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Old 08-08-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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SUN #187
precorguy
07 - T2553 - Hitch & noise -- also bent frame....

hi all:

firstly, i have read the 11 pages for the T 2499 frames a couple of times - it makes my eyes crossed trying to figure it out ---- so far it appears to be isolated to the T-2499- do i have that right?

secondly, i am going out to do some BASIC measuring and pictures to post so that i can get some opinions as to thoughst on whether i should have some reinforcement put in before i end up with a problem.

on our last trip - which was basically around lake michigan - via ontario, wisconsin etc -- i noted some groaning when i was making sharp turns - in either direction --- i cleaned the trailer ball and the bars - re-greased them and it seemed to clear up a lot --- i noted that others in the campgrounds had similar noises - so i am suspecting that my fear of frame damage is likely a little over the top and i just need to keep on the grease thing - opinions?

i am using an Equilizer Hitch system with 750 lb pars - no other sway control as i haven't noted any other issues -- of course safety chain and the like.

we do not carry water when we travel - so that should help, and we empty the tanks as well - except for what may be used while travelling --- our bikes are stored in the back of the pickup as is our leveling wood, sat dish (which i cannot figure out and am ready to toss) and our port-a-tank --- the only onboard storage is the typical food stuff (front kitchen), cords, hoses, surge guarde, sewer stuff, small vac and some outdoor decorations --- in the back of the trailer - under the bed is - the coleman road trip grill, a pail with 12V led lights, two lawn chairs, two small plastic tables, one patio mat, our laundry and the excess beer storage --- so overall i don't think we tend to overpack.

so here are my questions:

> how do i weigh the tongue easily (full propane, two batteries)?

> can i take it to any truck stop scale for weight measurements?

> i want to get the trailer lifted - so so i beef up the A frame and header while doing so?

or

should we just trade it now and get something else with its own sets of problems to solve?


if the weather is good, i will take some pics and post them --- for opinions --- by the way, which one of the folks on here does work for general RV in Michigan --- i stopped at mount clements, but had the wrong location and wanted to say hi --- we were waiting for the blue water bridge to re-open yesterday. Did manage to pick up some stuff that i am sure i couldn't live without!!! Didn't see another trailer that i liked more that i could tow with my F150 and was under $60,000.

alex
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:09 AM   #2
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The club has also found 2 2363s with bent front frames. When we had our 2753 A frame reinforced, as a preventative measure, at Lippert, we were told that should prevent us from ever having any problems. For $91 I'd say do a preventative fix. They also said it's MUCH easier to prevent than to fix once it's bent.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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Alex,
I also have an Equal-i-zer; it is noisy as the steel slides on steel and the only time you can hear this is in low speed tight turns. So, no, your frame isn't bending and you've probably been unnecessarily sensitized by the 2499 thread. Nevertheless I also believe it is worth reinforcing all of the other 7000 lb. class of Sunlines.

The cause of the 2499 failures, other than a weak frame, seems to be the load on the wd bars, and the way they are levered off to the outside, twisting the legs of the A-frame to the inside. I believe TW is the biggest factor in this failure, but the ultimate failure is more likely due to a combination of factors rather than just pure TW all by itself. Here are the risk factors as I see them:

1. TW in the 1000 lb area and certainly above that

2. steep driveways compared to the street and deep gutters

3. parking on rough ground

4. dragging the skid bars (not by itself a risk, but it means the wd bars are being loaded up heavier as the TV and TT twist or pivot in opposite directions)

5. tight steep turns like hairpins or dropping the inside tt wheels into the "ditch" on turns often seen on unimproved country or park roads

Repeatedly doing any of these 5 things, like driving on and off a steep driveway at home, significantly increases the risk. Basically think of it as the fatigue that sets in when a piece of metal, the front cross member, is repeatedly bent. The first couple of times the piece of metal feels just as strong and can be bent straight again. But it is being progressively weakened, and all of a sudden... pop, it's toast. I believe this is why we're not seeing any intermediate bending between my slightly bent one and the other disastrously bent ones. I noticed mine only because of the 2499 thread, but even that slight bend might only have been one more trip away from disaster as the fatigued metal gave way. In fact, posts by some of the other members indicated that their header failed that suddenly in one trip.

So, what should you, and other non-2499 owners of the 7000 lb. class (and maybe the 2363 as well) do?? I'm no engineer, but the ideas of others helps to get the juices flowing. I particularly like the one part of Bobo's solution to replace the battery supports. http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...ghlight=#15339
This steel just supports the battery and is too light to resist any twisting of the A-frame. I would knock it out and replace it with at least 2" angle iron. This should not be cut square and tack welded like the original supports. It should be cut at a 65 deg angle and fit tightly into the legs of the A-frame so it's not just the welds that resist twisting. This is an elegant solution that will not look aftermarket and it reinforces the bottom of the A-frame, which is the weakest point because of the cut out in the header basically destroying the strength of its lower flange. If you want a plywood battery platform you might have the machine shop also drill the holes on their HD drill press and save yourself some broken bits.

