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Hauling tent trailer/ camper with tailgate down.

Discussion in 'Towing' started by Fabulous, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Feb 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM
    #1
    Fabulous

    Fabulous [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are are contemplating buying a small used camper or tent trailer to go camping. We'd like to load our two dirt bikes in the back of our short bed double cab (which requires the tailgate down) and haul like this. Only thing is I can't see that being doable due to how short the tongue is on those things. Does anybody do this, or have any suggestions?
     
  2. Feb 14, 2011 at 3:37 PM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    My dad does something similar with his pick up. He removed the tailgate completely, cut a piece of plywood to fit up against the front of the bed and the back was flush with the back of the bumper and then used wood blocking between the plywood and the bumper. That way you don't have the full length of the tailgate but you can pick up another 6-8" or so to support the back tire of a motorcycle rear tire. This would work depending on how far the bikes hang over the end of the bed and you wouldn't have to worry about messing up your tailgate.
     
  3. Feb 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM
    #3
    Fabulous

    Fabulous [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My truck is a short bed, and the bikes stick out as far as the back of the tailgate when down, so it would have to stay on.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2011 at 3:44 PM
    #4
    S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

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    Get a tent trailer that has a spot for the bikes.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2011 at 3:47 PM
    #5
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    You can tow with the tailgate down, just be mindful of a few things... The jack, hydraulic brakes surge brakes like a Uhaul trailer (if you have them) and how far forward the body of the trailer is. The best things to do would be to do some slow-turn maneuvers with your wife and see how close things come to hitting when you make a tight turn, go through dip (seeing if anything on the tongue comes close to the tailgate), etc. Have your wife 'spot' you so you don't do any damage. Every trailer is different so unfortunately there's no easy answer as it depends on your set-up.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM
    #6
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    This would be my choice.

    Fleetwood E3.jpg
     
  7. Feb 14, 2011 at 7:44 PM
    #7
    S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

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    And that has a spot for the bikes!
     
  8. Feb 14, 2011 at 7:46 PM
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    Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    Ditto.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2011 at 7:09 AM
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    Fabulous

    Fabulous [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at those, but as of right now that is out of the budg as they run $16,000 Canadian up here. I'm looking more at something used, and no more then $6000. What about a hitch extender? Would that be alright with something so light, like sub 2000 lbs?
     
  10. Feb 15, 2011 at 8:10 AM
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    angrysam

    angrysam Bring Yuengling To MN!

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    They make extended draw bars. Maybe that would work for you? I have one that is a foot longer than a typical draw bar.
     
  11. Feb 15, 2011 at 4:15 PM
    #11
    campthewestcoast

    campthewestcoast Oceanfisherman

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    They make extensions for the hitch ( I've seen them when you have a oversize cab-over camping when towing a boat) as long you don't use a equailizer hitch on the tent trailer, you'll be fine. Then you could tow with your tailgate down and have the turning radius you need.
     
  12. Feb 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM
    #12
    JLink

    JLink Well-Known Member

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    extended draw bars do take away from the amount of weight you can tow, but you'd have to see how much the tongue weight of the camper is, and see what the extended draw bars are rated at. I used to use a 8" extender for my bike rack on my old blazer to get past the spare tire that was mounted on the tailgate
     
  13. Feb 15, 2011 at 4:22 PM
    #13
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    I have the same problem, when I put the tailgate down it about 1" from the jack
     
  14. Feb 28, 2011 at 6:37 AM
    #14
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd Well-Known Member

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    i have the same problem with mine, but i get 2 ratchet straps, and strap up the tail gate as high as i can, the back tires come off the ground of the dirtbikes when i do this but it keeps be from hitting my jack on my tailgate. i would try this. i think my bed is like 5-6 in longer than yours but worth a try.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2011 at 6:43 AM
    #15
    gooch14

    gooch14 Well-Known Member

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    Before I got rid of my pop-up camper I was looking at the possibility of mounting bikes on the fiberglass top. With the camper down the shell should support the weight around the edges, the only issue could be support in the middle.
     
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