Hey guys. I'm getting ready to remove my rear bumper on my camper and attach angle irons directly to the I-Beam frame in order to haul my golf cart on the rear of the camper. I got the idea from a fellow camper this past weekend. Even took pictures of his setup.
Here is my question. I am consider purchasing two 6 foot 3 X 3 X 1/2" angle iron. I will bolt 2 feet of the angle iron onto the frame of the camper with 4 feet sticking out to the rear. I will bolt 2 x 6 treated wood to the tops of the angle iron for the golf cart to rest. Will this demension angle iron I have selected support the weight of a
1,000 lb golf cart being pulled on the rear of a camper?
I really doubt it - because if this is a common pickup truck and slide-in camper setup (or a chassis mount Class C mini-motorhome using the same basic idea but permanently attached), and you hang an average
1000-lb golf cart off the back on a carrier like that, the front wheels of the truck are going to be off the ground and the carrier dragging on the ground.
You can NOT put that much weight overhung that far behind the axle, and not expect bad things to happen. Some motorhomes are already at their limits from the factory and are not allowed to tow anything at all. You certainly wouldn't want to try hanging a golf cart off the back bumper...
Oh, and 99% of automotive chassis are heavy gauge steel bent into a C-Channel. Not an I beam style. And the point loading on bolts used to hang that much weight, something is going to give, and fast.
And this has to be a gas-engine style EZ-GO or Yamaha golf cart, because an electric weighs that much before the batteries. A battery cart ready to run is a lot closer to 2,000 pounds, if not more.
Yes, because if you pick the right size tubing that slides inside the frame channel you can weld it on three sides and make a far stronger join. But it probably won't work from the loading concerns above.
Oh, and if the chassis rails are made of HSLA Steel, you shouldn't be welding on it AT ALL without taking special precautions. A lot of the Class 8 semi-tractors have big "NO WELDING!" warning stickers on both sides of the frame rail, and have lots of conveniently punched holes to bolt things to the rails.
The simple and safe solution:
Take the rectangular steel tube and a single axle, and build a nce utility trailer with it to carry the golf cart. Use the angle iron for the tilt-down loading ramp at the rear.
Install a good frame mounted trailer hitch receiver on the camper, and if the tongue weight is still too much (because you can feel the front axle getting light) look into a load-levelling hitch system.
Almost certainly not. You don't mention anything about the trucks qualification to haul such a load, and that would be a handful for even a serious one-ton dually. I would imagine your truck is near a reasonable gross with just the camper.
As much as most folks hate to pull them, you need a trailer.
All excellent points and echo my thinking 100%. A trailer is the only way to go.
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First, I agree completely that this is a job for a trailer. That said, I couldn't resist running the numbers for your 3" angle cantilevered out 48" with 500 lbs per angle uniformly distributed (as a rough approximation). The ends will droop about 0.11" and the maximum bending stress is about 11 ksi, which is roughly 1/3 or 1/4th of the yield stress for steel angle. Hitting a bump will give a "live" load anywhere from 2-5 times the static load so the first good bump will probably start them bending (assuming the frame doesn't go first). Get a trailer!
I'm sure you are right, but my point was no matter how strong you build the platform, when you consider the weight of the camper, 1000 lbs that far behind the bumper, and the weight of a platform strong enough to support the
1000 lbs, it will probably be dragging the ground anyway.
Probably not in a 3/4 ton truck. Unless it is a overweight Lance Camper. My camper weighs about 1400# and the boat trailer has an about 500# tongue weight, and the truck does not squat in the back more than about 2".
Agreed. But your 500 lb trailer tongue is a lot closer to the rear wheels than the golf cart would place 1000 lbs, and you still need the weight of the platform. Even if the rear springs would take it, you would be taking a LOT of weight off the front wheels, and mass that would slow your ability to steer.
They tried the "One Wheel Trailers" a long time ago, where you use two hinge-style hitches on the bumper and a single sprung pneumatic-tire "caster" on the trailer. But the decision came down in California that it doesn't count as a "part of the vehicle" but as a seperately registered trailer.
You could build this as a big variant on the theme, with two big hinges between the trailer and tow vehicle, and two sprung pneumatic tire casters. But it will still need to be registered as a trailer in most states.
And they tend to handle funny, as the load has to be carried very high to allow the full caster and suspernsion assembly to pivot under the load bed - and then you have to add in the ride height of the golf cart axles added too. Suddenly the CG is three feet off the ground, and the frame isn't long enough so the oscillation amplifies.
A One-wheel Trailer design tends to rock on the pivot point of the CG over the trailer "axles" and toss the trailer in a fore and aft rocking motion, and it also shoves the tow vehicle rear bumper up and down violently. For a little box with a few suitcases inside, this isn't enough weight to cause a problem - but a golf cart is a Whole Lot of dead-weight to have gyrating fore and aft as you drive along.
I can see several oscillation modes that would be self-feeding and become severe enough to cause loss of control and a wreck.
A conventional trailer is a known and mature tech. We know they will ride properly, and not shove the tow vehicle into the ditch.