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Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by Wheelie, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Wheelie

    Wheelie Read Only Funster

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    Hi All
    My wife and i are considering buying a 5th wheeler, i have read lots of articles and think that we are pretty much convinced that this is the way to go. Has anyone had trouble getting on to campsites and how do people find towing these beasts. We are going to test drive a unit 3/10/09 as the final part of our quest. Any advice welcome.

    Thanks

    Neil and Jan :Smile:
     
  2. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Keep us posted Neil and Jan

    We're also looking at the 5th wheeler for the future.:thumb:
     
  3. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Hi Neil and Jan, we have a growing number of 5er owners joining us so I am sure you will be in good company. Meanwhile welcome to the fun:thumb:
     
  4. Ant&Debs

    Ant&Debs Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    Good Luck with test drive, Debbie also went for a test drive in the GMC Sierra Pickup so that she would feel happy driving such a large vehicle. It took 5 days just to get smile off her face:Rofl1:. Cant give info regarding access to campsites as our 5ver has just left the factory in the states and awaiting shipping. We also invested in the Big Pitch Guide and use other publications along side google earth to check out places, Ready to start our adventures in Nov.

    We spent many months looking into which type of 5ver we wanted.

    Good Luck Hunting.:thumb:

    Ant&Debs
     
  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hello n welcome. i dont use campsites very much,but i have found alot in uk dont like the big campers rv,s n 5ers . if they take rv,s they dont mind 5ers etc. have had mine 10 yrs now think they are the ultimate camper as there is no need to pull a toad. a big camper +aframe or trailer does not make sense. i do have a small mazda bongo to use in uk in the summer as here in cornwall i,d never get on most sites and space wild camping is a premium. in the winter i visit spain ,morocco and portugal. never use campsites but dont think there is a problem there ,i see lots. i refuse to spend 70 or more quid a week to park the truck. could be about 18oo quid in 6 months. cant affofd it. also most campsites get very overcrowded at times. have fun make the right decision ,do lots home work. mine is a proper little truck and trailer converted its 23 yr old and i hope it will go for alot more years. (i have changed the unit).pm me if you need more .cheers alan.
     
  6. Jackomet

    Jackomet Read Only Funster

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    Our 5er

    Hi N&J
    We have a Kountrylite 26RK being pulled by a Navara. We do not camp in UK so if that is your main aim, cannot comment.
    In the last year travelled through France & Spain, back again in October for 6 months.
    After about a week or so of 100% nerves a-fraying you just get the hang of it all, parking, reversing and how to drive without hitting anything.
    Couple of tips:- never use full lock and watch the height.
    Also, carry an empty fuel can, somestimes you cannot actually get to the pump or out of the gas station, so rather than unhitch, fill the can.
    Enjoy
    JK
    Swinhoe's 5th Wheel Euro tour
     
  7. Jackomet

    Jackomet Read Only Funster

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    5er hitching procedure

    From blog, may help
    "Decided to move the Mothership a few feet across the plot; a). Because it would be straight, not straight due to tosser of a German (see earlier post), b). So that we will be able to “liberate the awning” and c). So that we may be able to do something to ameliorate the slope of the ground.

    So we waited until no one was looking (see why further on) and began the magical process of “hitching up”.

    The idea is to reverse the pickup to the 5th wheel hitch receiver (the bit with the slot/hole attached to the back of the pickup, locates into the “hitch” on the front of the 5er otherwise known as “The Mothership”.
    Now the hitch slot is about 4” wide and the hitch is cylindrical piece of metal 3” in diameter, 4” long with a 1/4” collar at the bottom, hanging from the front of the Mothership on a very stout arm.
    [​IMG]

    Not a lot of room for error there. Also the Navara pickup is an auto, so no nice slipping the clutch either. Another “also” is that the height is critical; it is adjusted by raising or lowering the Mothership via two electrically driven “landing legs” at the front. Too high, no engagement, too low you biff the Mothership back a bit. So it has to be set so as to lift as it couples.

    Well if you are on a downward slope and you get it wrong, wave goodbye to your 5th wheel.

