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Les Medes

Westfalia Detachable Tow Bar

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Picking up our new car on Monday, can anyone who has one recommend Westfalia, I have had a peep on Utube and it looks reasonably simple to use, also any figure on cost of one fitted would be useful as the dealer do not fit, and they are a main dealer !!  Any views good and bad would be greatly appreciated, I have never had in over forty years a detachable

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Just now, Les Medes said:

Picking up our new car on Monday, can anyone who has one recommend Westfalia, I have had a peep on Utube and it looks reasonably simple to use, also any figure on cost of one fitted would be useful as the dealer do not fit, and they are a main dealer !!  Any views good and bad would be greatly appreciated, I have never had in over forty years a detachable

Les I had a Westfalia on the Tiguan it was very difficult to fit and remove, we had a new car a couple of months ago and this time I have had a Tow Trust bar fitted IMHO it’s a better bar as it’s very easy to fit and remove, what car are you putting it on? If it’s a CANBUS system make sure you have dedicated electrics.  

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I have a Westfallia fitted our Touareg.  In contrast to the post above, I find it easy to fit and remove only takes a few seconds.  However I do find the hidden electric socket a bit fiddly and I don’t like the fact there is no where to put the breakaway cable.  

 

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I've had 3 Westfalia detachable towbars and I found them easy to fit and remove.  Only problem I ever had was caused by lack of lubrication, so make sure you pay attention to that.  My present car has a detachable Witter, which I initially found more awkward to fit, but it was probably more a case of just getting used to it and I don't have any problem with it now.  I would have had a Westfalia again but they were out of stock for my car at the time.  I paid about £700 to get it fitted last year.  I would also recommend dedicated electrics, and check that the fitter can do any necessary coding that might be required.

 

I'm not surprised to hear that a main dealer wouldn't fit your tower, I don't think many of them do, mostly they seem to farm them out to a local specialist.  Perhaps surprising that your dealer didn't offer this and you might be advised to check any warranty implications of fitting an aftermarket towbar - another reason for making sure you go for dedicated electrics.

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I have a Westphalia detachable tow bar on our BMW X5 and it is ridiculously simple to fit and remove. Fitting was £600.

 

Gordon 

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I have a Westfalia detachable and as said it's easy to put on and remove but important that the mechanism is kept lubricated and good clean working order and the breakaway cable point is usually on the receiver tube hidden and might need a shackle to low the connection below the rear valance instead of lying down to reach it .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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I have fitted and used many makes of towbar.

 

My towbar of choice is the Westfalia.

IMO the best engineered you can get, although the fitting instructions can be a bit Ikea.

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We are on our second (vertical) Westfalia on a Passat Estate and like an early contributor I have found it easy to fit, although as noted it does need to be kept lubricated which (I think) is silicone grease. The only warning is to make sure you cover the lock slot with the attached cover when it is fitted, in use or not, as the lock can get dirty and a bit awkward. Same applies to the post slot when the hitch is not in place. The electrics that come with it do NOT have fridge wiring so you need to make sure the supplier/fitter is aware of it as they have to order an additional cableform.

The first one we had fitted in 2015 to a B7 estate cost £540 all in; the second fitted in October to a B8 cost £600 all in. If the OP is in this area, Horsforth Towbars know what they are doing.

 

For readers that don't already know, Westfalia and Witter are now part of the same company. Westfalia filed for bankrupcy in 2010 and were bought by the French motorhome manufacturer Rapido  in 2011; Witter were bought by Rapido earlier this year.

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Another one here who’s happy with my Westfalia detachable,  although it’s not had too much use yet.  

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Car make & model ??

 

Bosal Oris detachable (o/e) fitted aftermarket by Horsforth Tow Bars - very pleased. £650 ish all in including a meaty new rear beam bumper box section.  

Was strongly advised by main dealer to specify & use the o/e wiring loom for full compatability with stability control and rear parking sensors etc etc.

Practice before using helps.  

All tow bars now have to have a eye for the breakaway cable inc detachable's.  

Would always want a detachable tow bar if within your means - fixed bars when solo hurt your shins.

There are a few s/h electric auto units starting to appear but its a big job to fit them.

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My Peugeot dealers did not want to supply but told me who the fitter they used was so went to him as he would be able to do the update to the cars computer system.

I had been asking other local fitters for quotes and found about half of them could not update the computer and said a main dealer would do it for me.   I asked both main dealers if they would do update and both said no.

So went to the recommended one by dealers and he fitted Westfalia.     A thing to note is the approval label is not visible and should be so ensure your fitter moves it if not going to visible after he as fitted it.

 

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we had one on our last car, very easy to do, even the electrics were simple to locate and put into position. We now have an automatic one as I found that the towbar was getting a bit heavy for me when  it dropped down, apart from that it was fine.  

 

 

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22 minutes ago, montesa said:

 

All tow bars now have to have a eye for the breakaway cable inc detachable's.  

My tow bar was fitted late July 2018.   It does not have an eye.  I have been on my back under the car with a torch, it doesn’t have one.  May be it is because the towbar has an old type approval I’m not sure but it is definitely missing.  

