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Old 07-13-2015, 08:43 AM   #1
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travel trailer rear hitch

I have a freedom express 248rbs travel trailer. I have recently installed a 2 inch receiver hitch at the rear of the trailer. Its a solid frame rail to frame rail install, professionally done, 1st class install. Class 3 hitch. I did not want to put any weight on the bumper even though there is a sticker on the rear of the trailer at the bumper saying max weight 135lbs. I understand the principles of weight distribution, Tongue weight etc. and have a 50 gal fresh water tank at the front of the trailer that could be used as ballast. I have no intention of overloading the tow vehicle or trailer. With all that said my question is how much weight could I safely haul behind the trailer without chancing frame damage on my trailer or creating a safety hazard on the highway. For those unfamiliar with this trailer it is a front bedroom rear bath with a slide, appox 29 ft from tip of tongue to end of bumper and it weighs from 5500 to 7500 lbs depending on load. My intention was to use the hitch for a bike rack but if it makes sense to haul a little more weight I would love to use it for a honda inverter generator and some tools. Max weight won't be over 300 lbs. Anybody tried this? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:07 AM   #2
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300lbs static weight should be not much of a problem on a 29' trailer setup the way you described. However since this is like a re-engineering exercise, you will have to take some other factors into account.

The weight you add in this area will also multiply at the wheels. Have you uprated your tires and wheels?

You stated you are prepared to adjust balance, thats good, as you already know, too little tongue weight will destabilize your trailer on the road when adding weight behind the trailer wheels. Again back to the wheels are they ready for the extra weight, and I didn't' mention the suspension system.

You've already taken into account the suspension system that may be close to over loaded with your combined tail and nose weight. You should be able to do a few calculations to figure that out before you proceed with your experiment.

You'll need to keep an eye on the mounting at short intervals during your first trips or test drives. I would try and find a roadway that had minimal traffic for the first tests to check you balance. Remember, that 300LBS static weight is multiplied when you encounter rough roads. And with rough roads in a turn your trailer will/could become dangerously unstable.

That being said, I've mounted generators, extra water carriers, and bikes, all at one time on the back of a 28 foot Colman (TT). No problem at all with the weight distribution with that setup.

Tried the same on a 32' Citation and the balance was so bad that I could not use the rear bed room closet.

Good luck, be safe..
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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I think you'll be fine. I have had 4 bikes+rack the spare tire and a bumper grill mount. No noticeable change to towing.

Keep in mind that the 10+% of advertised hitch weight does NOT include your house battery and propane tanks, so you have to offset those before your hitch weight really gets light. And since the fulcrum around which the trailer pivots (the axles) is rear of center, you have to add a LOT more weight to the back to offset the weight on the front.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot. I think I can make the adjustments to tow I'm more worried about frame or suspension damage. I appreciate the imput
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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Thanks, what kind of carrier do you use on the rear.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summertime View Post
Thanks, what kind of carrier do you use on the rear.
It's just a generic hitch receiver mount, fold out, 4 bike rack:
http://assets.academy.com/mgen/60/10...jpg?is=500,500
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by summertime View Post
Thanks a lot. I think I can make the adjustments to tow I'm more worried about frame or suspension damage. I appreciate the imput
You should be able to figure out the payload/carrying capacity of your trialer from the specs. It should be at least 1,000lbs bacause the axles/frame should be able to carry the trailer with all your stuff and one or two of the holding tanks full.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:43 PM   #8
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Well, legally you can't do it since only the RV manufacturer can rerate the RV. It would take a finite analysis of the entire RV structure to give you the correct answer. Ask the "1st class installer" what they say and have them put it in writing. That should give you the answer.
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