    Check list before hitching

    1 Disconnect mains cable
    2 Remove slideout supports
    3 Clear inside (anything that can fall and break WILL fall and break) and retract slideout
    4 Place bricks behind rear wheels on 5er (if on a downward slope)
    5 Lift in steps
    6 Detach any clothes lines, bikes/people leaning against etc
    7 Remove lock and slide out looking pin on 5er hitch receiver
    8 Drop tail gate
    9 Connect electric cables and breakaway cable to pickup.
    10 Go back for car keys, in the drawer “covered up “ by the now “in” slideout
    11 Slideout out, get keys, slideout in
    12 Fall out of door because you forgot you did not get the steps out.
    13 Begin the process by extending the “legs” and guessing the right height (can take the odd minute or so)
    14 Start car and open all windows so that the yelling can start

    Then hitch up, yeah right!
    Uneven ground does not help. So you are reversing a 2 ton pickup into a 3.5 ton 5th wheel aiming a 3” piece of metal at a 4” slot approximately 42” off the ground and you can’t see all of it out of the rear window (which is heavily tinted).
    The whole shooting mass costs more than £60k.

    Piece of piss really. By the way, reversing cameras are a no go as they are usually wide angle and like it says on some side mirrors (i.e. Jurassic Park) “objects may appear slightly bigger than they are”, so no help there then.

    Left, left, no, no your other left, left, left, RIGHT! RIGHT! STOP!
    Go back stupid! I MEAN FORWARD! FORWARD!
    Right slow, slow, left, er I mean right, TOO FAST! STOPPPPPPPPP!

    All the time the good wife has been standing at side of the pickup, holding the locking pin as far out as possible to give “maximum slot width” (don’t ask)

    GO FORWARD YOU BRAINLESS NIT WIT, now back, back, MY TOES! MY BLOODY TOESSSSS…..!! FORWARD!!!!!!

    “You’re bloody useless you are, you know”, “do you want a go? Umm I somehow thought so, right then let’s try again”

    By the way, Tricia has never driven on “the wrong side”, as she puts it, ever in her life. Opps sorry, once in Portugal. In a Fiat rental, on a country road. Within seconds of taking the wheel she very nearly drove straight into front of an oncoming HGV “on the wrong side of the road!” I was pretty OK but the kids had counselling for months afterward.

    So the very thought of “her indoors” driving a 17’ pickup with a 30’ 5th wheel hanging on the back, weighing 5 tons or so, on the “other” side of the road barely bears thinking about.

    You also get someone, who has never even seen a pickup, trailer combination, turn up and start “left hand down man, left hand down!”
    What the hell is that suppose to mean? Left hand down my what? My trousers, My socks….? Is he some kind of Caravan Club pervert?

    So on and on until, usually by sheer luck and 30 minutes later, “click”.

    That particular noise, no it’s not a “noise”, it’s an anthem, a call, a “hello” from an old friend, a climax a……wait a minute lets not get carried away,

    Anyway this is why we would rather hitch up without an audience.

    Of course reversing this monster is also a pop if you have finally figured out that to go left you go right, right, you go left, NEVER EVER use full lock and try not to let the Mothership bump into the pickup cabin on a turn.

    By this time I had forgotten why we had started this.

    Reversed into the plot, more or less first time, and into the correct position so at least straight (well ‘ish)
    Except, awning still not fully open as a metal post is mysteriously in the way and the slope is as bad as ever.

    All in all a very good waste of a day."
     
  8. Ant&Debs

    Ant&Debs Read Only Funster

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    Hi Just read you Blog. Excellent Debs is still giggling!

