TONY ALLSOP — 15 November 2013

I recently received an email from a business contact asking my advice. He had bought a new Honda Accord, which h loves, and he’d decided to buy a small Jayco van to tow behind it. On checking the towing specifications he found out, too late, that the tow ball loading for the Honda is far less than the ball weight on the Jayco.

This leaves him with a number of unpalatable choices: tow nothing, buy a small camper trailer, sell the Honda and buy something more suitable or just stay as he is... unhappy.

Interestingly, a longstanding friend of ours had the same problem, with same vehicle. After owning the Accord for a year he decided to trade it on the SUV model so he can tow his new small camper trailer.

I do wonder how many people have had this problem? What do they do in the circumstances? It‘s a very expensive exercise to replace your vehicle after such a short time.

Tow ball loads and towing weights are very well discussed topics now, and you can get a lot of info from this website and internet forums. Vehicle sales people should have all the data at hand, and if in any doubt, ask to read the vehicle handbook (look under Towing).

WDH (torsion bars) are another important topic, and these bars should be investigated at the same time. I see a lot of caravanners with the wrong type/size bars; male no mistake, they simply will not take the load under adverse conditions. Also, some vehicles are not designed to be used with torsion bars.

I guess I am very aware of these issues, as we have a high ball weight on our van, although it’s well within the handbook limit for our Ford Territory. With a van our size, it is better to be a little over the suggested 10 per cent download than a lot under it.

YOUR SAY: Have you ever had problems with ball weight? Have you ever been confused (or even worse, mislead)


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