hitch & spare tire problems - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-19-2007, 06:52 PM   #15
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I also moved the spare tire to the front bumper, thus taking weight off the rear and adding it to the front end.
I don't know that I'd put the spare on the nose of a Liberty, but it could be carried in the roof rack (preferably as far forward as possible), which would solve the clearance problem and somewhat help the front/rear weight distribution, at the expense of some convenience and a slightly raised centre of mass.

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Even a WDH will still feel some sway effects of longer overhang, but this would be a good application for a WDH with dual-cam or Equalizer (not friction sway control).
Interesting, since the Equal-i-zer design is a WD system with integrated and entirely friction-based sway control. It's probably better than the straight friction bar devices... but it's still just friction.
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:38 PM   #16
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I had an '02 Jeep Liberty and had the same problem with coupler clearance and the spare tire on the Jeep. I purchased an 8" extension and problem was solved. Never had any handling problems or anything. I towed a 13' Scamp with mine. The Jeep is rated for 5K and more than sufficient tongue weight, so the reduction in hitch weight rating won't bother you with a 13' trailer. The only thing to note, it is an additional link, so there will be some noise when cornering, etc. (you will get used to it as a normal noise). Again, I used that extension and towed my Scamp many thousands of miles from '02 til this spring when I got rid of the Jeep. Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:03 PM   #17
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If someone really does want to use the extended hitch approach, it may not be necessary to use a separate extension component. If you are using a weight-carrying configuration, you just need a longer ball mount; if using weight distribution, a longer shank supporting the WD head. The required length will determine if appropriate parts are available on the shelf; custom modifications of off-the-shelf components are also possible.

Avoiding that extra piece avoids another point of point of potential failure, and the source of the extra noise which Chris mentioned.

By the way, if you use an extension... did you remember to attach the safety chains and breakaway switch cable to the actual receiver, not just to the extension?
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:42 PM   #18
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Good point Brian. I forgot to mention, I had to install a longer set of safety chains to reach the reciever hooking point, and also had to lengthen the "umbilical cord". I have since shortened both for my new tug. My use of the extension was just weight bearing of @200 hitch weight.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:17 AM   #19
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I have an 06 Liberty.

I bought a wdh from drawtite, and had an extra couple of inches (Thats really all thats needed) welded onto the end of the drawbar, the inside bit that fits in the hitch. The welder then drilled a new hole for the pin, and I am "sitting" pretty. The ball just barely sits behind the tire now, and the lever effect is minimal.. I really don't notice any difference from before.

The cost was minimal, under 20 bucks as I recall. I can swing the door all the way out, as my tongue jack is side mounted, no center mount.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #20
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Here is a pic of my set up. You can see where the original drawbar hole is, just at the end of the hitch, at the drawbar.

This pic was taken before I installed the sway control.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:55 PM   #21
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I bought a wdh from drawtite, and had an extra couple of inches (Thats really all thats needed) welded onto the end of the drawbar...

...The ball just barely sits behind the tire now, and the lever effect is minimal.. I really don't notice any difference from before.
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Here is a pic of my set up. You can see where the original drawbar hole is, just at the end of the hitch, at the drawbar.
Thanks for the clear illustration and the information, Gina.
Although the current setup is only about 2" longer that the stock WD shank, without the tire interference it could be 4" shorter than stock (a 6" difference), and a weight-carrying installation (not needing the bulky WD head) could be a couple of inches shorter than that. Six to eight inches seems significant to me in comparison to the Liberty's short overhang, although I understand that the 2" was not noticeable.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:23 PM   #22
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I don't know that I'd put the spare on the nose of a Liberty, but it could be carried in the roof rack (preferably as far forward as possible), which would solve the clearance problem and somewhat help the front/rear weight distribution, at the expense of some convenience and a slightly raised centre of mass.
Interesting, since the Equal-i-zer design is a WD system with integrated and entirely friction-based sway control. It's probably better than the straight friction bar devices... but it's still just friction.
I haven't actually looked at the front of a Liberty with an eye to mounting the spare there; if it's impractical, then the roof would be a good place.

You've looked at it more closely than I have, but my understanding is that, like the dual-cam, and very unlike a typical friction bar control, the Equalizer tends to move the trailer back in line with the tow vehicle when coming out of a turn, instead of resisting the turn, although it may do it with friction rather than cams. Let me know if I have that wrong because it is the reason for my suggestion.

To me, the major disadvantage of the friction bar anti-sway control is that once it has slipped in a turn or serious sway, it takes an equivalent but opposite amount of force to return it to normal (hence the manufacturers' warnings to adjust or disconnect it in slippery conditions).
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:29 PM   #23
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I haven't actually looked at the front of a Liberty with an eye to mounting the spare there; if it's impractical, then the roof would be a good place.
I'm sure a front-mount would work, perhaps using a Front-Mount Receiver and a spare rack plugged into that. I would not likely do it because I would not want to interfere with air flow to the radiator (and other coolers) - especially while towing - and because the large SUV tire would likely stick up annoyingly compared to the relatively low Liberty hood.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #24
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... my understanding is that, like the dual-cam, and very unlike a typical friction bar control, the Equalizer tends to move the trailer back in line with the tow vehicle when coming out of a turn, instead of resisting the turn, although it may do it with friction rather than cams. Let me know if I have that wrong because it is the reason for my suggestion.
Although most two-bar WD designs tend to provide a spring-driven return to centre (even if only as an incidental side effect) due to changing angles of the chains, the Equal-i-zer (and Reese 350 Mini WD) place the spring bars directly in rigid brackets, eliminating this effect.

The Equal-i-zer "4-point sway control" is entirely friction, and their representative explained to me that the friction is primarily in the "tri-wing" WD head; although the typical WD system tries to pivot the spring bars (directly or via trunnion mounts) in the head, the Equal-i-zer clamps the bar bases between plates with deliberate friction. That's two of the friction points; the others (which they say are much less important) are at the bar brackets.

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To me, the major disadvantage of the friction bar anti-sway control is that once it has slipped in a turn or serious sway, it takes an equivalent but opposite amount of force to return it to normal (hence the manufacturers' warnings to adjust or disconnect it in slippery conditions).
I agree that a spring-driven return to centre may make more sense than just resisting motion (damping). Even if the solution is damping, mechanical friction is lousy for this purpose compared to fluid damping, such as used in suspension shock absorbers. In suspension applications, friction dampers were abandoned long before I was born.
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