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Old 08-21-2007, 07:00 PM   #1
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Hematite
T 2499 tongue weight and hitch strength

Hi, I'm new to the world of trailering and have been studying all I can find to tow safely. My question is: with the very heavy tongue weight of the T 2499 do I need a heavier receiver? The receiver on the truck now (2007 Ford F150) says that the maximum weight on the receiver is 990 lbs with WD. I've read here that the tongue weight on the T 2499 can go as high as 1400 lbs. This says to me that the factory receiver is not safe with this particular trailer, when loaded. Is that correct?

The aftermarket receivers rated high enough say that they're not for trucks equiped with factory tow packages. Huh??? I can't take the factory receiver off and put a heavier model on??? Ok, now I'm really confused! Some good advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Rick
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:12 PM   #2
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Rick,

Part of the WD hitch is the weight rating of the bars. Basically the heavier the rating, the less weight on the hitch. I pull a 2499 with 1,000 # rated bars. Five links on the chain(four hanging). My 1/2 ton Chevy still has a squat to it. I've read here in the forum that some are using 1,2000# bars.

As for the TV hitch platform, talk to your RV dealer or someone who professionaly installs hitches. If you need a heavier platform, I,m sure there is someone out there that can recommend an upgrade. Your guaranteed that someone else smarter than me will be putting their two cents in on this post.

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
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I checked the Sunline web site Tounge wieght is 775 with a gross weight of 7000 lbs. Which would be about right it is uasally about 10 percent of thew gross weight. What is your truck max rowing capacity?
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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I forgot to give all the info. The hitch that comes with the trailer is a Reese Dual Cam WD hitch with 1200 lb. bars. The truck, as equipped, is about 8600 lbs tow capacity. This is reduced from the original 9300lbs. without the skid plates and 18 inch tires.

I noticed a thread where a 2499 tongue weight was checked and went as high as 1400lbs with a loaded trailer. This is really scaring me after I saw the reciever marked as Max. Wt. of 990 lbs with WD. I'm wondering if I shouldn't put a large diamond plate sealed storage box on the back of the 2499, after having the frame extended. That way I could put the heavier items in the back storage box to cut excess weight on the tongue.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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Hematite

Let me see if I can help. I have a lot of information on the 2004 version of the T2499 that might be able to guide you.

Your concerns on your TV receiver are valid. If it is truly only rated to take on 990# in WD mode, then you have some things to work through. Running a receiver or any hitch component over itís ratings can have ill effects over time.

I had to work thru this and I did, but it was work. And I really love my camper so it was all worth it. In my case I was fortunate to have Sunline still in business as I worked thru my issues.

First off let me share this so you can compare it to yours. My 2004 camper came dry weighing in at



I do not know what options you have at they change the GVW and the tongue weight. On the Sunline site it states a T2499 with a Dry UVW of 4,785# with a Dry tongue of 750#. Well that is 750/4785= 15.7% dry tongue weight. I can attest that TT tracks straight as an arrow.

My TT when loaded with gear and no water went to a 1,200# tongue weight and when I added fresh water it went close to 1,400#. I could not tow until recently with fresh water until after I did a major weight and re-balancing act.

Here is some info I found out on the T2499.

1. For every 1 lb of weight added in the front cargo hole the tongue gains 0.669#
2. Filling the fresh water tank will add approx, 200# to the tongue.
3. For each lb of weigth near the rear wall of the camper, it unloads approx 0.4# off the tongue.

The front cargo hole did it in for me. I had 308# of stuff in there which added 200# alone to the tongue. Cargo in the bed room cabinets also adds to the tongue at a high % rate. There is not a lot of weight aft of the rear axle to offset this. That is just the way that layout is.

Here is response I recieved back from Sunline as I tried to sort this out. At the time of this letter I was using the bath scale method trying to do this and coming up real heavy, like 1,400# with no fresh water. That was when I started up with Sunline talking to them on this. The bath scale was reading 200# heavy I later found out.

