Thinking of getting a 5er

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by dpick, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. dpick

    dpick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Middlesbrough
    Hi hope you can help with this. I am 62 retired and have been on a 3 year renewable driving licence due to insulin dependent diabetes for the last 6 years approx. My wife and I were involved in accident 7 years ago (not our fault) I have made a full recovery my wife now has to use a wheelchair when out of house etc.

    I am thinking of getting a 5er as my wife has problems walking about in our caravan(to narrow), I am looking at something like the Kountrylite 26 or 22 Compact Euro style as the extra room in the living area given by the slide-out will help her and not to **** big for me to keep clean.

    My problem is that I have B+E licence and after reading all the info I can find re driving with a trailer/5er do not know if I would be allowed drive a Navara towing a 5er. I do not know if medically I could up my licence class, though driving with a 5er would be no actual problem having driven PSV (including bendy bus) and towed 26ft caravan for the last 10 years without any problems.

    dpick1947
     
  2. robrobc

    robrobc Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cotswolds
    Hi dpick and welcome.

    I am not too sure about the entitlements on your licence but I am sure that someone will be along soon who will have all the necessary information.

    Just going a bit off the wall for a moment, given that you have experience of bendy buses and towing 26ft caravans, have you considered importing a caravan (travel trailer as they are called over there) from the US? they have all the slides and space you could wish for.

    Just a thought

    Rob
     
  3. GIBLA53

    GIBLA53 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Powys/Spain
    HI dpick similar to Rob's reply re licence but in general if you get a positive response about it GO FOR IT you wont regret your decision! Alan
     
  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    hi, think you will find you have a medical restiction and are restricted to 3.500kg weight limit. to pull most 5ers you need c1+e. even large caravan is too heavy for b+e because of the 3,500kg train wt limit.check with dvla as from 2001 they changed the blanket restriction on diabetes ,you may need an individual assesment. you are not alone nobody tells you the rules .hastle dvla be patient it takes abit of time.cheers alan
     
  5. dpick

    dpick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Middlesbrough
    Hi all have been on holiday and have just got back so now able to post info I have received.

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The following information is from local police and DVLA and they seem to contradict each other,[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Information from local police.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]As the holder of B+E licence you are be entitled to drive any car or van up to Maximum Gross Weight (MAM) of 3500kg (3.5 tonnes) coupled to a trailer over 750 kilograms.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]There is no legal upper limit to the weight or length the trailer, however, check the manufacturers handbook for the maximum permissible [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]towing capacity of your car or van.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Information from DVLA[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif].[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Holders of driving licences issued before July 1996 and providing that they have Group A or if after 1990, category B, are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to a maximum train weight of 8.25 tons. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The maximum width of a trailer must not exceed 2.3 metres (7’6”). The trailer must not extend more than 305mm (12”) outwards each side of the towing vehicle, irrespective of allowable width. The maximum permitted trailer body length without the tow bar is 7 metres but the overall train length must not exceed 18.35 metres. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]A tachograph is required to be fitted to record the driver’s hours in a vehicle and trailer combination that exceeds 3500 kg. when used for commercial purposes. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]When it came to discussing what a 5th wheeler caravan is I feel that most people had no idea what I was talking about, only one police officer knew what a 5th wheel caravan was and his opinion (he stated opinion not law) was that in his view it is same as a standard caravan with an A frame tow bar.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]I know from reading other threads that people have been stopped and checked by VOSA my question is what type of tow vehicle and 5th wheeler were they using and at what point does a 5th wheeler come under their scrutiny.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]I am looking at Nissan navara and maybe a [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]KountryLite Low Profile but the pickup and 5er are just an idea at this time.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]At present I am using an Abbey spectrum 620 twin axle with an Hyundai Santa fe cdx as the tow car. [/FONT]




    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dpick 1947[/FONT]
     
  6. GIBLA53

    GIBLA53 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Powys/Spain
    Hi Dpick I have owned my combination for about a month and overjoyed with each of them individually . Problems start when you come to want to use them attached the Navarra -Kountrylite combo allows little or no factor of safety in terms of towable weight the Navara is rated at 5810 kg. The plated weight on the KountryLite is 3450kg. max , a little murky now but i believe the Navara itself is 2200kg so even accepting these figures there is little margin for error or VOSA jumping up and down . Some other owners will be more experienced and give their own advice mine would be choose the 5 wheeler you like then buy or match the tow vehicle to suit , the Navara is in my opinion an attractive pick-up truck and a common site on the roads but is not really suitable for such a lump behind you -at least the weight of 2 heavy caravans . Personally if i had my choice again an LPG converted American outfit was the way to go for me but i shall for the time being use my Navara . Hope some of what i have stated helps you with your choice Alan
     
  7. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    hi, yes you are right a b+e allows you to pull any weight trailer that does not exceed the train of the tow unit.exampleiveco daily3.5t chassisn cab wgs 2,000kg ,1,500kg on fifth wheel, trailer bogie wt 5,200kg total8,700kg legal with b+e. other trucks like mitsubishi canter and isuzu also have 3,5 t trucks ideal for this type of combination. the problem is most euro pickups arent powerfull enough to pull the train and weigh too much to start with. i tied an iveco found it too revy went for mitzy but do like isuzu.yanks are too heavy as well . cheers alan.
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    just as a reminder have you checked your licence for any restrictions as they do some times restrict on medical grounds.
     
