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Old 06-14-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Towing a utility trailer with Mallard

Hello,

If I have posted this in the wrong section please move it and let me know. I have been trying to figure out options for getting the bikes to the campsites. A bike rack is not an option as my current one may be able to mount to the front hitch, but an adapter is needed that I don't have (money being tight I do not want to buy one and not be able to return it if it will not work).

My wife compained how a few camping items had to be inside the motorhome when in route on our maiden 2 weeks ago. I want to be able to move about the State Park more efficiently. So I am thinking I want to get an enclosed trailer to haul the bikes and some stuff to the campsite.

I am curious if any of the knowledgable members on here might be able to give me some pointers on what type of enclosed trailer to get. too big and it will be difficult in our neighborhood; too small and I fear it would be squirrely going down the road.

To give an idea what we'd be hauling we'd have...
2 adult bikes
Bike trailer
Roommate's Mobility scooter
4 Lawn chairs
Dog pen (Portable fold up job that is worth it's weight in gold)
Coleman Road trip grille
daughter’s Tricycle, bike or pedal car
Gazebo tent

We have a 1985 Mallard Class C motor home. I believe it is a 26' rig.

What size enclosed trailer should I get? Been looking at a 5'x8' and a 5'x12' both single axle. I want an enclosed trailer so it can hold all the stuff when not used and I can haul the mowers and stuff around when needed.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Ideally we're trying to avoid taking a second vehicle. This is especially true on the longer trips, like down to the family reunion. I gues if push came to shove we could load up the Dodge Caravan and caravan to the campsites, but I really like having everyone loaded up in the motor home and hitting the road.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #3
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Sounds like an enclosed trailer would fit your requirements. As far as what size to get, you probably need to stay withing the tow limits of your RV. There should be a sticker on the RV someplace that describes its weight specs. What you are looking for is the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and the GCWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating). The difference between the two numbers is the maximum the vehicle can tow.

Another limiting factor is the hitch. What is it rated for? Hopefully it is in the 3,500 lb range. Could be lower or as high as 5,000 lb. This should be listed on the on the sticker with the other numbers or on the hitch itself. If there is no hitch and the ball is bumper mounted, the limit is likely to be 1,000 lbs.

With respect to how large the trailer should be? It sound like the big items are the 2 bicycles, bike trailer, and the scooter. The other stuff would go in the nooks and crannies left over.

Look in the yellow pages for a local place that sells trailers and go visit. Maybe even take one of the bicycles and try putting it in the trailer. This way you will know if you want a tall roof, or a short trailer. Looking at the new ones will give you an idea what size to look for, then hit the want ads for used trailers.

Other things to examine when looking at trailers:
Do you want a ramp (for the scooter)?
Do you need a front door (actually on the side, makes trailer more expensive)?
Spare tire?
How tall, walk in or stoop over?

Once you have the trailer you will find lots of other things you want to take, when you go camping.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input. The Mallard is rated to tow 5000 lbs according to the paperwork that came with it. The hitch on the back is one of the most massive frame mounted deals I have seen. I am not looking to go bigger than a 6'x10' or 7'x12' because I think maneuverability at a couple of the state parks would become an issue. SO I doubt I would ever go over the 5000 lb mark.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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Going to look at a 6'6"x6'6" job trailer tomorrow (time-willing). It is 6' tall and has a removable hitch, which I like. It also has floor tool drawers and a tool chest built into the door. I like that as well. It needs wheel bearings repacked and might need a better spare. All in all does not sound too bad. It is pretty inexpensive too. Hope if I like it that it is not squirrely behind the motorhome.

A ramp would be nice, and I can build a portable one. I am pretty experienced working with people with wheel chairs. The scooter is light enough I can lift it into the trailer if I need. We'll see if the trailer is as good as it says.

Tried to go look at some trailers today at the place that serviced my popup camper before I sold it. The guy wasn't interested in showing me anything. Apparently we did not part from the popup deal on good terms. News to me. Tried to stop my a trailer shop I have dealt with before, but they were closed for lunch, and I did not want to wait 45 minutes.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
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You might also look into renting a U-Haul type trailer to get an idea of the size you might need. Also the shorter the trailer is the harder it is to back. Both physically and to see behind the MH. We pull a large enclosed with our Smart Car and Goldwing TriCar conversion behind our MH. Another thing you have to watch is when fueling make sure you can get out of the spot you are going to pull into.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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You might also look into renting a U-Haul type trailer to get an idea of the size you might need. Also the shorter the trailer is the harder it is to back. Both physically and to see behind the MH. We pull a large enclosed with our Smart Car and Goldwing TriCar conversion behind our MH. Another thing you have to watch is when fueling make sure you can get out of the spot you are going to pull into.
Yeah the one I was going to look at seemed to fishy to waste the gas. I figured the shorter it is the harder to back up with the motorhome. I also thought that th shorter it is the more likely it would be to sway in the wake of the motorhome.

In all honesty the Dodge Dakota (actually Ram 50) pickup box trailer with topper that I had prior to my popup I just sold would be the size we need. A little bigger would not hurt thought. I am just not sure how well a pickup box trailer with topper would trail behind the motor home.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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5,000 is the hitch rating, not the MH's tow rating. The MH's tow rating is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle (the MH) when ready to tow...OR the hitch rating, which ever is lower.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #9
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5,000 is the hitch rating, not the MH's tow rating. The MH's tow rating is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle (the MH) when ready to tow...OR the hitch rating, which ever is lower.
What does GCWR stand for?

I know this motorhome has towed a trailer with a Buick Centry on it before. So the tow rating has to be more substantial than anything I would be looking to tow.

My friend Mike has offered me his trailer. Tows really nice behind his truck. Not sure how it'll follow behind the motor home. But I am going to look at it sometime soon.

Professionally built and it has a topper as well. I had a Mit. Mighty Max one of these we used for camping prior to the popup. Hope it would follow well behind the motor home, but I am not sure.

Got a receiver hitch bike rack that hold 3 bikes for a song today. Going to hook it up to the front receiver on the Mallard tomorrow. One of the bike holders is locked into place, so I'll have to take a saw to it or have it picked by my locksmith, but it'll hold the two big bikes we need to bring.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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I know Mike's trailer is a pickup box trailer (has a topper) and some might have mixed feelings about it. But the price is definitely right. So maybe it'll do the job. I am not sure. I am skeptical that it would be squirrely behind a vehicle as big as the Mallard. Mike says it'll do fine. We shall see.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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GCWR...Gross Combined Weight Rating. It is the TOTAL combined weight of the motor home and what ever you are towing.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Okay. I am going to look through the paperwork tonight if I do not find the numbers I am looking for on a door plate or else where.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:19 AM   #13
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Have not found anything in the paperwork that refers to the GVWR. maybe the info I need will be posted on one of the doors like it was on the Caravan. I found the GVWR for the motor home from the factory as an incomplete vehile- before it was made into the motor home.

Don't have a trailer yet either. Money is too short and pickings are too slim.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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Have not found anything in the paperwork that refers to the GVWR. maybe the info I need will be posted on one of the doors like it was on the Caravan. I found the GVWR for the motor home from the factory as an incomplete vehile- before it was made into the motor home.

Don't have a trailer yet either. Money is too short and pickings are too slim.
GVWR or GCWR?
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