The Difference Between Grand Design Reflection Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels

Do you love the top-notch quality, excellent customer support, and features of the Grand Design Reflection but aren’t sure if you want a Reflection travel trailer or a Reflection fifth wheel? Both types of Reflection towable RVs have great features but are definitely different and cater to different RV needs. 

If you’re having difficulty sorting through the differences between a Reflection travel trailer and a fifth wheel, don’t worry, we’ve got you! Bish’s RV helps RVers all over the country choose their perfect campers every day; we have the experience needed to help you find the RV you need.

In this article, we will share the pros, cons, and many benefits of Grand Design Reflection travel trailers and fifth wheels so you can decide for yourself which type is best for you.

What is the Grand Design Reflection?

Most brands don’t have travel trailers and fifth wheels. Grand Design Reflection is one of the few brands to offer both. Both Reflection fifth wheels and travel trailers combine all the top camping features and layouts in a camper that is easy to tow. Reflections are some of the most sought-after RVs in the industry because of their top-notch quality and incredible customer service. If you’re interested, you can learn more here about how Grand Design RVs are different from other RVs.

Travel Trailer vs Fifth Wheel: What’s the Difference?

What is a Travel Trailer?

Travel trailers, also known as pull-behind trailers or bumper-pole trailers, are the most popular type of RV and are used mostly for weekend or short camping trips. 

You pull a travel trailer behind you by attaching it to a hitch on the back of your truck. They range anywhere from 12 to 35 feet long. 

What is a Fifth Wheel?

Fifth wheel RVs attach to your truck with a hitch in your truck bed. They are larger campers than most pull-behind travel trailers, but easier to pull because of the way the hitch sits in your truck bed.

Fifth wheels are more spacious than the typical travel trailer. They also usually include more storage space, better appliances, higher ceilings, and larger tank capacities. 

Most of the higher-end fifth wheels can be used to live full-time or to camp for extended periods of time. Fifth wheels are usually more expensive than travel trailers, not only in camper price but the cost of ownership as well. 

To learn about the actual cost of RV ownership, click here

Reflection Travel Trailer vs Reflection Fifth Wheel

Reflection travel trailers are larger travel trailers that have floor plans and features like what you’d expect in a fifth wheel. 

The typical travel trailer is generally around 25-30 feet long, where the Reflection travel trailer starts at 33 feet long. The Reflection line also features an impressive 7-foot ceiling allowing taller folks to camp without needing to bend over (unless you’re 7 feet tall or above, of course. Sorry Shaq!) 

Because Reflection travel trailers are larger than the typical travel trailer, they make great destination trailers. Destination trailers are campers that you can park at a campsite year-round to visit whenever you feel like camping. 

A destination trailer is a great option (especially for older folks) because it eliminates the hassles of loading up the trailer, hooking it up to your truck, getting the trailer level, etc. If you’re considering this you may prefer the Reflection travel trailer over a fifth wheel because you’ll pay less and, with the Reflection, you’ll still get extra space and added luxuries normally found in a fifth wheel.

A Reflection travel trailer will also cost less than a fifth wheel, even with similar size and features, because a fifth wheel requires more materials to build the hitch. If you’re keeping the trailer parked long-term, and don’t need added towing ease, you can save money with the travel trailer. 

The Reflection fifth wheel is Grand Design’s most basic fifth wheel RV available for sale. These fifth wheels were designed specifically for those looking for a higher-end fifth wheel without stepping into the luxury price range of $100,000+. 

Reflection fifth wheels are some of the easiest to pull. Their turning point swivel pin box allows you to turn a full 90 degrees with your camper hitched! 

Reflections are known for being easy to pull while also having excellent build quality. These factors naturally mean the Reflection 5th wheel line is one of the most popular products made by Grand Design.

The Difference Between Reflection and Reflection 150 Series

The Reflection 150 Series is Grand Design’s lighter, (usually) shorter fifth wheel camper. These are generally made to be towed by a half-ton truck and come with fewer features than the typical Reflection fifth wheel. 

Most of the time, Reflection 150s are smaller in length, only have one slide (can come with two slides but are only found on the 295RL), and are lighter than a regular Reflection fifth wheel. If you don’t want to upgrade to a larger truck, you may consider the 150 series.

What are the Benefits of a Reflection Travel Trailer?

  • Lightweight
  • Less expensive
  • Less expensive to store
  • Smaller, allowing easier access to more RV parks/campgrounds
  • Variety of styles

What are the Benefits of a Reflection Fifth Wheel?

  • Higher ceilings
  • More space
  • More storage room
  • Larger Floorplans = Feel more like home
  • High-quality middle price range fifth wheel
  • Easier to tow

What Are Some Disadvantages of a Reflection Travel Trailer?

  • Smaller size (can feel cramped at times)
  • Less storage
  • Less stable towing

What Are Some Disadvantages of a Reflection Fifth Wheel?

