Jockey Wheel clearence

Jun 27, 2021
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Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I tow a Coachman 575 VIP with a FWD Volvo XC60 R Design. when the Caravan is fully loaded, the nose weight is about 85Kilos, and with the car fully loaded, my jockey wheel clearance from the road is about 6"
I have experienced the jokey wheel grounding on bumpy roads, which is worrying.
does anyone have any advice they could offer, I considered fitting a drop plate, and raising the tow ball a couple of inches believing this may help, but my local tow bar installer said it may be illegal
could anyone advise please?
Thanks
Dave Kirk
 
Nov 11, 2009
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On two cars I used MAD supplementary springs which worked fine. But given the XC60 track record and number of users I would ask why is yours giving a problem. It’s not been mentioned here before to my knowledge.

Are you sure that you are fully retracting the JW. Some require an extra slight twist to get full retraction. Has the JW been modified such that it’s larger than OEM. In which case you could fit the OEM variant.

After the above I would then start to check cars loaded and unloaded rear suspension height against Volvos tech spec. Is it not self levelling ?
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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The centre of the towball should be between 350 and 420mm from the ground when the caravan is hitched to the car. I would check whether that is the case first as it may determine the course of possible action.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Hello Dave, I had a similar problem with my Coachman 545 VIP, 2010. And a 08 Hyundai Santa fe. When hitched up everything seemed ok, "wiggling" the Jockey wheel I could get another inch into the A frame. I fitted MADS spring asists and that cured my problem.
 
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Just to confirm, I definitely have the JW up as high as it will go, it even pushes up tight under the cover on the A frame, so much that it pulled the screws out that fix it.
My Volvo is a Front wheel drive only, and is the R Design model that may have a slightly lowered suspension for a so called sporty ride, it is only 4 years old and doesn't have self levelling suspension.
I just measured the tow ball height, with the car empty, and it is 18" from the ground.
I haven't measured it with a full load yet.
If I had a jockey wheel that fitted on the side of the A frame, I am sure it would go up much higher, but the caravan is only a couple of years old and changing things would probably lose my warranty.
 
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At 18 inches your towball is 457 mm so have you measured to the top instead of the center. So it’s about at top height within the band posted above by Lutz. If your measured height is to the Center then it’s out of spec, but either way being towards the higher end that should alleviate the JW fouling.
 
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At 18 inches your towball is 457 mm so have you measured to the top instead of the center. So it’s about at top height within the band posted above by Lutz. If your measured height is to the Center then it’s out of spec, but either way being towards the higher end that should alleviate the JW fouling.
Thanks for your response, I will check the height when we are next loaded up for a trip next week, but the 18" I measured was to the top of the ball.
 
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Hello Dave, I had a similar problem with my Coachman 545 VIP, 2010. And a 08 Hyundai Santa fe. When hitched up everything seemed ok, "wiggling" the Jockey wheel I could get another inch into the A frame. I fitted MADS spring asists and that cured my problem.
Hi
I will check out MADS tomorrow, but their web page suggests their springs are not suitable for my 2016 EC60
 
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Hi
I will check out MADS tomorrow, but their web page suggests their springs are not suitable for my 2016 EC60
Thats a shame, although my cars springs were measured ok, the Mads Helped. I did get a smaller diameter Jockey wheel which also helped. Only an Inch difference, but it worked.
 
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My XC60 (not R-Design) with a dealer-fitter OEM Volvo Detachable gives quite a good clearance for the Jockey Wheel - Original Swift solid rubber wheel, the wheel is locked into the sleeve notch and pulled up as far as it will go.
JWClearance.jpg

Full Image for reference:

FWclearancefull.jpg
 
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I followed and past a large single axle towed by a newish xc60 today.
Having previously read this thread I did look at the outfit a bit more than usual.
It looked nice and level and moving along quite nicely at 60mph.
I’m wondering if the issues are down to the XC60 in question being a sporty version with low profile tyres and lowered suspension?

