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Old 10-23-2015, 06:42 PM   #1
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Which is the best 5th Wheel to tow a boat behind?

I'm new to the 5th wheel world and didn't do enough homework before we purchased a Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 8265ws. Nice trailer but the frame is so light that really can't tow anything with it. So...now re-evaluating our plans. Which were originally to pull the fifth wheel and 18.5 Ranger 1850 (~4250 lbs) to lakes around the upper mid-west.

Now that I've been convinced that significant modifications (probably new axels and significant additional frame work) would be required to adequately tow the Ranger....I decided that I needed to step back and re-evaluate.

To start with, I'm wondering if Forest River or any other fifth wheel manufacturer makes a standard model/line that is designed to tow a boat with some weight to it?

If not, can you special order one? Wondering if the manufactures will just steer clear of this liability and not do it at all....

Also reminded to NEVER trust a salesman and need to ask better questions.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:08 PM   #2
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I don't think you will find that any current FR 5th wheels are "designed" to tow another trailer, as none come with an optional hitch.

I think your best option is to contact other owners that you know double tow, either here or other RV forums, and have a fairly modern design and pick their brains as to what frames they have and what they had to do, plus any pitfalls they ran into.


Although you ended up on the short end of the stick, you did the smart thing and went to a shop that obviously wasn't going to just slap something on, but wanted to ensure your safety. Ask them for minimums.

Myself, my 2011 Brookstone came with nice thick 12 inch I beams. No issues so far and I carry more tongue weight than you should have to worry about.
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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First I will say is I would never try to tow a boat behind a 5er. That said if I was thinking about it I would contact Lippert which is the company that makes 90 plus percent of the RV frames and ask them. Lippert website has a add on hitch that says it will tow a boat that fits their frames, the questions is which frames do they recommend. Here a link to the hitch on Lippert page.

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Old 10-23-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Some states allow “triple towing” or what is better described as a three-vehicle RV combination but many do not. States that allow triple towing have varying restrictions and these can be confusing.


For example, Minnesota allows triple towing up to 75’ for commercial tractor-trailer rigs but has different rules for an RV setup. In Minnesota, a three-vehicle RV combination is limited to 70’ overall length, there are time restrictions in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area, the last towed trailer must be a watercraft, ATV, golf cart and a few other types of off-road recreation equipment. You can find specifics for your state and those states you intend to travel in but be careful because the language is often confusing as commercial tractor-trailer rigs may have different rules than RVs and you can easily confuse the two.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:34 PM   #5
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Pulled boats behind 2 previous coachmen 5'ers. A '99 30ft Catalina, and a 2000 37ft prospera. No problems. For a boat the size your talking, you should have something a little more substantial in the frame area than what a light weight trailer will offer. Something with a tubular or boxed frame which means a larger, heavier trailer. My hitches were custom made 2 1/2 square tubing with welded plates on the ends. Stretched from frame rail to frame rail, bolted and welded to the frame. The tubing was 1/4" thick, to handle the tongue weight as the is a pretty good distance between rails. The thicker the better. Do not at any time tow anything with a hitch bolted to the bumper. They're designed for holding a bike and storing the sewer hose. With some common sense and properly constructed hitch towing your boat will be just fine. Remember, each state has there own rules and regulations with regards to recreational doubles. Weights and lengths vary, and some states just don't allow it. Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:02 PM   #6
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I would not recommend towing a boat behind a 5er. Most states do not allow. Pulling that much weight and tring to stop in short order is looking for trouble. You did not mention what your tv is so that is a concern also. Later RJD
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:22 PM   #7
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A lot of states do allow but total length usually has to be 65' or less and some states require the tow vehicle to be certified.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:27 PM   #8
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favorite TV is Samsung......jk.

My tv is a 2015 Silverado 2500HD with the Duramax. Also has 4.10 gears so it provides a 20,000 lb tow capacity. Weak point is my 16,000 lb PullRite 4100.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas. Please keep them coming.

KC
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:33 PM   #9
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Sheesh. The OP is from Colorado. It allows double towing. In fact he is clear to tow double from California to Ohio. As long as you meet any licensing requirements in your state, you will be allowed to double tow in any state that allows it, regardless of their specific licensing requirements.


EXCEPT when it comes to length. Must meet those requirements.


There are a couple of less than perfect sites out there with towing laws. They contradict each other in too many cases, but MOST states allow double towing. In fact several out west allow double bumper pull towing.


Forget double towing east of Ohio/Kentucky/Mississippi. Several people say they do it without trouble, but I wouldn't test it.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:04 PM   #10
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I would never do that with a 2500hd. To much weight and not enough breaks. You need to consider total length. My 5er on tv is 54 foot long I could only add another 11 foot for most states that allow this. You would probably need an older 5er that was made with heavier frames but that adds to your tow weight.
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