Trailer hitch height

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Old 10-28-17, 06:13 AM
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Trailer hitch height

Finally had an opportunity to tow my trailer and UTV with the new car. It was suggested that hitch be slightly on the high side. So as not to have to buy another drawbar, my old one seems to be slightly higher than ideal. I did in fact make the tow and everything went fine.

My question...Do you think I'm too high or will this be OK? Note, although the road looks like it's sloped, at this particular part it's level. With the UTV loaded the trailer is still pitched up slightly.

 
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Old 10-28-17, 06:29 AM
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You'll have to load the trailer heavier on the front than the back to avoid tail lash whipping. That will bring the front down a little. A trailer with the axle centered like that one is can be prone to whipping so watch the weight distribution on the trailer.
 
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Old 10-28-17, 06:38 AM
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Draw Bar

Buy a drop-down draw bar. The front of the trailer needs to be lower than the rear. In a sudden stop situation, the configuration you have now takes weight off the rear wheels of the tow vehicle and can cause a jack knife.
 
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Old 10-28-17, 08:22 AM
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It looks to me like the trailer is higher in the front than I would have it, but also looks like it's on a bit of a slope, so the first thing I would do is find a level surface to park on. I bought a new truck a month or so ago, so just went through this with my three trailers, but have a gravel driveway, so used the new apron at the township office because it was closest and no traffic to deal with after hours. But any parking lot works fine if you don't have a spot of your own. I just eyeballed an area to start with, then spot checked it with a 4' level. From there you can do as some suggest, which is to simply unhook and level the trailer, measure the hitch height on the vehicle and the coupler height on the trailer, and compare the two to determine the amount of drop (or rise) you need. But you also have to keep in mind that the tongue has weight, which may or may not affect the height of the tow vehicle, and I don't really care how high either of them is when not connected, so prefer to figure it with the trailer hooked to the vehicle. And, in a case like yours, where I think anyway the primary use of the trailer is for the ATV (if my memory from previous posts is correct), I probably would do this with the ATV on the trailer. If you tie it down centered over the axle it will probably have minimal affect, but if you load it to the front it could be measurable with a lighter tow vehicle. Anyway, once you have everything on a level surface, you can use a 4' level on the bed or a tape measure from the ground at the front and rear of the trailer to see how much pitch it has and determine how much you need to compensate. Ball mounts often come in 1" increments, so you may not get it perfect, but, again, based on the picture, it looks like you should correct it. In the end, my preference is to have the trailer level or slightly high in the front, while Wirepuller's preference is slightly lower in the front, so you will find varying opinions, but the key is to shoot for level.
 
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Old 10-28-17, 02:18 PM
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The UTV is in fact always loaded to the front, forward of the axle. So the majority of weight is at the front end. As stated the picture makes it look like the road is crowned, but in fact is level at that particular spot even though it is slightly inclined towards the front. When loaded the trailer is still slightly pitched up.

However, when the next occasion arises I will remeasure and use a level road to re-evaluate the pitch. I was hoping to continue to use the existing draw bar. But it seems the consensus is to try and make it more level.
 
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Old 10-28-17, 02:46 PM
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I won't comment on the height since the picture might be misleading. To me it looks like you are fine.
I have a Big Tex utility trailer, the wheels/axle are similar to yours and my trailer rides straight as an arrow. I trust it, the wheels and tires are better than most.

You don't need a level, just eyeball it and if you think the tongue needs dropped, it probably does. Plus you will look cooler
That's a pretty nice set up, another $30 won't kill you.
 
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Old 10-29-17, 05:16 AM
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I personally do not think being as tilted as yours is would be a safety problem.
But, other than looking plainly wrong you could plow some dirt or road if you ever back up on uneven ground.
 
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Old 10-29-17, 08:59 AM
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That's a pretty nice set up, another $30 won't kill you.
True enough! Sometime my cheapside shows through!

you could plow some dirt or road if you ever back up on uneven ground.
Good point! It will be heeded.

But at least for now I don't think I have a safety issue as long as I drive cautiously and don't speed.
 
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Old 10-29-17, 09:41 AM
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Not even hinting that you're anywhere near this scenario, because you're not, and, as mentioned, are probably good whether you get a new ball mount or not, but reminded me of something a buddy told me about a couple of years ago.They were coming down I-75 from up north when a pickup pulling an empty snowmobile trailer flew past them at a very high rate of speed. The pickup was jacked up high, which I assume allowed a lot of air to pass under it, and the guy apparently had not compensated for the lift in his hitch because the trailer was at an excessive angle, high in the front obviously. My buddy said the truck got past them just far enough that they were not in danger, but still close enough that they could clearly see the trailer catch wind and lift off the ground, whipping the truck into a spin that dumped it in the ditch. Nobody hurt, but had to have been a heck of a ride.
 
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Old 10-30-17, 04:04 AM
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Looks too high to me, in particular since the wheel on the trailer seems to be centered. Should ride even/flat.

The hitch on our '04 Sienna is limited to Class 1 (1 1/4") and 3500 lbs, so I don't have this, but it looks good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Fb37_rR6c
 
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