Towing/WDH help please

Submitted: Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 20:15
ThreadID: 66677 Views:2931 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Hi all, I have done a liitle research but nothing seems to be confidently answering my question, hands on experience is better than any......

I am looking to replace mums 12ft van for something bigger.

I have found a full size van 16ft - 17ft with drawbar weighs 1500kgs

Tow vehicle is a ford Territory which I think maximum tow is 1600kgs and weighs 2074kgs.

The van comes with a hayman reece WDH and ford territory has only standard towbar and I want to avoid putting a H/R tow bar on the car.

My question is "Could we tow this van without using sway bars/stabilsers or the WDH etc?"

From my own exp I have a 1150kg van that I pull with a paj and use a WDH but only because it came with the van.....

Friends pull a 23ft van not using anything......

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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 21:11

Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 21:11
Is the 1500kilos the Tare or the ATM?

Do you know what the ball weight is/

Any vehicle and van setup will tow better with a WDH.

It would pay you to find out for sure what the Territory towing specs are.

AnswerID: 353156

Follow Up By: Bekali - Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 21:33

Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 21:33
My husband tells me the GVM is 1500kgs and the ATM was 1560 or 1580 (i will double check with the owner)

The territory comes with either a basic (1600kgs) or a heavy duty (2300kgs) tow bar and I believe mum has the basic one only beacuse is it not a removable toungue like the hayman reece, it is a fixed tongue with two bolts

FollowupID: 621336

Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 22:59

Monday, Mar 09, 2009 at 22:59
It sounds like you are very close to the maximum weight of the tow bar, and most caravans actaully weigh more than the ATM the van manufacturers put on the vans anyhow.

If I was looking at long term towing I'd put the higher limit tow bar on.

FollowupID: 621353

Reply By: Thermoguard Instruments - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 09:05

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 09:05

As you already have (or will get) the H-R WDH with the van, I'd strongly advise getting the heavy-duty hitch receiver fitted to the Territory. As mentioned, a 16-17' van will probably be pushing close to the rating of the 1600kg towbar.

Another consideration is ball weight. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe simple flat plate tongues are typically rated for only 120kg ball weight. The transport authorities recommend a ball weight of about 10% of the total loaded van weight. So a 1500-1600kg loaded van should have a ball weight around 150-160kg.

Those that pull heavy vans with no weight distribution equipment (or who use those inadequate little round bar hitches on large heavy vans) may have had no problems to date but they can't change the laws of physics. If you place a heavy load on the ball, you MUST at the same time be lifting weight OFF the front axle of the tow vehicle - the axle responsible for steering and much of the braking. This is true no matter how straight and level the rig may look due to heavy rear springs. And if they are using a ball mount rated for only 120kg they are probably illegal.

We've been 'on the road' for most of the last 7 years and have covered a bit of ground with vans in tow (16' single axle and now 18' tandem axle).

Send me an email if you'd like info on correctly setting-up a WDH.
AnswerID: 353196

Follow Up By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 09:22

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 09:22

As Ian correctly says you cannot change the law of physics weight must be distributed evenly. In an emergency situation where you need to take evasive action this will mean the difference of a recovery from the situation or the van taking total of the situation.

I also use an anti sway bar to compliment the WDH.
FollowupID: 621369

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 18:17

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 at 18:17
In my opinion only a complete idiot would tow a 23ft van without a WDH.

I dont care what you say you are dicing with death.

Yours or maybe someone elses.

A guy wher I used to live tows a 7mtr van with a Patrol with just an ordinary towbar.
Would have scared the pilots of passing planes his front end was pointing so high.
A complete dipstick IMO

AnswerID: 353269

Follow Up By: Thermoguard Instruments - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 at 13:15

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 at 13:15
Hi Graham,

I was trying to say much the same thing - but probably a bit too diplomatically. I agree wholeheartedly with you.

Not in favour of the 'Nanny State' in general, but the sooner you need a special test and licence endorsement to tow a rig with a GCM over, say, 3500kg - and have the rig inspected for compliance with sensible uniform Aust-wide regulations, the better.

Allowing anyone, perhaps with no experience beyond driving a small car in the city most of their lives, to get straight into large 4WD & 3000+ kg caravan (GCM over 5.5T??) and drive on the highways at 100 or 110 km/h quite legally, is sheer lunacy IMHO.


FollowupID: 621545

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 at 15:32

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009 at 15:32
Yep mine weighs 6.2tonne all up and even though I am a qualified bus driver and have been driving 12 metre buses its a totally different ball game.
Like the ones who drive down hills with the brakes on all the way
I use the truckies rules 2nd up the hill 2nd down the hill etc
I prefer to stay alive

AnswerID: 353445

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