Receiver hitch on a fifth wheel for towing trailer

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Byrdman, May 17, 2013.

  1. Byrdman

    Byrdman Junior Member

    I have a 2004 holiday rambler 5th wheel that we really like but want to be able to carry our motorcycle along with us. Looked around and do not think the hydralic racks would apply as they add allot of weight to the rear frame. Thinking more along the line of a small trailer I can tow behind the 5th wheel. Found a welding shop with experience in this but they do not sell the receivers. Would anyone have some good advice and a resource for the receiver or should I start looking at toyhaulers.
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Well, you better make sure where you are and will be traveling, that towing a second trailer is legal. Most states do not allow it.
  3. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Hi Byrdman and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. Somewhere I have seen (but can't remember where) a platform that attaches to the rear bumper and has two dolly wheels that carry the weight. This doesn't make it a "trailer" so you shouldn't get in trouble in those states that don't allow a double back. There are also a number of hitch-mounted motorcycle carriers but unless you have a light weight bike, they might put too much weight on the back of the trailer. :)
  4. vanole

    vanole Senior Member


    Here is a site with towing laws

    I thought I understood what reciprocity means but I have a story. This winter a couple from Montana was down in Fla in the same campground I was in. They had a 5th wheel and a trailer attached to it much like akjimmy (who has forgotten more than I will ever know) mentioned in the above post. They left the campground one morning and got pinched on Khrome Ave a road used heavily for folks leaving the Miami area and heading to west coast of fla. Not sure of the final outcome of this but do know they were going to fight it. Result I guess is that I don't know what reciprocity means in the final field of each states table means.
  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Blue Ox makes (or made) a carrier they call the Sport Carrier II. It attaches to the tow vehicle with 2 balls to handle up and down movement and has a dolly wheel to carry the weight and swivel as you turn. I sent pictures to the State Police headquarters in Richmond and they studied it. They determined that, with a dolly wheel, it DOES make it a trailer and that it is not legal behind another least in VA. They stated that it was legal behind a motorhome.
  6. 5thWheeler

    5thWheeler Junior Member


    I own a 2006, 30 ft Holiday Rambler 5th wheel and sometime tow an 18 ft Searay boat behind it. Ken is right, it is not legal to double tow or triple tow as some states call it, in all states. A good website that has information for each state is and then click on towing laws. States that do allow it also have a maximum combined length of truck, 5th wheel and trailer.
    I had a local welding shop that specializes in installing a hitch on a 5th wheel and paid extra to have it made heavier as the boat weighs 3500 lbs. Total cost for the hitch was about $800. I am using a standard 2 inch ball into class three receiver. Another limitation is how heavy the frame is on the 5th wheel, the welding shop told me the maximum I could tow would be 4500 lbs but 3500 is enough for me. Also, the boat trailer has surge brakes on it so that helps to minimize the stopping distance. I have been towing the boat occasionally for about 6 years now, sometimes has far as 2000 miles in a trip, and have had no problems but I do limit my speed to 60 mph and try to stay on interstates since the length of the total rig is 70 ft. I prefer to stop at truck stops for gas because of the longer turning radius. Also keep in mind that it is almost impossible to back up except for a short distance.

    I hope this information helps you in your decision.

  7. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    In general, frames on 5th wheel trailers are NOT designed to tow another trailer. They are not made of the strongest steel out there....again not designed for it. They are designed to haul the load of the trailer built on them..nothing more.

    For a little history, I used to sell Hart horse trailers that are made in Chickasa OK, just south of the tornado damage....I could not afford to go that far for ONE trailer, so for 8 years I drove I-40 two to three times a month hauling trailers. I would ALWAYS bring back 2 trailers at once and one time I brought back 3. I built myself a dolly that I could hook to the front trailer and tow a SECOND Gooseneck trailer. ( I still have that ) When I towed 2 Gooseneck horse trailers, I would measure 70 to 75 feet in length. I once took 2 miles to pass a tractor trailer....... 5thWheeler is correct, you will not back up without a LOT of practice and that won't be pretty. I finally learned how to....back up 15 feet..pull up 10 to get straight....back up 15 feet again....pull up get the idea.

    In 8 years I was stopped ONCE...and that was in VA. I was 30 miles from home and they did not give me a ticket....but it simply was not legal. What you can get away with is another story. But I will say that the FRAME on a horse trailer is a hell of a lot stronger than 5th wheels.
  8. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Byrdman - What Ken mentioned with the two hitch balls and the dolly wheel is the rig I was thinking of. Don't know about the rest of the world but Virginia sounds pretty strict with respect to their towing laws. If you decide to do this, better check those websites and find out if you are going to be legal.

    Whatever - be safe.:)

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