Thursday, 1 October 2015

Buying and moving a used 5th wheel caravan

The job from hell......

Where to start with this one. While we were at La Bella Vista, we had another 5th wheel to move. The owner, who knew nothing about 5th wheels, had just bought it and wanted it moving to his house.

No problem.... I asked them to make sure the trailer was ready, so we could hitch it up and move it. After all that's what the job entails. It can be difficult enough getting these of sites where they have been for 4 or 5 years and trees have grown etc.

The first problem came with the tyres. The tread was separating from the sidewall. Yep, new tyres required....

Next problem was the keys. There were none and the buttons for the landing legs were in a locked compartment!

Then a problem with the slides. One came in, the other made it half way and refused to budge. An hour or so later, it was virtually in and good enough to move.

Next, the back jacks. These were absolutely rusted solid and wouldn't move. Another hour, removing the jacks...

The electrics for the brake controls was yet another bodge job and had to be rewired... the list goes on.

This trailer had been here for 4 years and the trees that surrounded it and prevented getting it out had been planted 3 years ago!

Eventually it came out, 5 hours later than it should have been.

It doesn't get any better at the delivery end. The approach to the house was a very steep gravel track. Once at the house, the trailer had to be reversed up a steep loose soil field! Thankfully the awesome power of the F350, 4wd and twin rear wheels made light work of pushing the 5 tonne trailer up a ridiculous loose earth hill.

The upshot is, and this gets repeated too many times, please make sure your trailer is ready. We are Monster Moovers and although we can always fix them and get them moving, this is not quoted for in a move. We always expect some kind of issue, either with access or the trailer itself but not to spend 5 hours on site getting a trailer ready.

Again, it comes to caring for your trailer and maintaining it, no matter how long it remains on a site. Everything has to move one day and it's far cheaper to carry out a bit of maintenance on a regular basis, rather than wait until the last minute when it MUST be done in order to move it.

At a bare minimum:

1. Lubricate your jacks.
2. Cover the tyres and keep the pressures maintained.
3. Make sure the electrical plugs are stowed out of the weather.
4. Check tyres and valves for cracking / sun damage.
5. Check and maintain batteries.
6. Check slides come in and out periodically.

If you are thinking of buying a 2nd hand trailer or 5th wheel, get someone who knows about them to check them over.

off roading with a 5 tonne 5th wheel....

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