more questions (hitch, tail lights) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2013, 08:25 AM   #1
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Name: bill
Trailer: Burro
Tennessee
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more questions (hitch, tail lights)

I am slowly working on and getting to know my '80 Burro 13' and have a few questions, and I am sure I will have many more. But for now, I am working on the basics. My first projects are cleaning and polishing the exterior (coming along nicely), exterior lights, and hitch upgrades (if necessary)

My TV is a Mazda B2500 (2-wheel drive). On the initial trip home (IL to TN) I noticed the height of the tongue/2" ball made the trailer ride high in the front/low in the back. Is that a problem? Or should I buy a receiver type hitch and try and mount it below my step bumper to be able to lower the attachment point and thus level out trailer for towing. I guess I would like to lower it to more of a level position for when I pull in to an area for sleep and do not want to separate from TV.

I am also wanting to upgrade the exterior STT and running lights to LED. The STT lights are of two different types, one has a 4-1/2" hole behind the light and the other is, I assume, the original with just a hole for the wiring. Any suggestions on replacement style, brand, type, and place to acquire online? My little town has nothing in the way of an RV repair/parts facility. I've looked around online and found some pretty decent looking lights, but am looking for recommendations fro the experts. I am going for a retro look and want something stylish.

Round one of the exterior clean up went well. I used bleach water and elbow grease to give it an initial clean. It has a lot of hard spots on the top that are the consistency of concrete splatter that are tough to remove. I'll try TSP next and then move to the BKF,

The previous owner sent me some seam molding that he found and I'll be replacing it soon, which bring up another question...does that molding need to be glued to the seam, or just pressure fit?

Okay one final question, should I post future questions separately under a separate heading or just ramble them on in one heading like this one?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billhenry58 View Post
My TV is a Mazda B2500 (2-wheel drive). On the initial trip home (IL to TN) I noticed the height of the tongue/2" ball made the trailer ride high in the front/low in the back. Is that a problem?
It is not as much of a problem as it is with leaf-spring suspensions (I'm assuming that he Burro has a rubber-sprung independent "torsion" suspension/axle), but tilting the trailer back does shift load to some extent from the hitch to the trailer axle, which tends to make the trailer less stable. This is really only a stability issue, but stability is important... you don't want sway! The general rule of thumb for single-axle trailers is to stay level, or a bit nose-down.

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Originally Posted by billhenry58 View Post
Or should I buy a receiver type hitch and try and mount it below my step bumper to be able to lower the attachment point and thus level out trailer for towing.
That's the generally recommended approach, mostly to give you that option of adjusting the ball height as needed.

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I am also wanting to upgrade the exterior STT and running lights to LED.
I'm sure someone won't recognize this acronym, so in anticipation:
STT = Stop/Turn/Tail

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Originally Posted by billhenry58 View Post
Okay one final question, should I post future questions separately under a separate heading or just ramble them on in one heading like this one?.
I suggest separating completely unrelated questions into different threads: it is a lot less confusing for everyone.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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A receiver hitch will give you a choice of draw bar which will carry the ball at the height to level the trailer underway. If you get a hitch designed for the Mazda B series truck of your model year, installation should be manageable. Replacing a spent torsion axle customarily increases frame to ground height and reduces nose-high attitude behind tow vehicles with high ground clearance but is a more expensive solution.

One question or topic per post or query is recommended. Not everyone feels constrained to follow the rec.

jack
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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Kansas
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Under heavy braking, if the trailer doesn't have brakes, or they aren't set right, it can lift the rear end of the vehicle if the trailer is sitting high in the front. I would keep it level or slightly down, if possible.

Bumpers are for bumping, not towing of any kind, IMHO. It will work when things are going good, but when things go bad, you'll have a mangled bumper at best.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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Missed the seam molding question. I believe you are referring to the TrimLoc which covers the centerline flanges on the Burro. I have not replaced mine but can attest to variation in the combined width of the standing flanges on my trailer resulting in areas of loose fit. The internal barbs do not always catch adequately to retain the molding in place. Whatever the theory of this stuff, the practise is to caulk with an adhesive caulk, particularly at junctions with window frames fore and ft.

I have replaced all interior incandescent with LED but have no experience of the best solution for replacing running, brake and signal.

jack
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Take a look at this installation video.

Trim-Lok's Edge Trim Installation on Vimeo

jack
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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Bumper Hitches

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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
Under heavy braking, if the trailer doesn't have brakes, or they aren't set right, it can lift the rear end of the vehicle if the trailer is sitting high in the front. I would keep it level or slightly down, if possible.

Bumpers are for bumping, not towing of any kind, IMHO. It will work when things are going good, but when things go bad, you'll have a mangled bumper at best.

I second Jared's comment: Bumper hitches ARE NOT for towing even a Burro. You will soon see your Burro fading away in the rear view mirror with the bumper still attached to the hitch.

Either find, or have a custom built 2" receiver hitch made, that attaches to the frame..... And yes, the smaller 1 1/4" receiver is rated high enough, but the 2" won't cost much, if any, more and there are a lot more choices in drawbars available to get you down to towing on the level.

If you already have a huge hole behind one tail light you will need to limit yourself to tail lights that are at least that big for both sides, Try looking on eTrailer.com for ideas.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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Ontario
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Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0011.jpg
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Size:	424.6 KB
ID:	60859

Hi Bill

With a proper mounted hitch receiver this attachment (top ) can give you two diff (3-5 inches diff) heights by just reversing the ball.
The bottom one a straight level.

Ron
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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You can turn the straight one over as well for about a 2" drop, but I still prefer the 2" receiver and drawbar. There are more choices readily available and, doubter that I am, I wouldn't trust my FGRV to those skimpy looking drawbars and welds.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
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Attachment 60859The bottom one a straight level.
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You can turn the straight one over as well for about a 2" drop...
Those look like 1.25" ball mounts, so the bottom one would be about 5/8" rise (as shown) or 1.25" drop (if flipped over)... but with that design it may not be rated for drop use.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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... I still prefer the 2" receiver and drawbar. There are more choices readily available...
For a pickup truck (even a small one), I agree that 2" makes more sense than 1.25".

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... I wouldn't trust my FGRV to those skimpy looking drawbars and welds.
If they are Class 2 hardware, they are rated for 3500 pounds of trailer. That's about twice the weight of the Burro; must everything be used at no more than half of its rated capacity?
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
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Bumper hitches ARE NOT for towing even a Burro. You will soon see your Burro fading away in the rear view mirror with the bumper still attached to the hitch.
LOL

But seriously...
Bumper hitches vary in construction and ratings. Most are not much different in construction from a hitch receiver. Our old Chevy had a bumper hitch rated at 4000 lbs of trailer and 400 pounds of tongue weight and when used at about that capacity never had a problem.

The biggest problem with bumper hitches in general is that lack of height adjustment.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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Maza Bumper Hitch DOES NOT equal old Chevy Bumper Hitch.

In the old daze they made a steel plate step bumper that was intended for work, not to just look pretty.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:16 PM   #14
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Maza Bumper Hitch DOES NOT equal old Chevy Bumper Hitch.
I don't know what that specific Mazda bumper is like, so I'm not making any assumptions... and certainly not declaring all step bumpers unsuitable for any kind of towing.

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In the old daze they made a steel plate step bumper that was intended for work, not to just look pretty.
There wasn't much plate in our old Chevy step bumper (the outer shell was a thin stamping), but it was suitably solid where it needed to be.
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