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Adding a receiver hitch to the rear of a 5er for double towing


remoandiris

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There are a number of weight consideration before pulling the trigger on this project. A Class II is rated at 3500, Class III hitch at 5000#, Class IV at 10000#, a Class V at 12000#(if my memory serves me right, please confirm for your application). And another consideration is the frame on the trailer and what class hitch it will support, meaning can the frame handle 3500# or something else. It is a very tenuous process to venture out to do yourself. Might be better to have a certified shop do it and let their experience help with that process.

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I added a 2 inch receiver to the rear of my 5er initially for a large carrier to haul my generator and/or fire wood. I had a machine shop build a 2"inch receiver out of tube steal and weld it to the frame. It replaced a 1 1/4" receiver that came from the factory for a bike rack. A month ago I bought a Jeep and decided I wanted to tow it behind my 5er. I went back to the same machine shop and talked to the owner about what I wanted to do. We came up with some additional bracing and frame strengthening and I had him weld it all up. My set up now is:

 

Rear of trailer - 2" tube steal with 1/2" plates (about 8" long) welded on either end run from one side of the trailer to the other and welded along the plate to the under side of the frame. The receiver tube is welded to the center of this tube with 1/2" plate on top and bottom of it (sandwiched around the tube).

 

Additional reinforcement - an identical tube with plates was welded to the under side of the frame about 3' forward of the original tube. Two additional 2" tubes were welded in place between the two frame tubes building a ladder like structure.

 

It is quite solid and keeps my frame from bending or twisting at the end of the trailer.

 

Additionally I had to upgrade my pin box. My original pin box was not rated with enough weight capacity to handle the 5er and a towed vehicle behind it. I had a Mor/Ryde rubber pin box. I spoke to Mor/Ryde and learned all their pin boxes are built identically (as far as construction). The way they determine the pin boxes weight capacity is by the size of rubber spring they install internally. I purchased the next higher rated spring and some other replacement parts (basically a rebuild kit for the king pin box) and installed them to upgrade my king pin's capacity. The only thing I have not reinforced is the framing in the 5er overhang. I will monitor this and make any necessary modifications as needed.

 

On edit, here is a link to the thread I recently started about my experiment with double towing: http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=123400#entry844658

 

Also, another thought. The hitch doesn't have to support much (if any) hitch weight when towing a towed four down. What you need to be concerned about is the pull forces and the lateral forces on the frame of the 5er. The tail of a 5er swings quite a bit out when turning because of typical forward axle placement. This means the towed will be getting pulled out there laterally with the tail and your framing has to be able to support this.

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Also, I originally wanted to put some bracing between the frame rails (not just on the bottom side). However, once I pulled the covering from the underside of the trailer I found my water tank mounted right in the way of where I wanted to put the bracing. This was why I did everything on the underside of the framing. I did have to move my rear stabilizer jacks forward about a foot and remount them to make room for the new bracing as well.

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While I DO NOT recommend doing this, if you are going to, then start with Chad's advice. It is imperative that the frame be heavily reinforced on most 5th wheels.

 

You also have to take into account the hitch head rating...most will have to be replaced - as Chad did. Or, if you are particularly handy you can reinforce most hitch heads and they will work. But you better know what you are doing if you take that approach.

 

There are many other considerations. Braking systems; break-away systems; camera for monitoring; brake indicators if the towed object has brakes. These are the MINIMUM to do it relatively safely.

 

It can be a pretty expensive process, but it does give you some options otherwise not available.

 

Also, be aware you will be illegal most places.

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What are you planning to put in the receiver hitch? Estimated weights?

 

I am planning to tow a RZR on a trailer. The tongue weight should be in the 200 - 250 range. The 2016 builds of my 5er have a receiver from the factory. The 2015 builds did not.

 

I'm not going down the double tow debate rabbit hole. Suffice it to say I have done the research and will take my chances. There is a whole lot of country between the east and west coasts that allow it.

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Do you have a pic of the rear end? I'd be happy to take a look, sketch something up, and discus it over the forum. My experience is that I've built a few hitches for HDTs and LDTs and never had a failure (I tend to overbuild).

