Advantages. of extended drawbar ?

Submitted: Friday, Feb 22, 2013 at 23:35
ThreadID: 100710 Views:10757 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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Could I get others opinion please on the advantages or otherwise of an extended drawbar on an offroad caravan.
Thanks
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Reply By: Hunter Gatherer - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 00:20

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 00:20
Johntoyo,

I am also inquisitive to find out if there is much difference in the ball weight between the normal? or extended drawbar, would 200mm drawbar extension increase the weight by much?
AnswerID: 505355

Follow Up By: Member - johntoyo - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 00:46

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 00:46
From a pivot, fulcrum point your ball wt will reduce slightly.
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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 04:56

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 04:56
Hi Johntoyo


I have an extended draw bar on my CT (200 mm) - I deliberately ordered it that way. The main reason being I have a dual wheel carrier and the extended bar allows easier access to back of vehicle while the camper is still hitched.

The longer draw bar all makes it easier to reverse and to see out of my rear vision mirrors.

If I was buying another CT I wouldn't hesitate to order a longer draw bar again.

cheers

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AnswerID: 505359

Reply By: briann532 - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 08:22

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 08:22
We have a Jayco hawk camper trailer.

We went for the extended drawbar so we didnt have to unhitch to get the front bed out.

We can leave the camper attached and set up and get to the back of the car.

Wouldn't be without one.......

Cheers
Brian
AnswerID: 505362

Reply By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 08:43

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 08:43
I'm reffering to our off road bike trailer I built - but with it we made an extended drawbar and also made it with just one long piece of steel tubing , not the usual V drawer with two pieces.

This means its welded to the actual trailer at right angles.

The advantage of this is that you can get the trailer to almost right angles with the car.

It was also made long enough so that with the Patrols back doors open you can walk around them with trailer connected and its very easy to work out of the back of the car.

With jockey wheel so far forward the whole thing is very stable both when towing abd free standing.

Someone told me this type of construction is not really legal any more in Victoria - not sure about this as it was rego'd ok when built 4 years ago.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 10:57

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 10:57
G'day Robin

I would query the comment re legality.
That's the way Army trailers were built (single draw bar) and still are to my knowledge.

If correctly aligned etc I can see no reason why there should be an issue with this type of construction.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 11:18

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 11:18
I extended the drawbar on our OR trailer by 1M.
I can now jack knife it beyond 90 degrees and that is very useful in tight places.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 505370

Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 11:31

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 11:31
I made up a complete new drawbar for my CT 400 mm longer than original to clear my rear wheel carriers, as per Phil B.
Have had no issues at all in doing it, and makes for better vision of it when towing, and easier to control whilst reversing.
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Paul

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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 12:00

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 12:00
Fom a manouvering point of view the longer the drawbar the better.

There should be no issues provided it is done properly and the drawbar strength is maintained or enhanced. You also may need to have it certified by an engineer when finished for insurance reasons.

Outside of that I cannot see any negative issues.

Cheers, Bruce.
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AnswerID: 505372

Reply By: Gronk - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 12:36

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 12:36
I just reread your original post......and no, there would be no negatives..

But.......if you had a trailer that was going to do some serious 4wding ( and that counts out vans and maybe most c/t's ), the reduced manouverability and break over angle would obviously restrict you a bit....
AnswerID: 505376

Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:23

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:23
Hullo johntoyo

A few thoughts for your consideration.

Firstly, is there some over-riding reason to extend? Eg, can't open the rear door of the wagon without fouling the van or something mounted on the drawbar.

Secondly, for a truly offroad van, lengthening the drawbar will mean less clearance over short, convex changes in grade, eg, drainage humps. But in your case and judging by the picture, you are snooked anyhow given the low clearance due to the strengthening bars under the drawbar.

Thirdly, for short wheel base vans, lengthening the towbar will make it easier to back as the tendency to jack-knife will be reduced. However, in your case that would not seem necessary as the van wheels are well back and any gain would be marginal.

Fourthly, and again mainly for short wheel base vans, it will tend to track better. Is this an issue for you?

Lastly, it may well be more difficult to get into tight places as it may tend to cut the corners more and with backing, you may not have the room to get an initial swing in to a space at right angles to the road.

Hope that helps

Cheers
Andrew
AnswerID: 505389

Follow Up By: Member - johntoyo - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 23:26

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 23:26
Andrew, very observant. What I should have expanded upon in hindsight was that I have been looking at another van(s) with offroad capabilty. I also should have said for cresting, departing etc. as you pont out. The unit I have been looking at have a 1800mm std and 2200mm option draw bar lth.

My original posting I just wanted to keep simple. (wrong)

Thanks for input
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Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:40

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:40
I can tell you first hand the differences...... we have had two Ultimate camper trailers, the first with the standard draw bar length and the second with 300mm longer draw bar.

The shorter draw bar is way better for backing, can turn sharper and gives a better ride, the ramp over angle is decreased with a longer draw bar.

The shortest draw bar in my opinion is the best.
AnswerID: 505391

Follow Up By: Ross M - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:56

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:56
I agree. the shorter one is better for backing in tight spaces eg mountain tracks and you can then put the trailer in places where you couldn't possibly do it if a long drawbar.

If it is only on road stuff, door access reasons and ball weight then Ok with the longer one. Longer makes it easier to back for those who are reversing challenged.
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Follow Up By: Member - johntoyo - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 23:34

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 23:34
Thanks Gents. Your comments start to confirm the way I was leaning.
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Reply By: andrew t - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 21:03

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 21:03
www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/bulletin/vsb1/vsb_01_b.aspx#16x#1
everything you would like to know about trailers is covered here,just be aware that this is what is considered the legal perspective of what you can do and how best to apply it, there is also a minimum length of drawbar and a maximum length depending on where your axle is and a maximum length from the centre line of the axle/axle groups to the coupling hope this helps
AnswerID: 505410

Follow Up By: Bobjl - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 17:23

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 17:23
It seems matter has resolved itself but for good order I note earlier comment re the effect on ball weight that said "From a pivot, fulcrum point your ball wt will reduce slightly"
I may have missed something but if the van wheels are effectively further away from the tow ball, then the weight will transfer forward.

Given an extension to the draw bar was being considered, then tow ball weight would increase.

Cheers
Bob
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