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Old 03-10-2023, 09:27 PM   #1
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Weigh Safe Clam Shell converter question

I need some advice from the towing gurus.

We are in the process of buying a 2014 EVO T2850. We are moving 2700 miles from Washington State to Kentucky in a couple weeks. Our plan was to rent a 26' Penske moving truck and tow the TT. Found out today that the ball on the Penske is only 2". I totally get why they don't use a 2 5/16" ball, but our trailer is only 6900lbs GVW, with I think 690 tongue. I actually haven't been super successful finding that data. I can't seem to locate a 2014 owners manual. Anyway, could I safely use a Weigh Safe clam shell or similar clam shell adapter, or is that some kind of cardinal sin? I don't currently own a pickup and only planned on searching for one once we land in KY. Our only other vehicle is a Ford Escape. If I have to bail on the trailer, we only have earnest money down at the moment, but time is certainly our enemy as our house is due to close on the 21st and we have to vacate on the 20th for the buyers walk through. We had hoped to not have to hotel it as we have a 110lb Shepherd mix and they really stick it to you in the few pet friendly hotels.

Thanks for any honest input!

D
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Old 03-10-2023, 09:55 PM   #2
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Have you checked with Penske to see if you're allowed to tow a trailer with their truck? They may have a solution or tell you no way.
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Old 03-10-2023, 10:16 PM   #3
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The guy at the Penske lot was the one who told me to check out the ball on the trailer, because he thought they were different sizes. He didn't mention Penske frowning on towing a travel trailer, but did say that the ball on the truck is welded on. I'm pretty certain they do that to limit the towing weight down to only class 2 or 3 towing. I'm beginning to think this isn't going to be an option for towing a TT.
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Old 03-10-2023, 11:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Drago777 View Post
I need some advice from the towing gurus.

We are in the process of buying a 2014 EVO T2850. We are moving 2700 miles from Washington State to Kentucky in a couple weeks. Our plan was to rent a 26' Penske moving truck and tow the TT. Found out today that the ball on the Penske is only 2". I totally get why they don't use a 2 5/16" ball, but our trailer is only 6900lbs GVW, with I think 690 tongue. I actually haven't been super successful finding that data. I can't seem to locate a 2014 owners manual. Anyway, could I safely use a Weigh Safe clam shell or similar clam shell adapter, or is that some kind of cardinal sin? I don't currently own a pickup and only planned on searching for one once we land in KY. Our only other vehicle is a Ford Escape. If I have to bail on the trailer, we only have earnest money down at the moment, but time is certainly our enemy as our house is due to close on the 21st and we have to vacate on the 20th for the buyers walk through. We had hoped to not have to hotel it as we have a 110lb Shepherd mix and they really stick it to you in the few pet friendly hotels.

Thanks for any honest input!

D
The fictional dry tongue weight is 786lbs.
Just Google "2014 Evo brochure".
library.rvusa.com has pdf of the brochure for download.
I would bet that Penske wouldn't allow such a tow. That trailer is 31ft 7in long, in addition to that heavy tongue weight. And that they don't put a 2 5/16" ball on the truck.
The trailer's owners manual would NOT have any model-specific information, like specs. It's just a generic owners manual with no model-specific nor brand-specific information. Just basic RV systems information.
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:17 AM   #5
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The fictional dry tongue weight is 786lbs.
Just Google "2014 Evo brochure".
library.rvusa.com has pdf of the brochure for download.
I would bet that Penske wouldn't allow such a tow. That trailer is 31ft 7in long, in addition to that heavy tongue weight. And that they don't put a 2 5/16" ball on the truck.
The trailer's owners manual would NOT have any model-specific information, like specs. It's just a generic owners manual with no model-specific nor brand-specific information. Just basic RV systems information.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Penske would frown on that tow, as well. If something happened to the tranny or damaged the truck, the insurance wouldn't cover it.

I appreciate the reply!
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Old 03-11-2023, 11:49 AM   #6
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Look into having it towed for you. Check with local rv dealers about who delivers their trailers. Then contact the hauler and get an estimate. They might be driving east empty and give you a deal.
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Old 03-11-2023, 10:12 PM   #7
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Look into having it towed for you. Check with local rv dealers about who delivers their trailers. Then contact the hauler and get an estimate. They might be driving east empty and give you a deal.
The problem with that is.... he's buying the trailer so that he, his family and his rather large German Shepherd can stay in it as he's moving.

My suggestion would be that he look into buying a pop up trailer that the Ford Escape could tow and that they could live in as they travel cross country. Of course, that's assuming that they're going to drive the Ford to their new home.

Either that, or pay for pet friendly hotels. He might want to look into 'cabins' that some campgrounds have. However they probably charge more if you have a pet.

No good solutions here, but have a safe trip to your new home.
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Old 03-11-2023, 10:29 PM   #8
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Or trade the Escape for a truck.
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Old 03-11-2023, 11:33 PM   #9
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Also, the Penske truck will only have a 4-pin flat trailer connector to only activate lights. It will not have a brake controller, nor the 7-pin connector required for trailer brakes. The large trailers that UHaul and Penske rent have hydraulic surge brakes.
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Old 03-12-2023, 09:12 AM   #10
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If you canít find a rental u haul on line app, I would say try planning on staying in state parks or campgrounds with cabins. Get in early enough to find a kennel ( least preferred we hate leaving our 4 legged kiddos). Consider tent camping where possible. None are great options but might be helpful and save some money
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Old 03-12-2023, 09:53 AM   #11
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look for a company that will ship a 20 foot container/box
they load it for you and ship it to a depot in KY

You get a U-haul in KY for a couple days to load and transfer the stuff from depot to your new residence or hire someone like 2 men and a truck

we did to did it from Hawaii to Jacksonville...
best moving experience we had.

