A Caravan forum. Caravan Banter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » Caravan Banter forum » Caravan, Motor Homes and Camping Newsgroups » UK Caravanning
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Towball height



 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 2nd 11, 11:19 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
John B[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default Towball height

Please could anyone advise of a legal way to raise the height of my towball,
an Alko extended, about one inch.

I have a Xsara Picasso 1.6 hdi and have recently changed my van to a 2003
Swift Charisma 230. When hitched to the car it is sloping nose down which
prevents me seeing through the rear bathroom window. There is a clear rear
view when lifted on the jockey wheel about one inch, even though it is still
slightly nose down. The van tows perfectly stable with the present tow ball.

I have not been able to measure other Picasso towballs, but have measured
other colleagues towballs and these vary from my own 410mm to the top of the
ball, to over 460 on another vehicle.

I am aware that it is unfortunately not legal to use a drop plate the other
way round to raise the ball. Apart from a whole new towbar to my present
Witter, is there another way?

Thanks in anticipation,

John B



--- Posted via news://freenews.netfront.net/ - Complaints to ---
Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 3rd 11, 06:41 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Woody[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 146
Default Towball height

"John B" wrote in message
...
Please could anyone advise of a legal way to raise the height
of my towball, an Alko extended, about one inch.

I have a Xsara Picasso 1.6 hdi and have recently changed my van
to a 2003 Swift Charisma 230. When hitched to the car it is
sloping nose down which prevents me seeing through the rear
bathroom window. There is a clear rear view when lifted on the
jockey wheel about one inch, even though it is still slightly
nose down. The van tows perfectly stable with the present tow
ball.

I have not been able to measure other Picasso towballs, but
have measured other colleagues towballs and these vary from my
own 410mm to the top of the ball, to over 460 on another
vehicle.

I am aware that it is unfortunately not legal to use a drop
plate the other way round to raise the ball. Apart from a whole
new towbar to my present Witter, is there another way?




The towball centre should be between 350 and 420mm with the
towcar fully loaded - if your vehicle is in this range then all
is correct and you will just have to put up with it. I used to
have a Swift years ago and to be able to see through was a great
bonus but times change. I have to say it does concern me how many
vans these days seem to tow seriously nose down. We have a Bailey
towed with a 130bhp Octavia I Tdi and, correctly loaded, the
whole outfit should and sits level.

Now if your problem is that the ball drops too much when you
hitch up then there is another option which I also had to use. If
your car rear springs are open coils (i.e. not McPherson struts
with the shock absorber inside the spring) then you can get
assister springs. The common version is a Dutch made product
called Mad (or is it Madd?) and they used to sell for about 90 a
pair. I bought a UK made equivalent from Grayston Engineering in
the London area for about 20 less. I have to say they are the
best thing I ever bought. They lift the unloaded suspension by
about a half inch which improves the solo ride enormously but
when I hitch up the ball drops less than an inch and the towing
stability improvement is amazing. If you have a socket set they
take about 25mins per side to fit (inc jacking up and down)
although I admit my first attempt failed and the second attempt
took about 1.5 hours for the first spring and 20 mins for the
second! Wouldn't be without them now.

However one word of warning. They are not adviseable (or indeed
needed) for an estate car as the springs on those are much
heavier to start. Check up on the springs on your Picasso first
as, being designed to carry some load, it may already have
stronger springs fitted.



--
Woody

harrogate three at ntlworld dot com


  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 3rd 11, 07:15 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
David
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 594
Default Tow ball height



"Woody" wrote in message
...
"John B" wrote in message
...

The towball centre should be between 350 and 420mm with the towcar fully
loaded - if your vehicle is in this range then all is correct and you will
just have to put up with it. I used to have a Swift years ago and to be
able to see through was a great bonus but times change. I have to say it
does concern me how many vans these days seem to tow seriously nose down.
We have a Bailey towed with a 130bhp Octavia I Tdi and, correctly loaded,
the whole outfit should and sits level.

Now if your problem is that the ball drops too much when you hitch up then
there is another option which I also had to use. If your car rear springs
are open coils (i.e. not McPherson struts with the shock absorber inside
the spring) then you can get assister springs. The common version is a
Dutch made product called Mad (or is it Madd?) and they used to sell for
about 90 a pair. I bought a UK made equivalent from Grayston Engineering
in the London area for about 20 less. I have to say they are the best
thing I ever bought. They lift the unloaded suspension by about a half
inch which improves the solo ride enormously but when I hitch up the ball
drops less than an inch and the towing stability improvement is amazing.
If you have a socket set they take about 25mins per side to fit (inc
jacking up and down) although I admit my first attempt failed and the
second attempt took about 1.5 hours for the first spring and 20 mins for
the second! Wouldn't be without them now.

However one word of warning. They are not adviseable (or indeed needed)
for an estate car as the springs on those are much heavier to start. Check
up on the springs on your Picasso first as, being designed to carry some
load, it may already have stronger springs fitted.



I had a new Ford Estate and visited my main dealer he consulted Ford through
his computer and found the estate used the same rear spring as the car
version, and Ford had a heavy duty one that Ford recommended for towing.
A pair of these he fitted for me, they arrived from Ford overnight.
I suggest your main is consulted to see if any recommended modification for
your car.
Regards
David

 



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 06:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC6
Copyright 2004-2019 Caravan Banter.
The comments are property of their posters.