  • Requires a bigger truck
  • More expensive
  • The bigger size can limit camping options
  • More expensive to store and to park at RV campsites

Still Unsure Which is Better for You? Check out this video from Josh the RV Nerd who explains the differences and pros and cons of travel trailers and fifth wheels!

What Does a Grand Design Reflection Cost?

Cost of New Grand Design Reflection:

A new Reflection travel trailer can cost from $46,000 to $86,000 depending on your floor plan, the options you select, year the RV was made, and where you buy your trailer. 

A new Reflection fifth wheel is between $49,000 to $110,000 depending on your floor plan, the options you select, year the RV was made, and where you buy your trailer. 

A new Reflection will be listed at its MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Grand Design only allows dealers to advertise MSRP. Dealerships can often offer you a price below MSRP for your new Reflection, but they can only provide you with that price if you contact them.

Cost of Used Grand Design Reflection:

A used Reflection travel trailer costs about $20,000 – $65,000 depending on its age, condition, and features. 

A used Reflection fifth wheel is more expensive and runs about $25,000 – $100,000 depending on its age, condition, and features. 

If you buy a used Reflection, it will usually be significantly less expensive than what the original owner paid for it. 

If you opt to buy your Reflection from a private seller you run the risk of not knowing the condition of the RV, but you could potentially purchase it for less than you would at a dealership. If you buy through a dealership, you may spend more, but the dealer will usually inspect and service the RV to ensure it’s ready for camping. 

If you do decide to buy from a dealership, ask how they prepare the used RVs they sell. At Bish’s RV we have a certified technician complete a full inspection of our used campers. We will either fix problems that are “camp-critical,” meaning essential parts that need to be fixed for a camper to safely go camping or, if there are other repairs that need to be made that are not worth the value they would bring to the camper, then we don’t fix these issues and inform our customers that the camper is an “as-is” unit. 

Other dealerships may have similar processes, but, when you’re shopping around, ask each one to find out specifics.

Reflection Travel Trailer Features

  • Goodyear Endurance Tires rated safe up to 80 mph.
  • Tankless, on-demand water heater
  • 50 Amp solar charge controller and inverter prep
  • 180-Watt solar panel w/ 50 amp solar charge controller and inverter
  • 12V fridge
  • Universal docking station
  • Laminated sidewalls w/ superior construction (link to article)
  • Unobstructed passthrough
  • 7 ft ceilings
  • Washer/Dryer Prep
  • Ductless “evenflow” heating system
  • USB charging stations

Each Reflection is also built using Grand Design’s superb construction processes. Click to learn more information about Grand Design’s construction.

Reflection Fifth Wheel Features

In a Reflection fifth wheel, you’re going to get all the same features you will find in a Reflection travel trailer, but with a few extras.

  • Features Similar to a Reflection Travel Trailer
    • Goodyear Endurance Tires rated safe up to 80 mph.
    • Tankless water heater
    • 50 Amp solar charge controller and inverter prep
    • 180 Watt or 370 Watt solar panel(s)
    • 12V fridge (10 cu or 16 cu ft)
    • Universal docking station
    • Laminated sidewalls w/ superior construction (link to article)
    • Unobstructed passthrough
    • 7 ft ceilings
    • Washer/Dryer Prep
    • Ductless “evenflow” heating system
    • USB/USB-C charging stations
  • Added Features in the Reflection 5th Wheel 
    • Receiver hitch upgrade
      • 3,000lb capacity w 300lb tongue capacity
    • Morryde Suspension System
      • Smoother towing, improved towability
    • Turning Point Swivel Pin Box 
      • Makes towing a Grand Design smoother and easier than other fifth wheels.
      • Allows for 90 degree turns with your camper attached to your truck.
    • Winegard 360 Antenna w/ WIFI prep
      • All in one solution for internet, tv, and FM signal needs
    • Axistep
      • These rotating stairs help keep leaves and other debris out of your camper.
      • Easy to detach to allow for easy access when access is tight.
  • Most camper stairs are not detachable and require a lot of space to open.

2023 Grand Design Reflection Floorplans

Grand Design Reflection Travel Trailers

Grand Design Reflection Fifth Wheels

Above are links to see the units we have in stock at Bish’s RV. If you’re interested in one of these models, contact our outfitters to learn Bish’s best price (on any new or used RV).

Before you read this article, you might not have been sure if a Grand Design Reflection fifth wheel or a travel trailer was a better fit for you. Now that you know the pros and cons of Reflection travel trailers and fifth wheels, as well as the differences and benefits of both types of Grand Design Reflections, you can determine which is better for you, depending on how you plan to use your RV.

If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment to see a Grand Design Reflection travel trailer or fifth wheel in person, feel free to reach out. At Bish’s RV we’d love to help you get into your RV and out on the road making memories!

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