  9. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,271
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    Location:
    Ex Rochdale now Tavira, S. Brittany & Europe
    Don't know about licence issue as I had no need to check having held C+E licence for 35+ years but would take issue with statement that euro pickups are not man enough to pull 5ers.I pull a Calder Leisure Ultralite with a Mazda BT50 and find it adequate for the job, a little underpowered in modern terms but there are other factors to be taken into account.Using a bigger light commercial as you do must limit even more the sites that are accessible and also limits access to parking when using the pickup solo, another member has recently sold his outfit due to this very problem.Whatever set up is ultimately chosen some compromises will have to be made, I would urge anyone thinking of buying a 5er to consider very carefully matching the pickup or other tractive unit to the trailer as regards weights etc and also the type of use eg, full timing, continental touring, UK holidays etc.
    Regards to all. Alec
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    hi, i think you may find a small but higher weight capacity truck like mine is not bigger in size to some of the pickups. i found most have lots of top end but not so good loaded. also its the spare capacity that can be lacking on some. mine is only 30ft long combined as it as a greater over hang of the truck ,you would probably be surprised if you see it. i know its a matter of choice but to me towing a car or trailer behind a large motor home is a no no. i dont care if its on aframe or trailer. i have done enough recovery work to make my decisions. i like to put a different choice forward as the market is being led by one choice only. also as i have a larger engine in my truck its alot less wear n tear,i hope.i hope you make the best choice for you i made mine 10yrs ago and havnt looked back since. cheers have fun. alan.
     
  11. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,271
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    Location:
    Ex Rochdale now Tavira, S. Brittany & Europe
    Hi,
    would agree with you wholeheartedly about choice and yours seems ideal for somebody like yourself with lots of experience and practical knowledge.I must admit I would prefer a set up like yours with a small commercial and a more orthodox coupling setup rather than a big US pickup, but we need a smaller vehicle as a runaround that the wife can drive and the euro pickup is a compromise.Again I would agree with you about wear and tear and I realise that high mileage with the 5er hooked up will be putting a lot of strain on the pickup, again a compromise and things like this should be taken into account when making decisions and you are quite right in trying to make people aware of the alternatives.Most of all enjoy life:Smile:Alec
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    hi alec ,i have changed the unit to a mitsubishi canter .its a double cab 7 seater . there is a pic on my profile. they are a nice size . no bigger than a vw camper so quite easy to use as a car. when i bought mine there didnt deen to be anybody using a true artic as a convertion .i have since seen quite a few. lynton trailers in manchester still make them in the uk.mine is 22yrs old so it as stayed together quite well/ i have changed springs and axles but i think thats to do with where i take it. keep on trucking .cheers alan.
     
  13. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,346
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Hi
    We love our Dodge (Cummins) but for a "smaller" tow vehicle have you considered a Land Rover 110 or 130 doublecab pick-up, the newer ones are in the 21st century !!! with central locking air con etc.Plus parts and accessories can be obtained easily and at reasonable prices.
    Why buy a petrol US truck then spend a load gassing, plus the added weight when you can buy a US truck with a good diesel engine that is commonly used all over Europe ??
    We get 15 MPG towing a 32ft 5er, 17MPG with a large truck camper (our holiday home !) and 22/24 running empty, the torque of the Cummins flattens out the hills (mostly still in overdrive !!) We have to stay at or below 60mph to get these figures, but it's REALLY good to have power and speed available for safer overtaking etc. Running with the trucks is comfortable and relaxing.
    As vwalan said it is all down to compromise and personal preferance.
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  14. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    3,537
    Location:
    Zummerzet
    We use a 110 td5 XS Crew cab with a floating extended hitch which avoids contact with the cab - we get 22/23 mpg whilst towing and 32 mpg solo - as you say you need to keep 56 to 60mph to achieve this but there is stacks there if you need to pull away from someone but then the fuel can disappear at an alarming rate. We have just fitted a GKN Overdrive which potentially gives 20% inprovement in economy ie 38/40 mpg solo and some improvement in towing mpg but dont yet have accurate figures for this - shortly off on a 3 month tour and will be able to give accurate figures then the best thing though is it adds a further 3 gear options so 3 -3.5 4 - 4.5 5 - 5.5
     
  15. dpick

    dpick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Middlesbrough
    Hi all thanks for all the info posted.

    Could you please check the following example pickup and 5th wheel combination for me.


