Trailer Sway Control Weight Distribution Hitch Questions - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Question Trailer Sway Control Weight Distribution Hitch Questions

Hello,

I am looking around on Google and ETrailer for sway control hitches. I currently use a B&W 3 ball Stow-N-Go steel hitch. To make my 13,000 + mile road trip this summer a little more enjoyable, I am looking at getting a better hitch setup. I've never owned nor used one before, so I don't know what really works well for my setup. Any thoughts or suggestions? Here are some pictures of what I have. Thanks!
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2015 Trailhawk - Eco Green, 3.2L, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. MODS: Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17; WeatherTech mats, vent shades; Magnaflow exhaust. Rigid SR 20" bar and Rock Lights. JW Speaker fog lights. Blue Ridge Overland Gear panels and bags. Pelican tool box loaded! Bubba Rope and Gators too. Much more....

Trailer: Custom built Montrose aluminum 4.5'Wx6'Lx3'H off-road utility with 3,500 lb Dexter torsion axle. Known as the Zombie Escape Trailer.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 07:23 AM
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How heavy is the trailer? How much load do you put on the tongue?
Sway-control and weight-distribution are two totally different things, although the systems are sometime integrated with each other.

If you actually need weight-distribution, the systems are are rated on how stiff they are and how much weight they are intended to transfer. You almost certainly want one of the lighter-duty ones if you go down that path. Also note that WD ball mounts are significantly heavier than a regular one. The one I had for my Ram 2500 could have been used for a boat anchor.

Sway control may be more what you are looking for. They are essentially just a friction pad and bolt on.

What condition/problem are you actually trying to solve?

In addition to the weight-distribution, WD setups also tend to stop "porpoising" where the tow vehicle and the trailer are fighting against each other over road imperfections and the whole setup starts bouncing around. The TV and the trailer are much more solidly locked together, almost like a single vehicle.
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Last edited by Rojhan; 02-02-2016 at 07:29 AM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 07:34 AM
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Also, can you post a closer, side-on, view of trailer tongue + hitch connected?

Since you don't have a triangular tongue, I'm not sure how a sway bar would mount. And, having said that, I found:
https://www.etrailer.com/question-13468.html
https://www.etrailer.com/question-28114.html
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'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder.
My testing platform for electronics/telemetry experimenting.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojhan View Post
How heavy is the trailer? How much load do you put on the tongue?
Sway-control and weight-distribution are two totally different things, although the systems are sometime integrated with each other.

If you actually need weight-distribution, the systems are are rated on how stiff they are and how much weight they are intended to transfer. You almost certainly want one of the lighter-duty ones if you go down that path. Also note that WD ball mounts are significantly heavier than a regular one. The one I had for my Ram 2500 could have been used for a boat anchor.

Sway control may be more what you are looking for. They are essentially just a friction pad and bolt on.

What condition/problem are you actually trying to solve?

In addition to the weight-distribution, WD setups also tend to stop "porpoising" where the tow vehicle and the trailer are fighting against each other over road imperfections and the whole setup starts bouncing around. The TV and the trailer are much more solidly locked together, almost like a single vehicle.
Good Morning,

The trailer weighs 900 lbs empty. The tongue weight is around 150 lbs as best I can tell. Driving around town is not a big deal aside from the bumps in the road. I designed the trailer with Dexter Torsion axles rated at 3,500 lbs with LR C radial tires inflated to 50 PSI. When I am driving at highway speed and it is windy with bumpy roads, the trailer jerks me around quite a bit. I used to tow a 16' V-nose tandem axle steel frame trailer with my '06 Silverado 2500. I also owned the truck and trailer below, before I traded them in on the Cherokee. I never had to think about using anything other than a regular hitch on them, empty or loaded. But I think it is the Jeep's short wheelbase that allows it to be jerked around a lot more. So much that I often use Sport mode when I should not have to so I can keep the RF wheel from spinning in the wrong situation. This very noticeable jerking and swaying occurs both empty and loaded, though more when empty.

Since I am going to be dragging the trailer with me on my long road trip, I want to make it a more enjoyable drive. I came across this https://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts...all/AMSC2.html and reviews from many Sites indicate it works well.
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2015 Trailhawk - Eco Green, 3.2L, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. MODS: Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17; WeatherTech mats, vent shades; Magnaflow exhaust. Rigid SR 20" bar and Rock Lights. JW Speaker fog lights. Blue Ridge Overland Gear panels and bags. Pelican tool box loaded! Bubba Rope and Gators too. Much more....

