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Old 10-04-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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luckyva
hitch question

i remember reading about weight distribution bars and tongue weight somewhere along the way. my camper weighs 4200 ish and i notice the bars on the equalizer hitch are rated to 600 pounds. am i ok? are the bars adequate?

on another topic, i got a new tv today. tundra. little worried about the mileage estimate, but not my daily driver.

thank you!
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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Hi Paul

Let me see if I can help.

I looked up a 2007 T2363, it is listed as 4,200# dry GVW with a dry tongue of 520#. Dry means no battery, no propane in the tanks, and no camping gear. Basically just like the day it rolled out of the factory. Where did you get your 4,200# weight number?

If you look in the camper at the weight sticker it should tell you the camper weight when it left Sunline with factory installed options, so the closer dry weight might be higher then the 4,200#. The sticker is either on the bath room medicine cabinet or in the kitchen cabinets. They moved them aroundÖ

It is also a 6,000# GVWR rated camper. Your loaded ready to go camping weight could add some 700 to 1,000#. Yes stuff adds up. Even if you are super light camper, it can be 500# with out much trouble in a camper that size.

The weight of the LP filled in the 2, 20# tanks is about 42# if weight. About 39 ish of that will be on the tongue weight.

A group 24 battery about 50# will approx 42# to tongue weight.

So a dry tongue of 520, + 39# LP + 42# battery = 601# before you add camping gear.

I could not tell if it has a front cargo compartment under the couch, they hold a lot and add to tongue weight. Under the bed in the back reduces tongue weight. Depending on where you load your camping gear tongue weight does go up and needs to be in the right balance to loaded GVW for natural low sway characteristics. 13 to 15% is good tongue weight. 10% is the bottom end and I recommend not to be sitting right on that limit. 1 wrong gear move or empty LP tank and you are under.

Making a guess on your camping gear of 750#, your loaded camper could be 4,200# + 750 = 4950 no fresh water. Lets say 5,000# .

A 13% tongue weight on 5,000 x..13 = 650#. A 15% tongue weight on 5,000# is 750#.

The only real way to know is to go to a truck scale and weigh the camper.

So looking at this, your 600# WD bars are not heavy enough.

If you ever loaded the camper all the way to 6,000# on 15% that is 900# and 13% is 780#.

If you have the camper at home now loaded, you can weigh the tongue with a bath scale and a few beams. This will get you close if you are sitting on a 750 or 800# tongue or 700 even

Do you ever haul fresh water? Pending the location it can add to tongue weight too, and sometime subtract. I think the T2363 is under the bed in the back so it will reduce tongue.

750 or 800# bars might do the trick, but the only way to know is to have an accurate tongue weight. Since you will need new bars, I would weigh the tongue first, then there is no guessing.

Last year at the M & G I weighed a fellow club members tongue on a 2002 T2363 and it was 650#. I do not know how loaded they where.

What brand and type WD hitch do you have? Are they round bars or sq trunnion? Some brands allow you to just upgrade the WD bars and not buy the whole hitch.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Last year at the M & G I weighed a fellow club members tongue on a 2002 T2363 and it was 650#. I do not know how loaded they where.
John,

I think that was my weight you are referring to. If so, to try to give the poster an idea of what we had in it at the time..

On the tongue - One group 24 marine battery, 2 pretty darn full 20# propane cylinders, and reese dual cam gadetry.

Up front, under the couch was the towing gear - WD head, the cheater bar for the snap-up brackets, the bars themselves, a 10x10 ez-up canopy, lug wrench, box of lynx blocks, awning rod. That should about cover it.

In the kitchen area, ahead of the axles would have been a set of silverware for 4, a set of corelle for four, a couple of coffee mugs, 4 plastic tumblers, 4 stainless steel cooking pans /w/ lids, and some plastic kitchen utensils. There would have been a small pile of paper plates & napkins too, but that's just a few ounces

The foodstuff basically sits right above the axles, and we were not carrying much in the way of food - maybe a half dozen canned goods, and some other small stuff.

Under the bed, behind the axle. The fresh water tank was empty. In there we also carry two folding camp chairs, a small folding camp "kitchen", a 2 burner propane stove, a weber "go anywhere" grill and a propane lantern. Additionally there is about 50' total of "hose" and a handful of various fittings to go along with that.

I don't think we run with much "stuff" at all - we have tried to make an effort to keep things as light as we can and still be comfy..

I'm sure I missed a few things, like clothes for 2 people for 3 days, but that should give you an idea of what our distribution looked like to be around 650 on the tongue.

Hope this helps

- Frank
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:55 AM   #4
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Joihn and Frank, thanks for the replies. 4,200 is the correct dry, I just coundn't remember exactly when I created the post yesterday.

I really don't travel with much, although I understand it all adds up. Must stuff is under the bed and doesn't really amount to much. The only thing under the front couch that probably adds weight is the frame for my portable hammock. Also, my small TV sits on the couch while traveling. If I am going on a long trip, I may carry some water so I can flush the commode, through some water in my face to wake up, etc. I understand it weighs 8 lbs. a gallon. Otherwise, I never carry water.

The hitch is an Equal-izer, weight distribution/sway control with square bars.

I appreciate your help. I am going to google now to see if I can just replace the bars.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:00 AM   #5
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Equal-i-zer doen't list 800 lb bars on its website. Also, it looks like the spring arm sizes are different, which would require a new hitch:

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/produc...tech_specs.php

I think I will have to be very alert to how much weight is in the front of the coach.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyva
I think I will have to be very alert to how much weight is in the front of the coach.
In a trailer of that general GVWR, if you unload the nose of the trailer too much, you will be inviting massive sway problems which almost certainly can not be overcome with a friction or DC sway control system. Even a Hensley Arrow may not be able to cope with a severely unloaded tongue.

Even if the sway is not an issue when running straight and level, it will almost certainly appear when an 18 wheeler blows by you on the interstate. Also, by unloading the tongue you may severely alter the handling characteristics of the tow vehicle, and not for the better.

Before you give up, it may be useful to take your WD/SC system to a reputable and reliable trailer dealer and seek their advice on upgrading the weight arms. Many times, if they can not upgrade the existing system, they will take it in trade on a bigger one. And lots of these dealers have good, used items that they will offer at a reduced price. That's how I got my Reese weight arms 9 years ago.
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