Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'Towables' started by m-cman, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. m-cman

    m-cman New Member

    Hello,

    I have a smaller travel trailer (approx 19 ft) and wish to add a hitch to the back. It will be used to add a cargo holder for a generator. Is this a reasonable idea? Would probably require some re-inforcement and fabrication. Any one here tried this and what was required and the result??

    Thanks for any info / help. I am new to RVing and will probably have a ton of questions in the next few months.
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    This could be a challange. For one thing, the frames on most travel trailers tends to be a bit flimsy at the rear, so mounting a hitch could be difficult. Also, trailers are often not designed for a lot of weight at the very rear. This could conceivably result in a 'negative' weight at the hitch, which might then pop off the ball when going down the road. Also, have you computed the CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) of the trailer to ensure that adding this much more weight won't overload it?

    What kind of tow vehicle do you have? It may be better to mount the generator to the vehicle than the trailer.
     
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    With the 'smallness' of the Honda and Yamaha lines of generators, I wouldn't think you'd need to add anything to your trailer or vehicle. Lots of people have the 2000 size of generator and they have a HANDLE to carry them around with.
     
  4. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    Hey m-cman, Tracking Carriers make a small carrier with a single wheel that is designed to be attached to tt's/5th wheels. Checkout www.campingtrek.com
     
  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    John is right on. Especially if your 19' trailer is a single axle. Negative tounge weight can be a killer. It will cause sway, you could lose control and wreck.

    A carrier with a dolly wheel is considered a trailer here in VA. Towing a second trailer is not legal and thus the dollys with with wheels are not allowed. Check with your states laws about second trailers and ask a trooper about their interpertation.

    Be very careful.
     
  6. m-cman

    m-cman New Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    I'm sure some sort of reinforcement would be required as mentioned. The total weight of the cargo box, hitch and generator should be less than 225 lbs. It is a tandem axle trailer. I have one of those rectangular cargo "boxes" that hooks into a 2" receiver. I was hoping to use it to hold the generator. I wanted a generator capable of powering the A/C and other appliances (microwave, ref, TV, etc). I was anticipating shifting weight around inside to maintain the proper tongue weight. The trailer is a 18.5 ft Skyline Layton. My tow vehicle is a Dodge Durango with no place to put a generator.

    I'll probably have to take it to a hitch installation shop that can install it and weld extra supports, etc.

    Thanks for the input. Still hoping to hear from someone who has tried this or something similar though.
     
  7. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    I tried it on a 32' Holiday Rambler TT. I don't recommend it. I found that the added weight, and I only had a couple plastic tuff containers to haul awning lights, water hose, extension cord, etc., blew the sidewalls out of the tires because the cargo carrier caused the tires to flex. I was towing with a 1 ton crew cab so didn't notice the slight swaying of the trailer. I couldn't figure out what was causing the tire failure until the owner of a big rural tire store in WV explained it to me. Though there wasn't much weight it was enough to throw the balance of the trailer off by reducing some of the tongue weight. Sort of like putting a heavy load in your truck bed and leaving it there, the front is going to raise and eventually the back tires are going to fail. The trailer tires are a lot closer together so that extra "heavy load" works on both of them. When the rear tires flexed one way the front flexed the other even if it were ever so slightly.

    I don't think my carrier fully loaded weighed 200lbs.
     
  8. Troyster

    Troyster New Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    RL? Are you serious? 200 lbs, divided between your two tires caused them to flex and blow? That's less than the difference between having a full or empty water tank. Somebody please tell me that my Goodyear Marathon Tires are designed to handle a variance of 100 lbs. Otherwise, I'm not sure I can boondock anymore. The weight of the water will be putting $250 worth of tires on my rear axle at risk.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    Troyster, its not that it was 200 pounds, it was that it was 200 pounds at the end of a 15' lever... Hopefully your water tank is much closer to the axels.
     
  10. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    I just had a man trade in his 27' trailer yesterday. He had a carrier on the back of it that his brother had built. It is heavier than the average carrier you buy, but not way over built. He tows with a 2500HD Crew Cab short bed and used load leveling and sway control. He admitted it definantly changed the way the trailer towed.

    He purchased a 30' fifth wheel. He is going to put it on the new trailer. I am curious if it does much to the handling of the fifth wheel. He hauls a generator, cooler, chairs, and a spare tire on it.
     
