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Old 03-29-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Ultra Tow

Just saw an ad for an Airstream that has a hitch installed on the rear in order to mount a small utility box such as an Ultra Tow. Interesting idea but I'd be concerned about adding significant weight off of the rear of the trailer. Anyone have any experience with this?

Poppy
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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Yes, we tried a hitch mounted bike rack on the back of a pop up. There were issues with the physics of the idea.

I see that as a bad idea anyway you want to slice it.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Birdmaestro View Post
Just saw an ad for an Airstream that has a hitch installed on the rear in order to mount a small utility box such as an Ultra Tow. Interesting idea but I'd be concerned about adding significant weight off of the rear of the trailer. Anyone have any experience with this?

Poppy
I don't have any experience doing this and I am guessing there aren't many who do. There are so many reasons that it is a bad idea, especially when carrying what appears to be two heavy generators. I would not even think about it without getting detailed specs for the frames ability to carry that extra weigh that far behind the axles. It would require either someone wiling to analyze the loading thoroughly to see where the stresses may cause problems, or perhaps the type of person who ignores the possible dangers and says, "I'll try anything once. Hey guys, watch this!"

Ken
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:36 AM   #4
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Yes, we tried a hitch mounted bike rack on the back of a pop up. There were issues with the physics of the idea.

I see that as a bad idea anyway you want to slice it.
What if you put wheels on it and turned it into a small trailer? Probably illegal in 50 states, 10 provinces and 3 territories.

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Old 03-29-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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What if you put wheels on it and turned it into a small trailer? Probably illegal in 50 states, 10 provinces and 3 territories.

Poppy
Depending on a lot of factors it may be legal in many states, at least in the west. However it is sort of a patchwork of states. If you are in that much in need of extra cargo space, I suggest you get a tow vehicle with a cargo bed. You'll find the ability to carry big or a lot of stuff even useful around home.

I have a Mercedes too, but I don't tow or haul anything except butt in it, It's a SLK.

For that matter, I guess my truck is a sort of Mercedes. It was made when Daimler owned Chrysler. Thank goodness it's not a Fiat.

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Old 03-29-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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What if you put wheels on it and turned it into a small trailer?
Poppy
Yes, an idea I have thought about before. Back in the 50's/60's there was a small tent trailer called a Heilite. http://www.popupcamperhistory.com/im.../US2383192.pdf

By design I think this idea would be ideal to tow behind a TT. It had one sprung wheel and "two" attachment points that extended forward from both front corners of the trailer. Tongue weights were very light with very little stress applied on the rear of the trailer.

The other advantage is that with this unit attached backing up would be no more of a problem than with the trailer itself.

In our case I would design it as a flat bed and mount our Mountain Bikes to the trailer.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Ken...

I'm fine with storage space. I have the back seats down in the ML500 and there's plenty of room. Before we took off a couple of months ago I had read all of the threads about limited space and I was a little concerned. But I'm getting the impression after a few months of this that my wife and I travel really light. We haven't even used all of the storage available in our trailer. I think we still retain the concept of real camping from my days as a Park Ranger. Although we do have our golf clubs.

I was just curious about the feasibility of this idea. When we used to travel around with our two boys, who were used to tent camping, they would refer to huge RV rigs as Kangaroo Glides (no idea where that came from). Towing two trailers would be the ultimate Kangaroo Glide. A small bass boat back there would be cool.

Poppy
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #8
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Yes, an idea I have thought about before. Back in the 50's/60's there was a small tent trailer called a Heilite. http://www.popupcamperhistory.com/im.../US2383192.pdf

By design I think this idea would be ideal to tow behind a TT. It had one sprung wheel and "two" attachment points that extended forward from both front corners of the trailer. Tongue weights were very light with very little stress applied on the rear of the trailer.

The other advantage is that with this unit attached backing up would be no more of a problem than with the trailer itself.

In our case I would design it as a flat bed and mount our Mountain Bikes to the trailer.
Years ago, I had a Sears one wheel cargo trailer built like that. I towed it with a Fiat 850. The one weakness I can foresee towing that behind a trailer as long as 25 feet, would be the magnitude of the side stress on the little trailer's wheel in turns. It would be quite a distance from the center of rotation (the trailer's axles).

Ken
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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Ken, I am old enought to recall the Sears trailer you are talking about. The Heilite design has a wheel that is a caster design. Don't think that would be an issue.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:22 PM   #10
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Ken, I am old enought to recall the Sears trailer you are talking about. The Heilite design has a wheel that is a caster design. Don't think that would be an issue.
you're right, that should solve the problem I'm talking about.

Ken
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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Just saw an ad for an Airstream that has a hitch installed on the rear in order to mount a small utility box such as an Ultra Tow. Interesting idea but I'd be concerned about adding significant weight off of the rear of the trailer. Anyone have any experience with this?

Poppy
Anything that adds weight rear of the TT axles could not be a worse idea. A few pounds are greatly magnified when (not if) a trailer starts to feel feisty and independent. Wants to pass the tow vehicle. TT tire adhesion is reduced. TT frame strength is secondary, but a real concern (for any TT type or brand).

If it's a brother-in-law you hate, then get him one.

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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There is a very fine line concerning an acceptable amount of mass at the rear of a trailer like an airstream, let alone the notion of adding a trailer behind one.

I see those trailer behind a trailer recreational vehicles going down the road now and again, they are always swaying in a bad way, with a white knuckle driver fixated on the road....
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:02 AM   #13
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If it's a brother-in-law you hate, then get him one.

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I want to buy two for my mother-in-law. One for her trailer and one for her car.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
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An undocumented comment is that the rear compartment on our 2014 Classic model 30 is only rated for 100 pounds. Our Furrion 36' 50 amp power cord, 15' 50 amp extension cord and all the adapters for both the trailer and ends of the cords easily weigh that much. Then there is the sewer stuff behind that space in the rear bumper.

With all the threads concerned with rear end sag or separation, one would think the design team at Airstream would put a stronger frame under the trailer or else virtually no storage spaces at the rear end to help preclude overloading that area.
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