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Has anyone used a detachable tow bar and what do you thing of them?

 

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Yes. At Kay’s insistence, she didn’t want a load of iron hanging off the back of the car. 

 

It’s a towbar, it works, and it costs more than a normal one. And it stops my rear parking sensors going mad every time I reverse. From previous experience, it also saves my shins when I’m being careless loading the boot. 

 

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Yes and they are excellent - it’s more expensive but means the ironmongery isn’t always hanging off the back. The towbar lives in the garage

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14 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

Yes and they are excellent - it’s more expensive but means the ironmongery isn’t always hanging off the back. The towbar lives in the garage

 

Mine lives in the spare wheel well - and having a Passat like me you will have one too Frank.

Westfalia are good and they are now part of the same company as Witter.

Thule also make good removable bars but their noseweight tends to be smaller by a small margin (like 5Kg) than Westfalia.

 

To the OP, I note you have a BMW 330i convertable. I would urge you to check that it is specified for towing. Some softtops are not as they are not as structurally strong as a conventional three-box car or an estate.

 

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44 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

Yes. At Kay’s insistence, she didn’t want a load of iron hanging off the back of the car. 

 

It’s a towbar, it works, and it costs more than a normal one. And it stops my rear parking sensors going mad every time I reverse. From previous experience, it also saves my shins when I’m being careless loading the boot. 

 

 

Totally agree with all that - in fact just change ‘Kay’ to ‘Mrs Aldo’ 😄

 

John

 

PS - mine lives in the caravan in storage, so saving me about 1 mpg when solo 😉

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21 minutes ago, Woodentop said:

 

Mine lives in the spare wheel well - and having a Passat like me you will have one too Frank.

 

I did think of that but was concerned it would move around and damage my full size alloy spare!

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Some can be a bit fiddly to fit, my parents have one on a Kia Ceed and it ideally needs you to kneel down and look up at the receiver socket to get it aligned. On my last two cars I’ve had retractable towbars, much easier but a lot more expensive 

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I had a Tow Trust Detachable fitted on my new motor and had it's first tow to Broadway CMC Site last week, the only problem I found was that the 13 pin socket swivels down and I found it really awkward as you have to hold the socket down, hold the flap open and insert the vans socket ALL at the SAME time.

I was so frustrated that I have had a fixed socket fitted yesterday, other than this, I think it tidies my rear end up lovely !!! (the car that is)

Go onto Utube and search for Tow Trust Demo and you will see what I mean, although they make it look simple. I paid £600 for the Bar and Dedicated Electrics if that helps

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Mine is Tow Trust, as was the one on the DS4 - the installation on the Passat requires me to tighten the swivel for the electrics every now and then otherwise it will drop down of its own accord and the angle for putting the caravan socket in feels awkward, the DS4 never had either issue so I suspect some of it is down to the installer.

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I should think it's down to the way the installation works with certain cars. My bumber skirt is very deep which makes the sockets less easy to access than some others.

 

I've had a couple of Witter detachachable and a couple of Westfalia's and the Westfalia's towballs are by far the easiset to instal because they fit into atapered tubular socket rather than a square one so they are effectively self aligning. Whereas the Witter's, being square have to be lined up properly to fit into the socket.

 

I've not had a problem with the swivelling 13-pin socket either, on both Witter & Westfalia bars it's been tight enough to remain in the position that it's been set to so perhaps yours needs a bit of a tweak with a spanner or possibly even a nyloc nut if it's working loose.

 

In fact the only time I had a problem with a swivelling socket was when I forgot to fold it up and reversed the rear of the car over a raised kerb and broke the bracket (it was plastic on the Westfalia). I actually replaced it with a steel TowTrust swivelling socket bracket and now make sure that I fold it away when it's not in use

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Posted (edited)

I didn't know I had an option, only ever seen a detachable tow ball on a Jaguar XE and it is a pain getting down to plug in electrics. There is nothing in Jaguar XE instructions that say there is a fixed version.

