Raising Towball Height…

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  • Raising Towball Height…
  • I need to raise the towball height as my twin axled trailer is a bit nose down…looking to raise it around 50mm or so.

    Its a 3000kg trailer towed by a 3500kg van so not even considering using a drop plate the wrong way up…not that I would even for a little trailer used for trips to the tip!

    I have a four hole towbar so I can buy a Dixon Bate adjustable towbar as fitted to Land Rovers etc for £90, but to be honest its a bit OTT. Unfortunately I'd need the compact 'two pin' version so can't even pick up a cheap one on ebay.

    I've noticed some swan neck towbars fitted to big off-roaders are scarily long to clear the rear bumpers, are there not any standard flange towballs that have an extended neck to increase the height of the ball?

    I've looked at Alko ones, they only raise the ball by about 10mm, most of the extra neck is achieved by making the bottom part of the towball a lower profile.

    I've also seen some extended neck balls for Land Rovers, but they appear to extend outwards (rather than upwards) to give more clearance between the ball and the bumper.

    Would any of the combined 'pin and ball' hitches provide a higher ball height? Probably a non-starter as they seem to be around £100.

    The other option is to fit rubber spacers between the rear leaf springs and axle but the van itself rides level even when towing, and its a big enough jump to get in the back as it is…

    (Whilst we're on the subject, should a twin axled trailer have equal weight on each axle, or should it be biased towards the front? At the last check, trailer was 1900kg total but had 160kg more on the front axle than the rear. I can't adjust the load as horses tend to stand where they want…but if I take a second horse I'll be overloaded on the front axle even though the trailer as a whole is underweight. Both axles are rated to 1500kg so I'm assuming it should be roughly even?)

    Any ideas or suggestions?!

    Combined pin & ball hitch sounds the easiest option, they tend to be a bit taller than a plain ball hitch, I didn't realise they cost £100 though.
    If you go for that type, get one where the ball is hollow and the pin drops through the whole lot, forming the centre of the ball.
    If you get the type where the ball is the head of the pin, the pin/ball bounces up and down and wears away the R clip at the bottom until the pin eventually jumps out.
    Always load a trailer nose heavy. The maximum imposed load on a 3050kg Defender 110 is 50kg, so I would guess it's about the same for a 3000kg van.
    If you keep the nose weight somewhere around 10-40kg, the axle weights should be somewhere near right.

    wombat
    Member

    Park with your rear wheels on a couple of bricks, should raise the towball by about a brick's worth…

    My car transporter trailer originally had separate leaf spring suspension for each axle.
    As I had to lift the nose up to reach the hitch on a 110 with no drop plate, it put all the weight on the rear axle and hitch, the front axle was almost suspended between the two.
    I converted the suspension to leaf springs with a balance beam between the two. This allows a much greater variation in hitch height while automatically splitting the load 50/50 between the axles.
    If you haven't got a balance beam on the trailer and can't easily alter the tow hitch height on the van, could you space one of the axles away from it's spring to tilt the trailer ?
    I take it you've got leaf springs on a 3500kg trailer ?
    If it's the rubber block type, could you space the suspension units away from the chassis ?

    Or put some smaller tyres on the trailer. 🙂

    Double post

    Thanks…I think theory option is to go in somewhere and compare a pin and ball with my current ball. The £100 was for a Dixon-hate snowball, have just found some closer to £35.

    Your noseweight (imposed load) sounds very low though, even small cars recommend 60kg don't they? My van has a limit of 250kg, defenders can tow 3500kg can't they so it should be the same. Noseweight should be around 7% of the trailer weight.

    Smaller wheels…existing wheels are only 13", fitted with 195/50 tyres. Can't get any smaller than that for the weight…and they have to be pumped to 90PSI 😯

    Suspension wise, that's one thing I haven't looked at on the trailer, despite having serviced the brakes. All I know is it has very little, it'll lift wheels off the floor even when loaded when driving over potholes or sharp changes in gradient.

    50kg nose weight for a Defender does sound low now you mention it. I've tried searching and can't find the correct figure on line.
    If you've got that little suspension travel, I would guess it's the rubber torsion block type.
    They normally bolt directly on to the chassis. Maybe you could sandwich a steel plate between the rear suspension units and chassis with some longer bolts to tilt the trailer forward.

    I've just got back from towing it…completely forgot to check the suspension 🙄

    The main reason for raising the towball is that its very easy to ground the trailer out. My van has a long overhang and the trailer has the wheels quite far back as that is where the horse stands, so it doesn't take much of a gradient change to put the jockey wheel on the floor.

    BTW – apologies for some of the strange spelling in earlier post, (Dixon-hate snowball) got a new phone and it has corrective spelling on the touchscreen keyboard if it thinks you've hit the wrong buttons!

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