Pulling Tandem

Art Vandeley

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So I'm thinking of trading in my bumper pull camper for a fifth wheel, in hopes to pull my boat behind the fifth wheel. Right now, the wife and I are consistently wanting to go camping at a lake for the weekend and take the boat, but cannot pull both the way we are setup currently. Just curious if anyone has any experience doing this, and can share some "do's and dont's"

Tow Rig is a 1 ton diesel. I'm looking at fifth wheels in the 28-29 foot range and my boat is a 20' with a dual axle trailer.

Any thoughts or recommendations?
 

D4570

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I see people doing it all the time and it just baffles me how more aren't in the ditch. That's 90 feet of rolling disaster.
To pull a 53-foot trailer I need a CDL and training, and DBLs take more training.
Like I said I see them on the road all over but PLEASE take heed it is not as simple as it looks.
 

MNElkNut

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Been there done that. Works great. Corners better than you would think.....but still be very careful. You need to really watch parking lots.....you cannot get dead ended. Backing straight up is possible for a little ways. Around a corner? Pretty tough. Park on the street for the most part. Make sure the camper will not hit your back window on the truck when you turn tight. Make sure the blocking on your jacks is solid. Not as difficult as it seems really.

Drop the boat, park the camper, retrieve the boat. I haven't it for over 10 years, but the laws in states vary for total length and length of camper, so research that.
 

Don Fischer

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if it's legal to pull two trailers at a time in your state, you could probably get the trailer you have set up with a tow hitch. But practice with it, add the second trailer and things change when you drive. Backing with both hooked up will be a challenge. best if you have to back up, drop the rear trailer and get the front one where you want to go then drop it and get the back one. Pain in the butt and would keep me from ever pulling two trailers. Did it with comercial truck to many years and hated pulling doubles!
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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seen it all the time around SD.

Curious how they set up the braking to both trailers? Because usually you tune your brake controller to your particular trailer (or I do at least). Maybe you just pick a middle point for gain so neither trailer is optimized, but neither one will lock up under extreme braking?

Not sure the right answer to that one
 

Art Vandeley

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seen it all the time around SD.

Curious how they set up the braking to both trailers? Because usually you tune your brake controller to your particular trailer (or I do at least). Maybe you just pick a middle point for gain so neither trailer is optimized, but neither one will lock up under extreme braking?

Not sure the right answer to that one
My thoughts on that are: the boat trailer has hydraulic brakes so they engage as the the trailer pushes on the ball pulling it. I believe you would set the trailer brake gain to your camper and the hydraulic brakes will take care of themselves.
 

Dan O

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Seeley Lake, Mt
Art I have a friend that has pulled his 32 foot Montanan and a 20-22 foot pontoon boat from Chester to Seeley on several occasions with his 2013 F350. No problems so far if you can afford the fuel lol. I have a 29 foot Jayco that has a factory 2 inch receiver hitch rated at 3000# and the tongue weight is 300# it has a flat 4 wiring.
One thing that comes to mind is to make sure your tongue weight of your fifth wheel is balanced out so you maintain control in high wind gusts you may encounter. Plan ahead where your going to drop your boat so you can park the camper. So far I have not pulled anything bigger than a 10 foot tilt snowmobile trailer with a ATV on it. I could only see it when it would swing from side to side. Never had any issues it was always there when i got to my destination. My new fifth wheel has a camera on the back of it with audio so I can keep track of what's behind the trailer while I'm traveling.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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My thoughts on that are: the boat trailer has hydraulic brakes so they engage as the the trailer pushes on the ball pulling it. I believe you would set the trailer brake gain to your camper and the hydraulic brakes will take care of themselves.
Ya that sounds ideal having hydraulic mixed with electric. Means both can be tuned independently
 

Wildabeast

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My thoughts on that are: the boat trailer has hydraulic brakes so they engage as the the trailer pushes on the ball pulling it. I believe you would set the trailer brake gain to your camper and the hydraulic brakes will take care of themselves.
I’ve never done it, but that sounds like an accordion waiting to happen. I’d want the rear trailer brakes to engage first and a bit stronger to create a pulling effect from the rear. If the rear hydraulics are reacting to braking of the middle trailer, it’s already pushing you into an accordion and likely to want to lunge as well. It might work OK on flat roads, but I wouldn’t want to be pulling that setup in the mountains.
 

Wildabeast

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@Wildabeast I do not understand your theory. If all vehicle/trailers are braking at the same time how is that a problem?
Again, I’ve never done it, but if the hydraulic brakes on that rear trailer require it to push into whatever is towing it to engage, then you’ve started out the slowing in a less than ideal manner IMO. But maybe not.
 
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