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when I weighed the combination all up I am around 160kg under on rear axle load with the 305mm hitch. Am getting one made at 175 mm and will then re weigh.
Sure - that's an indication of weight - but the problem is dynamic loads (when the car / caravan combo is moving). Imagine you are trying to undo a very large bolt with the largest socket you own and the bolt is stuck. If you then get a 1 metre piece of water pipe and place it over your socket handle, you will either easily free the bolt or with the extra leverage - break something. The extra length of the hitch amplifies the dynamic forces and makes everything more prone to damage / failure. Plus it will amplify the pitching of the vehicle when you hit a bump resulting in less control of the vehicle. It's complex and complicated.
 

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Raising the towball height that much is going to significantly increase the toads on the towbar mounts due to the greater moment/leverage of the towball load, and also affect weight transfer to both car axles.

Undoubtedly more complex and expensive, but a properly engineered dropping of the caravan hitch to suit the car's towball height will minimise the loads the van transfers to the car, which could be important if there are high shock loads, eg towing 3.2T offroad

If the van is built to comply with the Vehicle Standards Bulletin https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/i.../vehicle-design-regulation/rvs/bulletins/vsb1, the caravan coupling body should be compatible with a towball height from 350-460mm.
Im inclined to agree with Wolfy on this. A van with a hitch that high (over half a metre!) seems kind of unusual to me. You'll need one hell of a jockey wheel too!

Just a thought, but is the van loaded Matt? I had a mate with a 2019 Treg who had a height problem picking up his new van from the manufacturer, but the problem pretty much went away once he'd loaded all the usual gear into it, and disappeared with full water tanks. As I say, just a thought, as that height seems pretty, well, high...🤔
 

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MY16 R-Line V8 Black (7P) + MY21 R-Line V8 Black (CR)
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Sure - that's an indication of weight - but the problem is dynamic loads (when the car / caravan combo is moving). Imagine you are trying to undo a very large bolt with the largest socket you own and the bolt is stuck. If you then get a 1 metre piece of water pipe and place it over your socket handle, you will either easily free the bolt or with the extra leverage - break something. The extra length of the hitch amplifies the dynamic forces and makes everything more prone to damage / failure. Plus it will amplify the pitching of the vehicle when you hit a bump resulting in less control of the vehicle. It's complex and complicated.
If the Extension Bar is ADR approved then pivot issues will have been factored. Air Suspension and Dynamics Stability will suck it up, but yes they will work harder.
While the stock ones you can buy at Auto Accessorie stores like Repco etc., are not elegant they will do the job and be covered by insurance if ADR approved.

Tailgate clearance, and camera & sensor fields could be an issue.

Personally I don't understand the monster Caravan craze, most of the ones I see, only have 2 people. I've seen a few Caravan parks that now put in concrete pads with driveways on sites to mitigate them being ripped to shreds with all the dual axel vans. Once on the pad the 1st thing that goes on is air-conditioning - its all stretching the definition of camping.
 

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Hi help and advice needed.
In preparation for my caravan 3.2t with a hitch hight of 560mm and DO35 tow pin and my current tow ball hight is 400mm (2020 CR Premium)
It seems the problem is that with the new CR model, the towbar and subsequently the towball is not as high as it was with earlier models, (I'm familiar with 7L's).

I checked my records and I recorded a tow hitch height of 515mm on a steel sprung 2008 7L, I'm not sure if that was at the tongue or at mid ball, but you get my point.

It would be interesting if someone could post the hitch height for the earlier 7P for comparison purposes.

Might be worth your while to talk over your issue with these people...... https://www.ozglide.com.au/

TonyB
 

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The ball height on my 2015 model was 430mm, with the tongue on the 'low' side as supplied. My Launch model had the tongue fitted with the ball on the 'high' side and the height was 460mm. I have since inverted the tongue and the ball height is now 420mm.

