Hitch Height and other Questions - Bayside or 12HW

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by LennyO, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    Looking at either a 2007 Fleetwood Bayside ($8500)or 2004 Jayco Eagle 12HW ($5950) - TV is a 2009 Suburban. I cannot seem to find any info on what sort of ball hitch to get (amount of drop). The 2009 Suburban has the receiver in the bumper molding so it rides rather high. I also do not currently have a brake controller, but the Burb has the towing package so I assume it is prewired under the dash. Installing one would be no big deal, but I doubt I'd get to it before acquiring one of the two PUPs mentioned above. Also, any opinions on those PUPs would be appreciated.
     
  2. real lite virgin

    real lite virgin Rob,Suzanne & Jessie - Black Lab

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    etrailer.com is a good site to find brake controllers and information. Can add vehicle info and it brings up applicable controllers with harnesses to plug right in. And they are a sponsor on the site.

    Rob
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Welcome from Connecticut. Whichever PUP you get measure the coupler ball height with it level then measure the TV. The Suburban will not sag much so you should be able to figure the drop needed. The correct ball height is important. It may be a good idea to borrow a ball mount that you thing you may need, incase you need a different one. You can buy adjustable ones, but they a big and get into the way and cost more. A 2 inch ball is common size, but not always so check the coupler to be sure. Brake controller should be plug in with the correct controller harness ..... as stated check the e-trailer site .... a lot of info .... good people to work with. Good luck with your new PUP.
     
  4. Hyperterex

    Hyperterex Active Member

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    With my 2007 Suburban 2wd, I am using a 41/2" drop. I could probably get a shorter drop maybe an inch or so. I use a 2" ball. The brake control will most likely be a plug and play under the dash above the brake medal. You'll see the wires in a bundle and maybe even a sticker on them. Also check your fuse box under the hood and make sure the fuse is in for the trailer brakes. I use prodigy for the brake control, sometimes they have it on sale a camping world.
    Check out youtube, there are some good videos on the trailer brakes and leveling the trailer
     
  5. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    Thanks! Just looked at a 2003 Fleetwood Bayside Elite... it was a little rough inside. The seams in the canvas had what appeared to be yellow glue exposed where the seams were once glued together. Dealer said that is typical. Price was $5400. I think I can probably do better though so will keep on looking. Checked out the 2004 Jayco 12HW - also a bit rough. I like the size of the Bayside, but 2003 may be the year where they had roof problems. It didn't look cracked though. Thanks for the info on the ball drop for the 2007 Burb. That is great info and exactly what I need. The 2003 also didn't have a sway bar attached, and these things probably tend to sway a bit since they are beastly heavy for a PUP.
     
  6. bud121156

    bud121156 Western North Carolina

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    Good luck with your search!
     
  7. huizarr

    huizarr Member

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    Welcome from San Antonio. The hitch height will depend on the TV and the trailer. On our old Starcraft and 2001 Expedition I was able to use a 5 1/2" drop. We had to buy a newer 2004 Expedition and the 5 1/2" was not enough I had buy a 7 1/2" drop. Now on our N2U Rockwood HW296 I am using a 3 1/2 Drop and the trailer is riding fairly level. Here is an article from Etrailer that describes how to measure the drop or rise. The Rockwood is very heavy ( 4500 GVWR) and we don't use a WD hitch. On our maiden voyage we had no problems with sway even with crosswinds. I suppose it helps that the Rockwood has dual axles. Good luck with your search.
     
  8. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    Thanks! I also live in San Antonio. Not as many used PUPs on craigslist as I had hoped. I was kind of surprised at the two I looked at - small holes in the canvas, and glue lines from the canvas separating at the seams around the windows. I have a budget of $8500 and these two I looked at were around $5500. I know quite a bit about the Coleman/Fleetwood lines but very little about Jayco, Starcraft, and Rockwood. With the used PUPs I get a little concerned about parts availability with the Mfr out of business. I think that a 4-5" drop should suffice, or I can pick one up with my F-150 using more or less a straight-across hitch ball and adapt the Burb when I get it home. One of the ones I looked at is in Floresville, and the dude selling it offered to tow it up to my place.
     
  9. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    Got the 2007 Bayside - it has a WD hitch so no worries about the drop. Thanks to all for your advice!
     
  10. huizarr

    huizarr Member

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    Congrats on the new camper. Wow a WDH, just curous what is the GVWR?

    Are you going to the Texas Rally in june?
     
  11. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    GVWR is 3500 lbs. Not sure what the Texas Rally is.
     
  12. huizarr

    huizarr Member

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  13. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    The Bayside will be a snug fit in our garage. Is it possible to push it into its final place by hand, or is it far too heavy? Floor and driveway are not sloped at all.
     
  14. huizarr

    huizarr Member

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    If it is flat get one of those trailer dolley's from Northern Tools or Harbor Freight. They are supposed to handle up to 600Lbs tongue weight.
     
  15. LennyO

    LennyO New Member

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    Turns out it wasn't too bad to push it into the garage. 1" clearance - whew, very close! Anyway, when the dealer hooked up the WDH, it still looked like the trailer was riding just a little high in the front. They said it looked ok, but it is certainly not level. Drove it home in high winds with no sway or anything detected. The shank for the WDH is set as low as it can go. It is the type of WDH with just one torsion bar made by Reese. I guess I could buy a longer drop shank at U-Haul or someplace like that, but since it seemed to tow OK (on freeway at 60 mph, winds at 20-25 mph), I don't know if it matters or not. Of course, the Suburban wasn't loaded down with camping stuff, nor was the PUP. When we hook it up next I will take some measurements and maybe load some stuff in the Burb and see what it looks like. Doesn't look like the Burb sagged at all.
     

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