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Old 10-02-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
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New Guy Here. Have some questions about my 69 Forester being pulled by my 1990 Bronco

Hello to ALL. I have a 1969 Forester 17SB 17ft camper that I just purchased. It is in remarkably good shape and has much of the original equipment still in place(frig, furnace, upholstery, fixtures,etc..) some small water damage(repaired) all electric is operational, not sure about the electric brakes. My question is the vehicle/trailer tow weight ratio. I have a 1990 Ford Bronco(full size) with no class a,b,c hitch. (pulling by bumper) Though it does sit a bit low in the tail, it seems to follow quite nicely. I have been liquidating things not needed or used to reduce weight, and keeping overflow in the truck. NOW>>>>>I have a 1085mi. trip ahead of me(approx 20hrs) are there any recommendations, tips, and/or advice that anyone can share with me to maybe make this trip less 'uneasy' in my head. I drive Semi's for a living but this is not even close to the same. And not particularly real strong sure on the 'Newer' tires and it being a single axle.
What am I looking forward to? What to expect? Any new incite would be appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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Good luck with the out come of your question.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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Watch for wind coming off bigrigs' front ends.
Weakest point will likely be the transmissions, so keep seed down and make sure fluids are fresh and stay cooled.
Also, inflate your truck tires (especially rear) to near max on the sidewall.
As a semi driver, you might know the truckers seem to hate RVers. They will not let you pass and decide to pass you at the worst possible times to make you as uncomfortable as possible. This is probably because most rv drivers I've come across drive like most Camry drivers I've come across -sorry personal rant. But true.
Keep cool and steady and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Glad to have Ya Here. I'm a Newbie Myself. I did tow in the mid 1980's a Nomad 18' behind my 77 Jeep Cherokee Full Size 3/4 ton truck frame. I had a class 1 hitch installed, with a anti sway bar, and equalizer bars, they worked GREAT, It made a "HUGE" difference as I towed it with and without the equalizer bars.
I would not tow much of anything with a bumper tow. Too many problems can come of it, and the least of the problems would be damage to your Bronco.
I would recomend You do your homework, review your owners manufacturers tow ratings for hitches required. And get set up so if things go bad on the road; wind storms, heavy rain, severe grades, you'll tough through it. I Do Love Classic RVs...
Hope To Hear Some Great Stories From Ya Down The Road.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:46 PM   #5
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Glad you're aboard. IMO I would urge you to get it weighed. Not sure that bumper tow is rated to do the job. I had a '86 Bronco full size and I don't know if I would have been pullin' a TT with it. Best of luck in getting your questions answered. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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Hi Pete! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:36 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. Along with a few others no way on the bumper tow.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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Welcome to iRV2.
As others say you need your weights. Somewhere on the bumper or in the owners manual , there will be load limits. I'm guessing 2,000 lbs. total trailer and 200 lbs. on the ball. That's 14' aluminum boat/trailer, territory.
If the trailer is lowering the Bronco in the rear you're way over that, and taking weight off the steering axle, also not good for any kind of control on the highway.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
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I don't think a 17' travel trailer weighs a lot compared to 20' or longer travel trailer. I think you would be better off with a frame mounted hitch. You might not need a weight distributing hitch, but I can tell you from experience that it DOES make a difference. You already mentioned that your Bronco is "sitting a little low in the tail", that can be a bad thing because your front tires aren't making full contact and THAT can be disastrous under certain circumstances. A weight distributing hitch would help reduce that tail squat, and you would notice much better handling. My two cents. Good luck and safe travels to you.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:18 PM   #10
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Consider a frame hitch and adding W/D hitch and a sway bar.
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:32 PM   #11
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Old 10-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #12
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Sorry I'm late to the party. Probably too late to do you any good, but the guys that recommended you install a frame-mounted receiver hitch were right on. The main reason for the receiver hitch is so you can adjust the tongue of the trailer up or down to have a level floor front to rear in the trailer.

Here's a receiver that will fit your Bronco:
Trailer Hitches, Hitch Accessories, Hitch Wiring

In addition you need a ball mount and a ball. Ball mounts have various amounts of drop or rise, so you need one with enough or drop to lower the tongue of the trailer enouch that the floor of the trailer will be level when connected. Probably about 4" drop if you haven't lifted the Broncho.

Get the trailer level front to rear and measure from the top of the coupler to the ground. Measure from the top of the inside of the receiver to the ground. The difference in those two measurements is close to the amount of drop your ball mount must have.

Balls are different sizes, and ball mounts will require different size shanks (bolts) to mount the ball on the ball mount. The ball size should match the coupler on the trailer, and the shank size should match the hole in the ball mount.

So a ball mount with the correct ball in a receiver hitch is called a weight-carrying (WC) hitch. Your small RV trailer might be light enough to get by with a WD hitch, but I would want a weight-distributing (WD) hitch for that trailer. WD hitches are available as cheap hitches, good hitches and outstanding hitches. My ProPride hitch is one of the outstanding TT hitches, but it costs over $2,000. My good Reese Strait-Line dual-cam WD hitch cost me about $600 and works great. Do Not buy a cheap WD hitch that costs less than about $500 from a discount hitch source. Insist on a Strait-Line, or an Equil-I-Zer, or a Husky CenterLine or a Blue Ox that you can order from online discount hitch siurces such as ETrailer.com and Amazon.com. RV stores and local hitch stores also sell the good stuff, but probably for closer to the $1,000 list price. Note that Reese, Husky and Curt also sell cheap WD hitches, such as the Reese Pro Series. But stay away from those.

Be sure your WD hitch includes the adjustable shank. The better WD hitches will include a shank that is adjustable up or down (drop or rise) enough to match the height of your tongue to the receiver. And of course you will still need the right bll to match your trailer and WD ball mount.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPete51 View Post
Hello to ALL. I have a 1969 Forester 17SB 17ft camper that I just purchased. It is in remarkably good shape and has much of the original equipment still in place(frig, furnace, upholstery, fixtures,etc..) some small water damage(repaired) all electric is operational, not sure about the electric brakes. My question is the vehicle/trailer tow weight ratio. I have a 1990 Ford Bronco(full size) with no class a,b,c hitch. (pulling by bumper) Though it does sit a bit low in the tail, it seems to follow quite nicely. I have been liquidating things not needed or used to reduce weight, and keeping overflow in the truck. NOW>>>>>I have a 1085mi. trip ahead of me(approx 20hrs) are there any recommendations, tips, and/or advice that anyone can share with me to maybe make this trip less 'uneasy' in my head. I drive Semi's for a living but this is not even close to the same. And not particularly real strong sure on the 'Newer' tires and it being a single axle.
What am I looking forward to? What to expect? Any new incite would be appreciated.
Pete, you're in a bit of a swamp with this one. I saw a similar rig pass me one day, heard a crash as he came to a screaming stop - his bumper had ripped off his truck!

I'm with those who recommend a proper hitch, and definitely get those brakes checked and working. If the rear end is sagging when towing, may be time for new rear springs, or Roadmaster Active Suspension (which will work well if your rear springs are leaf style).

Good luck!

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Old 10-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #14
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Years and years ago we pulled a 16' KIT TT with an 84 Bronco. We didn't know what we know now. It was adequately powered, but the short wheelbase of the Ford made pulling in wind a "puckering" experience. The others have given advise about the hitch that I totally agree with and even though dollar signs are floating in your head, think about a receiver upgrade for your safety.
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