Information Please.

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by old-mo, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    I am thinking of buying a 5th wheeler, about 26/28ft if there is such a size.
    I have had a six wheeled motorhome with a 4 wheeled car trailer that I used to put a Nissan Micra on. Which came out at 42ft long.
    I now tow a 22-23 ft overall caravan behind a Kia Sedona, which I find ok, but I do have a partial disabled son and the amount of space in a caravan is limited. Hence the idea of a 5th wheeler.
    I am not daunted by the size, as I used to be an HGV 1, driver, until I let my license lapse..
    What 5er would you recommend, in the size quoted and having at least one slide out ? and around the 7-6" wide, as I have heard conflicting reports about the legality of some 8ft wide american models. And wheather they would be acceptable on the continent, which is what I am looking to do over the winter months (touring europe) and to get as much use in this country during the summer.
    Weights and train weights would be most appreciated. I have held a normal full car license for nearly 50 yrs.
    Have any of you had dealings with the new Mitsubishi L200 Animal 2,477cc, Automatic, GVW 2910kg,, Kerb weight 1865kg,, max payload 1045kg,, towing capacity braked 2700kg,, unbraked 750kg,, trailer nose weight 115kg,,
    Any infomation and guidance would be gratefully received.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Old Mo. Fifth Wheels are relatively new to the UK but their popularity is growing fast. We've had quite a few 5er owners join of late so your questions will be answered soon I'm sure. Meanwhile welcome to the fun. :thumb:
     
  3. caravaner

    caravaner Read Only Funster

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    Hi Old-Mo.
    i'm also thinking of getting a 5th wheeler, the size of van youre looking for is available from Calder leisure in Scotland web site Britain's Best Fifth Wheel Company - Calder Leisure 5th Wheel
    also Niche marketing in lincolnshire Niche Marketing Campers and fifth wheels.
    These are about 3.5 tons fully laiden, which according the to the Caravan club should be ok for U.K pickup trucks ,they recomend 40 bhp per ton of caravan.
    If you speak to Niche Marketing they will explain the train weight situation.
    One thing that is a worry to me is breakdown cover. I haven't seen any breakdown vehicles with a fifth wheel attachment.
    Most of the units I have seen up to now have three rather awkward steps to get in, this may be a problem. Hope this is of some help.
    Regards, caravaner
     
  4. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    Have you seen this thread re tow vehicles??

    I know your looking at the Warrior but the Navara is a very similar beast.

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/fifth-wheelers/7594-navara-up-job.html

    I still believe that a USA pick up is the only way to go with 5th wheels, European pickups will be right at the very limit of their capability towing a 5er with a slide out.

    Having owned a Navara :Angry: (for 2 weeks before we sent it back in disgust!!!) and now driving a Ford F150 :thumb: I wouldnt consider towing a 5er with anything less.

    Dont forget that the Yanks have been towing 5er for years and have lots of experience in the field. Here in the UK we play at it and UK 5ers are a very very new product.:Eeek:

    You will be able to buy a USA pickup and 5er from the USA for much less than buying a UK built unit and have much more choice.:thumb::Wink:
     
  5. tink

    tink Read Only Funster

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    Hi old-mo I am running a 27' Sun valley from Nich Marketing behind a 98 L200 manual it copes o.k. with it, biggest prob. is the L200 is a bit narrow & you need good towing mirrors to see around the trailer.
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    The RVOC hopes to have a list of 5er owners in the Club book RV Friendly. The intention form the basis of the clubs own 5er recovery club with Members helping each other out. Its early days yet but as more 5th wheelers join the club it may well become very viable.
     
  7. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Thanks to all who have replied,, all very informative,,
    I am going up to the NEC tomorrow and see what is on offer,,
     
  8. algill

    algill Funster

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    Hi Old Mo
    Our fifth wheel is a Jayco Jayflight 27.5 ft. We pull it with a Mitsibishi L200 4 work 54 reg with no problem. (See pic below).

