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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Towing My Boat Behind My Fiver'

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MPI_Mallard

Morpeth Ontario,St. Cloud Florida

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Posted: 07/15/21 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking for some opinions from those who have done this,,, i have a Dodge 3500 diesel dually with a 36' CC fiver that I travel from Ontario to Florida and I'm considering bringing my 20' inboard boat with me. I understand that triple towing is illegal in Georgia and Florida but I've seen so many doing it and have been told by many that the police don't bother snow-birds doing it. Again I'd like to hear your opinions,,

thanks in advance!


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Mallard @ Frau Bl├╝cher

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Likes to tow

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's against the law and you do it keep in mind an accident will allow your insurance company to bail out on you!!!! I saw a boat smashed up into a 5th wheel once in a chain reaction wreck near Denver. The boat was totally inside the trailer!! The 5th wheel had torn the hitch loose from the truck bed and it was half way into the cab of the truck!! Lawyers got rich on this one!!

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember when people said ignore the length restrictions in NC several years ago. State got rich on that one just as they will on what you suggest. Looks like you would be 75+ feet long with most states limit at 65ft. Ignore the snow birds? They are a favorite target of the police. I wouldn't do it even if it were allowed, not very safe.

Michelle.S

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, many do it, but if the LEO is having a bad day you could end up leaving the boat at the side of the road.
You choice to take the chance.


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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 07/22/21 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you looking for someone to tell you it's ok? By your own admission, it's illegal.

My sister just had a car shipped by rail from MD to Fl at a very reasonable price. Perhaps you could do the same with your boat. Or rent one when you get there.


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miltvill

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Posted: 07/22/21 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not legal in Florida. FHP and DOT will get you for sure. Also any county or city traffic LEO will also get you. Commercial vehicles may double tow on the turnpike and interstate only, not local roads. If you see anyone double towing they just got lucky. If I stopped you I would not have you leave the boat unhooked on the side of the road. I would have the boat towed so the boat doesn't get stolen. $$$


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Bionic Man

Colorado

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Posted: 07/22/21 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The forum really is slow when you have this few of comments on what is always a hot topic that causes many to get their panties in a bunch.

I've towed a boat tandem behind my 5er since about 1999. I have not towed through the states that you mention, but I'll share my experiences and you can take them for what they are worth.

Probably goes without saying, but towing tandem isn't for everyone. You really need to think ahead (stopping for fuel can be challenging), backing up is very difficult, and it is very hard on your equipment. I had a hitch custom fabricated to the back of my 5er, and then had it re-enforced later. I am sure I have towed tandem for over 50,000 miles. During that time I had the shackles holding the axles of my first 5er fail, I had the first hitch on the back of my 2nd 5er crack, and the weld on my fold away tongue on my boat crack. Maybe some of that would have happened without towing tandem, maybe not. Moral of the story, keep a close eye on all your components.

Towing tandem also degrades the ride within your truck. When you add the boat tongue weight to the back of the trailer you lose some pin weight (which never really was a problem), but you also create a fulcrum, and every bump you hit is magnified. Truck hits a bump, it bounces, then the 5er hits and it bounces, which bounces the truck, then the boat hits which bounces the 5er which bounces the truck. A good bump will go through the train a couple of times. I can pretty comfortably tow the 5er solo 12 hours a day, but add the second trailer, and at the end of a 12 hour day I am really wiped out.

I have not towed through any states that prohibit the practice, but I have been over length in most states. What my personal experience is (at least regarding that) is that LEO do not enforce that regulation.

The boat that I towed the most was a 21' sterndrive that I kept for about 10 years. It was about 5500 pounds going down the road, and is the most that I personally will tow. To me, the limitation isn't what the truck is capable of towing, it is the limitation of the strength of the frame on the 5er. I sold that boat back in 2014, replaced with a 23' inboard that weighs 7000 pounds, which I towed tandem once, and won't do again. When we go camping at the lake with that boat now, we take two vehicles. I do have a 17' Ranger fishing boat that weighs somewhere around 3000 pounds that I still tow tandem (which really is a LOT easier and much less noticeable).

To me, at least with a 5000 pound or less boat, towing tandem is still worth the trade offs of either not taking the boat, or taking a 2nd car. But, like I said, it isn't for everyone.

And to those that will tell you that you are at risk in an accident, and your insurance will deny a claim, I simply say read your policy. Insurance is regulated, and if there is a peril that is not covered it needs to be listed as an exclusion. I have never seen a policy exclusion of either towing a trailer tandem, or something that would deny a claim for an accident while breaking a law. Quite simply, insurance covers accidents, and it doesn't matter if you are towing tandem in a state that doesn't allow it, or towing over the weight rating of your truck, or speeding, or drunk (or all the above), an accident will be covered up to your limits of liability.

[image]


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laknox

Arizona

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Posted: 07/22/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MPI_Mallard wrote:

Looking for some opinions from those who have done this,,, i have a Dodge 3500 diesel dually with a 36' CC fiver that I travel from Ontario to Florida and I'm considering bringing my 20' inboard boat with me. I understand that triple towing is illegal in Georgia and Florida but I've seen so many doing it and have been told by many that the police don't bother snow-birds doing it. Again I'd like to hear your opinions,,

thanks in advance!


In short, don't do it. You'll be over-length, for sure, and =that= will most likely be the trigger for you to get pulled over.

Lyle


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MFL

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Posted: 07/22/21 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just want to say, nice post Bionic Man!

Well I have not double towed in those states, but have experience breaking the law while driving. If you break the law, you need to be prepared to deal with it, and pay the consequences! Insurance concern would be after an accident, no real difference, as to breaking the law. Insurance will pay, but you may be dropped, or a much higher premium to follow. A DWI will normally raise premium, no accident needed!

That is a lot of boat to tow behind your FW! If you do so now, you already know how it handles, and if you are comfortable with it. I can add to above post, that double towing for 8-10 hours a day is more stressful for me too!

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

Jerry





thomasmnile

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Posted: 07/22/21 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mallard: I've lived in Florida for 50 years now. You're right, I've seen "doubles" towed on interstates, typically I95 or I75. Let your conscience be your guide, and if you do here's a helpful hint. Though you're not commercial you would most likely draw the attention of an FHP commercial enforcement trooper. They drive both Chevy Tahoes and are also in Ford F-150's, with "COMMERCIAL ENFORCEMENT UNIT" emblazoned low on t
both sides of the vehicle. They wear dark blue uniforms unlike the regular tan uniforms other troopers wear.

Happy Trails. [emoticon]

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