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Towing a Trailer behind a 5th Wheel


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#1 Rooster

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:44 AM

My wife and I are going full time in 3 months getting all our ducks in a row, we have a 39' Heartland Landmark 5th wheel. I would like some informaiton on towing a small trailer for an ATV or motorcycle behind the 5th wheel. Heartland has the capacity to have a receiver hitch mounted on the frame but I'm wondering has anyone had any experience with this. Does the trailer need to have surge brakes or electric brakes and is this legal in most states? We're from TN and it is legal here. I've seen a lot of them going down the road but don't know the length rules of the road. Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to going on down the road.

#2 Newt

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:56 AM

My wife and I are going full time in 3 months getting all our ducks in a row, we have a 39' Heartland Landmark 5th wheel. I would like some informaiton on towing a small trailer for an ATV or motorcycle behind the 5th wheel. Heartland has the capacity to have a receiver hitch mounted on the frame but I'm wondering has anyone had any experience with this. Does the trailer need to have surge brakes or electric brakes and is this legal in most states? We're from TN and it is legal here. I've seen a lot of them going down the road but don't know the length rules of the road. Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to going on down the road.


In general the states that allow double towing have a length limit of 65'. Measure your length hooked up and see what you have left. With that said, it's not generally enforced. But, if you get caught, what then?

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#3 Rooster

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

What about the breaks?

#4 OHVRanger

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

I see people in Oregon from other states hauling a boat behind their 5ver, but have no first hand knowledge of whether they get harassed or not. It's not legal in Oregon. Also, any trailer over 2000 gross wt is required to have electric brakes in Oregon. HTH WillPosted Image

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#5 Glenn West

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

Check out your weight. You could easily go way over your truck rating, assuming you are towing with a LDT.
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#6 Randy retired

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

Double towing is common in some states but it is not legal in many states. I have done it and it is not without problems. Backing is very difficult and a way to see the trailer in case of problems such as a blown tire seemed important. Many states have a length limit of 65' or less. I wouldn't tow a second trailer without brakes and one controller will not control brakes on the second trailer do to balance issues so a second controller is needed. It is also easy to overload the tow vehicle or the 5er. I might do it again but this is not something to take lightly.
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#7 Jack Mayer

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:43 PM

I have a section on my website in the Legal section on towing doubles. It is mainly oriented to vehicles, but the principles are the same.

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#8 Billieg

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:11 AM

I have the same problem in that I want to tow my Harley with my 5th wheel. I found a good solution here: Swivel trailer

I got the swivel wheels and axles and then bought a 5 x 8 used lawn trailer with a gate, took off the axle/wheels and turned it sideways so it is now 8 x 5 and has the gate on the side for loading the bike. It "plugs" into the receiver so it doesn't turn opposite of the 5th wheel and is not considered double towing. It's considered part of the 5th wheel frame.

I'm also going to put an alum. toolbox on it and keep a Gen. in it. With my F-350 hooked up to the 40' 5th wheel and the swivel trailer my rig is 65' 8"......
2007 F-350 dually/diesel & 2007 Sunnybrook 391' 5th wheel & custom built Harley. Pine Island Fl.

#9 Jack Mayer

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

Just so you know, some states do consider the swivel wheel trailers as a separate unit, thus it is double towing. In fact the website for the swivel wheel trailers used to discuss this issue. That may have changed over the last couple of years, though, so do your own research....But when I looked into it that was the case.

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#10 Billieg

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:53 PM

If you really want to open a can of worms then double towing or triple towing whichever term you want to use is the way to do it. Most states and people can't even agree on the term to use never mind what it is. After researching for days I still was confused. Federal law allows double towing so on any interstate you will be fine. I guess the 2 best things I found on other sites was this:

1- The swivel wheel is considered a "Load Carrying Vehicle Extension" and not a trailer. WA state law.

Posts on RV.net
2- Not sure if this help but I have a trailer from "swivelwheel.com" on my 5th wheel. It has been part of my rig since 2005. My travels have included all states from Indiana (home turf) to Washington state to Oregon and beck to In to NY city back home and to Florida for the last 6 years as a snow bird. Never a hint of a problem from many police in my travels. Proof is in the experience folks. Thousands of miles and not one stop.

3- Been towing my 2 scooters with a swivelwheel in Florida for 3 years.Florida does not allow double towing and I have not been stopped.

Posted Image

4- We just returned from Florida and logged about 2900 miles in 3 weeks. The cart trailer, 5th wheel Trailer and Truck worked like a dream!

Here are some pictures hooked up at a rest stop in Georgia and at Fort Wilderness in Orlando.


So I guess I will find out this May when I hit the road with my Harley and swivel wheel.
2007 F-350 dually/diesel & 2007 Sunnybrook 391' 5th wheel & custom built Harley. Pine Island Fl.

#11 AquaDawg

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

I have been considering an Idaho Tote on the back of my 5th wheel, but, double towing is not allowed here in Oregon.

