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Thread: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

  1. #1
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    18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    I recently purchased a 2015 GMC 3500 crew cab and looking at buying a fifth wheel camp trailer. Family is growing and they all want to attend jeep trips trips and camping trips, and the jeep always wants to tag along. So what i was thinking was a 22-25ft fifth wheel camper and towing my 18 foot flatbed behind with the jeep. Need some opinions on this topic. I can buy a fifth wheel for around 4-5K and that is the cheapest option. My other option is a gooseneck flatbed and tow a pop up camper behind that, but my cost would double and really do not want to spend 10K for that setup. Would be used basically in AZ and not cross country or anything, would get a hotel room for long distances. Thanks in advance!

    Curtis Beard

  2. #2
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    You can't legally tow a second trailer behind a goose neck. The way the law is written it must be a fifth wheel hitch. Not sure why.

    I'm looking to do the exact same thing. I'm going to go with a 28'-32' fifth wheel toy hauler and pull either a flat bed or flat tow behind it.

  3. #3
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    The camp trailer will be a fifth wheel... Im just curious on if its a good idea, can the camper handle it?

  4. #4
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Quote Originally Posted by OTR-93YJ View Post
    You can't legally tow a second trailer behind a goose neck. The way the law is written it must be a fifth wheel hitch. Not sure why.
    Just a guess, but the law may have been written when goosenecks were only used on lightweight horse trailers and such. 5th wheel used to be the heavy duty option.

    But yeah the law for double trailers is 5th wheel only, and <65' in total length.

  5. #5
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Quote Originally Posted by curtnrod19 View Post
    The camp trailer will be a fifth wheel... Im just curious on if its a good idea, can the camper handle it?
    It's a great idea. I know several people that do it now. Just make sure you have a good hitch installed on the back of the trailer. And don't try to back up! LOL!

    This is getting way deep into the subject, but as mentioned above, the over all length is supposed to be <65'. They do not enforce that on non commercial rigs. That's not to say they won't some day. But you're screwed legally anyway as soon as you hook that second trailer on. The law was written by someone that has never towed, has no concept of tow vehicles or just a typical idiotic politician. It says the GVW of the two trailers combined cannot exceed the GVW of the tow rig. Just about fifth wheel toy haulers exceed that by themselves. I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but they worded it wrong. Or, I've been reading it wrong for all these years.

    28-1095

    3. A recreational vehicle may pull two units if all of the following conditions are met:

    (a) The middle unit is equipped with a fifth wheel and brakes. The middle unit may be a farm vehicle or a horse trailer and shall have a weight equal to or greater than the rear unit.

    (b) If the rear unit has a gross weight of three thousand pounds or more, it is equipped with brakes.

    (c) The total combined gross weight of the towed units does not exceed the manufacturer's stated gross vehicle weight of the towing unit.

    H. For the purposes of this section:

    1. "Farm vehicle" has the same meaning prescribed in section 28-2514.

    2. "Recreational vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is designed and customarily used for private pleasure, including vehicles commonly called motor homes, pickup trucks with campers and pickup trucks with a fifth wheel trailing device.


    This is the problem. The manufacturer doesn't state GVW's, they state GVWR's. Your GVW changes when you load the ice chest and kids!

    This is something I plan on addressing with the legislators in the future. I'm just concerned that it could lead to unwanted attention. Since they are not enforcing it now, it may be best to hush up about it!
    Last edited by OTR-93YJ; 06-24-2016 at 10:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    They must have meant "does not exceed the manufacturer's tow rating", not GVWR. Definitely doesn't make any sense as written.

  7. #7
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    I know about backing it up, lol... Just was curious on anyone here does it and there thoughts. As well as other opinions one may have, or those who have friends that do it. I'm not really worried about the "legal" part of it at all, i'm a rebel!

  8. #8
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    I haven't pulled a 5th wheel with a trailer but I worked for FedEx pulling doubles over the road for a year a while ago. Have probably 150,000 miles experience. Not much different from a single trailer other than you can't really back up. You have a better turning radius with two medium size trailers vs. one long one.

