soggy backside
userips
Posted: 23 March 2015 7:00 PM
Subject: soggy backside
 


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My citroen Berlingo multispace xtr rides low at the back when caravan hitched. Any ideas how to stiffen it up after market springs or them donut things any suggestions.

Also tow bar is detachable sort. If I changed it for fixed can I put a riser plate to highten the ball ?
userlennyhb
Posted: 23 March 2015 7:59 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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The Grayson doughnut things work quite well, but a better solution would be replace the shockers with Monroe or similar adjustable shocks, they are easier to fit than the doughnuts.

NO you must not a riser plate to a towbar it's illegal & dangerous and if your car it post 1999 you can't fit a drop plate either.
userips
Posted: 23 March 2015 8:10 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Thanks lenny
So these adjustable jobs how much we talking you reckon.
userKeithl
Posted: 23 March 2015 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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lennyhb - 2015-03-23 7:59 PM

The Grayson doughnut things work quite well, but a better solution would be replace the shockers with Monroe or similar adjustable shocks, they are easier to fit than the doughnuts.



But just replacing the shock absorbers will not raise the back of the car, all they will do is change the damping of any bump/rebound. You will have to fit either new springs (I'm not sure what type of suspension you currently have) or spring assisters to actually raise the rear.

Keith.
userips
Posted: 23 March 2015 8:24 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Thanks Keith
Sounds correct to me.
userGeorge Collings
Posted: 23 March 2015 9:30 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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Tugging is not my subject but have you checked the noseweight of van on towball. The vehicle handbook will give the information.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 24 March 2015 12:00 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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My thought too, as the place to start. Unless you've also got loads of stuff in the back of the Berlingo, hitching a caravan shouldn't be causing it to droop that much. Many cars these days only allow 50kg, which is less than the weight of an adult. Berlingos, I think, have quite short rear overhangs, so the actual nosewiight shouldn't be getting multiplied by that much at the rear axle.
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 6:27 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Not much in boot waste and water bottle porch awning and spaniel.

Haven't checked nose weight but again begger all in front of van just two small half empty gas bottles and nothing at front inside van so cannot lighten either other than light weight gas bottle when you can get them.
userMike88
Posted: 24 March 2015 8:32 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Is a Citroen Berlingo a suitable vehicle for towing a caravan? Is the noseweight too great for the vehicle? The OP might be trying to tow a caravan which is too heavy for the vehicle. The towing stats for this vehicle suggest that the vehicle in question is unsuitable for most modern caravans.
userpepe63
Posted: 24 March 2015 8:44 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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Hi ips..
I fitted a pair of Grayston spring assistors (additional coli spring- over bump-stop type) to a previous van(Boxer swb)and it raised the rear nicely , without making it overly harsh(easy to fit too).

http://www.springassisters.co.uk/menu.htm

http://www.springassisters.co.uk/31B14%20INST.pdf

If all the weights are okay, I can't help feeling that "visually" it may be as much about the consequence of them producing vehicles with ever-decreasing ground clearances ..

Edited by pepe63 2015-03-24 8:55 AM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 24 March 2015 11:17 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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ips - 2015-03-24 6:27 AM

Not much in boot waste and water bottle porch awning and spaniel.

Haven't checked nose weight but again begger all in front of van just two small half empty gas bottles and nothing at front inside van so cannot lighten either other than light weight gas bottle when you can get them.

I'm afraid that won't alter the physics or the legal position. The noseweight limit on the hitch will be marked on the hitch itself, and that for the towbar on the tow bracket. If either is exceeded, an offence is comitted.

Did you check the match of van to towcar before you got the 'van? Some vans have high noseweights because of their construction. Fine if you're towing with a 4x4, but not good for cars.

Standard advice is not to re-balance by loading heavy items in the rear of the van, because it causes a "dumbell" effect on the 'van, leading to instability under tow. Have a chat to the Caravan Club technical dept regarding the match, and see what they advise.
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 11:20 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Mike88 - 2015-03-24 8:32 AM

Is a Citroen Berlingo a suitable vehicle for towing a caravan? Is the noseweight too great for the vehicle? The OP might be trying to tow a caravan which is too heavy for the vehicle. The towing stats for this vehicle suggest that the vehicle in question is unsuitable for most modern caravans.


I can assure you the caravan is within the towing capabilities of the car. Its a new lunar cosmos which is considerably lighter than previous model and of many other comparable makes. Its a 115bhp udgraded model and pulls very well indeed its just the hitch height but as pepe eludes to its probably more aesthetic than anything as the load height of the van derived car is very low.
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 11:21 AM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Brian Kirby - 2015-03-24 11:17 AM

ips - 2015-03-24 6:27 AM

Not much in boot waste and water bottle porch awning and spaniel.

Haven't checked nose weight but again begger all in front of van just two small half empty gas bottles and nothing at front inside van so cannot lighten either other than light weight gas bottle when you can get them.