My neighbor down the street just retired from the Oregon State Police, and I asked him if this is considered a tag axle if it doesn't turn. He said to be legal in Oregon, it has to be bolted to the 5th wheel as a permanent attachment, and no hitch pins or quick disconnects are allowed.

I hope to get some further legal clarification on this in the future, but I thought some of you might find this useful.

-David

#12 D&J

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:08 AM

My wife and I are going full time in 3 months getting all our ducks in a row, we have a 39' Heartland Landmark 5th wheel. I would like some informaiton on towing a small trailer for an ATV or motorcycle behind the 5th wheel. Heartland has the capacity to have a receiver hitch mounted on the frame but I'm wondering has anyone had any experience with this. Does the trailer need to have surge brakes or electric brakes and is this legal in most states? We're from TN and it is legal here. I've seen a lot of them going down the road but don't know the length rules of the road. Any help would be appreciated. Looking forward to going on down the road.


If I was going to do it fulltime I would go with a swivel trailer with a two point mount and use bolts instead of pins where it connects to the receiver hitch. I would also extend the tail and brake lights to the trail along with the trailer plate. Be advised it will be a problem in some parks because of the length and it will cause you to have more tail swing because of the extra length behind the axles. We double tow a boat but only do it when we are planning on using it the rest of the time it sets at our home base, it would just be to much of a hassle to have it with use all the time.

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#13 D2Reid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

We went full time a year ago Feb. We have two Yamaha XT250's that we take with us. I really wanted to put a little trailer behind the 5er. It would have been an excellent solution to weight distribution. After doing research and finding that it was illegal in some states we opted not to risk a run in with the authorites. I had a rack custom made for the rear of the 5er. We come in at 63' overall. We put one motorycycle on the rack, and the other in the kitchen. When the slide come in it snuggles the motorcycle in quite nicely.

We have overgrossed the 5er. I upgraded the axles after we bent a spindle and flattened the springs.

Back to the point, two trailers behind a tow vehicle is illegal in some places. We decided not to risk it.

#14 Billieg

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:06 PM

I contacted the Florida DMV because I am building a swivel wheel trailer to carry my Harley on behind my 5th wheel. After going through 5 people I found one who knew what I was talking about. He said if the swivel wheel was BOLTED to the frame and didn't turn like a trailer it was considered a frame extension and not a trailer. He said they have had many calls on this and it will be in their new manual soon. He did state that my rig with the swivel wheel attached and hooked up was 67' and was 2' longer than legal so if I were stopped I could get an over length fine but he said they probably wouldn't stop me just for that.
2007 F-350 dually/diesel & 2007 Sunnybrook 391' 5th wheel & custom built Harley. Pine Island Fl.

#15 Billieg

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:51 PM

I have the same problem in that I want to tow my Harley with my 5th wheel. I found a good solution here: Swivel trailer

I got the swivel wheels and axles and then bought a 5 x 8 used lawn trailer with a gate, took off the axle/wheels and turned it sideways so it is now 8 x 5 and has the gate on the side for loading the bike. It "plugs" into the receiver so it doesn't turn opposite of the 5th wheel and is not considered double towing. It's considered part of the 5th wheel frame.

I'm also going to put an alum. toolbox on it and keep a Gen. in it. With my F-350 hooked up to the 40' 5th wheel and the swivel trailer my rig is 65' 8"......


Thought you might want to see my custom built swivel wheel:

Custom built swivel wheel trailer
2007 F-350 dually/diesel & 2007 Sunnybrook 391' 5th wheel & custom built Harley. Pine Island Fl.

#16 MacNova

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:10 PM

What causes the most confusion is what exactly doubble towing or B-train is.

 

What is not allowed is trailer pulling trailer, What is acceptable is 5th wheel pulling trailer. But check with your local laws.

 


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Edited by MacNova, 09 April 2013 - 05:15 PM.


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#17 Biker56

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:51 PM

What is not allowed is trailer pulling trailer

Depends on what state you are talking about.

What you say is not allowed.

Is allowed in many states. I done it all the time in Indiana.

But the back trailer was a boat trailer with a 16' Ranger Bass boat on it, behind a 22' TT being pulled by a 1957 F150 with a Hemi engine.

 

As you say check local laws, which include state laws. :)


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#18 MacNova

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:32 PM

Right you are.



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#19 RayIN

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

Depends on what state you are talking about.

What you say is not allowed.

Is allowed in many states. I done it all the time in Indiana.

But the back trailer was a boat trailer with a 16' Ranger Bass boat on it, behind a 22' TT being pulled by a 1957 F150 with a Hemi engine.

 

As you say check local laws, which include state laws. :)

That is the only legal double-tow  in Indiana for non-commercial vehicles; the 2nd trailer must be a boat trailer and total length must be 65'or less.

 

Billig, towing 2 trailers is double-towing, 3 trailers is triple-towing. Otherwise, what is towing 1 trailer?


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#20 TXiceman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:44 AM

While you may be legal in one state, you may not be legal in the next and you abide by the state laws where you are traveling.  Have heard of some folks when stopped, having to drop the trailer and make other arrangements to get it towed out of state.

 

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