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Picking a Trailer to Haul the Jeep Wrangler

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#1 joemac51

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:52 PM

Hi!  I have narrowed my choice to one of two trailer models for hauling our Jeep TJ Rubicon:

 

1)  Aluminum - ATC open deck  7,000lb (2 - 3,500lb easy lube torsion axles) - Can get what I think is a good deal but not sure if I should get a 16 foot or an 18 foot?

 

My big concern is the payload issue:

 

The 16 ft offers more payload: 988# Empty, 6012# Payload but a shorter deck.

 

The 18 ft offers less payload: 1234# Empty, 5766# Payload but more deck!

 

Price wise I have not seen a new aluminum trailer of this quality, at these prices, although we are still talking $5300 / $5500, respectively!

 

2) Steel - Kaufman open flat (not dovetail) deck 10,000lb (2 - 5,200lb spring axles) - Can have it custom made to my specs as follows:

 

17 foot Deluxe Flat Deck with added spare tire and rim and driver side removable fender. This steel trailer should be approximately $3600.00.

 

What is the better trailer application for the Jeep?

 

Also I like this weight distributing hitch:

 

Strait-Line Weight Distribution w Sway Control - Trunnion Bar - 12,000 lbs GTW, 1,200 lbs TW

 

http://www.etrailer....se/RP66084.html

 

Opinions and advice are most welcome. Say it like it is!! 

 

Thanks,

 

Joe Mac



#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:13 PM

Hi, Joe Mac, and welcome to the forums!  I'll jump into this discussion, and let's encourage others to join...

 

We have a steel trailer with wooden deck boards, and it has served well.  From experience and considering your weight over the road, however, I would definitely pick the aluminum trailers for ride quality, lighter weight and lower maintenance through time.

 

I'm sure the Kaufman is a great trailer and would hold a load very well.  I like the removable fender for getting into and out of the Jeep on the trailer.  However, the weight and load capacity are more than you need for hauling a Jeep TJ Wrangler around.  If this is your anticipated load, the added fuel costs pulling a heavy duty steel trailer would not be practical.  You could haul a smaller backhoe with the Kaufman!

 

On that note, I would get the 18-foot aluminum trailer, as it will haul a longer JK Wrangler, even the Unlimited at 116-inch wheelbase, if you ever consider the next model.  (If Jeep brings out a diesel JK Wrangler Rubicon, that might be appealing, although trailering your TJ means that gasoline cost is not much of an issue.)  A trail modified 4-door Wrangler with popular accessories, by the way, could easily tip the scale around 5,500 pounds, so the 18-foot aluminum trailer would just do it!

 

Unless you're being price constrained, get the super deal on an aluminum trailer.  I trust it's not a dovetail?  My experience and watching others, I would avoid the dovetail and opt for ramps and more tail end ground clearance.

 

Unless you have considered a Hensley hitch, the heavy duty Reese that you share in the link is great.  I've used a similar Drawtite hitch forever, and the loaded torsion bars often eliminate the need for a sway control apparatus.  The Reese looks like it might do the same.  Ask Reese if they recommend a sway control (brake) with this hitch arrangement.

 

My two cents!

 

Moses



#3 joemac51

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

Wow - Hi Moses,

 

Thank you very much for your rapid reply and a warm welcome to the forum.

I look forward to the sharing of thoughts and experiences with those on the forum. I need all the education I can get.  

 

Interesting reply and one that makes me think about quite a few things.

 

I do plan on keeping my Jeep for as long as I can. I am the original owner and since it is a first year Rubicon 2003 SWB 5 speed it has a special appeal to me.

Here is a link to the specs on my Jeep -  http://hv4w.org/rigs/?tr_id=15 - I have not weighed it yet but suspect it to be around 4500 to 4700lbs??

 

In my mind I would estimate the total weight on the trailer to be approx. 5000lbs when considering the Jeep and the wheeling equipment plus the tie downs etc. 

 

The Aluminum trailer is a flatbed.

 

I was wondering if I need additional D ring tie downs in the center of the front and rear as it has 4 standard (one in each corner).

 

I have to learn about WDH and what would be the best application.

Also I need a Hitch extension as I plan on towing the Jeep behind my Silverado Diesel 3500 which will have a Truck Camper on it . I'll need about a 24" hitch extention. Presumably the Reese Beast would work as that is what was recommended to me?

