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Old 02-01-2015, 07:23 AM   #1
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Weight Distribution

Hi everybody..

I posted this in the TT section but probably should have put it here..

We are planning on buying a Coachmen Clipper 17FQ. The GVWR is 3518 lbs. and the tongue weight figures to be about 300 lbs. +

We will be towing it with a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. which is rated for 6200 lbs.

Do I need Weight Distribution and Anti-Sway stuff?? Of course the dealer says yes but I've been reading conflicting reports online.

If I do need it can you guys and gals give me some recommendations??

Thanks, Joe
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meganjoe View Post

We are planning on buying a Coachmen Clipper 17FQ. The GVWR is 3518 lbs. and the tongue weight figures to be about 300 lbs. +
You're figuring tongue weight wrong. Tongue weight must be at least 10% of trailer weight, about 13% is average, and it can go up to 15%. Count on 13% and don't be worried if it goes up to 15%. If you load the trailer to the gills and have 13% tongue weight, that's 457 pounds. If your TT is like mine with 15% tongue weight, it could have over 500 pounds tongue weight when wet and loaded for the road.

Quote:
We will be towing it with a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. which is rated for 6200 lbs.
Tow rating is misunderstood. Your drivetrain is powerful enough to pull 6,000 pounds, but you have to watch the weight you haul in the Jeeo so you don't overload the suspension of the tow vehicle. That's probably no big deal with a trailer that can gross a max of 3,500 pounds with ~450 pounds hitch weight, but weigh the rig just to be sure.

Quote:
Do I need Weight Distribution and Anti-Sway stuff??
Most experts say you definitely need a weight distribution (WD) hitch for tongue weight over 500 pounds. With your relatively lightweight tow vehicle, I'd lower that to 250 pounds. With your wet and loaded tongue weight of over 400 pounds, I would not leave home without a good WD hitch that includes excellent sway control. If you have ever had uncontrollable trailer sway, then you'd pay a lot be sure it never happens again.

Quote:
If I do need it can you guys and gals give me some recommendations??
There are cheap WD hitches, good WD itches, and excellent WD hitches. You can buy the cheap ones for less than $500 online at sources such as etrailer.com and amazon.com. DO NOT buy a cheap WD hitch, such as a Reese Pro Series or any Husky except the CenterLine. If it has friction-based "sway bars" as the sway control system, that's a cheap hitch. Sway bars are ancient technology that work so so but not good enough for me All the good hitches will cost you over $500 complete with shank and deigned-in sway control (not sway bars).

The good WD hitches with good sway control and complete with adjustable shank will cost you over $500 from online discount sources. Here are two I'd recommend:

Reese Strait-Line with dual-cam sway control.
Amazon.com: Reese 66072 Strait-Line Trunnion Bar - 600 lbs max tongue weight

I have towed tens of thousands of miles with my Reese Strait-line hitch.

Husky CenterLine
Husky Center Line Towing System | Husky Towing

Here's one source:
Amazon.com: Husky 31390 Center Line Head Assembly: Automotive

Note: That's the Husky Centerline head without spring bars. The spring bars are extra. You want the lightest ones they have, the ones rated 500 to 800 pounds tongue weight. Don't worry that you probably won't have 500 pounds tongue weight - you simply adjust the hitch to match the actual tongue weight you have.
Amazon.com: Husky 31511 Center Line Spring Bar - (500 lb. to 800 lb. Tongue Weight Capacity): Automotive

Equal-I-Zer also makes good WD hitches with good sway control, , but they don't have one with light-enough spring bars for your tongue weight. You want the spring bars rated for more than the maximum tongue weight you might have some day, but not the 1,000 pounds tongue weight capacity of the lightest-duty Equal-I-Zer. So don't consider an Equal-I-Zer for your trailer.

I also mentioned excellent WD hitches. There are three, but they all cost over $2000. I have the ProPride for my TT. An older version of the ProPride is the Hensley Arrow. And a completely different design is the Pull-Rite. Here's my ProPride:
Trailer Sway Elimination | Sway Control |ProPride Hitch

My Reese Strait-Line is good for 99.9% of conditions I might encounter. I've towed for years with it, and it works great. I paid the big bucks for the ProPride to handle that other one tenth of one percent. Just in case. But I'm one of those old codgers that have experienced uncontrollable trailer sway, so I want that ProPride when towing my TT cross country.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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Does your grand Cherokee have the optional air suspension? If so, you need to definitely do more research on the WDH. If it's like the VW toureg, then it is recommended to not have a WDH. If you don't, then yes get the WDH with at least friction sway control and you'll be good. I don't think I've heard any complaints of the Reese dual cam and its relatively affordable compared to others
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thank you , gentlemen for the detailed analysis.. I'm learning..

