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Which Tow Bar??


b6x
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Well, we've taken the first few steps towards migrating over to caravanning. We've sold the motorhome and bought a tow-car, a Vauxhall Vectra CDTi (150PS). The next stage is getting a tow bar on the car, and blimey, I thought it was going to be easy.

 

I was quoted around 300 quid for a Witter Quantum detachable bar however read somewhere that if my caravan has an ALKO hitch, then I need an ALKO towball. Trouble is, I haven't bought a caravan yet, so I'm not sure what hitch it'll have. And without a towbar, I can't buy a caravan. Catch 22!

 

Is that correct that ALKO hitches need a specific towball?

 

Also, as an aside of this, with the detachable Witter bars, are the electric sockets hidden behind the bumper too?

 

Thanks,

Steve

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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Is that correct that ALKO hitches need a specific towball?

 

Also, as an aside of this, with the detachable Witter bars, are the electric sockets hidden behind the bumper too?

 

Thanks,

Steve

The only type of towball that is not suitable for an Al-Ko hitich is the bolt on type due to the short neck section. Details on Al-Ko information sheet

http://www. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/support/Towballguide. pdf

As you are going for a detachable, there is no problem.

Some designs of socket do fold away so they are not visible but I cannot answer your specific question

Brian

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Well, we've taken the first few steps towards migrating over to caravanning. We've sold the motorhome and bought a tow-car, a Vauxhall Vectra CDTi (150PS). The next stage is getting a tow bar on the car, and blimey, I thought it was going to be easy.

 

I was quoted around 300 quid for a Witter Quantum detachable bar however read somewhere that if my caravan has an ALKO hitch, then I need an ALKO towball. Trouble is, I haven't bought a caravan yet, so I'm not sure what hitch it'll have. And without a towbar, I can't buy a caravan. Catch 22!

 

Is that correct that ALKO hitches need a specific towball?

 

Also, as an aside of this, with the detachable Witter bars, are the electric sockets hidden behind the bumper too?

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

Have a good look round carparks etc at Vectras a couple of pics are attached showing the fixed towbar on our 06 Vectra 1. 8 petrol (£230) only used for trailer now as not heavy enough for our new van. I looked at the detachable but as you can see the standard electrics are very low down and the detachable towbar electrics on cars I saw were even lower and didn't like the thought of laying on the floor to couple it up. But each to thier own

Dave

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Have a good look round carparks etc at Vectras a couple of pics are attached showing the fixed towbar on our 06 Vectra 1. 8 petrol (£230) only used for trailer now as not heavy enough for our new van. I looked at the detachable but as you can see the standard electrics are very low down and the detachable towbar electrics on cars I saw were even lower and didn't like the thought of laying on the floor to couple it up. But each to thier own

Dave

 

 

Pic 2

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Great. Thanks all for the reassurance. I think I'll get the car booked in asap for a regular witter tow bar to be installed.

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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Without going into all the things over again about car/caravan electrcs. .. there are loads of threads here about that. .

 

May I respectfully suggest that when you have had you tow-bar and electrics fitted -- you have the electrics checked out by a specialist auto electrical company. ...

 

There does seem to be so many differing opinions and ways of connecting caravans that -- sometimes they can be connected wrongly -- even by the vehicle manufactures agents. . VOLVO have got it wrong twice on my cars !!

 

It is Totally up to you of course -- but I would suggest you read some of the threads here about the problems encountered. .

 

Apart from that ---

 

Welcome to caravaning and hope you have many years of towing holidays

 

Maurice

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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Guest hellboy
Great. Thanks all for the reassurance. I think I'll get the car booked in asap for a regular witter tow bar to be installed.

i had a pct detacable towbar fitted to my vectra when it was off the car you couldent see a thing

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The only type of towball that is not suitable for an Al-Ko hitich is the bolt on type due to the short neck section. Details on Al-Ko information sheet

http://www. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/support/Towballguide. pdf

As you are going for a detachable, there is no problem.

Some designs of socket do fold away so they are not visible but I cannot answer your specific question

Brian

Just popped into a local towbar place, and they've basically told me that the detachable towbar is only suitable if I am attaching a caravan with an ALKO hitch, because it's not possible to have a detachable bar and a stabiliser bar/saddle setup required for older caravans.

Basically, if I have detachable ball, and then buy an older caravan without a ALKO hitch, then I can't have a stabiliser.

 

Also, can the detachable alko towball be used to tow a normal small trailer? (assuming I'd have to grease it up and then clean grease off inbetween trailer and caravan usage?)

 

Cheers. Steve

Edited by b6x

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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Steve, you categorically CAN have a detatchable bar with a bolt-on stabiliser bracket for a blade stabiliser.

 

If the local towbar plce is telling you otherwise they are misinformed (in which case would you want them fitting a bar for you if they don`t know what they are talking about?) or just hoping to flog you an Al-Ko hitch for a couple of hundrede quid.

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Just popped into a local towbar place, and they've basically told me that the detachable towbar is only suitable if I am attaching a caravan with an ALKO hitch, because it's not possible to have a detachable bar and a stabiliser bar/saddle setup required for older caravans.

Basically, if I have detachable ball, and then buy an older caravan without a ALKO hitch, then I can't have a stabiliser.