 

So when considering all of this you do make me think that the lighter the weight of what I am towing the better!

 

Thanks a million and I look forward to any further imput and advice from the forum.

 

All the best, Joe Mac



#4 Moses Ludel

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:33 AM

Hi, Joe Mac...We all look forward to your thoughtful and insightful questions!  You've done your homework on this trailer purchase!

 

The camper is one more reason for a lightweight trailer, and your extension hitch makes the trailer's handling important.  When you load the trailer make sure the torsion bars accommodate the trailer and offset the camper weight.  A unique advantage of the equalizing hitch is that it spreads your 6500# or so trailer load over the entire set of axles: the truck's front axle (IFS in your case with a Chevrolet), the massive beam rear axle with hefty springs, plus two trailer axles.

 

View the equalizer hitch as a set of torsion bars that link the two vehicle frames (trailer and truck) together.  An alternate, maybe more descriptive name is a "load distribution hitch".  The hitch and torsion bars spread weight over all of the axles and spring sets.  This levels the entire load through the force applied at the torsion bars. 

 

Envision all the tongue weight that would otherwise be on the hitch ball without these bars.  The desired tongue weight is typically 500-600 pounds for a Class III platform hitch; 1000 pounds with a WD or equalizing/weight distributing hitch.  (See this detailed Reese description of hitch ratings: http://www.reese-hitches.com/learning_center/general-towing-classes.) 

 

Your Silverado 3500 truck likely has a Class IV or V rated hitch, which raises these ratings, as described at the Reese link.  However, you also carry a hefty camper, which loads the tow vehicle substantially and reduces its overall weight capacity.  This is where Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is critical, per axle, when determining the actual load on your truck. 

 

Without these bars spreading the load between the two frames and all axles, the trailer tongue weight would grossly exceed the safety rating for the truck's OEM platform hitch!  Add a camper, and your rear springs would be taxed to the limit.

 

Think of torsion bars as tensioning beams.  When you adjust the bars for just the right set and hitch ball height with the loaded trailer, the weight that would otherwise be on the hitch ball gets distributed over the two frames.  This actually transfers or "distributes" the load to each of the axles.  In the process, as the torsion bars apply tension to offset a particular load, you will discover an amazing side effect:  The truck and trailer rise and set together!  This stabilizes the handling and helps eliminate the bucking and hitch dive that occur without an equalizing/load distribution hitch!

 

Rick Preston, owner of Rick's RV at El Cajon, California taught me about the value of an equalizing hitch in the late 'eighties.  I had a Land Cruiser FJ40 project for OFF-ROAD Magazine and a long term (one year) test of a StarCraft 21' travel trailer.  The FJ40 had a 90-inch wheelbase, very short coupled for trailer pulling.  To offset this liability, we installed a platform hitch (featured in my Toyota Truck & Land Cruiser Owner's Bible, Bentley Publishers) to accept a load distribution Draw-Tite hitch assembly. 

 

The Land Cruiser was well equipped on the performance side, a 383 Chevrolet stroker V-8 transplant with a Ranger Torque Splitter transmission between the Toyota gear box and engine.  I had also installed Saginaw power steering...On 33" tires and 10" rims, the track width was safe for towing!  So, off we went to join the Toyota Land Cruiser folks at Diaz Lake near Lone Pine, California in the late fall. 

 

Thanks to the load distributing hitch and a sway control brake, we got there in one piece.  The side and head winds blew 45-55 mph across the Mojave Desert, yet the 'Cruiser and travel trailer tracked straight as an arrow.  We even marveled about the 4x4 and trailer smoothing out the rolling dips and rises on old U.S. Highway 395 between Adelanto and Inyokern.

 

So, the WDH is a necessity, not an option, Joe Mac.  Enjoy the highways and trails, we'll enjoy the updates on your plans!

 

Moses



#5 joemac51

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:27 PM

Hi Moses,

 

Ok so based on the following - I need to learn a lot about Weight/Load Distribution:

 

My Truck Specs are - Curb Weight - 7,300lbs , Max Payload - 4,300lbs - GVWR - 11,600lbs, Max Trailering - 13,000lbs

GCWR - 24,500lbs, Front Axle GWR - 5,600lbs, Rear Axle GWR -7050lbs

 

My Camper Dry Weight with Full Water and Propane - 2,960lbs

 

In my mind I figure the weights when in use as follows: 

 

Camper fully loaded with gear 3,500lbs 

Trailer - 1000lbs

Trailer Load - 5000/5,250lbs

Passengers and gear in Silverado - 600lbs

 

This would equate to the following weights -

 

Silverado Weight - 7,900lbs  plus the camper - 3,500lbs = GVWR - 11,400lbs 

Trailer = 6,250lbs

 Truck + Camper + Trailer = GCWR - 17,650LBS

 

It therefore looks like I am within tolerance levels on all weights.

