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PB -PC Challenger 2009 - 2014 Covering 2.5 HP diesel

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  #1  
Old 29-12-12
drdeco drdeco is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default oh no not another long post from a newbie!

Hi there

I just bought (and drove home last night) a 2010 LS Challenger, 7 seats and about 40k under its belt. Very happy with the car and can't wait to test all the 4wd/low range etc which will be a first for me.

It's fully fitted for towing (with the OEM/MMA towbar - the ugly one old one with max 2.5ton load, dual batteries, reverse camera, nudge bar/driving lights, brake controller etc) as the previous owner had a 2ton caravan and did a couple of big trips. He showed me he was using a 4 spring/bars Weight Distribuition Hitch (Hayman Reese) and I guess it was an old one, as it was attached to the original hitch tongue under the towball. He kept the WDH.

I am planning to tow a campervan which gets to about 1500kg fully loaded, ball weight about 145-150kg. I have a HR WDH (intermediate) which I used on my other car (more on that later) but now it turns out it wont go into the Challenger's OEM towbar (as plenty of people out there found out, in this and other forums) since it hits the plate welded at the back of the towbar. I cant even get one hole to align.

I've found conflicting opinions in regards to the OEM bar vs HR bar for the Challenger i.e looks, departure angle, insurance/warranty issues. I've also heard that the OEM/MMA WDH wont let you adjust the vertical position of the towball - and I have no idea whether this will be a problem for me or not. And I know we are not really supposed to to any cutting/reshaping the HR WDH again due to warranty/insurance.

Well I've hit a wall and cant decide whats the best way to go.

Would I be better off:
1- buying a new HR towbar and keeping my HR WDH _OR_
2- keeping the existing towbar and buying a new OEM/MMA WDH _OR_
3- anyone with experience towing a similar load reckons I can just forget about the WDH and use the standard tongue/towball?

Thanks everybody. It's been a long expensive journey since buying the campervan three months ago and finding out my car wasn't quite suitable for it despite the specs and Mitsubishi saying it was fine (Outlander which tows 1500kg - I used it twice with the van partially loaded at 1350kg- as you can imagine it struggled a bit ).

The Challenger was a no brainer due to cost (had to go second hand this time), towing capacity and very good reviews here and other places about its off road ability. I still love the Outlander and now it's my wife's car.

Cheers
andre
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  #2  
Old 29-12-12
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Goodsy Goodsy is offline
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G'day Andre from Mornington.
Welcome aboard. No idea about your Challenger just wanted to say Hi.
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  #3  
Old 30-12-12
JK017 JK017 is offline
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Welcome Andre

I also have a challenger but have a parkside towbar (Same as Hayman Reese) The ball height is much higher than the standard MMA towbar but looks alot neater.

I am presently towing a camper, which fully loaded is around 1200kg with a ball weight of 1ookg. Tows fine with no distribution hitch.

Before this I had an Xtrail and it use to struggle with the camper and you certainly knew it was there. For this vehicle I was considering an intermediate hitch also as it use to drop in the rear.
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Old 30-12-12
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PeePee PeePee is offline
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I have an MY12 with the Mitsubishi bar (ugly thing) and tow a Jayco eagle outback. The tow ball weight is around 110 kg's I think. I don't use any WDH at all and have no problems at all. If I was to tow a van at north of say 1,800 kg's with a larger ball weight I would probably be looking for a WDH of sorts.
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Old 30-12-12
drdeco drdeco is offline
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Thanks guys

Will give it a try without the WDH and see how it goes, It was my last resort but given the replies it sounds like it might just be ok. I have a few days off this week so will take it for a spin.

Will keep you all posted

cheers
Andre
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Old 30-12-12
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Goodsy Goodsy is offline
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I reckon you'll be ok with the camper without a WDH as there isn't as much weight leverage as a caravan if that makes sence.

Towed a single axle 16 footer 1500kg with a ball weight of hmm lots with no WDH behind my hilux for 12 months 25000k's.
Towed fine but that was a leaf sprung one tonner with another 500kg's in the back.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-13
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gazza73 gazza73 is offline
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About to buy a 2012 LS myself and asking the same questions. I've been towing for 30 years, only a small 12' poptop 1300kg, but the HR WDH are great for stability when travelling in rougher areas of Flinders Ranges etc. The HR unit looks/fits so much better into the existing bumper and doesn't restrict departure angles like the MCC official bar. Just shot a question to HR to get their clarification on warranty using HR after a local MCC sales rep said we'd be voiding warranty on the LS if we bought a HR. I doubt a company as successful as HR would cause such - but interested in the reply.

Most people think WDH are only for big vans - I totally disagree. The trick is to remove them if going up a sudden incline (like driveways at home before/after travel) to ensure you don't over-stress the entire setup. Usual story - apply common sense and be aware of limitations, and the equipment works well.

see: a comparative story we wrote for Kia Sorento comparisons 5 years ago on the whole towing issue - it's helped people focus on the issues nicely for a lot of my mates and other readers. see: http://www.alchester.com.au/pers/gaz..._vehicles.html which was written back in 2007 before the PB was around. I should have waited another 2 years back then, and would have been a happy PB owner a lot sooner!

Gaz
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  #8  
Old 05-01-13
Hilderbeast Hilderbeast is offline
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Check out the caravaners forum http://caravanersforum.com/. Plenty of info here on this topic
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  #9  
Old 13-01-13
drdeco drdeco is offline
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Just a follow up... took the van this weekend on a 100km return trip, no WDH just the standard Mitsubishi towbar/towball.

Had no problems at all, hardly felt the van (about 1500kg) behind the Challenger. Not much bouncing around and the steering was no different than before. Cant say the same when I used the Outlander....

I dont see many Challengers around here in Mornington but there were another 3 at the caravan park (RACV) in Inverloch. One of the chaps had the Mitsubishi WDH and he was complaining about the lack of vertical adjustment. His van sits a bit too low. So he bought a HR and was looking for someone to chop it and add the extra hole.

Thinking about it now, should've offered to buy that WDH off him!! I am not convinced that modifying the HR hitch is the way to go...

Andre
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