C5 caravan project

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hannahgirl
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C5 caravan project

Post by hannahgirl » 08 Nov 2019, 22:45

hi all, i just wanted to share with you my current project, i bought a smashed up 2004 c5 estate, it has front end damage, so instead of scrapping it, i wanted to make some use of it and keep it alive in some sort of way, i decided to cut the car in half, and reuse the back end of it as a caravan,
you possibly thinking why would i do this?? and to answer your question, here is why, i havent seen a c5 been cut and turned into a caravan, and the fact that most of the car shows i would like to go to are mostly up north, too far for me to tow my caravan, so by having the c5 caravan it will be like having best of both worlds, have another c5 at the show, and also a place for me to sleep at night,

as most of you who know me, i am a massive c5 fan, its a massive part in my life, i bought my 1st c5 back in 2009 and still own it to this day, its my pride and joy, my partner knows my c5 is a part of the family, and will be in my care until i die,

ok so back to the story of the c5 caravan, i bought the back end of it from a guy who was stripping the car for spare parts, and so he let me do this project on his drive way, as i live in a block of flats there was no way i could even think of doing this project, in return he wanted me to help strip the front, and also help him with his own c5, in the end of the summer, my cost has now gone past the £1000 mark, as i ended up buying most of the spare parts like engine and gear box, doors etc,

my goal was to keep the rear axle with the suspension, and so had to use the original pump which took me 2 weeks to rework the pump so that it was independent from the car electrics. i have a facebook page called """hannah customs andover """" where you can see the videos of the project, as its winter now, the project has been put on hold until the new year so that i can start to plan what to do with the inside of it, but as it stands today it can be towed behind the car, please check out the photo below, and would love to here your thoughts,

thank you for reading my post, Hannah Cruise
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lexi
donor 2019
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by lexi » 09 Nov 2019, 09:03

Brilliant! Love the C5 in green. If you come across any nice C5 estate mk 1 diesel, let me know.

hannahgirl
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by hannahgirl » 09 Nov 2019, 09:46

lexi wrote:
09 Nov 2019, 09:03
Brilliant! Love the C5 in green. If you come across any nice C5 estate mk 1 diesel, let me know.
there is a few out there esp on ebay but i find anything i let you know

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Zelandeth
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Zelandeth » 09 Nov 2019, 13:35

An interesting idea, though there are a few challenges which immediately spring to mind.

Have you got a plan in mind for the brakes? Can't remember the precise numbers, but the rules changed a few years back which vastly reduced the maximum allowable weight of an unbraked trailer. That's why you basically stopped seeing towing dolleys overnight. Was a royal pain for us at the garage at the time and wound up with us basically having to buy a dedicated car transporter.

Weight is probably going to be your biggest enemy once you've started kitting it out with the essentials to actually make it a pleasant place to be. Caravans are designed from the outset to be pretty much as light as possible...cars aren't. Keep in mind as well that if the whole lot winds up weighing more than 750kg that you'll need to have the category E entitlement on your licence. This used to be issued automatically, but not as of 1997 I believe.

Friend of mine back in the late 90s made a trailer out of the back of an old Escort van, however it ended up on the scrap pile because he figured out quite quickly that he couldn't haul any really useful payload with it before hitting the rated maximum gross vehicle weight for his towing vehicle. His solution in the end was to just buy a bigger van.

hannahgirl
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by hannahgirl » 09 Nov 2019, 14:13

as you may of known but the handbrake is on the front axle and so on the rear its standard hydro brakes on the rear, according to DVSA, if the trailer weights less than 750KG, then i dont really need to have any brakes at all, from all the calculations i have done, the trailer will weight about 550 kg once its all done, so thats not too bad really, i have 2 AGM batterys under the boot floor this is for powering the hydro pump and also power the entertainment system i am using,

Hell Razor5543
NOT Alistair or Simon
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 09 Nov 2019, 18:41

Might I suggest a hydraulic braking system (connected to a ram on the towing arm) so that as the C5 brakes so does the 1/2 C5? It could be useful if you could make it use DOT4 fluid (as that would be one less different liquid to carry/store). However, if you can get that to work I would also work out a locking system to STOP the brakes coming on for when you are reversing, as braked trailers are the bane of the Dual Mass Flywheel.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 09 Nov 2019, 19:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Zelandeth
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Zelandeth » 09 Nov 2019, 19:52

Our old next door neighbor had a caravan which had a lockout device you could slot in to disable the trailer brake for reversing. Was basically two U shaped bits of metal connected by a sturdy rod that clipped on the drawbar just either side of the braking ram. Was bright yellow and labelled "REMOVE BEFORE DRIVING." Was pretty much necessary as we had really steep driveways, so trying to back a braked van up there was a recipe for a cooked clutch.

If you have the resources to put together a project like this, something similar shouldn't be too hard to make.

Getting the brakes working to me at least would make a huge amount of sense just from the perspective of safety. If you need to do an emergency stop halfway up the M6, under the legal limit requiring brakes or not...having them could vastly reduce the drama involved in stopping safely. Especially given half the hardware necessary is already there...though the vehicle brakes expecting LDS does add a layer of complexity.

Will need to have a dig through my archives and see if I've any photos of the Escort van trailer. Was beautifully done and honestly looked like it had left the factory like that.

Hell Razor5543
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 09 Nov 2019, 19:58

Corrected the LDS error (I was so used to the Xantia using LHM for everything I forgot the C5 has a separate braking system!).

hannahgirl
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by hannahgirl » 10 Nov 2019, 10:48

the only problem i have is trying to re use the rear brakes, as the disk are corroded and brake calipers are sized up, so would have to buy new set, somthing i will look into next year, dont forget this project is allready gone into the £1000 mark

Hell Razor5543
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 10 Nov 2019, 14:33

You may well need a blowtorch to remove the calliper bolts (it is a good idea to have a replacement set of bolts, as you are then unlikely to need them!). I would suggest you practise on the 'caravan' brakes first, as you WILL need to do the ones on the C5 at some time.

Citroen made a mistake on the C5 (this originally happened on the Xantia, but they did not learn from their mistakes) in that the trailing arm is made from steel, while the brake calliper is made from aluminium. Over time these metals react with each other, producing a slate hard corrosion (and munching on the callipers) that will, over time, push the callipers off line, reducing the surface area the pads grip, in turn reducing the amount of braking force. The following thread shows the problem (admittedly on a Xantia, but you get the picture);

https://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/ ... hp?t=38467

When I had the rear brakes on my previous C5 done (at the same time as getting the trailing arm bearings replaced) I had the garage fit gasket paper between the callipers and the arms. Unfortunately I never got to see if this helped, as only a few years later somebody went into the back of me and wrote her off!

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Zelandeth
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Re: C5 caravan project

Post by Zelandeth » 10 Nov 2019, 16:12

I'd probably not worry too much about the state of the discs...a bit of vibration or imbalance isn't going to.be the end of the world on a trailer. Obviously you will need to get the calipers working or changed though.