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UK's first slide-out-side caravan

Posted on 08 Apr 2011

Val Chapman

Inos slide-out sides make a huge lounge
Inos slide-out sides make a huge lounge

Britain's first slide-out side caravan launched

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The Inos slide-out caravan is a first venture into caravans for the Fifth Wheel Company who bought a farm in North Wales and began making fifth wheel units in 2002.

It rides on a BPW chassis that’s capable of taking 2700kg. IDC (Intelligent Drive Control, BPW’s stability-aid system) is standard. It weighs 2000kg, costs £36,000 and has a half-metre-wide slide-out dining area that extends the floorspace by a total of three metres.

Its construction is wood-free. The sides are of GRP (glass reinforced plastic) vacuum-bonded sandwich construction. It’s a four–element panel, GRP inner and outer skins, with a Styrofoam insulation core. The corner joints are filled with dense polyurethane foam that’s strong enough to take screws and fixings.

Go Caravan was the first publication to take the Inos out on the road. Throughout its test tow, the Inos showed rock-solid stability on corners and behaved impeccably along country lanes and on main roads.

The long drawbar characteristic that the Inos shares with continental caravans, plus the position of the four wheels further back down the chassis length than is usual, combine to aid stability. And that long drawbar has another advantage: we discovered that, when manoeuvring, you can make tighter turns without risk of the corner of the caravan colliding with the car, simply because the rear of  the car is further from the front of the caravan than with caravans with shorter drawbars.

Throughout, the Inos amazed us with its agility, given its eight-metre length. Towing and manoeuvring was just as easy as with a standard large twin-axle caravan – but with wheel position and long drawbar presenting different geometry to calculate at manoeuvring speeds. At the end of its tow test we discovered we could reverse it into its slot alongside fifth wheel units outside the factory with the ease of handling any other twin axle caravan of comparable length.


See the June issue of Go Caravan for more information – on sale 5 May.

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