Trailer: Custom built Montrose aluminum 4.5'Wx6'Lx3'H off-road utility with 3,500 lb Dexter torsion axle. Known as the Zombie Escape Trailer.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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I do not have any better pictures of the Jeep attached that I can zoom in on in the daylight. The best one is in the original post, bottom picture. The only difference is that I upgraded to a dual wheel, 1,500 lb capacity jack.

2015 Trailhawk - Eco Green, 3.2L, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. MODS: Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17; WeatherTech mats, vent shades; Magnaflow exhaust. Rigid SR 20" bar and Rock Lights. JW Speaker fog lights. Blue Ridge Overland Gear panels and bags. Pelican tool box loaded! Bubba Rope and Gators too. Much more....

Trailer: Custom built Montrose aluminum 4.5'Wx6'Lx3'H off-road utility with 3,500 lb Dexter torsion axle. Known as the Zombie Escape Trailer.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudman1 View Post
Good Morning,

The trailer weighs 900 lbs empty. The tongue weight is around 150 lbs as best I can tell. Driving around town is not a big deal aside from the bumps in the road. I designed the trailer with Dexter Torsion axles rated at 3,500 lbs with LR C radial tires inflated to 50 PSI. When I am driving at highway speed and it is windy with bumpy roads, the trailer jerks me around quite a bit. I used to tow a 16' V-nose tandem axle steel frame trailer with my '06 Silverado 2500. I also owned the truck and trailer below, before I traded them in on the Cherokee. I never had to think about using anything other than a regular hitch on them, empty or loaded. But I think it is the Jeep's short wheelbase that allows it to be jerked around a lot more. So much that I often use Sport mode when I should not have to so I can keep the RF wheel from spinning in the wrong situation. This very noticeable jerking and swaying occurs both empty and loaded, though more when empty.

Since I am going to be dragging the trailer with me on my long road trip, I want to make it a more enjoyable drive. I came across this https://www.etrailer.com/Ball-Mounts...all/AMSC2.html and reviews from many Sites indicate it works well.
I don't think that that cushioned mount is going to address what you are describing. Road imperfections and wind are going to give you vertical and lateral movement, not longitudinal.

You may also be seeing more effect from the wind since the Jeep is so much lighter and has less of a cross-section than the truck. There's more effective impact from the trailer.

I'd recommend getting a light-duty WD setup with integrated sway control. The long-pole/single-pole vs triangular will stop you from using a classic sway control, or at least require an adapter that will give the needed leverage.

That will stiffen up both the lateral and vertical movement making the Jeep and trailer act more like one solid vehicle than two different pieces behaving differently.

Something like:
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...s/PS49902.html
or
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...e/RP66558.html

and
http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-...se/RP3280.html

I've never used that combination (never had a single-pole tongue), so do some extra due-diligence, but that should take care of everything. I don't think you'll be able to use the cam-style WD hitch, just chain or torsion.
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'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder.
My testing platform for electronics/telemetry experimenting.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-...se/RP3280.html

I saw that one, thanks! I don't have 30" to mount that plate without removing the toolbox, which I need.

Maybe I can just use some big bungee cords to keep it in check

2015 Trailhawk - Eco Green, 3.2L, Nav, Tow, Cold Weather. MODS: Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain ProGrades 245/70R17; WeatherTech mats, vent shades; Magnaflow exhaust. Rigid SR 20" bar and Rock Lights. JW Speaker fog lights. Blue Ridge Overland Gear panels and bags. Pelican tool box loaded! Bubba Rope and Gators too. Much more....

Trailer: Custom built Montrose aluminum 4.5'Wx6'Lx3'H off-road utility with 3,500 lb Dexter torsion axle. Known as the Zombie Escape Trailer.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudman1 View Post
http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-...se/RP3280.html

I saw that one, thanks! I don't have 30" to mount that plate without removing the toolbox, which I need.

Maybe I can just use some big bungee cords to keep it in check
Shim up the toolbox a couple of inches to give the room underneath? Depending on how strong the tongue is, may be able to bolt in from the side if reinforced, rather than clamping over the top?

'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder.
My testing platform for electronics/telemetry experimenting.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 01:13 PM
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What is the weight distribution in the trailer when it is loaded? I am curious as mine weights just a little more than yours and I never experienced adverse behavior, even in West Texas Thunderstorms.



Although after I looked at this picture I realize I have a lot more distance between the hitch and the axles. That extra distance would help stabilize the trailer.

John

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:06 PM
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Hudsonhawk may be onto something. I agree if the trailer is a self build could be something to look at. A cushioned coupler can help but usually just masks an underlying issue.

Ensure nothing is out of line with the trailer suspension, axle etc. Also could be too little tongue weight, this makes a trailer bounce around and ride rougher since the suspension is not compressed down. As a test you could try to add weight to various places to see what happens and safely test.



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