Towing with a Jeep CJ, YJ, TJ, LC FJ-40, LR SIII 80? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2007, 07:20 PM   #43
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Responding to some earlier comments:

Putting on a WDH changes the situation quite a bit because it moves weight off the rear axle and plants it on the front axle and the trailer axle. Roger, I dunno how well an extended tongue with take the stresses of a WDH...

If the shank of a ball mount bar is hitting the tire, move the tire to the front OR cut down the shank.

Besides, I don't know if your Liberty really is in the same class as the short WB buggies we are discussing...

General comment -- Yes, it isn't the actual WB that matters as much as the ratios of all the levers involved, but on the tow vehicle I believe the WB to Overhang ratio changes for the worse when we get into shorter WBs -- As Roger pointed out, inches on the ball mount can make a difference (both in sway and in backing up, BTW, as I found out when I shortened mine by drilling a new pin hole).

The whole point of a 5W hitch is to shorten the tow vehicle overhang to inches and fractions of an inch, giving the TV WB great leverage advantage.

When one is adjusting a WDH, one starts by measuring the tow vehicle to ground, front and rear -- When one is finished, both ends should have dropped the same amount so the tow vehicle's final weight distribution is what it was before the trailer was attached.

Per: Weight in the rear of the trailer means that when the trailer starts to move sideways in sway, the weight keeps the momentum going, pivoting sideways around the trailer axle and exerting sideways force on the hitch ball -- If that weight is moved to over the axle, it has hardly any effect; the further back the weight is, the more effect it will have (even if the TW is lightened to compensate). I suspect that's one reason why 18-wheeler trailers have such short overhangs in the rear.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:13 PM   #44
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Yes, Roger, I agree that it is important that the tonque weight is way back there; that's what the weight transfer discussion is about. If you tow your trailer with no passengers and no cargo in the tug, then it's possible that there is actually less load on the front axle than when empty... and even that situation may be very well balanced. In practice, my van is carrying more load on the front axle when on the road with the Boler (and way too much stuff) than it does when driving around empty but for the driver.

I agree that it makes sense to aim for better, not just within acceptable limits - "good enough" is not as good as it should be. There seems to be an underlying assumption that more load in front is invariably better. While it's good for drive traction in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, it's not good otherwise, and it seems strange to me to make this assumption, or to be concerned only about high rear axle loads and not high front loads.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:23 PM   #45
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If the net effect of a WD system is beneficial, then of course it should be used. I'm sorry if I have come across as just against WD, when I am really in favour of understanding. I just can't accept that WD will always be beneficial and that's how it is often treated: "I don't need WD, but I'm adding it to be safer".

The short-wheelbase issue - the topic we are supposed to be on - is the same: it isn't that short is necessarily evil, it's just that understanding how short wheelbase can cause difficulties leads to understanding how to manage or eliminate them, such as paying extra attention to rear overhang. Have we mentioned that having a shorter tub wheelbase (for a given trailer) means that a greater fraction of the load taken off of the rear axle by a WDH will transfer to the front axle, instead of the trailer axle? Maybe not a problem, but good to know.

In the many discussions in this forum and others of WD system use, I have yet to see anyone post the axle loads of their rig with and without the WD system engaged - although I have asked. In another forum I asked someone if he checked to ensure that his front axle load was not over the GAWR (because it seemed from his setup description that it would likely be), and he stopped participating in the discusssion. Over? Afraid to check? Blind application of rules of thumb is rarely a good plan, and while an experienced person may produce a very sound setup, a novice can take the some bits of the same equipment, crank it to settings completely unsuitable for their actual sitation, and blithely think they are in good shape. I have scaled my Sienna and Boler, and know that if I removed the air bags from my rear springs, added a WD hitch, and cranked the WD to bring the rig level, the front axle would be overloaded... and that's exactly what I have been advised to do!
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:29 PM   #46
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Wow, after reading all of this I think I'm going to stay in a hotel from now on! Maybe I should get a truck big enough to carry my Scamp in the back so I don't have to pull it
Now Ted, don't be so hasty! This should explain it all:


....As for me, I think I'll sell my Jeep and get a boat!

(hey, just pokin a lil fun at you "scientific" types )
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #47
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If the net [b]effect of a WD system is beneficial, then of course it should be used. I'm sorry if I have come across as just against WD, when I am really in favour of understanding. I just can't accept that WD will always be beneficial and that's how it is often treated: "I don't need WD, but I'm adding it to be safer".
That's true! And it's not always necessary or beneficial. Towing my 17' behind the Excursion it would be neither necessary nor beneficial to use a WDH, and may potentially overload my trailer axle and/or bend the frame since the Excursion weighs 7,000 lbs and a WDH would merely distribute the vehicle's weight to the trailer. It experiences no rear-end sag with the trailer added. I still use a friction sway control bar with that setup though.

However, where WDH is appropriate, it works wonders. My Tundra, OTOH, sees about 3" of "settling" on the rear suspension with the Bigfoot dropped on the ball. The WDH levels the entire rig nicely and signficantly improves the handling with the trailer attached.

Roger
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:31 AM   #48
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Pete:

Just a comment. When I decided to move the battery from the tongue I put it (and its evil twin) immediately behind the axle. If those two size 31s had been mounted at the very tail it would likely have become very scary. Is that what they call excessive "polar momentum" when things start moving around?

