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Old 12-30-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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Reduce Tongue Weight?

We have a 2008 14.5 ft single axle Jayfeather Sport (we like the size and layout) and are concerned the tongue weight is too great for our 1999 8 cyl Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. We installed a load leveler/swaybar but the tongue still depresses the rear bumper approx 2 inches. We're getting approx 10mpg on a mix of western mountain roads and interstate highways - trails well. We want to reduce strain on the engine and are considering air shocks for the Jeep or trading in for a dual axle trailer. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:52 PM   #2
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I would suggest a visit to the CAT Scales. That will tell you what your weights are and how the total rig is balanced. Comparing the weights against the weight limits found on the sticker on the driver's door jamb will tell you if you are under/over weight. 10mpg sounds like an acceptable ballpark number to me.
The CAT Scale is your friend.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
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Read the attached link on How to Weigh Your TV/TT


https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f3...html#post24549
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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As RedHorse1 said, weigh your rig so you KNOW what you are dealing with.

Also, if you have a WDH (weight distribution hitch... not sure if this is your ' load leveler/swaybar'), it does need to be installed and adjusted properly. If your weights are OK, then it may be your WDH needs to re-adjusted.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:09 PM   #5
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Thanks much. We're new to the forum - impressed by the responses. Headed to the CAT scale.
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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Rear squat is normal even with a WD hitch. What you need to be concerned about is the weight on the front wheels, which in part, is what a WD hitch corrects. When you put the trailer on, the front end lifts taking weight off the front wheels, thereby reducing steering control. If you drive it that way you'll know right away it's different.

A properly adjusted WD hitch will push down the front end and restore steering control, but won't necessarily completely remove rear squat. My Sierra squats about 1.5" after the hitch is attached with the trailer. In fact every setup I've had the rear of the tow vehicle has squatted a bit.

Keep in mind that you are towing a box down the road. 10 mpg is average for towing a box down the road with a gas engine. I average 10 with my rig. Depending on tow vehicle and trailer people report anywhere from 8-12 mpg. To illustrate what is happening, hold up a 3x3 piece of plywood in front of you and run straight ahead. It's going to be a lot harder than without the wood. That's what your Jeep is dealing with only a lot larger frontal area than that.

That said when towing into the wind or up hills your Jeep's engine will often run at higher RPMs, but you probably aren't used to that. That will not hurt it. Keep in eye on the engine and transmission temps.

Niether air shocks nor dual axle will make any difference in the strain on your vehicle. In fact a dual axle trailer will be larger and heaver than what you have and will probably really strain it.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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Here is an interesting thought. My truck appears to not squat when hooked up. It is level. The lack of squat could be an optical illusion because without the trailer my truck has a higher rear end
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:00 AM   #8
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I agree with the dual axel comment because if you get a dual axle then more weight will be over the axles but the trailer will likely be heavier to begin with. And we also average about 10mph towing as well
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:12 AM   #9
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Could always install Firestone air bags to help bring the rear of the TV back up if the ' appearance' bothers you.. But going to the scale and fooling around with your WDH setup is the best option..
For my trucks front axle there is a 10lbs difference between towing and not towing my trailer. I went to a scale and adjusted my WDH to return my stock axle weight in the front as close as possible..
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamaddox View Post
Here is an interesting thought. My truck appears to not squat when hooked up. It is level. The lack of squat could be an optical illusion because without the trailer my truck has a higher rear end
Looks can be deceiving. That's why WD hitch setup instructions say to measure, front and rear, before and after hitching.

I recently raised the ball on my TV hitch and need to remeasure to see if my weight distribution bars are still set correctly. My TV and TT look OK and tow OK, but I'm not sure if I need to change the weight on the front axle.
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