fifth Wheel Under 30 Feet Your Ideal RV?

Contributor

Claire Braud

Favorite Trip

Honeymoon Road Trip. We hit 6 National Parks and a few other sites in just under 2 weeks on the road.

Home Base

Phoenix, AZ

Favorite RV

My dream RV is a camper van! They are the perfect size to fit on tight mountain roads while still letting you get everything you need to feel at home.

About Contributor

A Louisiana native turned Arizona desert dweller, Claire Braud has always loved exploring the world’s natural places. Upon moving to Phoenix, she became an avid hiker in the surrounding mountains and takes full advantage of the city’s proximity to the western National Parks. In 2021, Claire and her husband embarked on a honeymoon road trip visiting six national parks and multiple state parks and monuments. When she’s not on the trails, Claire works full-time at a creative agency as a user experience content strategist using storytelling to help her clients better connect with their customers.

Many campgrounds limit the size of the RVs that can fit in their spaces. Some have limits on overall length, creating an advantage for fifth wheel owners whose combined length is shorter than owners of similarly-sized travel trailers. That’s why a fifth wheel under 30 feet may be your ideal RV for fitting into campgrounds with size restrictions. 

Many national and state park campgrounds don’t allow trailers longer than 30 feet, making this length an important mark to consider if visiting those campgrounds is your priority. Fifth wheels are often some of the largest RVs on the road, but this collection of 5th wheels under 30 feet helps you find something your truck can tow with less stress. Let’s explore which might be perfect for you!

What is the Best Fifth Wheel Under 30 Feet?

Our favorite thing about small fifth wheel trailers is the lower barrier for entry for most RVers. Chances are, if you have a standard-sized truck like a Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, or RAM 1500, you have the towing capacity for one of these more compact models. 

Use the Camping World Towing Guide to check your vehicle’s tow limits.

Keystone’s Best 5th Wheel RVs Under 30 Feet

Keystone Cougar 23MLE

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Specs
  • Length: 28’
  • Dry Weight: 7,577 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,323 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6

Favorite Feature: Extra Hauling Power with a 3,000-pound Rated Tow Hitch

You might think a fifth wheel under 30 feet automatically has fewer amenities. This Keystone Cougar fifth wheel proves you wrong. It is the only model on the list with two slide-outs, including one dedicated to increasing wardrobe space. 

Another bonus? A rear accessory hitch with a tow rating of up to 3,000 extra pounds, allowing you to haul gear for extra fun on your adventure. Remember that you may need a truck with a larger payload to use this benefit to its fullest. 

This rear kitchen model has everything you need to feel at home on the road, including a large refrigerator inside and a mini fridge in the outdoor kitchen. The bathroom has a full shower and linen closet, and the bedroom has a queen-sized bed and ample storage. Optional upgrades include swapping theatre seating in place of the tri-fold sleeper couch and swapping in a freestanding table and chairs for the standard booth dinette. 

Keystone Cougar Sport 2400RE

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Specs
  • Length: 28’9”
  • Dry Weight: 7,260 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,700 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

Favorite Feature: Hidden Butler Pantry

This Keystone Cougar Sport offers a similar layout to the previous Cougar model but has a homier feel. This rear entertainment floorplan has an electric fireplace, hidden butler pantry, and pass-through storage underneath. It has plenty of counterspace but boasts an extra flip-up table if you need more meal prep area.

It has one slide for theater seating and a dinette area for mealtime. Though smaller than the Cougar 23MLE, the bathroom and bedroom still have enough space and storage to meet the needs of most adventurers. 

Keystone Arcadia Select 21SRK

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Specs
  • Length: 26’4”
  • Dry Weight: 6,750 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,750 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4

Favorite Feature: Under 7,000-pound Dry Weight

Because it’s the shortest and lightest fifth wheel on the list, the Keystone Arcadia Select 21SRK is ideal for people not as experienced with towing a trailer. It may not have as many bells and whistles as others on this list, but it still has everything you need to feel at home on the road.

This rear kitchen floorplan makes great use of the smaller space, with a countertop that spans its full width. A few steps away, you have plenty of seating with your tri-fold sleeper sofa and dinette. The bedroom has a wardrobe, overhead storage, side tables, and a modestly-sized bathroom with a shower. 

Forest River’s Best Small 5th Wheel RVs

Forest River Sabre 26BBR

Forest River Sabre 26BBR Floorplan
Photo by Forest River
Specs
  • Length: 29’10”
  • Dry Weight: 7,823 pounds 
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,177 pounds 
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6

Favorite Feature: Hideaway Bunk that Doubles as an Office

Most fifth wheels under 30 feet have extra sleeping space for guests or family in the entertainment area. Instead, the Forest River Sabre 26BBR has a hidden bunk area with its own wardrobe. This gives everyone more privacy while doubling as an office space if you want to take a remote job on the road with you. 

This model has a lovely middle kitchen with L-shaped countertops for extra cooking space. The primary bedroom has a large bathroom with a linen closet and wardrobe storage on either side of the queen-size bed. 

Forest River Arctic Wolf 23MLE

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Specs
  • Length: 29’4”
  • Dry Weight: 7,448 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,452 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

Favorite Feature: Residential Kitchen Feel 

Ceiling fans? Check. Ice maker? Check. Two pantries? Check. Are you really on the road if you are living this large? The Forest River Arctic Wolf 23MLE is your ideal small fifth wheel if you do not want to sacrifice comfort while camping. 

The rear kitchen has tons of storage and counterspace, including a large pantry. The middle entertainment area has a trifold sofa, dinette, and overhead ceiling fan to keep you cool on warm evenings. Your bedroom retreat has a spacious bathroom with extra storage above the sink and a queen-sized bed with a full wardrobe.

