Have Your Way! -- It Can Be Done!
FACTORY DIRECT TO YOU.
Building custom RVs such as thes special fifth-wheel trailer is this company's forte
by JEFF JOHNSTON
Travel Units Incorporated, a manufacturer of custom travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers and truck campers, can build just about anything, even a 45-foot fifth-wheel trailer designed for a very tall former basketball star. Rather than making standard units, the company works with each customer to produce a unit that's best suited to individual needs.
For instance, special requirements were built into the fifth-wheel trailer previewed here, made for owners Ralph and Helen Crostliwaite. A basketball player for Western Kentucky University from 1955 to 1959, Ralph stands 6 geet,9 inches tall. Most RVs are too small for him, but Travel Units built this trailer with a ceiling that rises from 7 to 8 feet high. The bathroom, bedroom and kitchen facilities were likwise built to suit his stature.
Basic construction techniques used in the Crosthwaites' trailer included wood wall, floor and ceiling framing; aluminum skinned side walls; and fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass exterior side walls are optionally available, as are most other RV related accessories and components. Additional insulation for extreme cold weather, is another readily available option. Heavyduty construction materials are used, including 2x6-inch floor joists, 3/4-inch plywood flooring, 2x6-inch or 2x8-inch headers over windows and a frame made of 2x8-inch doubled rectangular-steel tubing.
Such strong materials result in a heavy trailer. The Crosthwaites' rig, including dual slide-out rooms in back, weighs close to 16,000 pounds, and it has a 21,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr). A tow vehicle like the Crosthwaites' Ford 700-series truck is a must for towing such a large trailer. However, Travel Units also can build much smaller and lighter trailers, suitable for towing behind conventional pickups.
The buyer has complete freedom to choose the woodwork, upholstery , furnishings and so on. Custom-built, solid-cherry cabinets, plus residential-style furniture and major appliances, are featured in the Crosthwaites' trailer.
Custom-built RVs such as this one aren't as expensive as you might think. A unit like the Crosthwaites' has a suggested retail price in the $55,000 range, although no two Travel Units are the same, so prices vary considerably. Company designers are happy to make suggestions to help assemble the best possible package.