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Old 09-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #21
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The rear bumper in our T-1550 is the rear crossmember for the frame. I am intimately knowledgeable about my frame - I just jacked the trailer up last week, wire brushed the frame and gave it a number of coats of POR-15.

There would be no place else to weld onto, so I'm not sure I'm following what you're saying here. As it is, a heavy spare tire is mounted on my rear bumper.

Also, what am I looking at in the picture you posted? A bumper that fell off? An add-on bumper that is somehow hinged?

Thanks for any help. This is even more confusing now.

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:51 PM   #22
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If it's like mine, a c channel bumper mine had a sticker that said not to exceed 100 lbs and a bike rack is not just downward force it's also a twisting force. torque.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:53 PM   #23
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Mine is square 4" steel tubing. Maybe one of the Sunline gurus could pitch in here. Steve? Jon?

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #24
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Mine is square 4" steel tubing. Maybe one of the Sunline gurus could pitch in here. Steve? Jon?

Frank
Sunline told us many times that the welds and brackets to the square 4" steel bumpers are designed to fail at weights over 200#. Bike racks and spare tires can make the welds fail at lighter weights due to torsional forces while traveling down the highway.

Curt Hitch Co. makes several models of receiver hitches for the rear of TT's that bypass the square tube all together and are fastened directly to the frame either by welding or drill and bolt. They are all rated at least Class III.

We have the same problem over in the Keystone forum with even newer and much larger trailers. Bypass the bumper and fasten to the frame.

This weekend, remind me to show you the slide-out rear bumper on our Cougar. It's fabricated out of thin sheet steel and is only rated for 200#. It's flimsy and unreliable. Great idea, but lousy implementation. I just removed the spare tire from the rear bumper and now carry it in the truck. The Cougar's tries are huge compared to most Sunlines: ST235/80R16's - they're the same physical size as the LT235/85R16 load range E's on the duallie and weigh about the same - easily 80 to 100# each.

I cringe when I walk through campgrounds and folks have the old style stabilizing jack stands placed under the rear bumper.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:31 PM   #25
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I find I get a bit of sway as it is in very windy conditions at 60 mph. I never thought bikes on the back would pose a problem, in part because I see so many other travel trailers with similar set ups. As it is, we have two propane tanks and a battery on the front tongue too. Our Sunspot never swayed - that was one of the best hauling trailers I've ever had.

Any suggestions? We tow the T-1550 with my standard cab, 6' bed 4wd GMC Canyon. Thanks!

Frank
Time for a sway control device. With a 1550, the friction ones work really well. Many dealers and trailer shops even have used one lying around that they part with for cheap. They are easy to install and very effective with a lighter trailer like yours. No WD system required.

Might be worth your time to play with load balancing. Tongue should always be around 12% to 15% of the actual weight of the trailer. Gotta ignore the tongue ratings in the Sunline brochures. They're only good until you put things in the trailer.

(Old timers here will remember our good friends Norm and Ginny Millard pulling a 1550 all over North America with a little RAV4 or similar. No weight bars and no sway control IIRC.)
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #26
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Boy Steve, that is great info, thanks! I'll pull the spare off tonight or tomorrow before we go. I had no idea. Plus I'm one of those folks you would be cringing at because we use our jacks under that 4" bumper!

Ya know, Gail and I just moved from tents to travel trailers 2 years ago, first with the Sunpsot and now with the T-1550. I KNOW I have a lot to learn, and very much appreciate the help. In fact tonight when I get home I need to see if the furnace works...

See ya soon. Thanks again!

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #27
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Boy Steve, that is great info, thanks! I'll pull the spare off tonight or tomorrow before we go. I had no idea. Plus I'm one of those folks you would be cringing at because we use our jacks under that 4" bumper!
Just move the jack stands a few inches forward so that they are positioned under a frame rail instead of the bumper tube itself. No big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Ya know, Gail and I just moved from tents to travel trailers 2 years ago, first with the Sunpsot and now with the T-1550. I KNOW I have a lot to learn, and very much appreciate the help. In fact tonight when I get home I need to see if the furnace works...

See ya soon. Thanks again!

Frank
The furnaces are pretty simple. If yours doesn't fire up properly, we can probably sort it out when you get to Nicks Lake. The thermostats can be more troublesome than the furnace itself and they are an easy fix. I have a spare in my tool tote, too.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #28
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Yes Steve, that is what we will do with the jacks, no problem there!

Got home and 1st thing I did was remove the spare and spare mount from the back bumper. It is not a problem to store that baby in the bed of my pick-up.

A while back I posted a question here about how the furnace worked, and some nice person posted this:

"It takes awhile for the propane to purge the air from line.
If you look under the camper you will note that the line to the heater and fridge is "t'd" off the line to your range.
First set your thermostat to On and Increase the Temp Setting to full hot "90 Plus." This will cause the heater fan to run (purging the fire box of any built up propane as you attempt to light the pilot.)
Place the red knob in the pilot position and push it in - hold it in for a good long time and then occasionally push the piezo sparker (silver shaft beside the knob.) There is a small hole in the firebox where you can look in and see the pilot light when it lights. At this point you are on your knees, butt in the air with cold blower air hitting you in the face with a sore thumb from holding the pilot knob in and pushing the piezo with your other hand praying that it will light on the next push.
Once it lights, continue to hold the pilot knob in for a minute or two to warm the thermocouple (that automatically kills the propane to the unit should it detect that the pilot has gone out - a safety feature.) After that minute or two slowly release the pilot knob and watch to ensure that the pilot stays lit. If it starts to go out, immediately push it back in so that it stays lit and hold it awhile longer.
Once you have let go of the pilot light and it stays lit, move the pilot knob to ON. You should hear the roar of life in the fire box and that cold air in your face should start to warm. Stand up, set the thermostat to a comfortable temp and smile.
Oh and make sure that no one is standing near the exhaust on the outside of the trailer because it gets mighty hot."


The furnace worked right away and got the trailer right up to temp, no apparent problems. Thanks again for the help!

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #29
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Gulp! $536 (before taxes) for a frame mounted hitch from Curt?!? Whew! And then is it even worth it if it adds so much weight I can't load bikes on it without screwing up my tongue weight and balance?

Gee, that is about how much money I was gonna spend on the hitch, bike holder and bikes!

Ya learn sumpin new every darn day...

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:33 PM   #30
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Time to have a little chat with your local welding shop then.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:43 PM   #31
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Steve, I'm my own local welding shop buddy. At least I used to be good at it - it's been a while. That was my next thought, plus I do not need 5000# capacity. Just something solid I could mount between the frame rails with a Class III receiver. I gotta give this some thought. Even still, metal tubing isn't cheap, and Curt's would be high quality. Hmmm.

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #32
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Go find a place that builds landscape trailers and/or does hitches around. They can probably get you the parts much cheaper so you can weld it up all yourself.

I don't know of any C channel Sunline bumpers. They were all 4" tube as far as I know, but granted I haven't paid too much attention. The only exception to this is the Que, fifth wheel, and Transport, which didn't have steel bumpers like that. The Transport 3075 may have had a large C-channel one on the bottom.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #33
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Hi Jon,

I'm thinking maybe a dual receiver hitch on the pick-up like this:

Buyers Dual Hitch Extension, Model# 1804010 | Hitch Adapters| Northern Tool + Equipment

I'll take a closer look in the morning once we're all hooked up and see if that might work.

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #34
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Hi Jon,

I'm thinking maybe a dual receiver hitch on the pick-up like this:

Buyers Dual Hitch Extension, Model# 1804010 | Hitch Adapters| Northern Tool + Equipment

I'll take a closer look in the morning once we're all hooked up and see if that might work.
Since you are not concerned with WD, that might work very well for you.

Also extending the pivot point will likely affect that sway condition you mentioned earlier. Not sure if it will improve or worsen, though.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:53 PM   #35
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Another thing you could look into is a hitch made for mounting to Motorhomes. I know when I worked at the local RV dealer, we had a universal hitch that could be welded to either a TT, FW, or motorhome. It was basically the center tube welded into a long cross tube. No fancy brackets going up like car/truck hitches have. It wasn't cheap (I think like $150), but we sold a lot of them, and a lot got installed by the service techs just prior to delivery.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:21 PM   #36
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I don't know of any C channel Sunline bumpers. They were all 4" tube as far as I know, but granted I haven't paid too much attention. The only exception to this is the Que, fifth wheel, and Transport, which didn't have steel bumpers like that. The Transport 3075 may have had a large C-channel one on the bottom.
My T-2553 has a C channel bumper the same shape, size and thickness as the main frame. I'm begining to wonder if the box bumper was damaged and replaced.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:08 AM   #37
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Since you are not concerned with WD, that might work very well for you.

Also extending the pivot point will likely affect that sway condition you mentioned earlier. Not sure if it will improve or worsen, though.
Steve, by WD, do you mean weight distribution? I am very concerned about that. That is why I removed the spare as much as anything last night, and Gail and I discussed moving heavy things inside forward, light stuff back. So today will be an experiment!

I would much prefer the dual hitch receiver just from a WD perspective. Not only that, the price is much easier to take, and I could still afford bikes! This is the bike rack I want to get: Amazon.com: Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver): Sports & Outdoors

It stabilizes the bikes about as good as anything else I've seen. Nevertheless I'm open to ideas.

This is the model bike we're looking at getting: JAMIS Citizen 1 Hybrid Bike - Eastern Mountain Sports

We hope to pick men's and women's up in the spring when they normally go on sale at EMS, but we're certainly open to thoughts, especially more affordable decent bikes.

Gotta go ready ready to haul out. Got a lot to do, but plan on leaving here by 10.

Frank
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:54 AM   #38
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Frank
I've been riding a bike way longer than we've been trailering & have much to learn about both
The tech issues about where to mount a rack are already well covered by experts but I have an issue you may want to consider:

The abuse bikes take mounted on rear of trailer is extreme. No matter how well secured, they'll bounce constantly. They'll also be subjected to wind, weather, grit & rain. When not moving they're still subject to weather & easily & quickly stolen even when cable-locked. I wouldn't carry any decent bike behind my trailer. I checked the specs on EMS link but can't tell if that hybrid has quick release front wheels, a feature I'd highly recommend. It allows you to remove (& remount) the wheel in seconds, thus decreasing storage space necessary & hopefully allowing you to carry them in either trailer or TV.

As you said you're open to options, check this source bikesdirect.com. They list hybrids w/ better features for less money. No shipping fees & no tax I've bought our last 3 bikes from them & well pleased. Only very minor assembly required & they have a video showing it in detail. Final thought - Spring is start of riding season. Fall is when shops may offer sales in N rather than hold inventory over Winter. Good luck in your search & consider alternative mounting location
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post

I find I get a bit of sway as it is in very windy conditions at 60 mph. I never thought bikes on the back would pose a problem, in part because I see so many other travel trailers with similar set ups. As it is, we have two propane tanks and a battery on the front tongue too.

Any suggestions? We tow the T-1550 with my standard cab, 6' bed 4wd GMC Canyon. Thanks!

Frank
Hi Frank,

I would express great caution in your camper situation with bikes on the back. Looking up an 83 T1550 it was built to be 1,770# dry GVW with a 165# dry tongue. That is 9.3% dry tongue weight. You are going to have to load it to get the TW up to be more stable.

Since you are talking about some level of sway at 60 mph that points to something you should look at now. Low tongue weight in relation to the GVW of the loaded TT really needs to be checked.

As a friendly camper, I would not recommend any more weight on the back of the camper until you go to the scales and get actual loaded axle and tongue weights.

You have a light truck and an empty low built TW camper. You have to work at getting the tongue weight up higher into the 13% area. Not that hard once you realize you need to do it.

Now the bikes, 2 adult bikes, the rack and the mount can add 110# to the rear of the camper.

I'm making a big picture estimate here on where your axle is located based on the dry TW and a 16 foot camper based on a 9.3% dry TW. Hanging 110# of bikes 12" off the rear wall will reduce 102# of TW off the front. Seeing this I would not recommend you do this.

If you give me the distance from the tow ball center to the center of the axle I can confirm this. Loosing any where close to 100# of TW on a camper as small as yours is a problem.

You are actually in a worse situation than Photo kit was.

If someone has a heavy TT with higher TW, a large truck and hangs a 110# of bikes on the back is less of an effect then a light and low TW camper with a light truck. What works for one combination may not work for all.

Hope this helps as you sort through what to do with the bikes.

John
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:24 AM   #40
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All great suggestions, thanks! I removed the spare and carried it in the truck. I moved heavier stuff in the rear utility compartment up to the front one, and consciously loaded the trailer so there is more weight forward of the axle than behind, including filling the water tank. It was somewhat better. Really, the minor sway I get is more at 65 than 60, and is most pronounced in wind when I'm being passed by a tractor trailer. I may look at some form of sway control, but with the trailer parked for the season, I've got time to think about this.

I'll gt a measurement of the tow ball center to center of the axle soon. Busy place around here winterizing toys and getting ready for a big family party here 1st weekend in November. It never ends!

Frank
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