Steve
 

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Agree seeing if I can get something made up
Matt, 'stop' your problem is not with the car but with the caravan, quite simply the hitch on the caravan is to high and in fact it is not compliant with current Australian Design rules. The rules are that the tow ball must be between 350mm and 460mm above the ground. You need to look at the van on level ground and determine what can be done to lower the hitch height. I'm a chassis builder and happy to offer some further guidance, if you want it. just send me a PM.
For the record the ball height has a direct impact on the vehicle towing capacity, if you stay within the manufacturers ball height limits then your ok at maximum weight but if you exceed the limits you are pushing the design limits beyond what it is rated at. Exactly how much you effect the tow capacity is anybody's guess and I can guarantee you VW Aus will not be any help.

If the Extension Bar is ADR approved then pivot issues will have been factored. Air Suspension and Dynamics Stability will suck it up, but yes they will work harder.
While the stock ones you can buy at Auto Accessorie stores like Repco etc., are not elegant they will do the job and be covered by insurance if ADR approved.
Sorry brickwalls no offence intended but that is simply not true. The only approvals these extensions carry is weight capacity, the ratings and subsequent approvals are of the actual devise only, the manufacturers are not stating that you can use them, just that if you do it will perform its indented duty within its own rated capacity, they are certainly not suggesting that fitting one to a vehicle will be legal, that responsibility rests with the owner.
 

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2019 Launch Edition. VW towbar. Falken 275/55 R20 117 tyres. WiTi wireless brake cont/hill descent.
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My caravan manufacturer (ZoneRV) mandated tongue heights of 490mm Laden and 530mm Unladen. They suggested The Mr Hitches tow tongue that I have installed. This now gives me 510mm at normal height. The measurement from pin to pin is 241mm. Caravan (20'6 OffRoad) figures Tare 2740kg, TBW 196kg. Very interested in your feedback.
Wayne

Tire Wheel Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle
Automotive tire Wheel Automotive lighting Tire Motor vehicle
Automotive tire Plant Tire Wheel Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Im inclined to agree with Wolfy on this. A van with a hitch that high (over half a metre!) seems kind of unusual to me. You'll need one hell of a jockey wheel too!

Just a thought, but is the van loaded Matt? I had a mate with a 2019 Treg who had a height problem picking up his new van from the manufacturer, but the problem pretty much went away once he'd loaded all the usual gear into it, and disappeared with full water tanks. As I say, just a thought, as that height seems pretty, well, high...🤔
Not sure what impact fully loaded will have on it yet as the van won’t be ready for delivery until next month. I just asked the van dealer what hight I had to have the tow ball at and was told 550mm and have checked with various other van makes and models of a similar size and they all sit around that hight. Let’s hope loaded it won’t me as much of an issue. Part of the reason why I selected this van as it had a low TBW for its size of 170kg tar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Matt, 'stop' your problem is not with the car but with the caravan, quite simply the hitch on the caravan is to high and in fact it is not compliant with current Australian Design rules. The rules are that the tow ball must be between 350mm and 460mm above the ground. You need to look at the van on level ground and determine what can be done to lower the hitch height. I'm a chassis builder and happy to offer some further guidance, if you want it. just send me a PM.
For the record the ball height has a direct impact on the vehicle towing capacity, if you stay within the manufacturers ball height limits then your ok at maximum weight but if you exceed the limits you are pushing the design limits beyond what it is rated at. Exactly how much you effect the tow capacity is anybody's guess and I can guarantee you VW Aus will not be any help.



Sorry brickwalls no offence intended but that is simply not true. The only approvals these extensions carry is weight capacity, the ratings and subsequent approvals are of the actual devise only, the manufacturers are not stating that you can use them, just that if you do it will perform its indented duty within its own rated capacity, they are certainly not suggesting that fitting one to a vehicle will be legal, that responsibility rests with the owner.
Thanks mate but those rules that apply to tow ball hight only effect those using a tow ball coupling. This van along with many other of its type use a DO35 which gives greater flexibility in hight due to its articulating range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
My caravan manufacturer (ZoneRV) mandated tongue heights of 490mm Laden and 530mm Unladen. They suggested The Mr Hitches tow tongue that I have installed. This now gives me 510mm at normal height. The measurement from pin to pin is 241mm. Caravan (20'6 OffRoad) figures Tare 2740kg, TBW 196kg. Very interested in your feedback.
Wayne

View attachment 246995 View attachment 246996 View attachment 246997
Pics look great mate. What mr hitches make and model is that ?? Also that’s the silver connector for on the right of your mount? Camera??
 