 

Now I will go do my homework on the WDH and all you have stated above.

Thank you very much!

 

Joe Mac



#6 Moses Ludel

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:25 PM

You've done your homework to this point, Joe Mac!  Keep us posted on your choices...

 

Moses



#7 joemac51

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:40 AM

Hi Moses - Here is the latest -
 
We spent all day Saturday looking at car trailers - Went to 3 states and the only thing I accomplished is that - nothing has changed for me!  I like the Aluminum open deck. You are correct, the Aluminum is the way to go.
 
By the way we discovered the prices I mentioned above of the Aluminum trailers are for 2+ year old trailers sitting in the lot and the 18 ft ones are gone - there is one 16 ft. left. My concern here is the tires and dry rot - from 2+ years of sitting?  Is this a valid concern or not?
 
Also what is the difference between - Galvanized Steel Wheels and Aluminum Wheels - are the aluminum wheels worth the extra dollars? And while I am on tires - are 205/75R15 Load Range C all right for a 7000lb trailer or should I upgrade to a 225/75 R15 load range D??
 
To be honest I like the 16 ft size trailer as the 18 ft trailers seem like quite a large deck - but when I look at my Jeep and its size (weight) 16 ft may be too small from a distributing of the load perspective?
 
I know you have already advised to get the 18ft. But would the 16 ft be ok?
 
My thought is to put a tool box on the front of the trailer - and if I get a 16 ft. it would have to be on the trailer tongue - if I get an 18 ft I would put it on the trailer deck up against the rail for my equipment - that will take up a good foot to foot and a half of the trailer deck.
 
Here is the size of my Jeep:
 
Length – 13’4’ (160”)
Length with my bike rack on the rear – 16’ 2” (194”) - which I would like to keep on the Jeep when traveling
Total track width (to outside of my tires) front and rear is 6’ 2” (74”)
The wheelbase from center of the wheels is – 7’ 10”  (94”)
 
Also - I have found this Equalizing Weight Distribution Hitch which I like very much - one of the dealers we visited uses this on his own trailers and we were impressed with its quality and the manor with which it functions.
 
 
So to recap - here is my perfect world -
 
Order a  16 or 18 ft Aluminum open deck car hauler - with the following options:
a) Aluminum Wheels
B) Spare Tire
c) Aluminum Storage Box
d) 225 tires??
 
My apologies for all of the questions but I am trying to make a correct decision and I need as much knowledge as possible. Your comments and advise is greatly appreciated.
 
All the best, Joe Mac


#8 Moses Ludel

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:59 PM

Good questions and concerns...Tires are time-stamped carefully these days, there are actual date codes molded on the carcass, and older tires are a liability.  Setting on the lot for two years could be 3-year-old tires, many say that six years is max life, so you may have some negotiating room here.  Read the tire date codes, they should be quite visible on any tire built after 2007...I would at least shave something off the upgrade to 225s, and yes, I would step up for Load Range D.

 

Sounds like you're on the cusp for the 18-footer, and I am still swayed in that direction.  You can readily "live" with the 16-footer, and putting the tool tote on the tongue is not a major issue.  You can even get the battery inside the tool box on the tongue to protect and secure it.  You may want a full size battery if you anticipate adding a winch for loading a "wounded" Jeep or another vehicle.

 

I checked out the hitch, and the idea of a friction sway control built into the hitch is nice.  When Rick Preston outfitted me to the gills years ago, we went with a heavy-duty, Draw-Tite equalizing/load distribution assembly with torsion bars that enter the bottom of a massive ball mount.  The mount weighs plenty, the bars are hefty, too.  Rick added a "sway brake", which is actually a sliding friction brake that serves much like the hitch you have shared. 

