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Old 03-18-2014, 06:41 AM   #41
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Agreed, you do not want to tow with the trailer high, level or even a little low is better. Get yourself an adjustable one from Etrailer.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:45 AM   #42
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Yes, a longer mount means more load (weight) pulled off of the front axle, and onto the rear. To keep this in perspective, the lever arm of the ball (from tug rear axle to ball) is about four feet or so with typical tugs (a bit shorter with some SUVs such as the FJ Cruiser, a bit longer with some big trucks and vans), so a two-inch change is only a few percent.

The longer lever arm of the longer ball mount (or longer vehicle overhang, if comparing vehicles) means that any instability in the tug (hunting left and right) causes more wiggle in the trailer, and any wiggle in the trailer has more effect on the tug. If the tug's rear axle is near its capacity, or the springs and shocks of that rear axle are less stiff than ideal for the load, the longer lever arm makes that limitation of the tug worse.

You might not feel any difference. You hopefully won't have instability in either case and if so you won't realize that it sets in at a bit lower speed. I don't have any extra length in a ball mount to experiment (and I'm certainly not extending one just to try it), but a member of another forum said he distinctly noticed an improvement from this small change with a Scamp 16' and a full-size light-duty pickup truck... but Your Mileage May Vary.


Thanks for your view Brian and to digress more, Oliver offers a 12" extendable tongue that effectively lowers the tongue weight on the tow vehicle. In that scenario is the weight off the rear or front or both?
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dglasrud View Post
Reace told me I would need a ball height of 20 to 21 inches,but the closest ball mount I can find comes in at around 18inches.
Despite the indications of some previous posts and linked material, the industry standard for "ball height" refers to the top of the ball (that's where the trailer and ball meet). Since a typical 2" diameter ball is almost 3" tall (from its base on the mount to the top of the ball), the specified range of 20 to 21 inches should correspond to a ball mount surface height of about 18".

So, for instance, if the top of your receiver opening is 20" off the ground, and you use a mount with a 2" drop, the ball mount surface will be 18" off the ground. Place a typical ball on that, and your top-of-ball height will likely be just under 21", and a little lower once the trailer tongue weight pushes down on the truck.

You might want to confirm what Reace meant by that dimension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dglasrud View Post
If I reverse the ball mount, I would be over the 21 inches by a few inches. Will this height discrepancy make a noticeable difference to the towing of the trailer?
...
Would the lower mount be better than reversing the ball mount?
With a single-axle trailer, having the ball a little low is better for stability than having it too high. The difference in stability can be substantial.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:27 PM   #44
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For a good description of measuring ball height and choosing a ball mount rise/drop, I suggest page 9 of the 2014 Application Guide and Technical Catalog from Reese (Cequent).
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:19 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Oliver offers a 12" extendable tongue that effectively lowers the tongue weight on the tow vehicle. In that scenario is the weight off the rear or front or both?
The reduction in tongue weight means less load on the tug, as well as less transfer from the tug's front axle to the rear.

For example, if you have a tug with 10-foot wheelbase and 4-foot overhang from axle to ball, then put 300 pounds on hitch weight on the ball:
  • transfer from front axle to rear: 4/10 of 300 lb = 120 lb (that's 120 lb less on the front axle than without the trailer)
  • load added to tug: 300 lb
  • increase in rear axle load: 300 lb + 120 lb = 420 lb

Now extend the trailer tongue which lowers the tongue weight to maybe 280 pounds (changing the coupler-to-axle distance by only a foot isn't a big change):
  • transfer from front axle to rear: 4/10 of 280 lb = 112 lb (that's 112 lb less on the front axle than without the trailer)
  • load added to tug: 280 lb
  • increase in rear axle load: 280 lb + 112 lb = 392 lb

So the extended-tongue setup in this example has 28 pounds less on the tug's rear axle and 8 pounds more on the tug's front axle that the retracted-tongue setup.
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