 

It's definitely doable, shouldn't be that expensive, and if the 2016's already have it, the easy answer is to copy their design and add any extra gussets/bracing as needed.

 

What's the Rzr and trailer combo weigh?

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What's the Rzr and trailer combo weigh?

I appreciate your offer. Once I get home in Aug, I'll be more into the hitch. Right now I'm in the info gathering stage. If I can find a bolt-on hitch, I'll go that route instead of welding.

 

According to Polaris, the RZR is about 1200lbs. I do not have the trailer yet.

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Double towing on your 5er, you also need to be concerned about total length. Some states are as low as 55'. Texas has a max length of 65'.

 

Then which states allow double towing...Just wanted to keep yo out of the rabbit hole.

 

Personally, I will not double tow.

 

Ken

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Today, on a day trip, we went from Twin Falls, ID. ( US 30 and I-84) to Mountain Home, ID. Then to C. J. Strike Dam, back to Mountain Home, across US 20 to Fairfield, ID. then onto ID 46 to Gooding and Wendell, back to Twin Falls. I have never seen more double towing whether 5th wheels or travel trailers. I always said that there was more double towing on US 20 at Island Park, ID. then anywhere, but today blew that out of the water.

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Remo....I have done what you are going to do. First we towed a regular utility trailer behind our fifth wheel with the RZR in it. Only did that the first year as it was a real pita. I had to really watch way ahead as I didnt have the ability to back up with the rig as the utility trailer would jack knife right away.

So...the next winter( we are snowbirds) I switched to a swivel wheel carrier behind the fifth wheel with the RZR on sideways to the road. The swivel wheel worked out fabulously and allowed me to back up if I needed to. This gave me a lot more freedom in maneuvering the rig. This is what I would recommend you do. You still need a hitch set up on the fifth wheel.

Now we have a motorhome and I tow a GMC pickup behind the MH with the RZR in the back of the pickup. This works the best for us. Good luck and whatever you do...dont leave that RZR behind ....its the best.

Cheers!

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Jim's recommendation of the swivel wheel is also what I would do since you have a RZR. Assuming it is the 2x version and not the 4X. That will be legal in many states and not considered towing doubles. And IMO it is far safer, and does not require a braking system. Plus you get to back up.....

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We have used a swivel trailer for going on 4 years now and have been very happy with it. Get a rear camera installed and a Tire Monitor Pressure system along with a couple of extra 8" spare tires that only last about 4k miles.

I would not tow a second trailer, if a tire/bearing goes bad the second trailer will fish tail with bad results.

Greg

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Jim's recommendation of the swivel wheel is also what I would do since you have a RZR. Assuming it is the 2x version and not the 4X. That will be legal in many states and not considered towing doubles. And IMO it is far safer, and does not require a braking system. Plus you get to back up.....

 

In my domicile state of Fla, even a swivel wheel type trailer is considered double towing. Verified via my state rep's office thru the DMV and FHP. Cite FSS 316.515 (3). ...Unless otherwise specifically provided for in this section, a combination of vehicles not qualifying as commercial motor vehicles may consist of no more than two units coupled together;

 

"coupled together" is not defined. Even bolted is coupled.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a 26' 1998 5th wheel that I added a hitch to. I tow a trailer that weighs roughly 8,000 lbs depending on what toys go (jeep on 42s, sandrail, quads, ...) I was told that it would never work but I've been doing it six years now. Have a solid hitch built and be smart about it. I always figured that many trailers get beat up pretty badly on the road by inexperienced drivers or people who just don't care that if I think and plan ahead I can take most of the stress off the trailer. Between the two trailers and truck I weigh 25.6k.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It can be done with the proper reinforcements. Some trailers start with better frames than others, so what reinforcements needed would be unique to whatever trailer you are starting with. Some trailers I would not even try it on. It really depends on what you have to start with. You also want to be careful you don't unload too much weight from the pin box.

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Motojavaphil If you wanted to put a 2 wheeler on the rear think about 2 receivers, one on each frame rail. Weld/bolt them to the frame and then you have more stability . It won't rock like it would in a single receiver. Good luck Pat

 

 

The old Sailor

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