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What is a Caravan
A  Caravan, Fifth Wheeler, 5th Wheeler or Travel Trailer is a trailer towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent (although there are fold-down tent trailers). It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation (holiday), without relying on a hotel, and enables them to stay in places where none is available.

Caravans and Travel Trailers vary from basic models which may be little more than a tent on wheels to those containing several rooms with all the furniture and furnishings and equipment of a home. They are used principally in North America and Europe and are rare elsewhere, so this article deals mainly with those continents.

In North America and Europe it is generally illegal for people to ride in a caravan or travel trailer while it is being towed on a public road.

In Europe, the origins of trailer trailers and caravanning can be traced back to traveling Gypsies and showmen who spent most of their lives in horse drawn trailers. The worlds first leisure trailer was built by the Bristol Carriage Company in 1880 for Dr. W. Gordon-Stables. It was an 18 ft. design, based upon their Bible Wagons, which the Doctor named Wanderer.

Modern travel trailers come in a range of sizes, from tiny two-berth trailers with no toilet and only basic kitchen facilities, to large, twin-axle, six-berth types.

In the UK ( Caravan )
The growth in popularity of caravanning has been enhanced by improvements in caravan quality and caravan site facilities making caravan holidays possible at any time of the year not just summer months. Many of these improvements were suggested and driven by camping expert, Alan Rogers.

German WohnwagenIn the UK, The Association of Chief Police Officers estimates that some 4,000 touring caravans are stolen each year, nearly a quarter of all new caravans sold annually. As a result many caravan insurers (require additional security features to be purchased, as a general rule at least one wheel lock and one hitch lock example. The cost of insurance from specialist caravan insurance providers remains relatively low especially compared with other vehicle insurance premiums. The CRIS registration service has also helped track theft. The system operates much the same as the Vehicle Registration Service by the DVLA, but is voluntary and subject to a fee.

Some people make use of their caravans only during their annual holidays (vacations), whilst others take regular breaks at the thousands of caravan and camping sites around the world.

In Australia ( Camper Trailer )
In Australia, camper trailers are common alongside the traditional caravan. Camper trailers differentiate themselves from similar products due to their ability to go off road. They feature large water holding tanks, batteries for electricity and off-road suspension.

We have already sourced and placed a great variety of helpful information that will hopefully assist you with the planning of your future Caravanning Holidays. Please see our Static / Touring Caravan Hire pages below:

- Caravan Hire New South Wales - NSW
- Caravan Hire Queensland - QLD
- Caravan Hire South Australia -SA
- Caravan Hire Tasmania - TAS
- Caravan Hire Victoria - VIC
- Caravan Hire Western Australia - WA

In the United States (USA) & Canada
The history of travel trailers can be traced back to the early 1920s, when those who enjoyed their use were often referred to as Tin Can Tourists. As time progressed, trailers became more livable and earned a new name in the 1930s and 1940s which was the House Trailer. In the 1950s and 1960s, the industry seemed to split, creating the two types that we see today, that of the recreational vehicle (RV) industry and mobile home industry. Today travel trailers are classified as a type of RV along with motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, pop-up trailers, and truck campers.

Fifth-wheel trailers
Fifth wheel caravan and double cab pickup truckA 'fifth-wheel' is a travel trailer supported by a hitch in the center of the bed of a pickup truck instead of a hitch at the back of a vehicle. The special hitch used for fifth-wheels is a smaller version of the one used on 18-wheeler trucks and can be connected by simply driving the tow vehicle under the trailer. Fifth wheel trailers are popular with full-time recreational vehicle enthusiasts, who often live in them for several months in one place, using their pickup truck tow vehicle for local errands. A fifth wheel trailer tows more securely than a traditional travel trailer. Because of the greater room available on the roads in North America, these vehicles are more popular in the United States and Canada than in Europe or other parts of the world.

Advantages of Fifth Wheels
The main advantage of a fifth wheel caravan is its towing ease and stability. In the case of a standard caravan resting on a common tow ball, there’s considerable distance between the tow ball and the rear axle of the tow vehicle. There’s close to 10% of the caravan weight resting at the extreme end of the tow vehicle and unfortunately this may cause a levering effect by placing more weight on the tow vehicle’s rear wheels, whilst taking weight off the front wheels. In some cases, devices such as stabilisers and weight distribution bars may be needed to provide more stability.

A fifth wheel caravan however doesn’t need these devices because the coupling and weight distribution is already adequate. Around 20% of the weight of the caravan is placed directly above or slightly forward of the rear axle of the tow vehicle, while the rest of the weight is supported by the caravan itself. This setup leads to better traction, handling and stability. It also increases safety and eliminates pitching and swaying.

Please feel free to browse through the various areas of our website.

If you are looking to store your Caravan and have no space in your garage, our Caravan Storage section (for UK residence) you will help you find the place for your beloved Caravan.

We have also added a new section for those people who watch their fuel consumption and fuel price. Our Fuel Price Watch section will help you search for competive prices in area.

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