Buying a 5th wheel

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by fishermanrus, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. fishermanrus

    fishermanrus Deleted User

    Hi

    I am new to all this and I was wondering where is a good place to buy a 5th wheel unit from that can be pulled behind a European or Jap Pick-up and does it have to be 7.5 ft wide or can you have an 8 ft one? what are the regulations????
     
  2. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    There a few places in the Uk as far as i know and i think there is 1 manufacturer (the 5th wheel company) that actually manufactures here in the UK.

    Most are USA imports that are converted to UK electrics.

    The main issue is not the 5er but the tow vehicle unless you are buying a very small uk made 5er i would give very serious thought to the idea of buying a Jap/Euro pickup. Anything over 27ish feet long or with a slide out is going to seriously test a non USA pickup.

    Im sure loads of folks on here are going to jump onboard any minute telling you how there Nissan Nivara tows a 30 foot 5er with no problems but the simple fact is they Jap/Euro trucks were never built to tow such a large heavy trailer, yes you can beef up the suspension, and chip the engines and uprate the brakes etc etc etc but why not just buy the right vehicle for the job in the 1st place??:Doh:

    USA pickups have been towing 5ers for over 30 years, they are built for the job on heavy duty chassis which large engines, heavy duty transmissions and brakes. Yes they use a bit more fuel but at least you will be able to get up a hill without thrashing the living crap out of it and you KNOW its fit for the job.:thumb:

    I have had a couple of Jap pickups so can speak from experience, they are not up to the job of towing a big heavy trailer like a 5er, the ones i had were not up to the job of towing a not so heavy trailer which is why i now drive a USA pickup (even though i dont have a 5er!!!) the Jap/Euro truck look nice with all the chrome bling and the big wheels and roll over bars but look beyond that and look beyond the claims of the UK 5er suppliers and ask yourself why dont you see Jap/Euro pickups towing 5ers in the USA which is the Holy Grail of 5er life.:BigGrin::Wink:

    Id also go to the USA to buy a 5er, you will save a fortune and get a much better choice with a much better deal, converting to UK specs is not that hard.:thumb:
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi,, complex quetion very hard to answer quickly. do you want a large 5er. if you do go either yank or small truck. the problem is weight of truck ,its load capacity, and its train weight. i now use a mitsubishi 6.3 ton canter as a truck its weight is under 3000 kg .original train wht 9600kg (down plated voluntary to 8.250kg. )lots of spare weight to play with. my thoughts have always been you need about a 5-6 ton truck to do the job. but iveco use their daily 3.5 chassis cab and pull incredible weights acording to there info. i wanted something with a bigger engine ,it was a choice of mitzy or isuzi . i bought a mitzy from the local isuzi dealer. 4litre 140bhp . 16-18 mpg on a recent trip in spain /maroc. its a double cab 7 seater truck only revs to 3000 so not screaming at all. i do also like the yank pickups but have heard of problems with the auto,s as the trailers brake the truck. no engine brake on an auto. i use exhaust brake most of time hopefully saving wear n tear. its all a matter of choice make a good one,it can be expensive else .
     
  4. tink

    tink Read Only Funster

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    I agree with both Dazer & Allan two different schools of thought, but both say the same thing you need the vehicle built for the job. I have a 26' sun valley (Niche Marketing,Manby,Lincolnshire.01507 327172.Greg or Peter) that I pull with a L200,it struggles to keep pace with traffic on hills & stop/start urban traffic,I am in the process of sorting a dbl cab transit to see how that goes like Allan I prefer a truck derived vehicle (although Allan thinks the Transit may still not big enough):Eeek:
     
  5. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    It is not maybe as difficult as it first seems.
    I assume that you have read all the previous threads on here so you have either
    a) gleaned a lot of information or
    b) got thoroughly confused

    :BigGrin::BigGrin:

    So, before embarking on your search for a 5'er it may be wise to stop and ask yourself a few questions, for example.......
    What type of holidaying do you intend doing?
    Do you want to full time in it?
    Will you upgrade to a larger unit possibly in the future?

