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Old 05-03-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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I see the tongue weight would be 500 lbs with a fat boy Harley on the swivelwheel. I think I'll go with a small enclosed trailer
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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When I picked up my bike from the shop yesterday, one of my friends at the shop joined me (combined weight of 400 pounds) on the bike carrier and we swimultaneously jumped up qnd down to stress the hitch as much as we could. That's 450 p0unds of bike + 100 pounds of carrier + 400 pounds of us for a total of 950 pounds plus the G forces of our bouncing and we could not see any flexing of the receiver hitch. My welder friend is still going to look at it for reinforcement possibilities.

I also had another hole drilled in the square tube on the carrier to position the carrier 5 3/4 inches closer to the hitch to reduce the torque. There is now about 1/4" clearance between the carrier rails and the rear bumper.

Even though it is technically exceeding the stated rating for the hitch, I'm feeling pretty confident that the rating is significantly pessimistic and the risk is tolerable.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dunnnc View Post
Have seen a couple of these in FL last yr.

SWIVELWHEEL-58
Thats what I was talking about and my memory served me well except for the weight limit.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:23 PM   #14
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I'm puzzeled by "Check the hitch!".

If it has a 3,500 lb. sticker, how do I determine whether it is really a 5,000 lb hitch?

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:08 AM   #15
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It will typically be stamped on the hitch...or the sticker can show 5000 when the brochure shows 3500.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #16
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If you read the manual for the Sprinter carefully you will note some items:

5000lbs maximum towing capacity - and it contineus if you use that capacity you will be over the maximum permissible weight.

It does have a 5000lbs hitch but maximum rating for the vehicle is 3500lbs.

The maximum weight is as well about the lift this produces to the front of the vehicle as the rear overhange is huge on the Sprinter. 350lbs on the hitch will increase your weight on the rear axle by ~500-600lbs and reduce the front axle weight as well. This can have adverse effects on steering ability as well as the overall handling of your vehicle.

Jumping up and down on the hitch is meaningless. During normal driving conditions when towing a trailer (or anything else) it will provides forces up to 10times the
static weight.

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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According to the local Sprinter dealer (Freightliner), the 1-ton frame which is the larger Sprinter frame has a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Of course FR adds about 3 feet of frame to the truck frame to get to 24' so the ultimate towing capacity would depend on the strength of that extension.

The center of gravity of the motorbike is 16" to the rear of the hitch and my friend and I were bouncing on the rails for the tie-downs about 24" out so that should be more than the maximum downward torque that would happen when the vehicle is moving.

My welder friend is going to inspect it and advise me further regarding strength and possible reinforcement. In the meantime, I will keep an eye on it and continue stress testing it occasionally.

I'll let you know if there are any signs of fatigue - such as the bike hitting the pavement.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:51 PM   #18
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Of course FR adds about 3 feet of frame to the truck frame to get to 24' so the ultimate towing capacity would depend on the strength of that extension.
That is one of the few chassis we don't stretch. Mercedes does not allow us to weld onto their frame.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:21 PM   #19
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Oh - so it sounds like the 5,000 lb. hitch is fastened to a chassis rated for 7,500 lb. towing and the hitch tongue weight capacity (lower than the truck's) is therefore 500 pounds and if reinforced, could get up to 750 pounds.

Since rupture or stress fracture on a hitch rated for 500 lb. would likely only occur significantly above 500 lb, the total weight of 550 lb. hanging 16" from the hitch is reasonable. I'll get it strengthened if possible for added security.

(of course the warranty would not cover it but that's not my concern)
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #20
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remember that truck versions (cargo) and RV versions are (2) different animals. The chassis is probably designed for it...but there is not weight for it.
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