This was the first of a few notes I exchanged with Sunline. Our camper with propane, battery and water, no camping gear has a 895# tongue all on itís own.

Dear John:

I have a feeling your method may be a bit off. We weigh trailers periodically throughout the model year. In the 2004 Model Year we weighed a 2499 model twice.

Both trailers were very close in weight. We weigh a base model in both the dry and wet mode. Let me explain, the dry mode is without any water, battery, or propane in the trailer. The wet mode is with a battery installed, full propane tanks and full fresh water tank (nothing in the gray or black tanks).

In the dry mode the trailer weighed 4788 lbs including a hitch weight of 680 lbs. In the wet mode the trailer weighed 5165 lbs including a hitch weight of 895 lbs.

According to our records your trailer had the following factory installed options:
4 Leveling Jacks
Mounted spare tire kit

These options only add about 120 lbs to the total weight of the trailer. I would say the hitch weight when the unit left the factory was in the range of 680 lbs.

I would try going to a scale and getting the attendant to let you weigh you truck alone and then hitch the trailer to the truck without the equalizing bars and pull just the truck onto the scale and get a weight that way.

Hope this helped.

Happy Camping,

Tim Martin


I presently have a 1,200# Reese HP hitch with HP DC. After my weight and re-balancing act, I have a 950# tongue (14.9%) no fresh water and a 1,150# (17.1%) tongue with fresh. My TT GVW is 6,360# with no fresh water and 6,742# GVW with fresh water.

In the stock configuration you have now, never travel with fresh water in the fresh tank, you will have to work real hard to not exceed your 990# rated receiver. Basically you need to pack real light.

You really want 13 to 15% tongue weight per TT GVW to make the trailer track well with low sway characteristics. The DC is for when bad towing events come our way. Pot holes, high winds, that sudden swerve. Do not try and drop your tongue down to 10% or worse lower. 1 wrong gear move and you can get in trouble quick. The DC will not compensate for low tongue weight.

Here is the best $120 I spent sorting this out. http://www.sherline.com/lm.htm It is a tongue scale that in 5 minutes of owning it, you know exactly where you stand and can move things around in your own yard.

I have lotís more if you need it, but your thoughts about being concerned are very valid.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:11 AM   #6
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JohnB:

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to order the Sherline scale, to avoid a dangerous condition. I am going to look into putting a diamond plate storage unit on the rear of the 2499, even if I have to have the frame extended. I was also considering carrying a couple of cases of bottled water and putting them on the carpeted floor under the table area at the rear of the trailer. Not knowing the water quality at each campsite, I thought the bottled water would be a good idea both for drinking and getting some excess weight off the tongue. The Sherline scale would be a must to coordinate any weight shift and keep the tongue weight in a safe range.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:26 PM   #7
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I work at a Ford dealer now and out of curiosity I looked at the receiver on a new F250. The max. tongue weight with the WD was 1250 lbs. This is 260 lbs.more than the F150. It is still not out of the woods with the high tongue weight of the 2499. It seems that a loaded 2499 with full water tanks will easily exceed that Max. Are any of the other tanks (black or grey water) behind the trailer axles? I'm wondering if they can carry water to lighten the tongue slightly?
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:25 PM   #8
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Rick,

Remember that with a WD hitch not all the tongue weight is on the hitch or rear end of the TV. The WD hitch removes some weight from the TV's rear axle and transfers some of it to the trailerís wheels and some to the TVís front wheels.

For example, on our trailer, the tongue weight (unhitched) is 1,140 lbs.
But when the trailer is hitched with the WD bars set, 300 lbs of the tongue weight is transferred to the trailer wheels, with the remaining 840 lbs on the truck. I didnít weight to see what the actual weight transferred to the TVís rear axle and front axle was.

But my point (or question) - is the tongue weight with the WD limit you've mentioned is that talking about the total trailerís tongue weight or just the weight on the TV with the WD hitch properly set up?

I donít know the answer, maybe JohnB does, or maybe it's specified more clearly in one of the Ford specifications.

