rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?  (Read 28965 times)

8and29fans

  • Posts: 3
Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« on: February 27, 2007, 10:12:32 PM »
Hello!  I want to install a hitch on my fifth wheel trailer to tow a small boat or motorcycle trailer.  Where can I get a hitch that will fit?  does it have to be custom made?   It is a Terry (fleetwood prroduct). I assume that it will be attached to two I-beams that are the main structural members of the frame. Do they make bolt-on, or will it have to be welded?  thanks for all input...

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 01:05:53 AM »
Where do you plan tow that rig.   It is illegal in number of states, including CA.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7653
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 06:45:34 AM »
As Carl has mentioned, it is illegal to triple tow in many states. Also, some, if not all, states require the last tow to be a boat so towing a motorcycle trailer would not be allowed in most states. Most states that allow triple towing are west of the Mississippi. It is definitely illegal from Maine to Florida though I have seen many people doing it. Not sure what would trigger a stop by law enforcement but you can bet an accident could create legal problems for the one towing.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

8and29fans

  • Posts: 3
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 08:23:32 AM »
Thanks for your concerns   

Here in Texas triple towing is allowed.  No restrictions except 65 foot length limit.   I plan on limiting myself to short in-state trips.  Within one fuel tank range, as I don't even want to think about pulling that train into a gas station.

My wife thinks I'm nuts to try it!  But I've seen lots of others doing it, and it would be nice not to have to take two separate rigs when we go off on a fishing trip or to the off-road riding area.

I do have concerns about a flat on the boat trailer.  I probably never know it until someone waved us over...

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 46166
  • Celebrating 25 years of The RV Forum online.
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 08:26:40 AM »
I do have concerns about a flat on the boat trailer.  I probably never know it until someone waved us over...

Why not buy a PresssurePro tire pressure monitoring system that will warn you of low tire pressure or total loss of air. Numerous forum members use this system. It's saved me from a potential catastrophic tire failure on several occasions. Contact information for a PressurePro distributor can be found here
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 08:30:30 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 08:35:12 AM »
The rear bumper on a 5vers strong enough?  I doubt it very much.  Most of what I've seen are not much better than reyonlds wrap in the middle of the bumper with no support.  They are not made for a project as such.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

8and29fans

  • Posts: 3
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 08:41:46 AM »
I'm prety sure that the hitch would have to be attached directly to the twin I-beams that art the main structural members of the frame (not the bumper).   I've seen a lot in use, but have never looked underneath to check the installation...

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18084
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2007, 08:59:51 AM »
Personally I think any state that allows this type of towing without training and certification should be held liable for any damage or injuries caused by untrained drivers towing double trailers.  Sometimes laws just don't protect the public.  In some states if an RVer happens to hold a valid CDL they cannot tow two trailers of any kind without getting an endorsement.  However, any Joe not holding a CDL can hook up his 5th wheel and tie a trailer behind that and be on his way. Montana is one such state. Just plain stupid IMHO.  Personally I think you should listen to your wife on this one.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 65113
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 09:01:44 AM »
You have to have the hitch custom made/installed. Basically most any universal type receiver hitch can be modified to attach to the trailers frame (assuming it even has much of a frame back there - some do not). Details will vary depending on the trailer's chassis and the receiver used.  You may have to make a bracket of some sort from angle iron.

It used to be that any hitch shop or body shop would weld up a hitch for this sort of thing, but liability concerns have scared off a lot of them.

Quote
My wife thinks I'm nuts to try it!
I agree with your wife.  ;)
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2007, 09:06:40 AM »
Gary I wish I had said that, cuz that's typical of me.  But My sentiments exactly
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 03:46:53 PM by Shayne »
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

caltex

  • ---
  • Posts: 731
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2007, 11:15:27 AM »
Towing a bass boat behind a fifth wheel is pretty common here in Texas.  If you want to go camping and fishing that's a way to do it. Is it safe? That depends on the driver. You would be correct in saying that putting a boat behind the fifth wheel makes the total rig less controlable.  You would also be correct in saying that hitching a firth wheel to a pickup makes the total package more difficult to control.
Robert

GEJim

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2007, 06:11:40 PM »
8and29fans,
I noticed you got a lot of advise and opinions but no answer to your question.  Although I don't have much use for Junior or Kevin I'll  help you out (LOL). McGills Welding in Lewisville, Tx 972 436-7498 will build your receiver for about $200. There is also a place in Granbury that will build a whole new bumper complete with receiver for $480. I will try to find his number and let you know.

