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Old 06-30-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Tongue weight and distribution hitch

Hi everyone

I have recently purchased a 1995 T-2251 and was wondering what the tongue weight is? Dry trailer weight is 3475#.

Also, I will be towing with a 07 Yukon Denali with rear auto leveling.

Do I need weight distribution hitch with this combo?

I think I need a drop hitch of about 6". My factory hitch is pretty high as it is in the bumper. Does this sound right?

Thanks
Al
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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According to the brochure (see Files/Brochures) http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/do...%20Sunline.pdf
your tongue weight should be 435 pounds (dry).

Most everyone on this forum leans on the side of safety and would recommend a W/D/H & sway control. And yes you may need a drop hitch to make everything work as it is supposed to!
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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435 + propane + battery + anything else in front of trailer. I to would recommend a WD hitch.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
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I've done a lot of trailer towing and highly recommend a WD hitch unless you are hauling a jetski. Even if the tongue weight isn't that much the bars take a lot of the porpoising out when hitting dips. When I tow cars I get them up on the trailer as far as I can and use the bars to level. I try to load the TT the same way with heavy stuff in the front.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Weight Distribution and Auto Leveling

Here's an old thread on setting up auto leveling. This may do you until JohnB chimes in. As always, read the owners' manual--it has more towing info specific to your tv than you'll find anywhere else.

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #6
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Definitely going with a WD hitch thanks to all your comments. Appreciate all the help.

Al
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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Hi Al,

I'll see if I can help some. I use to have and tow trailers with a 1998 and a 2002 Tahoe, very similar to your Yukon. And I do not know if your have the short Yukon or the XL longer one. I agree, having a WD hitch will greatly help the ride and stability of the truck. You put any kind of cargo in the back of the truck and then hang a camper on the back and it's hurt'in.

I see you have a 2007. This is the GM 2007 redesign receiver


And yes it is up there.... You mentioned a 6" drop shank, well it may not be enough. See here. This is a 6" drop shank on my 2003 K2500 Suburban where the receiver was under the bumper. The 6" lowers from the top of the shank to the top of the ball platform on the WD hitch head.


To figure out the drop, here is a rough way to get you in the league. Level up the camper on level ground. I'm assuming you have a tow ball as you somehow got the camper home. Put the ball up in the ball coupler of the camper when it is level so you can measure from the flat spot on the ball where it mounts to the hitch head to the ground. OR just measure the top of ball to the flanged area that goes up in the ball coupler. Many "standard" tow ball are in the 3 3/8" range for this dimension but not all of them. So you have to check

This is a "busy" pic but is one I helped Medbill here on the forum work through his long drop shank.



And this was his shank


When they advertize in a catalog a 6" drop shank, it does not mean it is 6" long, it means it lowers the ball mounting surface 6" from the "top" of the 2" WD shank. This confuses many including RV parts guys.

Here you can see 1 1/4" drop on the standard Reese shank.


And here is the physical 6" drop shank from my Suburban. it is 12" long but is made to drop a "trunnion bar" hitch head 6"


Like this


The hitch head eats up 6" of the shank just mounting the head


OK so that is how they rate the drop of a shank in the catalogs of hitch manufactures. There is "often" a difference in the amount of drop between a trunnion bar WD hitch head and a round bar WD hitch head. It depends on the brand of WD hitch. So heads up, you need to know what style and what brand of WD hitch you are buying the drop shank for when you go looking. The hitch heads are made different sometimes in the mounting holes to the ball platform.

And then there is truck squat. A WD hitch properly setup will allow the truck to squat 1" to 1.5" as a good estimate. That lowers the the truck receiver and helps reduce the amount of drop shank on "non air ride" rear suspension. See here, this is the truck squat I'm referring to not hooked up. The truck will be lower when hitched


BUT, you have auto ride rear suspension and this adds a new dynamic as the truck when turned on is going to pump back up to normal ride height no matter what you do. There is a tolerance it comes back up to, maybe +/- 1/2", I do not know on your truck. Odds are high you will have very little truck squat to compensate for with rear air suspension.

I typed the above to help explain where all this is coming from and to help save you from having to buy 2 shanks. The 1st one wrong and the 2nd one right...

In your case with rear air suspension, turn the truck on, let it come up to normal ride height. Measure from the top of the 2" receiver hole to the ground when the truck is level. Then measure the camper when it is level from the flange on the tow ball that would mount on top of the WD hitch ball mount. Subtract the 2 numbers and that is the approx drop shank you need. Odds are high it may be a 9" drop if you have a real low rider Sunline. Some where setup on 18.5" ball height, some 17.5 and some 15.5. Your high up receiver hole is "up there"

Hope this helps and glad to help more when you get into it.

The post Henry linked you too is a good one to help get you started.

