A tow bar’s height has a direct impact on the towing capacity of a vehicle. Based on the Australian Design Rules, the height of the tow ball should be between 350mm to 460mm from the ground.
You need to measure the distance from the centre of the tow ball to the ground to figure this out. Aside from that, you should also keep such distance in mind as you try to get the caravan to sit evenly on the ground.
The Proper Tow Ball Height
You should refer to the vehicle manufacturer documents to determine the suggested tow ball height range for each vehicle. You should then park your vehicle on even ground and then adjust the towing gear.
The distance from the bottom front to the ground and the bottom rear edge of the caravan has to be the same. There are other factors that affect the tow ball’s height such as the size of the tyres and the height of the vehicle in question.
Caravan Height Coupling Head
Once you have loaded the caravan to its fully-allowed mass, the coupling head’s height should be between 385mm to 455mm. By looking at these trailer parts specifications, you can see that the tow level is going to slightly nose down and not leveled perfectly.
In case the tow ball is at 350mm on a fully-loaded vehicle with the trailer coupling at 510mm on an empty trailer, the difference in height is going to be extreme. Although you may be within the allowed range, the difference is too high.
What Can I Do If the Tow Ball Is High?
For those with an adjustable tow ball assembly, lowering the tow ball from the bracket so that it stays within legal limits is possible. If not, using a dropper plate can help lower the ball to the proper height.
Remember that some towbars are means to be used with drop plates. If you are unsure, it is best to contact the vehicle manufacturer and the towing bracket manufacturer to find out which option is right for you.
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What Can I Do If the Tow Ball Is Low?
Problems regarding a low tow ball are often seen in sports suspension vehicles that are quite lowered. Seek help from a towbar specialist to assist in fitting if possible. If not, adjust the rear suspension of the vehicle yourself. You need to have professional stiffer springs or spring assisters installed to raise the vehicle’s end.
There are times where the tow ball height is not the problem. It could be the fault of the trailer coupling height. What you can do is measure and adjust the coupling height to solve this issue.
Getting the proper tow bar height set is essential before you can go ahead and tow a trailer to your vehicle. This is crucial to avoid problems and to be safe as possible down the road. In case you are looking for trailer parts, West Coast Towbars has you covered. Check out our shop today!