BBKRISH

  • Posts: 1
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2007, 08:39:10 PM »
Hello!  I want to install a hitch on my fifth wheel trailer to tow a small boat or motorcycle trailer.  Where can I get a hitch that will fit?  does it have to be custom made?   It is a Terry (fleetwood prroduct). I assume that it will be attached to two I-beams that are the main structural members of the frame. Do they make bolt-on, or will it have to be welded?  thanks for all input...

Blu Ox makes a universal  fit 5th wheel 3 receiver hitch for 5th wheels... and on theire information site, you can locate towing laws for triples as well.

http://www.towingworld.com/

[edit]Link made live.[/edit]
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 11:36:56 PM by Carl L »

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7653
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2007, 06:29:54 AM »
Glad it's legal to tow where you intend. It sure is a monster train and I wouldn't want to stop for fuel either. :) Just be sure everything is good with the hitch. I, too, have seen many of these rigs, even in states where they are not allowed.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2007, 09:16:59 AM »
Doesn't som states require a Class A Commercial Drivers Liscense?  At one time ILLINOIS did, Not so sure anymore.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2007, 06:56:50 PM »
Doesn't som states require a Class A Commercial Drivers Liscense?  At one time ILLINOIS did, Not so sure anymore.

CA requires a Class A license AND a double tow endorsement.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

radialmech

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2007, 02:09:44 PM »
Personally I think any state that allows this type of towing without training and certification should be held liable for any damage or injuries caused by untrained drivers towing double trailers.  Sometimes laws just don't protect the public.  In some states if an RVer happens to hold a valid CDL they cannot tow two trailers of any kind without getting an endorsement.  However, any Joe not holding a CDL can hook up his 5th wheel and tie a trailer behind that and be on his way. Montana is one such state. Just plain stupid IMHO.  Personally I think you should listen to your wife on this one.

Can you quote any accident statistics to show why your stance is correct?
Texas also allows RV double tows.
So does Idaho.
So does Wyoming.
So does Colorado.
So does Utah.
So does Nevada.
California is the ONLY state that I know of that requires a Class A CDL with doubles endorsement for towing RV doubles.
I have never heard of an accident caused by RV doubles here (Montana), and almost anything goes here.

The laws vary widely by state.  Some states do require that the first trailer be a 5er.  Some don't.
Some states require that the second trailer be a watercraft.  Some don't.
Some states don't allow RV doubles at all.
Maximum length can vary from 55 to 75 feet, depending on state.
Note that we are talking about RV double towing here, NOT commercial doubles.  Different rules apply.
Reciprocity does NOT apply.  Just because it is legal in your state doesn't mean Washington will allow you to enter with RV doubles.
While there are lists of towing laws available in various publications, and on the 'net, I don't trust them.  There have been many inaccuracies pointed out by people who should know.  It is best to check with the appropriate authorities in your state and every state you plan to enter.
Any custom hitch shop should be able to build a quite adequate receiver hitch for a 5er.
If your trailer is new, there may be warranty issues that you should consider.
Good luck.

[edit]Removed personal attack[/edit]
« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 04:04:26 PM by Tom »
Jon
'94 Dodge 3500 CTD, 264,000miles
11.5 ft. Caribou camper
Billings, MT

acokeday

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2007, 09:16:06 PM »
I double tow.  14,000 miles last year.  I bought a Wal-Mart wireless security camera and 5 inch monitor and plug camera into trailer 12 volt and mount in back window and put mini tv on console of truck.  Cost $49. and works like a charm.  (You have to remember left is right and right is left looking back)   Go for it.   Alan

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18084
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2007, 09:41:19 PM »
Quote
I have never heard of an accident caused by RV doubles here (Montana), and almost anything goes here.

A fatal double tow accident occurred a few years ago between Conrad and Great Falls, Mt.  The RV, pickup, 5th wheel, and second trailer combination lost control while passing a loaded fuel truck and ended up all smashed up in the median.  Both passengers in the RV were killed, truck driver was very upset, along with other drivers traveling in the opposite direction when the accident occurred.

In Montana an endorsement or special license is not required to double tow unless you hold a CDL.  All CDL holders are required to have an endorsement to double tow even their RV.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2007, 10:05:03 PM »
Please let us know when and where you are towing so we can stay clear by about 300 miles.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

jakebank

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2007, 12:18:44 AM »
Its funny you can tell who is from state where they dont allow it.  Here in Utah I see people doing it all the time.  I've never seen or even heard of a set up like this getting in an accident around here.  Its really common to see 5ers with a trailer fullof four wheelers behind it.  People do it when they go hunting.  My uncle pulled a 5er and a 20 ft boat around for 10 years or so until he got a bigger boat.  He never had a single problem.  He also is a long haul trucker though and pulls triples for a living.  I dont see how a 5er with another (albiet smaller) trailer in tow is more dangerous than pulling doubles or triples commercially.  As long as you have brakes and sway control, and are a smart and educated driver, I think its no more dangerous than these people pulling a boat behind these huge motor homes.  As long as you are within your tow limits and laws of course.

