Towing Doubles - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-19-2007, 01:58 PM   #1
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Towing Doubles

Has anyone from this forum towed doubles with their Bigfoot, Casita, Scamp or etc? I am contemplating this issue as I/we want to maximize our capacity. My Bigfoot has a rec'r. hitch welded to the bumper/frame. It is a strong and capable rec'r. I have read the laws of the states that we will cross and find no objections to this matter. Our rig would come in under 50' and my F-250 is well up to the task. Am looking for things to look out for. Thanx in advance for the help in this inquiry.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:04 PM   #2
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Hi Tom, this subject has come up a couple of times before, I'm going to search and see if I can find the info. I know you're looking for information, not opinions.

On edit, here's a bit of a discussion: 5th wheel and a boat

hummm, maybe the other one I'm thinking of got lost in the Hack

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Old 10-19-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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I think the thing to be aware of as you look at your state laws is if there is a description of the hitch mechanicals for the fifth wheel trailer connection. The only fiberglass fifth wheel I've looked at (Scamp 5th wheel) had essentially a ball hitch bolted to the center of the truck bed. This doesn't meet the requirements of many of the states.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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Here's Oregon Law. Direct Quote.

VEHICLE COMBINATIONS



818.110 Exceeding maximum number of vehicles in combination; civil liability; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of exceeding the maximum number of vehicles in combination if the person does any of the following:

(a) Drives or moves on a highway any combination of vehicles that consists of more than two vehicles.

( Owns any vehicle and causes or permits the vehicle to be driven or moved on a highway when the vehicle is in a combination of vehicles that consists of more than two vehicles. Operation of any combination of vehicles in violation of this section is prima facie evidence that the owner of the vehicles in the combination caused or permitted the combination to be so operated and the owner shall be liable for any penalties imposed under subsection (4) of this section as a result of the operation.

(2) The application of this section is subject to the exemptions from this section established under ORS 818.120.

(3) Violation of the offense described in this section is subject to civil liability under ORS 818.410.

(4) The offense described in this section, exceeding maximum number of vehicles in combination, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §517; 1985 c.393 §28; 1995 c.383 §93]
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:52 PM   #5
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As I understand the proposed configuration, this would be an F-250 towing a 17' Bigfoot, which in turn is towing some other trailer (with that third trailer probably less than 15' overall).

I realize that Tom has checked the appropriate state laws, but I support Steve's caution to look at the details, not just the number of trailers. For instance, the common requirement that the lead trailer be a fifth-wheel would eliminate Tom's Bigfoot.

Things to look out for:
  • the hitch on the back of the Bigfoot should be as close to the Bigfoot axle as possible, since a portion of any force there is seen at the Bigfoot's tongue
  • the third trailer will need its own brakes, or it will be pushing the back of the Bigfoot in all stops
  • can the Bigfoot and third trailer brakes be balanced to each other?
  • a trailer is a different kind of load than something (like bikes) on a rack - does Bigfoot endorse using the hitch receiver to actually tow, not just carry?
Whenever anyone adds a lot of stuff onto a trailer externally, I wonder why they don't just use a big enough trailer instead, for simplicity and stability. When they are towing with a large pickup, I wonder why the stuff doesn't go in the pickup (even it would need to go on an overhead rack). If the extra load is something like a boat, the third trailer may be the only viable alternative... where it is allowed.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
hummm, maybe the other one I'm thinking of got lost in the Hack
There was a gentleman here in California who did his research to tow a Personal Watercraft on a small trailer behind his Casita. He got a variation of a Commercial Driver's License with a Doubles Endorsement. He had to take a driving test with his rig to get that License, but I don't remember if he was going to drive inside California only.

His postings were lost in The Hack.
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:47 AM   #7
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As a veteran officer with 32 years of law enforcement experience, I will give you the unsolicited benefit of my limited knowledge.

If you have thoroughly researched the laws of the states you plan to travel through, and you're certain it's not prohibited, or if it's allowed, that you've met all of the requirements to do it, make sure that you have copies of the applicable sections, both licensing and equipment sections, with you in your vehicle that you can present to officers each time you're stopped. Even though you may find it to be legal, you'll find yourself chatting regularly with officers who won't believe you until you show them.

Most officers who aren't specifically assigned to traffic or DOT/DMV duties won't know those finer points, and it's pretty universally accepted that towing two trailers (one of which is not a fifth wheel) is an unsafe practice.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:42 PM   #8
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I thought that a 5th wheel was also required, but the as Fredrick said, a guy got a non-commercial Class A license and was able to meet all the requirements to tow doubles. He had a Casita followed by a trailer with a Jet Ski. He places his other toy, an ATV, in the back of his pickup.

I asked a local Calif, Hwy Patrol officer about it, and he said Yes, it is not a problem and as long as you are driving in the right lane, staying under 55mph, and not drawing attention to your self, you probably won’t get questioned.


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Old 10-20-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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A couple more photos...


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Old 10-20-2007, 02:22 PM   #10
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There's a you tube video of someone towing TEN Scamps behind a Chevrolet pickup

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Old 10-20-2007, 04:52 PM   #11
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In Saskatchewan it's legal to tow tandem, however the middle unit must have tandem axles.

I have spoken to a couple of people who unknowingly tried towing a boat behind a single axle trailer and nearly lost it once the fishtailing started.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #12
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I did some research in Trailer Life. It lists the states that allow double towing. The only state that I/we would have a problem appears to be Arizona. Arizona requires that the first towed unit must be a 5thh wheel. We can go around Arizona to accomplish our need. Now, having said that. Is the real problem the weight put on the rear of my Bigfoot and the reduction of weight on the ball hitch? I do have a weight distributing system that I could back the chain links off by one or two. What are your thoughts in this matter.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:20 PM   #13
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The guy whose photos are posted said he was from Sacramento. He posted quite a few times on the Casita Club Forum under the name "Derby". I found his story difficult to believe, but he may have found a loophole in the laws. I've only seen one or two boat trailers towed behind 5ers in CA. There must be some reason you don't see more of this sort of thing. Maybe it's a hassle!
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:32 PM   #14
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Tom, don't depend on Trailer Life. They don't always get it right. Iowa Code says:

Quote:
321.310 Towing four-wheeled trailers.
1. A motor vehicle shall not tow a four-wheeled trailer with a steering axle, [b] or more than one trailer or semitrailer, or both in combination(emphasis added). However, this section does not apply to a motor home, multipurpose vehicle, motor truck, truck tractor or road tractor nor to a farm tractor towing a four-wheeled trailer, nor to a farm tractor or motor vehicle towing implements of husbandry, nor to a wagon box trailer used by a farmer in transporting produce, farm products or supplies hauled to and from market.
2. Any four-wheeled trailer towed by a truck tractor or road tractor shall be registered under the semitrailer provisions of section 321.122 , provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not be applicable to motor vehicles drawing wagon box trailers used by a farmer in transporting produce, farm products or supplies hauled to and from market.
This section applies to travel trailers as well, and the language is obviously NOT in a section that one would normally look for such language. While the section is entitled "Towing four-wheeled trailers", it also covers towing two-wheeled trailers in combination, and for the purposes we're looking at it, only exempts tractor-trailers (fifth wheels) and farm tractors. Other states may be similar, and if they allow it (California for example) there may be special licensing requirements for the driver. This is not a simple issue to sort through.

Roger
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