  11. Troyster

    Troyster New Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    See, now everyone has me wondering.

    I have my spare tire in the bed of my truck. I was going to build/buy a carrier for my rear bumper. I also had planned to put a box back there for a string of several batteries and an inverter, with a solar panel on the fiberglass cover over my rear window. The tire & rim have to weigh in at close to 60 lbs, and 3 truck batteries and an inverter I am sure will weigh another 60+. Add some diamond plate to cover the batteries, and I am getting close to that overload point. My fresh water tank is against my rear wall, under my bed, in the very rear, so, the difference between a full tank with all my proposed accessories on the back, and an empty tank could realistically be as much as a 450 lb difference on the tail of my 26 footer. I foolishly assumed that the trailer had built in tolerance for weight, as long as I distributed my other things inside accordingly so as to balance the weight evenly between front and back.

    Was I wrong?
     
  12. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    GTS, I don't think it will impact a 30" 5'er as bad as the shorter TTs. Providing the extra rear weight doesn't impact/offset the dyamics of the designed in hitch/forward weight. I can't remember what the percentage is for the weight to be centered forward of the rear trailer axels. It is probably somewhere around 60/40% with 60% of the weight forward of the axels. I'm sure someone out there knows and will tell us..
     
  13. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    I agree DL, I don't think it will change the towing as much as it did on his 27' trailer.

    Troyster, this customer admitted his rack changed the way his trailer towed. His trailer was a foot longer and he had a fairly heavy duty truck. We don't know what you are towing with, but at least, be very careful.
     
  14. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    Re: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    If you are going to use a small generator, have you considered a platform in front of the trailer over the propane bottles. As tp addding tp the back end of a short trailer. The cantilevered loading would be a killer on tonque weight. Remember you have to add the weight of the gen set as well as the extra steel too.
     
  15. Hancock

    Hancock New Member

    RE: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    Hello c-man,

    I have a '04, 34 ft HR double slide TT that I fulltime in. I added a receiver hitch on the rear for a motorcycle rack where I carry my Suzuki DR 350. I also added a platform system that carries dual Honda 2000s between the motorcycle and the trailer. I have had absolutely no problems with the added weight on the rear and in fact.......with the use of the "dual-cam" sway control, my truck actually tracks better at 60 mph with the trailer. My truck is the Chevy 3500 dually (duramax/allison). As a fulltimer, I've traveled extensively for 2.5 years with this system and been on many very bad and mountain roads..... again with no noticeable negative influence from the system. I designed the modifications myself, but consulted with a metal fab person that I trusted.

    But.....with all that said, I also called the HR factory and as expected, they strongly recommend against any system or systems that place weight on the rear of the HR trailers. And....I don't mean to diminish the concerns of others on this thread. There are real risk involved and need careful consideration. My combination of trailer, sway control, truck allows it to work very well for me.

    So to answer your question, it can be done safely, but lots to consider..... I could send you a picture if you would like.
     
  16. rawhyde

    rawhyde New Member

    RE: Adding a Hitch to a Travel Trailer

    Been reading this site gaining insight for 3 hrs now and your post made me join. Hello to all. I have a 2006 Coachman 30' TT and have added a 2" receiver hitch to the rear bumper and have a 'tag a long' rack that I have bolted an aluminum dock box on it. I carry firewood, hoses and anything else I don't want in the TT. I just finished a modification where I have extended it further back for a bike rack. My tow truck is a 2003 Ford F-250 gas with ARE work box camper full of tools. No sway equipment on hitch. Have not found the need for one yet as truck pulls fine with no sway. I do load trailer with tongue weight in mind. I pull heavy trailers (custom homemade) everyday with my 1997 F-350 7.3 diesel dually with enclosed Stahl contractors bed on it. Again, no sway bars. I do pay attention to tongue weights but mostly to tire pressure which I check each time I pull the TT. My point is I have never even thought about this being a concern as I've seen so many overloaded trucks, jitneys in 3rd world countries carrying way to much weight. Thanks to all who post here and monitor site. Your making an old dog rethink the load stabilizer issue. I also have a 2004 Dodge RAM Quad Cab 1500 with a 4.7 V-8 and it is my back up pull truck rated at 7000 pounds. With electric brakes, I would pull with this truck if I didn't have bigger ones.
     

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