Joe
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:09 AM   #5
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For a really good hitch, look at SwayPro By Blue Ox
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
You're figuring tongue weight wrong. Tongue weight must be at least 10% of trailer weight, about 13% is average, and it can go up to 15%. Count on 13% and don't be worried if it goes up to 15%. If you load the trailer to the gills and have 13% tongue weight, that's 457 pounds. If your TT is like mine with 15% tongue weight, it could have over 500 pounds tongue weight when wet and loaded for the road.



Tow rating is misunderstood. Your drivetrain is powerful enough to pull 6,000 pounds, but you have to watch the weight you haul in the Jeeo so you don't overload the suspension of the tow vehicle. That's probably no big deal with a trailer that can gross a max of 3,500 pounds with ~450 pounds hitch weight, but weigh the rig just to be sure.



Most experts say you definitely need a weight distribution (WD) hitch for tongue weight over 500 pounds. With your relatively lightweight tow vehicle, I'd lower that to 250 pounds. With your wet and loaded tongue weight of over 400 pounds, I would not leave home without a good WD hitch that includes excellent sway control. If you have ever had uncontrollable trailer sway, then you'd pay a lot be sure it never happens again.



There are cheap WD hitches, good WD itches, and excellent WD hitches. You can buy the cheap ones for less than $500 online at sources such as etrailer.com and amazon.com. DO NOT buy a cheap WD hitch, such as a Reese Pro Series or any Husky except the CenterLine. If it has friction-based "sway bars" as the sway control system, that's a cheap hitch. Sway bars are ancient technology that work so so but not good enough for me All the good hitches will cost you over $500 complete with shank and deigned-in sway control (not sway bars).

The good WD hitches with good sway control and complete with adjustable shank will cost you over $500 from online discount sources. Here are two I'd recommend:

Reese Strait-Line with dual-cam sway control.
Amazon.com: Reese 66072 Strait-Line Trunnion Bar - 600 lbs max tongue weight

I have towed tens of thousands of miles with my Reese Strait-line hitch.

Husky CenterLine
Husky Center Line Towing System | Husky Towing

Here's one source:
Amazon.com: Husky 31390 Center Line Head Assembly: Automotive

Note: That's the Husky Centerline head without spring bars. The spring bars are extra. You want the lightest ones they have, the ones rated 500 to 800 pounds tongue weight. Don't worry that you probably won't have 500 pounds tongue weight - you simply adjust the hitch to match the actual tongue weight you have.
Amazon.com: Husky 31511 Center Line Spring Bar - (500 lb. to 800 lb. Tongue Weight Capacity): Automotive

Quote:
Equal-I-Zer also makes good WD hitches with good sway control, , but they don't have one with light-enough spring bars for your tongue weight. You want the spring bars rated for more than the maximum tongue weight you might have some day, but not the 1,000 pounds tongue weight capacity of the lightest-duty Equal-I-Zer. So don't consider an Equal-I-Zer for your trailer.
I also mentioned excellent WD hitches. There are three, but they all cost over $2000. I have the ProPride for my TT. An older version of the ProPride is the Hensley Arrow. And a completely different design is the Pull-Rite. Here's my ProPride:
Trailer Sway Elimination | Sway Control |ProPride Hitch

My Reese Strait-Line is good for 99.9% of conditions I might encounter. I've towed for years with it, and it works great. I paid the big bucks for the ProPride to handle that other one tenth of one percent. Just in case. But I'm one of those old codgers that have experienced uncontrollable trailer sway, so I want that ProPride when towing my TT cross country.
I'm a little confused.. It looks like Equal-i-zer makes setups for 400 and 600 lb. tongue weights.. Am I wrong..

Thanks, Joe
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meganjoe View Post
I'm a little confused.. It looks like Equal-i-zer makes setups for 400 and 600 lb. tongue weights.. Am I wrong..

Thanks, Joe
No, you're right. The hitch size selector on the Equal-I-Zer website is busted so they only show the heavy duty jobbies. A search on etrailer .com shows 1000, 1200, and 1400 max tongue weight. But further search on Amazon.com results in Equal-I-Zer part number 9000-0600 with 600 pounds max hitch weight capacity:
http://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-90...537BA6BAM4WZQ5
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by timetogo View Post
For a really good hitch, look at SwayPro By Blue Ox
Yep, the Blue Ox SwayPro is a good one, too. I keep forgetting about that one because they don't sell many.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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I suggest you look at Andersen "No Sway" hitch as part of your research.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:14 PM   #10
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Well, I found a Equal-i-zer rated at 600/6000 on craigslist for $165.00

He also has a P2 controller for $60.00

I'm gonna pick those up..

Thanks everybody..
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