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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #1
cooljman1
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Default can you flat tow behind a 5th wheel

can you flat tow a vehicle behind a 5th wheel legally or dose it have to be on a trailer? I have the R endorsement already I haven't bought the 5er yet but I want to flat tow my ranger when I go to silver lake.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 05:51 AM   #2
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i have pulled a cj7 on a 16ft car hauler behind a 26ft fifth wheel to texas and back. would i do it again, not if i can avoid it. but it towed decent and i made it.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 06:05 AM   #3
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can you flat tow a vehicle behind a 5th wheel legally or dose it have to be on a trailer? I have the R endorsement already I haven't bought the 5er yet but I want to flat tow my ranger when I go to silver lake.
It's legal in Mi for a 'rec double' with the endorsement however, I've yet to see a hitch on a trailer that would meet the load requirement that most people subject them to. Meaning, I wouldn't put your jeep back there but I might tow a small fishing boat.
A number of issues I have with that: brakes on the vehicle, OAL, load control if the vehicle starts to sway, hitch integrity on the travel trailer, etc.
I wouldn't do it.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 06:28 AM   #4
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I have seen a directory that lists what is legal state by state. It is either put out by NHTSA ( national hwy. transportation Saftey Assoc.) or the DOT.
I would do some google searches and see what comes up. I will try to dig up the info later this week. I think the flat tow part may be what would be the illegal part. It would be nice to just find a toy hauler RV but most of the RV types do not have a long enough storage area to fit a ranger, You would have to find the car hauler type of unit that has living quarters added. Pace American, Haulmark, and Forest River "work and Play" offer these type of models.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Most trailer frame warranties are void if you install a hitch to tow doubles. Just be forewarned. You also have to pay attention to overall length. In Michigan, you can't be over 65' from the two furthest points end to end. That length varies by state.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #6
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You can not flat haul anything behind a 5th wheel, the law states that it must be a trailer. Total length can't be over 65 feet as stated earlier. The rear trailer (behind 5th wheel) can't have a total weight that exceeds 1/2 the empty weight of either the truck or the trailer. The tow vehicle must have a rating that allows it to haul both trailers and their cargo. The tow vehicle and 5th wheel are required to have functioning brakes. If the last trailer has brakes on it they too must be working. Now it is my understanding that the DOT officers can not enforce any laws on non commercial vehicles. The average officer on the road does not know the laws for hauling doubles. The DOT officers have the most knowledge of the laws covering this. Because of this they will most likely be the officers brought in to assist and advise in the investigation in the event of an accident. They will advise the regular officer and ensure that all violations are ticketed. Now for all of us that pay attention there are all kinds of people on the road that violate these laws. So keep this in mind and if you happen to see a DOT officer they may have a hand-out with all the rules and restrictions that apply or you can get them at the SOS.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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RV.net has the state by state regulations regarding towing
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Old January 20th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #8
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I e-mailed the SOS and asked them the same question. Thay said that it would ok to flat tow an automobile behing a 5er so long as all the other rec. double regulations are met.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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I would not trust the word of someone from the SOS that responded to an email. They probably have no idea what flat towing is, what a fifth wheel is, or what the laws really are. You need to go search the MCL's for yourself and try to figure it all out. Good luck with that. You will need to read a lot of the definitions. My 2-car hauler is defined legally as a semi-trailer, but is non-commercial, so good luck figuring out what laws do and do not apply... The laws that contradict each other are nice too. But, ultimately, it is up to the cop that writes the ticket and the judges interpretation of the laws to determine if it is legal or not... What a system.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #10
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It is legal as long as R-double requirments are met; ie: safety chains attached to the furthest points of the 5th wheel. Though I'd reinforce the frame of the 5th wheel also.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:00 PM   #11
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Anyone know if the R endorsement falls under a T?

T is for double and triple semi trailers, even though triples are illegal here in MI. I don't see how it would be much different.
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