When you choose an RV, you have many options to consider. The self-powered motor home is widely popular, but you will see other options including the fifth-wheel trailer. When choosing between a fifth-wheel trailer and a motorhome, the choice will likely come down to personal preference when exploring new locations more than anything, so it is important to know what each option offers, so you can choose what works best for you.
When you buy a motorhome, you have a couple of options for exploring the new locations you visit. You can either drive around the motorhome itself, or you can pull a separate vehicle. If you do pull a separate location, it will likely be a smaller, lightweight vehicle, which will work just fine for running errands, but will not work for exploring rough terrain. A second consideration when pulling a smaller vehicle is that you have to worry about the drivetrain of both vehicles, which doubles the risk of something breaking down. Still, if you just need a vehicle to run into town to get supplies or to go to a movie, then pulling a smaller vehicle with your motorhome should work just fine.
A fifth-wheel is a travel trailer that you pull with a heavy-duty pickup. By pulling your trailer with a pickup, you provide yourself with a heavy-duty vehicle that you can use to explore rough terrain at each new location. Furthermore, if you go down an unfamiliar road and end up having to back up, there is less risk of jackknifing because of how large the trailer is. On the other hand, when you pull a small car behind your motorhome, the tendency of the car to jackknife when you are backing up can make it difficult to maneuver even in a parking lot. So the fifth wheel tends to be more maneuverable. On the other hand, a large truck can be less fuel efficient to drive around then a small car, so you will have to factor in increased fuel costs to your trip budget.
Motorhomes and fifth-wheel trailers have several strengths and weaknesses. When you look at the options for exploring new locations, what it really comes down to is what kind of exploring you want to do. If you simply want to be able to get into town and see what it has to offer, then pulling a car behind your RV is all you really need. On the other hand, if you want to get into the backcountry as well as do some sightseeing around town, then a fifth-wheel is the way to go.