Using a Weight Distribution Hitch on a Grand Cherokee with load levelling suspension - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-02-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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Using a Weight Distribution Hitch on a Grand Cherokee with load levelling suspension

We recently bought a second hand 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the V8 and with the factory tow package. The tow package includes a load levelling suspension and anti sway control.

Doing a bit of online research, it appears that when you load up the rear or attach a trailer the vehicle may sit lower than normal. Once you begin driving, the normal undulation of the road enables the shocks to automatically pump themselves up to the normal ride height.

We ordered an Escape 19 with the Anderson hitch. We pick up the trailer and get our orientation in May. A couple of questions:
1. With this tow vehicle, is a weight distribution hitch a good idea?
2. If it is a good idea, when Dennis sets up the Anderson hitch at ETI, are there unique procedures for this vehicle?

Dave Whiting
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:28 PM   #2
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You will disable the leveling system for the initial set up of your hitch.
Once the sag is accounted for in the Anderson tension adjustment you can turn it back on.
The Anderson manual is in the "Files" section.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:30 PM   #3
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G cherokee with WDH

I have been towing with the same vehicle 75000 miles total and have ignored the info about the self leveling. I do use the Andersen WDH and I really do like the combination on the 19 and now on the 21. I believe the leveling has to do with the shocks and I believe it all settles out. With the Andersen I do occasionally adjust the chains based on what I feel while driving, one more turn or less helps depending on water and other items we bring.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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Thanks Jack. Your info is always helpful.

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Old 03-03-2015, 11:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Whiting View Post
Doing a bit of online research, it appears that when you load up the rear or attach a trailer the vehicle may sit lower than normal. Once you begin driving, the normal undulation of the road enables the shocks to automatically pump themselves up to the normal ride height.
That sounds like the Sachs Nivomat design which has been offered since the 2011 model; the self-leveling action is entirely within the shock absorbers, and yes it does require those road bumps to work.

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Originally Posted by Dave Whiting View Post
2. If it is a good idea, when Dennis sets up the Anderson hitch at ETI, are there unique procedures for this vehicle?
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Originally Posted by paulw View Post
You will disable the leveling system for the initial set up of your hitch.
Once the sag is accounted for in the Anderson tension adjustment you can turn it back on.
The only reason to disable a leveling system is that you are using suspension height as an indication of axle load to adjust the WD system. Because the Nivomat design doesn't do anything until you drive, there's nothing to turn off and it will make no difference to the adjustment process as long as you do it without driving around between steps.

I would check the end result of WD adjustment by taking the rig over a scale, and that would be especially useful with self-leveling.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:39 PM   #6
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Thanks Brian
Yes, there is no switch to turn the self levelling system on or off. Self levelling will occur (if at all) once I am on the road with the WDH already "working its magic". It would certainly be prudent to take the TV and trailer over a scale and get three sets of readings for the front and rear axels of the TV: trailer attached but without WDH connected, trailer immediately after the WDH connected, and trailer with the WDH connected and driving a few kms.

A productive way to spend a Sunday afternoon when the highway scale is closed but the scale still works.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:52 PM   #7
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It would certainly be prudent to take the TV and trailer over a scale and get three sets of readings for the front and rear axels of the TV: trailer attached but without WDH connected, trailer immediately after the WDH connected, and trailer with the WDH connected and driving a few kms.
I agree, and I would appreciate a chance to see the results. I would add one more pass: tow vehicle alone.

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A productive way to spend a Sunday afternoon when the highway scale is closed but the scale still works.
That's my scale source, too, although it's just been a sidetrack on a trip for us since the first hookup of the trailer.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:56 PM   #8
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Good idea Brian to take 4 sets of readings. We pick up our Escape 19 in early May and will make the measurements after that and share them then.

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Old 03-04-2015, 06:43 AM   #9
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Hi Dave,
We have a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the tow package and the equalizer WDH. I have wondered if the WDH is necessary and look forward to your results.
Maureen
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #10
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Dave-
The Jeep manual requires use of a weight distribution hitch if your trailer is over 3500 pounds. Of course, it doesn't specify which one.
We have a 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit Eco-Diesel and will be looking forward to hearing your experience with the setup procedure. We pick up our 21 on June
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