    Nissan Navara


    Kerb Weight = 2141 kg
    Gross vehicle weight = 3210 kg
    Maximum payload = 1069 kg
    Maximum trailer weight (braked) = 2600 kg
    Maximum train weight = 5810 kg


    Now my reading of the regs is that the maximum payload contains driver and passengers plus fuel and 5th wheel hitch and pin weight.


    I am at this time looking at this 5th wheeler as example of what may be possible for myself.


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]XF26RK XTREME LITE from NICHE MARKETING[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Length: 27' 4"[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]External width: 7' 6"[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Axle weight: = 1690kgs[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Hitch weight: = 475kgs[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Dry weight: = 2165kgs[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Carrying capacity: = 950kgs[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Maximum weight of the 5th wheel caravan would be 3115kgs [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Now by my reckoning the towed weight of this would be max weight less hitch weight[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]3115 – 475 = 2640kgs which is greater than max trailer weight(braked) of the Navara.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]If I reduce the max carrying weight of the 5th wheel to less than 910kgs giving me a max trailer weight of 2600kgs then I would be within the legal regs for the combination and my B+E licence.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]From my knowledge of using a standard caravan the carrying weight would be gas bottle, clothing bedding, food, TV, kettle etc. hopefully less than 910kgs[/FONT]






    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Comments on correct interpretation of regs etc.[/FONT]



    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]dpick[/FONT]
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    you can lower the plated weight of the trailer but then you will have no carrying capacity.be much better using a 3.5 ton tow unit to start with. have you seen the size of nissan navarro.s these days ?look at some trucks that at first seem larger like the isuzi truck not the normal pick up. or iveco they arent that big n tow much more weight. by the time you get food clothes water wine spare fuel etc , its suprising how quick it mounts up. alan.
     
  17. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,271
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    Location:
    Ex Rochdale now Tavira, S. Brittany & Europe
    Max towed weight quoted for Navarra is applicable to A-frame trailers on ball hitch, 5er is a semi trailer, max train weight of Navarra is limiting factor.
    Weights quoted for Extremelite are unladen weights, what you need to know are maximum permitted weight on axles. My Calder Leisure Ultralite has axle weight limits of 1725k on each axle and a max gross weight of 3450k. I tow with a Mazda BT50 which has max gross weight 3050k and max train weight of 6030k, unladen 1895k.
    Using your figures if you load the trailer to its maximum of 3115 k and add this to the unladen weight of the Navarra the total will be 5256k, well under the max train weight so this would give you an allowance for driver and passenger etc.
    The measurable and limiting factors for the rig coupled up will be the axle weights which must be within their limits whilst not exceeding the max train weight or the max gross weight of the pickup. Hope this helps.
    Regards
    Alec
     
  18. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,723
    Likes Received:
    939
    Location:
    cheshire
    Personal opinion - forget the nissan navara - go for toyota, isuzu, mitz, ford.
    Since nissan started using french parts on the pickups they have given nothing but trouble to owners and expensive trouble at that.
    They are a great looking unit, solo they go like the wind but dont expect to get any sort of performance towing especially going up a hill, it just curls up and dies. My first pickup was a nissan ended up doing the lorry driver thing of keeping behind a truck going uphill so that it pulled me up with it.
    I now have an isuzu same engine spec and a much better tow vehicle and im now at ease going uphill with my 5ver on the back - no truck needed to get me there.Isuzu have a higher tow ability as well
    maggie
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    there seems to be a problem with the newish nissans something to do with too smaller oilways. having a friend who works for nissan his advise is stay clear.using the weights given it seems dpick would have 554kg for passengers driver fuel etc .not much.
     
  20. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    3,537
    Location:
    Zummerzet
    You are right that the Max vehicle weight 3210kg must not be exceeded under any circumstances and that includes any passengers, fuel, the 5th wheel hitch and any imposed load from the trailer - the one point that I would put to you is that you are giving the hitch weight ( imposed load from the 5'er ) as 475kg this is a nominal figure and I would classify as the minimum you should impose - the actual figure is from 15% to 20% of the gross trailer weight - so using your figures of a payload of 1069kg you the say deduct 100 kg each for the driver and passenger 100kg for the hitch 100kg for luggage and etc and 69kg (or my wifes hand bag - don't they all weigh that ) gives you a max imposed capability of 600kg link that to your 5'er @ 3115kg you could go to 623kg and you have 600kg so you have a further 148 kg to play with. The max trailer weight of the Navara is then the weight imposed on the trailer wheels - not the weight of the trailer because effectively you can only weigh something once - when you go onto a weighbridge to check the weights you need to ensure you do not exceed are your front axle max weight which you have not given - your rear axle weight which you have not given - the gross vehicle weight which you say is 3210 and the imposed weight on the trailer wheels which is 3115 - you then need to worry about the train weight and ensure you do not exceed that - when you go on the weigh bridge just put the front wheels on first and get a weight with all passengers and driver - then go on until your rear axle is on and get a weight finally pull the whole lot on and get a weight then you can do all your calculations and move stuff about etc - hope that is not too confusing
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009

Share This Page