Had our car shipped to CA and drove cross country with a whiny not well traveled cat ... Meoooooooooow



Buy a decent Tow vehicle and go camping all the way to KY
You can save a bunch of money if you plan a lot of rest stop parking or walmarts etc
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:24 AM   #12
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Look into having it towed for you. Check with local rv dealers about who delivers their trailers. Then contact the hauler and get an estimate. They might be driving east empty and give you a deal.
I thought about that and called around. Cheapest I could find was $2.80 mi. One guy said he'd haul it for $4 mi. I'll bet he would! Sheesh. Having it hauled isn't really a good option for us.
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:31 AM   #13
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The problem with that is.... he's buying the trailer so that he, his family and his rather large German Shepherd can stay in it as he's moving.

My suggestion would be that he look into buying a pop up trailer that the Ford Escape could tow and that they could live in as they travel cross country. Of course, that's assuming that they're going to drive the Ford to their new home.

Either that, or pay for pet friendly hotels. He might want to look into 'cabins' that some campgrounds have. However they probably charge more if you have a pet.

No good solutions here, but have a safe trip to your new home.
Pop ups are way too expensive for what you get. I personally have always frowned on them. I'd just as soon put up my tent, but that's just me. The pet friendly hotel and/or cabin idea is what we are looking into. We have timeshare that might help offset some of those costs, if we can find locations along the way. We'll be heading over I-80 from Portland to KY. It's about 2700 miles. Yeah no good solutions. Yesterday, I went and picked up our deposit on the TT, minus $100 nonrefundable that was agreed upon. Bummer, because we really liked that particular trailer a lot.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:38 AM   #14
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Or trade the Escape for a truck.
We considered that, but only briefly. Not really comfortable buying a truck we don't have any experience with and driving it across country only 5 days after buying it. It would be my wife driving it and the trailer, and I'm just not comfortable with her having to stress that. Good thought, though!
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:40 AM   #15
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Also, the Penske truck will only have a 4-pin flat trailer connector to only activate lights. It will not have a brake controller, nor the 7-pin connector required for trailer brakes. The large trailers that UHaul and Penske rent have hydraulic surge brakes.
Another good consideration. Thanks
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:43 AM   #16
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If you canít find a rental u haul on line app, I would say try planning on staying in state parks or campgrounds with cabins. Get in early enough to find a kennel ( least preferred we hate leaving our 4 legged kiddos). Consider tent camping where possible. None are great options but might be helpful and save some money
We are now starting our trip planning in more earnest as our actual leave date better reveals itself. We don't want to travel too far into the evening as my wife has night driving issues, so we are having to plan how far we can get each day and what the available housing options might be a long the way. A campground would be more secure, for sure.
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Old 03-12-2023, 10:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
look for a company that will ship a 20 foot container/box
they load it for you and ship it to a depot in KY

You get a U-haul in KY for a couple days to load and transfer the stuff from depot to your new residence or hire someone like 2 men and a truck

we did to did it from Hawaii to Jacksonville...
best moving experience we had.

Had our car shipped to CA and drove cross country with a whiny not well traveled cat ... Meoooooooooow



Buy a decent Tow vehicle and go camping all the way to KY
You can save a bunch of money if you plan a lot of rest stop parking or walmarts etc
All great ideas, but we've now bailed on the TT. 😭
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Old 03-12-2023, 11:39 AM   #18
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Good choice. Buying a trailer you can't tow didn't make sense to me.

I'm curious why/where you were going to park and live in the trailer in Kentucky.

Not a fan of "stick and tin" travel trailers like this one but that's a different discussion.

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Old 03-12-2023, 11:47 AM   #19
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Yikes

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Originally Posted by Drago777 View Post
We considered that, but only briefly. Not really comfortable buying a truck we don't have any experience with and driving it across country only 5 days after buying it. It would be my wife driving it and the trailer, and I'm just not comfortable with her having to stress that. Good thought, though!
Yikes! I did that when I was drafted into the Army in 1971. Sold the Karmann-Ghia and bought a used Ford Econoline van to move our household goods 500 miles to the MIL's basement for storage. It broke down on I-90 at midnight, about forty miles north of Madison, WI. The last thing I heard from the radio as it died was "Record cold in Madison tonight, folks. It's 40 below." No other traffic. Nearly died.
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Old 03-12-2023, 11:56 AM   #20
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Good choice. Buying a trailer you can't tow didn't make sense to me.

I'm curious why/where you were going to park and live in the trailer in Kentucky.

Not a fan of "stick and tin" travel trailers like this one but that's a different discussion.

-- Chuck
Agreed, especially for longer term living. Since we will be essentially homeless after the 20th, with no home to go directly into in KY, this seemed to be a better option than girls for months on end. We are looking into temporarily renting until we can buy land or a house, but will simply have to wait until we arrive to scout out more permanent housing. A TT seemed like an "ok" temp solution to several issues facing us, and we'd be left with a vacation camper in the end. We had already spoken to a family owned campground near where we want to settle, so at least for the short term, that was taken care of. It was just a matter of getting the trailer there. Prices for campers in KY, OH, WV area seem to be quite a bit better than here in WA St., so our travel housing expenses look to be well offset with finding less expensive units once we land in our destination.

We definitely have a lot of hurdles to jump over, in a very short amount of time.

I still haven't heard from anyone that has used a clam shell over a smaller ball and if that's an effective solution, or just a dangerous gimmick. Tractor Supply Co sells "Weigh Safe" clam shells, but they are known for having lower grade products.
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