5th wheels?

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by zaskar, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

    Sep 25, 2007
    ffiona and I have been fulltimers for 7 years now, first in a 32ft Gulfstream Sunsport and at the mo' in a 34ft Georgieboy Landau single slide.
    We LOVE the lifestyle and don't really want to do anything else......but, after 4 years with the Landau it's now time to change the rig. We don't really want to cos we love her but we have to keep up with prices. I'd like another A class, but because of recent problems with the engine and loosing the roof over our heads (for the second time) whilst it's repaired, we're starting to wonder about the practicalities of a 5th wheel instead.
    Over the 7 years w've been "out", we've learnt that MOST propblems with mechanicals and electricals on the bodywork side of things, we can sort ourselves I've fitted boilers, fridges, circuit boards and all sort of stuff with nothing more painfull than a bit of inconvenience, mucky hands and usually a HUGE pain in the wallet. However, it's a different story when it comes to the engine and it's this that can cause full timers some problems.
    We're thinking that if we have a 5ver and the engine goes down, at least we'll still have the rig whilst the truck goes in the shops.
    So, have any 5vers been in this position?
    How did you cope?
    Were you able to get full breakdown cover (preferably european wide) as I do with Safeguard for an A class?
    Were you able to get the trucked towed to a shop and the rig towed SEPERATELY to a campsite/place of your choice?
    Who insures them (I mean a "normal" policy - dont even whisper FULLTIMING!!!!!!!!!! :-(
    Where's the best place to view a range of them (UK)?
    Whats the on road stability like?
    Whats the MPG?
    Whats the campsite access like and more importantly, the attitude of the Caravan Club Hitlers? :)

    Any info much appreciated.
  2. Lindy-C

    Lindy-C Deleted User

    Hi Paul

    I know nothing about 5ers but I know a man who does.....
    Speak to Tony at Luxury Leisure Trailers - he imports them and the trucks which he then converts to LPG.
    Tell him Linda sent you :winky:
  3. jakeontour


    Aug 22, 2007
    In front of this computer when I should be out in
    5th Wheels

    Hi Zaskar

    A good friend of mine had one for a couple of years. A great piece of kit on-site and ideal for full timing. However he was trying to use it like a conventional RV / caravan and realised it just wasn't suitable for that.

    Amongst the downsides were:
    Difficulties manoevering it due to a long rear overhang and triple axle;
    Not enough power in the Merc tractor unit particularly on damp grass (a big US pickup truck would have been ideal);
    The tractor unit was still too tall to go under height barriers;
    Many wardens on 'formal' C/Club sites were terrified of the unit and wanted to escort him on and off. Also only a few pitches had enough access space although the pitch itself was fine.
    Many private sites thought it was a 'showman's van' and wouldn't let him on when he turned up even though he had explained it on the phone.
    The cross channel car ferries charged premium commercial vehicle rates (this was 5 years ago) as the unit was pulled by a commercial chassis cab. Roughly 3 times what my RV cost travelling with him.
    The trailer had electric brakes over which there was (is?) some doubt.
    He had to be towed off once. What a performance, even a JCB Fastrac struggled with the unwieldy combination hooked up.

    With hindsight he would have taken a proper HCV plus trailer test, got a serious (but lower) tractor unit and a 5th wheel with airbrakes and only twin axles.

    All that said, if you are intending staying in one place for a good length of time then moving on, it was fantastic on site.

    Insurance was through an NFU Mutual office, Louth I think, and cost about the same as my RV did.

    Fuel consumption was about the same as the RV at around 12 mpg towing.

    Recovery was with the RAC through a special Camping & Caravanning Club scheme.

    He bought from a specialist dealer that I won't mention on a public forum, but suffice that it wasn't an experience he would repeat, not least because the 'van gas and electricals were fundamentally unsafe (no rcd breakers, builders transformer, perished out of date gas hoses etc).

    Hope this helps

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