 

For my longer wheelbase Suburban 4x4s and the Dodge Ram 3500 4WD chassis, I really could not feel much difference with or without the use of the sway brake.  If we were back to the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser's 90-inch wheelbase towing a 21' travel trailer across the Mojave Desert in a crosswind, I would definitely mount the sway control brake and use it!  The brake has its own smaller mounting ball/studs and attaches readily with hitch pins.

 

I'm not minimizing the importance of resisting side sway.  I'm simply sharing my own experience.  When we trailered the XJ Cherokee to Moab at 70-plus mph across the wind-swept Bonneville Desert, we did just fine with the heavy duty equalizing/load distributing hitch and no add-on sway control brake...There is nothing wrong with a load distributing hitch assembly that has a built-in sway control, so if the price is right, get it!  Given that you have a heavy camper on the truck, I would go with both the load distributing hitch and a sway control of some kind.

 

When selecting a load distributing/equalizing hitch assembly, look at its load rating.  By design, any equalizing hitch will work if rated for your anticipated loads.  If possible, get an equalizing hitch that is easier to install and remove.  Ours is very bulky, but I don't mind a good workout!

 

As for your concern about a shorter trailer and the effectiveness of the load distributing hitch, by design the hitch levels the truck and trailer, regardless of the trailer's length, so there should be little difference in the handling with the 16- versus 18-foot trailer.  The maneuverability would be slightly better with the 16-footer, the 18-footer would have more flexibility for loads and hauling different wheelbase vehicles.  Handling physics would be slightly different but minimized if the trailer's axles are placed properly for a load like your Jeep Wrangler.

 

We haven't discussed wiring, lighting, the post jack and tie-down provisions, and these are important, too.  Make sure the trailer you pick has reliable brakes, well routed wiring, good lights with common replacement lenses and strategically placed D-rings.  Get good straps, and check out my tie-down article at the magazine for ideas on tie-down points, axle wrap straps, chain and ratchet straps.  There's a lot to consider when trailering and hauling a vehicle safely.

 

Sounds like the bargains are disappearing fast.  Pick the trailer that fills your needs, and if aluminum wheels are not expensive, they do eliminate rust issues.  Galvanized steel is okay, but the galvanizing seldom lasts at the wheel nut seats—or when tires get dismounted and re-mounted, or wheel weights get installed and removed.  Aluminum can oxidize, too, but the effect is less of an issue cosmetically.  Aluminum can be lighter, too, but not much lighter at these wheel sizes.

 

Moses



#9 joemac51

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 05:46 AM

Hi Moses,

 

Ok here is a link to the trailer I am interested in -

http://www.aluminumtrailer.com/productdetails/OpenCarHauler/42

 

It has the specs as to the wiring, lighting, brakes etc. Please let me know if there is something else that it  needs or  I should order for it.

 

I like the MAC'S tie downs (for various reasons let alone my name!) - I like this package -

Mac's Ultra Pack (8 Foot) with Direct Hook Ratchets (511218)  But frankly - I have no idea what is the correct aplication for my vehicle on a trailer?

 

I read your article on tie-downs but my 2003 Rubicon needs a different way of tie down to the trailer.

 

I would presume I need to wrap around my front and rear axles and am not sure of the strap length needed. Not sure of the ability to cross the straps to the opposite tie downs on the trailer etc.etc.

 

Also want to make sure I have the tie down locations correct on the trailer and if I need a couple of extra D-rings where should I locate them??

 

Anyone with experience in this for a TJ can certainly add their 2 cents as I could use the education!

 

Again - Thanks for your suport and guidance,

 

All the best,

Joe Mac



#10 Moses Ludel

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:48 AM

Hi, joemac51!  This trailer looks great, what a deal!  Assume you're upgrading the tire load range and size? 

 

I know Mac well, our vehicles shared BFG booth space at the 2011 Lucas Off-Road Expo.  I also filmed Mac's publicity stunt at this year's Moab Jeep Safari.  See the video for ideas on tying down and what Mac does when he wants to hang 8000# from a crane!  Mac has this down to a science, follow his guidelines for tie-downs and D-rings.  I surely trust his judgment after seeing the JK and trailer twenty feet in the air.

 

Like you, joemac51, I would like to see others jump into this trailering a Jeep discussion...This is a great way to save wear and tear on a trail rig plus backup if you need to tote a wounded Jeep home from an overdone rock crawl.  We find trailering is a better way to travel—it's much more comfortable driving our 140.5" wheelbase Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 those 720 miles to Moab with the XJ Cherokee on our car hauling trailer—and we're still getting 17 miles to the gallon!