I'm guessing this is all a non-2499 needs. I believe this is a better solution than Lippert's as it places the reinforcement much closer to the wd brackets where the twisting is initiated and that will greatly reduce the stress on the header. And I'll bet you can get it done for not much more than $100. Lippert's solution is certainly adequate too and will also reduce twisting, but it looks like a "repair" and you'll get much better welding quality out in the open on the A-frame. http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...ghlight=#15028

To sum up, I think the 2499 needs more than Lippert's solution, but it looks adequate for the 2553 and other similar Sunlines. But I think replacing the battery supports is a better way to go and would certainly buy myself that $100 worth of peace of mind if I owned one of these models.

Henry
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:26 PM   #4
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Alex, further to some of your other questions.

Taking the time to get tongue weight at a truckstop scale will net you the wrath of any number of truckers. I have used the bathroom scale method.
http://books.google.com/books?id=NNW...aU1Ko#PPA53,M1
I used a 5 ft. 2X8, cut a groove 1" from the end and glued in a piece of dowel for a pivot point. I similarly located a second piece of dowel exactly 4 ft. from the first. (It's pouring rain, so no picture). Messing with pipe and square edged pivot points like in this link is not the way to go. Mark a heavy line 1 ft. from the end dowel (not the end of the plank) and center a jack stand right on the line. Place a br scale directly under the 4 ft. spot dowel and lower the trailer onto the jack stand. Multiply the scale reading by 4 and that's it. Quick and dirty... and huge errors if the scale isn't accurate.

Since you're in London, I'd call Can-am and have them weigh it on a proper tongue scale. If they don't have one they'll drop big time in my estimation.

There are a couple of truckstops in your neighborhood on the 401. I've used the Sunoco at Woodstock. All these scales have 3 segments so you can get the TV front and rear axle, and the trailer tandems in one pass. When you go in to pay, ask if you an reweigh at no charge and then take just the TV over. Watch a couple of trucks go over. You have to give a truck ID no. (a couple of digits off your license plate) and pace off the segments to make sure your rig will comfortably fit. I had plenty of room to spare with my crew cab and 46 ft. total length.

Don't sell your 2553! Not only will you take a beating, especially compared to the $100 fix which is all you need, but no house, car or RV is without its problems and you'll kick yourself for getting rid of a perfectly good RV that apparently is a good fit for you.

The lift and welding could be done in the same place, but my closest RV dealer does no welding; Can-am certainly would because they make hitches for all kinds of weird TVs. In any case, check my 5 risk factors above and if you're not particularly vulnerable, you have the luxury of doing all this in the off season.

Henry
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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precorguy
Henryj

i did go to the truck scale at the husky in dorchester and they gladly weighed the trailer for me - it is a 3 point scale, so i got to measure the trailer (loaded with a full tank of water) and the truck --- then removed the truck and leveled the trailer - weighed the trailer axles on one scale and the tongue on another.

i will post this information later (likely today) when i have more time.

i also took a few pics of the trailer - frame underneath and the small crack i the siding above the bedroom door (which i have caulked with marine caulking) - since it is raining outside now.

i will update things later today hopefully --- i am going to have a neighbour look at it as he is an engineer and works with metal fabrication --- so he knows a welder as well - that could be handy.

but also going to get a quote from Mobillife - since i think i want to flip the axle and give myself more room underneath anyway.

chat later

alex
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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I just got out between showers to check and the battery brackets are already 1" angle. So they should be replaced, if you go this route, with at least 2". I edited my first post to reflect that.

Henry
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:51 PM   #7
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SUN #187
precorguy
Well since the weather has co-operated, i have a few updates:

> 6" main frame
> 4" A frame

> 5040 lb trailer weight (loaded with full tank of water, all camping equipment, no clothes or food)

> i have a tongue weight (two full 30 lbs propane, two batteries), but i don't think that the 1200 lb weight is accurate (since it was measured with the trailer axles on one scale and the tongue on another and leveled)

pics of frame










so you can see that it looks like most others - ie 2499 - from what i can tell.

so, here are my thoughts?

> change the battery rails to included a steel bottom and sides to the top of the 4" A frame - should provide additional support on the A frame in front of the trailer

> well a box beam support across the front of the trailer to capture the exterior side, A and header frame - very much the same as henryj and bobo - like their fixes and we also are looking at keeping the trailer for a bit

> i will have this done as the same time as i have the axles flipped to add some height

once this is done, i should be able to complete the enclosure of the tanks (to extend our camping season) and adding the 46" sewer hose carrier that i purchased & finish the back up lights that the wires have been run for already

opinions????

thanks all!
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