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Friday, 11 Sep 2009

We should all be measuring and setting up caravan towing heights

Gary Gardiner  of  Hayman Reese lines up tow ball
Gary Gardiner of Hayman
Reese lines up tow ball


This Information Article is in response to a Travel and Towing Tips Forum comment made by GoSee GoSeer Adrian 82 who has a Ford Territory with a standard 1600kg tow bar. He says a new Jayco Expanda is now behind the Territory and when attached,the front of the caravan was higher at the front than rear even without the towing Weight Distribution Hitch gear fitted.

Here from the GoSee Travel n Towing Tips Forum is what Adrian 82 has to say about the experience that followed:

"Fitting the WDH would have lifted the rear of the vehicle back to level but reduced the clearance at the back of the caravan even further. We also have a V6 Courier with a 1800kg Hayman Reese towbar with a square receiver (but not the adjustable height unit)".

"When I put the caravan on the Courier it sat dead level so I got the tape measure and checked the heights of the bars and to my astonishment the Territory is 3 inches higher (even though the Courier has a greater ride height)".

"The solution was to get a local Hayman Reeses outlet-trailer manufacturer to make a new tongue with a 3 inch drop - Cost $80".

"The caravan and Territory now sit level with the Weight Distribution Hitch fitted. Obviously anyone who needs a heavy duty tow bar 'should' get the adjustable height receiver which solves the problem, but for those of us who dont need a heavy duty tow bar and can get by with the standard tow bar the height of the vehicle Vs the van draw bar height should be checked. Its something I hadnt considered prior to picking up the van".

Here is what GoSee had to say - Hello Adrian 82. Right on. So glad you checked. It saves a lot of scrapping stabilisers and bad handling. We should all be carefully measuring and setting up our towing heights.
Gary Gardiner of Hayman Reese sets towball cam angle
Gary Gardiner of Hayman Reese sets towball cam angle


Hayman Reese does the set-up on the GoSee caravans and towing gear. They are a Jayco Sterling 23 and 16.52 Discovery pop-top. 

We tow the Discovery with three diesels a Holden Captiva auto, a Rodeo manual and the GoSee Retro Toyota HJ60 Sahara. 

GoSee uses a TD Toyota 100 Series auto Sahara to tow the Jayco Sterling. The Captiva, Rodeo and auto Sahara are all fitted with individually tuned DPChips.

The Retro Toyota Sahara is custom modified with turbo, manifold and exhaust system. It also has a reworked ARB suspension. All GoSee tow vehicles use Hayman Reese towing equipment tailored to each towing task and vehicle. All our towbars are rated for heavy duty work .

The Hayman Reese set-up method is-

On a flat level surface measure from the ground to the bottom front and back edges of the caravan. With the caravan correctly on the towball the heights should be the same.

During set-up the towball height from the ground is measured too as the towing gear is adjusted to get the caravan dead level. The actual WDH adjustment result on the tow vehicle is also measured. 

Editors Note: Hayman Reese says - Towbars manufactured by Hayman Reese are designed to meet certain Australian design rules regarding ball height from the ground.
 
When Hayman Reese designs a towbar or hitch receiver Hayman Reese  is required to have the centre of the towball at a measurement between 350mm and 460mm when the “factory standard unmodified vehicle” is fully laden. 

Once Hayman Reese has achieved that height with one of its designed lugs, it is only then that Hayman Reese tests the towbar on the vehicle with that specific lug.

Changing of this lug may change the loads and forces applied to the vehicle or the towbar from the trailer during towing, and as Hayman Reese don’t test any alternative height lugs on that specific towbar during the design or development of the towbar Hayman Reese  is unable to say what affect, if any, using a different height lug may have on the towbar or the vehicle.

Here is a sequence of related Information Articles plus pictures with Gary Gardiner using the GoSee Jayco Discovery pop-top as a training session for Hayman Reese personnel: GoSee also believes that buyers have the right to be fully informed of any limitations to the towing abilities of a vehicle before they purchase.

We recommend that the first Also See Info Article below be digested. It shows from the variations in the before and after application of a Weight Distribution Hitch that weight is transferred through the rig which gives the front wheels in particular a much better towing profile.

  Also See -

As some carmakers fall short on full and frank towing information we add a GoSee TravelSmart Club Towing Weight Guide

WDH and SLS debate rages but it is a myth that WDH is not required when towing

Before you tow have you done everything you could to protect you, yours and other road users?

Hayman Reese bundles towing kit to keep caravanning safety on track

Coromal Compac and tandem Excel as they put easy towing freedom into caravan outdoor lifestyle

Hook up and tow

Caravan towing mirror blues

Start from scratch and find the caravan most like your dreams

On this web site there is no such thing as a dumb question when newcomers need help

Big Rig Rod puts in with truckie tips for safer roads

GoSeeNewZealand looks at how to hit the road with your caravan in top shape

Give your holiday caravan extra grunt with a second battery to cope with modern demands

GoSeeAustralia Christmas wish is the gift of RV safety to those you love

We tackle Toyota Flagship's Active Height Control limitations

GoSeeAustralia adds battery power to our Out There Heritage

Notes from the Coal Face on fitting and managing battery and solar power

Sail your caravan through the Nullarbor winds

Go for the anchors with confidence

Learn to live with your camper trailer

To Cape Otway by Dove

Learn to live with your camper trailer

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Email: garth@contact.com.au
Discovery front HR WDH set-up measurement 410mm from ground
Discovery front HR WDH set-up measurement 410mm from ground
Discovery rear  HR WDH set-up measurements 410mm from ground
Discovery rear HR WDH set-up measurements 410mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up ball head 410mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up ball head 410mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up has height and ball angle  options
Discovery HR WDH set-up has height and ball angle options
Hayman Reese Technical Advisor Gary Gardiner sets up GoSee tow
Hayman Reese Technical Advisor Gary Gardiner sets up GoSee tow
Discovery HR WDH set-up Not too tight 5  links on torsion hook.
Discovery HR WDH set-up Not too tight 5 links on torsion hook.
Discovery HR WDH set-up Torsion bar on five links with 200mm to ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up Torsion bar on five links with 200mm to ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up measurement HJ60 rear guard 870mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up measurement HJ60 rear guard 870mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up measurements  HJ 60 front guard 870mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH set-up measurements HJ 60 front guard 870mm from ground
Discovery HR WDH off 875mm
Discovery HR WDH off 875mm
Discovery HR WDH set-up Jayco  and GoSee HJ60 dead level
Discovery HR WDH set-up Jayco and GoSee HJ60 dead level
Note truck  and  caravan track difference and allow for it near trees and  kerbs
Note truck and caravan track difference and allow for it near trees and kerbs


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