    Regards
    :thumb:
    Ant & Debs
     
  9. Andy 01424

    Andy 01424 Read Only Funster

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    Well 2 simple sentences answer it all :Smile:


    "Yay done it nice job":thumb:

    "Oh crap what was that ":shout:


    good luck with the ventures to you both :thumb:
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi jackomet, now you know what the park brake is for on the trailer. you arent alone .i have wind down legs on bothsides of trailer (independant of one another)to save time i drop the legs onto nice flat 4x2 pieces of wood about 4 pieces high. you guessed it reverse back ,thump ,off goes trailer then crash it comes off the wood . what a job try lifting mine on its winders by hand when its on its knees .air gun blip blip lovely till a barrel pin holding the gears breaks. so 2 hours later ive jacked it up back on to wood .apply hand operated park brake . slightly adjust height by hand and slip the truck under first time. now always use it. another tip is sometimes its better to park your back wheels of truck on 4x2, 1 for each wheel then un hook drive forward . take away the wood, next time you hook up the tow unit as risen on its suspension making it easier to hook up. one day we will all meet up and5ers tales can be laughed at by all of us.but one things for sure towing a toad is not the best way ,wehave it right .always keep a small m,bike in the garage /boot u know it makes sense. cheers alan.
     
  11. bald eagle

    bald eagle Read Only Funster

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    Hi wheelie and :welcome:

    regards
    bald eagle:thumb:
     
  12. chaswb100

    chaswb100 Read Only Funster

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    Hi & Welcome
    We were advised by both The Caravan Club & The Camping & Caravaning Club that 26' is the maximum size that they will take on a 'Normal' pitch and that you can book on their 'On Line' booking service.We always phone the site after booking as a courtesy to say exactly what we are bringing and its size.Stayed on 5 sites so far with no problems and in all cases the Wardens have thanked us for the prior notice.
    Both Clubs do take larger units,but its not so easy & straightforward.

    Hope this helps - Chas
     
  13. Wheelie

    Wheelie Read Only Funster

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    Hi all
    Thanks for the good wishes and luck,we don't intend to spend all of our time in the UK we would like to do lots of long weekends in the UK and then spend our 4 weeks holiday a year traveling around europe until we can afford to give up work for 6 months or so and take a longer tour.
    Jackomet, we read your post and couldn't stop laughing are you sure you've not been spying on us cos it sounds just like the missus and me. Well i have booked the test run for 3/10/09 and looking at a second hand Extreme lite and a new euro lite both of which are 27ft long.
    Ill keep you posted when i come back next weekend

    Regards

    Neil and Jan
     
  14. tink

    tink Read Only Funster

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    Hi & welcome to the fun,are you going to Greg @ Niche? if so you are in good hands bought our Sunvalley 26' RK from Greg .Started of towing with a L200 just too underpowered & wanted to fit the optional slide out awning & that would have put me over the width limit for under 3.5 t tow vehicle,one of our customers at work was selling a low mileage one driver Transit DBL cab, what a dream to tow with cab same width as 5ver no need for towing mirrors,carry every thing we need including m/cycle & still under gtw,20/25 mpg. Down side have to watch where you park on wet grass (no 4wd)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Wheelie

    Wheelie Read Only Funster

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  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i for one dont think the nissans are man enough. get a proper mini truck. i use a mitsubishi canter but do like the isuzu or iveco daily, you can have a sesible sized unit, if you get the right truck a sensible size motor. its not all about bhp. its having the grunt to pull on steep hills etc. do lots of home work visit all the dealers you dont want to believe all the sales talk of the 5er salesmen. most dont even understand the rules. what ever you do have fun .cheers alan.
     
  17. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

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    I am with you on this one Alan. Just back from Lincolnshire for a long weekend with the 5'er. The F250 towed like a dream, loads of grunt, just gives me bags of confidence when towing, no issues with any of the tiny tiny B roads. All a breeze.
    Interested chatting with other 5'er owners on site, quite surprised how much hassle some seem to have with towing.

    Rob
     
  18. tink

    tink Read Only Funster

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    Yes you will need towing mirrors don't forget you are towing a 7'6 wide 26' long trailer not a little caravan, yes the Navara will be big enough to pull it (just) but for how long? the Navaras according to people who have used them for heavy towing have a reputation for self destructing when put to hard work:Doh: If you go this route I would advise you to travel with empty water tanks & fill on site:thumb:
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi tink. think iv just seen a nice one . ebay 260483494680 think this one as enough power. cheers alan.
     
  20. Wheelie

    Wheelie Read Only Funster

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    are there any other 5er owners who do use a navara to tow, i would like your opinion on this as well please

    Regards

    Neil
     

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