Tow bar spacer

Dec 2, 2018
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Hi just after a bit of advice, we got a discovery td5 as our tow vehicle ,we couldn’t hitch the caravan on unless the rear door was open ,we’ve had a two inch spacer fitted today has anybody used them and would say there safe . Cheers
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Madtaffy said:
Hi just after a bit of advice, we got a discovery td5 as our tow vehicle ,we couldn’t hitch the caravan on unless the rear door was open ,we’ve had a two inch spacer fitted today has anybody used them and would say there safe . Cheers

Had them on several Co cars over the years without a problem. Presume you are using a swan-neck?

Having said that I am surprised the hitch is that high. The ball horizontal centre line should be between 350mm and 420mm - or in old money 13¾-16½ inches - off the ground when level.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Madtaffy said:
We bought the discovery with wider tyres than standard , and I can’t lift the alko handle.

That explains it as my Alko handle just cleared the spare wheel in its pvc cover. But the jockey wheel handle didn’t allow full opening of the rear door. On previous posts some years back the topic of spacers was mentioned and it was advised that if the spacer was supplied as part of a type approved towbar then it was okay to use it.

You can buy modified Alko stabiliser handles which are in two parts to allow for rear mounted spare wheels.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Spacers should not be necessary and as Otherclive has suggested, they should only be used if they form part of the type approval for the vehicle.

I just need to clarify two points related to Woodentop's comment.

Woodentop said:
...The ball horizontal centre line should be between 350mm and 420mm - or in old money 13¾-16½ inches - off the ground when level.

The regulation that the loaded towball must settle at between 350 and and 420, does not apply to all cars, some cars are exempt and it is possible the Disco may be one of them as it may be classed as a special purpose vehicle. Check with your vehicle supplier.

The second point is there is no requirement for the trailer or the car to be level when loaded. In fact it is highly unlikely any car or its trailer will be level when loaded.

However the height measurement should be made when the coupled outfit is on level (horizontal) surface. perhaps that’s what WT meant.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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As I understand the OP's post the issue is not one of height, but one of extending the effective length of the towbar. It should be noted that this is only permissible if the towbar manufacturer has explictly approved the use of spacers. They must be covered in his type approval documentation which must also state the maximum allowable thickness of spacer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Lutz said:
As I understand the OP's post the issue is not one of height, but one of extending the effective length of the towbar. It should be noted that this is only permissible if the towbar manufacturer has explictly approved the use of spacers. They must be covered in his type approval documentation which must also state the maximum allowable thickness of spacer.

Correct my Disco 2 ran on standard tyres which only just cleared the Alko standard handle. The OP has wider tyres so its those that are causing the issue of lack of clearance in the horizontal plane.
 

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