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Unexpected Beenfits Of Towing


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In the last week I have had two occasions on which the fact that my car is fitted with a towball have been of great benefit to me (but a sad mischance for others).


On Tuesday, I was waiting in a queue at traffic lights on a slight hill; the car ahead of me was a learner driver so I had left a substantial gap in front of me. When the lights went green, the learner lurched forward and stalled.

I had not moved; the car was out of gear with the handbrake fully on.

At that point, there was a thump, and a Ford Mondeo hit me from behind, fortunately at very low speed.


There was no damage to my car, but his front bumper was completely smashed.


On Thursday, I was driving in rain and rush hour traffic in my local town and had stopped for traffic lights. The lights were on a box junction. The lights went green, and two cars ahead of me passed across the box and stopped in a traffic queue. As my exit from the box was not clear, I duly stopped just short of the hatchings, put the handbrake on and took the car out of gear.


Guess what ?


A few seconds later there was a thump . ... a green renault clio had hit me from behind. We both moved off the road into an adjacent bus stop layby.


This time, my plastic towball cover was cracked. The towball had punched through the clio's bumper and number plate and smashed the radiator; the car was undriveable.


I had the car checked over today and have been reassured that there is no damage to the towhitch, bumper or bodyshell and the car is fine to drive and tow with.


So I suppose having a towhitch is a "fringe benefit" of caravanning . .......


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Had a similair instance 4 years ago with our frontera. An escort hit us from behind at a mini roundaboutand ended up with the bonet wedged under our towbar. We had a cracked spare wheel cover and a grazed bumper. The escort was a mess. We have a removable tow ballotherwise the damage to the other party would have been a lot worse had I not removed the tow ball when not towing.

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Yes, and it makes the cost of a towbar seem even more reasonable! I have had 2 'contacts' in past 2 years - an Escort van at about 2mph - no damage to me but number plate and bumper for him, and then a more substantial one about 12 months ago when an elderly BMW tried again - my (then) 406 HDi Estate had a small dent on the tailgate and some minor damage to the bumber - but the towball went clean through her front bumper and in just under her n/s headlight and into her wing. It wasn't a pretty sight.

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Seem to recall reading in one of the mags a letter/article that included reference to the bolts shearing on a towbar after a rear end shunt. That bar had also been inspected IIRC, and it was only 1 or 2 bolts that kept the outfit together.

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Unless the people who inspected the bar did a crack test (exspensive) there is no way they can tell you that the bar is OK.   Contact your insurance company and ask their advice.



Thanx for that, I'll get it crack tested. As I'm not paying, hang the expense. :)


They did a thorough job; whole bumper and bar off, bolts out, eveything - reassembled with new bolts, checked bodyshell geometry. Very dillgent, and believe me I watched them every step of the way.

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A few years ago we found ourselves in a similiar situation, we were stationery in our vauxhall carlton at traffic lights, for some unknown reason a ford escort van did not see us until he hit us at approx 15mph.

I checked the cars - underneath, bumper in the boot and towbar.

All seemed well everything worked fine.

After a proffessional investigation, several faults were found, the rear of the car had most of its stengthening parts replaced a new bumper and all new fittings and more important a new towbar was fitted(witter), we had only had it fitted 3 month before the accident but there was damage, which i could not see. (Thank god i didn't use the caravan).

Total repair bill £1200, Full comp so Aye. .. But more important Our safety.


Even with the slightest of bumps it pays to have it checked ;)



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