Hutch
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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PTHutch:

I see what you're saying, the WD hitch does throw some tongue weight back on the trailer. The receiver and TV, then, don't carry the entire trailer tongue weight.

The receiver, if I remember correctly, says 9900 lbs towing with WD and 990lbs tongue weight with WD. Weight carrying, the specs are 5000 lbs and 500 lbs respectively. In the back of the towing guide, it does say to measure the weight on the trailer tongue at hitch height and reduce it if it is over the max allowable on the hitch. So, I presume that the 990 lbs is the static weight on the ball of the hitch before the WD bars are set. I'm just going to be careful in establishing and maintaining a tongue weight somewhat under 990 lbs. I think it's doable with some careful planning (definitely NOT using the big front storage area except for a goodly number of helium baloons, LOL).
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:32 PM   #10
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Aside from all the specs, I really think your truck will pull a loaded 2499 with no problem. After all, quite a few 2499's on here are pulled by 1/2 ton vehicles, including Bobo. I'd recommend the 1200# bars for the WD hitch and 2499.

If the truck doesn't seem to handle the tongue weight, you could always get a new hitch and install air bags. IMO, that stuff about aftermarket hitches not being able to be used on trucks with tow packages is a bunch of BS. I think they really mean they don't you to install that hitch with another one on there, hence two hitches on the back of the truck. As long as the new hitch bolts directly to the frame rails and not to any part of the old hitch, it should work fine. Any other part of the tow package (like tranny cooler, etc.) is only going to help.

Jon
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:33 PM   #11
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Hematite (and Hutch)

Iím a little short on time tonight and Iím heading out Friday AM for a 4 day camping trip but I will be back Monday night.

So Iím sort of going to dump info here and runÖ.. LOL I will fill in all the data and questions when I get back if there are any left.

You gents talked a lot already with questionsÖ Iíll try to catch up.

First, I see Hematite is from Redhook, NY. WOW!! We are old time neighborsÖ. I lived for 32 years near Hudson NY before moving to Ohio. Near Catskill by the land of Rip Van Winkle and the bridge. Basically a 30 minute drive to Red Hook. Itís a small world.

Next the Ford F250 receiver. Yes it is 1,250# and so is the Excursion. Have a buddy with the Ex and he is fighting the 1,250# like you are the 990#.

For some reason Ford, Dodge and now GM as well, have gone back to the area of 1,000# WD rated stock receivers on the Ĺ tons. GM has flipped flopped since year 2000 to 2007. They use to have 1,500# WD rated receivers on some Ĺ tons and the PUís. Not any more. In 2007 they went back to the 1,000# one. Even on the ĺ tons suburban. And Dodge has too. The only reason I know that maybe why is so that they think people will not overload the rear axle if they lower the receiver ratings. When towing a boat, or a Bob cat on a open trailer it works. But pulling a TT, you can and want more tongue weight then the 10% they give you in relation to the pull rating. The truck rear axle can most times take it if you are careful with the bed loads.

Which leads me to the next topic, bed loads. Anything you put in the bed aft of the TV rear axle the WD bars are lifting and it adds to the receiver. So if you have a 900# tongue, and 100# of fire wood aft of the rear TV axle, the receiver and WD bars are lifting 1,000#. Depending on how much weight you put aft of the axles, like a quad or big generator, you can over load the receiver from the bed load. A call to Reese Tech support Iím sure will echo this that when sizing WD bars, if you have a heavy load aft of the TV axle, you need to add that to the WD bars. They use to post it on their site years back. Now no longer.

Point: Need to keep track of the bed loads as you sort this out.

Next topic, the thought that a WD hitch lessens the tongue weight. No, not really. This is a common misconception that a WD hitch lowers the tongue weight. Actually it adds down force onto the tow ball, not reduces it. Now what a WD hitch does do is, it removes some weight off the rear TV axle, and transfers some back to the TV front axle and some of it on the TT axles. How much it puts where depends on the lengths and the WD setup. BUT, the tongue weight is still on the tongue. And when you pull up on the WD bars, the force on the chains pull down the TT tongue even harder on the ball. Where do you find any forces removing weight on the tow ball in a WD hitch? See this post. How WD works I know Ron G well and he is the real thing on calculations.