    We love the luxury of all the inside space (1 slide out) and all the extras and comfort we have. Can't get enough of it :thumb:
     
  9. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Hi, "algill", thanks for that,, I think your remarks are what I was hoping for, I rather like the comfort of the L200 and it has a nice bit of leg room and seating comfort for rear passenger/s, Is yours an auto or manual ? and have you been abroad in it yet ?

    Do you have to use extension mirrors ?

    Sorry for all the questions, but if you dont ask, and some dealers will tell you what you want to hear just to get a sale..

    Off to the NEC in an hour so might take the plunge,, :Smile:

    Thanks.
     
  10. derek h

    derek h Read Only Funster

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    Going on with the 5th wheel tow vehicle thing. This is one of the options we are considering post retirement. 4 years 7 months 3 weeks, but who's counting? That is if the bankers leave us any of our savings.
    I doubt if we will have a 5er this side of the pond, so Brit based pick-ups will not be an issue. But, what is getting me in a lather is, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton pick-ups. Everything is quoted in pounds, and I can't do the maths ( or can't be asked ). Help,or some guidance, would be helpful.
    The general opinion in the US is that any tow vehicle under 3500 (?) will be, if not under powered, under braked.
    Any thoughts ?
    Derek
     
  11. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Derek,

    Simple conversion: 1 kg = 2 lbs (approx), or 1 lb = 0.5 kg (approx)

    So, just multiply kg 2 to arrive at lbs, or divide lbs by 2 to arrive at kg.

    (Before anyone jumps on me, I know that 1 lb is actually 0.453 kg, but the approximations are close enough for this purpose).

    The numbers you need to be concerned with are:

    • GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) = MAM (maximum authorized mass), of both the truck and trailer. Alternatively, you can use actual or calculated weights.
    • GCWR (gross combined weight rating) = train weight, of the truck.
    • Towing capacity = GCWR - GVWR.
    • Trailer tongue weight.

    Here's a real live example I gave someone on another forum. It happened to be for a travel trailer (caravan), but the example will work for a fifthwwheel. Just substitute your own numbers. If you have a specific truck (make/model/year) in mind, it's easy to look up the numbers.

    Calculate trailer towing capacity
    by Tom Jones

    Forum member Emmer asked for validation of her towing capacity before leaving on her first trip. Here are the specifications for Emmer's rig (note that much of the information was irrelevant to the calculations):

    Tow Vehicle

    2005, Dodge Durango, 2WD,
    4.7 SOHC Magnum.
    RearAxleRatio: 3.92
    Wheelbase: 119.2 TV_
    GVWR: 6400
    GCWR: 14000
    CurbWeight: 4823
    Class IV Tow package, Reese dual cam sway control hitch assembly rated for 1200 lbs.

    Travel Trailer

    Year: 2006 Coachmen Captiva 265EX
    GVWR: 6158
    DryWeight: 4499
    TongueWeight: 580
    Length: appox 22 ft not expanded; 26.5 ft with rear slide out.

    Here's the response showing the calculations:

    Don't forget to add the weight of people, fuel, stuff and the tongue weight of the trailer to the curb weight of the tow vehicle. Also add the weight of any water, propane and stuff to the weight of the trailer. Our towing experts here also recommend giving yourself a 10% cushion, or 15-20% if towing in the western mountains.

    Taking Emmer's specifications and making some assumptions:

    Tow vehicle

    Curb weight = 4823 lbs
    2 people = 320
    Fuel = 180
    Stuff = 50
    Trailer tongue weight = 580
    Total laden weight = 5953 (vs GVWR = 6400)

    Trailer

    Dry weight = 4499 lbs
    Water = 400
    Propane = 80
    Stuff = 500
    Total weight of trailer = 5479 (vs GVWR = 6158)

    Gross combined weight = 5593 + 5479 - 580 = 10852 (vs GCWR = 14000)

    (don't count the tongue weight twice.)

