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Old 02-16-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Towing a New SKYLARK Trailer witha Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you have a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with the full featured Four Wheel Drive system and you tow a new Skylark trailer, you may find that the nose of the trailer sits extremely high and the rear skids will only be a couple of inches off the ground. I bought the Reese hitch # 66155 with the anti sway bars that set on a shelf. All of this was recommended by Jayco.
After buying a new, longer hitch component to help bring the trailer coupler down to more level towing, I will still have to have a portion of the hitch extension cut off to keep from it dragging the ground in a mild dip. I ended up at a place called Critical RV Repair in Lancaster, CA. To keep from overloading the trailer frame and pushing the back of the Jeep even higher with the hitch I have, they are goine to have to install lifts to raise the trailer about 3 inches and lower the trailer tongue about 2 inches. I'm up to $1500 in modifications and haven't even gotten to use the trailer yet. This is just a note to anyone considering a Skylark trailer. The trailer is great but beware of what your going to tow it with.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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Wow, this is the first time I have ever heard of this problem, especially with the Grand Cherokee. Is it possible for you to post a pic of your TV/TT combination hitched up, with a couple of close-up pics of your hitch?

All the Jayco Skylarks have a GVWR of 3,500lbs, and I'm surprised that Jayco would recommend the Reese #66155 for the Skylark because it's a 1,200lb rated trunnion style spring bar WDH, tremendous overkill IMO. Also, I would think the 1,200lb rating would exceed the Skylark's frame specifications (I could be mistaken). This model of Reese WDH is more commonly used with the heavier Jay Flights and Eagles.

With a GVWR of 3,500lbs, and a manufacture recommend 10% to 15% loaded tongue weight, even at the GVWR (worst case) this equals a 350lb to 525lb tongue weight range. With this loaded tongue weight range a 600lb rated WDH would be ideal. Even a 800lb rated WDH would be more than enough.

It is very possible that the 1,200lb rated WDH isn't allowing you to get a proper weight distribution adjustment and creating an issue with the rear of the Grand Cherokee.

Just thinking out load here....., but you also have my interest peaked on this subject.

Bob

on edit: Please refer to this thread; https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...=skylark+reese
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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Also if the nose is sitting very high as you describe it could lead to sway issues. Trailer should be level or slightly nose down, not nose high.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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Here are several photos of the trailer behind my Jeep GC. Again, I can only say nice things about the trailer and the Jeep GC has been great, but the combination of the two are just not compatible without some pretty expensive modifications.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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Towing a Skylark Trailer with a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

I have to amend my comments about the trailer hitch I have on my Jeep GC. It is not a 66155 hitch, its a 66151. I don't know why I put the 55 in there. The 66151 is the trailer hitch recommended to me by the Jayco company and its very easy to hook up. Regardless, the trailer still is not riding correctly.

I'm supposed to pick up my rig next week and will post some photos of the unit that will be raised 3 inches at the axel and the coupler will be lower by 2 inches. Its just the cost of the modification that is irritating.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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Wow, no doubt about it, nose is too high. If I understand your first post correctly the hitch shank drags the ground when going over a dip, as well as the skids on the back of the trailer? The hitch seems to be up too high to drag the ground as it is in the picture, or have you cut it off already as you suggested doing.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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The current hitch on my Jeep does not drag on the ground, but the Reese tech told me to get a replacement stinger that has a 12 inch drop and replace the one currently on my Jeep GC. When I got it in the mail and tried it in the receiver, it was just about 5 inches off the ground. Thats the reason that the RV place that is installing the lift kit for the trailer is going to use the stinger I got in the mail but cut off about 4 inches after they make sure the ball hitch assembly is in the right place.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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I see. No fun when you fix one problem ant it creates another!
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008jeep View Post
snip..... When I got it in the mail and tried it in the receiver, it was just about 5 inches off the ground. Thats the reason that the RV place that is installing the lift kit for the trailer ......snip
2008jeep,

Thanks for posting the pics (very helpful), and appreciate the clarification on the Reese hitch model number.

I'm still amazed of what you are having to go through in-order to set-up the WDH with your specific TV/TT combination.

Just a couple of questions/comments:

A) When you tried the 12" drop stinger you mentioned it gave you only 5"
ground clearance, was the ball mount attached and was the TT hitched/leveled?

B) If answer to (A) was yes, was there the ability to cut of some of the
stinger (below the ball mount) and gain ground clearance?

C) If you have the Quadra-Lift® Air Suspension system, did you have the
system activated, or turned off when you were adjusting the WDH? I
believe some manufactures recommend having it turned off, but either
way this may be a moot point with your issue.

What's interesting is Jayco recommends this particular Reese model WDH on the Skylark models (which seems appropriate)..., and under proper WDH adjustment the TT should tow level. Now, with the TT level, the TT ball coupler will be at specific height from the ground that will in turn dictate the setup height of the standard Reese ball mount. The ground clearance below the ball mount (assuming the stinger end is flush, or cut flush) will be the same irregardless of the TV being used.... or am I overlooking something here???

I guess my point is I don't think this is just a Grand Cherokee issue, and wonder why it hasn't been brought up before? The fact that Jayco made the WDH recommendation, I wonder if they know what the expected ground clearance would be under the ball mount?

Still noodling over this one .

Thanks in advance.

Bob
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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2008jeep!
Sorry to hear about your hitch set up. I'm shocked that Jayco even recommended the weight distribution hitch. I have a 2011 Skylark that I pull with a Honda Pilot. When I was looking for my hitch set up, the reco was to use a 2" drop ball and a sway bar. When I purchased my trailer the wasn't a weight distribution hitch available for the V-front. It would be easier and much less expensive to switch to a sway bar system versus installing lifts and changing the tongue. I have had no trouble hauling the Skylark with this set up. It seems that your Jeep would even perform better than my Pilot.
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