How to choose the right caravan towbar for your car
While they are not for everyone - and some frequent motorway drivers would prefer they were gone for good - we recognise that caravanning is not only a Great British pastime but a great way to make use of a bank holiday or enjoy a summer holiday that doesn’t break the bank. In fact, the National Caravan Council (NCC) reported the number of bookings for caravan holidays has risen by almost 15% compared to previous years.
Want to join the caravan craze? Brilliant, but first you need to tick off a few safety items before driving off into the distance. When it comes to towing your caravan there are several questions you will need to ask yourself.
The first one being, how much weight will I be towing? Smaller trailers will weigh much less than a larger trailer, and this will make a significant difference to the amount of strain you are putting on your trailer. Remember to factor in the weight of the trailer and its contents, as well as all that camping gear - it can really add up! Check the recommended weight limit when selecting your tow bar to ensure you have the best type for the job.
The three main towbar types:
The first one, and the most common in the industry, is the flange towbar. This is most popular with drivers towing heavy vehicles and caravans for long distances. The reason for this is because there are a number of partner accessories available to aid the towing experience such as pin type towballs, bumper protectors and drop plates to adjust the tow bar's height.
This is perhaps the most versatile product on the market, and at Bosal Towbars we offer a selection of Fixed or Welded Flange Towbars specifically designed with your vehicle in mind.
Advantages of Flange Towbars
Can be used in connection with cycle carriers, electric kits and other accessories
Different towballs are available (pin or nato)
- Towing heights can be altered using drop plates
- Disadvantages of Flange Towbars
- Additional cost for the purchase of towballs
- Towbar is visible when not in use
- Electrics are visible when not in use
Swan Neck Towbar
The Swan Neck tow bar is growing in popularity in the UK due to its neat, curved and smooth appearance, which differs from other types. The bar is mounted on to the vehicle like any other towbar, giving it the same pulling power, and then the ‘L’ shaped bracket is either welded or fixed on to your car depending on your preference.
Attachments are available for this towbar, but with this particular model you cannot tow and carry bikes at the same time which could be a deal breaker for some families.
Advantages of the Swan Neck towbar
- Attractive, smooth ‘L’ shape design
- The angle and clearance is suitable for Alko stabilisers
- Won’t trigger reverse sensors when not towing
Disadvantages of the Swan Neck towbar
- Different types of towballs can not be fitted
- Slightly more expensive than Flange Towbars
- Doesn't work in tandem with a cycle carrier (whereas a flange towbar does)
Detachable tow bars, often known as removable tow bars, have become a popular choice with drivers who may not be on the road so often. The original AK4 and AK6 designs allow the tow bar to be unlocked using a key so they are not visible. For this reason, we would recommend this model to families going on their annual holiday who do not need a tow bar in place at all times.
Advantages of Detachable Towbars
- Can be removed when not in use
- Can be fitted and removed in seconds
- The eco system is safe, secure and practical
- Compatible with Alko stabilisers
Disadvantages of Detachable Towbars
- Cannot be used with a bumper protector
- Cannot be used with a cycle carrier when towing
- Not compatible with all bike racks
All of these towbars come with their own unique features, designs and quirks, so it’s simply a case of determining the requirements you have and choosing the best tow bar to suit your needs.
This article was provided by Bosal Towbars, who specialise in the finest quality industry leading towbars. Head over to their website to find a towbar suited to your vehicle’s make and model.