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Old 05-26-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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Towing Doubles

I have an 06 F250 6.0, and a 32 ft 5th wheel weighing in at 14,3K with a 15.5K capacity which matches up with my F250. I'm looking at adding a small trailer to tow my motorcycle behind, likely a 10ft enclosed. My question is how is it towing doubles? What do I need to know and look out for. Do campgrounds have restrictions or ??. I'm aware that everything east of Michigan is out of the picture with this and I know the individual state length limits. Thanks
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:49 AM   #2
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Since you aready know the legal restrictions, shouldn't be any problem adding another 1500lbs to an already overloaded truck...besides that, there aren't any CG restrictions that I have heard of--except where to park the trailer while you back up/camp. Pull-thrus would be a length consideration. A rear-view camera on the trailer might be useful. And, of course, you can never back up more than a couple feet with the little trailer on.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
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You might want to check this trailer out for a 5th wheel.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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I have an 06 F250 6.0, and a 32 ft 5th wheel weighing in at 14,3K with a 15.5K capacity which matches up with my F250.
I doubt that your wet and loaded 5er grossing 14.3k "matches up" with your F-250 without exceeding the GVWR of your tow vehicle. Granted, Ford says your "tow rating" is over 15k, but that's a joke that assumes your truck has no options and you haul absolutely nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. What does the CAT scale say?

Quote:
My question is how is it towing doubles? What do I need to know and look out for.
The big problem is sway of the tag trailer. When the 5er does a bobble, the tag trailer will do a huge sway. If you don't have the second trailer loaded to have about 15% or more hitch weight, then that sway could be disastrous. Have someone drive the rig on a crooked, bumpy highway at highway speeds while you follow in another vehicle and watch the tag trailer. You'll be concerned with how much that tag trailer wiggles around behind the 5er.

So in addition to a class III or IV receiver hitch added to the back of the 5er, you must also have a sway controller on the hitch of the tag trailer. Nothing fancy, just a simple friction-type sway control, like this one:
Pro Series Friction Sway Control Kit - Economy

Note the little balls that come with that controller. One little ball is welded onto the plate you see, and that plate bolts to the side of the trailer tongue. But you also need a drawbar (ball mount) that includes a bracket to hold that second little ball. Like this one:
Curt Ball Mount with Sway Control Bracket, 3/4" Rise or 2" Drop Curt Ball Mounts D320

One of those sway controllers should be enough for a small cargo trailer, but you might want to be sure by mounting one on both sides of the tongue. I don't see a ball mount that includes the sway control tab on both sides of the ball mount, but they are available.

The hitch weight of that tag trailer hanging off the back of the 5er will reduce your pin weight a bit. That's good news for your overloaded F-250.

But if your wet and loaded 5er grosses 14,300, the added weight of the cargo trailer might put you over the GCWR of your F-250. The GCWR is a fairly accurate indicator of the weight limits of your rig without overheating something in the drivetrain, and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on steep mountain grades. So watch your tranny temp gauge with an eagle eye when climbing grades, and NEVER allow the gauge to move from the green zone into the yellow zone.

The Ford tranny temp gauge doesn't mean what you probably think it means. Green means go, but yellow means STOP and cool off the tranny before you continue up the grade. And the gauge is not analog - it's a dummy gauge that jumps from one temp range to the next. So you must watch it like a hawk and stop immediately if it jumps from green to yellow. Red means you've probably already ruined your expensive Torqueshift tranny.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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I towed a car behind our 33 ft 5 th wheel for years and never any problems. Most 33 ft trailers do have fairly short tail ends. Your proper driving the truck will eliminate any rear swings. In intersections is where you will need to be concerned.
A rear camera is very important and after a while your driving skills will improve and observing the camera will be hardly done. But it must not stop as a tire problem on the trailer needs to be checked.
I towed a 2000 lbs car behind a 12700# trailer with a 98 GM 6.5L diesel for years.
The newer 39ft long 5th wheel is to long to tow anything behind.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:49 PM   #6
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Thanks. My F250 is a super cab short bed. 300lbs in tool box, box included. 325 me & wifey. Perhaps 100 miscellaneous. Had coach weighed fully packed and road ready, it was 14,300#. Good advice watching trans temp, I appreciate your help. After a day of thinking it over, I'm back to a newer coach with a hydralift, which will help reduce pin weight.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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I tow doubles quite a bit. You do not need sway control if your second trailer is loaded properly. I have had people who are familiar with towing follow me and they said they could not believe how stable the second trailer is. I do strongly recommend that you have a camera on the back of the fiver if you don't have one there already. When I turn a corner with my 28' fiver and 16' boat with the swing of the fiver if the trailer tires clear the boat tire will too. You just need to watch so you don't get into a situation where you need to back up.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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I towed doubles (a Jeep TJ) as a fulltimer for about 8 years. I don't recommend it. While it can be done relatively safely, and the laws are not enforced in most places, it is simply not as safe as other options available to you. If you want to see what we did, and my thoughts on what to look out for, there is a section on my website here.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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Can the pinbox on your Excel and the 5th wheel hitch in the truckbed even handle the additional weight?
I believe with what you are planning to do you will be pushing the limits of the truck and trailer to a new dimension as others have already pointed out.
Just my 2cts.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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I towed doubles (a Jeep TJ) as a fulltimer for about 8 years. I don't recommend it. While it can be done relatively safely, and the laws are not enforced in most places, it is simply not as safe as other options available to you. If you want to see what we did, and my thoughts on what to look out for, there is a section on my website here.
Thanks Jack. What other options are you aware of or have experience with.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:32 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure I was over length towing the car behind the fifth wheel, our truck and trailer is 63 feet bumper to bumper, yikes
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:45 PM   #12
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Ok OK hold on a sec. As for GVW is only due to legal license to a GVW of 26001 and as for swaying I pull three trailers for UPS and yes it might look bad it really is not. Ford f250 short bed single cab can pull more Total GVW buy LAW only because of the 26001 pounds of GVW. A one ton F350 can pull less then the F250 ONLY because of Total GVW. If you are driving private for yourself most of the total GVW is over looked. BUT only tow double with a 5th wheel hitch and NOT a goose neck as a goose neck it a ball and NOT a 5th wheel pin. In Oklahoma I am pulling 114 foot of equipment triples or 121 foot with two long trailers.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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I still don't understand what the big deal is. Like I said before, I do it a lot and my current set up is 65' end to end. If your second trailer is going to sway then it will sway no matter if there is a truck or trailer pulling it. I guess if you are scared of it, then you are probably better off not towing doubles.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:02 AM   #14
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If you can get a copy of the federal highway safety booklet, you will find that your concern with CGVW pertains to commercial vehicle, and privately owned vehicles not registered as campers, or in the case of a pick up truck, not pulling a camper or two. The length laws are the same as for commercial vehicles when pulling any camper, or camper boat, or dingy combination. Bottom line is if you are pulling a combination, a camper has to be in the mix to get around the registered CGVW of the towing vehicle. Now its up to you as to the safe loading and operation of your rig. This includes tires, spring rates, and tongue rates of your equipment. Pulling doubles is easy, just make you lane changes or any movements smoothly as possible. A light motorcycle trailer behind your 5ver will hardly be noticed, until you are stopping. So be sure your brake system is up to the job, and plan your safety distance from other traffic. You may need to add markers to the second trailer to see it when passing other traffic or objects. Good luck and enjoy your future trips....
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