Do you want to buy a towbar? If so, there are some things you should look out for before making the purchase. A towbar can be for more than just towing but is always easy to use and when fitted correctly should provide many years of service.
Here are five things to consider when buying one.
1. Make Sure The Towbar Is Compatible With Your Vehicle
Make sure the towbar is compatible with your vehicle. Whilst most vehicles are capable of towing some are not approved for pulling a trailer or caravan and can therefore only be used with a cycle rack. You can find your vehicle’s towing capacity on the VIN plate and if this figure is zero you will only be able to use the towbar with a cycle rack.
Installing a towbar onto your vehicle can make spontaneous adventures much easier to plan, giving you more time for the things that matter most. But from installation to longer-term maintenance it’s important not only to consider safety but also other factors like how often do I drive with or without one attached?
Towbars come in both fixed and removable variants, so it’s important to be aware that prices may vary. The cost of the different types of towbar can vary considerably and this, together with the electrics required for towing, can affect the price you pay for your towbar.
Most people who own cars may have at least considered purchasing a trailer because they know that life can sometimes present itself with an unexpected problem or two and a trailer can sometimes provide a solution.
2. Consider What You’ll Be Towing – A Caravan, Boat, Trailer, Etc
For people planning to tow a caravan, trailer, or other vehicles on holiday with them there are a few things you need to consider when driving with an attached trailer.
Towing a trailer or caravan will require you to adopt a slightly different driving technique to normal to allow for the fact the vehicle is now effectively longer and heavier. Your vehicle will respond differently when towing not only when turning but also braking so this is something you need to be prepared for.
There are a lot of things you will need to know before beginning to tow. The connection between your towing capacity and the kerbside weight of a vehicle can have an important effect on how it operates and you must make sure that whatever you are towing is within the limits laid out by the vehicle manufacturer.
3. Ensure The Towbar Has An Anti-Sway Device And Safety Chain
When towing a braked trailer or caravan, your safety chain must be strong enough. Ensure that it is correctly attached to the trailer brake and to the towbar in the event that the trailer hitch becomes separated from the towing vehicle.
Anti-sway, or anti-snake, devices are recommended when towing a caravan and these are either incorporated into the caravan hitch or can be purchased as a separate item which connects between the towbar and the caravan to help prevent the caravan from swaying when being towed.
4. Find Out If There Are Any Regulations For Using A Towbar In Your Area
The rules and regulations that relate to towing are in place for a reason, after all, we want everyone safe! The maximum measurement of your trailer or caravan should not exceed 2.55metres in width or 7metres in length.
The towing rules and regulations are there for your safety, as well as that of other drivers who may be around you. It is important to be aware of not only the width but also the length of your trailer or caravan to ensure there’s room enough on either side when driving.
Driving any vehicle is very dangerous if you do not have a clear view of the road in all directions. If your mirrors are blocked by the trailer or caravan you’re towing and hinder other drivers’ views, this puts everyone at risk, especially those oncoming from behind! You must fit suitable towing mirrors if your caravan or trailer is wider than your towing vehicle or if your rear view is restricted. You must ensure having a clear view of any vehicles behind the caravan or trailer.
For this reason alone every driver who wants peace of mind when driving should ensure they fit proper towing mirrors onto their cars so as not to be caught up in an accident later down the line.
The maximum weight which a vehicle can tow will depend entirely on the make and model of the vehicle. This is determined by the vehicle VIN plate and must be adhered to.
Ask About Installation Requirements And Cost Before Buying One
When buying a towbar for your vehicle, ask about installation requirements and costs before purchasing one. Some towbars may require drilling holes into the chassis or box section of your car, but this would be part of the manufacturer’s guidelines and as long as the towbar being fitted is fully type-approved this does not compromise the vehicle. All the towbars we supply are fully type-approved for fitting and will not invalidate any vehicle warranty you may have. The majority of our towbars require no drilling when being fitted to a vehicle as provision is made by the vehicle manufacturer for the installation of a towbar.
Asking questions about towbars before you buy one is the best way to ensure that your purchase will work for you.
Our team of experts are available to answer any questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s anything we can help with!