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Old 02-11-2020, 11:11 AM   #1
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Double Towing Hypothetical

This thread is more of thought experiment than anything, however I am interested in any "Real World" experimentation if anyone is willing to share.

While I am certainly open to opinions and ideas, and do not want to come across as crass, I really am not interested in hearing "wet blanket" advice here... That isn't the point of the thread.

I'd like to consider towing double. A very small "Support" trailer behind my 5.0 TA. I understand the hitch it officially rated for 150 lbs load, and being as a hitch haul or bike rack situation.

My questions are:

Has anyone actually done it? I promise not to tell the RV Police...

Has anyone done anything "Very Heavy", or Heavy enough to cause damage to rear hitch, bumper, or chassis? Can you give details, what were the failure points?

Those with more Engineering expertise, can reinforcement be added to increase the possibility? Where/How?

IF, and a Big IF that is, the 5.0TA had a hitch that could tow a small trailer, my idea would be a small support trailer with accommodation for an "Outdoor Kitchen" type setup, potentially an Easy Up, Awning, and maybe additional propane/water storage, or bike/kayak type rack. I don't see this trailer weighing more than 1000 bs gross, or having more than 100 bs of tongue weight.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:16 AM   #2
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I'm not going to be a wet blanket, but you need to check the towing rules in the states you wish to visit. For instance, double-towing, as you want, is not legal in the State of Oregon.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:22 AM   #3
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In a real world scenario from my fly fishing group, a member double towed his trailer and his boat.

He had to drop his boat, drive across a state where double tow was not legal, drop his trailer, drive across state, hook up his boat, drive across state, drop his boat, hook up his trailer, hook up his boat.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:10 PM   #4
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Having double towed a jeep from Denver back to Austin behind a Casita, I can tell you it wasn't fun. In the scenario you suggest you would not be able to see the trailer behind the 5.0. Maybe not a concern for some but I certainly couldn't do it. Towing behind the 5th wheel is certainly preferable to the bumper pull. I've seen it suggested that the stresses put on the frame are just as big of a consideration as what the bumper itself can support. The Casita set up was an aftermarket hitch receiver that attached to the frame itself, not pulling from the bumper.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:24 PM   #5
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Yeah, I fully understand the laws, and that they vary by state.

I do hold a Class A CDL and a Double/Triples endorsement as well, and in my past life have many many miles pulling doubles, and even some triples, and double 48's.

I am not an attorney, nor would I claim this as fact, so use your own judgement with my interpretation.

Often with cases like these the "Law" is really about the officer enforcing it... I certainly do not have time to lookup the actual laws in each state. That said, how this is usually interpreted is that if it is "legal" in your "home" state-- or the state that you are licensed in it is typically OK on any National and Designated route.

These routes are Typically (not always) Federal highways and interstates, and some state highways that receive federal money to maintain. These are the "orange roads" on a truckers atlas.

The same idea applies if one state requires a specific license class or endorsement where as another doesn't. If the state that issued your license does NOT require any special license to drive a 45 Foot 25000lb Motorhome with air brakes for recreational use, then even if you are in say IL who does require a Non-Commercial Class B with Air Brake Endorsement, to do so, you are allowed to operate on National and Designated routes (and I believe most state roads are exempt as well).

In any case, legality aside, that is not what I want to talk about in this thread, I am looking at the physical possibility, not the legality.

Thanks for your input though.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Having double towed a jeep from Denver back to Austin behind a Casita, I can tell you it wasn't fun. In the scenario you suggest you would not be able to see the trailer behind the 5.0. Maybe not a concern for some but I certainly couldn't do it. Towing behind the 5th wheel is certainly preferable to the bumper pull. I've seen it suggested that the stresses put on the frame are just as big of a consideration as what the bumper itself can support. The Casita set up was an aftermarket hitch receiver that attached to the frame itself, not pulling from the bumper.
Umm, Yeah, I would imagine that would have been very uncomfortable simply from a weight perspective.

The Jeep must have been very close to if not more weight than the Casita, which is a very dangerous situation in a Doubles configuration. I suspect you would have experienced significant 'Wag the Dog/Crack the Whip" from that arrangement.

I am talking about something no more than ¼ of the weight of the 5.0TA, and the rig is being pulled with a 1 ton SRW, and has full cameras.

What was the hitch used, how was it mounted?

