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Old 05-13-2012   #1
jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 15
Triple Towing??

Hi all. Wondering if anybody out there has triple towed a small pop-up (middle) AND a light boat w/trailer (rear) (inflatable, driftboat, etc)...according to WYDOT, it's legal here and through Idaho and Montana. No need for a 5th wheel. Wanting to tow behind my Tundra.
- My popup has a receiver on the back. Can i just install a hitch/ball?
- How would I connect the electrical for brake lights for the boat trailer?

Just thinking how great it would be to tow my pop-up and my 14' fishing raft. Any advice would be great...btw, i've been told never to back up with this setup!

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Old 05-13-2012   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
Haven't seen that exact configuration before, but here in Colorado during hunting season its common to see a truck towing a camper trailer and an ATV trailer behind that. Check with an RV shop, they might have some insight. I see it often enough that I would guess it's legal here too.

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Old 05-13-2012   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
If your trailer isn't wired to tow another, you have a few easy options: split it at the truck and use a pre-made extension or wire up your own. Or you might as well add a wiring harness to the camper trailer. Lots of pre-fabbed stuff out there, if you are not into wiring.

Good luck backing that combo up!

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 05-13-2012   #4
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
I know that Utah recently changed the rules so that depending on the relative weight of trailer combo vs. tow vehicle the trailers all had to have brakes. Not sure if other states are adopting the same, and I've never needed to look into it for Colorado. So, while it might be legal to tow 2 trailers, the weight might throw it into a ticket.
Also, make sure the hitch receiver on your pop up is actually rated to tow, and isn't just a bike rack mount.

Advice for backing a double trailer: be good enough backing a single trailer that you can think of all the movements from the middle trailer's perspective. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012   #5
jwithers's Avatar
Billings, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 74
I live in Montana and have alot of buddies that tow their 30-40' 5th wheel with a 18-20' jet boat attached to the camper. When I tow my 5th wheel I just put the raft In a boat bag, but thats cause I don't want 40-50 of trailer. People in MT are crazy about their recreation.
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Old 05-13-2012   #6
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
i did it for one summer in colorado, and had to figure out quite a few things to make my set up work. PM sent with some of my findings. later.
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Old 05-13-2012   #7
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
Could you put that boat ontop of the popup trailer
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 05-14-2012   #8
G.J., CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 44
My buddy and I have done this type of a setup. It is great for running shuttle with just the two of us. Neither has to breakdown and we both end up with our boats sitting on our own trailers. The problem that we encountered was that without the first trailer being a 5th wheel the last trailer starts whipping around at any speeds over 45-50 mph. Thus we are confined to backroads not interstate. We even messed with weighting and leveling of the trailers. Neither helped that much. We didn't attempt stablizing bars which could be another possible solution.
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Old 05-14-2012   #9
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
Originally Posted by pbowman View Post
i did it for one summer in colorado, and had to figure out quite a few things to make my set up work. PM sent with some of my findings. later.
Would love to get the info publically if you'd be willing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2012   #10
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
here goes . . .

i sent the PM originally because my post ended up being quite long. here is what i sent chefpels:

i did it for one summer in colorado, take this picture and insert pop-up between truck and raft.

my set up was a f150, a fleetwood taos pop-up (8 x 6 box, the smallest size), and a 4 x 10 utility trailer with 15ft raft. it is legal to do in colorado, and i passed several cops on my summer trips that did not pull me over. one requirement in colorado is that the middle trailer (pop up in my case) has to have trailer brakes.

i had to build the rear receiver hitch for my pop-up, no hitch shops would install one and the estimate i got from a local welder was $700. i pieced it together with heavy angle iron from a local steel shop and a HF bolt on bumper receiver hitch. i spent about $200 on my hitch.

one thing you need to be very conscious of is the loading on the raft trailer to maintain reasonable tongue weight, but not over loading the raft trailer to cause a decrease of the pop-up tongue weight. theoretically, if you put 200# on the raft trailer tongue, the lever action thru the pop-up axle will decrease the pop-up tongue by the same amount (more/less). for my set up, i found the tongue weight of my pop-up was around 300 +/-, while the tongue weight of my raft trailer was less than 100, so there was still good tongue weight on the pop-up. the trailer i put my raft on is extremely light weight and seemed to work well for this set up, but i think some heavier utility trailers might be a problem. i was told that main objective is to always maintain significant tongue weight on the middle trailer, and that will help minimize sway in both trailers.

the only time i would see any issues with sway on the raft trailer was on long down hill stretches with lots of curves (like on vail pass or down from eisenhower), and if the pop-up got bouncing a little. my guess is that the bouncing of the pop-up would zero out the tongue weight of the raft trailer, and thus allow it to sway easily. i would handle this by keeping my speed relatively low around 50-55 on long down hills with curves. other than that, i could travel at typical highway speeds on the interstate at 65-70 with no issues.

for lights, i put a combo RV/4 pin connector on my truck, and then ran a 4 wire kit under my pop-up and zip tied it to the frame. when pulling both trailers, i just plugged them both into the combo connector on the truck and both sets of lights worked fine.

ultimately, my wife did not like towing both trailers. we sold the pop-up and bought a van to camp with instead, so now we can just pull the raft behind that. good luck with your set up. later.

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