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Subject Topic: towbar height too low
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Message posted by backyardigan on 01/1/2012 at 6:26pm
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Hello everyone and a happy new year to you all. Just before we get started for the new season we decided to do some checks with car and caravan. We only changed our car before xmas and have now got a hyundai tuscon 2.0. To our shock when we hitched up today for a practice run we noticed the towbar is very low and we think we need another attachment to the towbar but what do we need. good job it was a check over as other half not comfy towing so low. Any advice please help. many regards .linda.


Message posted by Greendemon315 on 01/1/2012 at 6:45pm
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That's very unusual. You can't use a drop plate upside down. In fact there are only a few circumstances where you can use one the right way up.
This means there isn't any way to raise the ball height. Are you sure there is only one height setting on the towbar?
The only other thing I can think of is that the suspension has sagged.
What is the height of the ball?


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Message posted by backyardigan on 01/1/2012 at 7:18pm
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                   Hi jim towball  is 15 inches from ground but when caravan hitched on it looks too low.sorry for sounding clueless but last car never had this problem and towed van much higher.can i change towball to swan neck. thanks linda

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Message posted by Opensauce on 01/1/2012 at 7:36pm
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Towball height should be between 35-42cm vehicle laden so at 15"=38cm you are within tolerance. How nose down does the caravan tow, a bit won't matter. What is noseweight of caravan? Limit for that car is 75kg I think so if you are well over that you need to reduce it.

Changing towbar may not alter height & if you want to go from flange type to swan neck you will probably need to change complete towbar.

Message posted by Greendemon315 on 01/1/2012 at 7:47pm
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Agreed, looks to me like soft suspension and too much noseweight.
Could we know what the actual noseweight is please?
Changing to swan neck would need a whole new towbar, and would be very unlikely to help.
Jim

Message posted by freeatlast on 02/1/2012 at 3:34pm
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When I had a Tucson, the towball was too high and I had to change it for another make.

Check the make, PTC is the lowest, Witter is a couple of inches higher and Brink is higher still. Incidentally tech support at Witter told me a drop plate was illegal on a Tucson.

See here for link to topic

Message posted by Greendemon315 on 02/1/2012 at 3:41pm
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Yes the drop plate is now illegal. It would need to be used upside down anyway, which has always been against the law.
The best hope is that the noseweight is far too high, as the alternative is worn or sagging suspension. We really do need to know the noseweight.
Jim

Message posted by DaveCoaches on 03/1/2012 at 5:57pm
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How much stuff do you have in the boot? The combination of this and the nose weight could be causing the rear end of the car to be low. The Tucson came out in 2004, so it's not out of the question for the rear road springs to have weakened, especially if there has been a lot of weight in the boot for long periods.

Message posted by wooden on 05/1/2012 at 9:34pm
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Hi Linda

If my experience is anything to go by, it is not unusual for the tow ball height to be too low on an Hyundai.  I have 2010 Santa Fe (5 seat version without self levelling suspension) and when loaded (N.B. not overloaded), towball height with van attached is 330mm.  This results in grounding of jockey wheel (static clearance of 110mm) especially when coming off French speed tables and travelling on exceptionally bumpy roads. 

 

Hyundai’s response to my query is” Attach the caravan to the tow car making sure both are empty. At this point the car and caravan should  be level and must not be down at the front. When checking the nose weight of the caravan the 85Kg is maximum weight and you have to allow for weight in the boot of the car and any bicycles attached to the tow bar

I don’t find this particularly helpful!  Follow up questions aimed at clarifying this have not been responded to.

 

Changing the towball height by raising plate or different swan neck (if detachable type) is a no-no.  I will be shortly trying Mad coil spring suspension assisters in the hope this will raise the ride height of the car when towing, and make rear suspension stiffer to stop the jockey wheel grounding.

 

You might like to consider this as a possible solution in your case



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Message posted by timtheenchanter on 06/1/2012 at 8:21am
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Quote: Originally posted by Greendemon315 on 02/1/2012
the drop plate is now illegal.


Really, when did that happen, I thought it was only to be used if authorised by the car and towbar manufacturer (although its never been ok to use them to raise the ball.)

witters own website says
"Possibly use a drop plate (some towbars are tested and EC type approved for use with drop plates – check the towbar installation instructions)"

Message posted by Greendemon315 on 06/1/2012 at 10:52am
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It's a while back now Tim.  There is Type Approval on some vehicles, but not many.

It's more or less confined to the larger 4 x 4s, that have more ground clearance. I'm pretty sure that there aren't any saloon cars or estates that can use a drop plate now.

Jim


Message posted by timtheenchanter on 06/1/2012 at 12:12pm
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ah, fair enough, not an outright ban, but only for "approved" vehicles, which is what I thought.

Last car I had one for (and it was approved) was my Multipla.

Message posted by Andy R on 06/1/2012 at 12:30pm
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I had a very low towbar on a previous Renault - below the legal height.   I rang Witter Towbars head office and spoke to a really helpful person who emailed me photos of their bars showing their heights. I got one of these fitted and it was perfect - about 5 or 6 cm higher than the Renault. They do vary.

Message posted by cwdc56768 on 07/1/2012 at 10:17am
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The law specifies that the towball height should be between 350 and 420mm with the vehicle in the ‘laden’ condition.(EC Directive 94/20/EC as incorporated into the Construction and Design Regs) 

Phil



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Message posted by backyardigan on 07/1/2012 at 11:30pm
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hi we have been looking at some suspension assisters after we took car back to garage and they checked it ,assuring us is was ok.Thay advised us to look at the assisters as it would save changing the towbar.

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Message posted by Grampian91 on 08/1/2012 at 12:28am
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Your towball is not low though.

350 mm - 420 mm,   13.78 inches - 16.5 inches.

Virtually in the middle.


New stiffer springs may help. Anything else will be expensive, The rubber do-nut type assisters only really stop the car bottoming out, Not helping to raise the towing height.

They put extra stress on the rest of the spring. Aux springs or assisters springs are fairly expensive.





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Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.


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