Pulling doubles

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by dragunovsks, May 29, 2013.

  1. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    The family and I go camping just about every weekend, we go to state parks within an hour or so drive of our hometown. We have a starcraft popup camper, about 15' box. I also recently aquired a john boat on a trailer, 14' aluminum flat bottom. What I want to do is take the boat with us when we go camping to state parks with lakes and good fishing but I dont want to take a second tow vehicle. Ive asked around and check the laws here in indiana and from what I can find it is legal to tow doubles with a pickup truck. Tow vehicle is my 04 F150 4x4 shortbed with 4.6 liter.

    Ive got a buddy with a welder that will help me put a 2" receiver on the rear bumper of the camper and also reinforce the bumper. Question is...Anyone ever pulled 2 single axle trailers with one truck? Its gonna cost me some money for the steel and welding supplies and the time to do it and I don't want to invest the time and money to find out the boat trailer will whip around too much and be too dangerous to pull.

    I know it'll be next to impossible if not impossible to back both trailers but that Im not worried about because Ill drop the boat before backing into our campsite.

    Anybody with experience?
     
  2. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    I've seen people with canoes on top of pop-up campers. Would the johnboat be too much for the camper's top, or is it a matter of needing to ramp launch it?

    I have not done it but would want some trailer brakes back there.
     

  3. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I work for a freight company, we pull doubles all the time. First thing, lightest trailer goes in back.

    We have 60 guys at our terminal I know of 2 that can back up a set of doubles. I know I can't.

    I think you probably have plenty of truck to pull both, but can you stop them? I too would want brakes on the trailers but with a normal pickup controller I don't know if it would handle 2 trailers. Also in high winds or extremely wet slippery conditions that second trailer likes to come around to see where you are going.

    Is the boat too heavy to lay across to top of the camper and launch by hand?

    Methinks you may have trouble with leos who don't know this is legal because they have never seen it before.
     
  4. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I looked into doing this quite a while back. I was told by someone...can't remember who, that I would be required to have a CDL to tow doubles. I really don't remember who told me. But I would look into it.
     
  5. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    In CA you need Class A license to tow doubles of any kind. I have towed doubles, no big deal if you know what you are doing. Lightest trailer in back, as said. Keep a copy of the vehicle code specifying the legality of what you are doing just in case.
     
  6. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I, too, would advise for a trailer brake setup on both trailers. Yes, it is some money, but it will make driving much safer.

    As far as LEOs, go to your Department of Motor Vehicles and ask about legality and licensing. Have them print out the statute for you pertaining to towing doubles and keep it in the pickup to show LEOs. This will save you an immense amount of time.

    I only did it once out of neccessity, but I got stopped twice to question legality. My attorney had provided the copy of the vehicle code and I got through both stops quickly because of it.
     
  7. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Oh yeah, trailer brakes on all towed axles. Make sure that the trailer brakes are properly adjusted or they won't work right. I just installed a new electric brake controller in my Super Duty- I love it. Here is a link (worth every penny!) http://www.maxbrake.com/brake-controller.php
     
  8. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Pulling doubles....? Eeeek.., Prevert....! :D. Just kidding , I love thee out doors..! ;)
     
  9. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    I thought about that option too, but the boat I have is a 1969 and though it is aluminum it is a tank. The boat easily weighs 4 or 500 so I dont want to throw that much weight on top of the camper roof.

    Also, trailer brakes arent required in Indiana unless your trailer's GVW is more than 3k, since my camper is just a small popup it wasnt built with trailer brakes, neither was my boat trailer. Ive pulled as much as 9,500 with my F150 so I know it'll handle the camper/boat combo.

    Ive also got a Class A CDL because I drive a truck but having a CDL doesnt mean you can pull doubles in a semi, to do that you need a doubles and triples endorsement. Im just hoping I dont need it since my truck isnt a commercial vehicle.

    Im going to the BMV today after work to get the registration numbers for the boat so I'll ask them to clarify and show me some documents that pertain to the legality. Ive yet to find anything online stating its not legal and Ive talked to numerous other campers Ive seen doing it and been told by everyone Ive talked to theyve never been stopped. Its pretty common to pull into a camping area and see several large campers being pulled in with either boats or small utility trailers loaded with golf carts and ATVs behind them.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Know anybody who welds pipe well? I'd be really tempted to have a removable frame added to the front and rear of the camper with a big T coming up to hold the boat. I had a similar receiver hitch-mounted bar on my Dakota for long canoes. http://www.amazon.com/Extend-A-Truc...d=1369932812&sr=8-7&keywords=hitch+canoe+rack

    I'm not doubting a OTR driver's ability to deal with double trailers, but I would be worried about the hassles with traffic patrols and such.
     
  11. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Yea I considered that one too, I got a welder buddy who could do it but really dont want to have to try and manhandle that heavy boat up that high. The camper is as tall as the bed on my 04 F150 when going down the road. Plus my swivel seats stick up above the top of the hull so I couldnt haul the boat upside down without breaking the seats. Honestly if I cant double pull Ill just use a second vehicle, have my wife pull one and Ill pull the other.
     
  12. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you have a class A license already, the doubles/triples endorsement is just a written test, not that hard if you glance over the book. I would get tanker while you are doing it, "just because".

    Let us know what you find out.
     
  13. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Yea i considered getting more endorsements but the only one Ill need for the company I drive for is the Hazmat. My company hauls fertilizer for local farmers and the local farmers co-ops in the spring. Getting my hazmat would get me in on that but I havent got around to taking the test and taking off work to get finger printed. My company doesnt pull doubles/triples or tankers.
     
  14. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The hazmat is a pain in the ass. When you renew next time get the doubles/ triples, and tanker just because you can now with just the written test. Who knows what manner of stupidity they may come up with in the future. This probably doesn't help with your original question.
     
  15. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Ive looked over the CDL test book a couple times and it may have been cause the tv was on and my 3 yr old was runnin around but it seemed like the damn thing was written in another language, I just couldnt concentrate on what was in front of me. That was the last time I had any time to look it over, anyways not really a concern right now as hauling scrap steel keeps me pretty busy.

    But I probably will get the tanker and doubles/triples endorsement because my license expires this july
     
  16. rurak

    rurak New Member

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    I saw something similar in my neighborhood. Someone had a custon trailer made. They used channel iron as a ramp above either side of the pop up. They had an electric winch to pull the boat on its own trailer up the "ramps" and strapped it down. So they could unload the boat on its own trailer, drop the camper and hook up to the boat. It looks good and rugged and would be better than towing double in my opinion. The brakes and engine in your f150 definitely aren't made for that kind of a workout.
     
  17. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    Whenever I see this thread I think it means working a double shift. That's what we call "pulling a double".
     
  18. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    Ive seen someone with a similar setup but Im not sure the popup will handle that kind of weight sitting on top of it and to reinforce it from the frame up would require a great deal of steel.

    Im not worried about my truck handling the weight, the camper weighs approx. 1500 lbs and the boat and trailer weighs around 700 lbs. Ive pulled as much as 9500 lbs with my truck with no trailer brakes.
     
  19. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Trade in the boat for a couple of kayaks or a big canoe and put it elsewhere like on top of the pop-up. Tandem camping trailers -- I love the idea, but...
     
  20. rurak

    rurak New Member

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    The one I saw was built off the popup frame and was removeable