Hitch Ball height... (or drop) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2016, 06:48 PM   #1
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Name: Ralph
Trailer: SCAMP 13
Kentucky
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Hitch Ball height... (or drop)

I am getting our new Jeep Cherokee ready to tow our 13 foot Scamp. Thanks for all the earlier advice about mirrors and brake controllers!
My original tow vehicle for the Scamp is our 09' Jeep Wrangler 2 door automatic with the tow package. We intend to keep using the Wrangler from time to time for towing.
I found the hitch height for the new Cherokee was 1 1/2 inch HIGHER than the Wrangler!!! The difference being the Wrangler has the hitch UNDER the bumper and the new Cherokee has the hitch within the bumper! I was not prepared for that difference in height.
I found on the Wrangler it tows nearly bubble level with a 5 1/4 inch drop... If there is a 1 1/2 inch difference between the two... I would need a 6 3/4 inch drop to be nearly bubble level. (there is no such thing)

I went to our local dealer for hitches etc. and he allowed me to measure different drops on the Cherokee.
I am finding that the 6 inch drop on the Cherokee is actually 3/4 inch HIGHER than the tow height of the Wrangler.
When I tried the 8 inch drop on the Cherokee... I measured the height 1 3/4 inches LOWER than the Wrangler (which towed nearly bubble level)
I assume that we don't want to tow higher than bubble level and to either be level or slightly lower... but... is 1 3/4 inches too much lower?
The only other alternative is an adjustable hitch mount $$$... that can be adjusted to 7 1/2 inch drop. Making the drop near 1 1/4 inch. But I can also decrease the drop height if need be.
Any one have any input on this please?
Thanks
Ralph & Peggy
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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I was just going to suggest the $$$ adjustable one.

Have you checked the tongue weight on the Scamp? And measured hitch height with that weight (or the Scamp attached?) it may lower your bumper the 3/4 inches.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
I was just going to suggest the $$$ adjustable one.

...
I quickly accumulated three draw bars when I only expected to need one for one trailer. If the cost of three draw bars and balls is close to the cost of one adjustable, then I would have been better off with the convenience and versatility of the adjustable one.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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You might consider the lower drop with a taller ball. When we picked up our Casita at the factory, they had balls of all heights. I've never seen that variety at a retail store but you might find the right combination at eTrailer or similar.

That said, I don't think 3/4" would have made any difference on my 17' but it might for a 13".

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Old 10-08-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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I quickly accumulated three draw bars when I only expected to need one for one trailer. If the cost of three draw bars and balls is close to the cost of one adjustable, then I would have been better off with the convenience and versatility of the adjustable one.
It wouldn't have been for the one I saw, it cost more than the three bars I have put together.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:58 PM   #6
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Go with the lower bar and taller ball.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:10 PM   #7
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This one is reasonably priced: https://smile.amazon.com/Reese-Towpo...able+hitch+bar but one of the comments said it broke.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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Hitch Ball height... (or drop)

You do need to estimate how much the tongue weight will drop the rear of your Cherokee. My Pilot has a chart in the owner's manual- very helpful- but you may have to stand on the drawbar and have someone take measurements.

I had to find a 6-1/2" drop (I think) to get a level tow with my Scamp 13 and Pilot combo. It was pricey compared to the more common Walmart 5-1/4" drop I use for my utility trailer.

Empty, the Scamp is still a little nose up. Loaded it is just right.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #9
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Name: Ralph
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You do need to estimate how much the tongue weight will drop the rear of your Cherokee. My Pilot had a chart in the owner's manual- very helpful- but you may have to stand on the drawbar and have someone take measurements.

I had to find a 6-1/2" drop (I think) to get a level tow with my Scamp 13 and Pilot combo. It was pricey compared to the more common Walmart 5-1/4" drop I use for my utility trailer.

Empty, the Scamp is still a little nose up. Loaded it is just right.
Thanks JON... I will do that in a little while! My weight would be a close approximation to the Scamp tongue weight! THANKS!
Ralph
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:33 AM   #10
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Ball hitch

I'm thinking whole different direction have you considered next size larger tires
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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I'm thinking whole different direction have you considered next size larger tires
I'm not sure you can fit larger tires on a Scamp 13 without axle modifications. The fore-aft wheel well clearance is pretty tight, as is the tire-shell clearance by the door. Can't imagine you could get more than a fraction of an inch increase.

If I were going to raise the trailer's ride height, I'd replace the stock axle with a 0-degree down angle and stick with 13" wheels. That would increase both the clearances and the ride height. There's plenty of margin in the load rating of stock 13s, so I'm not seeing a need to increase tire size, though you could if you wanted

Downside is increased wind drag at speed, something to consider with a smaller tow vehicle, and, of course, cost!
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #12
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Thanks JON... I will do that in a little while! My weight would be a close approximation to the Scamp tongue weight! THANKS!
Ralph
I tested my weight on the receiver of the Cherokee yesterday... it only goes down 3/4 of an inch. I am 210 lbs.

I will be visiting my hitch dealer this afternoon. Probably will go with the adjustable one.
Ralph
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:32 AM   #13
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Name: Ralph
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I'm thinking whole different direction have you considered next size larger tires
NO... not thinking of larger tires... I will have to work with the hitch height... thanks!
Ralph
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:39 AM   #14
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Name: Ralph
Trailer: SCAMP 13
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Can you even fit larger tires on a Scamp 13 without axle modification? The fore-aft wheel well clearance is pretty tight, as is the tire-shell clearance by the door. Can't imagine you could get more than a fraction of an inch increase.

If I were going to raise the trailer's ride height, I'd replace the stock axle with a 0-degree down angle and stick with 13" wheels. That would increase both the clearances and the ride height. There's plenty of margin in the load rating of stock 13s, so I'm not seeing a need to increase tire size, though you could if you wanted

Downside is increased wind drag at speed, something to consider with a smaller tow vehicle, and cost.
I am not going to adjust the trailer height at this time.... I will probably get an adjustable hitch. Much easier! LOL
Ralph
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