Kev
 
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Hi Kev
I think you may have hit the nail on the head, Volvo talk about the R-Design as having a sporty ride, so probably doesn't do the best of jobs when towing with a full load.
I have ordered a pair of MADS springs today, and feel confident that should sort me out.
It might help if my Wife didn't pack away enough clothes for herself for 6 months when we only ever go away for a week here and there.
 
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My XC60 (not R-Design) with a dealer-fitter OEM Volvo Detachable gives quite a good clearance for the Jockey Wheel - Original Swift solid rubber wheel, the wheel is locked into the sleeve notch and pulled up as far as it will go.
View attachment 1811

Full Image for reference:

View attachment 1812
I think mine being a R Design may be the problem, I have ordered some MADS springs today, hopefully that may sort it.
 
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I think mine being a R Design may be the problem, I have ordered some MADS springs today, hopefully that may sort it.

As far as I know, R-Design (on Mk1/Mk1 Facelift XC60s) only changes some of the exterior styling such as the front and rear bumpers, and interior, such as Seats/doorcards/Headliner. I don't think there is any ride height changes - The alloy wheels go from 17" (as per my car) to 21", but the overall wheel diameters are roughly consistent.

Who fitted your towbar and are your existing springs/dampers in good condition?

Edit:
Is it possible that your car was overloaded? in my pictures above there are no rear seat passengers (except for our small dog) and the boot has nothing above the toneau cover.
 
Jun 27, 2021
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My XC60 (not R-Design) with a dealer-fitter OEM Volvo Detachable gives quite a good clearance for the Jockey Wheel - Original Swift solid rubber wheel, the wheel is locked into the sleeve notch and pulled up as far as it will go.
View attachment 1811

Full Image for reference:

View attachment 1812
As far as I know, R-Design (on Mk1/Mk1 Facelift XC60s) only changes some of the exterior styling such as the front and rear bumpers, and interior, such as Seats/doorcards/Headliner. I don't think there is any ride height changes - The alloy wheels go from 17" (as per my car) to 21", but the overall wheel diameters are roughly consistent.

Who fitted your towbar and are your existing springs/dampers in good condition?

Edit:
Is it possible that your car was overloaded? in my pictures above there are no rear seat passengers (except for our small dog) and the boot has nothing above the toneau cover.
It is quite possible, although I don't think it would represent any more that having three adults in the back and perhaps a bit of luggage, I had the tow bar fitted by our local reputable company, its a Witter I think, the outfit have fitted a total of six for me over the years.
I am confident the rear springs are in good order.
For the record I found the following on a Autocar review

Suspension and ride comfort

The standard suspension fitted to most trim levels does a good job of dealing with speed bumps and any road imperfection with a smooth edge. However, expansion joints and ragged potholes tend to send a nasty jolt through the car, a problem that's exacerbated with the larger alloy wheel options. R-Design trim has lowered suspension that's slightly firmer, but the difference isn't huge
however I did find the following o
 
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The MAD springs on my SAAB 9000 ( 1997) and Skoda Superb (2014) raised the ride height by about 12-15mm as they require a preload when being fitted. Otherwise they would rattle. Mine were the auxiliary springs not total replacement of the OEM springs. But they did support the rear end better under towing conditions, albeit with a harshening of the ride under solo light conditions. But you can’t win them all and compromise is often necessary. But the JW never again contacted our local speed humps.
 
Jun 27, 2021
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The MAD springs on my SAAB 9000 ( 1997) and Skoda Superb (2014) raised the ride height by about 12-15mm as they require a preload when being fitted. Otherwise they would rattle. Mine were the auxiliary springs not total replacement of the OEM springs. But they did support the rear end better under towing conditions, albeit with a harshening of the ride under solo light conditions. But you can’t win them all and compromise is often necessary. But the JW never again contacted our local speed humps.
Thanks for the info, MADS have told me the springs for the R Design are complete replacements as the auxiliary ones proved to be a problem on the Volvo XC60.