Forest River Cherokee Black Label 235MBBL

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Specs
  • Length: 29’6”
  • Dry Weight: 7,413 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 2,572 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

Favorite Feature: Highest Cargo Capacity

Load it up. The Forest River Cherokee Black Label 235MBBL has the highest cargo capacity of our featured fifth wheels under 30 feet. This model also comes prepped with washer and dryer hookups, making laundry on the road easy.

This is a rear kitchen layout with a large storage pantry. The entertainment space offers couch seating and a dinette with a fireplace to supplement the LP gas RV furnace. In the bedroom, you get a nice bathroom with extra storage, a queen-size bed, and that bonus laundry area if you choose. 

Jayco’s Best Small Fifth Wheel Trailers

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Jayco Eagle HT 26REC

Specs
  • Length: 29’5”
  • Dry Weight: 8,055 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,695 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6
Jayco Eagle HT 26REC Floorplan
Photo by Jayco

Favorite Feature: Walk-In Pantry

It’s all about the storage in this Jayco Eagle HT fifth wheel. Whether you want to load it down with ingredients to make Michelin-star meals or bring your extra gear, the huge walk-in pantry gives you the storage options you want. 

The Jayco Eagle HT 26REC‘s rear entertainment floorplan features theater seating and a dinette that transitions into a kitchen with all your desired amenities. The bathroom features a modest shower and extra storage in the over-sink medicine cabinet. The bedroom has a full wardrobe and extra wardrobe space on each side of the bed.

Jayco Eagle HT 25RUC

Specs
  • Length: 29’6”
  • Dry Weight: 8,010 pounds
  • Cargo Capacity: 1,490 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
Jayco Eagle HT 25RUC Floorplan
Photo by Jayco

Favorite Feature: Expansive U-Shaped Dinette and Spacious Entertainment Area

Most of the models on this list include a standard four-seat dinette table. The Jayco Eagle HT 25RUC comes with a U-shaped dinette that spans the width of the RV for extra seating and entertaining. You can even position a couple of camp chairs on the front end to host a larger crowd for comfortable indoor dining. 

This model also boasts theater seating and a nice kitchen with plenty of counterspace. The bedroom has plenty of clothing storage, and the bathroom has the amenities to meet your needs on the go. 

Honorable Mentions for the Best Fifth Wheel Under 30 Feet

These additional models narrowly missed our top list because you won’t find as many in stock at nationwide Camping World dealerships. But they’re worthy of comparing to the models listed above: 

Why Choose a Fifth Wheel Under 30 Feet?

Alliance Avenue fifth wheel under 30 feet in wooded campground
Photo by Camping World

A fifth wheel under 30 feet might be your ideal RV for many reasons. Evaluate how you want to travel, your needs, and what you feel comfortable hauling as determining factors when you shop. These are a few notable benefits of a small 5th wheel trailer:

“Detachable” Home Base

Fifth wheels have more freedom than motorized RVs. Unhook them and leave them behind while you take your truck to nearby trails or activities. You won’t have to worry about packing everything and battening down the hatches until it’s time to pull out of your campsite. 

Larger Campground Selection

Having a shorter fifth wheel opens up your options for campgrounds. Longer RVs need campgrounds with larger sites, taking away access to many state and national park sites. Remember that some campsites have limitations for combined length, meaning you’ll need to factor your truck into the equation. 

Better Maneuverability

The shorter your RV, the easier it is to maneuver. From backing into campsites to navigating winding mountain roads, you have an advantage in a smaller RV than those with extra length. Remember that there will still be some roads and passes that are not meant for you, even in a smaller fifth wheel. Always do your research before planning your route. Learn more about RV road rules and restrictions.

Fifth Wheels versus Travel Trailers

Both RV options allow you to leave your campsite in your personal vehicle. Fifth wheels generally give you more internal space to work with by utilizing the over-the-bed space of your truck. They also provide better turn radius and maneuverability than travel trailers. 

Where travel trailers win is in price, typically coming in lower than fifth wheel options. For more on the similarities and differences, check out our full article comparing fifth wheels and travel trailers.

FAQs About Small Fifth Wheel Trailers

Couple cooking a meal outside their Jayco Eagle HT fifth wheel under 30 feet
Photo by Camping World

Still have questions about fifth wheels? We’ve got you covered. 

What size truck do you need to pull a 30-foot fifth wheel?

Some half-ton trucks have the towing capacity to pull a fifth wheel, but you need to pay attention to two things when shopping: your payload capacity and towing capacity. To check that your truck has what it takes to pull a specific fifth wheel, use our Towing Capacity Calculator

Who makes the shortest 5th-wheel RV?

The smallest fifth wheel RV currently on the market is the Escape 5.0, coming in at just over 21 feet. 

Can a 1500 truck pull a 5th-wheel camper?

Yes! But you’ll want to check your truck’s towing and payload capacity with our Towing Capacity Calculator

What size 5th wheel can a ½-ton truck pull?

The smaller the fifth wheel, the better for towing with a ½-ton truck. Some fifth wheels under 30 feet can be towed by half-ton trucks. Anything longer, and you will want to swap your half-ton for a ¾-ton or above. 


A fifth wheel under 30 feet is a great entry-level option for truck owners. With a lower required towing capacity, these RVs are a great alternative to travel trailers and motorized RVs. Explore more information about fifth wheels to find your perfect model: 

What’s your favorite fifth wheel RV, and what questions would you like us to answer next? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Comment (2)
  • DanJ says:

    Thanks!
    We have a 2010 Keystone Copper Canyon. Tow vehicle is 2006 Super Duty 6.0 Long bed. I like this combo for tow-ability, weight, and comfort for two. I would like to upgrade but find the units over 30′ restrictive to our needs. Your article opens up a new arena for us. Thanks!

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