The fifth wheel of a travel trailer is located directly behind the cab. If you have a fifth-wheel trailer, there’s no hitch to attach to your truck or car. This makes it challenging to tow the trailer without damaging it or risking its safety. Fortunately, there are several methods available for moving a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch. If you own or plan on purchasing a fifth-wheel travel trailer, you need to know how to move it safely and efficiently. With these accessories, as well as others offered by different manufacturers, moving your camper is simple and safe for both you and your vehicle. So let’s take a look at how you can move your fifth-wheel trailer with ease.
How To Move A Fifth Wheel Trailer Without A Hitch?
1. pull behind a motor home
One of the easiest ways to move a fifth-wheel trailer is to pull behind a motor home. This works very well with smaller fifth-wheel trailers and is often the easiest way to move a trailer with no hitches. The main challenge here is that the trailer tongue weight needs to be light enough to be towed by the motor home. If it’s too heavy, it’ll make the motor home unstable and risk damaging the motor home and trailer. You can usually remove some of the contents to reduce the tongue weight, but if you’re only moving a couple of miles, this might not be worth it.
2. towing with a chain
Towing with a chain is a bit of a brute-force approach, but it’s cheap and effective for light loads. You’ll need to find a chain long enough to go from the motor home hitch to the fifth wheel’s kingpin. You’ll also need a way to take up the chain slack, such as a chain tensioner or a wheeled dolly. Typical fifth-wheel trailers have a kingpin weight of around 650 lbs, so if you don’t have hitches, you’re better off towing with a chain rather than a strap.
3. towing with an adapter
If you’re towing a lighter fifth-wheel trailer, you may be able to use an adapter to tow it. An adapter connects a fifth-wheel hitch to a standard tow hitch. Most adapters have a couple of legs that reach up to the fifth wheel hitch and can be used to push the two hitches together. There are two main problems with towing with an adapter. First, you need a suitable tow hitch, which may not be possible with some trucks. And second, the fifth-wheel trailer wheels need to be on the ground that won’t allow the wheels to turn, so you might not be able to drive on a highway or on a ramp.
4. using a flatbed truck
If your fifth-wheel trailer weighs less than 2 tons, you can use a flatbed truck to tow it. These trucks have an open bed at the back, which you’ll need to line with plywood to protect the trailer. You’ll also need to ensure that the trailer is loaded and secured properly, as well as that its lights and braking system work properly. And while this is much safer than the brute force chain approach, it’s still an awkward way to move a trailer. You’ll be limited to short distances, and you may also need to get permission from the authorities, especially if you’re towing at night.
5. using an escalator
Escalators are used to move trailers on and off railway lines and can also be used to tow a fifth-wheel trailer. There are various types, but the simplest is a rotating platform on a long track that can move up and down. You can mount a fifth wheel to the platform and then drive the platform up over the motor home. Once it’s level with the motor home, you can drive the platform and trailer onto the motor home. The trailer tongue weight needs to be as close to zero as possible, so you may need to remove a lot of the contents. And while you can use this with a light fifth-wheel trailer, you probably won’t want to tow it very far; you might only want to transport it from a railway line to a parking lot.
When Must You Use A Lower Gear?
- You’ll want to use a lower gear when towing a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch if you are on the highway or going up a long hill. You’ll also want to use lower gears when you need to do any type of braking. The more weight you have, the more power your brakes will need, and the lower your gearing will need to be.
- The first time I attempted to pull my fifth-wheel trailer, I was in an automatic transmission vehicle. It was very difficult for my wife and me to get up enough speed in first gear at low speeds (in town), and I had trouble with it on hills, too. When we got on the highway, we found that we couldn’t go fast enough with the first gear that we could control it at all with the second gear. We were about 60 mph at best and had very little control over our speed as we pulled into traffic!
- I ended up investing in a used manual transmission truck, and I’ve never looked back. Manual transmission makes it easier to get up enough speed in first gear and gives you more control when you are on the highway. I feel much more comfortable with a manual transmission vehicle and I don’t have to worry about not being able to get up enough speed in first gear at low speeds or having trouble controlling the speed at all while pulling a fifth-wheel trailer.
Tips On Move A Fifth Wheel Trailer Without A Hitch
1. know your weight and tongue weight
The first thing you should know before you move the fifth wheel without a hitch is the weight of your trailer and the weight of your trailer’s tongue. Weight is important to know because it will affect how you move your trailer. If you don’t know the weight of your trailer, you may end up overloading your truck and damaging your truck and trailer. Inside the tongue of the fifth wheel, you’ll find the weight of the trailer written on a sticker. This is tongue weight, which is the amount of weight that’s on the back of your truck’s trailer hitch. Knowing the tongue weight will help you determine how many people you need to help you move the trailer.
2. plan ahead
Before you even start planning how to move your fifth wheel, you may want to check with the property owner where you want to move it to or the campsite manager where you want to park it. You may need to get permission to park at those locations. If you want to move your trailer to a different campsite, you may have to wait for a space to open up. You may also want to move it to a place where you have friends or family to help. Moving your trailer on the weekend is generally best because you’ll have more friends and family available. You may also want to plan to do it in the cooler parts of the day. This will help reduce the amount of time it takes. It’s also a good idea to plan when you’ll need to move back home again. This will help you make sure you leave enough time on the calendar to get the trailer back to your property.
3. hire a professional mover
If you’re looking at ways to move your fifth wheel without a hitch, you may want to consider hiring a professional mover to do it for you. This will obviously depend on where you want to move the trailer. You may want to check with your city or county to see if there are any regulations on hiring a commercial mover. You may also want to check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to see if it’s covered. It’s usually more expensive to hire a professional mover than to do it yourself. But if you don’t have the time, it’s worth considering. Hiring a professional mover will be more time-efficient than trying to figure out how to move the fifth wheel without a hitch.
4. use a dolly or ramp
If you’re looking at ways to move the fifth wheel without a hitch, a dolly or ramp may be helpful. Depending on your trailer, though, you may need to make some modifications. A dolly is a wheeled device that will help you slide your trailer. It’s often used to move trailers that are on the smaller side. A ramp will help you slide a larger trailer. Dollies and ramps are fairly inexpensive. They’re also easy to operate. If you’re moving with a friend or family member who doesn’t have much experience moving trailers, these may be the best option. You’ll need an extra-long trailer hitch to move the fifth wheel using a dolly or ramp. If you’re renting a trailer hitch, make sure you tell the rental company that you’re using one of these devices.
5. drive slowly
You may have heard that you should drive slowly when moving the fifth wheel. But what does that mean exactly? When you’re moving a trailer, you should drive 10 miles per hour slower than your normal driving speed. This is to allow for any bumps in the road and to make sure you don’t over-rev the engine. This will help you avoid damaging your trailer or your truck. And when you’re moving, you should drive even slower if you have to make a turn or if there’s any standing water on the road. This will help you avoid hydroplaning. Cars behind you may be impatient when you’re driving slowly. So be sure to use your turn signals and drive as defensively as possible.
The fifth wheel of a travel trailer is located directly behind the cab. If you have a fifth-wheel trailer, there’s no hitch to attach to your truck or car. This makes it challenging to tow the trailer without damaging it or risking its safety. Fortunately, there are several methods available for moving a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch. With these towing methods, you can safely tow a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch. Now that you know how to move a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch, you can focus on outfitting and enjoying your new travel trailer.