 

For the Kia Sorento it is fixed, and if anything rather close to the back of car, had to fit small spacer to allow use of bike rack without it touching car, however if it was not fixed, then could not carry bikes and tow caravan it is either or. So like the fixed version so I can carry bikes and tow, it also has a plate so if you reverse too far there is no damage to car, actually plate now replaced with bike rack plate, but same applies there is some protection should you misjudge.

 

The Jaguar is low enough to put bikes on the roof rack, but lifting them on top of the Kia no way. And Jag has rear cameras so easy to hitch up without getting too close, however with motor mover easy enough to bring caravan to car.

 

So I would not want a detachable with Kia, but do want a detachable with Jag even if it means getting down on floor to reach 13 pin socket. 

Edited by ericmark

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I have a detachable towball on our Kia and find it no problem whatsoever. Once you know how to locate it you do not need to get on your knees to do it - also positive when it engages (TowTrust). The swing down 13 pin electrical socket is a bit awkward as you have to use 2 hands to stop it rotating when you twist the plug as Les said, but again I soon got used to it. Even the security point for the break-away cable on the towbar was a little infuriating in the first place but again, soon get used to where it is located and I can do it by feel now.

Alan 

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Oh dear.....   my OH got our towbar fitted and I can forsee problems for me.

 

I do (or maybe that should be did)??  go off on my own ahead of him for our hols and some rallies.   Rallies will not be a problem as hopefully there will always be some kind bod that will help me hitch back up when needed.  However, staying on CL's there may well be no one around.

 

I can see a very crumpled rear skirt on our Civic coming up....   unless anyone knows if any form of back end protection plate can be fitted to these detachable tow bars (have no idea what make it is, as have not got under car to have a look)!  :blink:

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5 hours ago, Les Medes said:

I had a Tow Trust Detachable fitted on my new motor and had it's first tow to Broadway CMC Site last week, the only problem I found was that the 13 pin socket swivels down and I found it really awkward as you have to hold the socket down, hold the flap open and insert the vans socket ALL at the SAME time.

Sockets that swivel down have indents in the mechanism, so that they should stay down, meaning yours probably wasn't adjusted correctly. The pressure between the socket and its mounting plate can be varied.

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23 minutes ago, Janine00 said:

Oh dear.....   my OH got our towbar fitted and I can forsee problems for me.

 

I do (or maybe that should be did)??  go off on my own ahead of him for our hols and some rallies.   Rallies will not be a problem as hopefully there will always be some kind bod that will help me hitch back up when needed.  However, staying on CL's there may well be no one around.

 

I can see a very crumpled rear skirt on our Civic coming up....   unless anyone knows if any form of back end protection plate can be fitted to these detachable tow bars (have no idea what make it is, as have not got under car to have a look)!  :blink:

If you go rallying wouldn't you have a motor mover fitted to the caravan. Gone are the days of everyone pushing and shoving caravans into position and out of the mud ! If you have or are getting a motor mover then, if you are on your own bring the caravan onto the car towball with the mover - so easy.  

Alan

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Witter detachable for me, about 2 seconds to fit and about 3 seconds to remove, Excellent!

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I've had detachables of various makes and never had a problem accept   being a little concerned about damaging the rear skirt .  Also, never having found a satisfactory protection plate I've yet to find a way of relocation the 13pin to make it easy to reach.

I've experimented with stick-on rubber protectors for the skirt but they don't look very good.

I might try one of those soft nose things that fit to the front of the alko  stabiliser.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, AlanS said:

If you go rallying wouldn't you have a motor mover fitted to the caravan. Gone are the days of everyone pushing and shoving caravans into position and out of the mud ! If you have or are getting a motor mover then, if you are on your own bring the caravan onto the car towball with the mover - so easy.  

Alan

 

Did I mention that I have Fibromyalgia????   Part of this condition is what's know as 'brain fog'.....   definitely got that today...   or 'old timers'.....   whichever... :P   and thanks!    It may take me a while for brain to actually remember that there is a motor mover on there!?!?!?!!!!

Edited by Janine00

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not all cars suffer from rear parking sensors detecting the tow ball, neither of my cars detect it.

