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Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-15-2010, 6:47 PM Reply   
Has anyone ever seen a pop-up camper towed in tandem with an inboard? I am envisioning the boat in the middle - removable hitch across the trailer frame rails, behind the prop guard.

The only restriction I can find for Texas is a 65' max length, nothing about a 5th wheel in front.

Combined weight would probably be around 6000 lbs for most combos.

I think it's doable. Maybe slightly "Uncle Buck", but doable. Thoughts?
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-16-2010, 6:53 AM Reply   
I am pretty sure that illegal but maybe I am wrong...
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       06-16-2010, 6:57 AM Reply   
I've seen boats towed in tandem before.
I remember as a kid my dad's co-worker ( they were truck drivers) towed a pop-up behind a i/o runabout.
Old     (ajholt7)      Join Date: Apr 2009       06-16-2010, 7:12 AM Reply   
You also have to have special endorsements on your license.
Old     (kvoman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-16-2010, 7:23 AM Reply   
UPS, FedEx, construction vehicles (slide-ins), etc. have these tandem trailers and are operated normally on freeways with certain licensing requirements. If you're under a certain combined length and weight, you may not even need the special license.
Old     (bhyatt_ohp)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-16-2010, 8:03 AM Reply   
Trace, I'm also a camper (travel trailer) and wake boat owner. Luckily where we camp, our friends have a 2010 vlx we get to ride behind, so we do not have to tow both camper and boat. Just last month I saw someone in the campground pull up with a newer V8 trailblazer, 25+ft travel trailer and seadoo boat hooked up behind the camper. I know for fact that here in TN, it is legal and can be done with no special endorsements on your license. I would call TX DOT and make sure of regulations. Sometimes info on those towing sites isn't updated and can be misleading.

Obviously you would need to closely monitor total GVWR capacity of tow rig, boat, camper AND account for weight of all your gear. Wouldn't hurt if popup was equipped with electronic trailer brakes as well. I would also add a friction sway bar for the pop up as it may want to sway with so much being towed behind your rig. I think it could be done easily with the right tow vehicle, taking into consideration that a fully loaded popup isn't that heavy.

Not sure where you would find a removable hitch like you mention? The costs of setting up the boat trailer for towing, running brake controller for camper, sway bar, etc. may get pretty pricey. May want to consider equipping another vehicle in your fleet for towing the camper and having one of your crew tow it separate. All depends on how far and how often you tow. Best of luck.

- Brandon

Last edited by bhyatt_ohp; 06-16-2010 at 8:08 AM.
Old     (stang_killa_ss)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-16-2010, 8:12 AM Reply   
did this for years growing up (texas) truck, 24' pontoon boat, and popup. never had a single problem.
well except that one time the pop up came unhitched at 60 mph and flew into a mud field....
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-16-2010, 8:24 AM Reply   
We have two 1/2 ton vehicles now, one of which is elderly and will probably be replaced with a 3/4 ton gasser in the next year or so. There are a lot of places within a couple hour drive, so taking 2 vehicles isn't a big deal. I'm currently looking for a small RV (popup, th, or tt), and mostly just thinking out loud as it might be a convenient option, and may steer me more towards a popup.

I really don't think the hitch would be a big deal - probably <$500 to have 2" receivers welded to the back of the boat trailer frame rails, and build a tow bar that slid into them and spanned the prop guard. Wiring the boat trailer for electric brakes on the popup is no problem. I would be more concerned with the surge brakes (life, performance, locking up) on the boat trailer, and of course tongue weights.

I am fairly certain you don't need a special license, but not positive on the 5th wheel issue. Obvioiusly would talk to TXDOT before cutting steel.
Old     (olskooltige)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-16-2010, 9:00 AM Reply   
Louisiana is 70'. No restrictions. No special endorsements. If you travel to other states, you have to abide by their laws. Texas does not allow double bumper pulls according to the LSP. You must use a fifth wheel as the first trailered item. LSP also said he believes Texas was 70' as well. No special endorsements when using a fifth wheel. Maybe that's the difference.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-16-2010, 9:30 AM Reply   
Old     (bhyatt_ohp)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-16-2010, 9:52 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by trace View Post
Louisiana State Police would be my guess.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       06-16-2010, 10:14 AM Reply   
Trace... we're gonna need pics when you get this set up. He, he, he.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       06-16-2010, 10:40 AM Reply   
Ive been thinking about the exact same thing. Probably just gonna go the truck camper route though. But I do like the idea of a light weight pop up camper behind the boat. The whole 5th wheel trailer with boat behind it thing seems alittle much for the short trips we usually make.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-16-2010, 11:26 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by guido View Post
Trace... we're gonna need pics when you get this set up. He, he, he.
Video while towing it might prove more interesting!

