Converting a 5'er to a bumper pull - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
Is it the case that the pivot point for a tractor trailer is in front of the axle? Is the pivot point of an inbed hitch behind the axle? If you get the two exactly coincident vertically, does that mean you can't turn the steering wheel or tires scrub or what?
Ideally the pivot point is vertical over the axle.

I think that Earls problem is that in a confined space, the rear of the truck "swings" out too far one way or the front of the truck the other. I.e. you have to over steer to make a turn backwards.

I've watched many a truck back up, gradual corrections ahead of time is what works.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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He said: That is why genuine fifth wheels use slider hitches to get the pivot point away from the tugs rear axle.

The slider hitches are used on short bed trucks to prevent the front part of the trailer from coming in contact with the truck cab.

Practicing in an empty parking lot will give a driver the practice they need in order to become familiar and to develop muscle memory.

The $6000 dolly that I posted has been discussed in the forum before.

I personally would not modify a 5th wheel to make it a tag along due to the engineering required in order to make it safe not to mention the cost. (Consider the anti sway and torsion bar requirements)

It may be more cost effective to just sell the 5r and purchase a longer tag along.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:05 PM   #17
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Conversion fm 5th.

Sorry I can't help you on this one. I gave away my old Popular Mechanics Do It Yourself manuals and yearbooks last year when I moved. Somewhere in those old pages was a picture of a rig to take the pin and then tow the rig.
There was also a pic of a 5th. wheel attachment that fit on the roof of a sedan but, like the rig, I have never seen one in use.
Good luck with your quest.... D.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:41 PM   #18
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Name: Ken
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Obviously there are those who can do it so I will plead guilty to not being the best backer on the road.. The parking lot has merit the $6000. dolly is out of the question.

My problem is not cab clearace, with the extended hitch on the 5'er, there is ample room or at least I have not had problems here.
The problem as I see it is the hitch while centered over the axle gives very little left right movement in relationship to the amount of steering from the front.
A bumper hitch being further extend gives considerable movement and better or at least more positive movement to use as steering.

So we can get back to the original question.. Has anyone got any experience in modifying a trailer in this manner? Not have you got any other solutions for me? Come on a roof mounted station wagon mount?? Really??

Well I guess it was a "modification" as opposed to "learn to drive" suggestions. and I believe this is a forum on "Modifications"

Being centered over the axle is great for towing and suspension, but the price is in backing.

If you are having difficulty seeing this make a paper doll out of a corn flakes box and play with it..
Put the hitch at the rear and back it up, the move the hitch (thumb tack) about 1/4 the way forward and see how much more left right movement is required to steer it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:55 AM   #19
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Trailer: 1996 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel ('TOGETHERNEST' SLEEPS 8
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Yes it has been done by a friend of mine and a sucsesful mod { a very talented guy] I am a farmer and have backed almost everything and I will admit the %er is the hardest but works well with this method . when backing and you finf you have lost conth=rol simply turn your wheels the other way and pull ahead a foot or two Takes a lot of short moves. This mod is probaly available as they no longer use it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:31 AM   #20
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Talking

How about replace your tow vehicle with an old Chrysler Newport.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:56 AM   #21
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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I've had two 5ers and never could back either of them up satisfactorily. I'm ok with bumper pulls. I find our Egg Camper (17 ft) is way easier for me to back up than our Kodiak (31 ft).
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl E. November View Post
>>>>>
Come on a roof mounted station wagon mount?? Really??
>>>>>
Yup. Really! see VW Beetle pulls fifth wheel travel trailer - YouTube
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #23
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Name: george
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I suspect this is not what the OP wants to hear, but I'll say it anyway. Before attempting to 'convert' a 5'r to a bumper pull, you need to consult a mechanical engineer and talk about this. The stresses involved are substnatial, and just "grabbing some steel and a welder" is a prescription for disaster. You should also talk to your insurance company to see if they will even cover this combo if you pull it on a public road.

Think about the forces for a minute, and where they are applied. When you have a normal bumper pull hitched to your TV, the braking and lateral yaw forces from the trailer are applied to the TV at a nice "low" position, from the trailer frame, down at the ball. Now imagine that you construct a framework to connect the 5'r hitch to the ball down to the bumper. The forces from the trailer now have a vertical lever to apply force to the TV.
This is not a good idea.

I'm not trying to sound rude, but if the backing up siuation is a major shortcoming for you, and if you are not willing to deal with that aspect, then maybe a fifth wheel trailer simply is not for you.

Again, I'm not trying to sound rude, but I pull a variety of trailers all the time, several bumper pulls and three different goosenecks, and honestly, it's just a matter of practice, and thinking about what you have back there.

Good luck with it all, and happy camping to you.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:58 AM   #24
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Name: Ken
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Thanks Lyndon, your friend's approach is my plan B approach, and offers some extra benefits, primarily the extra storage.

Last night I spent some time with various searches and found several good ideas including a simple slider.

Other than that what I found is several people having issues backing fivers some understanding why, others just frustrated such as Bob, and either resigned to live with it or moved on to other things..

Also found that Greg H never has anything positive to say about fiver's or for that matter much of anything else other than his expertise as a driver.

Lastly I continue to be amazed at the proliferation of useless information offered by this forum.

gmw. Why do you think I posted my original question??? I even stated I was looking for history of others efforts, although I think you are a bit paranoid as to insurance and such.

For what ever it's worth I have spent my life or at least the the last 50 years of it in medal fabrication industries so I do have a basic understanding of stresses and such. Just hoping for some history and insight on other attempts, not looking for a collection of unrelated garbage..

The questions was "How to convert a fiver to a bumper pull." Not how many ways can you find to pull a fiver.

Thanks to all who have offered constructive suggestion.. The rest of you ... well what can I say? Enjoy the ride.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #25
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You are welcom Earl Of coarse THERE IS ALWAYS A BETER WAY Folowing Franks hitch i would fasten the unit to the trailer with 2 ball hitch assys so it could be quickly removed I have better photos of this if I can find them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #26
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Having driven a lot of straight pull and a few 5th wheel rigs - I sympathize.

My feeling is that you would need to extend the lower frame rails forward - in fact make a tongue - for the 5er. Then you can fill in the area under the "top bedroom" area and have, in effect a straight-pull trailer with an "upstairs & a downstairs" at the front. The existing hardware for the 5-pull can be either chopped off or just ignored.

Should not be any more more complex than doing a front subframe swap on a hotrod.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #27
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Name: Ken
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I think the quickest cheapest way to prove my theory is to make my slider..
I believe I can get about 16". which would be used for backing only, possibly for hooking up..

Trying to think of a way to make it pivot a bit too, which would make hitching "much" easier.

Dave, you are right doing as Frank did opens up a whole list of options for additional storage. Right now I am just not looking for that big of a project.

When I bought my fiver I was looking for one of them or a 16' with a side dinette.

The fiver just came along first. I really appreciate not having a bed in the kitchen etc, and if a good 16 so equipped came along, I certainly would consider a trade.

For now I am just living with what I have and trying to make the best of it.

Unobstructed practice is also on the short list.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #28
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Earl, I will try to find a picture of my slider I made and post it later this afternoon.
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