Triple-tow with a Jayco Baja.......

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by inthedirt, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Done most of my research, but can't find anything that says I need a 5th wheel on the 1st trailer in Montana, but triple-tow is legal here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don't want to start arguments. Just curious if anyone has done it with an "off-road" trailer? Would only consider this setup for camping and boating at 3 different lakes within a 45min drive and no interstate....speeds limited to 60mph. My TV is a 3/4T Chevy with the 350/TH400 drivetrain and will 1st connect to the Baja, then my 16ft boat (1600 lbs boat/trailer). I haven't picked up the Baja from the dealer yet, so I can't look at frame thickness. I've heard that these are supposed to be built stronger. I know I'll need to fab some kind of rear hitch to the frame but welding is no big deal for me and I've built several trailers from scratch. Not rocket science here. If someone has done this to their Baja/Evo/etc, I'd love to hear from them. Thanks
     
  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    More a structural issue than a legal issue, at least in your state. But if you feel you can address that problem, well all I can say is good luck.
     
  3. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Rear bumper and frame of the Baja will need significant reinforcement. It's doable though.
     
  4. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    For me, the biggest issue would be making sure I had the correct tongue weight on the completed setup while towing. The tongue weight of the boat would be pressing down on the rear of the camper, which will in turn, lift up on the tongue weight at the truck. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safe. It would be best to check the tongue weight of the camper while hooked to the boat.
     
  5. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Camper frames were not designed for any where near that kind of stress.
     
  6. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I can't speak for a Jayco Baja, but my E2 has fully boxed 3x6 frame rails. It could probably handle it if I wanted to.
     
  7. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Does the manual say it can?
     
  8. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    No manual would ever say that, but that frame is probably stronger than the TV frame that's towing it. That said, I wouldn't want the 2nd trailer to be very heavy, mostly because it would be nearly impossible for me to back it up. I would want something I could unhook and move by hand fairly easily.
    Edit: Another thing to be aware of is the tongue weight of the 2nd trailer. Any tongue weight of the 2nd trailer lightens the tongue weight of the first. You would want your 1st trailer to have a lot to start with, and maybe even add to it.
     
  9. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  10. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Perhaps I should be more clear......

    The Baja is a toy hauler model with the front platform for hauling a couple of dirtbikes or an ATV. When loaded with either, it will make my tongue weight between 400 - 600 lbs. My 3/4T's suspension and its Class V hitch can handle that much weight. It also has a brake controller for the Baja's factory trailer brakes. The tongue weight of my boat trailer is less than 100 lbs when we have our water toys loaded into the boat, so that is not enough to offset the tongue weight of the Baja and it's contents on the front deck. I have HEARD (need to verify for myself) that the Baja also has a fully boxed frame and weight capacity of around 1700 lbs. Fully loaded with toys on the front platform, the boat trailer tongue weight on the rear, and camping goodies, I'll be well under that limit. I'm also considering replacing the factory 2in ball hitch on the Baja with a pintle hitch. In theory, all should be well and good. This is why I specifically asked if owners of off-road trailers have done this. I'm not asking for uninformed opinions from people with completely different setups. Not trying to be rude here, but if you don't know......don't comment. Negative criticism from people with similar setups and experiences will absolutely influence my decision on the subject.
     
  11. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Your point is well taken, but on here you will get opinions whether you want them or not. :)
     
  12. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    This is complete truth. "Inthedirt" in this community being sparky won't get you anywhere. To get on your level, if you've already made up your mind then go ahead and do it. If you don't want to heed the advice of several people who have towed several things, big and small, with tow vehicles from small to extra large, then that's on you. Tom is right, here you will get opinions whether you want them or not. That's the fun of this forum. From the brand new folks to those with decades of experience, we can all join the conversation. If you don't want to hear it then hook up your boat to your pup, figure it out on your own and move on about your day. Getting pissy with everyone is not the way to go about it. Some of us here enjoy off reading and all that goes along with it, but remember this is a POP UP forum that YOU decided to join.

    On the lines of your question it could work. I'm not quite sure if it were me I'd go with the pintle hitch option, seems like room for a lot of slop when you have the boat hooked up. Now having a tongue that could interchange a ball for tandem tow and a pintle while off road may be a good idea. Or even having a 3 axis hitch for off road use. Though with a highwall and a higher center of gravity you'd risk rollover of the trailer in high angle situations. There are trailers out there that may do what you want, but only you can make the decision on whether the frame would be strong enough. Straight line, sure beef it up a little and roll. Not like you're gonna tandem tow off road. A 3/4 ton pickup won't have any issue towing what you're talking about so you're obviously good there. Even you said it yourself "in theory" all should be good and well. But in theory, communism is great. All you can do is spend some money and try it out.
     
