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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 5128
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: PROS AND CONS OF EXTENDED DRAWBARS AND REASONS FOR. Reply with quote

People often want to extend the Drawbar for cargo reasons Rolling Eyes But that is the key issue here is the word CARGO. There is no reason to extend it for towing reasons, in fact there are as many disadvantages to doing that, as there are advantages..

We do often extend the drawbar for things like boxes for specific storage, or 500 mm for something like the folding Little Bulldog Trailer, a folding boat trailer for avid fishermen that do not want to load a salty tinny on the roof of the tow vehicle for daily fishing trips back and forth to camp.
We get people often wanting a 300 mm extension for Jerry Can holders and other gear. We have gone to 900mm for motorized hang gliders. We have done it 900mm longer for motorized wheelchairs, where a Nobel response to a case of debilitating MS, was to say "We are not going to let a little thing like that stop us from our dreams of travel all over Australia".

But the key issue here is cargo. And while some would argue that it tows better, there may be a tiny advantage moving forward, but Bushtracker vans already tow extremely well with the Load Sharing and Full Independent Suspension, so how it tows is not a reason either. Yes it does back up a little easier, because it is slower to respond. But for these tiny towing advantages there is a larger disadvantage, as it makes the van cut corners. You have to learn to swing wide on corners, and the longer the drawbar, the worse it actually is. A 300mm extension, means about a 300mm further swing out wide before the turn to make the corner. It is something you have to learn how to do, and keep in mind, and is a little disadvantage to compensate for when in the Bush.

Once in the Northern Territory, I was cutting a corner from one track to another, and thought I could push a bush aside, no worries. I was making a right hand turn onto a track where someone had given me a mud map to an old Drovers camp with log seats and fire pit.. I cut a bush a bit as I turned the corner, no worries, that is what Body Armour is for. But there was this high pitched squeal I could faintly hear as my van suddenly got heavier to about 20 ton, and the forward motion came to a halt. In the Bush was an abandoned well casing, that someone had attached an old gate hinge too Shocked It cut the corners off the body armour in a squeal Exclamation Now never mind it would have ripped the whole side out of a normal van, or one that just copied our style with very thin Body Armour. At first I was really upset. But then, later I came around to the idea of wearing it as a "Battle Scar" and took a black marker and wrote over the metre long mark "Well Casing discovered in Bush". Thank God I did it with a Bushtracker Laughing

Five years earlier in the 90's, with an extended drawbar learning the lessons the hard way, I was responsible for the early demise of some mushroom lights on the edge of the BP Servo in Roma Qld... Ha! I did not even know about it, but some months later on another trip the Servo People recognized me and pointed it out, to which I offered to pay for them........ Shocked Embarassed Embarassed But then they said NO WORRIES, WE DID NOT LIKE THEM OURSELVES... And they had later taken them out.. GOOD ON YA MATEHa! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing The point is to this funny story is that not all cut corners could turn out this funny.. You have to be careful

In Summary, Cargo is the legitimate reason for extending the drawbar, not in thinking it tows better as there are certainly as many disadvantages as advantages in towing. If you do get it for Cargo reasons, fine, works well. Just practice your turns until you have the technique of swinging wide in the opposite direction before the turn like the trucks do. It is not that hard with a bit of practice Wink

Cheers, from the lone Ranger just trying to help Smile .
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