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  #1  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:19 PM
djhstevens djhstevens is offline
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Smile Need advice for hauling boat behind 5th wheel camper

We are looking to purchase our first 5th Wheel Camper. We live in Iowa and are able to have a total length of 70'. We have a 19' Lund we will be hauling behind the camper. We have looked at various brands and are being told the warranty will be voided if we add a hitch to the camper. We see a lot of people doing it and are willing to take the risk beings how the warranty is only for 12 months. But we question the durability of the frame of various manufacturers if they aren't willing to stand behind their camper being used to pull a boat. Looking for any advice or personal experiences on brands that have worked for towing a boat. The brands we have been looking at are Chapparal, Cougar and Elkridge. Open to other brands though!!!
Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2015, 08:55 PM
Phil T Phil T is offline
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Add brakes to the boat trailer. Electric would be best (like on the 5th wheel), but surge are also helpful.
Look at the rear frame of the 5th wheel. Would you trust it to haul your boat? No bumper hitches, frame-mounted only, and only on a strong frame.
Be aware that accidents are most likely to happen when going downhill and having to brake. That's when the boat is most likely to fishtail and it can whip your 5th wheel to the ditch. See the comment about boat trailer brakes again.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2015, 09:07 PM
NVM NVM is offline
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I believe the Excel and HitchHiker brand fifth wheels have a factory trailer hitch option. I believe both of these brands have a good reputation for quality.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2015, 11:00 PM
hempbake1 hempbake1 is offline
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Yep quite a few brands have a receiver hitch. Make sure that they are quality mounted to the frame. Been towing boats ( 20 and 21 ft glass boats behind fifth wheels for quite a few years. we having pulling most behind Jayco fifth wheels with no structural problems whatsoever. The key to pulling doubles, SLOW down. Even in the terrible crosswinds we have here in montana, control is usually never an issue, backing up now that takes some skills.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2015, 11:01 PM
GBS GBS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhstevens View Post
We are looking to purchase our first 5th Wheel Camper. We live in Iowa and are able to have a total length of 70'. We have a 19' Lund we will be hauling behind the camper. We have looked at various brands and are being told the warranty will be voided if we add a hitch to the camper. We see a lot of people doing it and are willing to take the risk beings how the warranty is only for 12 months. But we question the durability of the frame of various manufacturers if they aren't willing to stand behind their camper being used to pull a boat. Looking for any advice or personal experiences on brands that have worked for towing a boat. The brands we have been looking at are Chapparal, Cougar and Elkridge. Open to other brands though!!!
Thanks!!
Jayco offers a factory installed hitch. BUT - ours is rated at only 3,000 lbs, so our 17.5 Alumacraft is out, let alone a much bigger boat.....you will be hard pressed to find something rated much higher, even if you go to a welder and have one fabricated. 5th wheel frames aren't made for real heavy tow loads, which is why so many don't even offer a hitch as an option. Extra bracing required. You might want to try talking to the company that makes the majority of the frames for RVs (Lippert) and see if they can refer you to manufacturer that offers factory hitches strong enough for your boat. I'll guess that you won't like the pricing that will entrail, as it will move you beyond the economy class that Cougar and Elkhart represent. So probably you will end up with something custom made at a hitch shop. How safe it will be is an open question.....
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:02 PM
hempbake1 hempbake1 is offline
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Just remember if you wreck this setup good chance your insurance co might not cover it. Most hitches will only be rated (in print) for 2500 lbs max. You put your nineteen footer behind that and kill someone or total your stuff liability could be huge. Our hitch was custom done.

Last edited by hempbake1; 01-20-2015 at 12:33 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2015, 05:45 AM
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rob92761 rob92761 is offline
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I do this all the time.
As for campers - Campers with I beams that go all the way to the back of the camper. So you can attach receiver hitch.

You really don't need brakes on boat (Lund1825 Rebel total weight 1900 pounds) I have towed boat from la Crosse WI to Northern Minnesota with now problems. But make sure you have them on Camper.

You will want to use 3/4 ton truck or larger.

Make your first trip short one. Go to local campground to get the feel for length and stopping distance.

This is a big one don't make fast turns with the steering wheel. it is like play crack the whip. you will see your boat move all around behind the camper.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2015, 07:38 AM
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onebigmother onebigmother is offline
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In Montana the boat trailer must have brakes to pull behind the camper, we are pretty lax here so I bet most states require it too.
I tend to put a lot of extra gear in the boat because usually a doubles trip means a week or so camping for me, so make sure you are level and also keep the tongue weight correct. I see a little sway to my boat behind the camper on occasion that I never see just pulling the boat alone, like mentioned before by philt usually going down hill.
Drive slow and pull over to let traffic by if need be.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2015, 08:41 AM
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doubleheader doubleheader is offline
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Be careful when buying your 5'er, especially if you have a 3/4 ton. My 2014 2500 Ram GCVWR is 25,000 lbs. My GVWR is 10,000 and with a typical mid-size 5'er I'm right at that max GVWR. Most of these campers are north of 12,000 lbs loaded, so as you can see there isn't much room left for the weight of a boat and trailer. That said there is huge variation in towing capability depending on truck manufacturer and options. Just do your homework and leave a little extra as you'll end up being heavier than you think.

Something else to also remember. many of the new 1/2 ton towable 5'ers are not very heavy duty. They are built as lightweight as possible and may not be suitable for adding a hitch. I believe there are two 5th wheel mfgr's that make there own frames. One you may want to investigate is Northwood, another is Silverback by Cedar Creek. Not sure if these guys make there own frames but they have made my short list due to their construction quality.

Last edited by doubleheader; 01-20-2015 at 08:55 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2015, 08:53 AM
chysteve chysteve is offline
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I looked into this a couple years ago when I got my 25' Arctic Fox, which is made by Northwood (many consider them a quality manufacturer). They have a towing limit of 3500 lbs. for their frames which left out towing my boat. Even if a welding shop fabricated a hitch, I was not willing to expose myself to the liability.
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