 

I am a strong advocate of trailering, not at all fond of flat towing, and if anyone is curious why, start a question/topic on that subject, and I'll provide my two-cents worth!

 

Moses



#11 biggman100

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

I will add what i can here, although the vehicles i towed weren't jeeps, but a Subaru legacy wagon, and a 1994 Mercedes Benz s600. As some people know, living in upstate NY, older cars are usually rotted, and at best maybe good for a couple years of use, so i tend to look as far south as North and South Carolina, and even southern PA, and usually, when i buy an older vehicle, i look for ones that need repairs, that way the initial outlay of cash is a lot less, and then i do the repairs myself, so, usually, the vehicles i buy need to be towed.

 

When i bought the Subaru, in southern PA, about 150 miles from home, i had an older, steel trailer with homemade wood deck, that was basically a mobile home frame made into a car trailer, and even with a 2400 LB. Subaru on it, towed behind a 2005 Chevy 2500 4x4 diesel, it was still not the best thing to tow up hills, and had a tendency to sway quite a bit, even with a load distributing hitch. The other vehicle, the Mercedes, on the other hand, i was fortunate to borrow a friends newer all aluminum 16 foot trailer, for a 1400 mile round trip to Raleigh North Carolina, and back home.

 

I will admit, an 18 foot trailer for that car would have been much better, because the car is over 15 feet long, but, we loaded it up, and brought it back home, and even with close to 5000 LB. dry weight for the car, the Chevy had barely any issues towing, even on steep hills, so i would definitely say aluminum is the way to go for towing almost any vehicle.

 

Another one i seem to forget about, but have posted about on here a few times, is the 1994 dakota 4x4 i bought in southern PA. Because of the transmission issue it had when i bought it, i thought it would be better to tow it home, rather than fix it on the road. I planned to tow it with a 1999 Durango and my old steel trailer, but after picking up the truck, i went about 30 or so miles, and broke an axle on the trailer. I was very fortunate, in that it was in an area where i was starting out from a stop light, so no injuries, and no real damage, except to the trailer. Needless to say, i needed another way to get it home, so i limped the trailer and Dakota into a local parking lot, came home, borrowed my neighbors aluminum trailer, and used that to bring both the dakota and then my broken trailer home separately.

 

One thing i noticed even empty, my steel trailer didn't tow well behind the durango, but with the aluminum trailer, even with the Dakota on it, i barely knew it was there on the flat sections of roads!



#12 joemac51

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:46 AM

Hi Moses...What do you think of this communication? Here is an excerpt of comments made by a trailer dealer to me in relation to setting up the Pick Up for trailering the Jeep using a Reese Titan Hitch Box Extension and Reducer for 2-1/2" Trailer Hitches, 24"

 

This would be using my factory class V Hitch with the Reese Titan extention when I have my Truck Camper on the truck which extends 24" to the rear. It is exactly 24" from the hitch receiver to the end of the camper. I would be pulling the ATC 18 ft trailer with the Jeep on it!

 

I don't have the measurements of the ground to the camper he's asking for - should get them this weekend.

 

 

Dealer comments:

 

"I have given this some more thought, and am thinking perhaps adding 2 smaller receiver tubes at the outer edges of the existing hitch, and making brackets that would slide into those ,  to have a higher point of attachment for the Torklift type chains and turnbuckles.  By pulling from a higher point , and not just from a level plane , it will offer much more vertical strength on the hitch tube extension. And / OR  making the other ends of the stabilizer chains with turnbuckles for tightening go to a bracket that protrudes below the hitch extension tube will change the angle of the stabilizer chains to resist both lateral movement , but more importantly vertical loading for tongue weight .  I see the camper drops in the back. how high is the back of the camper above the ground ?  How high is the top of the receiver tube above the ground? 

 

Joe, thanks for the information.  I will look at the Reese heavy duty extension bar again, I am thinking it may be a possibility if we can add the chains to stabilize it as the torklift extension does.  With the 2 1/2” receiver tube, and using the equalizer weight distribution hitch to counter balance most of the tongue weight , it may be as good a solution as the torklift hitch with the second receiver tube.  this approach would eliminate the need for the second receiver tube .  How long do you think that extension needs to be to bring it just beyond the overhang of the camper?   I will look at this both ways, and see what we arrive at.

