Towball height

Mar 14, 2005
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Hi all, what is the correct height of the towball, please? I have a Volvo 850 and the ball can be mounted in two positions. It is currently on the lower one which puts the top of the towball at 16 ins. My wife has a Volvo V40 with a witter bar, the ball of which is 18 ins from the ground, again measured at the top. Which is correct, or is there a tolerance? Thanks. Gary
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Gary, from CC handbook 'it should be between 350 -420mm when measured from the ground to ball centre. This is with the vehicle fully laden but not with the caravan attached. EC94/20

Note that 4x4 vehicles are exempt from this height requirement (to maintain their off road ground clearance).This can sometimes compromise their towing stability especially at higher speeds'.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Nothing basically wrong with your statement, Ray, but it doesn't matter whether the caravan is attached or not, fully laden is fully laden. All this means is if the caravan is attached you reduce your payload by the noseweight but the sum total weight on all 4 wheels of the car remains the same.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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See where your coming from Lutz but the important thing is the caravan sits level or slightly nose down when attached...never nose up.

So the most important measurement is the caravans hitch height and 'hopefully' the cars towball height can then be set to suit.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
As already stated, the standard height for the towball is 350 to 420mm. The same standard quotes 395 to 465mm for the coupling height of the trailer or caravan when it's standing level. This automatically results in a nominally nose down attitude.

However, under adverse tolerance conditions with the towball height on upper limit and that of the caravan coupling on bottom limit, the caravan could be slightly nose up but there is no reason why this should necessarily not be permissible so long as the noseweight is set correctly.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Wow! Seems there is no easy answer! I have been using it in the lower position, which gives a 'nose down' attitude. I just thought it was a little too low, and might try the higher setting. This will inrease the height to just under 18 inches (450mm ish). I don't know if this will make any difference as the load on it, and therefore the car, will be the same. A case of trial and error, perhaps?

Thanks for all your advice

Gary
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Without making any adjustments to the noseweight you will reduce the noseweight if you raise the coupling height. So, if you do decide to set the towball at the higher setting, don't forget to check whether the noseweight is still adequate.

However, unless you are having problems with ground clearance at the jockey wheel, for example, I'd leave everything as is.
 

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