I'm afraid that won't alter the physics or the legal position. The noseweight limit on the hitch will be marked on the hitch itself, and that for the towbar on the tow bracket. If either is exceeded, an offence is comitted.

Did you check the match of van to towcar before you got the 'van? Some vans have high noseweights because of their construction. Fine if you're towing with a 4x4, but not good for cars.

Standard advice is not to re-balance by loading heavy items in the rear of the van, because it causes a "dumbell" effect on the 'van, leading to instability under tow. Have a chat to the Caravan Club technical dept regarding the match, and see what they advise.


Thanks Brian
It is definitely ok dealer did check as did I
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 1:15 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Have measured tow ball height of car and it's just over 35 cm with weight in boot so it seems that it's quite low and therefore prob not a lot can be done.
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 2:59 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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pepe63 - 2015-03-24 8:44 AM

Hi ips..
I fitted a pair of Grayston spring assistors (additional coli spring- over bump-stop type) to a previous van(Boxer swb)and it raised the rear nicely , without making it overly harsh(easy to fit too).

http://www.springassisters.co.uk/menu.htm

http://www.springassisters.co.uk/31B14%20INST.pdf

If all the weights are okay, I can't help feeling that "visually" it may be as much about the consequence of them producing vehicles with ever-decreasing ground clearances ..


Hi pepe
Many thanks that sounds just the job have contacted them and they do them for my vehicle but four week delivery.
Did it actually raise the rear significantly ?
userpepe63
Posted: 24 March 2015 4:05 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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Hi again ips...
It was a few (6-7?)years ago now, so I couldn't really be sure of the exact figure(possibly 3/4"+ at the wheel?) but they did visibly lift the back end of our Boxer CB..
(...but not so much as to resemble some '70s jacked up Escort... )

It did sit "level(ish)" before but with a long tail overhang it never looked right to my eye..and I also needed some extra ground clearance to help stop it bottoming out when pulling on our steep drive.

I certainly felt happier with it's "stance" once I had fitted them.

Although I suppose for towing, it's how much they "don't droop", rather than how much "they lift", that you need to know...

Ours was obviously just a beam axle with leaf springs, and the coil springs,"sleeved over" the bump stops...
Presumably yours have coil springs already?..so would these replace/upgrade those?....

Edit: As yours is a relatively new vehicle, with everything in good nick, I wonder if it would be worth just giving the rubber insert assisters a try?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/sis.html?_nkw=Grayston-Universal-Leaf-Spring-Assistors-cr-
(I fitted a pair to an old Avenger many years ago, as I was towing a trailer, whilst doing up our house. They're not ideal to my mind, as they don't "assist" all of the spring as such, only partially "block" some of the "sag"...)

Probably best to ask on somewhere like the CC forum or a Berlingo specific forum, to see what other owners have done?....



Edited by pepe63 2015-03-24 4:27 PM
userpepe63
Posted: 24 March 2015 4:45 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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Me again(missed the edit cut off)

Re:Coil Spring,assistors (that's the actual, coil springs, NOT just the rubber insert things..)

I've just found an old thread(Jan 2009) from another forum and I stated, quote:

"..They've lifted the 'van,30mm at the axle and 60-70mm at the rear of the body..I know that doesn't sound a great deal but the "stance" of the vehicle is far better.Prior to fitting,it barely managed to sit level,even when unladen...."
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 7:04 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Pepe
Many thanks that is all most helpful. I think your right I will try the rubber jobs first as there only about a tenner each. I had them on a siera when I caravaned in the 90s and seem to remember they were quite good but I don't recall the figures as to how much they lifted it.
Checked nose weight before with bathroom scales it was 90 kg moved my jack a small toolbox and some cleaning products then put porch awning in bathroom hey presto 70 kg.
Stood on tow bar and suspension hardly moved however boot is full of all my work tools and stuff so pretty low anyway. Trouble is that ball is low cos car is low so not much I can do about that.
Thanks again for input it was all useful stuff.
userfred22
Posted: 24 March 2015 8:04 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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I think there are adjustable shock absorbers that harden or soften the ride but there are also shock absorbers that lifted the back of the car when towing. .
Many years ago I owned a Vauvhall Carton to which these latter shock absorbers had been fitted and the procedure was to hitch up the outfit and then put an airline on a valve and inflate until the unit was level. Brilliant things.

See e-Bay item 301569998392
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Sounds interesting cheers fred
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 24 March 2015 8:46 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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ips - 2015-03-24 11:21 AM

Brian Kirby - 2015-03-24 11:17 AM

ips - 2015-03-24 6:27 AM

Not much in boot waste and water bottle porch awning and spaniel.

Haven't checked nose weight but again begger all in front of van just two small half empty gas bottles and nothing at front inside van so cannot lighten either other than light weight gas bottle when you can get them.

I'm afraid that won't alter the physics or the legal position. The noseweight limit on the hitch will be marked on the hitch itself, and that for the towbar on the tow bracket. If either is exceeded, an offence is comitted.

