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Old 08-09-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Stacker Trailers

Anyone have experience with stacker trailers that can throw some advice our way from recommended trailer manufacturers to experience towing a 25-30 footer with a 43 or larger coach. We're into the full time planning stages of our life and a stacker seems to fit the purpose of both vehicle transportation and rolling garage. The problem is that there are so many choices/options/expenses/new/used/private/dealers/etc that we may be approaching info overload from people trying to SELL us as opposed to accommodate our needs...and like most of you we only have enough money to make this decision once. The bottom vehicle would probably be a Tahoe with a car on the top. With that being said please start throwin'
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have not settled on what coach you will be using to pull the trailer when you say a 43 foot or larger???

I would think a determination of how much weight your coach can safely pull would be in order first. Hopefully, you are talking about a 500+ hp engine to pull 45,000# or more coach weight plus 10,000# of trailer, two cars, plus add'l stuff.

Sounds like a great idea. Keep us posted on what you decide and how your plans work out.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:14 PM   #3
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Another thing to keep in mind is overall length restrictions. I believe in California the total length is limited to 65' not sure about other states.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
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Tongue weight needs to be kept within limits as one of our members cracked the 15K hitch on his MH.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denochs View Post
It sounds like you have not settled on what coach you will be using to pull the trailer when you say a 43 foot or larger???

I would think a determination of how much weight your coach can safely pull would be in order first. Hopefully, you are talking about a 500+ hp engine to pull 45,000# or more coach weight plus 10,000# of trailer, two cars, plus add'l stuff.

Sounds like a great idea. Keep us posted on what you decide and how your plans work out.

Dave
No, I positively plan on pulling this (future) stacker with our 2005 Zephyr...which is a 45 footer. The reason I asked for advice from a 43' and larger is because there is a "bit" of a difference driving a 43-45 footer not to mention towing something with one...especially when that something is an additional 30 feet long and 12 feet high. I know people do it, because I see it all the time and it is a fantastic arrangement when it's setup correctly...but I venture to say that there HAS TO BE some "special considerations" to take into account when setting up a stacker trailer not to mention driving a configuration like this.

You see, when we started RVing, we started in a 1995 38' (gas)Bounder...and we absolutely loved it...even though that Bounder felt "big" to drive at first. After a few months I was droppin' Momma off at the entrance to Wal-Mart, backin' into the last stall at Murphy's for gas, and double space (front to back) parking in the back of the parking lot waitin' to load the groceries...LOL. New "learning curve" (so to speak) once we started to pull our toad - but easy enough to work through it in minimal time...still zippin' around...just have to pay a "lil more" attention...and all is good

Now, move up to our 45 footer (Zephyr) and we have an eye opener here as this is a SERIOUS change of perspective (it's not just 7 feet longer)...and there's an obvious change in the way you drive it. This new perspective forces the questions (everywhere you go) "Can we get in/out of there" or "Can we fit here"? to include where you get gas (and in what stall - even if you're at Flying J - to the point you start thinking for other people...If someone were to park there could I still maneuver in/out . Also, let's not forget that making a left turn can hit the cars in the right lane next to you...and you never want to forget that...right?

Anyway, once you master this "new perspective" you start talking about your toad...Do you dinghy tow, trailer tow, car hauler, etc...well I want to throw STACKER trailer in the mix...because for full-timers, this should be (IMHO) a serious consideration...A rolling garage, for your rolling house...it sure sounds logical anyway. So, basically I'm trying to figure out how i can add a 30 foot stacker trailer setup to my 45 foot coach...safely.


With me, everything starts with a plan because it's too costly (not just monetarily either) to go through everything with trial/error mentality...or hope everything works out. That's why I love these forums because I KNOW I'm not the first to think of towing a 30 foot stacker behind a 45 foot coach - SOMEONE has done it and knows the trials/tribulations of doing it...and someone has set one up...or had one built...or may be selling one...or in the same boat as me and trying to figure out if it's safe...or how to make it safe. Well, I am at that stage: How do you set one up? What size lift? What options were important? What did you miss when designing yours? If you could build another one, what would you change? Any additional concerns when driving? Ball vs. pintle hook? Basically I am starting from scratch so any info helps.

I believe the coach can handle it. Here's the link for the original brochure for the 2005 Zephyr that has the specs at the end:
http://www.tiffinmotorhomes.com/pdf/2005zephyrBrochure.pdf

For those that have no idea what a "Stacker" trailer is, I have provided a link that has an excellent gallery...and may cause some of you to want one of these rolling garages...and as scary as this sounds start to think like me . Before you ask, I AM NOT affiliated with any trailer company...I am an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant (31+ years of service and counting)..."Thinking" about retiring and becoming a Full-Time RVer.
Here's the link:
http://www.tande-racetrailers.com/trailers/gallery/coach/coach_gallery.htm
You may have to cut/paste the links…but worth it. My apologies for the long windedness…
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:57 AM   #6
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According to the brochure specs you provided, your coach is only rated to pull 10,000 lbs., This may be due to the chassis or maybe the hitch supplied with it. I would research this heavily and get firm answers on the actual tow capacity of the rig.

The average stacker wieghs in around 7000-7500 lbs. empty. You're talking about pulling a tahoe which is around 5000 lbs. give or take and a car. If the car is say 3600 lbs., which is hard to find that light unless it's a mini cooper or mazda miata or similar then were talking around 8500 lbs. payload. Add the payload to the empty wieght and you are now at 16,000 lbs. without anything else in the trailer. Most hitch ratings on even K2 or K3 Spartan chassis' are 15,000lbs.

So now you can see that you are overwieght for the hitch and chassis right off the bat. I've seen these outfits on the road also and was intrigued. I have two show cars and wanted to transport both at the same time so I looked into it. My poor little 40 ft. Spartan was rated nowhere near what it would take. I don't know if these people carry one car and maybe a bike or golfcart or if they have a much stronger chassis and hitch. Most of the stackers I see are being pulled by either Prevost or heavy truck conversions.

If you have more or better information, or know of lighter stacker trailers in the 24 foot range for under 30K let me know.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:29 PM   #7
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I don't have specific information, but just came from a sports car event where a friend had just bought a 25 ft stacker trailer to tow behind his 40 ft Prevost Liberty Coach conversion. He claimed to have researched the various state towing length restrictions, and learned that the 65 ft limit is in place in most of the states and is said to be one of the most enforced restrictions. This seems to relate to the trailer advertisements in race car oriented publications where there are many adds for stacker trailers now as opposed to very few not too many years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kketterling View Post
Another thing to keep in mind is overall length restrictions. I believe in California the total length is limited to 65' not sure about other states.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:00 PM   #8
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You need a coach with 20k lbs tow capacity and 1500 lbs tongue weight capacity
Your coach has 10k lbs tow capacity and 1000 lbs tongue weight
Legally you shouldn't do this. I say this because, if you run into an accident,
a smart lawyer will get you on this one.
Best is if you can move into a Prevost or Newell which has this capacity.
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