If you find yourself without a fifth-wheel trailer hitch and a giant trailer parked in your yard, you have problems. Fortunately, there are ways to move it, so long as you’re ready to get a little inventive or spend a little money.
You can’t just move a fifth-wheel RV/trailer with any old hitch. The way a fifth-wheel is designed is a weight distribution method. Fifth-wheel trailers are heavy and mounting them to just any hitch would disproportionately affect how the weight is distributed and is incredibly dangerous to attempt to tow it.
If you’re in such a predicament, you do have some options. You can’t strap it to your kid’s backs and get them to pull it because it’s just too heavy, however, tractors, dollys, transportation companies, shipping marketplaces, and possibly a little sociability can all go a long way.
How to move a fifth-wheel trailer without a hitch? When you’re in a negative situation, it’s always good to know that you have options, and here are five options for getting that fifth-wheel RV out of the way and where you need it to be.
1. Shipping marketplace
It’s never a fun thing to be caught in a position where you have to be dependent on others. However, think of it as hiring someone to do professional lawn maintenance, pest control, or landscaping. It’s a job and it needs doing. If you can’t do it yourself, then hiring a professional service is the best way to go.
A shipping marketplace isn’t a transportation or towing service all by itself. It is simply the mediator between two parties. One party needs a fifth-wheel trailer towed and the other party is capable of doing so, for a price.
- Follow the link to https://www.uship.com/ship/
- Select Get a Free Estimate
- Select the Vehicles and Boats category
- Select Recreational Vehicles
- Fill out the Shipment Information
- Fill out your Pickup and Delivery info
- Fill out your Personal User Information
- Confirm Email
It’s like a DoorDash system that is built around carriers and shippers. You’re the shipper and, even if you only need the RV shipped 300 yards from one part of your property to another, a shipping marketplace will hook you up with someone who can come out there with the equipment to move it.
When you fill out the shipping, pickup, and delivery information, you are filling out the directions that will be provided to the carrier. The carrier operates like a Dominos Pizza deliverer and will come out to your RV’s location and deliver it where it needs to be delivered.
It’s quite an efficient system. In the old days, you would have to hunt around locally, burying yourself in the Yellow Pages, just to find someone who might be willing to take on the liability of moving heavy equipment on your behalf.
Your Personal and User information is part of creating the account and you will have to enter your email and phone number so that the carrier can get into contact with you in case there are any questions or other issues that need to be cleared up.
2. Hire a transportation company
This is kind of the same as dealing with a shipping marketplace, except you won’t be dealing with an independent contractor (the carrier), or a middle man (Shipping Marketplace). This is also, unfortunately, the most expensive route to take.
A transportation company will show up like a tow truck, with an overly large flatbed or the equipment necessary to tow your fifth wheel. Hiring a transportation company is the most professional route, but you should only do so if you’re looking at long-distance transportation.
L&T Towing & Truck Service is a primary example of a transportation company that you can hire to come out and move your rig. Since it is a company, rather than an individual, independent contractor, you will be responsible for everything other than the actual transportation.
That means securing everything without and within your fifth-wheel RV or trailer.
- Make sure that everything inside the RV is turned off
- Ensure that any free-moving objects are strapped down
- Make sure that all of your gas lines or electrical equipment is removed or properly disconnected
- Windows and doors (including any outside hatches) need to be securely closed
- Conduct a walkthrough
The likeliness of anything happening in the car of a professional transportation company is slim and none. However, you will be liable for anything that falls over or anything that is loose and causes damage along the route.
3. Utilize a tractor
Many tractors, such as a Kubota Farm Tractor utilize hydraulic systems for their buckets; systems that you can take advantage of. A three-point handy hitch with a drawbar is a prime example of something that can be retrofitted onto a bucket.
From there, it’s a simple method of using the hydraulic arm to lift up and underneath the fifth-wheel so that it can be fitted together. Of course, this is not a design for long-haul travel, unless you fancy getting pulled over while riding reverse in a Kubota, hauling a fifth-wheel in front of you at roughly 8mph.
In fact, it probably wouldn’t take very long for you to see blue lights. As for transportation around on your property or within the neighborhood, it’s an effective means for getting your fifth wheel around.
The hydraulic systems on farm tractors, whether it’s a Kubota or a John Deere, are capable of lifting and hauling enormous weight. Regardless of how large and heavy your fifth-wheel RV is, a farm tractor is more than a match for it.
The control won’t be the best in the world, but it will get the job done over short distances, and if that’s all you need, it’s worth a shot. Just don’t attempt to do the same trick with a standard pickup or SUV, regardless of how much weight they are designed to haul.
4. Trailer valet
Most people just call this a dolly but somewhere along the lines, someone thought it would be cool to call it a trailer valet. Who knows? What matters most is results and a motorized dolly is an effective mode of temporary and short distance transportation, even for something as heavy as a fifth-wheel RV.
You see things that are similar to trailer valets in stores all of the time, where micro-level hydraulic systems are used in a forklift format to haul and stock merchandise. This is no different. While a trailer valet is an aesthetically different transportation device, with some different engineering, it does the same thing.
The trailer dolly comes with the design capabilities to raise beneath your fifth wheel and connect the hitch to the receiver, locking it in place for simple motorized and directional guidance. The directions are guided by you, of course, because you will need to walk with it as it moves along, pulling the RV behind it.
It’s not as useful over soft earth, bumpy terrain, or anywhere that you might find soft spots in the earth or holes. It’s perfect for use over hard ground, asphalt, or concrete paving. Maneuvering through a driveway or even up a moderate incline is well within the limits of a trailer valet’s capability.
If all you need to do is move the RV and get it parked, it makes sense to go with a trailer valet/dolly, rather than hiring a professional group, independent contractor, or attempting to move it with a tractor.
Gravel or most other kinds of aggregate are not difficult to negotiate, as travel valets typically come with the tread to navigate that kind of terrain. For huge RVs, a travel valet with an electric motor is your best bet, as these are capable of handling enormous weight and can cut corners with ease.
5. Ask a neighbor
This may seem silly in the grand scheme of things, like, could things be that simple? Of course, it can. Just because you don’t have a hitch for your fifth-wheel RV doesn’t mean that your neighbors don’t.
If you are in an RV park, picking up an RV, there’s liable to be plenty of fifth-wheel RV haulers hanging about. You can offer a tip or a decent payment to make it worth their while as well.
Most people who spend a lot of time in their RVs and traveling across the country already view the camping life as one, giant family. You’d be surprised at how often others are willing to help and some, though not all, may even be happy to help tow the RV free of charge.
It only really makes sense if the RV is going to be moved over a short distance, maybe even across town. After all, you can’t expect a couple traveling to Nevada to haul up stakes and help you haul your RV from Kentucky to South Carolina.
Well, there you have it, your five best options for hauling your RV, whether it’s across the lawn to get it out of the way for your wife’s she-shed (in which case you can’t get it moved fast enough) or you need to haul it across town or the state.
Transporting a fifth-wheel without a hitch isn’t an ideal scenario, however, you have more options than you realize and you can get the job done with any of the above expediently, at least, until you get your fifth-wheel hitch.