Guide to 5th wheel caravanning.

This is a guide to what 5th wheel caravanning is, for those who know little about it.

Information provided by Bill Leadbeater

History

Fifth wheel caravans have been around for many years in America but now fifth wheel vans of high quality are being manufactured in Britain.

The term fifth wheel refers to the way the van is attached to the towing vehicle, no tow bar but a connection plate similar to those found on articulated lorries, this means that you will need a 4x4 pick-up style towing vehicle, that has an open back, like the Nissan Navara.

Experience and description

My van, a Celtic Rambler, is a massive 28 feet in length but when hooked up to the Nissan Navara is no longer than an ordinary car/van unit, this is because the back part of the towing vehicle fits underneath the front part of the van. The caravan has air breaks and air suspension and the biggest difference when towing is not the length but the amazing stability, no swaying or fishtailing.

Coupling and uncoupling is easy, drive up, put the powered front jacks down, pull a leaver or two and drive the towing unit away, the van holds 55 gallons of clean water and you can store the same amount of grey water until you dispose of it, in the normal way, over a drain.

The Celtic Rambler has a slide out wall which when extended (at the push of a button) adds a further 30 square feet to the size of the lounge/diner, this area is well designed in both looks and function, head room in the lounge is 7’6” but this falls to only 6’6 in the bedroom and the double shower room, which are accessed by a solid wooden door and a couple of carpeted stairs from the lounge.

The kitchen area holds a full size fridge/freezer, full size stove with oven and grill, microwave, steel sink unit with near instant hot water and a filter unit for extra clean water.

You can have a large central double bed or two good sized singles, there is an abundance of storage in the bedroom which also has its own silent air conditioning, under floor heating, plasma tv with Sky digital HD.

The lounge holds an entertainment system which includes the sky box and auto sat control; simply flick a switch and the sat dish locks on to which ever satellite you choose. The roof light in the lounge is also electric, only a giant could reach it otherwise and the lounge also has a fold away double bed, again copious amounts of storage both in and around the unit.

In essence the Celtic Rambler is a beautiful unit which can be lived in for months at a time without feeling cramped, one of the best features is the pull down awning, less than a minute to set or put away.

Further Information

All of the above and much more can be seen on the manufacturer’s web site www.fifthwheelco.com.