Did you check the match of van to towcar before you got the 'van? Some vans have high noseweights because of their construction. Fine if you're towing with a 4x4, but not good for cars.

Standard advice is not to re-balance by loading heavy items in the rear of the van, because it causes a "dumbell" effect on the 'van, leading to instability under tow. Have a chat to the Caravan Club technical dept regarding the match, and see what they advise.


Thanks Brian
It is definitely ok dealer did check as did I

I know you've already answered, but I understand the noseweight limit on a Berlingo is 55kg. There are a number of Berlingo variants, but all bar two seem to have the same 1300kg towing limit and 55kg noseweight limit (the others are lower). 55kg is not much. The Berlingo's noseweight limit was considered a serious drawback when entered for the Tow Car of the Year awards in 2009.

I would not accept the assurance of a dealer that car and van are a good match. Too many reports of bad advice in this area!

You said above you haven't checked the actual noseweight on the hitch. Obviously, I don't know what the laden weight of your van is, but that noseweight would conventionally (using the 7% rule of thumb) limit you to a van weighing about 800kg fully laden. By today's standards, that is a very light van.

By reducing the noseweight ratio to 5% (which might possibly affect stability of the van under some conditions), you could get away with 1100kg, but in pracitcal terms, that is about your lot.

Some vans balance quite well about their axle, but many are inherently heavy at the front. If you have one of the latter, you may have a rather intractible problem.

The problem, is that overloading the hitch is legally in the same territory as overloading an axle, or a vehicle. It is an overload. With modern Type Approved designs, it is also creating stresses at the points the towbar attaches to the car body, and within the towbar itself, in exceess of the design parameters of both. Adding spring boosters won't deal with the overload, if there is one.

From what you have said, I'm still a bit concerned that the caravan may be putting more than 55kg onto the Berlingo hitch, and that is what is causing its rear to settle. I'm afraid I still think you would be wise to check both the actial laden hitch downforce, and the downforce limit on the towbar plate, to be certain there is no overload. At least that way you would know whether there really is a problem, and if so where, before spending money on spring assisters that may prove worthless. Sorry for repeating myself!
userfred22
Posted: 24 March 2015 9:02 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 
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I don't know if this has been posted before.

If you log on to the Towsure website there is a free to use Car and Caravan matching service.
userips
Posted: 24 March 2015 9:08 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Thanks but I can assure you the match is fine.
userips
Posted: 27 March 2015 4:51 PM
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Just fitted Grayston assisters the rubber things. Raised tow ball by inch and half and that's with all my tools in the back which are very heavy. Should be much better will report back after next trip.
userips
Posted: 27 March 2015 6:44 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Ps
Brian you were bang on re the nose weight see my earlier post. My model Berlingo multispace xtr is the 110bhp variant 2013. Post 2010 models have an increased nose weight of 70 kg. This is exactly what I have achieved having moved some stuff around. Am also changing to two 3.7 kg gas bottles instead of the 6. Have done the math and it will work for us.
For the record van is lunar cosmos 462 dealer special and weighs 1175. So we'll under car towing limit of 1300

Edited by ips 2015-03-27 7:06 PM
userpepe63
Posted: 27 March 2015 7:00 PM
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ips - 2015-03-27 4:51 PM

Just fitted Grayston assisters the rubber things. Raised tow ball by inch and half and that's with all my tools in the back which are very heavy. Should be much better will report back after next trip.


Result..and if it looks "right" then that's half the battle
(..and by the sounds of it, just a bit of rearranging may sort the rest...).

Judging by the state of some of the outfits we see scrapin' their backsides down the M5 , there's a helluva lot of folk more likely to get pulled than you..
userips
Posted: 27 March 2015 7:09 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Cheers for all your advice and input pepe. Visible difference in height of ball and wheel arch. I am pretty sure it will be a vast improvement and only forty quid and fifteen mins to fit.
Ps
Ordered from wilco via amazon excellent service del next day.
userips
Posted: 13 April 2015 1:04 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Update
Just had first trip and can confirm significant improvement with spring assistors fitted.
Ride height near enough level now tow ball hardly moves when hitch lowered. So that and changing to two 3.9kg gas bottles and lightning nose weight in other ways has worked.
Can definately recommend the spring assisters to anyone with similar problem.
userpepe63
Posted: 14 April 2015 11:16 AM
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So it's all worked out okay, and got sorted, quite cheap then ips!

userips
Posted: 14 April 2015 5:19 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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Indeed it did pepe.

Many thanks for your input greatly appreciated my friend.
userListerdiesel
Posted: 16 October 2015 6:58 PM
Subject: RE: soggy backside
 


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lennyhb - 2015-03-23 7:59 PMNO you must not a riser plate to a towbar it's illegal & dangerous and if your car it post 1999 you can't fit a drop plate either.


Drop plates ARE legal as long as the towbar is Type Approved for use with one.

Peter