Also, I like the idea of getting the hitch ball as close to the rear axle as possible, hence the redrilling. The distance from the axle to the ball is quite short on this vehicle, so the ratio discussed should be quite favorable.
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:23 AM   #49
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That's true! And it's not always necessary or beneficial. Towing my 17' behind the Excursion it would be neither necessary nor beneficial to use a WDH, and may potentially overload my trailer axle and/or bend the frame since the Excursion weighs 7,000 lbs and a WDH would merely distribute the vehicle's weight to the trailer. It experiences no rear-end sag with the trailer added. I still use a friction sway control bar with that setup though.
I tried not to post a comment to these statements, but could nor restrain myself. Others may be misled by what you say.

What you say about your Excursion and WDH indicates a total lack of understanding about how and what WDH's are designed to do.

I tow with an Escalade and it has an auto leveling system. The rear of the Escalade never drops when the Casita is attached. However, because of the hitch weight of the Casita the weights on the front and rear axles do change. They change enough to affect both steering stability and tire wear.

If properly installed and setup, a WDH never transfers the TV weight to the RV axle. It only redistributes the hitch weight more evenly over the axles of the combined TV/RV. The mistake many WDH users make is to not level their TV, either added springs, air shocks, or air bags before hitching the RV. A WDH is not designed to lift the rear of a TV that has been overloded and made unlevel by that load.
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:59 AM   #50
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I read all the post. My final analysis for my own personal TV (and safety) was to buy one that is built to tow a trailer the weight that I own or going to buy. I have a 2006 midsize Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner. It is almost fill size (great suspension on this model) and stock without any mods the manufacture states it will tow 3500 lbs with a tongue weight of 500 lbs. If you buy their tow package when you purchase your truck they state that will pull 6500 lbs. It has a 4 liter 236 hp V6. This is not a large, upscale or fancy vehicle but it was designed to do a little work.

After all, eggs are relatively light. If your TV is experiencing handling issues, my feeling is that the TV is not much of a TV and was not built to do the job you are requesting. With all the opinions of what the WD products do or don't do, this post/topic would probably scare the heck out of any highway patrol/troopers or insurance agents reading it.
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:57 AM   #51
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If you'd like a continued discussion on the dynamics of a WDH, look HERE.

Staying on topic then, this thread is about towing with short wheelbase (80-100") vehicles. The sum of the posts to here is that a WDH is appropriate and sway control is generally a positive thing.

What other hints and tips can you guys who tow with short wheelbase vehicles give folks who are inclined to try it as well?

Roger
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:13 PM   #52
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Talking

I may be to blame for all of talk about the Jeep Wrangler....I've posted several notes on this site because as I have said, I'm picking up my Scamp 13 at the factory in MN on Mar 22nd, and TV is a 2004 Wrangler 4.0 with automatic and newly installed air bags for possible load leveling problems. I'm thinking of getting a trans cooler(what do you all think?). I just did not know if I was crazy trying to do this deed, but from what most have said it's doable. I will probably get a sway bar at Camper World, and so with trailer brakes, tranny cooler,anti swat bar and air bags, I beleive I will do all I can to make it safe...that and low and slow driving...........looking forward to the adventure, SW Florida to MN..should be fun....thanks for all the help!

LIFE IS GOOD!
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #53
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Loren, you mean an Pulliam [b]PullRite (not Tow-Rite), correct?

A PullRite moves the effective hitch point closer to the rear axle, improving the overhang-to-wheelbase ratio for improved control; however, I have to think there would be problems mounting this on a typical traditional Jeep - they are really only intended to fit pickup trucks, and SUVs or vans with similar chassis.

The new Toyota FJ Cruiser looks to me like a possibility for this type of hitch as well, since it looks like they couldn't fit the spare under the back and just left the space empty! Neither the FJ nor any Jeep are actually in the PullRite fit list.

Yup! They make a special one for the full size Blazer/Jimmy that wraps around and under the fuel tank. It isn't the most fashionable setup in the world, but sure makes this unit a better tow vehicle. I would rate it worse than marginal before, with a standard WDR type hitch.

You are most likely right about the Jeep not having enough overhang at the rear. A check with the company would confirm this.

Loren
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:45 PM   #54
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Loren, I was actually thinking that the fuel tank would be in the way of a PullRite on the Jeeps, but maybe it could be managed, if they did it for the Blazer. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:51 PM   #55
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I have another short wheelbase vehicle to add (hi-jack?) to this thread. Mine is only 90". I have no trouble towing my < 1500# '94 Scamp. I keep the trailer light and front heavy(ish). I have added electric brakes to the trailer as well as upgraded the van to have front disks. I have no need/desire for a WDH as the rear of my van likes all the weight it can get. I have a short rear axle to ball lenth that may help me out. I also have HD springs on the rear of the van. (That may be part of the reason that it likes the weight back there). Is my TV as "good" as your (insert almost anything here), maybe not, it works well for me. Is your TV as fun as mine? (I doubt it!!)


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Old 02-28-2007, 09:17 PM   #56
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Hey Jeff!

WOW! that Econoline sure brings back some memories, lol! I bought one (I think it was a '62) back in ~ '74 or so. Rebuilt the engine in my old mom's driveway and promptly drove from Calif to the East coast, then back to Alaska. (that trip took over 6 months!) I built in a bunk and stuff. Have a lot of GREAT memories from that adventure..... none of which I will disclose here! However, I do recall driving across the Texas panhandle in the middle of the winter on glare ice.... with probably a 30 knot crosswind. There were semi trucks and all manner and sort of cars off in the ditch. I just kept plugging along, holding the "wing" into the wind!

Thanks for your post... and good travels upon you! My Rubicon Unlimited with 103" of wheelbase should probably tow quite well..... but I really can't imagine that I'd have any use for any more than maybe a 16 footer MAX. Probably a 13'. Thanks for your reply!

Jack
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