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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Does anyone know how/when 5th wheels came about?

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sirdrakejr

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Posted: 12/12/04 10:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Hy-Lander was 1st introduced about 1965. I tried to get a franchise in California but they were not approved for sale in that state due to electrical and plumbing concerns. later on, two large RV sales giants stated in CA with that 5th wheel. Hy-Lander was the 1st to market a 5th wheel for large scale sales. But they were also not very responsive to user compaints and they had other problems that led to their demise. Many dealers dropped the line when the dealer had to assume the repairs when the manufacturer would not. From that came many others and many of them died with the fuel crisis of the early 70s. Fortunately for us, the good ones remain and the product keeps getting better.
Happy 5-ing.
Frank
Las Vegas, NV.


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BertP

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 12/12/04 09:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the explaination, Ray. That makes more sense. Now that I think of it, "sloped" is not the correct term for the roof; it was more rounded. And that would fit better with your explaination. If it tipped in and out, a rounded roof would work much better than one that was sloped.

Bert

heaterswa

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Posted: 12/12/04 08:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This site doesn't give any dates, but sounds like a reasonable explanation:

http://www.quickhitch.cc/History.htm

-Bryan


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BertP

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 12/12/04 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There used to be a trailer parked in a lot next to the highway not too far from where I live that appeared to be early 60's vintage. I don't know if it came from the manufacturer like this, but it appeard to be a normal TT that had the A frame removed and replaced by a goose neck making it a fifth wheel trailer - not in the same form as the 5ers we have today, but a 5er nonetheless. Interestingly, it also had a slide. I didn't get close enough to it to see what room the slide was in, but it was interesting in that he roof of the slide was sloped. From the highway, I could not figure out how they got it to seal when it was in.

Bert

Ready Randy

joshua tx.

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Posted: 12/12/04 09:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I lived in Malbourne Fl in the late 60's and early 70's. There was a dealer at that time that sold 5ers, one fit in the bed of the truck, another that had a hich ON THE TOP OF A CAR. When used with a car, the car could do a 180 under the overhang of the 5er. Don't know the brand or the exact year. Of course the cars were more sturdy then. I have talked to a few other oldtimers that have seen them on the road. Hope you have a good year ahead of you with prosperity, happiness and good health.


ready randy">

Ray,IN

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Posted: 12/12/04 09:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BertP, The room is called a "tip-out". It did not slide in and out; instead, you went inside and manually lifted up on the roof edge and the room pivoted out from the bottom. Thus the nickname "tip-out". It took two people, one inside to tip it out and one outside to prevent the room from slamming down and damaging the unit. The floor of the tip-out became the side of the unit when tipped in for travel or storage. These were also used on mobile homes before the sliding room was invented. The sliding room was manual at first and was called a "push-out", logically enough. I think the frame to covert a TT to a 5er or gooseneck is still available for purchase.


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Napria

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Posted: 12/12/04 07:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone else posted a topic, "History of 5th Wheels". I thought, "Great! I've been wondering how 5th wheels came about." But the poster was asking about everyone's personal history.

Does anyone know when the first fifth wheel was developed? Why? Which manufacturer made the first one? Did it come of a marriage of ideas between a truck camper and travel trailer?

Our PBS station is airing a show called, "Mobile America: the History of RVs" in December, but we'll be in Disney when they do (and yes, we're the type of people who can't figure out how to set up our vcr to tape.) Perhaps this has been covered in this special. Has anyone seen it?


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robatthelake

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Posted: 12/12/04 08:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Years ago Harrahs Auto Museum in Reno Nv had a Car and Trailer on Display that resembled today's fifth Wheel Setup! It was a Thirty's vintage Business Coupe and the Hitch wheel was in the Trunk/Rumble seat area! It could have been more like a goose neck but I seem to recall the description as being an early 5th Wheel!


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Joy

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Posted: 12/12/04 08:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My parents bought a 1969 Coachmen 5ver new - there was a thread recently about this, and I think the concensus was that to the best of anyone's memory, that was about when the 5vr as we know it began.


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Denny D

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Posted: 12/12/04 08:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Joy is correct, the first 5ver as we know them, was in the late 60's. The brand was a Hylander. My father was an RV dealer and sold this brand. It was very much a square box, and if I can locate it I have a small photo of the first one behind my father's 1967 Chevy C20 pickup. People stopped just to see what this contraption was.


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