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Old 11-17-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
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A towing idea?

Sorry, this is long...

We are not new to the RV lifestyle. We have owned five truck campers, two travel trailers, two 5th wheels, a class C, and a bus conversion. We are currently without an RV at this time, having sold our HRC Imperial 36 foot 5th wheel four years back. The children are all grown, and we are weekend warriors, so the 36 footer seemed like too much rig to drag around. We live just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and many of the NP campgrounds have length limits, some as short as 26 feet.

We still have our tow vehicle, and we want to center our next rig around using the existing truck. Our truck is a 2002 F-350 crewcab, dually, longbed, 4x4, diesel, 6 speed stick shift, and 4:10 gears. The rig has a factory mounted 12,500K frame hitch, a 36K B&W gooseneck hitch and we have an 18K B&W companion 5th wheel hitch that attaches to the gooseneck and allows towing fivers with all equipment installed below the truck bed. We purchased the truck new, and have kept it in like new condition. It currently has 46K miles on it, just came out of the Ford dealer with its 45K mile service, and it ready to roll.

About six years ago, we bought an all original 86 Trans AM with 29K actual miles on it. We started showing the car, and winning regular first place awards with it. We already owned a 24 foot Pace Shadow Race Car trailer, so we did not make any additional investment other then buying the car.
In 2010 we got instrested in powerboats. We bought a 22 foot Mach 1 Sport Cuddy I/O with a 454 Chevy engine. It is a whole bunch of fun, and our grandchildren have all learned how to water ski. In 2012 we added another show car to the collection, this one an 82 Trans AM with only 24K actual miles on it.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:20 AM   #2
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In 1994 we bought a new Jaco 265RK fiver, about 28 feet long and we had a 1987 22 foot Baja with a 454 IO in it. I put a hitch on the back of the Jaco and we pulled em both all over the Midwest with a 3/4 ton gmc 4 door pickup with a 6.5 turbo diesel. So if you get a small fiver with a rear hitch you can pull the boat or car trailer behind the fiver without any problems. Getter done!
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
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Our initial plan was to buy a 8.5 foot cab-over hard sided fully self contained truck camper, and tow either the the car trailer or the boat depending on what event we are planning to attend. Now with two cars, a 34 foot car trailer is in order. To haul a 34 foot ball hitch type trailer, the hitch on the truck will need to be changed to a class V style for safety. The GWV on the trailer is 14K, with a dry weight of 6K. The two cars weigh 3200 lbs each, so we will be towing 12,200 lbs plus the weight of the TC, our gear, tools, us, and fuel. A stout load for an F-350, but do-able. The boat is not a problem as it weighs 6K on the trailer full of fuel and gear. All of our trailers have Dexter electric brakes, including the boat trailer which I converted from surge brakes to electric.

We had considered a race car style toy hauler 5th wheel trailer, and do a double/triple tow with the boat behind the 5iver. Many states are beginning to make this practice ilegal, not to mention liability if there was an accident. We have completely ruled out this idea, so please no flaming about the dangers of triple towing in this tread. That subject has been beat to death on this forum.

My latest idea is instead of buying a truck camper, purchase a 43 foot flat bed gooseneck car trailer.

Drag cars, Show Cars, Race Cars, Recovery, Rollback, Tag A Long

For the RV we would buy a small Airstream travel trailer, maybe an 18 foot Bambi model, or a 20 foot Sport.

Airstream, Inc :: Sport

The trailer will be outfitted with a which for loading and unloading. A hitch attachment with a 2 5/16 ball could easily be mounted to the trailer frame similiar to a gooseneck hitch to provide additional positive support for the travel trailer when being hauled on the gooseneck.

When we want to camp, we load the TT, and if we are going somewhere were we want a car, such as a cruise or something, haul one of the TA's behind the TT on the gooseneck trailer.

If we are going camping at the lake, haul the TT and the boat. A second hitch with a ball could be mounted in on the gooseneck trailer to support the boat trailer tongue when being hauled.

If we are doing a car show, haul both Trans Am's on the trailer.

If we want to make a weekend camping trip, connect the Airstream Bambi to the ball hitch on the F-350 and tow it the normal way.

Basically it will be an all purpose rig that can be assembled any way we want to depending on the activities we plan for that trip.

I appreciate some constructive feedback. A good discussion of the pros and cons of this idea without anyone telling me that I am FOS or crazy might help others who are dealing with the idea of taking an RV and a boat, or an RV, and a car to their distination.

