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Best Towbars In 2022?

As you can imagine when I run a camp site, I see many different vehicles every year, with various towbars. There aren’t just cars towing caravans, but sometimes we have guests who are motorhomes towing trailers or cars. I’ve seen only fixed towbars that were fitted to motorhomes of our guests. But for cars, I’ve seen many fixed, detachable and in the last few years retractable towbars. For this article I’m going to examine the various types of towbars. This info could be helpful for those who are new to caravans or upgrading their tow vehicle. Here I will discuss some examples of towbars you might want to consider as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages for fixed and detachable, and retractable towbars.

In the next article, I’ll discuss how to prepare the new ball for your towbar the towing of a caravan. If you are using your car to tow caravans or trailers, you will need to learn to clean your towball after you use the trailer. I’ll explain the reasons below.

As you can imagine, there is a significant variation in the installation and product prices based on fixed, retractable, and detachable tow bars that must be considered. Additionally, when buying an used car that has an towbar and towball installed, you should have it checked prior to attempting to use it to pull the caravan.

It’s as odd as it sounds it may sound, certain towballs and towbars aren’t really appropriate for towing!

An introduction to Towbars and Towballs

As I’ve mentioned above There are three primary types of towbars, they are either fixed, detachable or retractable. But, within each of these categories, there are additional alternatives. You could use a bolt-on towball, as well as a Swan Neck towball.

Additionally, there are manual retractable as well as electric motorised retractable towballs. I’ve seen more guests in the past few years coming equipped with retractable motors that are the most stylish alternative available.

But don’t believe that motorised retractable towballs are a exclusive property of the top BMWs as well as Range Rovers. I have a guest who recently bought an Ford Kuga and they were allowed to select an electronic retractable option for their towball.

If a Towball/Towbar is not suitable to Tow

If you’re buying an used car and you spot what appears to be an towbar in the back do not assume it’s suitable for towing. It could be a “bike carrier towbar’. This kind of towbar has no rating for towing capacity. So, if your car itself is capable of towing your bike, the it will need to be replaced with an appropriate towbar prior to you can pull a trailer or caravan.

Fixed Towbar Pros and Pros

The most cost-effective option is fixed towbars that come that has a bolt-on/flange tow ball or a swan neck. Apart from being the least expensive option, there’s another advantage of fixed towbars over detachable and retractable alternatives: simplicity.

For detachable towbars there are spring clips or pins to hold them in place. When you have retractable towbars, there are hinges, and even electric motors. It is important to note that with a fixed towbar , as long as the bolts/welding are solid and in good state, there are no other parts that could fail or be seized up.

Concerning the disadvantages of fixed towbars, a few people are not happy with how they appear. Therefore, when their vehicle isn’t towing a trailer or caravan, they think that the towbar is a hindrance to the appearance of the vehicle. For some, this could seem like a minor issue. But, with cars being the second largest purchase that people make, I believe it’s an appropriate concern. But, there’s an additional disadvantage to fixed towbars, aside from how they appear and that is ergonomics.

The biggest issue with fixed Towbars

Ergonomics refers to how something is designed to be used by humans. That is how effectively and safely can an individual interact with the object. While a fixed towbar works very well as a tool for towing, its ergonomic problems are evident even when it is not being used.

We have a fixed towbar for the back of our Nissan X-Trail. I am a lot of my own work, so I frequently take the car to take heavy cement bags or other materials and put them in the rear of the vehicle. The amount of times I’ve injured my knees/shins with the towbar fixed is innumerable.

You might not be a DIY person, but the same problem when using a fixed towbar applicable to loading your shopping in the back of your car. So, even if like how a fixed towbar appears on your vehicle. It is worth thinking about the impact it has on the use of your car even when it’s not towing your trailer or caravan.

Bolt-on/Flange Towbars , or Swan neck Towbars?

If you decide to go with the fixed towbar option , the next choice you’ll need to make is whether you want to choose an flange-bolt fitment, or a bolt-on Swan neck towball? The truth is that bolt-on/flange towbars are usually considered by some as the ugly choice since more components are displayed.

