pitching when towing

Submitted: Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 23:44
ThreadID: 3525 Views:3050 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I am towing a 2000Kg caravan with a troop carrier, tow ball mass approx. 200 kg. Using 2500Kg tow bar with no equaliser or weight distribution hitch. The rear of the troopie sank by just 15 mm. when the van was loaded on the tow ball and I was advised in more than one occassion that I do not require equaliser or weight distribution. The van tows and brakes well and there is no sway or instablility. Only problem is when I get onto rougher road, the troopie and van seems to pitch a fair bit. Would an equaliser or better rear shock solve this problem? Would an equaliser or weight distribution hitch accentuate this problem because it is essentially a spring and make the rebound worse? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Sang
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Reply By: Member - Chris - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:57

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:57
Sang,

I tow a camper trailer a lot lighter than you with only about 100Kg on the ball. I still get the pitching syndrome on choppy roads. I've recently replaced the entire suspension of the troopy as well so don't believe the pitching is a symptom of that, maybe just a troopy thing.

There has to be at least one drawback from driving one!!!

chris
AnswerID: 13879

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 13:00

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 13:00
Yes weight distribution bars will fix the pitching problem. You will be amazed at the difference.
AnswerID: 13888

Reply By: macca - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 15:22

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 15:22
With out a doubt a good hitch is worth the investment regardless of the specs on tow bars or tow ball
AnswerID: 13909

Reply By: GOB - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 21:23

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 21:23
go to site www.towingguide.com.au it explains how a distribution hitch works to help stop this action and also how it it halves the weight on the ball
AnswerID: 13937

Reply By: awill4x4 - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:52

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:52
At those sort of towball weights, get yourself a Hayman Reece heavy duty level ride system. Get the square bar setup which is rated at 550 lbs and the adjustable head unit and you'll never look back.
Regards Andrew.
AnswerID: 13949

Follow Up By: Sang - Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 02:42

Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 02:42
Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the advise. As I mentioned, I do not think I have a weight distribution problem. The troopie is rated to carry 1.5 tonne in the cargo bay. I had loaded the tow ball to as much as 300Kg without much downward movement of the rear suspension.
Regards
Sang
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FollowupID: 8348

Follow Up By: Member - Keith - Saturday, Mar 01, 2003 at 22:07

Saturday, Mar 01, 2003 at 22:07
And the other advantage of the adjustable tow ball unit is that you can vary the height of the ball to make sure the van is level when towed. This is especially important for tandems.
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FollowupID: 8553

Reply By: Cobra - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 23:15

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 23:15
There is no doubt that a weight distribution hitch will help stop a lot of pitching, however, there is one particular section of road out of Bendigo where mine pitched all the time over about 7k distance. Tried different speeds each time and still did it. I remember reading an article in a caravan magazine that went along the lines of the distance between the corrugations and the length of the drawbar would cause pitching in some circumstances. Can't find the article now but it was a few years ago.
AnswerID: 13953

Reply By: Jim - Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 14:46

Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 14:46
Hi Sang,
I'm last to reply as usual. I tow a van with 160Kg on the ball, and use a weight distribution hitch.
The rear of your troupie sank 15mm. The fron also rises a little. This removes weight from the front whells, and reduces the traction of the front wheels for steering and braking.
A weight distribution hitch makes no difference to the weight on the towball, but DOES replace the weight and the traction on the front wheels. This may be apparent only in an emergency, but that is when it is most needed.
Most states have a ball weight limit, beyond which a weight distribution hitch is mandatory. I suggest check with your Transport Dept.
Best of caravanning and touring.

Regards,
Jim
AnswerID: 14064

Follow Up By: David - Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 22:09

Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 22:09
I've got a Patrol with a 1.5 ton van, 155 kg on the towball. Didn't think I needed an equalizer hitch and did 6500km in September without it. (No dramas)
Then I got talked into a hitch and was very surprised at the difference- much more stable.
Good rear shocks are essential- but you still will get occasional pitching-depending on the road.
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FollowupID: 8408

Follow Up By: sang - Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 19:16

Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 19:16
Hi Jim,
My troopie, when not towing, is definitely front heavy as it has a substantial bull bar (with electric winch) fitted as well as snorkel and a second heavy deep cycle battery in the engine bay. To counter this, I would transfer up to 90 litre (90 Kg) of diesel from the front fuel tank to the rear tank as well as filling the fitted water tank with 60 litre of water (60 Kg) which is located 1200 mm behind the rear axle. When towing, I would empty the water tank and transfer up to 90 litre of diesel from the rear tank to the front tank which is located 1500 mm. in front of the rear axle. This is not a big hassel because I normally tow only once per week.
When the van is loaded onto the tow ball, the front of the troopie does not lift any and the troopie seems to be more evenly weight distributed.
Regards
Sang
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FollowupID: 8798

Reply By: Jim - Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 22:18

Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 22:18
Hi Sang,
I take your point. I can't give an expert opinion on the physics of that set up. It may well be very stable.
Two things occur to me:
(a) I still think it would be worth while checking the legalities - it may be important from an insurance point of view.
(b) Would it be worth using a weighbridge to check the difference in weight on your front wheels with and without the van hitched and then using the results to check with someone like Hayman Reese or Tom Olthoff, who has a column on towing in Caravan World magazine, the source of most of my info.
Whateveryour decision, I wish you well in your travels.
Jim.
AnswerID: 14594

Follow Up By: sang - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003 at 17:50

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003 at 17:50
Hi Jim,
Thanks for your advise, I had checked with Jayco & Hayman Reece, one said my towing capacity is 2500 Kg with 250 Kg tow ball weight max while the other is 3500 Kg with 350 Kg tow ball weight. NRMA insurance is 3500 Kg with 350 Kg tow ball weight.
The whole set-up was agrred by Hayman to be quite OK, but do suggest a weight distribution hitch to stop pitching.
Regards
Sang
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FollowupID: 9078

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