Practical Caravan's experts review the Inos 2, to see if the Fifth Wheel Company can repeat the success of its debut in the touring caravan market
The Fifth Wheel Company entered the touring caravan market in 2011 with the Inos. It had been manufacturing American-style fifth wheelers with slide-out sections since 2002, but the twin-axle Inos was the first British, non-fifth-wheeler caravan to have one.
The Inos was so successful that it took the family-run company by surprise – even orders from abroad reached Fifth Wheel’s factory in Wales. The next step, then, was to do the same thing in a single-axle version that could be towed by a lighter vehicle than was needed for the first Inos, which has an MTPLM of 2500kg. The result is this, the Inos 2, which features an end washroom, a side kitchen, a fixed double bed and an L-shaped lounge.
Pitching and setting up
The bodyshell’s profile follows the same simple lines as those of its twin-axle stablemate and is built in the same way. The well-finished exterior is of a 35mm-thick sandwich of Styrofoam bounded by dent-resistant GRP, promising solid build and excellent insulation. The front corners are fully moulded, as are the rear panel and the single-piece roof and front. Wood is not used anywhere for the caravan’s exterior construction.
The almost-vertical front has no locker. Instead, Fifth Wheel’s designers created space for two 13kg gas cylinders in an offside compartment near the front, which makes them simple to access. Further kit includes an external locker on the nearside forward of the main door, heavy-duty steadies that are easy to use, a directional TV aerial and an on-board tank that can hold up to 40 litres of fresh water.
A cupboard between these two benches is topped by a convenient surface to stand drinks. For mealtimes, a free-standing table fits here, which is stored in a dedicated cupboard by the nearside sofa.
Large overhead lockers up front house speakers for the radio/CD player. Vents in the seat bases allow heat through from the Alde radiators. An optional flat-screen TV can be fitted on the slide-out’s right-hand wall.
Three windows and a rooflight bathe the lounge in sunlight, but the only artificial illumination is provided by a single ceiling light near the front.
The storage options in the kitchen area are varied, though. Three drawers and a cupboard are supplemented by two deep lockers, which may be too high for shorter people to use easily. There is no drainer, recessed or removable. The work surface, though limited, is helped by a flip-up extension – however, when it is in use, it blocks the entrance. LEDs provide workspace lighting.
However, the corner shower cubicle isn’t a moulded unit and although it is well sealed, an ABS unit would be better. Extra vents here help heat circulate faster and, while there’s a roof fan, the washroom is dark because it has no window.
Sunlight can stream in through the window alongside the bed, but the night-time lighting options are limited – in fact, there is only one spotlamp. With one reading light, no bedside shelves and only a concertina partition for privacy, this falls short of what we’d expect inside such a luxurious caravan.
While the Inos 2 will appeal most to couples, the seat benches convert into single beds measuring 2.2m x 0.65m and 1.9m x 0.65m.
The double bed and seat boxes offer plenty of room for stowing kit. In addition, between the washroom and the kitchen is a large wardrobe, as well as two drawers and a cupboard.
The solid build quality, generous living space and high equipment specification make this model an attractive alternative to the pricier twin-axle Inos.
- The washroom is a great size
- It boasts attractive décor
- There is a good amount of living space and a lot of storage
- For such a high price you expect more kit
- Night-time lighting options are limited