  13. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I think the OP was just annoyed with the uninformed "can't", as was I.
    I just let it go, and he probably should have , too, but I think we can do without the lecturing from both sides.
     
  14. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    A lecture is exactly what I wanted to avoid. Not being snarky, sparky, or anything else. It was a simple question. I'm well aware of the atmosphere of this and any other forum, which is why I started my first post by saying I didn't want to start any arguments. I should have known better. Some people just have to give their opinion.....


    As for the pintle option, we used it exclusively in the Army towing all sorts of single axle trailers. I can't say that I've experienced anymore sway with a pintle than with a ball, but I guess its all in the loading of the trailer and driver skill. I know we've all seen tractors w/double and triple trailers on the freeway swaying across lanes (Ahem.....UPS?). Scares me just trying to pass them, let alone behind the wheel of something like that. My 2.5T and 5T trucks with pintle trailers never experienced that level of sway when on a freeway caravan. Mind you, we weren't doing 80mph, either. I think with the proper setup, it could be done. But again, that's why I'm reaching out to those who've done something like this with a similar Pup. Ya can't blame a guy for asking first, can ya?

    (igniting the fire and waiting for the explosion)
     
  15. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

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    I'll start with saying that no, I have never tandem towed anything in my life. Doesn't mean I can't give useful insight.

    I recently had a 4x3 boxed member welded to the rear of my E3 just in front of the "bumper" (if you can call folded sheet metal that). On that I bolted a hitch receiver. I did this to mount my full swinging bike rack. It's not centered, but that's so that the bike rack can clear the beds when poped up. Yes, my frame is a 6x2 fully boxed, but it is made of thinner metal. It's only about 1/8" thick or so. I imagine that your Baja is going to be similar.

    For my money, so long as you get enough reinforcement and have it all welded up right, I think it's doable. My question on your experience with a pentle hitch is when you were in the Army using them, how heavy and how much tongue weight were you having on the trailers? We all know that the chances for sway increase with reduced tongue weight ratios, higher speeds, and quicker corrections.

    I'm with skeeter in that personally I would use a hitch ball when on the road and switch it when you need something else. Just imagine if the small trailer starts to sway - it'll start to pull your Baja back and forth, albeit just a bit due to the weight difference, and you won't be able to stop it with trailer brakes as the boat trailer probably only has surge.
     
  16. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Not sure on the tongue weight of our military 1.25T trailers when loaded, but they were usually loaded pretty heavy with canvas tents and poles. If you ever set up or seen a GP-small or GP-medium tent in person, you would know what kind of weight I'm talking about. Also, those trailers have a tremendous amount of ground clearance for off-road travel. The center of gravity would be very high. This is what got me to thinking that I'd likely be ok with the design because of a lower center of gravity and reduced speeds in my situation.

    My wife really hates taking two vehicles when we go out to play, but if I can't find anyone who has actually done something like this and get their real-world experience on board, I'll likely scrap the idea. I do appreciate the input from everyone and don't mean to come across as a jerk. Just frustrating trying to collect data that isn't inherently biased because of someone's feelings, rather than factual experience. Sometimes my science background gets me too focused. Can't help it. I make my living as a laboratory scientist these days. Outcomes are based on data, not speculation.
     
  17. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I can't help you with the exact trailer, but am planning to pull my small kayak trailer tandem this summer behind my hybrid. It can't weigh 500 lbs and barely anything on the tongue. It'll only be three trips and I'm planning to take highways at 55mph vs the interstate. Same reason to avoid 2 vehicles. Will test it out before the trip but am sure it will work.
     
  18. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    Got my popcorn. IBTL!!!
     
  19. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    Not to disrespect this forum, you might go over to fiberglassrv.com. The fiberglass egg community have been known to do it on occasion. While not a pup, they are small, light, and the hitch up would similar to what you propose. You may find some useful info over there. I've not seen it done with a pup, but here in Eastern Oregon we see it fairly regularly with all sorts of camp trailers big and small, 5th wheel and tongue pull with boats, jet skis and/or quads. While generally not legal in Oregon, it is in Idaho and their rigs show up on the Snake River, (border) triple hitched.

    Good Luck.
     
  20. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    By slop, I meant more forward and backwards. While stopping you'll have the added weight of the boat pushing against the pup which MAY put some undue stress on the tongue of the pup due to the obvious slack in a pintle hitch. I could definitely be wrong, but I would think that a ball even a larger 2 5/16 would be a bit more secure when towing tandem. Just my two cents on the pintle. Personally I think the off road pup is a great idea and there are definitely those out there that would handle the added weight of the boat behind it. The big kicker, as you already know is going to be the frame design.
     

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