    These are all factors that will influence your choice..............these few questions are by no mean definitive, I am sure you will be able to list your own.

    Once you can answer these questions then you will have a better idea on what to look for/what is important to you.

    No-one can answer the questions except you.........what the good people on here can do is guide you once you know where you want to go.

    Keep us posted and happy hunting

    Rob
     
  6. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    Take a look here

    NTTA - Trailer Law - Trailer Maximum Dimensions
     
  7. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    I might be wrong here but the info contained in this link is for trailers (eg caravans, boat trailers, box trailers etc etc) NOT 5th wheels which im sure are treated very differently. The main difference is that a trailer is towed whilst a 5er is carried and towed.

    VWALAN seems to know his stuff about this so maybe he can comment:thumb:
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi width 2.3 mtr if tow unit is under 3.5ton.. 2,55mtr if over3.5 could be 2.6 if its a refrigerator..there is no height limit since1995. lengthcould be upto16.5mtr if trailer built before may 1983.unless used internationaly. others 12.2mtr. also comes back to if its an artic, to tow the bigger trailers you must have a unit over 3.5 tons gvw. the other requirment is that it is an articulated semi trailer , most 5ers are not articulated in the construction n use definitions as they dont super impose at least 20%of trailer weight on to tow unit. they only use it as a hitch so cantuse the full benefit of a true artic.
     
  9. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    I agree entirely with what you state Dazzer....................but.................and is there not always a but, when I spoke to Ministry of Transport chap not 6 months ago he was only really interested in whether the "unit" was commercial or private.
    When he learnt that it was private the NTTA link is the one that he directed me to. Apparently as far as the DofT or whatever it is called now there is only a distinction on Trailers if they are commercial. Private is a totally different scenario.

    Is this another case of left and right not knowing what eachother are doing?

    If so, what hope is there for us if the Ministries cannot agree on common criteria!!!

    Rob
     
  10. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    A lot of really good info. put forward here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    For what it's worth, I think that (unless you already have the pick-up) you should decide on the size, layout AND WEIGHT of the 5er you would like, also whether or not you will be fulltiming, generally speaking an American 5er is considered to carry 20% of its weight on the pin, don't forget to add this weight (and the 5th wheel hitch) to the actual weight on the truck.
    Use the internet and shows to get a better idea of what is available, as I have said before, I like vwallen's tow truck, but I would have to be convinced that camp sites would welcome a "truck".
    If you do decide to go for a petrol Yank truck don't forget to add the cost and weight of gas set-up (if fitted),
    Best of luck with your search,
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi sundowner. i dont think american 5ers put 20% on the pin maybe some do,as for private use weights need to be adeared to. any living van ie. 5er if over 3,500kg gvw should be mot,ed in uk . dvla are aware many are not and have told me that they will be making moves to check more soon. there are important issues regarding pickups with a gvw under 3,500 as you have remarked ..truck with 5er hitch +fuel+people +pin wght+trailer wght. most under 3.5 cant have a big enough carrying cap. or train wght. whats the train wght of an f150 yank . how heavy is the pickup if its a half ton pickup would have to be a small trailer or the pickup could be overloaded. i lnow it will still pull my rig hitched to it as well !
     
  12. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    These are the stats for my F150 Lightning, they are direct from Ford in the USA :thumb:

    According to your vehicle type and configuration, your vehicle is a Ford SVT F-150 Lightning Regular Cab (4x2) Flareside with a 5.4L 2V Triton Supercharged Intercooled SOHC SFI V-8 Engine, a 4-Speed Automatic Overdrive Transmission (4R100 HD), a 3.73:1 Limited Slip Rear Axle Ratio, 120” Wheelbase, 18” Tires, is equipped with a Class III Trailer Towing Package, and has a maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 13,500 pounds. The GCWR is the combined maximum weight of your fully loaded truck and trailer. The maximum Loaded Trailer Weight is 8,800 pounds. The maximum Frontal Area of the Trailer is 60 Feet.

    By subtracting the GVW from the GCWR, you can determine a comfortable towing maximum. It is important to remain within this limit and to not exceed the GCWR.

    Hope this helps :thumb:
     
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