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Buying a 5th Wheel Caravan in the UK

If you are wondering about buying a 5th Wheel Caravan and are researching what you need to consider to own/drive a 5th wheel in the UK, then the following may be of use.

Points to Consider: Towing

Towing a fifth wheel caravan requires some thought and a little practice. Good news is we give our customers instruction and the opportunity to drive and practice manoeuvring a 5th Wheel on our campsite during their free 3 night stay.

What You Need to Tow a 5th Wheel

Choose an appropriate towing vehicle

Ensure your vehicle has the necessary towing capacity for the caravan. Consult the owner's manual and the caravan's weight specifications.

Install a fifth wheel hitch

This specialized hitch is mounted in the bed of a pickup truck, directly above the rear axle. Professional installation is recommended for safety - find out more about CCRV's hitch installation service here.

CCRV professionally installing a 5th wheel hitch in the UK

The Process of "Hitching-up" Your 5th Wheel

One of our team will give training on the connecting and disconnecting of your 5th wheel and truck if you are buying a 5th Wheel from CCRV. Here's the points to consider for correct hitching-up and RV towing.

Connect the caravan to the towing vehicle

Back up the towing vehicle so that the fifth wheel hitch aligns with the caravan's kingpin. Lower the caravan onto the hitch, ensuring the hitch jaws securely lock around the kingpin. Take a look at our video channel on YouTube for easy pointers.

Attach safety chains and breakaway cable

Connect the safety chains and breakaway cable from the caravan to the towing vehicle. These provide extra security and activate the caravan's brakes if it accidentally detaches from the tow vehicle.

Establish electrical connections

Connect the caravan's electrical system to the towing vehicle's socket. This enables lights, indicators, and the electric brake system to function. A simple process, always ensure sockets locate and lock in to position.

Check tyre pressure and lights

Ensure the tyre pressures meet the recommended range for both the towing vehicle and the the 5th Wheel Caravan. Test all lights and indicators to verify they are functioning correctly - it's always a good idea to have someone available to help with this.

Perform a safety inspection

Double-check all connections and attachments, and ensure the caravan's weight is evenly distributed.

Drive cautiously

Always exercise extra caution when towing, allowing for additional stopping distance and taking wider turns to accommodate the Fifth Wheel's length. Our campsite stay and instruction will give you opportunity to practice RV driving and reversing in a safe area before embarking on the road to enjoy your UK 5th Wheel Adventures.

What License Do I Need to Tow a 5th Wheel in the UK?

In the UK, the driving licence required for towing a Fifth Wheel Caravan depends on the combined weight of the vehicle and caravan. Please note that the information included here may not be exhaustive or may change - check with DVLC for the latest licensing rules.

UK Driving license categories for towing an RV

Category B

If you passed your car driving test (Category B) on or after January 1, 1997, you can drive a vehicle and trailer combination with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of 3,500 kg. MAM refers to the combined weight of the vehicle and fully loaded trailer.

Category B+E

To tow a larger fifth wheel caravan with a combined weight exceeding 3,500 kg, you need a Category B+E licence. This requires an additional practical test to demonstrate your ability to safely drive with a larger trailer.

Category C1+E

Ensure you check the combined weight of your towing vehicle and fifth wheel caravan to ensure you hold the appropriate driving licence. Take into account passengers, cargo, and fluids when calculating the weight.

What UK Insurance Do I Need for a 5th Wheel

This is a common question "where can I get insurance for my 5th Wheel?". Being aware of the various insurance options available for fifth wheels is important when selecting coverage in the UK, and is a point to consider when buying a 5th Wheel Caravan. Checkout our useful guide to Fifth Wheel insurance providers and policies, and find the cover that's right for you and your RV.

A Ford Wildtrak - good example of a UK truck for lightweight 5th wheels

What Truck Do I Need to Tow a 5th Wheel in the UK?

In America the popular trucks for towing Ultralite 5th Wheels include the Dodge Ram 2500/3500, Chevy Silverado 2500/3500, the Ford F-250/F-350, GMC's Sierra 2500/3500 and the Nissan Titan XD.

In the UK our customers have had great success towing lightweight units from Rockwood, Crusader and Puma with bigger UK trucks like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Nissan Navara 3.0. Uprating the vehicle's train weight can be essential, please ask us about this installation or find out more about uprating airbag installation here.

Please note that thee above trucks are examples of vehicles that may be suitable. The towing capacity will ultimately depend on the specific truck, configuration and load.

Always refer to the owner's manual for your vehicle's towing capacity and the weight specifications of the Fifth Wheel. Ask us about our Uprating service which will increase you tow capacity and includes all the paperwork processing with DVLC. Remember, you must always comply with licensing requirements when towing a Fifth Wheel Caravan in the UK and on European roads.

Common RV Abbreviations and Their Meanings

When reviewing fifth wheel caravan spec's on manufacturers websites you may come across a range of abbreviations. This abbreviations list will help you understand vehicle sec's and when comparing different Fifth Wheel Caravans. As always, if you have questions don't hesitate to get in touch.

CCC - Cargo Carrying Capacity

Similar to NCC, but it typically excludes the weight of passengers.

FWS - Front Wet Storage

A storage area on the front of the caravan that may contain water and sewer systems.

GAWR - Gross Axle Weight Rating

The maximum weight each individual axle can support.

GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The maximum weight the caravan can safely carry, including its own weight and cargo.

GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating

The total weight of the tow vehicle and the caravan combined, including passengers, cargo, and fluids.

Hitch Weight / Pin Weight

The downward force that the fifth wheel hitch exerts on the tow vehicle.

NCC - Net Carrying Capacity

The maximum weight of cargo and passengers the caravan can carry, calculated by subtracting the UVW from the GVWR.

UVW - Unloaded Vehicle Weight

The weight of the caravan without passengers, cargo, or fluids.


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