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Old 12-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #1
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Bumper Mod

John B, I was looking at some old posts and pictures. I seen your (I think) T2499 TT back end. It looks like you put two truck storage boxes and a sewer hose holder on the back of the TT. If the bumper can only hold 100#s, how was it done? This is one mod I want to do, Thanks. Chuck
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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Hi Chuck,

Those pic’s that you saw where unique to a T2499 or T310SR rear living camper. There was a frame extension made to support the box and the entire bumper was moved out. The bumper is not holding any weight other then a sewer hose holder on top. So that you or anyone else does not accidently get into issues with this mod I will take a moment to type and explain.

Looked like this which is what I believe you are referring to.


















That modification that I did was submitted to Sunline when they where still in business along with my calculations, scaled trailer weights and exactly why and how I was going to do this before and after I did it. My driving reason for this was to reduce tongue weight on that specific floor plan as my K2500 Suburban could only handle a 1,200# loaded tongue weight with the added gear I had in the back of the truck. I still had close to 900# of cargo capacity left in the camper before reaching GVWR and could not use it. If I added fresh water to haul to camp the tongue weight would of reached 1,350# which is more then my truck could handle. This was not about adding more storage space it was about moving existing weight from the front cargo hole and putting certain objects in different areas of the camper and still have very good TT balance while keeping within all TT ratings and truck ratings.

The T2499 rear living camper floor plan starts out dry (empty) from the factory as having a 14.5% dry tongue weight. The way the storage is located in the camper a large percentage of the storage is forward of the axles. There is a good quantity on the axles and very little behind the rear axles. Mostly air back there, a swivel rocker and a great big picture window to look out which is what drew us to this floor plan. See this post I created for anyone having that floor plan trying to sort out weights and balance of where gear goes. Travel Trailer Tongue Weight Aid - T2499

In my case after I loaded the camper the tongue weight went from 14.5% dry up towards 21% which is a bunch… and it even went higher with fresh water added. After I rebalanced the camper, I was at 15% loaded no fresh water and 16.5% with fresh water. If I happened to have a 1 ton truck back then I could of left it alone but I only had a 3/4 ton SUV. Or if I would not have had as much “stuff” I brought along I could of, would of left it. I was the average camper person who on that size camper can have 1,000# to 1,200# of cargo (stuff).

For good stable towing on a TT, I go by a target of 12 to 15% for stable towing. More is OK providing the truck can handle it. 13% is good and 10% stay away from. The 10% one should stay away from because on a TT loads can change from campout to campout and 10% can turn towards 9 or 8 depending on where the gear changes are or how many LP tanks went empty. The smaller the camper the more caution on the gear moves. In the case of my T2499 and T310 I rebalanced the camper because of the very high tongue weight. This is something that takes time, calculations and well, work to make sure you do not accidentally overload your rear axle or worse create an un-balanced TT with low tongue weight. And then there is the frame strength part of this too. A properly balanced camper is the 1st and best thing one can do to prevent TT sway. Just in my case I did not realize at the time the way a rear living floor plan loads. They say front kitchen units can be heavy, and they can but they also have a large cargo hole under the bed in the back. The rear living floor plan does not have much weight in the back to help offset the higher tongue weight.

The mod I did worked for me because of the unique setup I had. I caution any fellow camper to make sure everything lines up before attempting this. And pending the floor plan you have, it may not be advisable to do this as your tongue weight can go too low and create an unstable towing TT. If this mod is not done right a number of negative things can come from it.

There is more to this then bolting a box on the back….

Hope this helps explain what you saw in my setup. If you are after extra cargo spots there are other options. Plastic storage bins are the first to start with that are placed in the camper in the right spot and then come out once your at camp. It takes a while to sort out where things go in a camper to make it the most convenient to use. Figure a rearrange at least 3 times when starting out with a new floor plan… At least that is what we have found it takes…LOL. Nah that does not work there., too much a pain to get in and out. Move it again.

Hope this helps

John


PS if your after the sewer hose mod, you can reproduce what I have but they now also have 5" plastic fence post covers that work well. I did not find them when I was doing mine.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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Hi Chuck,

It just dawned on me..... you have a 2003 T2499. Duh.... Sorry about that I did not connect the screen name to what camper you have... As FYI if you create a signature in the control panel (CP) you can list out your camper model and year, truck/year and other things you like to show us as well as a picture. This helps explain to others what you have so the responses may fit better.

With that in mind, heads up that the T2499 floor plan does load towards the tongue of the TT. That link above on if gear adds, subtracts or stays neutral directly applies to your camper. I did that for a fellow forum member who had that floor plan and unfortunately the dealer did not caution him that his jeep could not handle that camper when he put gear in it. He now has and F250. The SUV's make good TV's when used within their means just the rear axle weights are the weak area to watch out for. There is more glass in the back and truck weight due to the SUV make up and that lighter springs are used. A pickup will most generally in the same class truck always be able to haul more tongue weight as the bed does not weigh as much and the truck is sprung different.

We do have folks here on the forum using properly equipped 1/2 ton pickup's to tow the T2499. The key is watch where the weights are going and you may have to pack lighter then those you use 3/4 ton suspension. We each have our own unique circumstances on camping gear.

I thought you had one of the newer GM PU's. Nice trucks!!! Pulling wise the drive train is a whole lot better then the prior ones on any of the new 1/2 tons. The heads up is to watch 3 areas.

