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Old 12-14-2015, 08:50 PM
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self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Just got a 2011 grand cherokee laradoe 3.6l with trailer package,equipment sheet lists self leveling shocks.My intended trailer will be approx. 4200 lbs and hitch at 475lbs.Do I still need to use a weight distribution hitch or are the shocks enough.I don't want to screw something up.I think that I should use the weight distribution hitch also as i may want to include an anti sway feature also.There is also some trailer sway feature in the jeep features supposedly.I have RV'd for many years but always with a truck and none of these features.

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Old 12-14-2015, 09:47 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

My trailer is about 4200lbs loaded and I use a WDH. I haven't tried it without but I can tell you that with it I cannot feel the trailer swaying. I crossed Montana last summer towing my trailer in a 40 mph cross wind and I didn't know it was that windy until I stepped out of the Jeep.
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:51 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Self leveling shocks are no substitute for a WDH.
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Old 12-14-2015, 10:53 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by volvite View Post
Self leveling shocks are no substitute for a WDH.

Any reason why? Just curious. I thought the WDH was when the angle of the vehicle and trailer change, the hitch would adjust the weight accordingly. Since the self level shocks keep the level the same. Just askin cause I am far from any kind of expert. Thanks
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:02 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

A WDH helps distribute the weight of the towed trailer to the front wheels of the tow vehicle. The self level shocks only help adjust the height of the tow vehicle but does not distribute the weight of the towed vehicle.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:36 AM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

The weight distribution is what I thought was the important factor of hitching up correctly,but wondered about any negative results to the shocks by almost impeding their intended function.By the sounds of some posts I sure don't want to create a replacement of shocks,costly and a big problem!!!Thank you very much guys for the early replies and it is nice not to have to weed through a bunch of immature attitudes and language.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:36 AM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

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Originally Posted by volvite View Post
A WDH helps distribute the weight of the towed trailer to the front wheels of the tow vehicle. The self level shocks only help adjust the height of the tow vehicle but does not distribute the weight of the towed vehicle.
Yes, but how does a WDH do that? The traditional setup with spring bars just force the coupling at the ball to a set height which raises the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems like the side-effect of that is transferring some of the hitch weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and some to the axles on the trailer.

Does it matter how the rear end of the Jeep is raised?
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:07 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

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Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
Yes, but how does a WDH do that? The traditional setup with spring bars just force the coupling at the ball to a set height which raises the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems like the side-effect of that is transferring some of the hitch weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and some to the axles on the trailer.

Does it matter how the rear end of the Jeep is raised?
Without the spring bars, all the self-leveling will do is raise the hitch point so the truck is level. The tongue weight on my trailer without the WDH engaged is about 650lbs. With the WDH it is about 500lbs.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:53 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
Yes, but how does a WDH do that? The traditional setup with spring bars just force the coupling at the ball to a set height which raises the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems like the side-effect of that is transferring some of the hitch weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and some to the axles on the trailer.

Does it matter how the rear end of the Jeep is raised?
Another way to think about it: You could weld a steel bar across each of your rear shock absorbers, which would keep the rear of the tow vehicle at about the same height regardless of tongue weight. As you apply more and more tongue weight, though, you'd see the front end of the vehicle raising, and if you could apply enough tongue weight the front wheels would come off the ground..

If you don't have a WDH, the tongue weight makes the tow vehicle's front end light - often enough to make steering challenging..
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:14 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
Yes, but how does a WDH do that? The traditional setup with spring bars just force the coupling at the ball to a set height which raises the rear of the tow vehicle and it seems like the side-effect of that is transferring some of the hitch weight to the front wheels of the tow vehicle and some to the axles on the trailer.

Does it matter how the rear end of the Jeep is raised?
Took this right off the internet.

"When you're towing a trailer with a standard rear-mounted hitch, your trailer's tongue weight is transferred to the rear axle of your tow vehicle. As a result, the back end of the vehicle may be forced lower and the front end raised. If this happens, your vehicle's rear axle will bear the weight of not only the trailer, but much of your tow vehicle's weight as well. Less weight on the front axle of your vehicle can cause diminished performance in terms of steering, traction and stopping power. It can also increase trailer sway. And your view of the road may be limited due to the awkward angle.

Weight-distribution systems use spring bars to help combat the problems that often occur with standard hitch systems. Adding spring bars to your towing setup applies leverage to either side of your system, which transfers the load that is pushing down on the rear of your vehicle to all of the axles on both your tow vehicle and your trailer. This even distribution of weight results in a smooth, level ride, as well as the ability to tow at the maximum capacity of your hitch."

Hope that helps. You can tow either way but once you tow with a WDH you won't go back on heavy loads.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:55 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by volvite View Post
A WDH helps distribute the weight of the towed trailer to the front wheels of the tow vehicle. The self level shocks only help adjust the height of the tow vehicle but does not distribute the weight of the towed vehicle.
This..........

When your tongue weight goes north of 350 lbs to a max of 720 lbs...you'll still feel the front end getting lighter and lighter, but the JGC will still appear to be "level". WDH takes care of that and is required by Jeep for loads over 3500. (unless the trailer is incompatible with a WDH...most WDH cannot be used with inertial braking (surge) systems) WDH also helps a lot with trailer stabilization, too. Totally worth the investment.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:14 PM
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Re: self leveling shocks vs weight distribution hitch

I use a WDH when towing our travel trailer and just assumed it should still be used with our load-leveling system. I just don't see how there is much difference in how they transfer weight to the front wheels.
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