Charles
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSCRUDE View Post
In 1994 we bought a new Jaco 265RK fiver, about 28 feet long and we had a 1987 22 foot Baja with a 454 IO in it. I put a hitch on the back of the Jaco and we pulled em both all over the Midwest with a 3/4 ton gmc 4 door pickup with a 6.5 turbo diesel. So if you get a small fiver with a rear hitch you can pull the boat or car trailer behind the fiver without any problems. Getter done!
That was my first idea. I used to tow our 18 foot pro bass boat behind our 30 foot Kountry Air 5ver with C-30 Chevy Crewcab dually 4x4 with a 496 gas engine. The truck had zero problems with the load. We had a machine shop custom build a class three hitch for the camper that attached to 4 points on the frame and two points on the bumper which we replaced with 1/4 thick 4 inch steel tubing. The first attachment points for the hitch were directly over the rear axle on the camper. I added Dexter electric brakes to the bass boat trailer, and a sealed battery break-away switch. Everything was nice and worked great until the 5th wheel camper began to breakup from the stress of having a 2800 lb boat bouncing along after it. The camper developed stress cracks all over the body, and repairs were expensive. Most campers are not stout enough to handle towing an additional load behind.

It is also illegal to tow doubles/triples in NC, GA, and Alabama which is where we do most of our travels.

I am glad that your rig is working out for you.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:43 AM   #5
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Jaco must build one stout rig as ours never showed any signs of stress and we pulled a boat behind it until we sold it in 2007 to friend of mine. And they pull their boat behind it now. 1994 Jaco fiver. In Kansas I have seen a few lakers with a truck, fiver, boat with a jet ski trailer behind the boat with a special ball hitch fabbed on the rear of the boat trailer! We were camper less from 07 until this summer when we bough a 13 Newmar MH. Have you though about a toter home with a race car trailer. It could haul both cars inside or the boat and jeep or other small launch vehicle. Or a long race car trailer with the living quarters up front and room for two cars in back or the boat and launch vehicle. They make these where you can stack the cars also. I don't think hauling camper and boat on a car trailer would be my cup of tea.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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A toter home will work nicely, except for the price to buy it and maintain it. It will also add one more vehicle to the insurance, tax, and tag bill. I could use the enclosed trailer I already own to haul one car, and the other car could ride in the toter home. It would pull a boat and work as a camper. I would still have to keep the F-350. It would be a huge investment to add a toter home to the stable. Too much money for what we what to do.

A racecar trailer with an enclosed living space is also an idea, however the largest ones will only haul one car with the living space installed. I want to be able to haul both cars at the same time. The smallest trailer I can use is a 42 foot, with 8 foot over the ball and 34 feet of deck space. The cars are just over 16 feet and a few inches long, so I need 32.8 feet of deck, and a buffer zone between both cars, between the cars and the back of the trailer and the bulkhead in the front of the trailer. A 53 footer is the largest race car trailer made, and that would only allow 9 feet of the deck to be alloted for the camper part.

An enclosed race car trailer is also too narrow to allow the boat trailer to go inside of the trailer. The boat has a 96 inch beam, and with the trailer outriggers is 102 inches wide. The outer edge of the tires however is 96 inches. Most flatbed gooseneck trailers have a deck that is 102 inches wide. The boat also stands 92 inches tall at the windshield on the trailer, and enclosed race car trailer ramp doors don't offer that much height, regardless of the height of the ceiling of the trailer.

We could haul the bass boat, however the sport cuddy is a lot more fun...

A stacker trailer is an expensive piece of equipment, and is still unable to haul the boat.

In a past life I worked for Coachman Industries. Most of our smaller travel trailers were hauled from the factory to the dealers on gooseneck car trailers. A 43 foot would easily haul two 20 foot campers. I figured that an 18 foot TT and a 22 foot boat will fit nicely on the trailer. The trailer deck is 34 inches tall. The Airstream is 10 feet tall with the AC unit. So I am looking a roughly 12 feet 10 inches of overhead clearence from the ground to the top of the AC unit on the camper. Well under the legal limit. I could place the attachment points for the TT hitch when being hauled between the the bulkhead of the gooseneck to bring the trailer as far forward as possible. The attachment point for the boat trailer hitch could be placed so the it fits under the rear of the travel trailer, moving the boat as far foreward as possible. That would ensure that there was minimal overhang of the outdrive on the boat off of the rear of the trailer.

The 43 foot gooseneck car trailer is a $7500.00 investment. It can be stored outside, and will last many years. The only maintenance it will require is replacement of tires, brakes, and bearings from time to time. Maybe a new battery for the brake away switch every few years, and a coat of paint once ever 5 years or so.

The little Airstream will cost around 40K. It will also outlast most factory built RV's, is small enough to store inside of our garage, and has no engine to break. Neither the TT or the gooseneck will require liability insurance. That is covered by the tow vehicle.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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look at this build. If you had a much smaller living quarters it might work. THere are other trailer on that built like that.
THere are other builds on that site.
And beware of adult words on that site.

48' Crawler Hauler build up - Page 6 - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
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That's interesting and different. It looks/sounds like it is working for the owner.

One of my goals is to avoid a bunch of custom fabrication work.

If I use a stock 43 foot Kaufman flatbed/gooseneck car hauler with a couple of hitch mounts welded to the chassis to help secure the TT and the trailer, I don't have the expense of a custom built unit.

If I decide to sell out later, the car trailer is essentially stock. The Airstream will remain stock. The boat will remain stock, and everything can be sold as individual units which will help them retain thier values.
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