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Bumper pull Camper with HDT


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Although i have a 5th wheel trailer. I enjoy my Holiday Rambler Bumper pulls

 32ft  campers. Going to take  2500 mile trip. I have been told "Dont do it "  i have been told use an equalizer hitch from my 3500 gmc flatbed. I have also been told ill shake it apart unless i use an air bag bumper pull hitch.  Does anyone have any experience with any problems bumper pulling, and hurting the camper trailer ? My Volvo has Air Ride Rear. Any comments are appreciated. Thanks


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Yes, your Volvo has air ride, designed to operate nicely when loaded so that there's around 30-34k on the rear tires.  Thus the reasoning behind having an air hitch, whether fifth wheel or bumper pull.

Many have gone before you.  Some have been kind enough to share their reasonings and results.  The "search" function is your friend.

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 Basically it's a simple physics thing. Just the rear axles of any tandem hdt weigh more than most any travel trailer.

 A couple analogies come to mind. If you ride motorcycles for example, and you were to weigh say 180lb, and ride a 150lb motorcycle, you will have good control over it. If on the other hand you were to jump on a 800lb motorcycle, that motorcycle will control you, not the other way round.

 Or, opposite of you hdt towing a tt, think about a toyota corolla trying to tow your 32' tt. It'll beat the crap out of the toyota.

 An f350 towing your 32'er, there will be some allowance between the pu and the trailer. They are closer to the same weight, so when though the pu should control the tt, the tt has some say in the matter. It will let the pu know it is back there.

 With the hdt, there is no allowance. The tt can be tipped on its side, sparking away on the asphalt, and the only way you would know with the hdt is if you see it in the mirror. The hdt wont even know it, or give any feed back as to what is going on back there as it is so much heavier and more powerful. That weight of the hdt will not have any mercy on the tt going down the road. It will not "give" at all. An f350 will have plenty "give" as the trailer hits bumps etc.

 So ya, I'd tow it with an hdt all day long, but would have a hitch between them that has some allowance capacity.

I'm a work'n on it.

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My wife and I have traveled thousands of miles with a TT and the Volvo for 7 and a 1/2 years.

TT has shown no ill effects of being pulled by the Volvo.  I do use a hitch with some give to it, but did not add it until year two or three.


The Ty was 6-7 years old when we bought it, now about 14 years old.

The hitch is a Gen-y hitch and has been great, except it’s heavy.


Edited by Parrformance

2006 Volvo VNL 780, " Arvey"  Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

2010 Forest River Coachman Freedom Express 280RLS


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Many people confuse a weight distribution hitch for sway control, the Hensley hitch. It has a new name, has both and works. I cant think of any benefit to weight distribution with an HDT but the cam style sway control that Reeise developed seems to work and it does require the distribution bars. I might be concerned that the truck might overload the trailer frame under some circumstances.  With a HDT load distribution, in the trailer, will not be a problem and with adequate hitch weight sway should be a minor issue, but still a possibility. I have also used fiction sway control and all though they are not as effective as the others they are a inexpensive third place alternative,  no bars required and if the trailer is bigger two can be used. 

I have a Shocker hitch on my gooseneck and a Gen-y for my bumper pull.  I went Gen-y because Shocker didn't offer enough drop for my application. Both work well and I wouldn't be without one or the other. I like the adjustable air bag on the Shocker but I also like that I dont have to check the Gen-y. 

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  • 3 months later...

We just finished our 2500 mile trip with standard Bumper pull with the Volvo. Followed like a dream and yes we did not even know it was back there. Drove it at 58-65 mph not 75 mph.  No damage from bouncing or shaking.  Only one thing to remember .. we parked at home unhooked the bumper pull . Started up the HDT and went to pull away . The trailer was hooked back up to the ball on the hitch. WHY ? well air bags filled back up and raised the HDT back into the trailer ... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used an Air Safe air suspension hitch for “bumper” towing with Tatanka due mostly to him being single rear axle. The SA falls into every hole and dip with no equalization attempt like a tandem. It reduces the pummelling handed out to the trailer especially on winter busted roads on the continent.

Tantanka never required “sway” control. I asked him about “weight distribution”. He fired off his air dryer at me in disgust.

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 


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I bumper pull an enclosed trailer 25’ has toys inside, filled with cabinets and such.  It is 100% aluminum so light weight but built well.  First years pulled with standard hitch and for past 3 years Gen-Y; by far best hitch and safe.  No issues pulling trailer no contents within trailer.  My Sundowner trailer is by far best ever owned.

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