Fixed swan neck towbar can be thought to be the most discrete alternative. But, as we’ve discussed earlier in the case of aesthetics for your vehicle, if it is important to you it is probably best opting for a detachable or retractable bar.

One thing to be aware of is that for some short-necked bolt-on towballs, there may be a problem with the caravan stabilizer hitch connecting properly. If you have a swan neck this problem isn’t present.

Perhaps, fitting an extra bumper protector plate a bolt-on towball can make the towbar that’s ugly more ugly. It’s a subjective opinion, but it serves a purpose. We have a bumper protector plate that is attached to our towbar bolt-on.

If we’re in the process of using our vehicle for caravans, I’ll usually carry a trailer in the back of the vehicle, and go for a trip to the nearby recycling center (tip) for example. When I put the trailer onto the car tow hitch, I do it by hand. the bumper protector makes sure that I don’t damage the car.

If a swan or bolt-on neck-fixed towbar will be the most suitable choice for your vehicle will usually depend on the design of your rear bumper. If you choose a towbar with a bolt-on, rear bumpers, modifications to the design of the bumpers, and possibly cutting may be necessary.

With an swan neck towbar, it is less likely that the car’s rear bumper will need to be modified or cut. If you were planning to take off the towbar prior to selling the vehicle in the near future, it could affect your decision.

Towbar that can be detached Towbar Pros and Pros and

If aesthetics of your vehicle are an issue for you or do you not want to hit your knees or thighs against a fixed towbar , the next step is an adjustable towbar. There are a variety of companies that offer detachable towbars.

The advantages as mentioned above of a detachable towbar is that it is easy to remove when towing isn’t required. Therefore, you won’t have to bang your legs against the towbar while going to the shop. In addition, aside from the point of attachment for the towbar, in the event that the detachable towbar isn’t fitted, the vehicle keeps its original look.

In terms of the disadvantages of a detachable towbar versus one fixed towbar, you will have pay more to get the benefit. If you purchase a fixed towbar only for the kit you’ll need to pay about PS200. If you want a towbar that can be detachable it will cost you upwards to around PS300-400.

Additionally, the condition of every kind of towbar must be checked. If the towbar is detached requires some extra attention. Make sure that the spring fixing mechanism and release mechanism are functioning properly. The instructions of the manufacturer may suggest periodic sprays with WD40 or Silicon oil to lubricate the spring.

Retractable/Deployable Towbar Pros and Cons

The ‘poshest’ towbar that a car can be fitted is a retractable/deployable towbar. Some are operated manually that requires you to kneel down then release it, and then turn the towbar back into place.

The most expensive alternative is to get an electric motorized deployable towbar. In the past couple of years, we’ve been able to host a few guests who have Land Rover Discovery vehicles equipped with electronically deployable towbars. But, even companies like Ford have begun to offer the possibility of an electronic towbar that can be deployed.

The advantages of a motorised towbar is its sleek appearance when it’s not being used. This is obviously the case with a detachable towbar. But, with an electrically detachable towbar you don’t need to get down on your knees in order to place it in the right position.

A towbar that can be deployed is easier to place and conceal than a towbar that can be detachable. Additionally, there’s the advantage that you don’t need to locate the space inside your vehicle to store the towball , as is the situation with a detachable.

What are the pros and cons? There are two, and I’m certain you’re not likely to be shocked by the first one which is the cost. For a retractable manual towbar, it costs usually around PS500.

If you want an electric motorised retractable towbar the price could be quite a bit higher. It could be that you are looking at an amount of around P1,000 or more, based on the brand and model of the vehicle. The second con is complexity/reliability.

How reliable are electric Retractable Towbars?

With the added convenience and ease of use for a towbar that is discrete using electric motors and hinges There are more parts that could fail at some time. Since electric retractable towbars are relatively new , there is limited information available on their reliability.