We always knew that our tow ball and hitch set up was not perfect and probably not quite right, we did our best when we got the caravan, but after being out on the road, speaking to others and reading information online, it was time to see an expert before our next big trip.

We are so glad we did!!

Our set up was OK, it worked and was reasonably safe…but it was like wearing a size 5 shoe when you are really a size 8…

tow ball before and after  before and after tow bars

These were the things we discovered were not quite right:

  • The tow hitch was very old and second hand. The angle was not right when the van was hooked up, therefore everything else needed to be adjusted.   The only way to fix this, was to get a new one.
  • Our chains were not sitting in the right position – it was highly recommended to us that the chains be crossed over. Some people have different views on crossing the chains…but after some research, we found that if two chains were fitted that they must be crossed (this was for NSW).  Why crossed? One reason could be that it might stop the A-frame from falling between the chains and striking the pavement…
  • Our weight distribution bars were not rated heavy enough and were positioned too high! The sticker had peeled off our bars so we were unsure what rating they were.  It turns out, they were not sufficient for our van.  Our bars were rated 2.5 and we needed bars that were rated 3.8…ouch…so we got new bars too.  It was recommended that the bars sit UNDER the A-frame to reduce damage and increase performance.

Some other handy things we have discovered…

  • The chains going from the bars to the A-frame should also be straight not leaning forward or backwards. Every hook on your chain will make a difference to the height of the van and the height of the tow vehicle, so when setting this up make sure you are on level ground and have a tape measure handy.
  • Look at the ball weight of your vehicle, because the more weight you have in the back of the car, the less weight you can carry in the van.
  • Put your vehicle over a public weigh bridge. Know how heavy you are, and how heavy you are fully loaded. Check to see if your van and vehicle are level.
  • Understand your weights and mass’s. Gross Trailer Mass, Aggregate Trailer Mass, Tare Mass, Ball Weight and your Gross Vehicle Mass. Put it all together and understand it, and if you don’t then talk to someone that does. You will be surprised how many people think they know, but don’t…..hahahaha…this was us!!

So…the result from visiting an expert – a whole new set up….and peace of mind, knowing that it is all correct now..and more importantly…SAFE J

new tball 2

Is your towing set up correct?

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