Point: The receiver is still under full tongue load. Tongue weight did not change. Axle loads do change.

Next Topic, Tanks and will filling them help? On the T2499, well, no. They make the tongue weight problem worse. See this diagram where the tanks are. All tanks ADD some % weight to the tongue. Full fresh water adds about 200#. I never travel down the highway with the gray or black filled, only from the camp site to the dump station. And the black and gray tanks are not reinforced like the fresh tank to be able to haul done the highway. They could break.


Next Topic: The Sherline. Good. This is a must in my book to help you sort this out. That way, you know as you measure it. And if you are going down the rear box on the TT route, you have to measure the weights.

OK, Iíll come clean, I have done this as I was trying to manage to no more then a 1,200# tongue with full fresh water. I fortunately had Sunline still in business to help answer some questions as I sorted this out and approve of what and how I added a rear box. It took work, trust me, but I sure learned a lot in the process.

See here what I had in my front cargo hole. This is the only place we can put this kind of gear. That is 308# of gear. The WD bars not included and the 5# propane tank is on the tongue not in the cargo hole. Adds 200# to the tongue.




And I had this in the back of the truck


So moving gear to the back of the truck was not an option. My only options where, leave all this 308# of gear at home to drop my tongue down to 1,000# to allow me to add full fresh water, buy a new ĺ ton PU as the ĺ Ton Burb canít take any more tongue. Or add all this inside the rear wall of the camper. This is not inside stuff.

So here I have a ĺ ton SUV, a 26 foot TT and Iím sitting at 100# of the GVWR on the Burb and almost on top of the TV rear axle rating on a ĺ ton TV. Yet the 7,000# GVWR TT is only filled to around 6,200#. Having 18 to 19% tongue weight is an issue and I can never get to the 7,000 GVWR without the tongue weight going thru the roof even more. This TT starts with 14 to 15% tongue dry.

So I went forth on a total weight and balance and calculation endeavor. And from this I wrote Sunline 2 real long letters pleading my case with the backup to show why. I was still under warranty and adding rear boxes is a no, no by most TT makers standards. They will not even talk about it. In my case, Sunline listened and granted me the OK. And after it was done and proven balanced, they again approved.

I caution anyone viewing this that before they attempt to add rear weight to their TT they have to check out a number of things. The TT must be kept in proper balance or else a highly unstable rig will come from this. Do not copy this unless you have done the math to prove it is OK.
Hematite, it sounds like you are going own this path, so here is some of what I ended up with. I can fill in more when I get back if needed.

























After doing this I now have the TT at 950# tongue, (14.5%) no fresh water and 1,150# (16%) tongue with full fresh. The only added weight was the boxes and frame. I only rearranged the front cargo hole stuff to the back and left the big light objects up front.

All TT axle loads needs to be considered and proper tongue balance and you have to get into the Truck weight and balance too.

If you want more on this, and I have more, PM me your email. Iíll send you a care package.

If you want to stay at 990# tongue, you most likely will not be able to carry fresh water. There is also concerns about running 1,200# bars on a 990# rated receiver. If your TV rear axle can actually handle a 1,200# tongue, changing the receiver will be cheaper then the rear boxes. You then have to manage to your TV rear axle loads.

Hope this helps and be back on Monday night. Iíll touch base quick on Thursday before we leave at sun up on Friday.

John
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Next the Ford F250 receiver. Yes it is 1,250# and so is the Excursion. Have a buddy with the Ex and he is fighting the 1,250# like you are the 990#.
John,

My mom has the same problem with her Ex. I first noticed the paint on top of the hitch was cracked but didn't think anything of it. I know these hitches do have paint problems, so I figured that was the case.

