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ampiobairebreac

Newbie question about cut outs for towbar

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HI all

 

this is a great forum--I have loads of questions-but I'll stick to one for now, just thinking about buying a caravan for me and the kids to go away with (we currently do quite a bit of camping).

 

I need to get a towbar fitted to my car, and clearly there is going to have to be a cut away of lower bumper, but my question is: how much of a difference will it make and will the cut away be visible from standing height with a detatchable swan neck towbar (I'm thinking based on comments in this forum on getting a Westfalia detatched or something similar). 

 

It's a Volkswagen cc like in this picture (1573kg kerb weight). And I've included a picture of my actual rear underside (of the car obvs!); so will the cut away be visible at all times, or will it be less obvious and only noticeable if you're looking for it? AND, if you've the patience--what do I do about parking sensors? I don't have the facility to manually turn them off but could probably find the fuse if pressed etc?

 

All help much appreciated in advance. I really don't want to change cars--this is a great machine. 

 

many thanks,

 

Malcolm.

 

 

VW CC rear end image.jpg

image.png

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The bumper may not have to be cut at all if you are going down the swan-neck towbar route.  Contact a local respected tow-bar fitting company and they will be able to make several recommendations for you and advise whether a cut-out is required. The parking sensors will not be effected by the towbar and, if you let them use the VW specific towbar wiring kit it will automatically silence the sensors when you are using the towbar (and reversing). Genuine VW kit may cost slightly more but well worth it if you value your car as you suggest.

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Don't assume that the rear bumper will have to be cut.   My last three cars haven't needed cutting - only in one case was an under-tray removed.

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A detachable towbar won't affect the reverse sensors at all - as it'll be detached when not towing - with a vehicle-specific wiring loom the car will know when it's towing and cut out the rear sensors automatically.

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Many of the towbar suppliers have fitting instructions on their websites so worth a look to see what if anything needs cutting out. There might even be markings on the lower bumper section showing where to cut. We do not have a vehicle specific wiring harness, the car is too old for that, but the inner reversing sensors do not always see the fixed towball and if they do, the towball cover can be moved a bit. However, it does not bother me when the sensors see the towball, I do not reverse often.

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My Ford S-Max has a Ford (Westfalia) tow bar and there's a cover over the cut out so it's virtually invisible when the towball is detached. The socket also folds away under the bumper so cannot be seen either. This is what it looks like.

(please excuse the state of the car, it was washed yesterday morning but the roads around here are filthy)

smax bumper cut.jpg

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Brilliant thanks all so far, I'll take it down to a fitter to see what they say. Much appreciated 

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Example towbar for your vehicle states bumper cut = yes  Visible = no

The whole bumper needs removal and the towbar metalwork replaces a beam in the bumper.

 

You would usually be hard pressed to see the cutout on most detachable towbar installs.  Our new Galaxy has a bar by the linked to company fitted.  So a very similar install.  I'll attach a pic if you want as it is different to matelodave's,  but my car is even dirtier!

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According to Rodders’ link, Malcolm’s VW will need a hole about 4” x 12” cut on the underside of the bumper …

 

4CD68B76-8B20-48B0-BD5B-1C2CEB321C70.thumb.jpeg.b21e0e033575fb186e9d7af14040a7e0.jpeg
 

John

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I've never noticed if cut outs on any of my cars do not know if any had them or not.

My Peugeot had a dedicated wiring kit and the fitter also in addition wired the 12v permanent pin and 12v ignition pin to make sure the fridge/caravan battery worked when towing.

The fitter also programmed the cars computer to know the car now had towbar and wiring, so I guess that took care of the sensors etc. when towing.

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Very few cars need a cut out but on the only one I have had that did it was barely visible so I would not worry. The sensors on our car are not affected by  the towbar or caravan or a goods trailer I once towed, so that should not be a problem.

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Great thanks.

 

any views on whether 7 or 13 pin? 
 

planning on buying a van between 2004-2010 for cost so not sure which is needed but I understand conversion is simple with an adaptor. Any hidden pros or cons to either?

 

much appreciated

 

 

Malcolm.

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Your caravan if that age will be fitted with the twin plugs unless you buy a continental model so it would make sense to fit whatever your caravan has.  Adaptors are cheap, under £30 for a good one but it means extra wire which can be a nuisance and an extra job when hitching. Avoid the cheap adaptors advertised on line as some are very substandard.

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Best to have 13 pin socket on car.

If not 13 pin on caravan have 13 pin plug put on and the TWO 7 cores put into it better than adaptor.

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8 minutes ago, ampiobairebreac said:

Great thanks.

 

any views on whether 7 or 13 pin? 
 

planning on buying a van between 2004-2010 for cost so not sure which is needed but I understand conversion is simple with an adaptor. Any hidden pros or cons to either?

 

much appreciated

 

 

Malcolm.

The 13 pin plug became standard in 2008, but was fitted to some vans before that and many have been converted.

There are 2 drawbacks to the 13 pin plug:-

1. They can become misaligned, a bit fiddly to correct but no big deal,  and a little tool is readily available, indeed provided with many vans.

2. If you make the classic rookie mistake of forgetting to unplug when unhitching, damage to the plug and/or socket is likely!

 

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