Towing with a Jeep CJ, YJ, TJ, LC FJ-40, LR SIII 80? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-28-2007, 09:45 PM   #57
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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.
Be sure to check out the raw weight of the hitch itself -- The ones I have seen have a lot of steel in them.

"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."

I disagree with several of the statements above -- A WDH indeed does transfer weight to the trailer axles, albeit not as much as to the front axle because of the leverages usually involved -- Like doing pushups without putting weight on your toes, it can't be done -- If it could be done, one could use the WDH to level the TV without having the trailer attached... Don't take my word for this, go to a scale, connect and disconnect the WDH and see what happens to the trailer axle weight for one's self.

I agree that a properly set up WDH shouldn't overload the trailer axles (unless the trailer was very close to GVWR and the tongue was too heavy).

Added springs, or air shocks or air bags or levelers only level the body, not the suspension -- That's why the WDH instructions link I posted way above says to not use the levelers (and ALL of these things are artificial after-market leveling systems) when setting up the WDH.

I agree that WDH wasn't designed to deal with overload, but none of the levelers do either; they just give the driver the illusion that the vehicle is level and do keep the headlights out of the uncoming vehicles. The fine print on all those systems says so.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:54 PM   #58
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In the many discussions in this forum and others of WD system use, I have yet to see anyone post the [b]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!
Brian, I don't get a good gut feeling reading the above -- Doesn't seem to me that a few hundred pounds of TW transferred to your front axles should push you to the limit. Instructions say to disconnect leveling stuf, and that's what your air bags are, they just didn't come from the factory with a mercury switch and compressor or hydraulic pump attached...

Are you sure you have the axle weights right? If so, then it sounds like you have too much load in the van -- Does everything, van, load, TW and trailer all still fit inside the GCWR for the van? If there's excess load capacity in the trailer, you might consider putting some of the van load (cargo, spare tire, etc.) in the trailer.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:33 PM   #59
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Are you sure you have the axle weights right? If so, then it sounds like you have too much load in the van -- Does everything, van, load, TW and trailer all still fit inside the GCWR for the van? If there's excess load capacity in the trailer, you might consider putting some of the van load (cargo, spare tire, etc.) in the trailer.
Yes, my weights are high in this configuration - we need to carry less! The total doesn't reach GCWR, but the van is right up to GVWR. Compared to having load in the van, moving it to the trailer just supports it on an inferior suspension (not so bad now that I have the shocks) equipped with inferior brakes (e.g. no ABS) riding on undersized and (currently) inferior tires, and not contributing to traction for drive and vehicle control. That's not an improvement, in my opinion.

I was initially surprised how little [b]load margin there is in a front suspension, but I now realize that this is the case since most of the payload of a vehicle - especially truck, van, or station wagon (SUV) - is expected to be toward the rear. For instance, CD's example in New Smaller tow vehicle choices?? his Escalade while towing has a margin (between load and GAWR) of 375 lb for each axle, but he plans to add a WD hitch which his calculations show will leave only 125 lb margin for the front axle... on a 6000 lb truck.

Also, in the case of the Sienna, I have realized that the limiting factor for both GAWRs is the base original tire and tire pressure choice... the actual suspension is not pushed that close to its limits.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:14 PM   #60
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Now I'm going to have to dig out the numbers for my current truck ('98 Ranger) -- My old truck ('82 D150) had enough excess capacity in front that I never bothered to do any calcs; in fact, to balance the load without using a WDH, I moved the spare tire and HiLift jack to the front bumper, lots of spare parts to under the hood (plenty of room there in older trucks!) and my toolbox to the floor in front. Of course, although I was carrying my entire life with me as a FullTimer, I didn't have passengers and humans aren't light.

I've thought up a WDH analogy:

Picture a middle-aged guy on the floor, doing a pushup -- His hands and toes are on the floor, as is his belly -- Hands are front axle, belly is rear axle and toes are trailer axle.

Add a strong midget, standing sideways on the man, one foot on his back (slightly north of belly) and the other foot on his thighs -- One foot is the WDH hitch head and receiver hitch, the other foot is the trailer frame connection to the bar(s).

The midget has a rope looped under the guy's belly -- As the guy gets everything off the floor except his belly, the midget takes an upward strain on the rope, making the belly lighter on the floor (or even lifting it up) -- Is any of the midget's weight on the guy's toes, or is it all on his hands?

If the guy is strong enough to do the pushup without the midget's "help", when his belly comes off the floor, does any of its weight appear on his toes? If he's **really** strong, can he lift his toes off the floor??
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:41 PM   #61
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I've thought up a WDH analogy...
I hope you don't mind, Pete, but I have responded to this interesting analogy in What Does a Weight-Distributing Hitch Do?, which is specific to how WD systems work.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:22 PM   #62
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I just thought I would chime in here with my one scary towing incident and note that I did survive it thanks I am sure to my Tow Vehicle.

I was pulling my 13" Trillium thru Atlanta north from Florida when I noticed one of the trailers wheels passing me on the right! No kidding.

At first I didn't really even grasp what was going on.

The symptoms were a muffled noise and a slight pull to the right and that is all.
I looked in the mirror and saw the Trill at an odd angle and luckily I was in the far right lane and very near an exit ramp.

I was able to get right over onto the shoulder and stop without further incident. I did see the wheel continue on for some distance before it hopped a median never to be seen again, at least not by me.

I am convinced that my vehicle is what made the situation managable at all.
I was in my 94 FJ-80 Land Cruiser which is way more vehicle than the Trillium required for towing stability.
It really did feel as though I could have kept going without struggle if I had decided too.
Not a good thing for sure.

The Land Cruiser is not a great Tow Vehicle in a lot of ways but it does feel like it is always in charge and never being pushed by the trailer.

Anyway I tell this story as I am amazed still that I have never had a motorcycle or bicycle accident to speak of but I did lose a trailer wheel and came out OK.

If you are the least concerned that the vehicle may not be up to the task......what about this could compel you to try it anyway?!?

No amount of reasoning or physics came into play while the trailer was trying to flip the tow vehicle for me. Just a lot of poor gas mileage Japanese truck did its thing and I can tell of it.

I plan to never tow with a vehicle that I feel uncertain of and I am grateful I could learn this without hurting anyone.

Just my experience.

Ed
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:25 PM   #63
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Just a quick note on the overhang/moment arm thing.
Absolutly correct. I've pulled the same trailer beind several variations of IH Scout, with overhang varying from negligable (on a '61 model), to extreme (a 79 with hitch extension to clear the spare tire.)

All had the same 100" wheelbase, and similar axle widths. By and large, the '61 was more stable then the later models with more overhang, despite having rather softer and older springs.

Another point that is sometimes overlooked: Tire width. Some poeple prefer the wider tires, believing that the extra track width will help the stability. I've found the exact opposite. The extra rubber just adds slop in the system, and that's a BAD thing
I've had the best luck with a super narrow 8-9" wide tire.

Of course, all my Scouts have grown up into pickups and travelall's.

Matt
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