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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed the OEM tow package this weekend on our 2020 Ascent. You could have fooled me if you said that I'd need a TEN INCH drop hitch to level my utility trailer on a crossover SUV. But that's what it took for me. I'd have preferred a straighter hitch bar, that kept the ball closer to the car, but it's an 800-pound trailer that I use for hauling a cubic yard or two of mulch at a time, so it doesn't see significant weight in any case. Probably 2,700 pounds total with the heaviest of loads.

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The safety chains are barely long enough to reach up there!!

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Just a stupid question from a non-tower: What's more important - a level trailer or safety chains that are crossed?
 

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I'd have stopped at 6". I wouldn't be that worried about leveling a trailer that's probably not headed out on the interstate for great distances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a stupid question from a non-tower: What's more important - a level trailer or safety chains that are crossed?
I think both are important for different reasons. But one is certainly harder to achieve than the other!

Level trailer: a level trailer with proper weight distribution inside the trailer is more stable to pull than a trailer that's not level and/or one where weight is not distributed well. I think there's a rule of thumb where you want the center of mass slightly ahead of the trailer's axle. That is, you want both the trailer axle and the hitch to be bearing the load (but mostly the axle). If your center of mass is behind the rear axle, then you could actually have the trailer ball pulling upward on the vehicle's hitch, which is not a stable platform.

Crossed safety chains: I see a lot of people tow with chains that are not crossed. This is not ideal as the trailer tongue, if unhitched from the vehicle (and if the safety chains are long enough), could just fall straight down to the road surface. At best, you just damage the trailer and road surface superficially. At worst, your trailer's tongue catches something on the road (like a manhole cover or a raised bridge joint) and rips free from the vehicle. Crossed safety chains are like a safety harness that would catch the tongue if it came loose from the vehicle. It's still not a good situation, and your trailer would still probably come crashing into the back of your vehicle, but it at least should stay connected to your vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd have stopped at 6". I wouldn't be that worried about leveling a trailer that's probably not headed out on the interstate for great distances.
We do use it for moving furniture when called upon, usually to/from family in Pittsburg or in southwest Virginia (both a couple hundred miles away). The trailer pulls great at 70 mph. The large ramp on the back, though covered in wire mesh, still acts as a bit of a wind sail and keeps the trailer pulled tight against the hitch when traveling at speed. I've pulled it without the ramp before and it's much less stable that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This was moving day several years ago, when we moved from NC to VA. They just barely underestimated the size of truck to move us, so I just pulled the spoils in the Ridgeline and trailer. I planned on carrying the mowers anyway (gasoline), but didn't plan on some of the other stuff we needed carry ourselves unexpectedly! The Honda has 12 fully packed Rubbermaid totes in the back and the Acura carried the bikes and the rest of the fam (two kids, two cats, and a big dog).

We don't plan to move again for a while, but this trailer has come in handy in so many ways for us.

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Just a stupid question from a non-tower: What's more important - a level trailer or safety chains that are crossed?
It's also important to have a pin, bolt or something that goes through the hole in the trailer's latching mechanism to ensure that It doesn't come unlatched, even if it has some kind of built in catch that's supposed to keep it latched.

Years ago, some construction workers came flying down my road with a trailer overloaded with old shingles from a roofing job. The trailer had no safety chains or even a pin through the latch. They hit the rough spot a couple houses to the West and the trailer came unhitched. It sailed across the end of my neighbor's driveway, where a few minutes earlier their granddaughter was standing waiting for the school bus. It tore up my front yard until the tongue buried itself about a foot and a half under the sod.

That trailer was really stuck, craziness ensued and eventually I got some free landscape work done by their company.
 

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Wow...that's a really "low" trailer. My 5x8 utility trailer is just about right with a 6" drop, especially if I have say, my ZTR on it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow...that's a really "low" trailer. My 5x8 utility trailer is just about right with a 6" drop, especially if I have say, my ZTR on it.
Yes, it's just a wonderful little utility trailer. The load height is super low so it's very easy to load mowers, furniture, etc. And it's also easy to off-load mulch and dirt. Our Honda and Acura's hitch heights are about 16" from the floor, which requires just a moderate 2" drop hitch to get the right height for this trailer. The Ascent's hitch is fully 8" higher off the deck, making the 10" drop a perfect match for the trailer.

The front of the trailer is actually still up in the air an inch or two higher than truly level. It has a tongue height of about 12-13" when fully level, and it sits at about 14" or so with this 10" drop hitch. But that's about where I wanted it to ride to account for sag in the Ascent when loaded with either cargo or people and tongue weight.
 

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On our 2019, I tow a 5x10 enclosed trailer a lot with total weight of 2,500 lbs. I modified the tongue with side plates and now the hitch is about 5” above the bottom of the tube. The square tube frame is level and it tows well. Without the change, I’d sometimes drag the rear of the trailer on ramps.
 

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Here’s my 5x8 Loadrite utility trailer on the Subaru OEM 6” drop ball mount.
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The front of the trailer is actually still up in the air an inch or two higher than truly level. It has a tongue height of about 12-13" when fully level, and it sits at about 14" or so with this 10" drop hitch. But that's about where I wanted it to ride to account for sag in the Ascent when loaded with either cargo or people and tongue weight.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here’s my 5x8 Loadrite utility trailer on the Subaru OEM 6” drop ball mount.
The tongue of your trailer appears to be an extension forward of the frame around the floor. In other words, your tongue is at load floor height. If you notice mine, the tongue is below the load floor. The tubing from the A-frame tongue extends rearward and underlays the floor framing. So that accounts for at least two inches of height difference right there. It also looks like your floor frame sits up a little higher on the axle and springs than mine does.

So yeah, I can definitely see where the four inches comes from.
 

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Yes, that's correct...the tongue is close to deck height...actually about 2" lower because that's a tilt deck. Ball height is 18-19". I"m really glad I bought this trailer back in early 2006 after I bagged a pickup in favor of ans SUV when we adopted our daughters. Made local, completely galvanized and has a very decent load rating. My one regret was not buying the aluminum side panels "back in the day" as they were no longer available for this generation when I inquired awhile back and I needed "sides" for our moving activities. Aside from the sides, pardon the expression, I've upgraded the lighting system/harness to LEDs and plan on switching out the level ball latch for a nice Bulldog. I'm kinda due for tires, too...they are a bit old and with all the back and forth between two properties right now, I'm probably at risk in that respect, although they "look" ok.
 
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I've upgraded the lighting system/harness to LEDs
Just did the same to my POS harbor freight trailer from 1985, what a difference! Now I can actually see the lights when I test them. With the old filament lights I could barely tell they were on.
 
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