Buying a 5th wheel caravan for the first time.

NeilandJo

Subscriber
So, we have now found a 5th wheel caravan that we like and are waiting to go and see, it is a three year old Crusader 28RL
Firstly is there anything we should be looking for?
Secondly what do we need to pay out for?
We have a 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak to tow it, I have done the weight upgrade MGTW to 7000 Kgs and rear axle weight increased to 2200 Kgs, added air bags to the rear suspension,
Is there anything else we need to do?
obviously we need a fifth wheel hitch.
 

shovelheadrob

Subscriber
Well done, first thing take it to a weighbridge & see exactly what weight you have where. This will enable you to work out what you have left for stuff to take with you. Remember that the posted weights don't include anything & it's surprising how much the normal stuff (bedding, cookware, crockery etc) can add up.
 

car1966

Subscriber
Sounds like you done a great weight upgrade
Our Toyota is 6.5 tons .
But i fitting a side winder on the fiver and find it easier to reverse with , if you get one make sure its a long one then you should have more cab clearance when turning
 

NeilandJo

Subscriber
Thats one of the first things i do, weighbridge is vital to keep your licence intact, we have removed loads of kit from our motorhome as we were maxed out at one point, it goes better now lol
 

sundowner

Subscriber
Has it electric brakes and does it have a legal parking brake?????---- I think the sidewinder is a good idea with a short bed!!------ gives your cab more clearance------- I assume it is a double cab???
Interested to know the actual 5er weight on the road---- on the wheels and hitch??
I don't know that 5er----- if it has slide outs, make sure they work correctly and check EVERYWHERE for signs of damp!!!!!!!! ---------- do you know who imported it??? Check every outside panel for signs of bubbles (delamination)if anything looks wrong be very careful ,get experienced advice--------- don't rule out walking away from it!!!!!!------- has it been converted to 240volts????
If everything is ok you will have loads of great experiences with that outfit!!!!!!
 
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NeilandJo

Subscriber
The IVA thing we will go through with the dealer that is selling it, was thinking about a sidewinder, so will look into that too,
pin weight 600kgs
gvw 4500kgs
dry weight 3702kgs
Will take on board your comments,
Our truck is a double cab. Dogs have to be comfortable lol
 

shovelheadrob

Subscriber
Pin weight is usually around 20% so that would be between 740 - 900kg, assuming that your truck has a 1000kg payload, that doesn't leave much for people, fuel, hitch etc. Being a 2017, it should already have an IVA unless it's only been used as a park home.
 

NeilandJo

Subscriber
The information I quoted was from the manufacturer, not sure how accurate that is lol, yes I would have thought it would have an Iva, but it’s worth the question.
 

shovelheadrob

Subscriber
The manufacturers quote figures that make things look more attractive, they must weigh the trailer before they have fitted everything. It won't include any extras or upgrades, gas bottles etc etc. The only way to know is put it on the scales.
 

NeilandJo

Subscriber
Yup, bit difficult to buy it, weigh it and find out the weight doesn’t allow for anything extra, that is what is bothering me, i need to go through this carefully, thank you for your comments
 

shovelheadrob

Subscriber
I've not dealt with them, but I bought my trailer from CCRV at Wisbech, Jay & Jayne are lovely, I assume that Paul & Avail are the same, enjoy.
 

sundowner

Subscriber
We bought a 5er through Paul in Mildenhall ----- very best to deal with--- but very casual!!! We sold the 5er through JJ also sold a Dodge Cummins dually through JJ , also excellent to deal with!!!!
You could ask Paul to show you a weighbridge ticket , it would give you the weight on the wheels, there is a public weighbridge in Thetford ( the closest that I know of)
Paul and JJ work together so no harm in talking to JJ if you have any doubts------- when you see them mention us ( Pamala and Nigel ) and that we are now living in Portugal and going to look at a transit Karmann motorhome!!! next week!!!! We hope Avril an Paul are ok!!!
I don't know the latest rules/laws on 5ers so can't help you at all there, but research and be careful but I know JJ is on the ball where the law is concerned!!!!
We had an older, bigger 5er and a new one the same size as you are looking at but only used American trucks!
Nigel and Pamala
 
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snowbird

Subscriber
I tow a Flagstaff classic with a Wildtrak 3 litre and although it pulls OK the main drawback is that the Wildtrak is much narrower than my previous 2 Dodge Rams. Even with mirror extensions its difficult to see down the side of the fiver. Having held a HGV licence for 50 years and driven trucks throughout many parts of the world the European truck and US fiver combination sometimes makes a fool of me when reversing as I cannot see the tail end of the trailer until I have almost lost it. US fivers are made to be pulled by US trucks, not European. Am looking for either another Ram or F250 if anyone knows of one for sale.
 

car1966

Subscriber
I tow a Flagstaff classic with a Wildtrak 3 litre and although it pulls OK the main drawback is that the Wildtrak is much narrower than my previous 2 Dodge Rams. Even with mirror extensions its difficult to see down the side of the fiver. Having held a HGV licence for 50 years and driven trucks throughout many parts of the world the European truck and US fiver combination sometimes makes a fool of me when reversing as I cannot see the tail end of the trailer until I have almost lost it. US fivers are made to be pulled by US trucks, not European. Am looking for either another Ram or F250 if anyone knows of one for sale.
I know what you mean i have cameras down each side it helps a bit but once you lose site of the back end it's a bit of a guess i normally have to get out once or twice just to look , but it makes the beer go down better once park up :lipssealed:
 

motor roamin

Subscriber
I would have thought it would already have an IVA if not no chance of getting one at the moment they are still on lock down, if like driving examiners unlikely they will be back until mid June earliest and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was July.
 

NeilandJo

Subscriber
So, having watched dozens of videos on youtube, I have now learnt that the measurements quoted by manufacturers for the length of 5th wheel caravans is in fact the shipping length, not the habitation length, so a 32 foot caravan is only 28 foot :) so now just got to work out the weights for what my truck can tow / carry and the weight of the caravan.
 

sundowner

Subscriber
So, having watched dozens of videos on youtube, I have now learnt that the measurements quoted by manufacturers for the length of 5th wheel caravans is in fact the shipping length, not the habitation length, so a 32 foot caravan is only 28 foot :)


That must have changed then as it used to be that an RV numbered like yours (28) would actually be closer to 30ft as far as I remember!
The weights are another iffy thing!!!!! I remember our last demountable had all paperwork with it---------- the weight then of camper did not include the jack legs, air con, big fridge and other odds and sods------- so, unless a lot has changed ( like European motorhomes) I would expect the weight to be more!!!!------- we never put any of our yank stuff on a welghbridge!!!!!!!!------ never got stopped by VOSA or police traffic and weighed!!!!!!
I don't remember reading that your licence allows you to drive it????
I could very well be mistaken but I thought I read that all trailers over 3.5 tonne have to be MOTd ----- maybe only commercial same as tachograph on gross vehicle weight??????
 
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