Class III hitch on a camper

Posted by: roger

Class III hitch on a camper - 07/29/03 01:28 PM

I was told something to day that I just can't believe. What I want to do is add a class III hitch to the back of my camper (connected to the frame). Then I can have one of those basket carries to put my generator on. I've seen lots of campers with this done to them. I went to Magnum Trailers in Austin today and they said they won't install one because the metal is too thin. I find it hard to believe those two steel I beams used for the frame are too thin to support 300 lbs. I mean my heavens, the camper weighs 5000 lbs+ and can be up to 6000lbs, that's more than my truck weighs. So according to that theory they frame on my truck should not be able to support it either.

Any opinions?
Posted by: RockMan

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 07/29/03 03:01 PM

Go see Spillar Custom Hitches. I use the one on South Congress (444-3227). Ask for Randy, he is the "Da Man" for customer hitches & welding. He modified my pop-up camper to carry my bike on the hitch tongue. In case you live up in the frozen tundra of N. Austin, they have locations there too. Burnett & 183 (837-7142) & in Round Rock (244-2224).
Posted by: chuckborn69

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/03/03 08:15 PM

those guys are gay...go somewhere else they will install it for ya
Posted by: RockMan

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/04/03 01:33 PM

Chuck,

"those guys are gay...go somewhere else they will install it for ya"

Seems like lame BS advice to me. But maybe you went to Spillar's for looking for something besides trailer hitches. Who knows, maybe you actually found it and had a bad experience. Myself, I only talk to them about trailer hitches.
Posted by: roger

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/05/03 09:53 AM

Already been to Spillars, had a custom hitch installed, they did a great job.
Posted by: SpermyAdministrator

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/16/03 10:41 AM

steve i believe chuck's "gay.." comment was toward magnum trailers. notice at the top of his post his reply was to [re: roger]
Posted by: RockMan

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/16/03 02:35 PM

David,

I believe you're right..........

I stand corrected!

My apologies Chuck.

Steve T.
Posted by: Frosty

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 08/28/03 03:16 PM

I was told the same thing by a hitch place here in Lubbock a few years ago. They are so worried about liability that they won't deviate at all from the traditional installation process. A good welder did the job for me, half the price of a standard hitch install, and it's worked great - even carry my bike back there every now and then on a rail. Only problem I've had is that the back of my trailer is very low to the ground to begin with, and the hitch is obviously even lower. Can drag a little if I go off-road.
Posted by: Lumberjack

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 09/02/03 04:05 PM

For the most part what they told you is true.

I do not know what type of trailer you have. However, most begin with a ladder type frame that they place the camper unit on. The rungs (if you will) of the ladder base are adaquately strong to support your camper. However, there is not a rung at the end or bumper of your camper. The legs of the ladder extend to the end of your unit but there is no rung crossing where the bumper is. The actual bumper of most trailers is very thin metal relatively speaking. It may be able to support 300 lbs most of the time. However, when you go over a dip or a bump in the road, the torsional effect of that 300 lbs can be proportionately magnified many times. Unless there is some welded in support, sooner of later you will crack the subframe of your trailer, or you will loose those two wheeled friends back there.

I installed a trailer hitch on the end of my Travel Trailer. When I did, through the advice of AMSA's Stu, I attached the hitch to the bumper and again to the two (2) end rungs of the subframe (about 6 and 16 inches in).

One last thing to consider is this. A travel trailer is designed so that there is adaquate hitch weight (mine is 700 libs) so that the trailer will have a constant downward force at all times. This is most important when going over a dip or bump in the road. Otherwise, the trailer could unhitch itself (disaster). You will note in your trailer guide that it cautions you to always front load the trailer by placing your gear in front of the axles, not behind them. Now, lets' look at my trailer. I have a 700 lb hitch weight. If I add 300 lbs to the ass end, and it is 10 feet from the axles, that equates to a torsional load of say about 3000 ft-lbs of force without going over any dips or bumps in the road. Assuming that your water tanks are in the rear of your unit like mine are, then that is even more weight and torsional effects at the ass end of the unit. Toy box trailers are designed with the idea of that load being behind the axles.

Unfortunately, if you have a collision and your unit is over loaded, then your insurnace does not have to cover you. Matter of fact, you best have a signed copy of your unit loaded and weighed on a scale to keep in your glove box. And make sure your tow vehicle is sufficient to tow the load you are pulling. Otherwise, the attorneys will get you again.

Not telling you this to scare anyone. Just these are the facts that I learned from reading (towing forum) and others who have experienced the good and bad mistakes.
Posted by: Ted Glover

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 07/25/15 10:43 PM

I used Spillar North location to have a class 3 installed on the back of travel trailer. First thing they did is cut off the old bumper and designed a new bumper and hitch. I then installed a Versahaul bike carrier and had room for a generator rack. The challenge is that fully loaded I have an extra 500-600 pounds off the back of the trailer. My setup doesn't sag or have any ground clearance issues.
Posted by: CARiD

Re: Class III hitch on a camper - 06/23/16 06:24 AM

That's right if the attachment point for the trailer hitch is too thin you might want to reinforce it. This tech article has a pretty good brake down: Everything You Want to Know About Trailer Hitches