 

 

Are we going in the correct direction here ? Your knowledge and insite is greatly needed! 

 

Thanks, Joe Mac



#13 Moses Ludel

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:26 AM

Joe, what you're really talking about here is physics.  The higher chain points, understandably, will pull upward on the hitch to counter droop and excessive loading.  The overall concern for me, however, is the rotational force applied to the truck's platform hitch and the vehicle frame.  The OEM platform hitch is designed for load at the ball, which is calculated as being just outside the receiver—and not 24" outboard of the receiver.

 

All of the force from mounting the ball outboard is "leveraged" against the OEM hitch and frame attachment points.  If the chains are also attached to the bumper (or essentially the frame end), that's still rotational force applied and leveraged by the 24" extension ball mount.

 

I would consult the company that manufactures the extension hitch and ask what impact all of this, including the higher chain support mounting points, will have on your truck's platform hitch, the rear of the truck frame and on the distribution point(s) for the load.  They must have the engineering details and can comment on the design intent for that extension hitch.

 

Please share your findings, JoeMac51.  Others may be curious how to safely extend a hitch ball mount to compensate for an overhanging camper.

 

Moses



#14 joemac51

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:14 AM

Hi Moses,

 

Thanks as usual - I have sent a email to Reese - when I have their reply I will share it.  

 

Also I am going to a TC rally this weekend and will search out the "towers" and seek their advice etc. I know from past experience many are very strong proponents of swapping the OEM hitch for the Torklift SuperHitch and the SuperTruss hitch extension - http://www.torklift..../supertruss.php

 

Frankly that is an awful lot of money to put into the truck when I have an 18k OEM hitch??

 

Shall revert back when I have more info!

 

All the best, Joe Mac



#15 joemac51

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:29 AM

Moses -

 

Here is the reply I received from Reese Tech -

 

Quote:

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Tech Support <TechSupport@cequentgroup.com>
To: com>
Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 2:40 pm

 

Subject: RE: Reese® Website : Contact Form Message (Technical Support)

 

Joe,

 

With our extension we do not make provisions for chains/turnbuckles.  We have designed the extension to be used with our hitches (can be used on others) and have found the extra cables or chains is not required.  The extension has a bend in it so that the end of the extension comes up 3”.  The extension will work up to the load ratings published.

 

888/521-0510

 

Thank you for contacting the Technical Group.

 

Cequent Performance Products

 

From: reesewebsite@reeseprod.com [mailto:reesewebsite@reeseprod.com]

 

So what does that mean!?



#16 Moses Ludel

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:06 PM

So, this means two things: 1) Reese is aware of liability and not overstepping its bounds by committing to something beyond its engineering, and 2) the comments suggest that you read the intended use of this hitch extension and its load rating within that intended use.

 

There is also a reference to a 3" curvature upward.  Does this imply that the extended ball mount repositions weight and requires a 3" rise to compensate?  Is this a "beam" extension that acts as additional torsion force when loaded?  Details should be available from Reese on how the extension works and its load capacities.

 

If the 3" rise indicates that additional force is necessary to compensate for the 24" extension, you can "reverse engineer" the system to determine the exact percentage of leverage created by the use of an extension.  You would need to know what Reese expects as normal drop of the ball height when the trailer is loaded with a regular (short) ball mount.  Then you would factor where the ball would set at 24" further from the truck.  My guess is that the arch upward in the extended ball mount helps compensate for the added drop and also for the leverage factor.

 

A 24" ball mount extension is like extending your truck's frame 24"—we'll use the rear axle centerline as a point of reference.  The rear axle spring perches and axle are our reference point for the load.  G.M. designed the factory platform hitch for a "normal" (i.e., shorter) receiver mount.  Visualize that the extended ball mount is like weighting the truck 24" beyond the factory receiver ball mount and ball position. 

 

This "frame extension" point for the ball apparently requires 3" of added ball height to place the ball at a normal height for the tongue load.  There is a rated load/weight for the platform hitch/receiver and a standard, short ball mount.  (That weight is given for either your Class IV or V hitch, whichever came with the truck.)  This load limit rating is typically given as both direct tongue weight (without a load equalizing hitch) and also the tongue weight limit when using a load distributing hitch assembly.  If the 24" extension is a flexing/torsion member like the bars on a load distributing hitch, then Reese has calculated a load rating for that entire hitch setup.

