Fifth Wheel

Fifth Wheel
Fifth Wheel

Tuesday, 16, Nov 2010 03:34

Inspired by the fifth wheel trailers from the States, these unique tourers built by the Fifth Wheel Company are distinctive in design.

The 'fifth wheel' refers to the nose end hitching device which attaches to the back end of a flat bed truck or utility vehicle.

In the beginning

The company began importing fifth wheel type tourers from the States in the late 1990's converting them to comply with European safety standards for the UK market. Encouraged by an enthusiastic response from customers, the decision was made to design and build an in-house range of Fifth Wheelers which have been in production since 2002.

Fifth Wheelers explained

Originating in the US Fifth Wheelers are attached to the towing vehicle, not by the traditional tow bar as with other caravans, but via a connection plate similar to those found on articulated lorries. They are built to be towed by pick-up trucks and open backed vehicles such as the Nissan Navara. The Fifth Wheel Company build models which are better suited to smaller UK roads and driving conditions.

Design and construction

The living area can be extended using an electronic space expanding feature providing an extra few feet of living space once the tourer is parked up. The nose end of the caravan loses half the height to the 'fifth wheel' which secures it to the towing vehicle, so the headroom in the sleeping area above is limited.

The forward position of the tow hitch makes fifth wheeler very stable when towing particularly in crosswinds, with minimal movement felt when larger vehicles overtake. The company will run you through hitching and unhitching the rig before it is driven off.

Prices start at £42,000 making them considerably more expensive than traditional caravans, but the company have picked up numerous accolades for their designs. The Caravan Club Design Awards have celebrated the product five years in a row. Nottinghamshire Police commissioned a bespoke fifth wheeler to be used as a central base at events and incidents that require a semi-permanent police presence.

Touring caravans

February 2011 saw the launch of the firms first ever touring caravan - the Inos.

The name comes from an anglicised version of the Welsh word 'Ty unnos' - an old tradition which allowed any person who constructed a house on common land in a single night to lay claim to that land forever more.

Using technology borrowed from its line of fifth wheel touring vehicles, the Inos features Europe's first ever production line 'van with a slide-out section, increasing the internal floorspace by 3 metres square. It's a very high spec two berth layout and features a separate shower and WC, read end island bed and spacious U-shaped lounge area towards the front.

In April 2012, it was announced that Fifth Wheel's prices would be affected by the Government's tax rise on static caravans. As a result, prices across the range could rise by around 20 per cent from October 1st 2012 onwards to come in line with the new higher rate of VAT.

Hollywood A Lister Caravan Gets Pinched

A Lister gets Airstream stolen following a fire than took his home

We are all very aware of the risks that come with owning a caravan and we all take measures to prevent any harm coming to them. Despite our best efforts there are occasion where no matter what someone does something bad happens to our pride and joy. Even Hollywood Heartthrobs are not immune from this as one A list actor gets his vintage caravan stolen.

Kimberley Caravans And Motorhomes Expansion Plans

A grand opening for Kimberley Caravans

2019 is already shaping up to be a massive year for the caravan industry. Already we are seeing site selling out with pre bookings, new vans launched by manufacturers and lots of new dealerships and showrooms opening up all across the UK. One of these new locations comes to us from Kimberley Caravans And Motorhomes' in the form of a new workshop.

SWIFT Success At The NEC February Show

Big sales numbers at the NEC for Swift Group

In the past I felt that the February NEC show tends to be a fraction less busy than October. This February's show numbers were far from being low. On the opening Tuesday there were thousands of people at the show which had a positive effect for exhibitors

Contact Details

Address
Fifth Wheel Company Ltd.
Holywell Road
Rhuallt
Denbighshire
LL17 0AW
Tel 01745 583000
Web www.fifthwheelco.com
Email info@fifthwheelco.com

Models

  • Fifth Wheel Dreamseeker
  • Fifth Wheel Celtic Rambler

VIDEO: Swift tears up the interior design rulebook with Colour Concept

Swift wants your help in designing the caravan of the future, and in this video we take a closer look at their first ever concept caravan

VIDEO: Why 2013 is the year of the twin-axles for Swift Challenger SE

Caravan Times talks to Swift Group about their new twin-axle caravans

Swift Group has brought out three new twin-axle layouts for its Challenger SE and Eccles SE ranges. In this video we take a look at some of the benefits of having a tandem tourer

VIDEO: Clever kitchen designs in the Swift Challenger SE

The Swift Challenger SE has a redesigned kitchen area

Swift Group has rethought the kitchen area in its newest Challenger range, and in this video their chief designer talks us through what's new

We ask Swift's Chris Millburn about the company's first-ever concept caravan

We ask Swift's Chris Millburn about the company's first-ever concept caravan

Exclusive Interview With Simon Howard Of Bailey Of Bristol

Bill and Simon side by side in France on the Bristanbul tour

Last year, we are actually fast approaching the 1 year anniversary, I was fortunate enough to be selected to take part in the Bailey Of Bristol Bristanbul tour where we covered 21 countries in 21 days while towing 2 caravan and driving a motorhome. During the three weeks on the road the bond that formed within the team was one of a kind, and one of the best things to come out of the trip. So almost a year on I catch up with a friend I made on the tour, Simon Howard, to find out how one of the UK's largest leisure vehicle companies are getting on.

The Ideal Christmas Gifts For Us Caravan Folk

We've solved your Christmas woes

This time of year should be about giving and making those around you happy, but in reality it's a bit stressful. Trying to find the right gift before the big day all while trying to wrangle the family to get together for a massive Christmas dinner. So to help ease the stress and tension of gift buying here are some items that should go down a treat Christmas morning.

FEATURE: 21st century caravan construction: How are caravans made today?

Some companies have welcomed the change in technology

Regardless of your chosen caravan manufacturer, construction methods have changed unrecognisably over the last decade. Early adopters, Bailey of Bristol, were the first to change their construction with the introduction of Alu-Tech, but each of the manufacturers have done things in there own way. Below we have provided you with a quick synopsis of how all the main manufacturers make their caravans.

Self levelling technology: Why is there not more of it out there?

Self levelling systems are popular with its users but there are only a few caravan and motorhome models that offer the technology

The caravan and motorhome industry are amazingly early adopters of technology, and modern leisure vehicle specifications are incredibly high. Some leisure vehicles have more specification than the average home, boasting huge fridges, solar panels, alarm systems, satellite dishes, LED touch lighting, even underfloor wet central heating in some models.