    It would appear that Emmer's rig is OK and has some headroom for towing in the western mountains.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2008
  12. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Thanks "caravaner" for the above.
    Got back from NEC, had a look at the two 5th wheeler company`s their, ie 5th wheel company and Calder leisure, 5th wheel company`s units are superbly constructed, Calders are far more affordable to me anyway, but as they say you only get what you pay for, which is what I am going to opt for.
    The steps are an issue, I have a two step unit with a grab rail that can be anchored to the ground which I use on my caravan now, so hope this will do, otherwise I will have to get some sort of adaption grab rails made up, but I think this can be overcome.
    The amount of space with the slide out is unbelievable, and will suit us down to the ground. And make camping more pleasurable.
    Thanks for your reply. :thumb:
     
  13. derek h

    derek h Read Only Funster

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    Cheers Tom, Guess I should have come to you in the first place. Font of all knowledge:BigGrin:
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    it really all depends on your driving licence, here in uk if you have a pre 97 car type you can pull up to 8250kg combined weight.i dont know the weights for american trucks, they will pull a house down. with japanese and euro trucks i recomend 5ton minimum, as your truck gross wgt. i use a 6300kg mitsubishi converted to mini artic original train wgt 10600kg[truck n trailer]. now voluntary down plated to 8250kg train . be carefull with some smaller pickups as their train wgt is not high enough for heavy trailers . i chose the mitzy as its about the lightest truck on the market so all its laden wgts give the highest payload . as for going fast it handles the speed limits with ease but you cant go fast pulling 5ers. a 4x4 mitzy canter would be even better .
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    the pics on my profile show my old vw lt50 it worked but was slow. it as been in the sahara n up the atlas mnts.
     
  16. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Derek,

    You're welcome as say in Wales. Glad it helped.

    I learn something new every day, but I'm starting to forget at least as many as I learn. Used to be I could memorize a phone book and folks would hate debating with me because of my ability to recall facts and details. Nowadays I can't remember what I had for breakfast.
     
  17. algill

    algill Funster

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    The L200 is a manual and we use extension mirrors with it. They're the "suck it and see" type which we've been very happy with.

    Not been abroad in it yet but hope to do so one day - 3 years to retirement hopefully. :thumb:
     
  18. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    tom. just wondered as yourprofile says you are in usa do you know the rules on artics or fifth wheelers in usa. people i ask here with american trucks n 5ers dont seem to have train wgts to hand . as some of the big 5ers are well up to 6/7 tonnes you would need a big truck to tow it using uk regs . i know a big yank has same motor as a uk hgv. be interested in drive permit rules.thanks. alan.
     
  19. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Alan, an artic in the true sense, known here as a tractor-trailer, requires a commercial drivers license. When it comes to towing 5th wheel style RVs or travel trailers (aka caravans), the laws vary by state and are somewhat beyond my full comprehension. Here's one site that has made a good attempt at collating trailer towing laws in the USA and Canada. Scroll to the right to see driver license requirements.

    Most, but not all, states recognize a drivers license from another state which might seem illogical.

    I assume, but don't know, that a commercial tractor towing a heavy fifthwheel as a business (e.g. delivering for profit) would require a commercial license. Then you have specifically-designed tractors intended for towing fifthwheels recreationally; They look like commercial tractors until you get up close. I honestly don't know how these are treated when it comes to licenses, but I'll attempt to find out. I don't recall if the one in the attached photo was the commcercial variety or recreational.

    Here's a quote from a colleague who has towed for many years and is quite conversant with California laws:

    Here's a quote from another colleague in Florida who also towed trailers for many years:

    .
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2008
  20. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hello tom thanks for the info. in uk we can have a proper artic upto 8250kg. combined weight. i am at a loss with american wgts etc. i have a good knowledge of uk/ euro rules but i think my head is getting too full of info. keep on trucking thats what i say!:thumb:
     

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