While hooking up a trailer not too long ago, I noticed when jacking the trailer up to put on the WD bars on that the hitch head had a lot of up/down play when in the vehicle. I inspected the actual metal of the hitch when nothing was on there and the metal does appear to have been stretched out on top. My dad doesn't think this is a big deal, but I think it is. His toy hauler I'm sure is well over the tongue weight limit, so that could have something to do with the metal stretching out. I'm just thankful we don't pull that thing all the time, but we're coming up to a big trip with it and it'll be pulled during four different weekends: bringing it home unloaded (4 hrs), going to destination (2.5 hrs), coming home again (2.5 hrs), taking it back to storage (4 hrs).

I must say that is a very impressive box on your bumper. I can't say I had ever seen pics of it before.

Jon
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Next the Ford F250 receiver. Yes it is 1,250# and so is the Excursion. Have a buddy with the Ex and he is fighting the 1,250# like you are the 990#.
John,

My mom has the same problem with her Ex. I first noticed the paint on top of the hitch was cracked but didn't think anything of it. I know these hitches do have paint problems, so I figured that was the case.

While hooking up a trailer not too long ago, I noticed when jacking the trailer up to put on the WD bars on that the hitch head had a lot of up/down play when in the vehicle. I inspected the actual metal of the hitch when nothing was on there and the metal does appear to have been stretched out on top. My dad doesn't think this is a big deal, but I think it is. His toy hauler I'm sure is well over the tongue weight limit, so that could have something to do with the metal stretching out. I'm just thankful we don't pull that thing all the time, but we're coming up to a big trip with it and it'll be pulled during four different weekends: bringing it home unloaded (4 hrs), going to destination (2.5 hrs), coming home again (2.5 hrs), taking it back to storage (4 hrs).

I must say that is a very impressive box on your bumper. I can't say I had ever seen pics of it before.

Jon
OMG! That's exactly what I'm afraid that will happen if I don't sort this tongue load problem out! Metal fatigue? Be careful with that Jon and keep inspecting it.

John:

Thanks for the extremely detailed and comprehesive analysis of the tongue weight "problem". Yes, you are correct that I'm heading down the path to an extended frame with storage boxes in the rear. I believe you are correct about the manufacturers putting a reciever on the vehicle that is matched to it's actual tow capacity rather than previous years overkill. For me, heavier duty receiver is less expensive but it doesn't address the tongue weight issue. I'm going to PM you for more info about the frame extension.

I don't know how long you've been gone from the Hudson Valley but it has changed a lot. After 9/11/01, there has been a tremendous influx of population to the area. It's still as beautiful, but a lot more people!

Rick
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:12 AM   #14
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OMG! That's exactly what I'm afraid that will happen if I don't sort this tongue load problem out! Metal fatigue? Be careful with that Jon and keep inspecting it.
Rick, I do inspect it every time I hook anything up to it. We tow our boat with it almost every weekend and I'm sure that doesn't help. Every bump, stop, start-up, or movement on the light boat tongue moves that hitch up and down, and I'm sure helps to stretch the metal some. I've thought about wedging something in there so it won't bounce around so much, but I haven't taken the time to figure anything out.

Here's a pic of the toy hauler hitched up. It's basically a 2499 on steroids. EVERYTHING is in front of the axles, because there has to be room for toys in the back. That means all appliances and most holding tanks are in front. The only thing behind the axles is the gas tanks (40 gal) and maybe part of the fresh water tank. I don't remember exactly. Since they don't stay in the thing, there is "unloaded" towing involved and a lot of tongue weight. BTW, our front storage compartment is packed just like John's, mainly because we have no where else to put the stuff.



I'm thinking these 1200# bars aren't enough for this much weight. I need to do some investigating.


Jon
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:48 PM   #15
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Hi John,

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, I knew you could .

Have a great week-end camping.

Hey - are you thinging about joining us for the 2008 Eastern M&G?
It's a good time to plan a long week-end (or mini-vacation) for next year
Hutch
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