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Wayne, I've seen plenty of setups similar to yours where owners have had to use various aftermarket tow bar tongues to achieve a ball height that is compatible with their trailer, in fact I use one myself, the problem is while the trailer manufacturer may specify a recommended height, that does not then mean they are recommending that you modify the original equipment or use aftermarket products to achieve their recommendations. The original ADR's were designed around one piece 50mm tow balls with a maximum load capacity of 3.5t, since then we have seen various different hitches come onto the market, its not totally clear but the general consensus within the trade is that the ADR's governing tow ball heights is to cover the limited horizontal articulation that can be achieved when using a 50mm ball. In the last 20 years or so trailer manufacturers have taken advantage of 'off road' type hitches that offer considerably more articulation therefore the min / max tow ball height no longer applies. The problem with all this is that the ADR's have not kept pace with the industry and at some point a general correction will inevitably take place. Zone RV have given you a 'tongue' height and not referred to it as 'ball height' and the chassis is fitted with a DO35 off road hitch. This would suggest they also consider the ADR's to be specific to a 50mm ball.

In summary if your using an off road hitch and your van is level or preferably 'slightly' raked down at the front and you're within the weight limits of the original tow bar and tongue then you're generally considered to be legal. However if you have fitted an aftermarket tongue to gain height and you're on or near the maximum weight capacity of the vehicle then your most likely in a spot of bother if the worst happens... In your case Wayne you are well under the vehicle's tow capacity so as a Chassis Engineer I would give it the all clear, but ultimately the only people who can confirm your compliance within the vehicles tow capacity is VW Aus, but don't hold your breath getting any logic from them.
 

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Thanks mate but those rules that apply to tow ball hight only effect those using a tow ball coupling. This van along with many other of its type use a DO35 which gives greater flexibility in hight due to its articulating range.
Correct, I guess I was reading so much about tow balls in this thread that I assumed Wayne was using a ball.... until I saw the photos.
 

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2019 Launch Edition. VW towbar. Falken 275/55 R20 117 tyres. WiTi wireless brake cont/hill descent.
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Pics look great mate. What mr hitches make and model is that ?? Also that’s the silver connector for on the right of your mount? Camera??
Yep, silver connector Safety Dave dual camera for caravan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Yep, silver connector Safety Dave dual camera for caravan.
Thanks mate. You also get a little extra hight and ground clearance with those bigger tyres. 👍🏽
 

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2019 Launch Edition. VW towbar. Falken 275/55 R20 117 tyres. WiTi wireless brake cont/hill descent.
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Wayne,

In summary if your using an off road hitch and your van is level or preferably 'slightly' raked down at the front and you're within the weight limits of the original tow bar and tongue then you're generally considered to be legal. However if you have fitted an aftermarket tongue to gain height and you're on or near the maximum weight capacity of the vehicle then your most likely in a spot of bother if the worst happens... In your case Wayne you are well under the vehicle's tow capacity so as a Chassis Engineer I would give it the all clear, but ultimately the only people who can confirm your compliance within the vehicles tow capacity is VW Aus, but don't hold your breath getting any logic from them.
Thanks Paulie. That is encouraging feedback. I am a novice vanner, therefore I welcome informed feedback from folks such as yourself. Zone were pretty good when I questioned them about tongue/towbar suitability but didn’t give me a technical response that soothed my niggling concerns about the length of the tongue. I had the Treg in for a service and spoke with the Service supervisor about the set up and he was very positive. No misgivings. I tried a Hayman Reese adjustable tongue but found it extended about 300mm.
 
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