Everything you need to know about your car towbar
If you’ve never caravanned before, or if you’re buying a new towcar, before you start navigating your way to your destination, there are just a few things to check off the list. The first thing is to ensure you have the correct type of towbar for your particular towing needs.
We’ve teamed up with the experts at Bosal Towbars to run through what’s available in the UK market; how to choose the right towbar for you, and the consideration of your vehicle type in making your towing experience as simple, safe and practical as can be.
Here are three of the main towbar types you can choose from dependant on your vehicle of choice. Don't forget to read up on the legal issues to stay the right side of the law when caravanning.
The first, and arguably the most popular on the market is the flange towbar. This is a clear favourite for those driving long distances in need of a reliable product that can partner with a variety of accessories including, pin towballs, bumper protectors and drop plates to adjust a towbar's height.
This is the most versatile towbar type on the market, and is available in a choice of either fixed or welded connections.
- 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 with drop plates
- Additional costs for the purchase of towballs
- Towbar is visible when not in use
- Electrics are visible when not in use
Swan neck towbar
A towbar that is growing in popularity in the UK is the stylish swan neck. This particular towbar type has a neat, smooth and curved appearance which makes it a clear favourite for the image conscious driver. The bar is mounted on the vehicle like any other towbar, giving it the same pulling power, and then the ‘L’ shaped bracket is either welded or fixed to your vehicle, depending on your preference.
- Attractive ‘L’ shaped design
- Won’t trigger reverse sensors when not towing
- Suitable for AL-KO stabilisers
- Different types of towballs cannot be fitted
- Slightly more expensive than other types
- Doesn’t work in tandem with a cycle carrier (whereas the flange towbar does). If you love nothing more than a bike ride in the country then this is not the one for you.
It’s not difficult to see the benefit of the detachable towbar. Simply lock, and unlock when not on the road. It’s a popular choice for drivers who may not travel so often, or families who book an annual holiday, who may not need a towbar in place at all times.
The original AK4 and AK6 designs allow the towbar to be unlocked using a key, so you can remove when not needed and reattach when hitching up for a weekend getaway.
- Can be removed/attached in seconds
- Not visible when not on the road
- Suitable for AL-KO stabilisers (like the swan neck)
- Not compatible with all bike racks
- Cannot be used with a bumper protector
- Not compatible with a cycle carrier when in use
Now you’ve selected the most suitable towbar for your vehicle, it’s time to hitch it up to your car. If you’re in need of a little advice read our towbar hitch guide for all the information you’ll need.