You can use a blade type stabiliser using either a detachable or swan neck towbar.

When we bought our caravan I haggled an Al-ko hitch as patrt of the deal. :D

 

 

Also, can the detachable alko towball be used to tow a normal small trailer? (assuming I'd have to grease it up and then clean grease off inbetween trailer and caravan usage?)

 

Cheers. Steve

Yes!

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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Our last car was a Vectra CDTi 1. 9 (150ps) SRi version (05) and it was an excellent tow car, and great fun solo. Our towbar was a Witter Quantum detachable and I was so pleased with it I'm going to go with the same set up on our new car.

 

I can tell you that the sockets were virtually in the same position as shown in Dave's images. When the towball was detached you could only see the sockets by bending over, looked very neat, but the minor disadvantage of this is when hooking up you have to bend down to see the plugs.

 

The vans we towed with this car both had Alko hitches and towed without any problems. I agree with the comments about the blade type stabiliser's, there is a special bracket for swan neck style towbars (which is basically what the Quantum is), although it will make the detached towbar a bit bulkier than is the norm, something to take into account when storing the towbar.

 

I also used the car to tow a couple of trailers, and usually I gave the towbar good clean before towing again, and didn't have any problems.

 

I know the detachable is not everyone's choice, but I like them.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Alec

Alec

Car & Caravan

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Well, we've taken the first few steps towards migrating over to caravanning. We've sold the motorhome and bought a tow-car, a Vauxhall Vectra CDTi (150PS). The next stage is getting a tow bar on the car, and blimey, I thought it was going to be easy.

 

I was quoted around 300 quid for a Witter Quantum detachable bar however read somewhere that if my caravan has an ALKO hitch, then I need an ALKO towball. Trouble is, I haven't bought a caravan yet, so I'm not sure what hitch it'll have. And without a towbar, I can't buy a caravan. Catch 22!

 

Is that correct that ALKO hitches need a specific towball?

 

Also, as an aside of this, with the detachable Witter bars, are the electric sockets hidden behind the bumper too?

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

Hi Steve

 

I have a VX Signum which is just a Vectra Estate in a party frock and I fitted my own towbar and it was I think only 6 bolts, the 12N electrics

was a VX £45 model specific kit including loom and this then only needed a tiny bit of wiring to the standard towbar socket.

The Quantum you mention is just a variation on a 'swan neck', these are always OK with an ALKO by virtue of the way they are made, the

other type of towbar is a 'flange' towbar and all these need is an alko 'compatable' ball - they just stick out a bit more to allow the hitch

head (which are just a bit bigger than ordinary) clearance so as not to foul the flange bit in use.

If you say where you are from, then I would imagine someone will suggest a decent towbar fitter in your area.

 

My Witter flange towbar came from towequipe (ebay) but the car specific kit was VX dealer, but I see towquipe do these from stock now.

 

neil

Bailey S5 Pageant Auvergne & Vauxhall Signum CDTI

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Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I'm based in hampshire, between Portsmouth and Southampton. I'm about to give a couple of local mobile installers a call but would welcome any recommendations.

 

I'm pretty set on getting a witter quantum now, as whatever caravan I do end up buying I think I'll pay the extra if necessary to get a stabilising hitch, whether alko or winterhoff.

 

My only real pre-reqs are that it would be nice to be detachable (with electrics hidden if possible) and a tidy job on the electrics.

 

I guess the electrics is my biggest concern, I just assumed it was a case of plugging into a factory fitted loom these days, but some installers are talking about running a dedicated feed from the battery and a "box of tricks" to look after it all.

Edited by b6x

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I'm based in hampshire, between Portsmouth and Southampton. I'm about to give a couple of local mobile installers a call but would welcome any recommendations.

 

I'm pretty set on getting a witter quantum now, as whatever caravan I do end up buying I think I'll pay the extra if necessary to get a stabilising hitch, whether alko or winterhoff.

 

My only real pre-reqs are that it would be nice to be detachable (with electrics hidden if possible) and a tidy job on the electrics.

 

I guess the electrics is my biggest concern, I just assumed it was a case of plugging into a factory fitted loom these days, but some installers are talking about running a dedicated feed from the battery and a "box of tricks" to look after it all.

 

Use the Vauxhall electric plug in kit it includes all the wiring needed. You will need to get a Vauxhall dealer to activate the trailer sensing circuit on their equipment.

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Crikey. This gets more and more complicated (and expensive) :) I'm assuming Vauxhall will want to relieve me of my car for a day, and an hours labour for the five minutes it'll take to enable the sensing circuit.

 

Anyone used Towsure to install one of their "eclipse" bars?

 

Also, I'm just going through the Witter WEB-fit process and it's asking if I want "standard" or "dedicated" electrics. .. I'm assuming the dedicated uses parts of the cars wiring, although doesn't mention the need to enable anything on the car. So, is this deemed the best option generally? The price tends to assume its the best option, but I'm open for advice.

 

Thanks in advance. .. the saga almost coming to an end ;)

I promise.

Edited by b6x

towcar #1: Vauxhall Vectra 1. 9 CDTi 150

towcar #2: Honda CR-V 2. 2 CDTi

caravan: Compass Corona 475

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