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:52 PM   #7
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I trust you have been here?

https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguid...triple_towing/
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Having double towed a jeep from Denver back to Austin behind a Casita, I can tell you it wasn't fun. In the scenario you suggest you would not be able to see the trailer behind the 5.0. Maybe not a concern for some but I certainly couldn't do it. Towing behind the 5th wheel is certainly preferable to the bumper pull. I've seen it suggested that the stresses put on the frame are just as big of a consideration as what the bumper itself can support. The Casita set up was an aftermarket hitch receiver that attached to the frame itself, not pulling from the bumper.
Doesn't double towing with a travel trailer have to be done with a fifth wheel? I know here in Alberta it does. Must be different elsewhere, though stability with a bumper pull could be potentially less stable.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #9
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As in Oregon, double towing is illegal in Florida regardless of where an individual is licensed.
Actually, 19 States and the District of Columbia DO NOT ALLOW triple towing. Most of them are East of the Mississippi River.
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:20 PM   #10
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A guy I met in ND who was interested in my 5.0 single axle when we were selling. He ended up buying a Scamp 19 on which he had the frame reinforced and tows a small trailer with some gear and his barbq but only on short camping trips. As far as not being able to see the trailer we have a camera mounted which could be tilted down to see a trailer behind the 5.0TA if I should double tow but I doubt I ever will.
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:10 PM   #11
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My understanding, Here in Ontario a double tow is legal as long as you use a fifth wheel, and all axles have brakes. A bumper pull on the tow vehicle is not legal.

For me, I would do a double tow with an Escape 5.0TA as they have the heaviest frames I have seen on a travel trailer. Most travel trailers frames made from formed steel sheet. I watched one YouTube of a 8 year old Fleetwood 26' trailer frame that was stripped and the guy from the wrecking yard was able to lift the back corner a foot before the front stated to move. Fleetwood was relying on the staples to tie everything together. The frame on my 2007 Escape 17B I had was 3" x 2" x 3/16" (IIRC) HSS Hollow Structural Steel Rectangulas Tube. Very Strong! I understand now they are using 4" x 2" HSS, even better.

If it was me, I would likely add some extra structure at the back of the frame and away we go. I would tow a 12' aluminum fishing boat for sure.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:18 PM   #12
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An acquaintance in Corpus Christi double towed a daysailer behind his Bigfoot travel trailer from Florida to Texas and reported no problems with the tow and no questions asked along the way.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:44 PM   #13
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An acquaintance in Corpus Christi double towed a daysailer behind his Bigfoot travel trailer from Florida to Texas and reported no problems with the tow and no questions asked along the way.
Well, like many, I consumed alcohol before I was of legal age but never got caught. Had I been caught, they would have thrown the proverbial book at me. Break the law at your own risk. Sometimes you may get lucky.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Doesn't double towing with a travel trailer have to be done with a fifth wheel? I know here in Alberta it does. Must be different elsewhere, though stability with a bumper pull could be potentially less stable.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:52 AM   #15
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My understanding, Here in Ontario a double tow is legal as long as you use a fifth wheel, and all axles have brakes.

So the auxiliary trailer would have to have brakes also? How would you accomplish that with the 4 pin connector?
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:43 AM   #16
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So the auxiliary trailer would have to have brakes also? How would you accomplish that with the 4 pin connector?


Surge brakes? Might be tricky backing up.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:12 AM   #17
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So the auxiliary trailer would have to have brakes also? How would you accomplish that with the 4 pin connector?
You couldn't use electric brakes without either adding them to the axle if possible or changing the axles to one with brakes, then wiring in a 7=pin connector.

Myself, I would just look for a second trailer already wired with brakes to use if I really had to do a double tow.

As I do head to BC a lot, it really would not be a thing I would do as it is illegal there.

I had a coworker many years ago that went to Idaho a lot for all the lakes. He towed a boat behind his big fifth wheel to the BC border, dropped the boat, took the fifth across the US border, then came and picked up his boat to tow across, then hooked both up in Idaho again. Quite a pain in my books.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:30 PM   #18
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As I do head to BC a lot, it really would not be a thing I would do as it is illegal there.
Jim, you would also need to ditch the Andersen Ultimate and use a conventional fifth-wheel hitch for the Escape, to be legal with the extra trailer in Alberta.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:31 PM   #19
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Surge brakes? Might be tricky backing up.
Any competently configured surge brake system backs up just fine: drum brakes are used which only act effectively in forward, and disk brake systems use an electrical reverse lockout (which does require a backup light circuit, so with a four-pin drums are the solution).
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:34 PM   #20
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Doesn't double towing with a travel trailer have to be done with a fifth wheel? I know here in Alberta it does. Must be different elsewhere, though stability with a bumper pull could be potentially less stable.
Yes, that's true for Alberta, and yes, it does vary by jurisdiction.

Stability is definitely the issue, which is why having the lead trailer hitched (approximately) over the tow vehicle's axle is advantageous... and required here. Alberta also requires tandem axles on the lead trailer, so an Escape 5.0TA is legal here but a 5.0 is not.
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