John
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:52 PM   #8
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Hi John
Thanks for the thorough response. I have the standard wheelbase Yukon. The drop on my hitch is 5 3/4in and when I'm hooked up (propane tanks are empty, no battery and no added cargo in trailer) the trailer sits about 1in higher in the front than in the rear. I measured the distance from bottom of the TT frame both front and back.

The normal height of my TV receiver with no load is about 23.5 in. When I attach the trailer it does drop about 3 in but then comes back to 21.75in with the Air ride. It does not come all the back up to 23.5.

This is fine with me, the TV still looks perfectly level, As a matter of fact the rear wheel well height is still a bit more than the front.

Is an inch off on the level too much? Or should I exchange for a longer shank. The guy I bought this Reese shank from told me its the longest they have. I now know this is not true because I saw one on the Internet that drops another 1 7/8in for a total of 7 5/8.

Also what is an acceptable ground clearance for the hitch? Think I'm at about 10in now. If I get the longer shank ill be around 8in.

Thanks for all your help. Now I have to figure out how to wire up the battery and breakaway switch. Next post. : )

Al
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #9
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Hi Al,


If the TT ball coupler is 1" nose high, that is a lot in my opinion for long term towing. The rear axle on the TT will take more weight than it should and it can aggravate sway being nose high in some cases. If you drop it down 1 hole, (that you cannot do right now) it may come in just about level or about 1/4" low and 1/4 to 1/2" low is better than 1" high for more stable towing.

On the Yukon, how are the front fender heights doing? What is unhitched fender height and then hitched with the aired up back end? Measure straight down through the center of the wheel. Like this


While being level may end up that way, it does not always declare good weight distribution. See what the front end is doing and then you will know if the WD is set right. It is going to be trial and error and the air suspension even more affects this. Target to return the front end close the unhitched height but not below it.

Shanks, Reese makes then longer than 5 3/4" drop. Here are some
Shanks Accessories and Parts | etrailer.com

Etrailer has been good to work with in the past and they have free shipping if you are at $150 or more.

As far as how long is too long, more is always better with clearance however 6" at the shank to the ground is about it. See here this was 6" on my Suburban and smaller camper




If you get the solid steel shank and have excess below not needed, and it is below the welded gusset, if you call Reese and ask them, they will allow you to cut it off. I know easier said that done but find a fab/weld shop in your area and they can cold cut it off with a band saw. The all cast steel shanks they may not allow.

On my 6" ground clearance I only drug twice in about 20,000 miles of towing on that camper. Both times was right here in my own driveway no less.... I had a pot hole at the end of the drive, was my fault, bounced the back of the truck in it and I kissed the ground. If you can end up with 8" that's real good.

Glad to help more as needed.

Good luck

John
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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Hi John

At the local truck accessory store they sold me the Reese 63971 and told me it was lowest that would fit my 2" receiver. I looked right at him and said are you sure??? He said yes, so I figured I would have to try this shank. I now see that Reese part# 3344 is most likely the one I need to get me a little lower.

They should take my first shank back because it was their error.

I will check the wheel well heights front and rear.

Thanks for the great info.

Al
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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To contribute to the thread.

Distribution hitch and sway bar are needed!

See a trend here?
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #12
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Hi,I ended up getting the slightly lower shank and it worked out fine. Just fine tuning the weight distribution bars now.
I think a sway bar is in my near future. I have never towed anything quite this big and boxy before and notice a little sway when a truck passes me on the left. Don't see the trailer moving but can feel it.
How much does a sway bar help this? And, any advice on what kind would work best with a 15 year old Reese trunnion WD setup?

Also, anyone know what Sunline says the tongue height is on a 95 T-2251?

Thanks again
Al
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecat21 View Post
Don't see the trailer moving but can feel it.
How much does a sway bar help this? And, any advice on what kind would work best with a 15 year old Reese trunnion WD setup?
It's good that you don't really see it moving, because if you do, that's not good. It means it's already swaying a bit much.

Short of replacing most of your hitch equipment in order to add a built-in sway control system, your only option is a friction sway control. Luckily, those work fairly well on a trailer your size. Any larger/taller and you'd need something more. In fact, if you were to do an axle flip on your trailer, I'd look at better sway control. But for the cost and what it takes to install a friction sway, it's definitely the easiest option. And as long as you have a good drill (even battery ones work) and some good drill bits, you can definitely install it yourself. You may find the trailer has the sway control ball mount on the right side of the tongue already from a previous owner, which will save you a lot of work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecat21 View Post
Also, anyone know what Sunline says the tongue height is on a 95 T-2251?
Exactly, no, since it was never published, but I'd estimate around 18".
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:57 PM   #14
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Thanks to all. I added a friction sway bar and it helped quite a bit. Installed it myself. For $35 it was money well spent.
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