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FAQ

1.Why does the price of a towbar vary so much?

2. My car has parking sensors; will this affect my choice of towbar?

3. Will the towbar from my old car fit my new car?

4. What is the advantage of a vehicle specific wiring kit and do I need one?

5. What is an ALKO towball?

6. Will my car need a bumper cut?

7. Can I use a bike rack with a detachable towbar?

8. What can my car tow?

9. What is the correct towing height for my vehicle and can I adjust this?

10. Can I just turn up and get a towbar fitted today?

 

 

1. Why does the price of a towbar vary so much?

This will depend on a number of factors; whether you want a fixed or detachable towbar, whether you require single or twin electrics, or a 13 pin socket arrangement, whether your vehicle requires a vehicle specific wiring kit and if the caravan you are towing has an ALKO stabiliser which requires a compatible towball to be fitted.

 

2. My car has parking sensors; will this affect my choice of towbar?

If a vehicle has parking sensors we usually recommend that a detachable towbar is fitted. This is because a fixed towbar could be detected by the sensors when the car is put into reverse.

 

3. Will the towbar from my old car fit my new car?

Every towbar is designed specifically for the vehicle so a model change frequently requires that a new towbar is fitted. However it is useful to reclaim items such as bike carrier brackets, stabiliser brackets and stabiliser towballs, as these items can often be refitted.

 

4. What is the advantage of a vehicle specific wiring kit and do I need one?

Many modern vehicles have incorporated in their electronic systems safety functions such as Trailer Stability Program which can only be activated by using a dedicated wiring kit. Bypass relays, which will allow the lights to function, do not speak to the vehicle computer and are therefore not able to be read by diagnostic equipment. Another advantage is that on some cars the on-board computer can detect when the car is towing and will therefore deactivate the rear sensors.

 

5. What is an ALKO towball?

An ALKO towball is a 50mm towball which is designed to go specifically with the ALKO stabiliser fitted to some modern caravans. The towball allows additional clearance between the bumper on the vehicle and the towball, as the hitch-head on the caravan is larger than a standard hitch. This towball needs to be used grease free and should have the paint removed before use. This stops contamination of the stabiliser pads in the hitch.

 

6. Will my car need a bumper cut?

With today’s modern vehicles the bumper very often continues right underneath the vehicle and this could require an aperture to be made in the lower edge of the bumper to allow the towbar to protrude through. Where possible we choose a towbar with the least amount of bumper to be removed. Not all vehicles require a bumper cut but it is advisable to ask if this is of some concern to you.

 

7. Can I use a bike rack with a detachable towbar?

We can offer a bike rack for a swan neck or detachable towbar but it cannot be used whilst towing as the bike rack clamps onto the 50mm ball.

 

8. What can my car tow?

Every cars maximum towing weight varies, car manufacturers list a towing limit for each vehicle in the handbook. The VIN plate on the car (sometimes located in the passenger door shut) will usually show the vehicle kerb weight and the gross train weight which is the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer. The Caravan Club recommend a maximum of 85% of the cars kerb weight with a braked trailer and 50% with an unbraked trailer. All type approved towbars carry a plate upon which the maximum nose-weight is shown as an “S-Value” and under no circumstances should this be exceeded.

 

9. What is the correct towing height for my vehicle and can I adjust this?

The regulations governing towbars dictate that the height of the towbar meets certain specifications. Most modern caravans and trailers are designed to allow for this height. This height cannot be altered unless the towbar has been designed with a height variation which allows for a drop plate to be used. Drop plates must never be used to raise the height of a towball as this will invalidate the towbar warranty.

 

10. Can I just turn up and get a towbar fitted today?

Due to the complexity of most vehicles and customer’s requirements we advise that you phone and book an appointment. Occasionally we can fit a towbar without an appointment but it’s always best to phone in advance.

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