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Links to threads on this subject in last two weeks.

You should now have a connection point on a 2018 fitting, I did not say you do have one. It seems it is current EU law to have a point.  

 

I was also unable to locate my eye for the breakaway to attach to and had looped it around the detach neck previously.  

After a bit of crawling under back bumper I do have a large hole on the main fitting and also the eyelet off the electric socket bracket which according to the above thread(s) was the recommended point also.   

Edited by montesa

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1 hour ago, Gordon7912 said:

I have a Westphalia detachable tow bar on our BMW X5 and it is ridiculously simple to fit and remove. Fitting was £600.

 

Gordon 

I also have this combination and would agree that it’s nice and easy to use and seems rock solid. It’s also 100% invisible when removed.

  • Haha 1

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31 minutes ago, DugB said:

I also have this combination and would agree that it’s nice and easy to use and seems rock solid. It’s also 100% invisible when removed.

now you see it, now you don't :lol:

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I have had an assortment of tow bars over the years both detachable and fixed.

However the present Westfalia Retractable is the best and easiest I have ever had.

Electrics are spot on and there is an attachment point for the breakaway cable.

Wonder what car the op is picking up?

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The vehicle I am buying is a Mercedes E Class 220D.   Mercedes fit Westfalia at the factory, but my car was in stock, pre reg with 34 miles on the clock and saved 33 %. The reason I am asking if they are easy to fit is that some years ago I broke my back in a Rally Accident (not a caravan rally !!) and I still  have problems, so I am being cautious,  I have always had a Fixed Swan Neck Bar over the years the current one being a Brink which is fine. , (but a Detachable bar would tidy up the rear end, if you know what I mean  ;))   

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3 hours ago, Woodentop said:

Horsforth Towbars know what they are doing.

They are the ones that fitted mine. They did an excellent job. WE dropped it off and went shopping in Leeds. It was completed  when we got back.  

Gordon

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1 hour ago, Les Medes said:

The vehicle I am buying is a Mercedes E Class 220D.   Mercedes fit Westfalia at the factory, but my car was in stock, pre reg with 34 miles on the clock and saved 33 %. The reason I am asking if they are easy to fit is that some years ago I broke my back in a Rally Accident (not a caravan rally !!) and I still  have problems, so I am being cautious,  I have always had a Fixed Swan Neck Bar over the years the current one being a Brink which is fine. , (but a Detachable bar would tidy up the rear end, if you know what I mean  ;))   

 

I would try fitting one if you can on some other vehicle like a neighbour or towbar fitters if you have back problems as it will take bending down or kneeling and then once the mechanism is cocked ready for engagement it takes a bit of force pushing it up into the tube and it will then lock .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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Look s like I had a duff one then, I couldn’t ever get the thing to disengage so I suppose no fear of it falling off, won’t on the advice of the tow bar fitter and he uses a Tow Trust bar, they as a company are excellent I had a technical question about breakaway cables so emailed them at 8 in the evening by 6:30 the next morning I had a reply that’s what a consider to be good service.

 

I too had the X5 as an in stock car but no towbar but got about 25% of the price a bargain indeed.  

8 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

 

I would try fitting one if you can on some other vehicle like a neighbour or towbar fitters if you have back problems as it will take bending down or kneeling and then once the mechanism is cocked ready for engagement it takes a bit of force pushing it up into the tube and it will then lock .

 

 

Dave

:goodpost:

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15 minutes ago, Mark&Penny14 said:

Look s like I had a duff one then, I couldn’t ever get the thing to disengage so I suppose no fear of it falling off

 

 

As said by myself and others it is important that the mechanism is kept clean and lubricated and checked it working . They are in a very open to road dirt and wet at the back behind the wheels and usually just left in boots . .

 

The only negative I have is the key has no key to put on a key ring just a plastic knob as video shows and mine sits loose pushed into the polystyrene foam under the floor for the spare wheel .

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

Edited by CommanderDave

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53 minutes ago, Gordon7912 said:

They are the ones that fitted mine. They did an excellent job. WE dropped it off and went shopping in Leeds. It was completed  when we got back.  

Gordon

+1 for Horsforth Towbars did mine, but struggled with the computer update but got it in the end.

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I too have a Westfalia which I fitted myself it doesn't have the hole for a breakaway cable. Electrics cost more than bar, very good kit on my opinion.

 

David

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My Westfalia was fitted in January of this year and has the attached loop for the breakaway cable.   I find the hook fairly easy to fit but the cover for the lock snapped off while the fitter was demonstrating the operation to me!  Westfalia supplied a replacement but it is just a loose press-on cap and not as convenient as the original attached cover would have been. Initially, I had great problems with the breakaway cable, particularly with detaching  it as the space for my hand was very tight and, of course, you can't see what you're doing unless you lie on your back & look up. I solved this by enlarging the cutout in the bumper - it's underneath, so isn't readily visible. It's now much easier to fit & detach the cable. I did initially try a shackle, but that didn't help much.   My previous cars have had a Brink & then a Witter, both of which were easier to use, but were always visible. Now, when there's no caravan attached, the rear bumper has nice clean lines which I like.

John M

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