Just found this, no mention of fifth wheel requirement:

Also this, with a couple posters claiming (unsupported) that the only states that require it are AZ, IL, MI, and MN:
Old     (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 8:47 AM Reply   
I've seen it done in TX, only once though. I think he bumper pulled the camper and boat. The camper looked to be 30ft with a 19ft/20ft I/O.

I've entertained the idea and opted against it. I bought better tents.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-17-2010, 12:25 PM Reply   
Camping in Texas during boating season sucks without air conditioning.
Old     (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-17-2010, 12:44 PM Reply   
I agree I live in TX on the Gulf Coast, 82% humidity today, unofficial index triple digits. No excuses here, damn hot. I can't pull the AZ "oh but its a dry heat" lmao. We plan to camp at Pace Bend July 23rd, see you out there!
Old     (theanimal)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-17-2010, 12:48 PM Reply   

I pull tripples all the time. When I dont have the small trailer with me I pull the pop up camper at the tail.
It pulls ok until you get to about 85 or so.

Last edited by theanimal; 06-17-2010 at 12:56 PM.
Old     (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-17-2010, 2:15 PM Reply   
Used to do it all the time growing up. Truck, then pop-up, then boat. We stopped when my uncle got his triple spinning around in a circle going down a slick hill and stopped at the bottom in a nice triangle!
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-17-2010, 5:37 PM Reply   
Point taken, but why was the pop-up was in the middle? My guess is because it was easier to put a hitch on it. How big of a boat? 4500 lbs of boat being guided by 1500 lbs of camper does not seem like a good idea at all.
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-18-2010, 6:34 PM Reply tige rep doing a tripple
Old     (hoppsxc140)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-19-2010, 7:08 AM Reply   
I cant seem to find the third trailer in any of those pics? Most states allow pulling doubles, some allow pulling triples. Your best bet would be to stop in at your local DOT office, WA st. added a medical card requirement for trailers with GVWR over 10,001 pounds
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-19-2010, 8:28 PM Reply   
"Triple towing" seems to kinda be the industry term for it... if we're cutting bait?
Old     (MobiusStripClub)      Join Date: May 2010       06-23-2010, 2:52 PM Reply   
I live in Texas and my next-door-neighbor-cop told me that ménage à trois towing (just made that up - sorry for bucking the standard) is legal in Texas even with two bumper pulls. We got to discussing this after he sauntered over to poke around while we prepped for a camping trip. Currently, I pull our little Malibu (travel trailer - I wish it was a VLX) with my truck and I "make" my better half pull the boat with the Yukon. This works out great at the campground since you have a dedicated tow vehicle that stays hooked to the boat and you can launch and retrieve the boat anytime you want. I sleep better at night knowing the boat is snuggled up and tucked into its trailer for the night as opposed to being anchored off shore all night or worse yet, beached (i.e. I did not need those tracking fins anyway). The problem is the wife... she hates towing the boat and wants to get an RV. An RV would be great - sell the truck and the camper (I use her RAV4 to commute to work anyway) and promptly relinquish the proceeds to the nearest RV center. The problem with this is I would have to launch and retrieve the boat with the RV, which could be a PITA on some (all?) ramps. Also, you have to launch the boat before you set up the RV and then only retrieve it after you break camp at the end of the trip in order to avoid moving the RV multiple times during your stay. This of course means leaving the boat in the water the whole time you are camping (see above).

The final option, aside from replacing the wife with a tow-friendly woman, is the triple tow. I have actually been considering this more seriously lately but there are issues with this too. First, no doubt, the whole rig would be more stable with a fifth wheel in the middle which would require the purchase of a new camper. Secondly, with that much in tow I would need more truck... my half-ton probably ain’t gonna cut it. Thirdly, the prospect of me maneuvering the monstrosity through gas stations, parking lots and campgrounds is a bit daunting.

Assuming anyone made it this far (unlikely), I apologize for the rambling, but I would really like hear the pros and cons of other people' s boating-camping rigs and what they would consider to be the optimal set up.


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