1. The truck receiver. Look at the WD (weight distributing) rating. The loaded tongue weight "Plus" gear in the back of the truck behind the rear axle should not go over that rating. I have been away from the Chevy's for a few years but I'm estimating the receiver may be in the 1,000 to maybe 1,050# WD rating area. So if you have a TT with 800# of tongue weight and 200# sitting at the end of the truck bed, the WD hitch is working on 1,000# and thus the receiver needs to handle that. To help this, load heavy gear in the truck bed right behind the cab but at least forward of the rear axle.

2. Rear axle rating. On your driver side door it lists the GAWR-RR (Gross Axle Weight Rating - rear) That is the axle, springs and tires. Do not know which is the weak link but one of them is and the rating fits the weakest one. When one puts a 1,000# tongue weight on a 1/2 ton truck, heads up watch what is in the truck bed. A cap on the back can weight 300#. 100# may end up aft of the rear axle. And then there is camping gear. I know my truck bed is full and I bought the 1 ton over the 3/4 ton in my case for a cap and more gear for long distance camping. That and I'm starting with a loaded 1,400# tongue weight after I did the TT rebalance. Point: Watch out and do not go over the rear axle rating

3. GVWR (Gross Vehicle Rating) With the new higher power drive trains it is even easier to run out of GVWR before you run out of pulling capacity. This is not a new problem it is just easier to run into now. Unless you go camping with a totally empty truck bed , 1 person in the truck, odds are you will not be able to use all of the rear axle rating you have before you run out of GVWR. And since I have not met anyone yet who goes camping with a totally empty truck bed and 1 person in the cab, well heads up. You may reach the GVWR before you hit the rear axle rating. You can pull it, but by the specs you may not be able to hold up the camper and camper gear in the truck bed.

TT tongue weight and gear in the truck bed affects all 3 of those areas. Now, all is not lost I'm just passing along a fellow camper heads up, watch the weights.

The ideal way to do this is before you start loading the camper and the truck. Spend around $10 bucks and go to a truck scale and weigh the truck and camper empty with full tank of gas and full LP in the camper. There is a method that takes 3 scale weights and then you can figure all axle ratings and tongue weights. If you need help on how to do that, just ask. We can help there too.

Armed with real weights, now load the camper and the truck at the house and take all the time you need. Using a bath room scale weigh each item. Weigh yourself then hold an item. Write it down and subtract your weight and go to the next item. That weight map I linked you to shows where the weight will add to in the camper. For the truck bed, weight aft of the axle closest to the tail gate will add to the tongue weight for the reciever. So put light things like lawn chairs there. Put the heavy, fire wood, pop coolers up by the cab. That weight adds to the GVW and about 1/2 to a 1/3rd to the rear axle.

Once you get all loaded up, see if your weights look right to your ratings. Move gear around if needed. And you will need to adjust the WD hitch for a fully loaded camper and truck. When you believe you are good to go, then head back to the scales and recheck.

Weighing the truck and camper loaded with the WD hitch adjusted right is the only way to sort this out. I mentioned to do the 1st weighing empty, load and the re-weigh as that is the ideal way. If you are already loaded up, well go slow and weigh it as is. I know I never realized what "stuff" weighed until I started weighing it. I was shocked.... After the shock wore off....LOL well I learned and ended up buying a different truck... verse leaving 3/4 of my camping gear at home. My 1500 Tahoe could not handle the loaded tongue weight.

Once you sort out all the weights, and you are up against the ultra high tongue weight issue, then look at the boxes.

Here is a copy of the 2011 Chevy Trailing Guide. Pages 8 and 9 in the fine print on the bottom talks about loaded tongue weight

http://www.chevrolet.com/assets/pdf/...ring_Guide.pdf

Hope this helps and good luck. Glad to answer any and all questions if you need more.

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner John, but I was looking up some info. As near as I can tell, according to my owner's manual, The axle ratio is 3.42, Maximum Trailer Weight is 9,600 lbs., The GCWR is 15,000 lbs. Ok, now to the hitch. The sticker on the hitch and the owner's manual say the Maximum tongue weight for the weight carrying hitch is 600 lbs. The Maximum tongue weight for the weight distributing hitch is 1,100 lbs. So I guess I can just watch my tongue weight and I should be ok. As far as putting the truck storage boxes on the back, that should help my tongue wt. even more. I forgot tell you we brought the tt back from burlington vt to altona ny without the sway bars or the weight distributing hitch hooked up, I never had anything tow so smooth before, it was great. But again that was with an empty truck and tt. Chuck
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
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Hi Chuck

A GCWR of 15,000# and a 3.42 rear axle, do you have a 6 speed tranny now too?

They for sure are squeezing the power out of the engine. My 6.0 liter, 4 speed with the 4.10 rear end on my prior 2003 K2500 Suburban was only rated at 16,000 GCWR. So pulling wise you should be OK. The lower profile T2499 helps the wind drag too.

And as you said, watch the tongue weight where it goes and the truck bed weight aft of the rear axle and go have fun in your new camper.

If you get to the boxes some day, tell me your loaded tongue weight and actual loaded GVW on the TT and I can figure for you how much drop in tongue weight the boxes can give you before you start adding anything.

Good luck and hope all this typing an figuring helps

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499
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2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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