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Old 07-03-2019, 01:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Eastern Idaho
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Rear hitch effects on trailer structure

Just bought a 2015 Springdale 202QBWE. I was looking for a toyhauler but couldn't pass up the deal I got on the rig. I would like to add a rear receiver hitch. None of the aftermarket hitches fit the way that I wanted so I designed my own that bolts through the web of the rear of the I beam frame with plates on each side of each frame rail.

I would like to tow my 2 place atv/snowmobile trailer with 2x500 lb atvs on it. I can physically lift the trailer one side at a time until the tire comes off the ground. I am guessing it weighs 1500 lbs loaded. Assuming I will load with a 150 lb tongue weight.

I called keystone, they recommend against installing a receiver hitch for any reason including a platform or bike rack unless it came with one from the factory. They said something about flexing the frame and causing wall separation issues in the front of the trailer. I kind of think they are just covering there a$$.

I am a bit concerned about the thin ~1/8" thick frame construction. I am a mechanical engineer and after running some calculations, I am totally confident in the static strength of the frame and my hitch from the axles back. Just concerned with damaging the travel trailer.

Disregarding the legalities or whether I should or shouldn't tow double; Has anyone had issues with a travel trailer frame cracking or any other issues that could be related to added weight on the rear frame of the trailer?

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Old 07-03-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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Location: Gaylord
Posts: 20,358
We have towed a trailer behind our last two fifth wheels. First was a 2011 Springdale 242 and current one is a Cougar XLite 27RKS. Both had "custom welded receivers that attached to multiple locations on the trailer frame rails and the rear crossmember that supports the trailer rear wall.

We tow one of two trailers. First is a Bass Tracker Tournament TX 175. Package weight with 20 gallons of gas and tackle is around 2200 pounds. The other trailer is a 8x14 aluminum flatbed trailer with the Slingshot as cargo. Total weight is around 2800 pounds with a full gas tank on the Slingshot.

To date, we've accumulated around 25,000 miles towing one of the two trailers behind one or the other fifth wheel. No problems and no structural/skin/wall damage to the RV as of this date, however, I'd urge you, if you do consider towing behind an RV, be sure that you have a quality rear camera mounted on the RV. It's very difficult to monitor what's going on behind the RV and it's quite possible to lose the cargo, lose a tire on the second trailer and not even know it until that next "bathroom break" at a rest area.


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Old 07-04-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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Location: Potsdam
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Depending on your travel plans, you should be aware that triple towing (hauling doubles in commercial trucking jargon) is not legal in all states. It is usually prohibited in eastern states. There's a good article here: http://rvlife.com/rv-triple-towing-laws/

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Old 07-05-2019, 03:32 AM   #4
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Location: Germantown, TN
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I see no problem in your triple-tow plan, and can only concur with John's statement and push the idea that a top-notch welding/fabrication shop do the job.
Jim in Memphis
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:11 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Fort Thomas, AZ
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I reinforced the rear frame rails with 2x2x1/4th inch angle iron and built a hitch out of 2x2 square tubing.
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double towing, frame, hitch, rear rv hitch, towing double

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