    And I drive an over-length RV setup all over the place now and have never been hassled about it.

  9. #9
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Quote Originally Posted by curtnrod19 View Post
    I know about backing it up, lol... Just was curious on anyone here does it and there thoughts. As well as other opinions one may have, or those who have friends that do it. I'm not really worried about the "legal" part of it at all, i'm a rebel!
    If you have some specific questions I can text you a phone number of a guy in Buckeye that tows like that all the time. One thing I will say about towing fifth wheels, if you've not experienced it, the turning radius is way different than a bumper pull. You have to swing wide with a fifth wheel. I almost put a friends trailer into the posts at the gas pumps.

    Other than that, Go for it! I'll have my set up in a couple years max.

  10. #10
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Have him give me a call if he would.

  11. #11
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    I'll try. He'll probably say to have you call him! I may see him this weekend.

  12. #12
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Sounds good

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Do some research on 5th wheel recalls, regarding the pinbox attachment to frames cracking. There have been a few instances of inattentive owners completely losing their trailers, and a bunch who have experienced damaged tow rigs. There are a few years/models of 5th wheels you may find which you will decide to steer away from, and for sure, whatever trailer you end up with, you will want to keep a close eye on the frame structure and pinbox area, on a regular basis on ANY 5th wheel (or gooseneck) trailer you tow, whether or not you are double towing...

    A little over a year ago, I purchased a used 25 1/2 foot "1/2-ton towable" 5th wheel, and on my first "check-ride" tow to Kingman (was not double towing), on the rougher areas of the road, I witnessed the front of the trailer moving up and down about 3/4-1 inch, in relation to the pinbox, accompanied by the the sensation of the trailer jerking the tow rig as if the brakes were grabbing in sync with the bouncing. I pulled over and looked, but did not see anything, so continued at a slower pace, keeping a watch on things.

    On the trip home, it got worse. When I got home, I again looked it over carefully, but saw no reason for this. After a thorough inspection, I STILL saw no reason for this to happen.

    I did a little online research and saw where others were experiencing some issues with pinbox-to-frame cracking. So the next day, I rolled my HD welding table under the pinbox, ran a chain over the end of the pinbox and tied off to the table, then using the landing leg jacks to raise and lower the trailer, alternately sitting the kingpin of the trailer on the table, then raising and pulling against the chain to lift the welding table (about 500 lbs worth of table) slightly, I was able to duplicate the movement I had seen when towing.

    after several cycles and using a high-powered light, I finally discovered the frame was cracked in about a half dozen places, both in the frame crossmember aft of the pinbox brackets, but also adjacent to the welds of the pinbox brackets. Luckily, I had been able to get it home, and make repairs before it became catastrophic.

    My buddy also bought a used 5th wheel of about the same size (but much heavier, and NOT a 1/2-ton towable), at about the same time as I did, and he too was feeling the sensation of the trailer trying to jerk fore-aft on rougher road surfaces. Upon inspection, we found nearly identical issues with his frame, so I ended up repairing both trailers.

    We both occasionally double-tow smaller trailers of about 2500-3000 lb total, including the toys (Side-bys, ATV's & motorcycles), but neither of us have had the inclination/guts to try towing a 5,000(+) pound vehicle sitting on a 2500(+) pound trailer behind the 5th wheel... yet...

    Not trying to scare you, just giving you a heads up...
    Working for a living is highly over-rated...

  14. #14
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    You will have to play around a lot to find the perfect tongue weight for both trailers, unlike commercial doubles where the weight is on a axle under the front of the second trailer.

    I've hauled doubles, triples, even quadruple units.
    Personally I'd go with a gooseneck and camper, if you still need to husk another trailer just switch the goose over to a kingpin and your good. Which will tow better anyways


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  15. #15
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    Re: 18ft Trailer behind fifth wheel?? Doubles!

    Regarding the above post... I've towed quite a few 5th wheels with broken frames, so it is an issue to be aware of


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