 

That's why I posed the earlier questions.  The extended ball mount changes the dynamics of the load on the truck's frame, springs and axles.  The load distributing hitch can compensate in terms of leveling the truck and trailer; however, the amount of adjusted force at the equalizing hitch changes with the extended ball mount.  Reese is aware of the 24" extension's limits and how the load gets transferred to your truck's frame and suspension with an equalizing/load distributing hitch.

 

Reese has likely calculated all of these factors and set a load limit for the extension ball mount, the trailer tongue weight and a limit on the overall trailer weight being distributed across the equalizing/load distributing hitch.  The representative is asking that you know the Reese ratings for the extended ball mount. 

 

I would also suggest that if you use the Reese extension, you also use the rest of the recommended Reese equipment.  The Reese tests, I'm sure, apply to Reese's load distributing hitches, the entire equalizing platform and use of the extension ball mount.

 

As for the added supports and upward pulling chains approach, Reese is obviously not fond of the idea.  (I also gave some reasons for not doing this.)  The chains pulling at that angle could interfere with the design intent of the curved extension.  Reese knows what components will work with its extension ball mount.

 

Moses



#17 joemac51

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:27 AM

Hi Moses, I think I've made a decision on what to do with my hitch and hitch extension concerns!

 

First - we had a fantastic 5 day Truck Camper Rally in Gettysburg, Pa. and I worked everyone I could find that was trailering behind their pickup and truck camper - (mostly motorcycles, scooters, supply trailers, etc). There were flat towed vehicles and one tow dolly. No open or closed deck car haulers at this rally - but plenty of folks who do haul cars on or in trailers and/or very heavy boats etc. The majority recommended the Torklift SuperHitch /SuperTruss extension set up. Only one person uses the Reese Titan on their factory hitch.

 

Looking at the Reese rating as indicated below and considering a 29 or 30 inch extension requirement for actual usage I would be very close to the 6000 lb Weight Distribution Rating of their extension! This honestly does not make me very confortable when considering I will be towing 6000 lbs or maybe more.  

 

Reese specs:

 

Reese Titan / Tow Beast Trailer Hitch Extension and Reducer

  • Designed to extend the receiver opening 24" or 34" away from the truck
  • For use with 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" trailer hitch receivers only
    • Extender reduces the receiver opening to 2" x 2" for use with standard ball mounts and accessories

Hitch Box Extension comes complete at 34" and is designed to be cut down to 24", depending on the application.

 

Titan Hitch Box Extension Extension Length Weight Carrying Rating (lbs) Weight Distribution Rating (lbs) 24" 6,000 8,000 34" 4,500 6,000

rp45292_spec.jpg
 

Now looking at the Torklift SuperTruss Extension ratings, which must be used with their SuperHitch.  Here are the specs:

 

SuperTruss Extensions

 

 

 

CAPACITIES

DEAD WEIGHT RATING

CAPACITIES
WEIGHT DISTRIBUTING (REQUIRED)

 

LENGTH

GTW(F1) / GVW(F2)

GTW(F1) /  GVW(F2)

 

 24"

750 / 7,500

1,400 / 14,000

 

 28"

750 / 7,500

1,200 / 12,000

 

 32"

650 / 6,500

1,200 / 12,000 

 

 

It looks to me like I will have to go with the Torklift SuperHitch and their SuperTruss Extension package! Safety is first priority, and even though I really do not want to swap out my hitch - the correct application for my usage and the higher ratings make it the safest way to go!

 

Thank you for all of your help. All the best, Joe Mac



#18 Moses Ludel

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:47 AM

Well, Joe Mac, very glad you did your homework here.  The Reese data confirms my concerns about extending from a stock platform hitch.  Their load rating figures are based upon the "physics" of extending the hitch/ball mount point.  I knew there had to be a drop in load limit or increased stress to the tow vehicle and the equalizing hitch assembly.

 

Apparently, the SuperTruss hitch platform takes the load distribution and "extended frame" issue into account.  So, without drilling down further into the engineering, you got the wise counsel you needed from end users.  Always valuable, this user information gave you peace of mind about your choice...and helps other members and guests reading this forum topic!

 

Be sure to post some photos of your Jeep TJ Rubicon and the new trailer, hitch and Chevy 2500 Duramax camper/truck at the new 'Tech and Travel' Forums Photo Gallery...Your travel photos would be enjoyed, too!

 

Best,

 

Moses





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