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Old 05-31-2006, 08:07 AM   #1
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This is quite possibly the stupidest question I've seen posed on this board, but here it goes...

Is it possible to convert a Scamp 5th wheel (really a gooseneck) to be towed by a conventional vehicle (like a van) instead of a truck?

I suspect that even if it could be carried off mechanically (which seems quite likely) that the resulting hitch weight would make it impractical. But there may be a terribly clever solution that hadn't occurred to me (not counting "stack as many bikes on a rear carrier as possible" )

Mike
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:17 AM   #2
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Hi Mike
A few year back in a magazine i read a article based on this concept.It also showed a picture.
Yes it can be done.
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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Popular Mechanics Mag.
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:34 AM   #4
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Ah, Mike, you're actually not the first one to look deeply into this.

A certain member here (actually a couple of them) have looked into this quite extensively. Perhaps they will come forward and share their information with you. The last one to look into this gave it very serious consideration and decided that it wasn't meant to be.

Unfortunately, my idea of putting it on a complete different frame and making the area under the front bed a basement or place for small ATV (or motorcycle) didn't seem to help. Course, it would then become a 23/24 foot trailer which may have been the issue.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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Ah, Mike, you're actually not the first one to look deeply into this.

A certain member here (actually a couple of them) have looked into this quite extensively. Perhaps they will come forward and share their information with you. The last one to look into this gave it very serious consideration and decided that it wasn't meant to be.

Unfortunately, my idea of putting it on a complete different frame and making the area under the front bed a basement or place for small ATV (or motorcycle) didn't seem to help. Course, it would then become a 23/24 foot trailer which may have been the issue.
Well they do make a dolly that you can pull a 5th wheel behind an SUV. Wayne
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:36 PM   #6
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I was seriously trying to figure out a way to pull a 5th wheel with something other than a truck and came across this company: BICs 5th Wheel Hitches. I think they're out of business although the website is still up (ala Burro)....they never responded to my e-mail inquiries, but have to admit I never tried to call.

Oh Roger, where are you....folks have questions you may want to share your info with????
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:43 PM   #7
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Mike,

I researched this thoroughly recently when faced with whether or not to keep the fifth wheel I'd bought for my folks that they couldn't use.

I looked at two different solutions. The first and most obvious is to rig up a standard hitch setup under the fifth wheel. The drawback to that is a roughly 700 lb hitch weight. It's ok if you have a full-size truck with a weight distributing hitch, but still having nearly a quarter of the total weight of the trailer on the tongue is a little excessive. I called Scamp and inquired about such a setup as I'd actually seen a couple of them, and they disavowed any knowledge of them. Actually they know about them, but wish they hadn't been modified into standard trailers.

The other setup involves using a tow dolly to support the weight of the fifth wheel gooseneck hitch, and then to pull the trailer. The dolly system has a couple of drawbacks; first it turns your trailer into a two-axle trailer like a Radio Flyer wagon or farm wagon and would be nearly impossible to back up, especially with a short tongue on the dolly. I had planned on making a dolly about 10' long overall with a 6' or so tongue.

The dolly itself would have been fairly simple to build. I'd spec'd out a Dexter #9 idler axle, and the steel to build the dolly was going to run about $120. I was going to use 12 inch tall "C" channel steel to build a box on the frame, and then bolt the existing Scamp hitch to the "C" channel, drilling extra holes fore and aft in the "C" channel to be able to move the hitch assembly forward or backward to adjust the hitch weight for the dolly. For backing, I'd figured I'd fabricate brackets that would attach to the ends of a receiver hitch on the tow vehicle, and then weld saddles onto the sides of the tongue frame. In between I was going to place solid bars that would act like idler arms to keep the dolly from moving from side to side while backing and effectively turn the dolly into a tag axle for backing which would allow for normal trailer backing behavior.

I had ordered the steel and before I called to order the axle I rechecked the State Code of Iowa and found that it's illegal to pull a two-axle trailer with a steering axle on the highway unless it's a farm trailer, or used in conjunction with a tractor-trailer setup.

So... there went my bright idea.

Roger
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Old 06-01-2006, 05:27 AM   #8
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See, Mike. You aren't the only one.
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:28 AM   #9
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Not too long ago there was discussion of a Hitch Buddy which allows you to convert a standard 5th wheel or gooseneck to a bumper pull hitch. I know nothing of the product nor if it would be legal to use for a Scamp 5th wheel. Here is the link:
http://www.hitch-buddy.com/index.htm

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:46 PM   #10
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Reminds me of the Long,Long Trailer.

$4000 bucks! yikes!
Ummmm NO
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:22 PM   #11
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It's not just $4,000 - yikes!

There's also the basic weight - "approximately 1,000 lb" - double yikes!

Andrew
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:24 PM   #12
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And, if the dolly needs to be shipped to you...it has to come truck freight...TRIPLE YIKES!
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:47 PM   #13
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And it will carry up to a 10,000 lb tongue weight... a little overkill for a Scamp fiver perhaps? Quadruple YIKES!

Roger
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:59 PM   #14
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But it will save me from having to take off my camper shell and take all my "Handyman" tools out of the back of the truck.

Paul
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