 

detachable looks nicer when tow ball is removed but if your not bothered by looks save the money and have a fixed tow ball. 

Also less chance when parralell parked someone will nudge forward until the make contact with your bumper.

Had someone move forward at traffic lights, the came into contact with towball and not bumper

 

macafee2

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59 minutes ago, CJ1149 said:

I've had detachables of various makes and never had a problem accept   being a little concerned about damaging the rear skirt .  Also, never having found a satisfactory protection plate I've yet to find a way of relocation the 13pin to make it easy to reach.

I've experimented with stick-on rubber protectors for the skirt but they don't look very good.

I might try one of those soft nose things that fit to the front of the alko  stabiliser.

My ALKO stabiliser is already fitted with a soft nose so I'm not sure if you can fit another.

 

Ifyou really are that clumsy then get a blanket or summat to drape over the bumper when hitching up.

 

I find it helps a bit to pull forwards a touch after reversing to relieve the tension in the hitch damper spring to stop it pushing forward when the hitch is detached from the car.

4 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

not all cars suffer from rear parking sensors detecting the tow ball, neither of my cars detect it.

 

detachable looks nicer when tow ball is removed but if your not bothered by looks save the money and have a fixed tow ball. 

Also less chance when parralell parked someone will nudge forward until the make contact with your bumper.

Had someone move forward at traffic lights, the came into contact with towball and not bumper

 

macafee2

Not sure if you are better off with a damaged bumper or distorted towbar.

 

The bumper is designed to absorb  some damage whereas the towbar being bolted directly to the car can cause a lot more damage if it gets twisted.

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Dave

Not clumsy, and no damage yet (that's done it) - just cautious and wanting to reduce any future risk.

My new hitch (a black one) didn't have a soft nose fitted as standard so I guess you've been lucky.

With my spine held together with set screws and plates and a prosthetic right arm and shoulder I could really do with somewhere to mount the 13pin high up - any bright ideas?

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19 hours ago, FrankBullet said:

 

I did think of that but was concerned it would move around and damage my full size alloy spare!

 

Nope, it never moves. I also carry a pair of leather welding gauntlets in there and a tow strap. There ain't no room for them to move - in the supplied bag of course. And yes, I have a full sized alloy spare which is one of the reasons for buying a Passat!

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Yes!

Witter  fitted by dealer approved firm to my new Ford Galaxy.

Sensor problems!

Cure?

Switch them off!!

Witter fitted by dealer approved firm to my new Picasso Grand.

Sensor problems!

Cure?

Turn on the engine switch the lights on switch the fog lamps on -switch everything off😂

Witter fitted etc to my new 2014 Picasso Grand.

Harness alarm went off-even when car was stationary with ignition off!!

Turn on engine etc-resets loom-apparently😂

Present Seat Alhambra from new.

Brink fixed tow bar.

No problems 😂😂😂

23 minutes ago, CJ1149 said:

Dave

Not clumsy, and no damage yet (that's done it) - just cautious and wanting to reduce any future risk.

My new hitch (a black one) didn't have a soft nose fitted as standard so I guess you've been lucky.

With my spine held together with set screws and plates and a prosthetic right arm and shoulder I could really do with somewhere to mount the 13pin high up - any bright ideas?

 

I have neuron disease.

Damaged an outer lower leg ligament in June still unstable knee joint in March.

The physio is making a fortune I am the man with the golden knee😀

But her efforts in the last six weeks have made a dramatic improvement-I can now walk safely-with a stick!

I move my 1880MTPL Swift Conqueror with its mover and try never to twist my upper body with feet planted.

A motorised jockey wheel would be handy😀

I only fit the wheel lock a few times a year.

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I have a Kia specific detachable tow bar on my Sportage, absolutely no problem.

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We have one on the good ladies Skoa Yeti, leaves back end as normal and added when needed for a bike rack or to tow a trailer (caravan if my Pickup ever breaks down)

 

Reasonably easy to fit and works well. Just hard to get the breakaway cable attached.

The removable bar is small and has a place cut out in the spare wheel well.

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