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2007, 01:15:15 AM »
Quote
He also is a long haul trucker though and pulls triples for a living.  I dont see how a 5er with another (albiet smaller) trailer in tow is more dangerous than pulling doubles or triples commercially.


And in the state of California he would have a commercial class A license with a double tow endorsement having passed a medical exam, a law exam and a driving exam.    Moreover he would be towing with a heavy duty tractor since double towing with a passenger vehicle is illegal in CA -- period.  (Pickups are passenger vehicles.)

Every state has its regulations about such tows.   California is generally strict and for a reason.   I have driven Utah highways and I drive CA highways most every day.   I would hate to try, or even see, an amateur double tow using a pickup on, say, I-5 or most any other highway in the state, with our rural traffic loads, much less any urban freeways.    I suspect the CHP would take my view of the matter.   

Come to think of it, I do not see many professional double tows around CA.  Some, but not nearly as many as I saw in Utah.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

jakebank

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2007, 01:51:22 AM »
I totally agree though I dont think an amateur driver should be pulling a triple tow.  Honestly I think there should be a necessary endorsement for pulling a triple tow if you dont have a CDL.  But in the hands of an experienced, educated driver, I feel that a triple isn't necessarily a safety risk.  But thats just me.

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2007, 01:47:42 PM »
Quote
But in the hands of an experienced, educated driver, I feel that a triple isn't necessarily a safety risk.  But thats just me.


Educated is the word to concentrate on here.   A commercial driver gets specific schooling and experience and must pass competence tests.  The rest of us drivers here have limited our schooling to something in high school or at the hands of old Daddy and that in a ordinary sedan.    I have met exactly one forum member out of thousands here who has a commercial class A.    There are others no doubt, but only one has introduced himself to me. 

He was probably competent to pull a double tow.  The rest just get away with it.  So far.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2007, 03:30:51 PM »
Some people will try to triple pull with a F150  Too  but that sure doesn't make it right.  Then Some people jump in lakes off bridges  would your want to follow.     I have an ILL Class A Dr. Lisc with tag tow and still won"t do it.  It's a matter of common sense or no sense at all. JMHO

See Below for apology for mistype  But it really is Triple tow.,
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 07:39:09 PM by Shayne »
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

jakebank

  • ---
  • Posts: 19
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2007, 03:38:12 PM »
I dont think anyone ever said that pulling a triple tow with an F150 was smart.  I was under the impression we were talking about staying within the towing and legal limits of your truck and state law.  I honestly have never seen or heard of one of these being in an accident here in Northern Utah.  That doesn't mean that everyone who has pulled them has been qualified but I think that a qualified driver should be able to handle a triple tow.  Its funny getting off the freeway today I was behind a guy with a brand new F350 TD pulling a 5er and a utility trailer behind it.  Looked pretty stable while he was slowing down coming off the ramp.  It was a long train, I know I wouldnt want to be pulling something that long and heavy.  But my whole point is that someone who is qualified should be able to drive one of these.  People need to have a way to get their toys around.  JMO

Ned

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 25501
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2007, 04:00:03 PM »
What you're discussing is NOT a triple tow, it's a DOUBLE tow.  A triple tow is a tow vehicle and THREE trailers behind.  I don't think even the most ignorant of RVers would ever try a triple tow.  We see a few true triple tows on the highways out west, mostly in Utah, but even the drivers don't like that configuration.  They look like a snake going down the road if there's any cross wind.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7653
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2007, 05:37:10 PM »
Ned,

Technically you are correct but I have always heard it referred to as triple towing. Never could figure out why except there are three "vehicles" involved. Even those in the industry call it triple towing. The ad for a platform I was interested in for hauling the bike said they are considered a triple tow by law enforcement. It's just a platform with a dolly wheel but, when attached to a motorhome with a toad it's triple towing.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Ned

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 25501
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2007, 06:01:50 PM »
Check the Road Carriers Atlas for the diagram of the different configurations, there is only one that's called a triple tow and has 3 trailers.  The others are doubles.  Misuse of a term doesn't make it correct, no matter how often it's misused.  The industry does define it correctly.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7297
Re: Want to tow boat behind fifth wheel, where to buy hitch?
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2007, 06:33:09 PM »
 
Quote
People need to have a way to get their toys around.
 

Not really.  They are toys after all.   
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco