Originally Posted by Poqprince
Hi John thanks for the quick response!
1st, what year camper do you have?
My camper is a 2003
2nd, do you know your loaded tongue weight?
My loaded tonge weight is 810lbs...this is considerably over what the brochure indicated.
3rd, what size WD bars on your hitch are you using? I am using the 1200 lb set. Which I thought originally would give me a safety margin. Turns out the 800 was to small...just got lucky on that one as I just weighed it recently and was quit shocked at the real weight.
4th Can you confirm that your TT is a 5,500# GVWR TT?
Only from the brochure and the weight sheet in the closet unless there is a marking on the frame somewhere.
1st off I’m sorry this has been so long in responding. With the snow mess I got distracted and then accidentally forgot about your post. Sorry.
Next time just pester, no problem.
OK we now have something to work with and "maybe" I’m seeing something in your hitch setup.
From the replies it looks like you have a 810# tongue weight on a little over a loaded 5,500# GVW TT. If those weights are right that is 14.7% loaded tongue weight. That is not out in left field, actually it is good, but like Henry stated your TV needs to be able to handle it. If you can still read and find your VIN sticker from being faded on the front left of the TT, they posted the TT GVWR on other 2003 models.
This is what has some level of concern until we can get more input from you. You said 800# bars did not do a good job and now you have 1,200#. Well 800# bars on a 810# tongue will work and will work actually very well providing a few things work along with them.
Whe did not see the reason posted that caused you to change?
And on your Durango, is the 2004 the older body style? My son in law has a new body style Durango that I have pics of the truck receiver which is unique the way Dodge did it.
Can you look for a sticker on the receiver or in the TV manual for a receiver rating? We are after the allowable tongue weight in weight distributing mode. And that it actually allows a WD hitch. Some of those Durangos with the larger Hemi had a high tow rating but that does not mean it has a high WD rating in the receiver. And don't feel alone this happens on just about every other brand too.
Reason for asking this is if the receiver is twisting more then it should, that can give the appearance that the WD bars are not heavy enough as the WD is getting lost in all the receiver wind up. Depending on what you come back to us with some answers, we can help you actually measure the receiver twist and see if it is excessive.
There is also play between the pin box ID and the hitch shank OD. Pending what WD hitch you have, you can eat up 4 degrees of WD hitch head tilt from play between the shank and the 2” pin box. And that can give the appearance the WD bars are not heavy enough as you have no more hitch adjustment as most was eaten up by pin box play.
Next is what WD hitch do you have and how is it adjusted? What brand and type is it? Any chance of a pic? Then I know exactly what you have. I’ll wait until I know what hitch you have as certain hitches have issues allowing enough adjustment to achieve proper WD again giving the appearance the WD bars are not strong enough.
Next question is, what are you declaring is proper WD on the Durango? What procedure are you using to establish the final setting on WD?
And lastly, do you have a qty of stuff in the back of the Durango when you go camping? And If so how much weight? If you have enough weight aft of the rear axle the WD bars are actually working on that weight plus the tongue weight. And that can again aggravate what appears to be WD bars not strong enough.
Now to your original quest on concerns in the frame and 1,200# WD bars. Well the good news is, your year is not in the problem children years of the 7,000# GVWR TT frame from 2005 to somewhere in 2007 that had the issues.
BUT learning from that experience, you may end up in a not good situation pending how you’re A frame is made, gear in the back of the Durango and those 1,200# WD bars.
Can you post some pics of how the header connects to the A frame? And we need the width of the header and the flange top and bottom and ideally the thickness. And the width of the A frame channel iron. I’m suspecting you have 4” channel iron A frame. But need you to confirm.
This is what was learned from the 2005 to 2007 frame issues. When tongue loads approach 800 to 1,200# heavy forces can concentrate in one side rail of the A frame. Some had 750# WD bars, some 1,000 some 1,200#. And the tongue weights varied with the WD bars and so did truck bed weight.
The issue was force accumulated from the tongue weight, TV bed load and from the WD bar in a turn into only 1 side of the A frame. As the turn progressed the force at the chains area or L bracket area rise really high and the opposite side of the A frame has no load on it. This does not happen on level ground but does happen on uneven ground where a back flex in the hitch can occur evem putting more load into the WD bars. Like coming down hill and in a turn onto a level road of drive way, or on tipped uneven ground going thru a turn etc. Basically normal towing conditions for a camper.
When the load reaches high enough, the 4” channel will start to twist. If the twist is aggressive enough the header has to resist it. And in the case of the heavy T2499’s, the header could not take that twist and buckled the header in the middle. The lighter tongue TT’s layouts with that same frame setup may not reach that high stress point and even some T2499’s may not approach that point if the tongue weight is low enough, the WD bars small enough and the TV bed weight low enough and where they towed.
We can show you where to look and how to beef up the area if you are concerned. The heads up is 1,200# WD bars on 4” channel and not knowing what the header design looks like and your TV rear cargo area weights. Sunline made many 4” wide channel iron frames and this problem did not rear it’s ugly head until the combo of the 2005 T2499’s showed up.
You may be just fine after we get through this check out or you may discover a problem in your hitch setup on why 800# WD bars did not work well for.
Hope this helps